I first learned about Walk with a Doc when I attended a conference by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in 2018. I was probably the only allergist and immunologist in the audience, which made me feel a little uncomfortable and maybe out of place. I admit that I went to the conference to learn more about nutrition and whole food plant-based diet as I wanted to learn tools to better treat my patients with food allergies (including my newborn who had a milk allergy). The conference included evidence-based topics such as nutrition, physical activity (Walk with a Doc), sleep and stress management. As I listened to the Walk with a Doc speaker, I knew right away I had to bring the program to my community in San Antonio. The program is a fantastic idea! I want to be healthier and I want my patients to be healthier, so why don’t we take a walk through this journey together? Plus, walking is a very safe exercise and its benefits are endless.
According to the American Heart Association, walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. Think it doesn’t do any good? Think again. Walking is low impact and easier on the joints than running. It is safe – with a doctor’s okay – for people with orthopedic ailments, heart conditions, and those who are more than 20% overweight.
From the allergy and asthma perspective, the goal of treatment is to keep your symptoms under control so that you can enjoy things like exercise or sports activities. For instance, walking, leisure biking and hiking are good sporting activities for people with exercise-induced asthma. Exercise may result in decreased number of asthma symptom-free days, improvement in depression, lower risk of developing obstructive sleep asthma and improved sleep efficiency.
In addition, research has shown that you could gain two hours of life for each hour of regular exercise! That quick stroll around the block seems a little more worthwhile now, doesn’t it?
Let’s make a difference in our health and join us at Walk with a Doc, powered by Allergy & Asthma Texas Health!
Together We Can!
Felipe A. R. Mendes, Andrezza França-Pinto, Milton A. Martins, Alberto Cukier, Rafael Stelmach, Pedro Giavina-Bianchi & Celso R. F. Carvalho (2019) Seasonal changes influence the improvement in asthma symptoms by exercise training in subjects with asthma*, Journal of Asthma, 56:6, 674-679, DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2018.1484131
Wanrooij VH, Willeboordse M, Dompeling E, et al Exercise training in children with asthma: a systematic review British Journal of Sports Medicine 2014;48:1024-1031.