HRHS proud sponsor of Reno County Heart Walk

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By. Ken Johnson

On Aug. 27, our community has an opportunity to walk in support of the Reno County Heart Walk and Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS) has signed on as the event’s premier sponsor.

The event gets underway at 9 a.m. in the Courtyard of the Hutchinson Community College (HCC) campus.

Walkers have the option to choose either a 1 or 3 mile route.

Participants in the 2016 heart walk will participate in a healthy Saturday morning of exercise and contribute significant funds needed for American Heart Association efforts to fight heart disease.

HRHS has made a commitment to provide excellent quality of cardiovascular care and treatment offered by the nation’s most prestigious health care facilities. The cardiologists at the Heart and Vascular Center are the area’s foremost experts on treating heart disease and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which blocks blood flow to the extremities.

Dr. Mike Hagley is a 14-year veteran on our cardiovascular team and serves as medical director of the hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center. Using the latest in Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved procedures; Dr. Hagley is in the forefront of clearing arterial blockage for patients, which can be a life-saving procedure.

Cardiologist Dr. Robert Fleming is known for performing “off-pump” coronary artery bypass when possible, which allows the heart to continue beating during open heart surgery. “Off-pump” coronary artery bypass surgery has a decreased risk of kidney, damage, stroke and mortality.

Each year, more than 4,000 patients are treated at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center for cardiovascular issues. Not only do we treat medical issues relating to the human heart, we urge every patient to practice preventive care every day going forward.

A daily regimen of walking is recommended for nearly everyone.

Walking has been described as a habit with no downside that provides many positive benefits including an increased energy level and longer lifespan.

It is never too late to establish a walking routine. Walkers start with a mile or less for a week or two before increasing to greater distances.

  • Walking strengthens the heart while reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes. It also curtails the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
  • The American Stroke Association reports that a brisk 30-minute walk each day is a major factor in controlling high blood pressure and reducing the risk for strokes by 27 percent.
  • Frequent walking is a factor in decreasing diabetes and cancer of the colon, breast, and womb.
  • Weight reduction can be a major benefit to a long-term walking program. To lose excess weight, it is suggested walkers should plan to burn 600 calories more per day than they are consuming.
  • Dementia affects 7 percent of the nation’s population over the age of 65. On the other hand, those who frequently exercise, including walkers, can reduce dementia risk by as much as 40 percent.
  • Walking strengthens bones and may reduce the risk of arthritis.
  • Walking outside in daylight hours can boost Vitamin D, which may positively affect the health of your bones and strengthen your immune system.
  • A brisk walk boosts circulation and increases oxygen to the cells in your body, prompting a boost of energy. Those who spend their lunch hour walking may eliminate the mid-afternoon drowsiness and sluggishness caused by a large noon-time meal.

And, last but not least, it has been proven that a daily walking routine is a catalyst for increased happiness. Some physicians have stated that a walking routine is far better than anti-depressants for those suffering from mild cases of depression.

Interested parties wishing to participate in the Reno County Heart Walk can register for the walk online or, make a contribution by logging on to the event’s website at www.renocountyheartwalk.org. An information table opens in the HCC Courtyard at 8 a.m. on Aug. 27.

Heart-health screenings and interactive educational booths will be available along with special activities for children. Heart attack, heart disease and stroke survivors will be recognized along with top walkers and local corporate sponsors. Heart-healthy refreshments will be served throughout the morning.

Participation in the Reno County Heart Walk could be a life changing experience for walkers and an important first step in improving your health and quality of life.

Ken Johnson is president and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare Systems.