First "Walk with a Doc" event aims to combat health issues in the Wiregrass

HEADLAND, Ala. (WTVY) Obesity, overweight, diabetes and pre-diabetes. They are all issues faced by many in the country.

Walking has been proven to be beneficial in many ways.

Physician Niel Rasnussen organized Headland's first "Walk with a doc" event.

“The latest statistics are about 33-35% of Americans are obese," Rasnussen said, "over 50% of our nation is either pre-diabetic or diabetic.”

Many times these health issues can arise from poor diet or exercise. For many, there is a simple solution —walking.

“Over half of the American adult population does not meet the minimal guidelines for physical activity, which is just 150 minutes a week of moderately intense exercise which walking fits the bill," Rasnussen explained.

Walking is so beneficial that many medical centers across the nation are hosting “Walk with A Doc” events, including Rasnussen’s practice.

“Since it is so simple, so sustainable and so accessible, it makes sense to kind of make it a primary target of a therapeutic intervention," he said.

Rasnussen hopes the event will not only encourage his community to get active, but to start thinking long-term about their physical health.

“It’s sort of like a whole gateway into lifestyle changes. So that if, for instance, you start walking on a daily basis after a few weeks you’re going to feel better," said Rasnussen, "you’re going to sleep better. We know walking has a very positive effect on sleep quality and quantity.”

Rasnussen plans to host the walks on a monthly basis, and if they become popular, could even become a weekly event.