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West Side Walk to Wellness

West Side Walk to Wellness

As part of Rush’s new community-based health initiatives, doctors at Rush are leading Chicago’s first West Side walk toward a healthier community.

The West Side walk is an expansion in Rush’s participation in the national Walk With a Doc program, which encourages community members to walk together to promote increased physical activity and wellness.

West Side Walk to Wellness: Walk With a Doc is an eight-week community walking program. The hourlong walks will take place on Saturday mornings from June 24 to Aug. 12.

Participants will meet at 10 a.m. outside of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church at 4301 W. Washington Blvd., where they will hear brief health tips from a physician at Rush before walking in Garfield Park. Doctors participating in the event include Dr. David Ansell, Rush senior vice president of Community Health Equity; Dr. Sheila Dugan, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Rush; and Robin Pratts, MHA, associate director of community health and faith initiatives.

Water and a healthy snack will be provided weekly to all walkers. The first 50 walkers who register to participate will receive a free Rush T-shirt and pedometer.

Why walk?

Walking has substantial health benefits. It has been shown to be effective in reducing prevalent chronic health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, and obesity. Walking also can improve one’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

The national Walk With a Doc program was created by Ohio cardiologist Dr. David Sabgir and now has more than 277 chapters nationwide.

Short walks yield long-term health gains

Increasing exercise, even moderately, reduces the risks or many diseases, including coronary heart diseasebreast cancer and colon cancer and type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Heart Association, walking as little as 30 minutes a day also 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

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