By Wendy Sarubbi | February 20, 2012 4:33 pm

Almost 110 walkers laced up their tennis shoes and joined faculty physicians from UCF Health on Valentine’s Day for the clinical practice’s inaugural “Walk with a Doc.”

Walkers spent their lunch hour walking a mile around the main UCF campus to improve their health and to meet College of Medicine physicians who see patients at UCF Health, located two blocks from the main UCF campus.

The first 100 people who registered for the event on-line received a “Walk with a Doc” t-shirt and a pedometer. The walkers were joined by UCF Provost Tony Waldrop and Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.

Dr. Bernard Gros, a UCF Health cardiologist, hosted the first walk.  The event was scheduled to coincide with the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month/Go Red for Women campaign. Both efforts are designed to increase heart health awareness and motivate all of us to live a more heart healthy lifestyle.

In welcoming the walkers, Dr. Gros pointed out that 75 percent of us work in jobs that do not require physical exertion and that technology and transportation advances have made it easier for us to stay physically inactive.  “For those that already have a structured exercise program, I salute you.  For those who have not yet incorporated this into their daily schedule, I want to suggest that there are many ways you can incorporate physical activity into your daily routine,” he said. “The key is finding an activity that you will enjoy and can incorporate into your daily schedule.  Whether it is walking, swimming, cycling, or dancing, or any of dozens of other activities, the key is finding an aerobic activity that can in turn help your heart.”

He noted that UCF has a beautiful campus with many paths for walking and urged the crowd to consider taking advantage of those workplace amenities by developing a routine to take a daily walk. “Whether it is in the morning, during your lunch break or before you head home, consider a walking routine.  You can pair up with a friend or co-worker to keep you motivated,” Dr. Gros explained.

“Walk with a Doc” is scheduled at noon on the second Tuesday of the month. The next walk is Tuesday, March 13. March is National Kidney Month and next month’s walk will be hosted by Dr. Abdo Asmar, a UCF Health and College of Medicine nephrologist. See you there!

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