Doctors walk the talk to promote health

NANAIMO – The annual Walk with your Doc kicks off May 10 to connect doctors and patients and promote heart health.

When it comes to health, Nanaimo doctors are prepared to walk the talk.

Nanaimo physicians will pound the pavement with patients this May during the annual Walk with your Doc at Maffeo Sutton Park.

The event, organized across B.C. to celebrate the World Health Organization’s Move for Health Day, is all about encouraging people to get active.

One hundred people kept pace with family physicians last year. This season, with double the doctors participating, organizers at the Nanaimo Division of Family Practitioners hope for a larger turnout.

“It’s one of those things like anything, it gathers steam as it goes along,” said division executive director Leslie Keenan, who expects to see six doctors at the event this year.

“Physicians are out there promoting walking as an accessible, healthy part of a lifestyle that everyone can do and I think it also is something that benefits the strengthening of those relationships between people and the family physicians in their community.”

Nanaimo’s Dr. Derek Poteryko will be joining the kilometre-long walk in an effort to connect with patients outside the office and promote walking – exercise he calls “a cheap pill that really works” for heart health, cancer, mood and anxiety. People should be getting a half hour of exercise five days a week, he said.

“We talk to our patients about exercises and eating better and not smoking [so] whether you are leading by example or leading by association, take your pick.”

The event kicks off May 10 at 11 a.m. at Maffeo Sutton Park and runs until 4 p.m.