Friday, August 26, 2022

DCNR Helps Kickoff Second Statewide ‘Walk With A Doc’ Campaign Promoting Health And Nature

On August 26, as part of a movement to promote health, nature, and local parks and trails, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the second annual month-long effort encouraging communities and health professionals to get active together during
‘Walk with a Doc’ programs across Pennsylvania.

The effort is a collaboration between DCNR, the PA Medical Society, Geisinger, the Walk with a Doc program, and the PA Parks and Forests Foundation

The initiative provides communities the opportunity to take an active role in their health while exploring their local outdoor recreational areas with the medical professionals who provide care in their communities.

“The first year of the program showed the success of this effort that introduces people to new trails to try and makes the connection between health and the outdoors,” said DCNR Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund. “There are many partners in this collaborative effort with the same goal of healthy people and close to home and welcoming local parks, trails, and natural places.”

Throughout the month, communities and health organizations are hosting ‘Walk with a Doc’ events around the state.

An event today in Scranton was hosted by Geisinger and led by Dr. Michael Suk, chief physician officer and chair of Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Institute and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. 

The event featured a short health talk from Dr. Suk followed by a walk along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, information on health services and local vendors.

“Our ‘Walk with a Doc’ program joins our medical knowledge of the ‘what and why’ of physical activity with DCNR’s expertise of ‘where.’ It’s a natural partnership that links professionals and communities in the pursuit of better health. Geisinger is a proud partner in this venture, and we look forward to its continued growth in all our regions,” said Dr. Suk.

Participation in the walks throughout September is free. Communities or organizations interested in hosting a walk can get assistance with finding a doctor from the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

The statewide initiative will run throughout Pennsylvania Trails Month in September.

“Trails connect places, are one of the best guides to nature, and more than 75 percent of Pennsylvanians believe that along with parks they are an essential component of our health care system,” Imgrund said. “We’re fortunate to have thousands of miles to hike, ride, and paddle throughout the state, just waiting to be explored at little to no cost.”

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health, and numerous studies point to the health benefits of spending time in nature.

Getting regular physical activity on trails helps--

-- Reduce stress and anxiety;

-- Control weight;

-- Reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers;

-- Strengthen bones and muscles;

-- Improve mental health and mood;

-- Improve sleep quality;

-- Increase your chances of living longer;

-- Increase positive feelings about quality of life; and

-- Keep your lungs healthy.

Pennsylvania’s events are a part of the international Walk with a Doc program. In communities around the globe, doctors gather at least once a month to give a brief presentation on a health topic and then lead participants on a walk at their own pace.

Click Here to watch a DCNR video on the program.

To find trails and walking paths near you, visit the Explore PA Trails and Get Outdoors PA websites.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.


-- Centre Daily Times: Nature Plays A Role In Boosting Mental Health, Try It For Yourself At Millbrook Marsh

Related Article:

-- DCNR Blog: Connecting With A Missing Voice In Conservation - The Next Generation  [PaEN]

[Posted: August 26, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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