Baltimore County Now
Dave Sayler, Wellness Specialist, Baltimore County Department of Aging
Research has determined there is a direct link between the likelihood of healthy aging and the amount of exercise older people do. And it is never too early or too late to start! Even if you wait to begin being physically active around retirement age, you still will enjoy significantly better health later in life. Simply put, exercise is one of the best health boosters you can do for yourself. Just moving for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week boosts your health in eight impactful ways.
Every time you exercise, you…..
1. Lower your stroke risk. Studies show walking is associated with reduced risk of stroke.
2. Protect against osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, promotes the build-up of new bone reducing your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.
3. Increase your metabolic rate. After exercising you still continue to burn calories, even if you are relaxing in a chair. But it won’t work unless you exercise first!
4. Prevent, and even reduce, high blood pressure. Physical activity helps to lower the levels of stress hormones circulating in your blood. This helps to reduce your blood pressure.
5. Alleviate depression. Exercise can directly affect your mood and increase your overall happiness and life satisfaction.
6. Reduce your risk of developing cancer. Research has proven that as little as three hours of moderate exercise per week, such as walking, can reduce the risk of cancer.
7. Lower your blood sugar. Walking can improve your body’s use of insulin and prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.
8. Reduce your risk of falls. Exercise strengthens your core muscles which helps prevent falls.
Exercise Is Time Well Spent
Every moment spent exercising is time well spent. If you don’t know how to get started exercising, and you are over 60 years of age, the Baltimore County Department of Aging provides wonderful opportunities to engage in fitness and wellness activities. To explore these options, visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/seniorcenters.
Help Seniors and Have Fun
Register you, your friends and your family members in Baltimore County Department of Aging’s eighth annual “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk / 1 Mile Walk” on Sunday, September 21, 2014. This family-friendly event will be held at the CCBC Essex campus, conveniently located near I95 and I695 off of Rossville Boulevard. Let yourself be caught up in the fun and enthusiasm for an event that promotes a great cause: older adult fitness and wellness.
Participating in the Run/Walk can result in financial rewards too! Walgreens has generously sponsored the “Fitness Pays” Grand Door Prize Drawing of $500. To qualify to win the $500, or any of the other wonderful door prizes, simply register for the “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk / 1 Mile Walk” either at www.getreadygetsetgetfit5k.com or a Baltimore County senior center. Once registered, show up at the event (you must be present to win) and turn in your bib tab (the small square on the bottom of your bib number) at the “Fitness Pays” table. The first 50 people to turn in their bib tab will receive a free SweatSTR towel.
So if you want a longer, healthier life remember to add exercise to your day!
For more information on the “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk/1 Mile Walk” or senior center fitness programming, call 410-887-2040 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/seniorcenters.
Baltimore County Department of Planning
“Where do baby boomers and millenials want to live?,” Mr. Lee Sobel asked the Baltimore County Planning Board at a recent meeting. Millenials, aged 25-34, with college degrees and technical skills, make up a critical segment of the 21st century workforce. Their baby boomer parents aged 48-67 have the spending power that supports local businesses. Together, they make up half of the U.S. population.
They want to live and work in walkable, bikeable, “smart growth” communities, Mr. Sobel said. But the kinds of communities favored by these two groups are not sufficient to meet demand, according to Mr. Sobel.
Mr. Sobel should know. He is a real estate development and finance analyst at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities.
Smart growth concentrates development where there is public infrastructure, conserving environmental resources and allowing public dollars to be used more efficiently. This development strategy increases a community’s competitiveness by attracting investment that boosts the local economy.
Baltimore County is a national leader in smart growth, having adopted these basic planning principles with its first master plan in the early 1980s. Residents of Baltimore County benefit from beautiful, open spaces and farms north of the Beltway, balanced by neighborhoods near shopping, schools and recreation in the more densely developed areas of the County. We see smart growth in White Marsh and Owings Mills, the County’s two designated growth areas. We see smart growth in Towson, where 1,500 new luxury apartments, new offices, an $85 million entertainment center already are attracting millenials and baby boomers to downtown.
New smart development concepts continue to come to the County. St. John Properties is developing Greenleigh at Crossroads, a $100 million project that will be Baltimore County's first major Town Center designed around the principles of "new urbanism." The 200-acre development in Middle River will include mid-rise Class "A" office buildings designed to satisfy the needs of large corporate users; a mix of 1,700 detached single family, town homes, multi-family and condos to address the need for quality housing; a network of open spaces and park lands to assure sustainable and environment-friendly development; and a coordinated streetscape that creates a pedestrian-friendly and connected community in the style of traditional neighborhood development. Greenleigh at Crossroads is the latest section to be developed in Baltimore Crossroads, a 1,000 acre mixed-use business community on Maryland Route 43 near Interstate 95 in White Marsh/Middle River.
Walkable? Yes. Bikeable? Yes. Smart growth? Yes.
We think Mr. Sobel would approve.