At our local Farmers’ Markets, Center providers participate in Walk with a Doc to allow community members to make a connection with doctors and get people out “exercising and walking in a more comfortable environment.”

Journal file photo by Ron Agnir From left: Timothy R. Yates of Steel House Farm teaches Theo Thompson, 9; Piers Thompson, 7; and Kyra Thompson,12 about the different sizes of medium, large and jumbo eggs at his Farm Market Tent during the Fridays @ 5 Concert and Farmers Market in downtown Martinsburg. Martinsburg’s Walk with a Doc will end at the Farmers Market.

MARTINSBURG–Start off the weekend with a 1-mile walk in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle with Martinsburg’s Walk with a Doc event this Friday.

Walk with a Doc is a national program that began in 2005 to encourage individuals to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. It also gives participants the opportunity to have questions answered by a local physician.

Dana DeJarnett, health promotion coordinator for the Wellness Center at Berkeley Medical Center said this event was created to allow individuals to “make a connection with a doctor and get people out exercising and walking in a more comfortable environment.”

Martinsburg’s walk starts and ends at the Martinsburg Farmers Market booth in the town square on the third Friday of the month. Participants will meet at 4:30 p.m. with the walk beginning at 4:45 p.m. This Friday’s walk will be led by Dr. Cathy Funk with Blue Ridge Healthcare.

Walkers will go from the square, up to Raleigh Street, down Race Street and back down Queen Street to the square by 5 p.m. for the Fridays @ 5 concert series, DeJarnett said. The walks will continue throughout the farmers market season, which ends on September 28.

DeJarnett said August’s walk was pushed back a week to Aug. 24, with the time remaining the same. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella with WVU Medicine will lead that walk. The Sept. 21 walk will be led by Dr. Ernesto Agbayani.

No special gear is needed and there are no special rules, according to walkwithadoc.org.

“Just put on a pair of comfortable shoes and come out and walk at your own pace,” the website said.

Walk with a Doc events can also be found in Charles Town. The Charles Town walk starts and ends at the Charles Town Farmers Market on the third Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. WVU Medicine’s Madison Humerick, M.D., and medical students will lead the walk each month.

Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity, according to the American Heart Association. Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes a day can reduce risk of heart disease or stroke, improve blood pressure, maintain weight, enhance mental health, reduce risk of osteoporosis, reduce risk of breast and colon cancer and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

Updates and other market activities can be found on the Healthy Berkeley and Martinsburg Farmers Market Facebook pages.

This article was written by Kelsie Lerose, staff writer for The Journal. Here is the original news article.