May 2015
Central Maryland Region

New this Month


Welcome new HMBs! British American Auto Care, Lorien Mt. Airy, Saint Agnes Hospital, NFP/ProBen and WellAdvantage


We want your opinion on how Healthiest Maryland Businesses is serving you. Please take our short survey so we can be sure to meet your wellness needs. I promise it's short! 


Check out our new website! We are testing this new format; it's still in draft stage. We hope it will be helpful to you when researching resources and other information. 


May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation

Arthritis strikes more than 50 million Americans, and is an often misunderstood disease with a core of common myths surrounding it. Consider sharing information with your employees since it's a safe bet that either they, or a loved one, struggles with the disease. The following are some common myths:


Myth #1:  Arthritis is just minor aches and pains associated with getting older.

Fact:   Arthritis is actually a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that can affect people of all ages, races and genders.
  •  Arthritis is not just a disease of old age. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.
  • Of the more than 50 million Americans with arthritis, more than 36 million are Caucasians, more than 4.6 million are African-Americans and 2.9 million are Hispanic.

Myth #2: Arthritis is not a serious health problem.

Fact:  Arthritis places a growing burden on the health care and economic systems in this country.
  • Each year, people with arthritis account for 44 million outpatient visits and 992,100 hospitalizations.
  • Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
  • Arthritis is actually a more frequent cause of activity limitations than heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
  • Within 20 years the number of people with arthritis will soar. By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans will have arthritis, unless the trend is reversed.

Myth #3:  People with arthritis should avoid exercising.    

Fact:  Exercise is a valuable tool in the fight against arthritis.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services there is strong evidence indicating that both endurance and resistance types of exercise provide considerable disease-specific benefits for people with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatic conditions.
  • A growing body of research indicates that exercise, weight management and the avoidance of joint injury can go a long way in helping to prevent OA.
  • Every one pound of weight loss results in four pounds of pressure taken off each knee.

Myth #4:  Not much can be done for arthritis.

Fact Relief is available and new treatments are in the pipeline.
The Arthritis Foundation helps people who already have arthritis to live better with arthritis by
  • Helping  understand treatment options
  • Showing how to manage pain
  • Telling Congress that more needs to be done for people with arthritis.

Spotlight on the Region  


Howard County Health Department and Healthy Howard are participating in the Arthritis Foundation's Walk with Ease Program, a community-based physical activity and self-management education program. It can be done by individuals using the Walk with Ease workbook on their own, or by groups led by trained leaders. Both the individual and group formats are set up as a structured six-week program. While walking is the central activity, Walk with Ease is a multi-component program that also includes health education, stretching and strengthening exercises, and motivational strategies. Group sessions include socialization time, pre-walk informational lecturettes, warm up and cool downs and a 10-35 minute walking period.

Fifty-five people registered for Walk with Ease. An indoor walking area was mapped out for use in poor weather and outside routes were varied to keep things interesting. Staff was very appreciative of the time granted by administration for this program. As public health leaders, the Health Department and Healthy Howard are conscious of employee health and wellness and were very pleased to host Walk with Ease for staff. Though the formal program has ended, staff continues to walk as a group and credits the program for increasing health and wellness opportunities during the work day.

We can bring Walk with Ease to your business. For more information, please contact


                                      Tips and Ideas


Is There an Arthritis Diet?


One of the most common questions people with any form of arthritis have is, "Is there an arthritis diet?" Or more to the point, "What can I eat to help my joints?" The answer is that many foods can help. Following a diet low in processed foods and saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans is great for your body. If this advice looks familiar, it's because these are the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is frequently touted for its anti-aging, disease-fighting powers.


There's good science behind the hype. Studies confirm eating these foods lowers blood pressure and protects against chronic conditions ranging from cancer to stroke. It helps arthritis by curbing inflammation, which benefits your joints as well as your heart. Another bonus is eating healthy whole foods commonly found in Mediterranean cuisine can also lead to weight loss, which makes a huge difference in managing joint pain.


Whether you call it a Mediterranean diet, an anti-inflammatory diet or simply an arthritis diet, here's a look at the key foods, and a breakdown of why they're so good for joint health.



How much: Health authorities like the American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend three to four ounces of fish, twice a week. Arthritis experts claim more is better.

Why: Some types of fish are good sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. A study of 727 postmenopausal women, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found those who had the highest consumption of omega-3s had lower levels of two inflammatory proteins: C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6.


Nuts and Seeds

How much: Eat 1.5 ounces of nuts daily (one ounce is about one handful).

Why: Multiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51 percent lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared with those who ate the fewest nuts.


Fruits and Veggies

How much: Aim for nine or more servings daily.

Why: Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. These potent chemicals act as the body's natural defense system, helping to neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage cells.


Olive Oil

How much: Two to three tablespoons daily

Why: Olive oil is made up largely of healthful, monounsaturated fat. It's anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy and it's tasty, too. But having the right type of fat isn't the oil's only value. In fact, experts claim at least half of its health benefits come from the olives, not the oil.



How much: About one cup, twice a week.

Why: Beans are loaded with fiber, a nutrient that helps lower CRP, an indicator of inflammation found in the blood. At high levels, CRP could indicate anything from an infection to Rheumatoid Arthritis. 


Community Resources, Services and Events  

May Health Observances

Arthritis Awareness Month  

Better Hearing and Speech Month  

Food Allergy Action Month  

Global Employee Health and Fitness Month  
Healthy Vision Month 

Hepatitis Awareness Month 

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month  

Mental Health Month  

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month  

National Celiac Disease Awareness Month  

National Mediterranean Diet Month 

National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month  

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month 

National Stroke Awareness Month 

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month  

Preeclampsia Awareness Month  
Ultraviolet Awareness Month

SuperTracker Worksite WellnessToolkit

This tool is designed to assist individuals as they make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. Using this free online tool, employees can choose a variety of features to support nutrition and physical activity goals. For a copy of the Toolkit, visit 

 Tourism Offices

Are you in search of activities now that Spring is finally here?

Visit your local Tourism Office for a wide variety of options.


Annapolis and Anne Arundel County 

26 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

 Visit Baltimore

100 Light Street, 12th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

 Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion

Historic Courthouse
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, MD 21204

Carroll County Visitor Center

210 E. Main Street
Westminster, MD 21157

 Harford County Office of Tourism

220 S. Main Street
Bel Air, MD 21014

Howard County Tourism and Promotion
8267 Main St.
Ellicott City, MD 21043