Wellness is defined as “achieving a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.” While there are many factors that contribute to wellness, concentrating our efforts on a Township wide initiative can help lead to a healthier, happier, and more successful community. I hope you will join us as we take the first step to a healthier lifestyle and launch the Cherry Hill’s Mayor’s Wellness Campaign (“MWC”) at the Earth Festival on Saturday, April 28th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at Croft Farm, 100 Bortons Mill Road in Cherry Hill.
The goal of the MWC is to improve the health and wellness of our residents and businesses by providing nutritional advice and recreational opportunities to help our residents get in shape and enjoy all our community has to offer. Another goal of the campaign is to identify and promote healthy cooking classes, educational seminars, and community activities, including our Parks and Recreation programs, fitness classes, and senior activities.
Participants in the campaign will take a pledge committing to increase their activity level, eat a healthy diet, and discuss their current level of fitness with a family physician to develop a long-term plan for improved wellness.
The Cherry Hill Township website will act as a repository of all the programs and classes that exist throughout our wonderful town. This page will include information and advice on healthy activities, current wellness news, and regular tips for incorporating small changes to improve your overall wellness. We will post information on healthy cooking options, educational classes and restaurants that offer healthy choice menus.
We will be partnering with Cherry Hill businesses in order to carry-out the goals and objectives of the MWC. We continue to add to our list of partners, which includes Lourdes Healthcare, Kennedy Hospital, the JCC, Danzeisen and Quigley, Shop Rite Supermarkets, Wegmans, Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club, Planet Fitness, Keswick Cycle, Dr. Alan Magaziner and Dr. Steve Gerber to name a few. These businesses will play a key role in helping us increase awareness of health and wellness.
At 9:00 am, before the Earth Festival’s daylong festivities begin, we will hold a Family Fun Bike Ride, sponsored by Keswick Cycle starting at the pavilion across from Croft Farm at Challenge Grove Park. I am excited to join cyclists eight and older along a 6.5-mile route through the Barclay Farm neighborhood. The Family Fun Bike Ride will be followed by the Earth Festival, where there will be activities and programs for attendees of all ages including a section dedicated to wellness, featuring local businesses, information, and opportunities to get involved. We will also be holding a hike on the nature trail behind the Croft Farms Art Center at 11:00 am and run around the track at 1:00 pm.
The MWC will utilize Cherry Hill’s outstanding recreational facilities and capitalize on programs already offered by the Township, encouraging residents to get outdoors and take advantage of our trails and athletic facilities. In addition, we will be encouraging residents to take advantage of their neighborhood swim clubs, which offer an array of outdoor activities including swimming, basketball, and volleyball. The MWC will also encourage residents to participate in community events such as the Jeremy Kane 5k Benefit Run being held on May 20th and the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia at Challenge Grove Park being held on May 12th.
You don’t even need an organized event or activity to get in involved. The MWC will encourage residents to engage in physical activities as simple as taking a walk around their neighborhood or visiting one of our 53 Township parks. Similarly, the MWC will promote nutritional awareness and encourage residents to ask for healthy options at local restaurants or seek healthier recipes and products at the supermarket. No step is too small on the path to increasing overall wellness.
While focusing on getting community members to live healthier lifestyles, there are also inherent benefits and incentives for our Township businesses to get involved with the MWC. Healthy employees are less likely to be absent, are more productive, see a decrease in healthcare costs, and have increased morale. When combined, these factors can significantly impact the bottom line of a business. We look forward to partnering with and promoting the services provided by many of our local businesses to help realize these benefits.
Our parents, schools, businesses, civic groups, Township organizations, and elected officials all have a significant role to play in increasing the wellness of our community. Getting active and healthier will also improve the quality of life for our residents. I hope you will join us as we get healthy together and take advantage of all that Cherry Hill Township has to offer.