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Morecambe residents encouraged to take a step toward better health and wellbeing

A new health programme will launch in Morecambe next month to encourage local residents to improve their health and wellbeing. The initiative is led by Local GP Dr Phil Batty, of Bay Medical Group, Bay Primary Care Network and Bay Integrated Care Community (ICC).

‘Walk with a Doc’ is a health programme that brings doctors and patients together to walk every second and fourth Saturday of the month starting on Saturday 10 July. Dr Batty will lead the walks with his wife Joann Batty, a nurse at Sedbergh Medical Practice. The meeting point is the Battery in Morecambe (Near the Beach Café) at 11am.  

The programme consists of a walk which will last about one hour and starts with a health talk, it is open to the whole community and the route (along the prom) is accessible for all. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating walk with Dr Phil Batty and other healthcare professionals, who will provide support to participants and answer questions about exercise and nutrition during the walk.

Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit organisation whose mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation. In partnership with Fresh Avocados – Love One Today,® Walk with a Doc promotes physical activity and stepping up awareness about healthy eating to help improve the heart health of the nation.

Dr Phil Batty, Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine and GP at Bay Medical Group, said: “This programme has had tremendous participation and success in hundreds of cities around the world.

“I’m very pleased to bring this exciting and simple programme to Morecambe as it has shown much-improved health results for countless people around the country.”

Dr David Sabgir, founder of Walk with a Doc, said: “Walk with a Doc is honoured to team up with Bay Medical Group and Bay Integrated Care Community partners. By incorporating this programme into the practice, Bay Medical Group is demonstrating an exceptional level of care and commitment to its community.

“Adding ten minutes of walking to your daily routine and swapping out bad fats with good fats at mealtime are examples of small, easy changes that can make a big difference in the health of your heart. In particular, this year we are highlighting how eating more heart-healthy avocados is one of many ways to step up fresh fruit intake and promote healthier living.”

 Karen Kyle, System Programme Director for Bay Health and Care Partners, said: “It is fantastic to see that Dr Phil Batty, of Bay Medical Group, Bay Primary Care Network and Bay ICC have introduced the Walk with a Doc programme in Morecambe. This initiative is a great opportunity for people living in Morecambe to take a step toward better health and wellbeing.”

Dr Phil Batty said: “Increasing exercise, even moderately, may help reduce the risks of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, cancer, chronic pain and Type 2 diabetes. 

“Per NHS guidance, adding just 10 minutes of physical activity a day, like from walking, is a small change that can make a big difference. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.”

Erik Worsley, Social Prescriber Bay Medical Group/ Bay ICC, said: “I am excited to join Walk with a Doc and help our community more easily find opportunities for physical activity and wellbeing.  Alongside the clear physical benefits, walking can be social and the walk takes place along the promenade that boasts stunning views, we hope the initiative will further enhance the connection our community feels to each other and the environment.”

The NHS advises that you do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150-minutes of weekly exercise. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. You can find out more at the NHS website here https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/walking-for-health/

Morecambe joins a growing list of communities worldwide that have started local Walk with a Doc (WWAD) programmes. WWAD was started by Dr David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, OH.  He has walked with patients and community members every weekend since 2005.

Learn more about Walk with a Doc at www.walkwithadoc.org and LoveOneToday.com/walk

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