Northland News

Walk With a Doc

Fitness initiative needs to be promoted more


A fitness initiative launched by the North Side Health Advisory Committee saw some drop-off in participation on a recent rainy Saturday, but co-chairs Scott Dowling and Sandy LaFollette said at last week's monthly meeting they're not discouraged.

More promotion regarding the Walk With a Doc events the committee is sponsoring in partnership with the North YMCA may help to draw a regular following, according to Dowling.

"It's a really neat event," he said.

Walk With a Doc, which was founded in central Ohio and has branches throughout the country and around the world, is a program to encourage people to become fitter by walking with, naturally, a doctor. David Sabgir, a board-certified cardiologist who practices with Mount Carmel Clinical Cardiovascular Specialists at Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital, founded the nonprofit organization.

About 35 people turned out for the first event Sept. 7, but that was down to 25 for the second walk Sept. 21, according to Chris Rudin of the committee.

The hour-long walks begin at, or take place inside, the Woodward Park Community Center, 5147 Karl Road. A rainy start to the day Sept. 21 may have discouraged people from participating, Rudin said, with many perhaps not realizing walking inside the center was an option.

"It was good," Rudin said. "I enjoyed it."

It's a well-run program, according to LaFollette.

"You feel very welcome when you walk in," she said. "It's very well-organized."

Those who participate in three of the walks will receive a T-shirt.

The remaining scheduled dates are Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 2, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7. The walks run from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

"I'm very encouraged by this thing," Dowling said.

"I just felt energized," Rudin said. "I went home and cut the grass."

"Let's just keep promoting this with people," Dowling said.

Committee members also discussed sponsoring another event for bicyclists, but decided there isn't enough time left before winter weather sets in to schedule one in 2013.

The event, which will also including bicycle safety instruction for children and their parents, will be held sometime in May following Mother's Day, committee members decided.