Columbia Association’s Community Health Division collaborates with health and wellness organizations in order to improve the health of our community — offering wellness programs, promoting good health, and providing educational awareness of good health practices.

We provide a comprehensive approach to whole body health by offering guided physical activity, lifestyle coaching, and nutrition education. We also work with numerous medical practices to ensure a continuum of care for their patients.

Click here to learn more about Healthy Living.

Health Focus

All Columbia Association facilities are CLOSED and all programs, classes and events are CANCELED until further notice in order to protect our members, program participants and employees during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

New! Monthly Recipes

The grocery store may be low on certain foods, but the good news is that there’s endless options for creativity and improvisation when it comes to healthy soup. Start with a low-sodium broth and add your favorite veggies and seasonings. Cook for several hours (or use a Crock pot) to blend. You may want to avoid rice and potatoes since both of these tend to absorb liquid. You now have a relatively inexpensive and healthy meal that yields many servings.

How to Make Positive Lifestyle Changes

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to make major changes to our daily lives and in many cases is producing a lot of stress. Here are some specific actions you can take to help manage your stress:

  1. Unplug – If you find yourself constantly watching or listening to the news, take a break. Tune out the media and tune into nature.
  2. Look outside/Be outside – Spring has sprung! Trees are budding; flowers are blooming. While still practicing social distancing, take a walk and let the beauty of the season nourish your soul.
  3. Exercise – Though gyms are closed, there are still plenty of ways to stay active. In addition to walking, you can work out at home with 95 free LES MILLS workouts (no equipment needed) 
  4. Take Deep Breaths – Find a comfortable position and focus on your breathing. Now slow your breathing by taking a long breath in, pause, and then releasing your breath slowly. With practice you will be able to lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress level with this technique.


This past month has likely shaken up your usual eating habits. Restaurants are closed, common staples are in short supply at the grocery store, and the kids are suddenly at home 24/7. Use this time to discover and embrace “Power Foods.” These are foods that provide the most nutritional value for your health. Many can help combat weight gain, sluggishness, and digestive troubles – conditions associated with increased stress.

From the Doctor

Commonly Asked Eye Questions

Dr. Dean Glaros is a board-certified ophthalmologist and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute’s Columbia satellite office. He is also a member of CA’s Medical Advisory Board.

 As a comprehensive ophthalmologist in practice for over 25 years, I have fielded upwards of a million (gulp) questions from concerned patients. When I was approached by CA to write a brief article for this newsletter, it occurred to me that whittling down those many questions to the ones I have heard the most might be useful for our readers. Here goes: 

  1.   “What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?”

While both are addressed with the title of  “doctor,” ophthalmologists are physicians who attend medical schools (the same ones that other physicians do) but go on to perform a residency in ophthalmology. Optometrists attend schools of optometry but these are not considered medical schools. Both ophthalmologists and optometrists perform routine eye exams. There is some geographic variability and controversy regarding this next point but the vast majority of optometrists do not perform any eye surgery and have limited access to medicines used to treat eye disease. Read more …

Healthy Living