Ask CA: What is the Purpose of the Annual Charge?

If you live in Columbia, chances are you pay the annual charge. Like so many elements of this planned community, the annual charge was created with intention: It has been part of the CA financial structure from the very beginning. Your annual charge ensures that Columbia is a community of choice now and well into the…

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CA Board Conducts Interviews for New President/CEO Search

CA’s Board of Directors is undergoing virtual interviews before entering the final stages of the hiring process    COLUMBIA, MD. – Columbia Association (CA) is one step closer to welcoming a new President/CEO to lead the $80 million organization. The Board of Directors is currently conducting virtual interviews with the top applicants. This follows a…

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Your Guide to CA’s Stream Waders

Guest Post by Natalie Yee, CA Environmental Program Manager Love learning all about the life that can found in our community’s streams? Good news: As a Stream Wader, you can meet others who share your passion for the environment and do important work to improve the health of our streams!  Who are the Stream Waders?…

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Celebrating the Heart-Health Benefits of Community

February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to promote life-saving awareness about all things heart health ❤️. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in Maryland? The good news is, you have a lot of power to protect and improve your heart health, and you’re not in it alone.…

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Ask CA: What is CA?

Welcome to our brand new Ask CA series!  If you didn’t know, CA is made up of all sorts of experts in everything from sustainability to wellness, finance to technology and more. We want to know questions YOU have about our community, our organization and anything our team can help answer.  To kick things off,…

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Highlighting CA’s Year-Round Investment in Heart Health

February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to promote life-saving awareness about all things heart health ❤️. Encouraging a heart-healthy lifestyle is something that CA is committed to year-round. Part of that commitment is doing everything we can to create a safer community — including providing ready access to AEDs in our facilities and…

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5 Questions with a CA Zamboni Driver

Both extremely functional and entertaining, the Zamboni is one of the most iconic machines around. CA’s ice resurfacer, known as Big Blue or Bubba Blue, is iconic for its own reasons as the first battery-powered Zamboni in the state. “Without harmful fumes, battery-operated options are much safer for people and the environment,” says Tom Connors,…

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CA begins search for next President/CEO

Columbia Association (CA) is officially launching the hiring process for the organization’s next President/CEO. This leader will continue CA’s decades-long legacy of service to the Columbia community. Click here to read the job description and requirements for this position. Recruitment firm TransPro Executive Placement is assisting in this nationwide search, committed to curating a highly…

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Reflecting on Our Favorite Moments of 2023

As we wrap up this year, we’re reflecting on all the incredible memories we made as a community in 2023. Check out our favorite moments of the year,  F◾R◾I◾E◾N◾D◾S style.💙💚⛲📺   The one where we did it for the K◾I◾D◾S. 🌟 2023 saw the the first-ever CA Points celebration, held at the Columbia SportsPark. CA…

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Tips for Minimizing Food Waste During the Holidays

Guest Post by Environmental Program Manager Natalie Yee Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Columbia Association (CA), and we’re proud to have a community that cares about being good stewards of the environment. The holidays can present extra challenges in this department, so this month’s blog is focused on a resource that’s…

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CA’s Latest Strategic Plan Process Is Underway

Columbia Association (CA) is embarking on a months-long process to develop the organization’s next strategic plan. The Board of Directors is charged with revamping this plan every five years.  CA’s Board of Directors will work with a third party consultant and CA’s senior leadership team to work through high-level priorities and objectives to achieve CA’s…

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Celebrating CA’s Community Partners in Sustainability

Guest Post by Environmental Program Manager Natalie Yee Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Columbia Association. Our team takes pride in bringing expertise and passion to our work — but we can’t do it alone. We are beyond grateful for local organizations and residents that care deeply about the environment and…

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Mark Your Calendar for Festive Fun in the Community

There’s no place like home for the holidays! Here in Columbia, the festivities are on tap all month long. Here’s a round-up of family-friendly events to mark on your calendar.    Community holiday events Singular Sensations Annual Holiday Art Show at Columbia Art Center: From Wednesday, December 6 to Saturday, December 16, check out affordable…

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Embracing Winter Workouts with Columbia Association

As the chill of winter sets in, it’s easy to let our fitness routine lapse. However, with Columbia Association’s athletic clubs, this season can become a prime time for enhancing fitness and wellness. The Columbia Athletic Club, Supreme Sports Club, and Columbia Gym each offer unique facilities and communities that cater to the ‘Winter Warrior’ in all of us.…

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CA Celebrates the Power of Partnerships with Community Quilt

Columbia Association (CA) is proud to unveil a first-of-its-kind community quilt at the Columbia Art Center. The project was on display for the public at the Art Center from November 17 to 28, and will be “touring” the greater Columbia community beginning in January 2024. Inspired by the fact that CA is part of a…

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Why a Gym with Personal Trainers is the Golden Key to Your Fitness Success

Dive Into the Personal Training World The Changing Landscape of Fitness in Howard County Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Do I need a personal trainer?” If so, you’re not alone. With the increasing number of gyms with personal trainers popping up around Howard County (often referred to as HoCo), it’s time to dive into…

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CA Invited to the White House, Recognized for Achieving Energy Savings Goal

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is recognizing Columbia Association (CA) for achieving its energy savings goal as a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. CA achieved the ambitious 30% goal due to a commitment to advancing energy efficiency efforts across its building portfolio. As a result, Interim Director of Community Operations Jeremy Scharfenberg joined…

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Why Winter is the Best Season for Indoor Swimming in HoCo?

Winter, with its frosty mornings and snug evenings, might prompt you to curl up with a book or hot cocoa. But what if we told you there’s another way to embrace this chilly season? At Columbia Association, winter is reimagined as the season of warm indoor swimming, making you think, “Why search for indoor pools…

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Celebrating Energy Awareness Month: Ways to Save on Your Bill

Guest post by Jeremy Scharfenberg, Interim Director of Community Operations October brings Halloween, and it’s also Energy Awareness Month. Here are some things that Columbia residents can do to avoid being haunted by their energy bills! Change it up Fall is a great time to replace your porch, garage and other outdoor lighting with long-lasting,…

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Columbia SportsPark: Where Community Happens

It’s not easy dressing skeletons — but Columbia SportsPark General Manager Belinda Bryant welcomes the challenge. In fact, it’s one of her favorite things to do in preparation for CA’s annual Trunk or Treat event.  “I love coming up with new decorations to keep people on their toes each year,” she says. “We keep it…

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Putting the MVP in MEP

Spotlight on Phil Mertens, CA’s Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Project Manager  As CA’s Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Project Manager, Phil Mertens has saved the day countless times over the past eight and a half years. Whether it’s dealing with a weather crisis, water leak or power outage, his expertise is invaluable in helping to keep…

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The Unbeatable Duo: Fitness and Wellness

The age-old adage “health is wealth” isn’t just a saying, it’s a proven fact. With our fast-paced lifestyles and exposure to numerous environmental stressors, maintaining optimal health has never been more crucial. In recent years, especially with the emergence of health threats like the flu and COVID, we’ve seen the emphasis placed on having a…

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The Cutting-Edge Team at Columbia Ice Rink

Opening week at the Columbia Ice Rink kicked off with some brrr-illiant news: Our Learn to Skate program was named #1 in the state, and #11 in the Eastern United States!  As a facility that spreads its time out between hockey, figure skating, school groups and offering the most public skating sessions in the area…

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New CMA Project Features the Work of Longtime Volunteer, Ron Fedorczak

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives  Our latest project at the Columbia MD Archives (CMA) highlights the dedication of one of our incredible volunteers, Ronald (Ron) Fedorczak. If you don’t know Ron, it’s likely you’ve seen him at community events with a camera in hand. As an amateur photographer,…

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Summer Sustainability Highlights at CA

Guest Post by Natalie Yee, Environmental Program Manager It’s been a summer of sustainability at CA! Here’s just a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes work our Open Space team puts in to make this summer a great one for the community.💚💙   Getting all 23 outdoor pools ready for opening day and maintaining them throughout the…

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What Is Gamified Fitness?

