Alexandria, LA – Recent studies prove what dog lovers have known all along - life is better with a furry friend. And it turns out, your health can be better, too!

From lower blood pressure and better heart health to fewer allergies and being more active, studies show that dog owners are healthier.

So, during November's "National Diabetes Month," Rapides Regional Medical Center invites the community to join us for the first "Walk for your Doggone Diabetes," at HP Long in Pineville, on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 8am to 10am.

"This is a free, family-friendly event that encourages physical activity," said Amie Starks, RN, BSN, Community Education Nurse at Rapides Regional Medical Center. "We know that physical activity is an important part of diabetes management. And we know that it's easier to fit in that physical activity when it's fun and done with friends. And what better friend than man's best friend?"

Participants can walk a one or two mile path, enjoy healthy snacks - for pups and people - register for a fun "Pampering Package" and have an opportunity to receive valuable information on how to best manage Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The event is designed to raise awareness about diabetes while encouraging our community to become more active.

"We know that exercise is so important for those diagnosed with diabetes," Starks said. "But it's also important for the whole family. Diabetic patients manage their disease better when the whole family chooses a lifestyle that includes good food choices and physical activity."

If you don't have a furry friend, that's OK - we'd still love for you to walk with us. (A reminder though, that all of our canine friends must be on leash during the event.) To register, visit or call (318) 769-4440.