As a Physical Therapist at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, Dennis Keefe recognizes just how impactful walking is when it comes to the quality of life for his patients. He says one of his main goals is to get patients exercising as part of their treatment plan. “I recommend walking because it is very accessible; all you need is to get your shoes out and find a good place to go. The benefits to my patients are physical as well as mental.”
Dennis regularly sees patients that need walking to help improve mobility, address sedentary lifestyles, and help with hypertension and diabetes. Emotionally, he says it can “reinforce connections with family, friends and others.”
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder he recommends other providers promote walking for their patients too. “It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get exercise and be active.” As a strong advocate for the health benefits associated with walking, he always tries to talk to his patients about getting starting with a walking routine.
Dennis doesn’t just talk the talk though – he also walks the walk! As a resident of Decorah, he enjoys walking a loop downtown and home on a regular basis with his family. “Decorah is an active community with great trails, access to the Upper Iowa River and lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation.” He says he also takes advantage of Palisades, Phelps Parks, Trout Run Trail, and Ice Cave Road for walking and exploring.
Here at WalkNEIowa.org, we’re so thankful for all that Dennis is doing to support walking and connecting in this corner of the Driftless!