Walk with a Doc Wednesday

Published 2:30 pm Monday, January 4, 2016


A Port Arthur doctor is hoping to get people moving toward a healthier lifestyle, and what better way than to set the example herself.

Dr. Tracy Updike, a family medicine practitioner, is sponsoring Walk With a Doc — a national initiative to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well being of the country.

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At the local level, Updike is inviting anyone interested in improving his or her health to meet her in front of the cinema at Central Mall on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. beginning on Jan. 6.

“My goal is to talk with anyone who shows up and tell them how important it is be active,” she said. “Walking is easy; all you have to have is a pair of shoes.”

Updike said the majority of her patients were 10, 15, 25 pounds overweight, and sedentary.

“Sitting down all day is long is just as bad as smoking,” she said. “People get into a daily routine and set at their desks all day long, then go home and sit in front of the television.”

Walk With a Doc is not just for Updike’s patients. Anyone who would like to start the exercise program is welcome to meet her at the mall. Pedometers will be available.

During the walk, Updike will give a short talk on the merits of walking, and will be available to answer medical questions for free.

The recommendation is for everyone to exercise a week, which translates to 30 minutes, five days a week.

“Once you get those endorphins, when you realize you have walked a mile, I cannot tell you how awesome that is,” she said.

Texas Medical Association is helping to sponsor the event.

Dr. David Sabgir, a board-certified cardiologist who practices with Mount Carmel Clinical Cardiovascular Specialists at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, first created walk with a Doc.

According to the American Heart Association, walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

The American Health Association also reported that walking is easier on the joints than running, and that research has shown for each hour of exercise, a person could gain two hours of life.


Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day will promote the following health benefits:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well-being
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.


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