Healthy Living

Walk with a Doc largest turnout yet

by Bradley Hartsell

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At Carl Miller Park in Newnan, a crowd follows Dr. Craddock down the walkway in Walk with a Doc, a Piedmont Newnan program to promote physical activity. 


Walk with a Doc received a huge shot in the arm with its largest crowd yet, with participants walking with a Piedmont physician.

The program, which was started last year as a spring and summer monthly walking and talking exercise and rotates various physicians to lead the event, asked Dr. Garnet Craddock to lead for the first time on Saturday, June 28. To the delight of Craddock and Piedmont officials, more than three dozen people participated.

“I’m certainly honored by the people who showed up,” said Craddock, who practices at the Piedmont-associated Southern Vein Care of Newnan. “We’re hoping to keep people active. One of the most common problems in women in their 60s is heavy, tired legs.”

Walk with a Doc was spurred on by local data indicating one in four adults are considered physically inactive, while one in three adults are considered obese.

“We’re trying to counteract what’s going in the nation, as well as our area,” Craddock said. “These walks are to encourage better health care.”

Though the latest event was Craddock’s first time leading the walk, his specialty in vein treatment pairs naturally with battling physical inactivity in Coweta County.

“We’re trying to minimize the tiredness in the legs,” he said. “We encourage people to be active or go dancing or whatever they want to do, just not go home and put their legs up at the end of the day.”

Craddock says varicose – swollen and twisted – veins, while never on the forefront of people’s minds, is a serious and common problem, especially with people in their 50s and 60s. Craddock says traumatic and sudden life threatening illnesses are on the forefront, like heart disease, the leading cause of death in America.

But while people stay focused on the big diseases, according to Craddock, people continually allow other dangerous problems to sneak in behind them. For an opportunity to come up both promoting physical activity and discussing the possible problems of varicose veins, Craddock saw Walk with a Doc as an important responsibility for local health care.

“We try to voice our message to people any way we can, and this opportunity came up and we took advantage of that. Varicose veins is one of the major impacts on people’s lives on a daily basis. It sort of sneaks in the backdoor. It’s not as shocking as an aneurysm or heart disease, it’s not as dramatic, but it’s a slow-moving process.”

Craddock said he’s seen a fairly good range of varicose vein conditions, from people as young as 13 with symptoms of vein problems to as old as 90. He says 25 percent of women and 18 percent of men will be affected by varicose veins, though those numbers spike in higher age ranges. Women in their sixties and older have a 70 percent chance of developing varicose veins, while men in the same age range have a 50 percent chance.

Such a condition, caused by physical inactivity – precisely what Walk with a Doc was invented to counteract – leads to tired, heavy legs, and causes soreness and even pain. As Craddock said, a person doesn’t wake up one day and experience a traumatic condition of varicose veins, like they would an aneurysm or a heart attack; it’s “not a lightning strike, but it’s slow moving.”

Craddock will continue assisting local patients with their vein issues, but he says he also looks forward to a future opportunity with Walk with a Doc, allowing him to spread the message of physical activity and protecting our veins.

“It’s a great avenue to get their message out and helping people.” Craddock, with a laugh, added, “If they will let me do another Walk, you know I will.”

The next Walk with a Doc is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 at 8:30 a.m. in Carl Miller Park at 70 Sewell Road in Newnan. Piedmont Newnan’s Dr. David Harvey will lead the walk. Harvey practices at Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology, PC, specializing in treating skin and hair. Registration is requested but not required for this free event.

To register, call 877-527-3712 or visit piedmont.org, Tools & Resources, Classes and Events and select the event date.



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