A Cardiologist Walks (and Bikes) the Talk

Having a conversation with Dr. Nader Banki is like having an appointment with a happiness expert. He is passionate about the power of healthful living and that healthful living makes him a very happy person.

Nader is a cardiologist with Kaiser Permanente who is well acquainted with the benefits of an active lifestyle. Not only does he promote activities such as walking and biking to his patients. A yearlong resident of Bay Meadows, Nader actually “walks the talk,” taking direct advantage of the walkable environment in his new community.

With a child on the way, Nader and his wife sought to leave the hustle and bustle of San Francisco’s SOMA district in search of an easier commute, more space and fresh air. Since 2008, Nader had been following progress at Bay Meadows on his Caltrain rides to work. He researched the project and saw that the plan was for a mixed-use village. “I thought, ‘bringing mixed-use to the suburbs, right near transit, is such a novel concept.’”

While living in San Francisco, Nader always enjoyed lots of walking, biking or riding public transit. A typical move to the “suburbs” usually means more time in the car. But not at Bay Meadows. “Bay Meadows exemplifies that this plan [of blending the best of urban and suburban lifestyles] can be successful … The adjustment has been much easier than I thought.”

On days when his schedule allows, instead of taking Caltrain the six miles to Redwood City, Nader jumps on his bike, which means he’s commuting in the fresh air 2 or 3 times a week.

“I love the fact that we can ditch the car and walk instead to places like Whole Foods, Hillsdale Mall, our garden, the Caltrain Station (that I use to get to work if I don’t bike), restaurants on 25th and the local parks and playgrounds.”

Nader runs the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at the Kaiser facility in Redwood City. He treats members who are rehabilitating from a heart attack, heart condition or cardiac treatment. Nader enumerates the many benefits of walking, specifically, including:

  • Reduces the risk of a heart attack and the future risk of a stroke. That’s strictly walking – without medication.
  • Helps reduce blood pressure;
  • Improves cholesterol; reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases “good” cholesterol (HDL);
  • Helps manage weight, which improves other health conditions. “I see a lot of patients with heart disease who – after taking up walking – lose 30 pounds and say, ‘I no longer have hip pain.’”
  • Improves mood. People who walk regularly are less likely to be affected by depression. Walking can actually increase happiness.

And that’s why you’ll see lots of smiling faces (including Nader’s) at Bay Meadows.

Experience Midurban life. Bay Meadows is a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of open space to enjoy all-year long. Whether it’s growing your own vegetables in an organic community garden, playing a game of pick-up basketball after work, team building over bocce in the beer garden, picnicking with family on warm summer nights or with a run around the park, there’s no shortage of green space to explore. If you have furry friends, don’t miss Twilight Tails in Landing Green Park on Thursdays, 5-6pm! Check out life out and about at Bay Meadows by following us on Instagram.