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Walk with a Doc -- Advancing Wellness through Nature

To help highlight the connection between the outdoors and health, DCNR is joining with Walk with a Doc, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and Geisinger for the first ever series of statewide Walk with a Doc -- Advancing Wellness through Nature events during Trails Month in September.

Pennsylvania’s events are a part of the international Walk with a Doc program.

In communities around the globe, doctors gather at least once a month to give a brief presentation on a health topic and then lead participants on a walk at their own pace.

Find Walk with a Doc Events

Walks across the commonwealth are shaping up. Check the DCNR Calendar of Events for one near you.

Health Benefits of Trails

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Numerous studies point to the health benefits of spending time in nature.

The good news is, Pennsylvania has more than 12,000 miles of trails, 6,000 local parks, and millions of acres of state parks and forests.

Getting regular physical activity on trails helps:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Control weight
  • Reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Increase your chances of living longer
  • Increase positive feelings about quality of life
  • Keep your lungs healthy

Meeting Pennsylvania’s Goals for Outdoor Recreation

The Pennsylvania Walk with a Doc September events help meet a goal of the Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan – Recreation for All to continue to strengthen connections between outdoor recreation and health in communities for people of all ages and abilities.

When the plan was unveiled, Dr. Michael Suk, Chief Physician Officer, Professor and Chair, Musculoskeletal Institute and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Geisinger challenged Pennsylvanians to improve their mental and physical wellbeing through time outdoors.

The partnership evolved under Dr. Suk’s leadership.

After relationships are established with doctors, the hope is that this one-time event will become a year-round program to promote the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of being outside and highlight the terrific parks and trails found in Pennsylvania.

Communities or organizations interested in more information can contact Cheri Matter in DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.