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He's running just for the health of it

Posted: September 25, 2008 8:08 p.m.
Updated: November 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Cardiologist Robert Horth, M.D., wants to see his patients have palpitations on Saturday. The healthy kind, that is.

Horth is leading his team "The Palpitations," comprised of more than 100 Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital staff and patients as well family and friends, during the hospital's 24th Annual "5K Run for the Health of It," which begins at the hospital campus at 8:30 a.m.

"This is such a good cause. Not only does it help the hospital raise money, it also helps raise awareness for people to become more active. The importance of exercise in cardiology cannot be underestimated," Horth said. "Running decreases blood pressure and cholesterol levels, plus there's a pulmonary benefit as breathing and lung capacity are helped by cardiovascular activity."

Henry Mayo's 2007 "Run for the Health of It" attracted over 1,000 participants and raised more than $40,000 for patient care services in 2007. As has been tradition for the last four years, a costumed Horth will kick off the "Kiddie K," open to children 12 and under, at 8:15 a.m.

"It's recommended that kids have a half hour of cardiovascular activity a day, so running or jogging is really good for kids," Horth said. "Starting healthy habits at a young age is important. Studies show that a half hour of cardiovascular exercise a day reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by 70 percent versus those who don't exercise."

It's also a good way to combat a health problem that‘s all too common among today‘s children, according to Horth.

"Unfortunately, childhood obesity is reaching epidemic levels in this country. To combat that, you have to make sure kids are active. My kids are always moving," he said.

The Horth family, including his wife and three daughters ages 9, 5, and 2, are walking, or running, that talk by participating at "Run for the Health of It." The cardiologist has also recommended the 5K Run to patients ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s, including those that have had heart attacks or stents.

"You can find a level that works for everyone. Some of my patients win their age groups, while others casually walk. It doesn't matter. What's important is to try and do your best," Horth said. "Just being involved makes everyone a winner."

Henry Mayo‘s "Run for the Health of It!" 5K Run and Kiddie K, Saturday on the Henry Mayo hospital campus, 23845 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Registration opens at 7 a.m. in the hospital parking lot, Kiddie K at 8:15 a.m. and Run at 8:30 a.m. Top finishers, by age category, will be announced and presented with an award immediately following the run. For more information on Henry Mayo‘s "Run for the Health of It!" registration or sponsorship, call Andrea Hilton at (661) 253-8086 or visit www.henrymayo.com

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