"Exercise is medicine for the body with no side effects."

“Exercise is medicine for the body with no side effects.”

That’s a standard of health that Mid-South Fitness Association event organizer Larry Westmoreland believes in. Along with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Strength and Conditioning Center, they will host a 5-kilometer run/walk event that focuses on fitness and raises money for the Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic scholarship fund.

The event will start at 8 a.m. Saturday.

For an event that’s the first of it’s kind taking place at UAPB, Westmoreland explained that he believed there was a need for action.

“I was the brainchild to make this event happen. Our First Lady Michelle Obama campaigns for good health. I came up with a proposal and met with Lonza Hardy (athletic director of UAPB) to come up with a committee to make this happen.”

Mayor Debe Hollingsworth has endorsed the 5K Run/Walk and campaigns for a healthy community.

“Keeping the body conditioned also keeps the mind conditioned. With all aspects of ourselves working together, we experience total health; body, soul and spirit,” Hollingsworth said in a press release.

The run/walk is aimed at citizens of all ages. The entry fee is $10 for children ages 13-17, $15 for individuals 18 and older and $25 for sanction (professional) runners. Children 12 and under can participate free. Paying participants will receive an official event T-shirt, fruits and beverages along the course and discounted admission to the Alcorn State-UAPB football game, which kicks off later on that evening at 6 p.m.

Westmoreland has been on UAPB TV and the “Broadway Joe Morning Show” on Power 92.3 FM to promote the 5K Run/Walk and to urge the community and state to get involved.

“We want children and adults in the state of Arkansas to come out and get educated about good health and fitness,” he said. “Diabetes, cholesterol and heart disease are problems and these risks can be lowered by being active and having a proper diet. I was the brain child behind this and obesity is a major health issue that we deal with in the state.”

For more information on the run/walk, contact the UAPB athletics department at 575-7950 or Mid-South Fitness Association at 592-5440.