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Published on October 13, 2021

Healthy Parks Healthy People 5KEmployees and friends stepped up, cycled through the HPHP 5K

Race featured a fun path to better health

David Clapp knows the value of regular exercise for a healthy heart. After aortic valve replacement surgery at Cape Cod Hospital in 2019, the Brewster man completed the Cardiac Rehabilitation program in Hyannis and continues to go three times a week.

“My surgery was pretty invasive, and it took me a long time to sort of walk and breathe at the same time, so rehab was difficult for me in the beginning,” he said. “But I felt better and better and I could see the improvements on a weekly basis. I treat it like my gym now.”

Clapp and his wife, Frances, took part in last weekend’s Healthy Parks Healthy People (HPHP) Ride and Run for Heart Health at Nauset Regional High School, to support the Cape Cod Healthcare Cardiac Rehabilitation program and the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The event featured both running and cycling as a way to stay fit. Participants could run or walk a 5K or 5-mile course, or ride a virtual 10- or 35-mile course. Special children’s fun runs and a 1-mile run/walk challenge were also part of the event.

The event highlights the positive impact regular exercise has on our bodies, said Cardiologist Elissa Thompson, MD, who has offices in Hyannis and Chatham.

Healthy Parks Healthy People 5K Slideshow

A gallery of images from the 2021 HPHP 5K

View Slideshow 

“There is no end to the benefits of exercise in terms of improving your overall health,” she said. “Your cardiovascular health, your blood pressure, your blood sugar and your mood all improve!

“More important, there is not a more beautiful place to exercise on Cape Cod than the National Seashore. The Healthy Parks Healthy People 5K is a great way to experience the beauty that park has to offer.”

The race could be seen as either a personal goal, a team challenge or a fun way to participate in a family friendly weekend activity.

Following the race, participants and supporters gathered at the high school for an after-event party complete with awards and a food truck offering healthy foods that feature a variety of locally-sourced ingredients. Dietetic professionals at the Hub for Health offered  blood pressure checks, nutrition tips and advice on how to incorporate locally sourced food into your diet. Sustainable Cape Cod provided information about healthy, locally sourced foods.

Frances “Fran” Clapp power walked on the 5-mile course with David cheering on due to a hip injury. She received a medal at the 2019 after-race event, which was a welcome surprise, she said.

“When they called my name, you could have blown me over with a feather,” she said. “I came home with a medal my very first race.”

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