Have you ever immersed yourself in beating a video game’s highest score? Now, picture channeling that zest into your fitness sessions. Gamified fitness merges gaming’s thrill with fitness endeavors. Instead of merely jogging or cycling, you’re venturing on quests, collecting points, or perhaps even challenging digital dragons – all while melting those calories away. Why Integrate Gaming…

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AI and Wellness: The Tech is Flashy, But Nothing Outshines Human Spirit

Hey there, fellow wellness enthusiasts! Picture this: a gym where machines, with their cool LED displays, buzz around, guiding you through workouts, while a virtual voice calls out your name and tells you to push for one more rep. Sci-fi much? Nope, it’s the emerging world of AI in wellness. But even in this tech-loaded…

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CA Tennis Serves Up a Sense of Community

Here at CA, we’re continuously inspired by you: our members and our team members. Across our various programs and spaces, one through-line is the incredible sense of community you’ll find within every “pocket” of CA. That sense of community extends to our tennis program, despite its reputation as being a more solitary sport. CA tennis…

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A Summer of Community Wellness

Nothing makes us happier than a summer spent celebrating the joy of movement with this community. 💃🏽​​​​​ There’s been lots to celebrate, from beloved traditions like Dancin’ Under the People Tree to partnerships that increase access to movement opportunities in the community. Here’s just a glimpse into what we’ve been up to here at CA!…

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Celebrating Community Engagement at the Columbia MD Archives

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives  Community engagement is pretty high on our list at the Columbia MD Archives (CMA). Recently, we had the honor of engaging with the next generation for the second summer in a row through our partnership with Howard Community College. Drumroll please for the…

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The Magic of the Columbia Neighborhood Swim League (CNSL)

A tight-knit community  First things first: What is CNSL? This recreational league is made up of 14 swim teams located throughout the Columbia, Ellicott City and Clarksville areas. It’s open to swimmers 18 years old or younger of all ability levels. For CNSL supervisor Kelsey Lord, CNSL has always been the highlight of her summer.…

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Mindfulness and Exercise: Rocking Your Fitness Routine with a Mental Edge

Hey there, friend! Ready to dive into a fresh perspective on fitness? I thought so! Let’s go beyond calories, repetitions, and measurements. Today, we’re unmasking an exciting new element of exercise that will give your workouts and overall wellbeing an incredible boost. Say hello to mindfulness! Let’s unravel this duo together. The In-Depth Connection: Fitness…

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HoCo Adventures Await: Discover the Magic with Columbia Association’s Web Page

What’s the Buzz About Family Fun in HoCo? Welcome, adventure-seekers and fun-lovers, to Columbia, MD! Nestled right in the heart of Howard County, affectionately known as HoCo, our town offers a cornucopia of entertainment and relaxation for the whole family. Wondering where you can find all the information you need about family activities in Howard County? Your…

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CA’s Aquatics Team Works to Become a Certified Autism Center™

Building on commitment to accessibility, CA is investing in training and facility upgrades that better serve families with neurodivergent members.  After a years-long effort, the Columbia Association (CA) Aquatics Division is just about a month away from earning the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) certification.  This certification is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and…

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Summer Fun with Columbia Association: A Season of Activities to Remember

Dive into Family Fun this Summer! Are you looking forward to some summer fun in HoCo? This is the perfect season to make lasting memories with the Columbia Association (CA). Renowned for providing an array of activities to suit every interest, the CA promises to deliver a summer of excitement and enjoyment to residents and visitors alike.…

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Unleashing Your Inner Party Planner: Taking parties to the Next Level

Hello, fellow party enthusiasts! Let’s set the scene: You’ve taken on the delightful task of planning a party. You’re bursting with creative ideas, but you’re longing for a venue that goes beyond the regular “birthday party venues near me” search. You yearn for a place where your party dreams can come to life, and you…

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5 Questions with Mr. B

Nothing says summer in Columbia like movie nights with Mr. B! 🎬 Did you know that CA’s free film series actually started on a projector aimed at a king-sized sheet? Almost 50 years later, Tom Brzezinski (affectionately known as Mr. B) is still sharing his love of movies with the community as the host of…

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Man stretching before exercise outside

Your CA Lifestyle is Travel-Friendly

At long last, it’s here. Summer, in all its glory, has finally arrived. And with it come all those amazing things you’ve been looking forward to all year: evenings by the lake, leisurely afternoon naps on your days off, and barbecues with family and friends you haven’t seen for too long. Summer is a time…

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Pickleball vs. Padel: Who Wins in a Paddle-Off? Spoiler: Not the Ball

There’s a sporty hum in the air, an athletic rattle of paddles and balls, a contagious laughter and applause — you might have noticed this too. It’s all due to the burgeoning popularity of two sports: Pickleball and Padel. Before we delve deeper, let’s first define these fun-sounding games. Pickleball is an American-born game that blends elements…

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Ask CA: What is the Columbia Card?

Pool season is officially here, and CA’s Customer Care team has been getting lots of questions about the Columbia Card. Why? Because this free card allows you to access CA’s pools at a significantly discounted rate — and the perks extend far beyond pool season, too.  This month’s “Ask CA” is dedicated to answering the question:…

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CA’s Adopt-a-Spot Program: Helping Columbia’s Ecosystem Thrive

Guest Post by Natalie Yee, CA Environmental Program Manager You’ve already heard all about CA’s Weed Warriors and their incredible work to beautify Columbia. Did you know that these volunteers are also stepping up to participate in our exciting new Adopt-a-Spot program? Across Columbia, these dedicated residents are working to remove non-native invasive plants and replace…

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What’s the Best Way to Stay Fit in Your Golden Years?

