Walk with a Doc, along with the City of Berkeley, Ecology Center, Lifelong Medical Care, and Heart 2 Heart held a free community event in Berkeley’s San Pablo Park on Saturday, March 15th. Walk with a Doc is a national, non-profit program that coordinates events across the country in community parks that focus on bringing together local residents ,physicians, health specialists, and health care professionals. Saturday’s 2.5 mile walk included a conversation on the connections of individual and community health, physical activity, and climate change. The Community Food and Justice Coalition (CFJC) represented the Public Health Institute’s Climate for Health project at the event by talking with attendees on the connection of health and climate change, and then joining in on the walk. CFJC engaged participants with a carbon footprint game and asked how they think climate change affects them. If they did not have an answer at the start of the event, they did by the end.
Climate change is putting the health of our communities at risk, but by walking, biking and leading a more active lifestyle, a community can be more resilient to the adverse impacts of climate change.
At this month’s Walk with a Doc event, participants learned the importance of active transportation, spent time with their families and neighbors, and took a walk around San Pablo Park. Physicians at the event explained how walking benefits your health by reducing stress and fatigue, improving circulation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and more. The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition explained how increased active transportation can help to mitigate climate change. For example, by leaving your car at home, you are contributing to cleaner air and protecting yourself and your neighbors from asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Events like Walk with a Doc are important because they bring people together and provide an opportunity to speak openly about how climate change is adversely impacting the health of individuals, communities, and the entire planet.