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RENSSELAER — Franciscan Health Rensselaer is encouraging residents to take a step toward better health with Walk with a Doc, a health program that brings doctors and patients together to walk, every Monday at noon, at the Hall Pavilion at Brookside Park, Sept. 9-Oct. 21.

Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation.

“This program has had tremendous participation and success in hundreds of cities around the country,” said Chris Scheurich, director of Rehabilitation for Franciscan Health Rensselaer. “I’m very pleased to be able to continue to provide this exciting and simple program to Rensselaer, as it has shown such improved health results for countless people around the country.”

The Walk is open to the community. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating walk with doctors, and other healthcare professionals, who will provide support to participants and answer questions during the walk.

“Walk with a Doc is honored to team up with Franciscan Health Rensselaer,” said Dr. David Sabgir, founder of Walk with a Doc. “By incorporating this program into the practice, Franciscan Health is demonstrating an exceptional level of care and commitment to their community.”

Why walk?

“There’s no question that increasing exercise, even moderately, reduces the risks of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, breast and colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes,” said Scheurich. “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 the following benefits:

  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Help maintain a healthy body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well-being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis

Rensselaer has joined a growing list of communities worldwide that have started local Walk with a Doc (WWAD) programs. WWAD was started by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist with Mount Carmel Health Systems in Columbus, OH. He has walked with patients and community members every weekend since 2005.

Locals can learn more about Walk with a Doc at www.walkwithadoc.org.