A group of 67 people followed their doctor on a five-kilometre hike around Port Alice May 13.
Dr. Ian Mackenzie led the group, which included the entire Sea View Elementary School, on the hike, which started at the clinic, as part of the annual Walk With Your Doc event.
Walk With Your Doc, which started in 2010, aims to spread the word to British Columbians about the health benefits of daily walking. Each year, during the week of May 10, doctors across BC host walking events for their patients and often for their community, too.
Dr. Mackenzie actually holds a Walk with the Doc every Wednesday in Port Alice at 9:30 a.m. when he is at his clinic, which is typically two weeks of every month. BC doctors prescribe walking to patients as a preventive measure against chronic illness and because it’s the best prescription for health they can give.
According to the Walk With Your Doc website, walking can have the same health benefits of running. Walking is a simple and fun way for people of all ages and abilities to feel good and be fit.
By adding just 30 minutes of brisk walking to their daily routine, people can: Lose weight. A 30-minute brisk walk can burn about 150 extra calories a day. The more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn. Boost their immune system. Walking has the power to lower the risk of getting high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Look and feel younger. By walking every day your quality of sleep will improve. You will feel more energized and feel less stress.
Become smarter. Our brains naturally shrink as we get older, but some studies show that walking can stop that trend. Regular exercise preserves the memory and learning part of your brain by increasing blood flow that nourishes tissue.
A regularly active adult takes around 10,000 steps from morning until night. Participating in Walk With Your Doc means an additional 2,000 – 3,000 steps. Walk With Your Doc is a grass roots initiative of Doctors of BC’s Council on Health Promotion (COHP). The first event was started in Vancouver by Dr. Ron Wilson, chair of the Athletic and Recreation Committee, who wanted to make a meaningful difference for his patients in a simple and fun way. The idea took hold, and COHP turned it into an annual event.
Each year, Walk With Your Doc grows. In 2014 it had a record-breaking 58 walks, with 300 doctors and 2,700 participants.