If you’re looking for a way to stay fit and active in your golden years, you’ve come to the right place! Group fitness classes are a fantastic option, particularly if you’re in Howard County. They offer not only a fantastic way to stay healthy but also an opportunity to socialize and make new friends. Let’s…

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Enjoy Columbia Summer Throwbacks from the CMA

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives  Columbia is a pretty magical place to be in the summer. 😎☀️ Just take a look at these nostalgic photos from the Columbia MD Archives to see for yourself. Remember, you can visit the CMA Reading Room to find thousands of awesome photos…

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Your Guide to CA’s 2023 Pool Season

Want to make the most of pool season? Opening day is Saturday, May 27, and CA’s Aquatics team is SO excited to welcome you back to all 23 outdoor pools. 🏊☀️😎  Here are some reminders about what to expect and highlights to look forward to!   Safety comes first This year’s free swim lessons will…

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Healthy Living Beyond the Gym: How Fitness Clubs Support Holistic Wellness

In recent years, the fitness industry has undergone a significant transformation. It’s moved away from being solely focused on physical exercise, which traditionally involved repetitive routines of weights, cardio, and the occasional group exercise class. Today, fitness clubs have morphed into wellness sanctuaries, embodying a holistic approach to health. The shift has been from a…

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Lakefront Live Prep

Lakefront Live might kick off in May, but the prep and planning actually starts as soon as the previous year’s series wraps. Here’s just a glimpse into the work that CA’s Open Space team puts in to help ensure that 60 nights of free entertainment runs smoothly!    ✅ Ordering inventory  As early as fall,…

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Aqua Spin Class

Making a splash with fitness: The Rise of Aqua Cycling

If you’re looking for an effective, low-impact workout, look no further than aqua cycling. It’s a fun, challenging cardio exercise that will also improve your strength and flexibility. In addition to aqua cycling, Columbia Association offers many other group fitness classes and personal training sessions that can help you reach your fitness goals. Dive into Fitness:…

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Movement as Medicine

Guest Post by Jen Macko, Assistant Group Fitness Supervisor  May is here! Not only does it bring flowers, but it brings Mental Health Awareness Month, a national movement by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise awareness, provide support, educate the public and reduce stigma. Though the state of Maryland reports lower rates overall…

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Outdoor yoga

Exercise Outside With CA Summer Moves

Ready to take your fitness routine outdoors this summer? We’re proud to introduce CA Summer Moves, Columbia Association’s outdoor fitness and movement program. From afternoon dance sessions to lakeside walk and talks, yoga beneath the trees and aqua fitness classes, we’ve got you covered with fun ways to stay active this summer. With a mix…

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The Perks of Indoor Basketball: A Slam Dunk for Fitness and Fun

Basketball enthusiasts and casual players alike, rejoice! Indoor basketball courts are not only a safe haven for honing your skills, but they also offer a plethora of advantages that make the sport even more enjoyable. Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced player, or simply looking for a fun way to stay active, indoor basketball courts…

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Heading to the Gym with Kids? Check Out Gyms with Daycare Near You!

Working out is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but it can be a challenge for parents who have kids to take care of. That’s where gyms with daycare come in! These gyms provide a safe and fun environment for kids while their parents hit the gym. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of…

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So You Are a Beginner: Here Are a Few Group Fitness Classes For You

Group fitness classes have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous benefits and the sense of community they provide. For beginners, joining CA group fitness classes can be a great way to kickstart their fitness journey in a supportive and motivating environment. In this article, we will explore the best group fitness classes…

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Summer Fun for Everyone at CA

Welcome to the exciting world of Columbia Association (CA) in Columbia, Maryland! This vibrant community offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that are sure to bring joy and adventure to your outings. From swimming pools and batting cages to skateboarding and mini golf at the Sports Park, golfing, open spaces, tennis, pickleball, the Art Center,…

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Woman in group fitness class

An Introduction to Cooper® Tracks

Did you know that lifestyle modifications can significantly reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), and improve overall health and wellbeing? Columbia Association (CA) is proud to introduce a new program specifically targeting cardiovascular health at Columbia Athletic Club, the only fitness club in the state to offer this holistic program. Cooper® Tracks is…

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Eric Walker

Introducing CA’s First Conservation Landscape Specialist

Ever seen one of these signs out in open space? If so, you’ve witnessed CA’s invasive plant management strategy in action.🌱 This new program is being spearheaded by CA’s first conservation landscape specialist, Eric Walker, who joined the team in 2022. With 16+ years of experience working with invasive plants, we are thrilled to have…

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Fun Family Friendly Activities in Columbia MD

Whether you are new to Columbia MD or are an old resident, Columbia Association has activities and facilities that will be fun for the entire family. Having a membership will allow you to enjoy our many amenities, including four Columbia Association fitness clubs, which have state-of-the-art equipment and classes. You can also join in on…

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Partnership Between CA, Blossoms of Hope is in Full Bloom

Columbia is in full bloom this April, and no one knows that better than CA and our community partners at Blossoms of Hope (BOH).  BOH is a non-profit organization committed to beautification projects across Howard County, as well as raising funds and awareness for cancer-related efforts and other causes. For more than a decade, CA…

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CA Receives Federal Recognition for Energy Efficiency Projects

Building on commitment to sustainability, CA paves the way for other organizations to invest in new, more efficient HVAC technology to reduce fossil fuel use. Columbia Association (CA) is receiving national recognition with a 2023 Better Project Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Initiative. The award was announced at the Better…

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Best Public Golf Courses in Columbia MD

The best public golf courses in Columbia MD are not only good value for the money but also fun to play. If you’re a beginner or an experienced player, there’s something for everyone at these courses. Columbia Association manages neighborhood lakes, 95 miles of pathways, multiple athletic courts and skating facilities, a few fitness clubs,…

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Spotlighting the Behind-the-Scenes Work of CA’s Turf Experts

Golfers often wonder if the grass at Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club and Fairway Hills Golf Club is artificial, but it’s as real as it gets — and a testament to CA’s hard-working golf maintenance team. Every day, the grass is mowed to less than sixteenth of an inch before tee time at 7am. Patrick Mather,…

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How CA Protects and Nurtures Pollinator Habitats

Guest Post by Natalie Yee, CA Environmental Program Manager Happy spring! As the days grow warmer, you may start to see more pollinators out and about: Bees Beetles Butterflies Flies Hummingbirds Moths Even wind! If you enjoy foods like apples, avocados or blueberries, you have a pollinator to thank! In fact, pollination is crucial to…

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Pilates: Does the Mind Build the Body?

So you’re curious about Pilates but don’t know where to start? What is Pilates and where did it come from? Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, who explored many eastern wellness practices including meditation and tai chi. He realized the power of having a calm mind as well as how conditioning the body contributes to…

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Group fitness workout with dumbells

Why CA Strong Classes are Right for You

Are you ready to focus on building strength in a supportive setting? You may be interested in CA Strong – our new strength training class designed to help you build muscle, improve endurance, and achieve fitness goals at your own pace. CA Strong has a unique emphasis on simplicity and individual progress. It’s not about…

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Highlighting the Women-Led Team at Columbia MD Archives

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are incredibly proud to highlight the all-women team here at Columbia MD Archives! In fact, since its very origin, CMA has a long history of being led by remarkable women. Shout-out to CMA’s woman founder  In 1982, longtime Columbia resident Rebecca Orlinsky organized a display of clippings and…

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Your Guide to CA’s Weed Warriors

Guest Post by Natalie Yee, CA Environmental Program Manager So, you want to be a Weed Warrior? You’re in luck — we’re always looking for more volunteers to join our mission to help keep Columbia’s ecosystem thriving! 🌎 Who are the Weed Warriors? Dedicated Columbians who care about the environment! Certified volunteer leaders, who complete…

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Ask CA: Who can vote in village elections?

