Getting out for some exercise is one of the best ways to help stave off a range of ailments.
Staying active is the most important part of maintaining good health, but just 15 per cent of adults in Canada meet the minimum requirement of 150 minutes of exercise per week and just seven per cent of youth are getting the 60 minutes of physical activity per day they need to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.
More than 100 doctors across B.C. participated in Walk With Your Doc this week to spur nearly 2,000 of their sedentary patients into action.
Vancouver Island physicians led 11 walks in Nanaimo, Victoria, Parksville, Campbell River, Gold River, Courtenay and Comox.
The symbolic one-kilometre walks started Wednesday to highlight the importance of being physically active and to coincide with the World Health Organization’s Move for Health Day May 10.
Dr. Derek Poteryko, a Nanaimo family physician, said doctors are considered community leaders who should be prepared to walk their talk and he will consider the walks successful if they inspire only one person to start regular daily exercise.
Wednesday’s walk inspired 12 people, including two doctors, clinic staff and patients to join Poteryko for a stroll in the rain from Anchor Family Medicine on Waddington Road, around Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and back to the clinic.
Poteryko handed out pedometers to the participants prior to the walk.
“Walking is cheap and readily available,” Poteryko said. “Exercise is medicine. Exercise will help blood pressure, heart conditions. It will help depression and anxiety conditions. It will help arthritis. It’s a cheap pill that works and I’m very passionate about it and that’s why we’re doing it.”