South Lake moving in healthy direction - South Lake Press: Voices

South Lake moving in healthy direction

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2014 6:00 am

Something’s going on in south Lake County — and it’s bound to get your heart racing.

Actually, getting your heart rate up is precisely the point of a comprehensive effort in the fastest growing area of the county.

South Lake officials have been pushing initiatives to improve the overall health and well being of residents.

The WorkWell program is one of those efforts. The program — a function of the South Lake Hospital LiveWell campus — aims to help “employers create environments that encourage health and wellness.”

It is also part of a more comprehensive focus directed by South Lake Hospital, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, south Lake cities and the county.

We heartily applaud these endeavors, which serve to enhance the overall health and productivity of residents and place the area on the map for its health and recreational features.

“It is very exciting what is going to happen over the next 10 years and how much of a sports, fitness and outdoor region we are going to become known for,” said County Commissioner Sean Parks.

Add into this healthy mix the decision by hospital officials to brand SLH a LiveWell campus where “better eating, active choices and high-tech care are part of creating a healthier lifestyle.”

Another plus: The Road Runners Club of America designated the area a Runner Friendly Community for “its safe environment fostering physical activity; and its proven track record in getting businesses and organizations to work together to promote running as a healthy exercise and sport.”

Other fitness-focus projects are expanding in south Lake. The National Training Center serves as a training ground for many professional athletes, including 23 who took part in the London 2012 Olympics. The county and the city of Clermont are building a rowing facility.

“What it means is the quality of life is amplified,” said Shannon Hidalgo, chairwoman of the South Lake Chamber’s Sports and Tourism Committee. “No matter who you are or where you live in south Lake, there are opportunities for you to engage safely in wellness activities.”

Years ago, county officials analyzed the statistics and concluded that this was the best path to take. This has proven to be a worthy investment — both in the jobs it’ll create and the well being of the community — and we believe the public should be informed.

Our advice: Let’s keep this ball moving in the right direction.

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