Walk with a doc

Harbin Clinic Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Chris Piller talks about the benefits of waking and exercise during the July 2017 Walk With a Doc event. (Harbin Clinic photo)

Visit a doctor’s office and more than likely you’ll hear about the importance and the health benefits of regular exercise. Visit a Harbin Clinic physicians’ office and chances are they may write you a prescription to take part in the 2018 Walk With a Doc series.

Several Harbin physicians led by ENT & Allergy Specialist Dr. Margaret Beauchamp decided to practice what they preach by bringing a version of the national Walk With a Doc program to Rome in 2017.

The program, which takes place the third Saturday of each month from April to October, features a Harbin Clinic physician talking about health and wellness and then leading a roughly two-mile walk along Rome’s Kingfisher Trail.

While the concept seems simple, the reception proved overwhelming, as more than 500 people turned out for the walks in 2017.

“When we started the series last year, we were hoping to be able to bring a fun, family-friendly way to exercise to Rome while also involving physicians,” Dr. Beauchamp said. “We were pleased with the turnout to the walks, and we are excited to see everyone again this year.”

The walks begin at Bridgepoint Plaza in Downtown Rome at 9 a.m. The lead physician takes a few minutes to talk about the benefits of exercise and often adds some advice from their medical specialty before leading the excursion.

Pediatricians Dr. Todd Kelley and Dr. Caroline Yaphokcun, who each led a walk in 2017, spoke about how important it is for kids to be active. Orthopaedic surgeons Dr. Brad Bushnell and Dr. Chris Piller, who also served as walk leaders in 2017, both talked about the importance of an exercise routine in keeping bones and muscles strong.

All told, more than 15 Harbin Clinic physicians either led walks or joined the walks, allowing walkers to spend time with physicians and see their doctors getting out and being active.

“Getting exercise helps unlock a ton of health benefits, and walking is one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise,” Beauchamp said. “It’s also a great way to interact with our patients and the community. I think people really like seeing their doctors out walking and being a part of the group.”

Harbin Clinic Pulmonologist Dr. Jennifer Barbieri is leading April 21 walk and can’t wait to get moving.

“I tell all of my patients how important it is to exercise,” she said. “I’m hoping that a big crowd comes out for our first event and gets a chance to see how much fun you can have exercising.”

Weather can sometimes be dicey in Northwest Georgia, so be sure to check Harbin Clinic’s website and social media pages which will have updates in case of inclement weather.