Walking on the Westside


By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

After spending several frustrating years trying to find additional ways to help his patients become more active, Dr. David Sabgir decided it was time to do more.

Though unorthodox, Sabgir decided rather than advise his patients to become more active, he would join them.

That’s when in 2005 he founded Walk with a Doc, a now international walking program that encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages by walking with a physician.

“We currently have approximately nine sites in Columbus with 220 sites spread across 40 states and seven countries,” Sabgir said.

Walks on the westside of Columbus are scheduled from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month now through November. Participants meet at the front entrance benches of Dodge Park and Community Center, 667 Sullivant Ave.

Walks also are available throughout metro Columbus, including at 9 a.m. in Grove City April 16, May 7 and June 18 at Mount Carmel Grove City, 5300 North Meadows Drive.

Registration is not required, and each walk begins with a 3- to 5-minute health care professional-led talk on a health topic important to the public, Sabgir said.

During the walk, participants are able to chat with a physician, as well as meet other people looking to improve their health.

Sabgir, a board-certified cardiologist who practices with Mount Carmel Clinical Cardiovascular Specialists at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, said physicians with a wide variety of specialties participate.

“The spectrum of specialties among doctors is very diverse, ranging from family practice doctors to plastic surgeons,” he said. “I believe at this point we are close to having one of each specialty.”

According to the American Heart Association, walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity, and walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can have several health benefits, from reducing the risk of coronary heart disease to enhancing mental well being.

Walking is also low impact and easier on the joints than running.

A 2015 survey of the Walk with a Doc program revealed nearly 80 percent of those who participate in the program get more exercise now since starting the program, and more than 92 percent feel more educated since starting Walk with a Doc.

In addition to the bimonthly walks, Sabgir’s program also provides weekly updates and health and menu tips to participants.

For more information, go to walkwithadoc.org.

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