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Walk Your Way to Better Health

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Marble Falls physician inspires fitness By Chad Nelson

amed motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar told a story of a 40-year-old woman who had attended one of his events and desired to become a nurse. She determined that, on the basis of her schedule, achieving that goal would take five years, and that was far too long in her mind. Ziglar told her, “In five years you’re going to be 45, regardless of if you become a nurse. That’s happening anyway. But if you go back to school you could be 45 and a nurse.” Dr. Elissa Thompson, M.D., a clinical cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart speaks the same truth with her growing Saturday morning walking group in Marble Falls. “If you can just do anything, you will be better than where you are!” she exclaimed with the enthusiasm of someone learning the philosophy for the first time. In Dr. Thompson’s case, cardio health is not only her vocation but her passion. Dr. Thompson’s passion is shared by her Saturday “family” in Marble Falls. “You just have to get out and do it!” proclaimed 74-year-old Georgina Christy. Christy’s smile never leaves her face; her ailing knee and endurance are better and blood pressure is down since she began walking with the group in February. Her walking buddy Renate Cawart echoed these benefits and added that she is even taking less blood pressure medicine than when she began in the same month. The sweat-soaked pair joined fellow walkers Steve Free, Jarrell Sultemeier, and Doris Basham in espousing the benefits of walking, but all equated the health benefits with the camaraderie. “We all encourage each other,” explained Basham as her counterparts

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nodded their Jarrell Sultemeier, Doris Basham, and Steve Free agreement. Dr. Thompson offered that the diversity of the group is special and, although about 60 percent of the walkers are her patients, there are seniors, children, and even Rhonda Schlueter and Ed Cole Renate Cawart and Georgina Christy the family dog joining in most to quantify what she already suspects weeks. There are also cancer surin a clinical setting, and a handful of vivors, widows, former pro-baseball the Marble Falls group will participate. players (Free), and there is Ed Cole. “This is the highlight of my week! It Cole is the glue that binds the group is the greatest feeling to see someone together, the person whom nearly benefit and meet their goals,” Thompevery walker mentions when talking son said. When asked if she benefits about the group’s history. After hearing as well, she excitedly walked the line Dr. Thompson pitch the idea during a between proud mother (“they are part Daybreak Rotary meeting, Cole jumped of my family”) and physician (“you get in and has missed only five times since greater opportunities to spend time in day one. He also brings others along non-clinical settings”). for the experience. “It is an incentive Caroline Gipp and Rhonda Schluknowing you have to be here and that eter help log miles and walking times people are expecting you,” he said befor Dr. Thompson and the particitween smiles at other participants. pants. They acknowledge that many On the basis of her study on the have lost weight—ten walkers have subject, Dr. Thompson intentionlost more than 15 pounds—and that ally partnered with local podiatrist 120 people have participated in some Dr. Mark Krause, ophthalmologist Dr. capacity since the program began. But Kelly Green, and Hill Country Home they share the good doctor’s purpose Health. She also utilized local busifor showing up every week. “These nesses such as Noon Spoon, Kirby people are our family,” exclaimed both Eye Center (Green’s practice), and while turning to greet Dale and Liz Salon on Broadway to provide incenSeabaugh. The Seabaughs are cotives for walkers to continue with the chairing this year’s CASA 5K, and it is program. As she explained, cardio obvious that they know where to find health is a whole health endeavor, and prospects—in the hearts of their fellow every organ system benefits from it. participants and a champion cardioloShe is so passionate about the subject gist. afm that she has secured research grants

Profile for Austin Fit Magazine

October 2013 - The Fashion Issue  

Gracing our cover is Austin's most popular stylist, Ross Bennett. We also have Susi Wolff, a female F1 driver and other local apparel compan...

October 2013 - The Fashion Issue  

Gracing our cover is Austin's most popular stylist, Ross Bennett. We also have Susi Wolff, a female F1 driver and other local apparel compan...

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