Cherry Hill Headlines

Posted on: July 5, 2012

Weekly Column: Building a Healthier Cherry Hill

When we launched the Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) in April, the goal was to begin taking steps to build a healthier Cherry Hill by encouraging our residents and businesses to commit to making healthier lifestyle choices. When thinking about “wellness” the focus is often on exercise and dieting. While the MWC certainly encourages physical activity and smart food choices, it also aims to educate residents on the wide range of wellness activities offered throughout town. Activities encompass numerous opportunities including nutrition and other wellness seminars, cooking classes, and physical activities.

Many of Cherry Hill’s businesses have partnered with us for this exciting and important campaign. They include: the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club, Danzeisen & Quigley, the JCC, Keswick Cycle, Monavation, My Gym, Pilates Core Center, Yi’s Karate Institute of Cherry Hill, Yoga for Fitness Enthusiasts by Lisa Forman, Cooper University Hospital, Lourdes Health System, Kennedy Health System, Brio Tuscan Grille, Kaminski’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Oh Yoko, Shop Rite, Short Hills Restaurant and Deli, Smart for Life Weight Management Centers, Steak 38 Café, and Wegmans.

By signing the MWC pledge, residents commit to get more active, eat healthier, drink more water, and check their “numbers” with a family physician. The official MWC kick-off was held at the Earth Festival in April. After an exciting start, we continue to expand the MWC throughout Cherry Hill. We are thrilled to be working with Wegmans and Shop Rite Supermarkets, who will be offering healthy cooking classes and educational opportunities about how to read food labels and decipher the nutritional information included on products. These classes will begin in the fall and will be publicized once dates become available. We are also in discussions with local restaurants throughout Cherry Hill about offering healthy menu options to their patrons and even establishing a Cherry Hill Restaurant Week.

Through our partnership with Cherry Hill Mall, a walk through the complex will be held on August 25th at 8:00 am in conjunction with the Mall’s “Fit to Fashion” event which will be held in the Grand Court at 10:00 am and will include a fashion show and wellness vendors. Starting on Wednesday September 19th, residents are encouraged to join our “Walk with the Mayor” program, a two mile long trip through the Mall’s facilities beginning at 8:00 am. This walk will provide a regular opportunity on the third Wednesday of each month to get healthy by walking with the Mayor and members of the administration.

Working with MWC partner Dr. Stephen Gerber, the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club (CHHRC) will be screening the HBO documentary, “The Weight of the Nation,” every Tuesday from July 3rd through the 24th beginning at 6:30 pm. While the series offers a compelling view of our nation's battle with obesity and explores possible weight management solutions, Dr. Gerber will be available to answer questions and provide a medical perspective on the documentary. In addition, they will have a trainer from CHHRC on site to calculate the body mass index (BMI) of attendees. Guests who commit to taking the Mayors Wellness pledge that day will receive a three week trial membership to the fitness club facility. Along with educational programs, the CHHRC offers free summer memberships for teens from July 1st through August 31st through their Teen Fitness Connection program. The program is open to teens ages 12 to 17 during the summer months and gives teens access to the club on weekdays beginning at 5:15 am and allowing them to utilize most of the club’s equipment and participate in Group Fitness classes.

The MWC will have a table at all Township events and many events hosted by Wellness partners, including the Township’s Music Under the Stars Concert series, encouraging residents to take the pledge and join the campaign. MWC partner Short Hills Deli, has agreed to provide healthy snacks including wraps and fruit at no cost to attendees. The first concert will be held at the Barclay Farmstead on Tuesday, July 17th beginning at 6:30 pm.

We have taken some exciting first steps and will continue to provide upcoming information on the MWC page of the Township website to keep people updated about opportunities to get educated and active. We continue to seek out additional partners and hope you will join us on this journey as we build a healthier Cherry Hill together one step at a time. To become a partner of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign please call the Mayor’s office at 856-488-7878, email MWC@chtownship.com or visit our website at http://www.cherryhill-nj.com.

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