Visit the Elevator, WALK the STAIRS

If you’ve had the pleasure of entering Bloomfield’s municipal building, you will notice something a bit different – signs around the elevators encouraging folks to take the stairs and burn a few extra calories.  Recently, Michael Hodges, the Health Educator, and Gail Gutierrez, the Wellness Coach, met with all of the department heads from the Township of Bloomfield to inform them of the new initiative – Take The Stairs.

In addition to informing the directors and gaining their buy in, the team also wanted to explain why physical activity is so important, especially for those with sedentary office jobs. For instance, did you know that even if you exercise, long periods of sitting are associated with:

  • Mental Fatigue
  • Poor Circulation and Heart Disease
  • Bone Loss and Poor Posture
  • Slow Metabolism and Insulin Problems

With the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their “StairWELL to Better Health” we found these great motivational signs that we have posted throughout the municipal building.

Decision prompts at the elevator

Supporting physical activity for Bloomfield.

Supporting physical activity for Bloomfield.

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Encouraging messages in the Stairwell

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More Messaging by the Elevator

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Reminders by the vending machines.

Reminders by the vending machines.

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Closer look of vending machine reminders

In addition to taking the stairs, other suggestions for office workers include:

  • standing when speaking on the phone.
  • walking to a colleague’s desk in lieu of e-mail or phone.
  • setting reminders on your computer or phone to take a break from sitting every 1-2 hours.

With these signs and the photos from The Historical Society of Bloomfield http://bloomfieldhistorical.org  that we’ll be displaying in the stairwells, we hope to encourage employees and any visitors to the municipal building, who are able, to get that body moving and take the stairs.  We’d love to know what you all think.  Give us a holler by commenting or liking the blog, and learn more about our programs at http://www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com/health-human-services/ 

Interested in supporting your very own mini-campaign to encourage more activity at your workplace? If so, check out the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/toolkits/stairwell/index.htm for some helpful resources and ideas.

Growing Our Way Toward Fitness

GEF-CSA-80The produce is in! The produce is in!! Willow Brook Farms has announced that the crop has come in and we will be distributing farm fresh produce for our three families. The fresh produce will allow our families to enjoy all the benefits of healthy eating while learning new ways to incorporate the vegetables into their meal planning. We are very excited for this kickoff to the Willow Brook Farms CSA and all the families have been invited to a reception this Saturday at the farm to meet with the farmers and see the inner workings of what it takes to get the produce to their tables.

Fit Trail 2 StretchWe are making strides in securing a Fit-Trail outdoor exercise system to be installed at Wheatsworth Park in collaboration with Hardyston Township. This exercise system contains instructional signs and exercise equipment designed for the novice wellness seeker or well conditioned athlete.   The exercises, done in a circuit, include a warm up and cool down section, which includes the distance walked or jogged between exercise stations.Fit trail1 Family

We also recently collaborated with the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce volunteering at their Off the Beaten Track 5K trail run and wellness event. This event brought runners over some of the beautiful trails of Sussex County. One goal of the event was to increase awareness of the many trails Sussex County has to offer.

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Look How Far We Have Come!

The infrastructure improvements we have made to our Community Center floor have greatly enriched the programs that we offer in that room. Our goal from the beginning was to offer a larger variety of wellness and fitness programs. We here at Eatontown Recreation can proudly say that we have reached that goal.

Our existing programs such as Zumba have increased in the number of classes we offer. This then has produced more participants in these programs. Our Yoga and Low Impact Aerobic classes have doubled in the number of participants. We adhere this positive change to the fact that the floors are now more “fitness” friendly then our previous carpeted floors.

Challenges we faced were shutting down our programs for a short period of time to construct the floor. Another challenge has been to preserve the floor by not letting the chairs that are used during meetings to scratch the floors. After purchasing “gliders” for the bottom of the chairs, we believe this problem has been rectified.
So where do we see ourselves next you ask? Going forward we hope to add even MORE fitness/wellness programs to this building space. By always staying innovative, we are constantly looking for the latest fitness trends that could possibly lead residents into making the first ‘step’ towards a healthier lifestyle.

BEFOREPIC

AFTERPIC

Growing Experience

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As we continued to strategize for our fall plans, we started to think about right now….         How can we impact the kids that are attending our Summer Camp? These kids are at our facility 5 days a week from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We put our heads together and brainstormed ideas on how we can make their camp experience different from what they’ve experienced in other years.

Other than the regular camp activities, we thought about what we could do to enrich their skills on learning, responsibility and nurturing… and we came up with a community garden for the campers! The location of the garden will be where the kids are picked up and dropped off every day, so that they and their parents can see the progress each day. The campers will also be able to show their creativity by crafting their own banners and signs to differentiate the camp groups. We are hopeful that the garden will teach them responsibility, nurturing and development.

From planting to exercising, we branched off and started to think of other ideas to benefit the campers.  We are approaching the idea of a walking club for those in the extended day camp program.  For that extra hour, we want to create a group of campers who keep track of their steps during the week with pedometers and encourage them to walk more in order to stay healthy and fit.

By staying healthy this summer, we are working on ways for campers to receive water safety presentations during pool time to learn about the safest ways to act around water.  We want to encourage safe and healthy behaviors during camp season and hope these activities promote healthy living and continue into the school year.

Healthy Eats

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Candy or an apple? Ice cream or vegetables? Decisions, decisions.

Eatontown Community Center Preschool, as part of the Eatontown Recreation and Community Services Department, recently took a field trip to learn about healthier eating options. Believing that 3 and 4 year olds can benefit from smart food choices, the Eatontown Preschool visited a local grocery store. Stop and Shop® provides a Kid Healthy Ideas Program in which groups, starting at the Preschool age are toured around the grocery store to learn about different healthy foods.

The program focused on nutrition, our environment where food comes from, and overall wellness related topics. When children first arrived they were quizzed what healthy foods are. A tour was then offered throughout the entire store, aisle through aisle, in which healthier options were pointed out. Children were encouraged to ask questions. This grocery store made it a point to explain to the children that healthy eating choices can be easy and fun. Our preschoolers were able to sample fruits, vegetables, healthy grains as well as many other foods. For some, it was the first time they had such foods, as they asked excitedly for more. It was clear for most of the preschoolers that this was their favorite part!

Children were encouraged to go home and talk with their families about what they had learned on this field trip. Eatontown Preschool hopes that this program, along with lesson plans taught at the school, will provide an education for children at an early age. These baby steps (or Preschool steps if you will) are being made to help grow a healthier tomorrow.