Three years ago, Parksville’s William Kreacul was suffering from a list of chronic illnesses. A daily smoker, Krecaul, was overweight, had high blood pressure, diabetes and had suffered a small stroke.
Concerned with his patient’s deteriorating health, Parksville family physician Satish Desai, recognized something needed to change in his day-to-day routine. So Desai asked Kreacul to join him for a walk.
“Physical activity enhances our patient’s health,” said Desai. “It improves the brain, the heart, the lungs and increases blood flow. Not only that but walking makes you feel better, it makes you happy, and balances your emotional health.”
Surprised by the invitation, Kreacul decided to attend the walk with his wife. “We had a lot of fun,” remembers Kreacul. “I discovered I like walking, and now I try to walk two kilometres every day.”
Today, Kreacul doesn’t smoke or drink, and has recovered fully from his stroke. His blood pressure and sugar levels are consistently low and easier to maintain. “Overall his health is much better,” Desai said. “And I’m certain his daily walking has been one of the biggest contributors.”
The walk Desai lead Kreacul on, with a number of his other patients, is the annual Walk with your Doc, that has doctors prescribing daily activity for better health.
Doctors across B.C. host free walks for their patients and the public, taking place May 3–11 this year. New this year in the lead up to the event, doctors are handing out “Rx for Health” prescriptions to their patients that prescribe daily activity and include an invitation to join the walk.
All participants will receive a free pedometer (while supplies last) to count their steps and challenge themselves to increase towards 30 minutes of activity each day.
“Every day I see patients suffering from chronic illness. With health care dollars in short supply prevention is key,” Desai said. “Walking helps patients manage their illness and prevent or delay others from developing.”
Doctors Desai and Mark Morris will host a Walk with your Doc in Parksville Community Park, Wed., May 7 at 4 p.m. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Submitted by Doctors of BC