While everyone knows that walking is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy, some hospitals are making it even easier for their patients and neighbors.

Across the Circuit Trails, hospitals are partnering with trail and community groups to start “Prescribe-A-Trail” walks. These planned outings are simply group walks with a doctor, nurse or other clinician who begins the walk with a short talk on a topic like heart health. During the walk, the participants have an opportunity to talk to the doctor informally while walking together on the trail.

At the beginning of summer, Jefferson’s Brind-Marcus Center for Integrative Medicine embarked upon a monthly Prescribe-a-Trail program on the Radnor Trail. In partnership with the Radnor Conservancy and Radnor Steps, a weekly community walking group, Jefferson is walking the walk. At the July event, Rashna Staid, MD offered advice on achieving optimum heart health through the mind-body connection to an attentive group of 20 or so walkers, young and old, and a few four-footed friends. Information about Jefferson's upcoming August 12 walk on the Radnor Trail can be found here.

 

“Jefferson's Brind-Marcus Integrative Medicine doctors enjoy sharing their expertise in a ‘natural’ environment. The walkers are more receptive to the medical and lifestyle information because they are relaxed and are able to initiate informal conversations with the doctor as they walk one-on-one,” says Bobbie Lane, Brind-Marcus Center for Integrative Medicine Business Development Consultant.

The Radnor Conservancy, a partner in these walks, is a strong leader in advancing the township’s recently adopted Greenways and Open Space Network Plan, which includes expansion of the very popular Radnor Trail. According to Radnor Conservancy President Laura Luker, “Radnor Township is in the preliminary stages of approving the construction plans to extend the Radnor Trail another mile under Radnor Chester Road and ending at the Blue Route. The hope is in the future to bridge the on and off ramps of the Blue Route and connect to the proposed multi-use trail within the Route 100 SEPTA trolley line.”

With an initial push and support from Rails-to-Trails and the Circuit Trails Coalition, this local partnership is doing a great job of getting people healthy, introducing them to local trails and ultimately helping to further advance the completion of the Circuit Trails network.

Similar Prescribe-A-Trail programs are being held by Paoli Hospital, Roxborough Memorial Hospital, Phoenixville Hospital, Cooper University Hospital, Aria Health, Lankenau Medical Center, Kennedy Health and Premier Orthopedics in communities across the region. To see all upcoming Prescribe-A-Trail walks, visit the Circuit Trails event page here.

To inquire about starting a Prescribe-a-Trail program on a trail near you, contact Molly Duffy at mduffy@earthsmartconsulting.com