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Walk With a Doc

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015

Walking has many health benefits. On July 15, community members are invited to take a walk with a Doylestown Hospital cardiologist to learn why walking is good for your heart and overall health.

Doylestown Health wants you to be healthy, and walking is a great way to do that. We've joined with the Walk with a Doc exercise program to encourage healthy physical activity for our community. Dr. David Sabgir, an Ohio cardiologist, created the program to promote wellness and it has grown across the country as hospitals and physicians come on board to improve the well-being of their neighbors.

Walk with a Doc

With the support of Doylestown Health’s Friends of the Heart Institute cardiologist James Kmetzo, MD helped get Walk with a Doc up and running in Central Bucks. He is a big proponent of physical fitness and stays active himself by cycling and regularly working out.

"Cardiologists invest many hours counseling their patients to live a heart-smart lifestyle. Walk with a Doc allows physicians to walk and mingle with their patients," said Dr. Kmetzo. "We talk the talk in the office, and now will walk the walk with these same patients."

Benefits of Walking

Studies have shown that walking briskly is a great way to get physical activity. In fact, it is the most popular physical activity among adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. It doesn't cost much except a good pair of sneakers, and you can do it just about anywhere, inside or out.

Benefits of walking:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Help you burn more calories
  • Increase your energy and stamina
  • Elevate your mood
  • Improve respiratory function

The American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. To help lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, make your goal three or four 40-minutes sessions each week. You could do this by walking two miles briskly (about 4 miles per hour or a 15-minute mile).

How to Get Started With Walking

Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program, especially if you have medical issues. Plan to start slow and increase your speed and distance over time. Try 10 minutes at a time at first. Do that three times a day and you're getting in your recommended daily 30 minutes of activity.

Start with a natural pace, not too fast. Slow down if you can't talk or catch your breath while walking. Start and finish your walk with some warm up and cool down stretches. The American Heart Association recommends stretches for walking.

Consider using a pedometer or try any one of a number of fitness apps on your phone. Pedometers are available in sporting goods stores and cost around $25. The goal for healthy adults is 10,000 steps a day or about five miles.

Keep walking

There are several ways to stay motivated and continue a walking program.

Tips to stay motivated

  • Set attainable goals and mark your progress
  • Make walking fun by walking with a friend
  • Mix up your routine with several different walking routes
  • Start or join a walking group
  • Have a back-up plan if weather is bad, try walking indoors in the mall
  • Get a dog or offer to walk your neighbor's dog
  • Listen to music

There are lots of resources online to help you start and continue a walking program. The American Heart Association has a website, Start Walking Now, dedicated to walking with information about walking clubs and walking paths.

Dr. Kmetzo will be the doctor on hand for the July 15 event. "We wanted to foster an 'all inclusive', warm and inviting environment for patients, so as not to exclude first-time walkers or those intimidated by fitness centers," said Dr. Kmetzo. "And in the end if walkers can make new friends, that's an added benefit. Walkers are more likely to stick to a regimen if they walk with others."

Join us for the inaugural Walk with a Doc

  • When: Wednesday, July 15, 8 to 9:30 a.m. Rescheduled to: Thursday, July 16, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: 595 W. State Street, Doylestown, PA, Meet on the lawn in front of the parking garage at Doylestown Hospital
  • Health discussion by Dr. James Kmetzo
  • Followed by 30- to 45-minute walk around the Doylestown Hospital campus

Register online or call 215-345-2121.

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