Preston, Lourdes, UHS Announce Health Initiative & Open County Parks For Season

(Binghamton, NY) -- Broome County Executive Debbie Preston today promoted an initiative to encourage better health in Broome County, and ceremonially cut the ribbon at Otsiningo Park to open County Parks for the season.

She was joined by Patricia Fell, RN, Director Community Health Services at UHS; Dr. Michael Lavin, Psychiatric Director of the Center for Mental Health at Lourdes Hospital; County Public Health Educator Mary McFadden; and County Commissioner of Parks Bob Fiacco.

“In Broome County we’re privileged to be home to many beautiful and clean Parks, offering a wide range of activities,” said Preston.  “It’s important that we utilize our Parks and use the land to its potential.”

Preston, community experts, and Health Department officials encourage residents to take 10,000 Steps each day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

“Regular physical activity is one of the most important tools we have to promote health and prevent chronic disease,” said Patricia Fell. “Physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.”

“There is no doubt that regular exercise can improve mental health,” said Dr. Michael Lavin. “There are several ways this may work: by boosting energy levels, relieving stress, helping to bolster a sense of achievement or simply having fun. Many studies support the role of exercise in helping to relieve feelings of depression.”

Broome County is home to nine County Parks, covering nearly 3,000 acres across the County.  Preston and the Health Department recommend residents utilize these Parks for recreation and exercise. 

“Obesity is a winnable battle,” said Broome County Director of Health Claudia Edwards. “We are beginning to see the needle move in the right direction for Broome County. I would like to commend our community partners and local leadership for their support in creating these environmental changes that promote physical activity and healthy eating opportunities where we live, learn, work and play. By making these changes now we are creating a culture of healthy living in present time that will serve future generations to come.”   

Our Parks offer:  athletic fields, basketball courts, beaches, biking trails, boating, campsites, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, guided nature walks, horseshoes, ice fishing, picnic shelters, playgrounds, sailing, volleyball, sledding, snowshoeing, soccer, softball, swimming and volleyball.

“If we take additional small steps today, we are more likely to take a large step toward better overall physical and mental fitness,” said Preston.

Shape Up America, a national organization dedicated to healthy living, promotes 10,000 Steps a Day to help people of all ages achieve a healthy lifestyle.

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03/16/2012 - 2:24pm