“…providing a place for people to show up to walk together, to get some education and some enthusiasm for improving their health…it’s always a win win…” – Gina Simmering, RN, Walk With a Doc Boulder.
Walking is one of the single most important things we can do for our health with the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity, according to the Surgeon General of the US.
photo: Dr. Nelson Trujillo, Gina Simmering RN.
The Walk with a Doc program was founded in 2005 in Cincinnati, OH and currently has more than 300 chapters across the country. It’s an opportunity to get people of all ages to walk at their own pace with healthcare professionals, who also talk about specific health related topics on the walk.
Boulder Community Health has launched its first series of walks, led by Dr. Nelson Trujillo, a board-certified cardiologist.
“Health is a community issue, so Boulder Community (Health) is really making a big effort to create a community of people who are going to get out and start walking to exercise. The second part of it is that walking is an incredible exercise and helps lots of different parts of you and from a preventive strategy, it’s cheap and fun.”
Dr. Trujillo says that he is seeing younger and younger patients impacted by heart disease, reflective of an increase in issues like obesity and diabetes being on the rise.
“The age at which people present is becoming younger and younger and as our population ages we’re going to have this two part problem. We have all the baby boomers who are becoming of age when they’re starting to present, and then we’re going to have our young people starting earlier and earlier, so who will be there to care for each other? We don’t know yet, so it’s an epidemic with our youth and there’s no question that the resources to take care of the elderly as it relates to cardio-vascular problems has the potential to overwhelm our system.”
A twenty minute daily walk can significantly decrease your risk of diseases like diabetes says Dr. Trujillo. “If we can get everybody out 20 minutes a day, that really is a lions share of the exercise they need to prevent a lot of problems over the course of their lifetimes.”
Gina Simmering, a Registered Nurse, and one of the organizers of the Boulder Health Walk With a Doc program, says that exercising as a community has huge benefits for everyone. “It’s a play on an old concept but definitely providing a place for people to show up to walk together, to get some education and some enthusiasm for improving their health…it’s always a win win when you can bring together a community and that’s exactly what we’ve done with Walk With a Doc.”
Each Walk with a Doc event will include a brief presentation on a specific health topic followed by a physician-led walk. Each event will include free blood pressure checks, refreshments and giveaways from local business partners. Currently, four walks are scheduled for one Saturday a month through October. Participants are encouraged to walk at their own pace and preferred distance.
All walks are from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Upcoming walks include:
August 26: Preventing Heart Attacks
North Boulder Park, 2848 9th Street in Boulder
September 9: Controlling Blood Pressure
Harlow Platts Park, 1360 Gillaspie Drive in Boulder
October 14: Shortness of Breath: Causes and Risk Factors
Coot Lake/Tom Watson Park, 6180 63rd Street in Boulder
Additional details are available at bch.org/walkwithadoc. For more information, please contact Celanie Pinnell at 303-415-4273 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.