The question  “I moved to Columbia last September. I don’t own a home, but I rent an apartment. By being a renter, am I a member of the Columbia Association and can I vote for your governing board?” -Walter   Who can vote? First, welcome to Columbia, Walter! We are so happy to see your…

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Pilates Personal Trainer

How to Start Working Out with a Pilates Personal Trainer

Interested in trying Pilates? Learn how to find a personal trainer Pilates is a well-loved workout with many people around the world, but if you haven’t tried it before, getting started might seem intimidating. Luckily, starting your Pilates journey is easier than ever, with classes and private sessions available for people of all experience levels. …

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Pilates Personal Trainer

Private and Group Pilates Personal Training Near Me

Find out whether private or group Pilates personal training is best for you From increasing strength and flexibility to building core strength to boosting mental health, the benefits of Pilates are plentiful. But with so many types of Pilates classes, sessions, and lessons, it might be difficult to figure out which option is right for…

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Pilates Personal Trainer

Getting Started with Pilates Training Exercises

Here are two popular ways to enjoy Pilates training exercises By now, you’ve almost certainly heard about the benefits and effectiveness of Pilates training exercises – but if you haven’t, here’s a quick introduction.  Pilates is a low-impact, full-body workout that helps you increase core strength and flexibility, tone your body, and improve coordination and…

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Pilates Personal Trainer

Should You Hire a Personal Trainer for the Pilates Reformer?

Learn how working with a personal trainer can transform you into a Pilates pro If you’re looking to improve your skills on the Pilates reformer, signing up for a private Pilates session is an excellent option. By working one-on-one with a Pilates instructor, you’ll get expert guidance on how to improve your form and maximize…

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Les Mills

Discover BodyCombat, the Les Mills Combat Training Class

If you’re looking for an energizing workout to spice up your gym routine, consider signing up for BodyCombat, the Les Mills combat training class. Read on to learn more about this martial arts-style exercise class, including how it works and where to find sessions near you. Reach your physical peak with Les Mills BodyCombat Created…

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Female Personal Trainer

Achieve Your Goals with a Personal Trainer for Women

Here’s how to find and hire a qualified personal trainer for women As a woman, your fitness goals and needs may be different than those of your male counterparts, so it’s important to work with a trainer who understands these specific requirements.  Maybe you’ve recently had a baby, you’re going through menopause, or you just…

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Female Personal Trainer

How to Find a Woman Personal Trainer

Kick off your fitness journey with a woman personal trainer Exercising with a personal trainer can make a huge difference in the quality and effectiveness of your workouts. However, picking the right trainer can be tricky. To make things easier, it’s helpful to know what you’re looking for – including whether you’d rather work with…

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Female Personal Trainer

Why Work with a Female Personal Trainer?

Learn how a female personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness goals Hiring a qualified personal trainer is one of the best ways to turn your fitness and health dreams into reality. But before you can do that, you need to make sure you’re choosing a trainer that you’re comfortable and compatible with in…

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Female Personal Trainer

Get Fit with a Woman Personal Trainer Near Me

Tackle your fitness goals with a female personal trainer By definition, personal trainers are fitness professionals who can create a customized exercise plan and guide you through it. In reality, however, trainers play a much bigger role, acting as coaches, cheerleaders, and accountability buddies. If you’re ready to tone up, lose weight, or just get…

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Les Mills

What’s Involved in Les Mills Instructor Training?

With more than a dozen specialized training programs offered at gyms around the world, Les Mills is one of the most well-known names in fitness – so what does it take to become a certified Les Mills instructor? Find out below. How Les Mills instructor training works From boot camp sessions to cardio classes to…

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Les Mills

Learn About BodyPump, the Les Mills Strength Training Class

If your fitness goals include getting leaner and stronger, then it might be time to add Les Mills’ BodyPump class into your exercise routine. Below, learn more about these popular strength training workouts and find out where to sign up. Get strong and lean in a Les Mills BodyPump class Les Mills BodyPump was introduced…

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Athletic Club Personal Trainer

What Does It Mean to Be an NSCA Personal Trainer?

Learn about this popular personal training certification If you’re in the process of looking for a new personal trainer, one of the most important qualifications you should ask about is their certification. While there are many certification programs, one of the better-known options is offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). As a…

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Les Mills

What Is Les Mills Training?

From cardio exercise to strength training and everything in between, Les Mills workouts are a fun, fast-paced, and effective way to get in shape. Ready to learn more? Here’s what you should know about this popular fitness franchise. Discover the Les Mills workout series Available in 20,000 fitness clubs worldwide, Les Mills group exercise classes…

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What to Know Before Working with an AFAA Personal Trainer

Get the facts about the AFAA personal trainer certification program At most fitness clubs, it’s common to find personal trainers with a diverse range of skills, specialties, and experience. You might also discover that these fitness professionals hold a variety of certifications from differing personal training certification programs. While there are numerous programs for trainers…

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Supreme Personal Trainer

What Is a Certified Personal Trainer?

Here’s what it takes to become a certified personal trainer Personal trainers wear many hats in the gym, providing clients with personalized fitness and nutrition guidance, offering motivation and encouragement, and helping them stay accountable. In order to perform these roles responsibly, however, trainers must first complete an accredited program and become a certified personal…

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Athletic Club Personal Trainer

What Is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer?

Here’s what it means to be an ACSM certified personal trainer – and why it matters There are quite a few certification programs available for aspiring personal trainers, but one of the most popular is run by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). But what exactly does it mean to be an ACSM certified…

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Supreme Personal Trainer

What Gym Has Personal Trainers?

Finding a gym with personal trainers Working out with a personal trainer is a great way to reach your goals and improve your overall well-being. But with so many gyms and studios offering personal training, finding a trainer can get overwhelming. Below, we’ll explain what gym has personal trainers and offer tips on finding one…

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Supreme Personal Trainer

Know Before You Go: Hiring a Gym Personal Trainer Near Me

Here’s what to expect from your personal training experience If you’ve tried working out on your own without much success, hiring a personal trainer could be the solution that finally helps you achieve your fitness goals. But if you’ve never used a trainer, you might not know what to expect from the process. Here’s what…

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What to Know Before Working Out with a Personal Trainer at the Gym

Finding a personal trainer at a gym near you Whether you’re a gym newcomer or a long-time fitness enthusiast, working out with a personal trainer can help you maximize your time at the gym and reach your goals faster. If you’re thinking about hiring a gym personal trainer for the first time, here’s what you…

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Hiring a Personal Trainer at a Personal Training Studio vs. Gym

Should you train at a personal training studio or a gym? If you’re interested in working with a personal trainer to kickstart your fitness journey, you might be wondering whether it’s better to hire a trainer at a gym or at a personal training studio. Although both have their merits, there are a few reasons…

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Aqua Spin Class

Which Gym Spin Class Should I Choose?

As indoor cycling and spin classes have exploded in popularity, there are now several different types of sessions to choose from. Not sure which one is right for you? Here’s a quick overview of today’s top gym spin class options. Choosing the right gym spin class based on your fitness goals and interests Spin is…

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Les Mills

What Is Les Mills GRIT Training?

