May has been a month for moving.
The warmer, drier weather has awakened many of us from a sedentary slumber.
Our local tracks and parks - abandoned during our rainy season (i.e. the rest of the year) - are now well used from morning to early evening by walkers of every age and speed.
By stepping out of our private homes and out into the community, we literally step away from our separate selves and connect to our community. We become a part of nature and a part of a social world. We foster greater connections with others and bolster our greater identity as members of a greater whole.
On May 9, the Burnaby Division of Family Practice hosted our annual Walk With Your Doc at Confederation park and it was our biggest community event ever. I opened the event with a short talk at the Confederation Community Centre on the benefits of physical activity and how we can make them a part of daily life.
Physiotherapists from Expert Physio led the pre-walk warm up.
In addition to a record number of participating patients and members of the public, we were well supported by the City of Burnaby, including Parks and Rec, members of council and Mayor Mike Hurley; members of the Burnaby Fire Department; UBC students from the Exercise is Medicine organization; members of the Burnaby Healthier Communities Partnership committee; Doctors of BC President, Dr. Eric Cadesky and of course, the Family Doctors of Burnaby.
For us as physicians, this is one of our favourite, feel-good activities. We’re walking the talk and walking with our patients. We’re showing that we care about our patients and our community – enough to volunteer our time on an evening we would normally be filling out forms, writing referrals, reviewing test results and completing other documents for our patients.
This event was connected in spirit with Burnaby and New Westminster’s second annual Walk 30 Challenge. This month-long event ran from April 8 to May 10. The goal was for all who live, work or play in our cities track their daily walking (aiming for at least 30 minutes a day) online. The winner of the Golden Runner trophy was the City of New Westminster, but everyone who participated was a winner. It was a fun activity that made us mindful of our steps and brought many teams together in the name of health.
Join us this Thursday, May 30, 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Burnaby Neighbourhood House (South) at 4460 Beresford St. near the Metrotown Skytrain Station for Feet on the Street a fun and informative forum to promote walking in our communities. I will be one of several speakers. The event is free and includes dinner, but registration is required (by phone (604) 431-0400 or online here.
On May 5, Mayor Mike Hurley led his first monthly Walk with the Mayor at our city’s parks. I joined him on this first walk around Burnaby’s Foreshore Park, and I’m looking forward to his next walk on Sunday, June 9th at Central Park. We’ll be meeting at 9 am at the Korean War Memorial beside the pool near Swangard Stadium off of Boundary Road.
Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician. His Healthwise Column appears regularly in this paper. For more on achieving your positive potential in life, read his blog at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.