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Sixth annual 5K Walk Run is coming up

Posted August 14, 2013 in Advice Column, Winterset

The sixth annual Madison County Health Care System 5K Walk Run is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, and if your exercise regimen consists of running late, maybe you’re a bit “out of shape.”

We’d love to have you join us for our “Kickin’ It Up For Health” 5K as a walker or runner, but if you’ve been a bit on the not-so-active side, we’d recommend you take steps to get yourself into shape. You might go the “Couch to 5K” route, which is a popular method of training to run, or you might develop your own system to get into better shape. Where do you start?

Get a check-up first.
You want to exclude a heart or pulmonary problem or any other underlying health problems that could be dangerous when you’re exercising. So make an appointment and see one of our providers and get the A-OK to invest in yourself.

Take it easy.
Start slowly, maybe 20 minutes a day for three days a week, increasing your intervals in five-minute increments to hit exercising five to six times a week for 60 minutes a day, which is what the federal government suggests.

When you exercise, your heart rate needs to be elevated. That means you need to work up a little sweat, and your heart needs to be pounding. (But take it easy when you start your regimen.)

Every little bit helps.
If you’re busy, tired or not feeling well and you’re tempted to skip exercising, remember that every bit helps. Even if you can’t fit in a full workout, get what little bit of exercise you can. Take the stairs, open the garage door manually, get up and change the channel, park farther away or take the dog for a walk. Do things like we did before technology made life easier.

But why exercise?
According to experts, exercise reduces your chances of breast, endometrial and prostate cancers. It helps you age better — our skin, tissues and joints stay stronger and healthier longer. Your mind stays active longer. And exercise fights depression.

Get started on your “get healthy journey,” and contact one of our providers to get the “go-ahead.” Just call the Earlham Clinic (515) 728-2907 or the Health Trust Physicians Clinic in Winterset at (515) 462-2950 and make an appointment. To sign up for our 5K, go to our website at, click on “events” button and look for Kickin it up for health 5K.

It has been said that exercise is the closest thing we have to a magic pill for making us feel better and improving our quality of life. Don’t pass up any chance you get to exercise… even if you are running late.

Our thanks to Scott & White Healthcare of Texas for some of the tips.

Information provided by Chris Nolte, director, Public Relations and Development, Madison County Health Care Systems, 300 West Hutchings, Winterset, 515-462-9749.

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