Walking Your Way to Better Health

Dr. Charles Hickey

A path to better health and wellness can be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. That is one of the ideas behind the innovative and creative “Walk with a Doc” program created by Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) member David Sabgir, MD, a Columbus cardiologist.

The program encourages increased healthy physical activity and pairs physicians with people of all ages on walks aimed at improving health and wellness. Since its inception in 2005, “Walk with a Doc” has grown to dozens of locations across Ohio as well as to several other states. The program’s mission to change the course of heart disease, obesity and quality of life is a laudable goal and one shared by the OSMA.

In 2007, the OSMA created a plan for reforming the health delivery system in Ohio. Two key tenets of the OSMA’s “Vision for Creating a Healthier Ohio” were to focus on wellness and prevention instead of more treatment of illness and recommend more personal responsibility for one’s health and wellness. It is with the “Vision” in mind that the OSMA is lending its support to the “Walk with a Doc” initiative. In doing so, the OSMA joins the Cleveland Clinic, ReachMD and others in supporting “Walk with a Doc.”

Prevention and wellness efforts, like regular exercise, are key components to improving the health of all Ohioans. And while it is recommended that patients consult their primary care physician before starting an exercise program, the benefits of walking are numerous. According to the American Heart Association, “research has shown walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, improve blood lipid profile, maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity, enhance mental well being, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer and reduce the risk of noninsulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes.”

As president of the largest and oldest statewide physician organization, I am honored to have the opportunity to announce the OSMA’s support of Dr. Sabgir’s initiative. The OSMA applauds his efforts and the efforts of the thousands of physicians around the state who are doing their part to improve the health and wellness of Ohioans.

Charles J. Hickey, MD
Ohio State Medical Association

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