Whether your goal is to get stronger, burn calories, or improve your cardiovascular health, the Les Mills GRIT program can help you get there. Here’s what it entails. Get fit with Les Mills GRIT Ready for a revved-up, high-intensity workout that gets results? In that case, Les Mills GRIT Training sessions could be the perfect…

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Spin Cycle Class

Why Are Spin Bike Classes So Popular?

You’re probably familiar with the craze around spin bike classes, but what exactly makes them so popular? Here are some of the reasons why spin is one of today’s hottest group workouts. What are spin bike classes? Before we explain what makes spin classes so popular, let’s cover a few basics. Spin is an indoor…

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Where to Find Cycle Fitness Classes Near Me

Ready to tone your legs, increase your endurance, and crush calories? With a spin class at Columbia Association (CA), you can achieve all of those goals – and more. Learn more about our cycling sessions and find out how to sign up today. Discover cycling classes in your area Cycle classes – also known as…

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Gym Cycle Class

What Is a Spin Class at the Gym?

Looking for a fun, fast-paced workout that burns serious calories? Gym spin sessions are a great option. Here are some key facts to know before signing up for your first cycling class at the gym. Discover your new favorite gym workout Whether your goal is to burn calories, work on your cardiovascular health, or become…

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Spin Cycle Class

Everything You Should Know Before Taking a Spin Cycle Class

In recent years, cycling has become an incredibly popular workout with people who want to lose weight, tone up, and stay active. If you’re thinking about joining your first spin cycle class, here are a few things you should know before hopping on the bike. Ready to join your first spin cycle class? Here’s what…

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Group Fitness

Are Group Fitness Classes Effective?

While all forms of exercise are beneficial, attending a group fitness class has a few extra advantages over solo workouts. Below, we’ll answer the common question, “are group fitness classes effective?” and explain how you can enjoy the perks of group workouts. How group fitness classes can benefit you To put it simply, yes –…

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Small Group Fitness

What Are Group Fitness Classes, and How Can I Join One?

If you’re ready to jumpstart your fitness journey, signing up for a group exercise class is a great place to begin. Keep reading to learn the basics about group fitness sessions, including what they are, what to expect from your first class, and how to find one that’s right for you. Discover group fitness classes…

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Small Group Fitness

Choosing the Right Group Fitness Classes Near Me

Group exercise sessions are a popular way to work out, but how do you decide which group fitness classes are a good fit for you? And where do you find them? Read on to learn about three of the best local group fitness classes to try. Discover three popular group fitness class options From cycling…

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Why Choose Gyms with Group Fitness Classes

If you’re a social or community-oriented person, you might find that working out with a group of your peers is a fun and motivating way to stay active. In that case, it’s a good idea to seek out gyms with group fitness classes, such as Columbia Association (CA). Here’s why you should consider gyms with…

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Small Group Fitness

Benefits of Small Group Fitness Classes

Attending any type of group fitness class is an exciting and social way to stay in shape, but joining a smaller session with fewer participants can offer an even better experience. Here’s why. How small group workouts improve your experience If you’ve ever worked out in a group setting, you already know how valuable it…

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Senior Citizens Group Fitness

Get Moving in a Senior Group Fitness Class

Staying active is vital for people of all ages, including seniors. Here are a few ways that older adults can get moving and keep fit. Explore senior group fitness sessions at CA Whether you’re looking for a workout that’s gentle and low-intensity or fast-paced and exciting, it’s easy to find a senior fitness session that…

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Women GrRoup Fitness TRX

Get Active in These Fun Women’s Group Fitness Classes

Looking for a fun and effective workout for women? Here are three popular women’s group fitness classes, all of which are available at Columbia Association (CA). Are women’s group fitness classes right for you? No matter your fitness level, group workouts are one of the best ways to break a sweat and make progress toward…

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ladies in group fitness class

Get Active and Have Fun in Pre Planned Group Fitness Classes

From aquatics to cycling to yoga, there are countless types of group workouts to help you stay active in a team-like environment. While each gym offers its own set of group exercise sessions, there are also some that host pre planned group fitness classes, like Les Mills and Zumba. Below, we’ll explain more about these…

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group exercise class

What Are Popular Types of Group Fitness Classes?

Group fitness classes are a fun, social, and inclusive way to stay fit, but with so many choices, how do you know which one to pick? Here are a few of the most popular group fitness classes to consider for your next workout. Get active in a group fitness session Exercising in a group setting…

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Ladies doing group dance fitness

What Are the Best Group Fitness Classes for Beginners?

Starting a new exercise routine doesn’t have to be intimidating – even if you’re a fitness newbie. Here are five of our picks for the best beginner-friendly group workouts. Why group fitness is ideal for beginners If you haven’t worked out in a while (or ever), signing up for a group exercise class is the…

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Les Mills

Which Les Mills Courses Match Your Fitness Goals?

What are your goals in the gym? Whether you’re trying to build muscle, get toned, or improve your cardiovascular fitness, you’ll find a Les Mills course that aligns with your goals. Keep reading to learn which class is right for you. Get active with Les Mills courses With group workouts that cater to gym-goers of…

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Pickleball Leagues

What is Pickleball and Where Did it Come From?

While pickleball has recently gained popularity, it has been around for over 50 years. As the story goes, pickleball was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington when Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell were attempting to entertain their bored children during the summer. The game was originally played on a badminton court, using…

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CA and Columbia Community to be Featured on PBS Segment

Starting this month, you might recognize some familiar faces and spaces in the community on your TV screen 👀 That’s right: Columbia is going prime time! We’re so excited to announce that Columbia Association (CA) and the Columbia community will be featured on PBS stations across the country on Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid, a series…

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Reflecting on 2022: A Year of Togetherness

As we wrap up 2022, we can’t help but be in awe of all the incredible moments and memories made. One thing is for sure: #WeAreColumbia and #IamCA were fitting hashtags! It was a year of togetherness here in Columbia. 💚 Together, we served CA team members came together to plant hundreds of trees in…

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New Innovative Programs Coming to CA’s Youth & Teen Center

Peace circles, mentorships and a pilot violence prevention program are just a few of the awesome initiatives kicking off this winter at the Youth & Teen Center.  It’s all thanks to CA’s exciting new partnership with Columbia Community Care (CCC), which is focused on bringing new, impactful programming to young people in the community.  “Partnerships…

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Celebrating the Basic Training Community at Columbia Athletic Club

How did a CA group fitness class grow into a community whose pride reaches the Grand Canyon AND the Guinness World Records? It all started when Basic Training (originally called Bootcamp) launched at CA’s fitness clubs back in 1998. These early morning military style workouts combine running, strength training and calisthenics — but it’s so…

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Get Inspired by Local Changemakers at the Columbia MD Archives

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives  Since the very beginning, community engagement has been a core tenet in Columbia. Here at the Columbia MD Archives (CMA), we are proud to be a community archive where anyone is welcome to learn about Columbia’s past and present. We believe this is…

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Winter Weather Prep: How Open Space Keeps Columbia Safe

The Open Space team is making their list and checking it twice to make sure CA’s facilities and pathways are ready for any wintry mix in the forecast. “As a community partner, we take pride in preparing for inclement weather, ensuring efficient snow removal and minimizing safety concerns and disruptions,” says CA Open Space Operations…

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What Does it Take to Maintain Columbia’s Pathways?

