Event promoting healthy lifestyles is growing in attendance and popularity

By Graeme Forsyth

Walk with a Doc participants gather around Dr. Sawa as they get ready to start the one-hour walk./GRAEME FORSYTH

Sport Manitoba hosted its third Walk with a Doc event on Saturday, Dec. 7. 

The one-hour event was hosted by Sport Manitoba at their sports medicine facility in Winnipeg. The walk is an opportunity for participants to interact with a doctor while exercising.

Dr. Gail Sawa brought Walk with a Doc to Manitoba. The event originally started in Columbus, Ohio in 2005 and spread to dozens of locations across the world. 

Sawa said Walk with a Doc is a great way to meet new people while getting exercise, adding how important exercise is to a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s one of the most important things that you can do for your health,” Dr. Sawa said. 

“If there’s something that, you know, we would prescribe for almost every condition, it would be exercise,” she added. 

Dr. Sawa said the event continues to grow and the attendance on Saturday was a drastic increase from the first walk. 

Sawa walks and talks with a participant. “This is the way to get people started with exercise because a lot of people don’t even know where to start,” Dr. Sawa said./GRAEME FORSYTH

The first walk was held two months ago and Joseph Gatien was the first participant in Manitoba. He said the first time he attended he was the only one who showed up and walked with Dr. Sawa. 

Gatien used to go for runs often, but a knee injury has prevented him from continuing. He says Walk with a Doc is a good opportunity to get exercise and talk to an expert about his injury. 

He said he enjoyed the walk on Saturday because of the amount of people who came out. On Saturday, around 9 people participated and walked the full hour. 

The next Walk with a Doc will take place on Jan. 11, 2020.