Walk your way to better health and get answers to your most pressing health questions from an experienced physician by joining MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Walk with a Doc walking team. Come out on the first Saturday of every month—rain or shine at the National Arboretum Visitors Center at 9 a.m. to be a part of this important and worthwhile journey.
One of a Kind in the DC Region
The Hospital Center wants you to be as healthy as you can be. Walk with a Doc combines exercise with the chance to talk with a qualified and accomplished physician as you stroll your way to a healthier you. It’s free, easy and the only one of its kind in the Washington DC area.
Benefits of Walking
Statistics show a link between physical activity and reduced risk of heart disease. Walking can improve your total cholesterol, blood sugar and resting heart rate. Just 30 minutes a day, seven days a week will give you this tremendous benefit that can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer by as much as 50 percent. You can even break it up into quick and manageable 10-minute sessions, three times a day.
Lessons Learned While Walking
During a previous Walk with a Doc event, Dr. Patricia Davidson, a prominent cardiologist and internist, informed the group that heart disease is the number 1 killer of men and women and the most preventable. She stressed the importance of “knowing your numbers” for LDL, HDL and triglycerides:
- LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) is also known as the bad cholesterol. You should strive for LDL cholesterol of less than 100. Genetics can be a factor in a high LDL. Or, you may be eating too much animal fat.
- HDL (High-density lipoprotein) is known as the good cholesterol. Ideally, your HDL number should be 50 or above. If it is low, you can boost your level by exercising, losing weight and if you smoke, stop. The higher your numbers, the more protective it is to your heart.
- Triglycerides are fats carried in the blood from the food we eat. A number lower than 150 is ideal. If your numbers are high, cut back on carbohydrates (carbs), excess calories, alcohol, and sugar.
Bottom line, high HDL levels are at lower risk for heart disease. People with low HDL levels are at a higher risk.
It’s Heart Smart to Walk
Your heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to stay in shape. When it's exercised, the heart can pump more blood through the body and continue working at optimal efficiency with little strain. This will likely help it to stay healthy longer. When you exercise on a regular basis, it helps to keep your arteries and other blood vessels flexible, which ensures good blood flow and normal blood pressure and cholesterol.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “a little goes a long way.” That statement applies to exercising. As long as you have a program that you stick to on a regular basis, it works.
So, come out and join us for the next Walk with a Doc event on the 1st Saturday of every month at the National Arboretum, as we walk, talk and exercise our heart.