Caring for the largest pathway system in the region is a 365-day a year job for CA’s Open Space Operations crew! CA’s Director of Open Space Operations, Nick Mooneyhan, shared a glimpse into what it takes to maintain 95 miles of pathways.  Why is this work so important? Our unique pathway system is a special…

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Tis the Season for Crafting!

Holiday Crafts For Kids From Columbia Art Center If you ask Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey, tis the season for some home arts & crafts family fun! She’s been kind enough to share several holiday-themed art activities that are sure to spark your holiday spirit and provide fun for all ages.   Tealight Snowman…

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How To Find Nutrition Balance During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, but you can also expect extra stress that will challenge you when faced with high-calorie temptations. The last thing you want to is completely restrict yourself. That’s how you wake up with crumbs in your bed after a midnight saunter to the fridge. At the…

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CA’s Approach to Tree Removal

Tree work is a major component of maintaining the green spaces we cherish in Columbia. CA’s Open Space team is responsible for caring for trees and grass in the areas along and behind the pathways, which means everything from planting to pruning.  No one likes to see a tree cut down, but the process of…

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Recycling Refresher with CA’s Environmental Program Manager

Guest post by Natalie Yee, CA Environmental Program Manager   Paper, plastic, metal, cardboard, glass – there are so many types of materials out there! But at the end of its lifecycle, where does it go: trash, recycling or compost?  With National Recycling Day coming up on November 15, we decided it was the perfect…

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New Ways to Get Involved in CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs

Interested in new opportunities to enjoy delicious international cuisine or brush up on your language skills? Thanks to some exciting developments in CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs (IEMP), there’s more ways than ever to join in and celebrate the diverse cultures represented in Columbia. Here’s the latest!   International grocery store tours Food is…

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From the Desk of the President: Doing the Work for a More Equitable Future

To say it is an interesting time for Columbia is an understatement. In the past month, WalletHub named Columbia the “Safest City in America” and the “Best City for People with Disabilities in Maryland.” As most residents likely know, Columbia was also recently recognized as the “Best Place to Live in Maryland” and the sixth…

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Make the Most of Columbia’s Outdoor Exercise Stations

Celebrating #Walktober is the best in Columbia. With 95 miles of pathways, there’s no shortage of places to take a walk and reap benefits like less stress, more energy and a better mood. If you want to kick those benefits up a notch, embracing the outdoor exercise stations alongside Lake Kittamaqundi and Lake Elkhorn is…

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CA Named Top Employer by Howard County Commission on Disabilities

CA is being recognized as a top-ranked employer by the Howard County Commission on Disabilities. CA was honored with the Employer Award during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, acknowledging workforces across the county that value diversity and promote equal opportunities for employees with disabilities. Members of the CA team accept the 2022 Employer Award for a large…

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Celebrating “Spooky” Columbia History

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives    How do you honor American Archives Month, Walktober and spooky season in Columbia? With some fun local field trips, of course 😉. Let’s walk and talk about the fascinating history right in our own backyards! Cemeteries in Columbia The Columbia Cooperative Ministry…

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UPDATE: Precautionary Measures Lifted at Lake Kittamaqundi & Lake Elkhorn

At the voluntary request of CA, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) conducted tests in the three major lakes owned and maintained by CA, as well as Jackson Pond. That proactive testing showed the presence of blue-green algae in Lake Kittamaqundi and Lake Elkhorn. The results of follow up testing shows the toxin levels…

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CA teens encourage all students to “Start & Finish the School Year Strong”

Last May, CA’s Teen Advisory Committee felt inspired to step up and help younger students “finish the school year strong.” Now, they’re helping students start the year strong as well with a free weekly study/recreation session to provide middle schoolers with the resources they need to thrive — whether that means tutoring help or playing games…

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Fall colors

How to Make the Most of Fall Colors in Columbia

Okay, it means a lot more raking, but we’re choosing to focus on the beautiful fall colors we’re expected to see in Columbia over the next couple weeks. We think you should too 😉. According to fall foliage forecasts (say that three times fast), most of the state should be near peak the week of…

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Every Day is Energy Efficiency Day at CA

Energy efficiency is all about using less energy to get the same job done — a win-win for protecting the environment and lowering energy costs.  CA is proud to champion this mission every day of the year, but we’re especially excited that Energy Efficiency Day (October 5) is dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating the…

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Celebrating Walktober in Columbia

Did you know that walking is our official state exercise in Maryland?  At CA, we ♥️ to celebrate Walktober, which is a statewide initiative to promote walking and all of its health and wellbeing benefits. Thanks to our friends at the Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition (HCLHIC), who are leading the effort to get…

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Best Family-Friendly Hikes & Trails in Columbia

In Columbia, there’s SO much nature to explore in our own backyards.  Below, you’ll find six beautiful spots that are ideal for families — meaning they’re relatively short, easy to navigate and include kid-friendly features. Getting more in touch with nature provides physical, mental and emotional benefits for kids and adults alike.  Happy trails, everyone! …

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Walking Correctly: A Step by Step Guide

If you’ve been in a rut lately, walking is the perfect way to ease back into being active. It’s an active recovery that helps to build your stamina and energy the more that you do it.  From cancer to chronic conditions and diabetes, just 20 minutes a day can lower your risk of disease. It…

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Nature Collection Activities Your Kids Will Love

Fall is the perfect time to encourage your kids to take a break from their devices and soak in the crisp, fresh air. Need help getting them out the door? We’ve got some simple ideas to get kids excited about abandoning their screens. The best part is, most of these ideas are completely free! Create…

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Welcome to the Columbia MD Archives

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives    How cozy is the Columbia MD Archives reading room? It’s just as inviting as it looks — anyone is welcome to come in and explore the collections at CMA to learn more about Columbia’s past, present and future.    What is an…

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Flu Shot Fears Debunked With Dr. Padder

It’s almost that time of year again: Flu season!   Though you may have “virus fatigue” (ahem, COVID-19), it’s essential not to skip out on your family’s rounds of the flu shot this year. We spoke to Columbia’s very own Dr. Edisa Padder on how to protect your kiddos during this upcoming flu season.   …

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How Riparian Buffers Support Healthy Streams

Riparian buffers are more than easy on the eyes — they also help support healthy stream ecosystems. CA’s Open Space team is super excited about the sustainability benefits of the new riparian buffer near the Wilde Lake dam. You can think of this delightful addition of wildflowers and native plants along the stream bank as…

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A Look Inside CA’s Solar Farm

Did you know that two of CA’s largest facilities are both 100% powered by solar panels?  “Any time you’re running on the treadmill at Columbia Gym or Columbia Athletic Club, you can know that the lights and power come from renewable sources,” says Jeremy Scharfenberg, CA Director of Sustainability. “I think that’s pretty cool!”  The…

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Supporting Students & Families at CA

