March 24, 2017
Health & Fitness
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  • Throughout April, Anne Arundel County residents are encouraged to participate in events that focus on obesity prevention, management of substance abuse and mental health as co-occurring disorders, and access to health care.
    Throughout April, Anne Arundel County residents are encouraged to participate in events that focus on obesity prevention, management of substance abuse and mental health as co-occurring disorders, and access to health care.
  • Throughout April, Anne Arundel County residents are encouraged to participate in events that focus on obesity prevention, management of substance abuse and mental health as co-occurring disorders, and access to health care.
    Throughout April, Anne Arundel County residents are encouraged to participate in events that focus on obesity prevention, management of substance abuse and mental health as co-occurring disorders, and access to health care.
  • Dave Abrams, director of broadcast and electronic media for County Executive Steve Schuh’s office, participated in last year’s #HealthySelfie contest.
    Dave Abrams, director of broadcast and electronic media for County Executive Steve Schuh’s office, participated in last year’s #HealthySelfie contest.

Get Ready For Healthy Anne Arundel Month

Zach Sparks
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March 7, 2017

What It Is And Why You Should Invest In Your Health

Everyone wants to be healthy, be proud of their weight and be free of addiction, but not everyone knows where to find the resources that will help them accomplish those goals. Healthy Anne Arundel Month was created in 2014 for that purpose, to use April as a month of connecting people with information and organizations centered on wellness.

“It came from this idea of needing to take responsibility and be accountable for your health, no matter what age you are,” said Carol Boyer, who chairs the Healthy Anne Arundel Month Planning Committee. “We started the coalition to get the whole county involved, whether it was county departments, schools, faith-based organizations — any group that deals with health every day.”

The coalition started gathering classes, workshops, events and support groups that were already happening while also adding annual signature events that could draw large crowds and best promote the purpose of Healthy Anne Arundel, which focuses on obesity prevention, management of substance abuse and mental health as co-occurring disorders, and access to health care.

“A lot of people want to do it, but they don’t have access to the care or materials,” Boyer said.

A celebration of sorts, Healthy Anne Arundel Month will kick off with an event at the Farmers’ Market in Annapolis on April 1 from 7:00am to noon, and end with the Spring Into Wellness Fair at Marley Station Mall in Glen Burnie from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Between those signature functions are more than 100 health-related events.

New this year, the efforts are split into four regions. Dr. Judy Yu, a dentist at Dental FX in Pasadena, is heading the east region, which includes Severna Park and Pasadena. Two of her signature events will be held at the Y in Pasadena. The Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (NAACCC) health fair on April 10 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm and a Day of Laughter on April 15 from 10:00am to noon will feature face painting, a balloon artist, and fruit and toothbrush giveaways.

“It is very difficult to enjoy life without good health!” Yu expressed. “The Healthy Anne Arundel Coalition's initiative for public awareness for the month of April gives so many opportunities for our county to promote and educate our community about healthy living. I am excited about my signature event, the NAACCC Health/Wellness Committee's health fair at the Y in Pasadena because it brings so many people together for like causes for health at a location that also promotes health.”

The other region leads include Charlotte Wallace for the south portion of the county, Meleny Thomas in the north and Pam Browne in the west. “They’re very connected and they care about the health of their community,” Boyer said of the regional chairpersons.

One of those west events is the health and safety fair on April 23 at Ruth Parker Eason School in Millersville from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The event will include a meet and greet with first responders, information provided by Mobile Crisis Unit, an appearance by McGruff the dog, safety resources, a moon bounce, sand art, balloons, face painting and more.

Shannon Majoros, director of programming for the Severna Park-based nonprofit RISE for Autism, said her organization is participating to promote the need for focus on health and wellness for individuals with autism along with their families and caregivers.

“Not only is the prevalence of autism on the rise, but the incidence of co-occurrence with mental health disorders and obesity has also increased,” Majoros said. “Healthy Anne Arundel Month spotlights the importance of overall health and wellness and provides a variety of opportunities — such as our third annual health and safety fair for individuals with special needs — for families to gather information and improve access resources, services and supports.”

Throughout April, the #HealthySelfie contest will encourage county residents to take a selfie of any healthy activity and post it on social media. Participants have the chance to win $50 prepaid cards or a Fitbit.

Overall, the most important goal is to get Anne Arundel County residents to embrace healthy lifestyles, even if those changes come in small doses.

“Let’s not overwhelm people,” Boyer said. “Not everyone is going to do the ‘Biggest Loser’ and work out eight hours a day and get a personal trainer, nor do they have to.

“It’s about making one healthy change at a time,” she continued. “Instead of taking the elevator every day, take the elevator two days and walk three days.”

For more information about Healthy Anne Arundel, visit www.healthyannearundel.org or like “Healthy Anne Arundel” on Facebook.

Healthy Anne Arundel Coalition Chair and Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Jinlene Chan encourages individuals, families and organizations to adopt a healthier lifestyle. “Healthy Anne Arundel Month is a great way for everyone in the county to get involved!” Chan said. “There will be fun, informative and motivational events promoting health and wellness all month long throughout Anne Arundel County.”

 

Healthy Anne Arundel Events

Throughout April: Using the hashtag #HealthySelfie, county residents are encouraged to take a selfie of any healthy activity and post it on social media. Participants have the chance to win $50 prepaid cards or a Fitbit.

Apr 1: Healthy Anne Arundel Kickoff 7:00am-noon at Farmer’s Market at 275 Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis.

Apr 1: Rec Deeds for Special Needs 5K and Fun Walk at Downs Park. 9:00am.

Apr 1: AAMC-Pathways Family Wellness Workshop 8:30am-noon. Gain knowledge and understanding about addiction disease, substance abuse and relapse prevention strategies. 2620 Riva Road in Annapolis. Info: 443-481-5400.

Apr 3: AAMC Heart 101 5:00-6:00pm at AAMC Belcher Pavilion, 7th Floor, Doordan Institute, 2000 Medical Parkway. Info: 410-481-5555.

Apr 3: Cooking Club at Turning Leaf Wellness in Severna Park 7:00-9:00pm. Info: emily.craft@giantfood.com.

Apr 6: No Bones About It – Understanding Osteoporosis 6:30-8:00pm at AAMC Belcher Pavilion. Info: www.aahs.org.

Apr 10: Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce Health Fair. Y of Pasadena at 25 Magothy Beach Road. 4:30-7:00pm. Info: 410-336-1439.

Apr 12: Anne Arundel Community College Health Fair 11:00am-2:00pm in the Union Dining Hall.

Apr 15: Day of Laughter at the Y in Pasadena. 10:00am-noon. Info: 410-336-1439.

Apr 19: After-School Yoga for Teens from 4:30pm-5:30pm at Broadneck Library. Info: rhass@aacpl.net.

Apr 22: AAMC-Pathways Family Wellness Workshop 8:30am-noon. Gain knowledge and understanding about addiction disease, substance abuse and relapse prevention strategies. 2620 Riva Road in Annapolis. Info: 443-481-5400.

Apr 22: Annapolis Police Department Public Safety Fair 1:00-4:00pm. Weems-Whalen Field. 935 Spa Road.

Apr 23: Ruth Parker Eason School hosts health and safety fair 1:00-4:00pm. 648 Old Mill Road in Millersville.

Apr 25: Alzheimer’s Support Group 7:00-8:00pm at AAMC Belcher Pavilion. Info: 410-554-8483.

Apr 29: Spring Into Wellness Fair at Marley Station Mall 10:00am-2:00pm. 7900 Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie.


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