Wayne Ray returns to Legacy Good Samaritan to kick off 5th annual Walk Around the Clock fundraiser
Back in the early 1970s, when Wayne Ray worked for the YMCA, he sat down with a Portland physician to help create a cardiac rehabilitation program that was revolutionary for its day. Instead of advising patients that a sedentary lifestyle was the only safe path to recovery, the two men advocated a different approach altogether: exercise.
Ray, who is now 89 and a patient at Legacy Good Samaritan’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, was the director of health and physical education for the YMCA when he helped Dr. Paul Hull design a fitness program for recovering cardiac patients. What started as one class with less than 10 patients soon grew into four or five classes with dozens of new fitness converts.
This month, nearly five decades later, Ray and Hull will join together again as the first walkers at the fifth annual Walk Around the Clock fundraiser to celebrate American Heart Month and support Legacy Good Samaritan’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
The 24-hour event – from noon on February 6 to noon on February 7 – will be held in the Good Samaritan Medical Center lobby.
For a one-dollar-per-minute contribution, walkers can sign up for treadmill shifts of 15, 30 or 60 minutes. Supporters can buy raffle tickets for a wide range of prizes, including tickets to a Blazers game and restaurant gift certificates. Cash gifts will also be accepted.
Walk Around the Clock is a far cry from the widely accepted cardiac rehabilitation philosophy in the early ‘70s. Back when Ray and Hull first teamed up, vigorous exercise was considered too dangerous for patients of heart disease. The program they created turned that theory on its head. They modelled their recovery routine on one that was used at the Seattle YMCA. It included walking, jogging and light calisthenics, before progressing slowly to more active routines.
Those workouts were a precursor to Ray’s current routine at Legacy Good Samaritan’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
Ray suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma and participates in supervised workouts twice a week. He walks on a treadmill for a half-hour, lifts weights for 20 minutes and then stretches, while the rehab staff monitors his pulse, blood pressure and other vital signs.
He also exercises once or twice a week on his own. In the first eight weeks of the program, he nearly doubled the intensity of his workouts.
“I’m getting healthier,” he says. “I’m getting in better shape.”