By Jill Nagy
“We want to make sure that Saratoga County is one of the healthiest places to live,” said Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus, announcing the chamber’s third annual Health and Wellness Week, Jan. 17-22.
The county is already ranked by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as the healthiest place to live in New York state, up in the ranking from number 5 three years ago, he said.
During the week, businesses in the county will introduce the community to activities and resources to help them meet fitness goals for the New Year. All events are free but most require prior registration.
Participating business locations range from Clifton Park to South Glens Falls.
The week begins with a Cardio Challenge on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Participants are invited to use cardio equipment at the Southern Saratoga YMCA or at home. They can also post a picture of themselves in cardio workout at #HealthySaratoga and be eligible to win a prize.
Wednesday, Jan. 18, is the day to try a new healthy activity. There will be open sessions at Saratoga Cycling and at Namaste Yoga. In past years, Shimkus took advantage of the Try a New Healthy Activity invitation to try yoga, pilates, spinning, and some new foods and drinks, he said.
Thursday, Jan. 19, opens with a Workplace Wellness Breakfast at the Healthy Living Market in Wilton. Breakfast will be served to eat at the market or to take out. In addition, displays are planned of things to do to improve wellness, with the theme of getting fit and eating well.
On Friday, Jan. 20, the focus shifts to lunch. Employees are encouraged to pack a healthy lunch and bring it to work or, as an alternative, employers are encouraged to provide one.
Saturday, Jan. 21, will bring a Wellness Fair to the weekly farmers’ market at Lincoln Baths and Spa in Saratoga Spa State Park.
Yoga and Hops will be “back by popular demand,” according to Shimkus, at the Common Roots Brewery, 58 Saratoga Ave., South Glens Falls, on Sunday, Jan. 22.
The week-long event is intended to showcase local businesses as exhibitors and hosts. It was organized by members of the Chamber’s Health and Wellness Council, a group of about 100 members headed by Susan Halstead, and members of the Chamber staff. Sponsors include Blue Shield of Northeastern New York and the Adirondack Trust Co.
The Health and Wellness Week is modeled on Restaurant Week, Shimkus said.
Further information is available on the Chamber’s website, Saratoga.org., which includes a separate page for Healthy Saratoga.