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'All you need is a good pair shoes': Walking program in Macon wins awards for third time

'Walk with a Doc' is a program to promote greater health and wellness by doing scheduled walks.

MACON, Ga. — On the first Saturday of every month, people gather at Amerson River Park to walk for a better health and lifestyle.

'Walk with a Doc' is a program that was started in 2005 and it made it's way to Macon three years ago

It's a collaboration between Atrium Health Navicent and the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Department. 

Chief of Family Medicine at Atrium Health Navicent Primary Care West Macon, Dr. Harry Strothers, says walking is the easiest way to exercise.

"You don't have to but equipment to do it. You don't have to have special clothes to do it. All you need is a good pair shoes and you can do it just about anywhere,"Strothers says.

The walks happen at 8 a.m. during the summer months, and 9 a.m. during the cooler months. Dr.Strothers says walking has many other benefits.

"There are definitely cardiovascular benefits to walking," he says.

Dr. Strothers says walking can also reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks and diabetes. He say's it's easy on the joints and it doesn't cost to walk, and anyone can join.

"We usually have 20-30 people each time we do it. And you know sometimes there's more, sometimes there's less.  But we also have a steady core of people who are here just about every month," Dr.Strothers said.

Recently, the walking program won the 2022 Macon Mobility Maker Business Award. 

Cory Dennard walks in Amerson River Park for his own reasons.

"I just came out to enjoy the scenery," he said.

According to the American Council on Exercise, walking can improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels. 

Dennard said he found the urge to walk for health benefits too.

"Just trying to keep a active lifestyle especially, you know, after being a couple years in COVID and a lot of us had become a little sedentary so just still trying to get out and stay active," Dennard says.

Anyone is able to participate in the walk, but Dr. Strothers said age plays a role in your health.

"Seniors probably need it more than others because they're at the point were they're more likely to get complications of disease," Dr.Strothers said.

You can learn more about 'Walk with a Doc' on Atrium's website.

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