Wellness. It’s always on our minds.  How can we bring down our blood pressure, get more exercise, find more serenity, enjoy life more?  To help answer those questions in our town, we’ve established Maplewood Loves Wellness, an ongoing community awareness program for all ages dedicated to helping residents explore the many options available locally to enhance all aspects of their health and well being.

It’s impressive how much Maplewood has to offer. That’s why the Township is presenting Wellness Week, in partnership with Barnabas Health-Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Oct. 8 through Oct. 13.

We’ll be hosting a week of open houses, free classes and demonstrations held at various Maplewood locations.  These Wellness Week activities will provide residents with the opportunity to learn about programs such as exercise, health and finance – right here in Maplewood – that will help people make smart choices.  And we couldn’t achieve this without our proud partnership with Barnabas Health-Saint Barnabas Medical Center and the New Jersey Mayors’ Wellness campaign.

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We’ll host more than 30 different Wellness Week events led by experts who live or work in Maplewood. There will be plenty to choose from, including a healthy eating demonstration presented by Barnabas Health-Saint Barnabas Medical Center on Wed. 0ct. 10 from 7-9 pm at DeHart Community Center. The Project Adventure ropes course at Columbia High School, usually just for student use, will be open to the public on Tues. Oct. 9 and Thurs. Oct. 11 from 3-4 pm.  And, we’ll also be offering flu shots, which will be given at Maplewood Town Hall on Thurs. Oct. 11 from 10 am - 12 pm.

We’ll end the week with two major events on Sat. Oct. 13 – a Wellness Fair in Memorial Park and an event in support of the Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad.

The Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad will hold a 5-K walk/run for all ages starting at 10 am at its headquarters at 139 Boyden Ave. Registration will begin at 9 am. Residents are asked to show support for this important local organization by participating in the walk, by volunteering and by contributing to ensure the Squad’s future during challenging economic times.

The Wellness Fair will be held on Oakview Road in Memorial Park from 12-3 pm, with special activities for all ages. Demonstrations will include zumba, yoga and kickboxing, with special activities for children, including a ball challenge and a bike rodeo.

I’m proud of Maplewood Loves Wellness. It’s community involvement at its finest - a consortium of Township officials, not-for-profit organizations, and Maplewood business, education and spiritual leaders. Come join me at Wellness Week!