Giving the Gifts Of Gardening and Fitness

December 7, 2010

 

Volunteers from Get Active Orlando (GAO), the organization that acts as the City of Orlando’s link to health and fitness initiatives, announce the debut of three new community gardens in the Orlando area. Utilizing grant monies from the Blue Foundation, this year GAO funded five school- and youth-based gardens designed to teach children the importance of healthy eating.

Sunrise_Elementary_Garden
Sunrise Elementary Garden

 

The new gardens –the New Image Youth Center Garden, 

Reeves Terrace Recreation Complex Community Garden and the Sunrise  

Elementary School Garden — also promote physical activity. 

“It’s a special feeling to have these gardens up and running at a time of the year associated with bountiful feasts and giving thanks,” notes GAO Chair Leah Nash. She says two other gardens — the Fern Creek School and Community Garden and the Orlando Day Nursery Garden — are scheduled to open by the end of the year. 

 For more information or to become involved with GAO, please visit www.getactiveorlando.com.


Living green has morphed itself

May 26, 2010

Living green has morphed itself. In a short couple of years, it has gone from being environmentally friendly and conserving energy to all things healthy. Just look at the homes that are currently being certified green by the Florida Green Building Council. The only Platinum Home — the highest designation available — is in Orlando, Fla., that indeed is not sexy green. It scored high marks not for its roof gardens or rain barrels, but for its low-VOC and no-VOC carpets and paints. The tight envelope of the home keeps out allergens as does the fresh air intake of the air conditioning unit. Moreover, Cambria countertops are installed in the kitchen and all bathrooms: Cambria is food safe since it is nonporous and food and moisture cannot penetrate the surface.

And it’s not only the sick buildings we are addressing; it’s the foods we eat that have become the newest green offshoot. It started with eating local foods to cut down on emissions and carbon footprints, but it has become a quest for eliminating obesity — especially in children — and returning our eating habits to those of our ancestors free of processed foods and out-of-control portions. The obesity factor has reached such a high scale that the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity was just released by First Lady Michelle Obama, which is aimed to reduce childhood obesity from 20% to 5% by 2030.

The greener eating craze has caused an uptick in the fight for exercise as well. It is not only a good diet that will keep you healthy, but it’s the regular exercise that so many people avoided way too long.

Indeed, it is the influx of baby boomers into their senior years that is really causing a stir.

If boomers are not kept healthy, their sheer numbers could crush even the best of health care plans.


Health-conscious Businesses Being Honored in Orlando

March 12, 2010

In the past couple of years, the hackneyed term “green” has morphed beyond just our social consciousness of the environment and into the realm of healthcare. We have seen this trend in publishing We Care magazine in Orlando, Fla., in which the tide toward being healthy — holistic eating, non-toxic cleaning products, and walking/biking to school and work — has seemed to take center stage.

Last fall I had the pleasure of becoming involved with a group called Get Active Orlando, which acts as an advisory committee to the City of Orlando, although we reach way beyond the city limits. This group of professionals representing hospitals, nurses, doctors, neighborhoods, entrepreneurs, associations, and local businesses and governmental agencies are engaged in fabricating the area in which we live into the healthiest city in the country. Tall order, but one that can be accomplished.

To that end, I am working with Get Active Orlando on a regional campaign to find and award the healthiest businesses in Central Florida. The first-ever Healthy Workplace Awards will honor businesses dedicated to the health of their employees.

For example, do you encourage your employees to include exercise in their daily activities? Do you know of a business that promotes bicycle riding or walking to work? Does your place of business offer facilities for exercise or working out for employees? If you can say yes to any of these questions, or have a wellness program of your own, let us know.

For applications, criteria, and submission guidelines to the 2010 Healthy Workplace Awards, e-mail info@getactiveorlando.com or visit www.getactiveorlando.com. The application was designed to take only a few minutes to fill out and there is no entry fee. Applications are due April 30, 2010.

So, stand and be recognized — apparently it’s the green thing to do.