ELIZABETH — In honor of The American Heart Association’s “National Walking Day,” held recently in communities across the United States, Trinitas Regional Medical Center joined with several community partners to kick off a new fitness initiative that includes stair walking, healthy eating and exercise.
With funding support from the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Nutrition and Fitness, Shaping NJ, the campaign at Trinitas targets young people and families served by the YMCA Eastern Union County and the 2,700 employees at the Elizabeth-based Medical Center.
Community partners in the Shaping NJ mini-grant include: YMCA Eastern Union County; Groundworks Elizabeth, and the Elizabeth Development Council.
Central to this effort is an initiative called “One Flight Up, Two Flights Down” that encourages employees to use stairs instead of elevators. Those staircases at the Medical Center suitable for climbing short distances are marked with distinctive signs.
As the campaign unfolds, Trinitas will unveil maps that illustrate walking routes of varying distances both inside and outside the main campus buildings. Monthly nutrition tips and information about healthy eating, along with an exercise and fitness regimen, will also be included.
Also as part of the initiative, Food and Nutrition staff from Trinitas have begun offering nutrition classes for pre-school students served by The Child Development Center of the YMCA Eastern Union County. This activity will be expanded to include teens and families served by the YMCA who will also help plant a community garden.
Stated Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President & Chief Executive Officer of Trinitas, “We challenged other agencies in town to participate in the One Flight Up campaign, and our challenge was accepted by the Department of Health of the City of Elizabeth. We look forward to working with the City and others to improve the health of our workers and the community at large.” Trinitas and the City of Elizabeth will also cooperate with the New Jersey Department of Transportation on a “walk-ability” survey to ultimately improve the safety of streets from the pedestrian’s viewpoint.
“This campaign is an excellent opportunity to lace up our sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of our day to get up and walk! It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give our friends and co-workers a friendly push toward a healthier lifestyle,” Horan concluded.
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