Getting outside is a prescription for better health

Sue Schwartz

Due to some recently-planned and/or pending HOA construction projects around the five lakes, we’ve moved our walks to the Palo Verde tennis pavilion. This will take place starting April 13. The time remains the same with the Doc Walk starting at 9:00 a.m. followed by an optional brunch on the PV Patio. This will be our home for the balance of 2019. The new venue offers us a variety of walking choices and interesting scenery.

A breath of fresh air can be physically healing. Ask the physicians associated with Walk with a Doc who are putting the idea into practice by prescribing time outdoors for patients.

Staying upright largely depends on excellent strength and mobility in your feet and ankles, a pretty high expectation given that each of your feet has 26 bones, 33 joints and 100-plus muscles, tendons and ligaments. To maintain your balance, the feet, working in tandem with the ankles and muscles of the lower legs, must adjust to terrain changes quicker than you are conscious of them.

Maintaining that strength, mobility and coordination in the foot, ankle and lower leg is a high priority at Walk with A Doc. We develop these by subjecting these to stresses from different angles, with varying intensities and speeds.

Friends bring us laughter, support and fun — they’re among life’s greatest gifts. Not to be overlooked, they can also be a boon to your walking routine. No, we’re not talking about them serving as your own personal cheering squad (though having outside support for achieving your fitness goals can encourage you to go for miles). Walking with a friend can actually change the way you look at this beneficial aerobic activity – even how you experience it.

Walking with a pal is, in a sense, no different than keeping another social commitment, like meeting someone for lunch. You show up because you don’t want to let them down. You focus more on the quality conversation and bonding time, rather than what you’re doing or where you are. Research has even shown that those who work out together may be able to maintain a harder effort without realizing it. That is, your pain threshold may increase to the point that you can take on that dreaded hill and forget all about the muscle burn you would normally focus on when you’re done.

The mental health benefits of walking with a partner can often be as great as the physical health benefits. He or she can become a sounding board you can turn to to discuss life’s issues.

Plan on joining us April 13 for this FREE Wellness Walk. More information is available at [email protected] and