Supporting kids and families is high on our priority list here at CA. We love helping the next generation stay active and engaged — and this is a community that truly shows up! In the past year, there were more than 188,000 visits to CA programs for youth and teens. We’re also dedicated to lifting…

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From the Desk of the President: Be Courageous, Columbia

Like many others, this July 4th was a somewhat strange and even challenging day for me. The idea of celebration and fellowship seemed to conflict with what was happening in the world. Yet it also seemed somehow necessary.     As I look back, what I saw at our Lakefront on Independence Day was exactly what…

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Celebrating Lakes Appreciation Month

Did you know July is Lakes Appreciation Month? We have to say, this occasion is easy to celebrate here in Columbia — we love our lakes!  CA is proud to own and maintain three lakes (Lake Elkhorn, Lake Kittamaqundi and Wilde Lake) and 41 ponds. On the Piedmont Plateau where all of Howard County sits,…

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Meet Robin Stimson, CA’s Community Engagement Manager

Robin Stimson, MSW, joined the CA team in March 2022 as the first ever Community Engagement Manager for the organization. Robin works directly with the President’s Office to define priorities around community engagement and create meaningful connections. “I’m thrilled to be part of an organization that is committed to improving engagement throughout Columbia,” Robin said.…

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Q&A with Anish Manrai: Why Diverse Leadership Matters

Columbia Association (CA) Assistant Director of Community Programs and Services Anish Manrai made Columbia his home in 2013. He first joined CA as the general manager of racquet sports and quickly rose to his assistant director position. In that role, Anish manages and oversees the day-to-day member, guest and team member experiences at more than…

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Representing on the Green: Celebrating CA’s Golf Leaders

People of color and women aren’t often represented in golf leadership. According to a recent article in Golf Digest, “Of the nearly 29,000 PGA of America members, fewer than 1% are African Americans. Under 10% are women.” At CA, we are lucky to benefit from the expertise and unique perspective of General Manager of Golf…

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Improving CA’s Cybersecurity

It’s no secret that we’re all living in an increasingly digital world. On top of that, we’re hearing more and more about cyber attacks that can put the personal, confidential information of consumers at risk. It takes a lot of effort and expertise to protect the data and personal information of everyone who does business…

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Everything You Need to Know for July 4th in Columbia!

You’re invited to celebrate Independence Day with free festivities and fireworks on the Lakefront.  CA is once again co-hosting this year’s festivities with Howard County Rec & Parks, and Columbia Festival of the Arts is producing the incredible entertainment. We appreciate everyone who’s collaborating with CA for this cherished event! We’d like to give a…

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people on bikes riding across the bridge

Bike From Your Village to the Lakefront

Biking is a great way to explore Columbia while helping to protect the green spaces we love so much. Less pollution and congestion makes for a healthier community — something we at CA wholeheartedly support! To encourage neighbors to consider biking to Lakefront Live, July 4th celebrations, Festive Fridays or any event at the Lakefront,…

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Honoring Mental Health Awareness Month at CA

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s how much our connections contribute to our mental wellbeing.  At CA, nurturing connectivity means everything to us. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, May was full of open conversations on ways we can lift each other up and be proactive about caring for our…

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Get Involved in CA: Advisory Committee Openings

Want to get more involved in the causes you care about? Joining one of CA’s advisory committees is an excellent opportunity to meet people in the community who share your passions. From environmental efforts to the arts, each committee is made up of resident volunteers and CA staff working together to impact change and ensure…

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From CA’s Experts: Tips for Sustainable Celebrations

June is a time to celebrate! Whether it’s graduation, weddings or the start of summer, CA’s sustainability experts want to make sure our community’s celebrations are both meaningful and environmentally conscious. To help protect the planet during your next party, check out these simple tips. Go for a paperless invite. Sending an “e-vite” or creating…

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Moving Forward For Columbia

This is an open letter to the Columbia community about the perception that some community members seem to hold about Columbia Association (CA). From my professional career working in a variety of communities across the country, I’m aware that  people in every community hold differing points of view around any given issue. In my first…

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Your Guide to CA’s 2022 Pool Season

We can’t wait to welcome you back to our outdoor pools this summer! The Aquatics team is hard at work prepping all 23 pools for their big debut on Saturday, May 28. Need a refresher on our pool rules? Check out CA’s policies and FAQs here. Here are some other reminders about what to expect…

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How to Get Involved in CA’s Brand Asset Project

Exciting project alert! Columbia Association (CA) is working with a consultant to rethink how you — our community — interact with our spaces. With a “people-first” design process, local design firm Ayers Saint Gross is the perfect partner to help us elevate awareness of the many benefits and amenities offered in Columbia.  From tot lots…

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From the Desk of the President: Reflecting on One Year at CA

As I mark one year as the President/CEO of the Columbia Association, I wanted to take a moment to tell you what this last year has meant to me. I knew a good bit about Columbia – and especially its history – before I took the position. However, the complexity of operations and the community…

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Outdoor Etiquette 101

Spring is the perfect season to spend as much time outside as possible. In Columbia, we’re uniquely lucky to have so much nature to explore in our own backyards.  To make sure your adventures are both fun and sustainable, CA’s Open Space team generously shared the best ways you can practice good outdoor etiquette. Following these…

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How To Do a Proper Chin-up

The chin-up is an incredibly empowering move — and also a challenging one! Using the power of your arms to lift up your entire bodyweight builds unrivaled overall strength and even improves your posture. Ready to learn the essentials? CA personal trainer Andy Guerin is here with pro tips for proper chin-up form, plus beginner-friendly…

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Ways to Celebrate Earth Month in Columbia

DOWNLOAD CA’S EARTH MONTH SCAVENGER HUNT Earth Month is a great reminder to appreciate all the things our planet gives us, from food and water to beautiful sunsets.  It’s also an opportunity to reflect on our behaviors and take action to protect the environment for future generations. Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to make…

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Columbia Elections 101

Springtime in Columbia means another opportunity to vote in your village board and Columbia Association (CA) Board elections.  Whether you’re casting a vote or interested in running for a position, CA wants to make sure you have the information you need to get involved. But elections in Columbia are a bit different than a lot…

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Update on Symphony Woods Agreement

Columbia Association (CA) continues to work diligently to ensure all open space is being used in ways that protect, respect and sustain the land. We are confident in the steps our organization has taken thus far to achieve this outcome.  Last November, CA announced a legal agreement between our organization and the Downtown Columbia Arts…

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Celebrating Columbia Ice Rink’s Women Zamboni Drivers

While we often see women perform on the ice, it’s extremely rare to see them on the operational side. In fact, there’s only one full-time female Zamboni driver in the entire NHL.  At Columbia Ice Rink, it’s a different story — there are not one, but five women behind the wheel. In the spirit of…

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Ecofriendly Earth Month Crafts for Kids

Looking for engaging art activities to celebrate Earth Month? Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey has got you covered! Best of all, each of these craft ideas embrace recycled materials — which is a great way to show your kids what caring for the earth is truly all about. We hope you enjoy celebrating Earth…

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The Beginner’s Guide to a Proper Pushup

