Campus News

Take a break: Walk, talk and learn

iStock / Getty Images Plus
iStock / Getty Images Plus.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2023) With the days becoming shorter, it can be harder to find the motivation to exercise. That’s why UK HealthCare’s Walk with a Doc series has been made readily available to all employees, students and community members.

Walk with a Doc is hosted by UK HealthCare’s Integrative Medicine and Health program and UK HealthCare’s Healthy Kentucky Initiative. The walking program is led by University of Kentucky health experts and is for everyone interested in taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

The first walk of the winter session will be at 3:15 p.m., Nov. 1, 2023, at the Charles T. Wethington Building on UK’s campus.

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It’s low-impact, safe with a doctor’s OK and free.

During the summer walking session, Walk with a Doc partnered with many groups, including the Interprofessional Healthcare Residential College (IHRC).

“I have absolutely loved working with the Walk with a Doc organization to plan an event for my Living Learning Program (IHRC) that I mentor,” said Kayla Woods, peer mentor. “As soon as I proposed the idea, they were immediately interested and wanted to meet with me to discuss it. They were flexible and even altered what a typical Walk with a Doc event would look like. Since we are an interprofessional and undergraduate group, they also invited some physical therapists along with medical doctors, medical students and physical therapy students.”

Woods notes that many of her mentees told her that Walk with a Doc was their favorite IHRC event.

"It was a great experience, and I am so glad I partnered with them,” Woods said. “Everyone should attend Walk with a Doc!”

UK students who attend Walk with a Doc can earn contributions to their UK Invests account. After signing up for an account, UK will reward students who participate in healthy activities or events in other financial and leadership success categories. For more information about this program, please visit UK Invests.

Many diseases, conditions and ailments can be prevented or even healed by participating in regular physical activity. Fortunately, even moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as walking can provide these incredible benefits:

Mental health benefits

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Lowers risk of depression
  • Improves mood
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Improves energy levels
  • Improves cognition and creativity
  • Lowers risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Improves overall quality of life

Physical benefits

  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Lowers risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Lowers risk of several types of cancer
  • Regulates blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Helps prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes
  • Helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness
  • Lowers risk of falls  

Walks will be on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:15 p.m. and on the third Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. Check out the winter schedule here.

Walks will begin in the first-floor atrium of the Charles T. Wethington Building, 900 S. Limestone, and indoor and outdoor walking routes will be available to accommodate the weather.

Are you a UK health expert interested in leading a walk? Fill out this form: Walk with a Doc survey.

UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come.