|Good morning! My friends!Please let this serve as an update as to where we are today, July 31st.Probably just like you, right? Taking things as they come.A little more specific.All of our Walk family has the opportunity to meet virtually – so good. Dr. Mizelle last week? How can you not help but smile – absolutely contagious.A few of our family members are out meeting in smaller groups – like this one.Sticking with the family metaphor, these groups are the cousin who says, “Hold my beer”.I mean that in a good way, they’re brave. They’re being safe and they’re doing it right. The power of connection.Whether you are meeting with your Walk Family or taking it on alone.As physicians, we NEED you to get outside and walk (more below).Cut to Camera 2Most people I come across in the office, on the street, or through webinars have only ONE thing on their their mind.Actually, how do I protect myself and my loved ones from getting COVID?Good stuff there.That’s preventing yourself from getting it.|
Then, if I get it, how do I reduce my odds of getting very ill.Hold on, let’s hit pause for just a second.
One thing COVID has done is shined a light on are the marked disparities in healthcare. Marginalized patients are suffering disproportionately.Additionally, those with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting significantly ill.Finally, the reporting is currently showing that half of our population would get the vaccine.Not me, I’m camping out to be the first in line.Anyway.If these numbers are correct, and 50% are not planning to take the vaccine?I’d find a nice pair of walking/running shoes and make your way to the nearest sidewalk. As I’ve said since the beginning, this thing is real and it is obviously making people very sick or killing them.In addition to these critical recommendations, walking/running/biking/idon’tcarewhatting is a HUGE thing we can do that most people aren’t talking about.But we have to get started now to reduce our risk dramatically.Walking most days of the week.Here are the 8 biggest risk factors for getting seriously ill from this virusCancerChronic kidney diseaseCOPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplantObesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathiesSickle cell diseaseType 2 diabetes mellitusExcept for #4, walking can likely help with ALL of these (including Sickle cell)Camera 3To better understand how things become habits, I went rogue from our book club and picked up this book.A quick change of pace before we meet at socially distanced picnic tables at Inniswood Metro Gardens and discuss this brilliant book.Okay, I’m back.
Following Atomic Habits’ lead on cues/rewards – here are my thoughts:(1) After you’re done reading this (thank you), put your favorite walking shoes right in the center of your front door. Kind of so you trip over them, without tripping over them. If possible, go buy that pair of running shoes you always wanted (so you feel the financial obligation to use them). As soon as you take your walk, you put ’em away until you go to bed.(2) Pick a super doable distance (I’m a millennial, if we haven’t met yet). End of your driveway/neighbor 5 doors down – I don’t care.For now, we’re just trying to get the habit started to improve your chances of not landing in the hospital very sick with COVID.I hear you and, yes, you better believe I’m using this window to get my friends and family out walking.(3) Pick your gold star sticker for walking that day.This is the fun part.Is it your favorite coffee?Is it a full episode (or two) of guilt-free TV?Ooooh, is it popcorn?Wait, wait!! Is it finally ordering that book that you’re 183rd on the waiting list at the library?I could go on all day (you have, David)Go get ’em today.We love you.Getting outside and walking is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT in our fight against COVID. Don’t give up the fight.