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Last night was the first “Walk With a Doc” walking program at Dragon Park. Walkers enjoyed a refreshing walk with Dr. Amanda Green and other health care professionals, who provided support and answered questions during the walk.
There was a 5-10 minute health-related presentation at the beginning of the walk, and a limited number of pedometers and T-shirts were available for participants. Blood pressure monitoring was also available on site.
Dr. Green encourages anyone in the community of any age to join the walk. This is a free program and preregistration is not required. Future walks will be announced via the Walk With a Doc website, www.walkwithadoc.org, and are currently scheduled on April 17 and May 15 at 6 pm.
The Paris Walk with a Doc program is part of a state-wide initiative funded by a grant from the Texas Medical Association Foundation with major support from the Aetna Foundation. The grants help TMA doctors host walks with their patients, as well as provide marketing and promotional materials, and cover technical support from the Walk With a Doc organization.
Walk With a Doc is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country. “This program has had tremendous participation and success in many other cities around the country, ” said Dr. Green. “I’m very pleased to be part of this exciting and simple program that shows improved health results for so many people.”
Why walk? “There is no question that increasing exercise, even moderately, reduces the risks of many diseases, including coronary artery disease, breast and colon cancer, and Type 2 diabetes, ” said Dr. Green. “Research has even shown that you could gain two hours of life for each hour that you exercise regularly.” According to the American Heart Association, walking as little as 30 minutes a day can provide these health benefits: improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, help maintain a healthy body weight and lower the risk of obesity, enhance mental well-being, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
“As a doctor, I understand the challenge people face in changing their lifestyle to healthier behaviors,” said Garth Graham, MD, president of the Aetna Foundation. “The Walk With a Doc program shows great promise in providing people with ongoing motivation to live healthier lives. We are pleased to support the program’s expansion in Texas as part of our support for community-based programs that improve people’s health and well-being.”
“Walk With a Doc allows physicians to interact with their patients outside the office, where they can see their doctors practice what they preach. What’s discussed in the office is put int motion outside the office,” said Debbie Fuller, MD, vice president of the TMA Foundation and immediate past chair of the TMA Council on Health Promotion. She said patients’ comments and questions during the walks tend to feed off one another as they discuss general health and lifestyle issues with a person they trust – their physician. “It’s me and my patients, real-life in sweats together, just talking about health and well-being while we’re out getting exercise,” she said.
About the Lamar Delta County Medical Society (LDCMS): LDCMS members include 60 local general medicine physicians as well as subspecialists. The membership has supported the local Kids’ Marathon, Hard Hats for Little Heads, as well as 5-7 $1000 scholarships yearly to promote Paris students interested in health careers. To learn more, go to www.ldcms.org
About Texas Medical Association (TMA): TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. FMA Foundation raises funds to support the public health and science priority initiatives of the TMA. To learn more, go to www.texmed.org.
About Walk With a Doc: Walk with a Doc is a non-profit organization that encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages, to reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country. Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a board certified cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. To learn more, go to www.walkwithadoc.org.
Contact for more information: Amanda Green, MD cell 903-517-5630, Officer of Lamar Delta County Medical Society, Medical Director of Paris Lamar County Health Department, Medical Director of Hospitalist Service, Paris Regional Medical Center.