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Exercise is so important | health beat 2022

Thousands of eager runners gathered on Ottawa Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday morning for the 45th annual Amway River Bank Run.

Darryl Elmouchi, MD, MBA, president, BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan, was among the runners—he chose the 5K.

“It is a beautiful day and we are very happy to be here,” said Dr. Elmouchi. “It’s all about having fun, being healthy, and enjoying yourself.”

He emphasized the importance of staying healthy, as spectrum health workers were ready to provide medical assistance to those who may need it.

“Good luck as you’re starting this,” he said. “And as soon as you finish it, congratulations.”

Spectrum Health has been the official health partner and medical provider for running since 2018.

Spectrum Health Orthopedics’ nearly 100 providers were on hand to assist any runner who needed assistance. Another 100 volunteers worked at hydration stations and helped out in other ways.

5K runners first started around sunrise, with temperatures rapidly heating up into the 70s—something river bank runners aren’t used to. Along with 5K, River Bank Run features 10K and 25K as well as 5K walks and 25K races for arm cyclists and wheelchair racers.

Stacy and Chris Emmert bring their two boys, Cullen and Lawson, to run as a family.

Stacy ran a 10K, and her husband and the boys ran a 5K.

“It’s a family tradition,” Stacy said. “Chris and I started it and we continued to do it even after we had kids.”

At just 7 years old, this would be Lawson’s fourth River Bank run.

“Running is a really great sport, a long-term sport that my boys can do when they grow up,” Stacy said. “It’s a great way to give them an outdoor activity to do. If they have a lot of energy, I tell them to run a mile and come back home to see where you are.”

Encouraging kids to engage in physical activity and maintain a healthy weight can have a lifelong impact, said Stacy, MD, a pediatric orthopedic assistant at Spectrum Health.

“Exercise is very important for kids,” she said.

The results of this year’s race can be found at amwayriverbankrun.com.

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