Although the Surgeon General of the United States says walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy, many people haven’t gotten the message yet. So to boost awareness of walking’s benefits, North Texas doctors have teamed up with an Ohio nonprofit to lead regular walks in Dallas and Fort Worth.
According to the Ohio-based Walk With a Doc group, Texas leads the nation in the number of physicians hosting walks through WWAD, thanks to a $100,000 annual grant from the Texas Medical Association. (The grant is a joint effort of the TMA, the Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust, and Prudential.) WWAD Texas boasts at least 42 monthly physician-led walks, the group says, including jaunts in Dallas and Fort Worth.
The Cowtown walk is led by Dr. Daniel McGilvray, a family-medicine physician with Health-e-Care. McGilvray says the Fort Worth WWAD chapter began in June and meets at the Trailhead at Clearfork—that’s at 4801 Edwards Ranch Road—the second Saturday of every month (except in November). The Fort Worth walk, which attracted 22 participants in August, is typically 1.5 to 2 miles long.
“There’s normally a short talk about a health topic lasting about five minutes before the walk,” McGilvray says. “It’s been really great to go on these walks and talk with people about any health questions they have, while also encouraging healthy lifestyles. I think it’s important to show that physicians are people that have to watch their diet and exercise just like everyone else.”
Dr. Rita Hamilton is the lead physician for the Dallas chapter walks, which have attracted as many as 50 participants since launching in May of 2016. The walks in Big D are held the first Tuesday of every month, most recently at the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center.
Roughly 12 walkers in Dallas each month have mobility impairments ranging from traumatic brain injuries to strokes and spinal cord injuries, so some attendees participate in wheelchairs.
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