Pushups can seem intimidating, but adding this foundational exercise to your routine is a true game-changer for your fitness. Using your own body weight as resistance, pushups are a quick, effective way to strengthen your upper body, work your core and improve shoulder stability. As you get stronger, the benefits also extend to your daily…

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How To Do a Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell swings offer an incredible range of benefits. As CA personal trainer Elizabeth Harris says, “How often do you find a calorie-burning cardio workout that doesn’t require you to move your feet? Or one that strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, back and shoulders, all at the same time?” While the kettlebell swing looks simple,…

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Celebrating the Inspiring Women of CA

March is Women’s History Month — an opportunity to honor the power and achievements of all women. The 2022 theme “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” speaks to the countless ways that women have provided healing and hope throughout the pandemic and history at large. Here at CA, there’s no shortage of strong women to celebrate! In…

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Why You Should Add “Exercise Snacks” To Your Routine

Ever feel stiff, achy or sluggish throughout your day? According to CA personal trainer Darrell Gough, “exercise snacks” are an amazing way to integrate more movement into your life and feel your best. Exercise snacks are just short, simple bursts of physical activity (yes, dancing in your kitchen counts!). You may be surprised just how…

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Tips for Shorter Golfers

Being tall may be a big perk in basketball, but there’s no such thing as being “vertically challenged” in golf. In fact, shorter players even have a few distinct benefits working in their favor. After all, a lower center of gravity means better balance and stability. Shorter golfers tend to have a more compact swing…

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Tips for Early Preparation

According to CA tennis coach Roger London, hitting the ball late is a common challenge for tennis players. A little early preparation goes a long way toward hitting stronger, controlled and strategic shots. Check out London’s tips below! Why early preparation matters First, let’s address the reason this concept is so important. A prepared racquet…

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How to Do Eagle Pose

If you’ve ever attended one of CA’s yoga classes, you may have come across Eagle pose…and may have certain feelings about it, for better or for worse! It’s undeniable that there’s a lot going on in this posture. This standing balance pose opens all the major joints in the body while strengthening the thighs, hips,…

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CA Recognized As Inaugural Partner in the Better Climate Challenge

Columbia Association (CA) has officially joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% within 10 years.  CA was recognized as an inaugural partner during a webinar with Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy.  CA joins other…

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What You Should Know About the FY2023 Budget

Every year, CA’s Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing, refining and ultimately approving the annual budget. The latest process is just wrapping up for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, which begins on May 1, 2022, and ends April 20, 2023.  During its regularly scheduled meeting on February 24, 2022, the Board voted to approve the…

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How Bioretention Facilities Benefit The Environment

Bioretention facilities are one way that CA’s Open Space team manages stormwater runoff — which is super important for protecting our local ecosystem.  Why? Well, the more stormwater runoff there is, the faster this water flows across our streets, sidewalks, lawns and golf courses. This fast-moving stormwater poses a number of problems, such as: Eroding…

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The Best Quotes About Being a Parent

There’s no doubt that being a parent is the hardest (and most rewarding job) many of us have ever had.  For your inspiration and humor, we decided to round up some of our favorite quotes about parenting. Hope you enjoy!   “One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having…

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Foam Rolling 101

Foam rolling is a wonderful, easy-to-do technique that offers benefits both pre- and post-workout. No, we’re not talking about the kind where you dip your toes in the ocean — but this form of self-massage happens to be pretty great, too! It’s super beneficial for easing sore muscles and speeding up recovery, as well as:…

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Conquer Gym Anxiety with CA’s JumpStart Program

Whatever your pre-pandemic fitness routine was, it’s more than likely you experienced some disruptions over the past two years. Maybe you’re feeling totally rusty, or maybe your fitness goals and motivations have changed drastically. Perhaps you’ve never exercised a day in your life, but you’re ready to take charge of your health and feel confident…

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The Mind-Body Benefits of Pilates

You’ve likely heard of the core-strengthening, posture-enhancing powers of Pilates. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? The short answer is — YES! This full-body workout can change the way you move and build strength at the same time.  At Columbia Gym, we offer both Mat and Reformer classes so you can experience…

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Tall Golfers, We Have Some Tips ‘Fore’ You

As a golfer over 5’11”, you have a few benefits working in your favor. With a naturally larger swing arc, it’s easier for you to get more distance and power. Being able to hit the ball further with less effort is an awesome asset…but it also means you need to be accurate. There’s no shortage…

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COVID-19 Safety Updates

UPDATE – 2/1/2022 Effective Tuesday, February 1, the mask mandate that has been in effect since December 26 and required masks in all indoor spaces across Howard County, has been lifted by the County Executive’s Office. Fully vaccinated individuals now have the option to remove their masks in CA facilities. However, we continue to support…

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Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Columbia

Black History Month is a time to honor and celebrate the Black experience of the past, present and future. This kind of recognition is closely tied to what CA values and what our community so proudly represents, and we are proud to be part of it. We’re always working to find ways to celebrate the…

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What Moms Should Know About Postnatal Fitness

Ready to return to your pre-baby fitness levels? According to CA personal trainer and group fitness instructor, Tahis Blue, it’s natural to want to jump right back in to your old workout routine. However, as a pre- and post-natal fitness specialist, she also knows that women tend to underestimate the trauma their bodies go through…

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Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities to Help Beautify Columbia

Spring is quickly approaching, and CA is gearing up for the new season with a number of volunteer opportunities to beautify Columbia.  You don’t have to have any gardening experience to make a difference. CA’s Open Space team welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to come have fun, learn something new, and meet their…

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Recovery Footwork 101

While stroke technique gets a lot of attention, strong footwork is vital to being a great tennis player. It’s especially important when it comes to recovering back to the center of the court quickly and efficiently. Solid recovery steps are key to better defense, and have a positive ripple effect on your entire performance, ensuring…

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Benefits of Practicing Yoga on a Balance Board

Yoga is one of the best ways around to improve your balance, strength and focus. When you practice on a balance board, those benefits multiply by about 100! At CA, we’re excited to offer two upcoming Balance Board Yoga workshops at Supreme Sports Club, led by Ling Hanson on Saturday, February 12 (1-2pm) and Suangela…

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4 Exercises to Prevent Butt Amnesia

When we first covered “butt amnesia” on the CA Fit blog, it raised a lot of interest — and additional questions! According to CA personal trainer Darrell Gough, most of us have some level of butt amnesia, which is what happens when your glutes “forget” how to activate properly. Before we get to the best…

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How to Elevate Your Bedtime Stories

Let’s be real: Coming up with bedtime stories night after night is no easy task. How do you keep it fresh and interesting? And big yikes, what if your kids are yawning from boredom rather than sleep? Luckily, there are plenty of tips you can use to create engaging, exciting stories. That’s good news, because…

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First Tee Golf

Life Lessons Your Child Learns from Golf

Golf has always been an ace for children’s physical and mental development. In these isolating times, the benefits are even greater — the game of golf provides fresh air, stress relief and a safe social outlet. Did we mention some much-needed fun? The best part is, the benefits don’t end once your child steps off…

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Pro Tips to Improve Your Tennis Split Step

Guest Post by CA Tennis Coach Lyndall Jordan As a tennis coach, I notice that players often spend a lot of time working on their strokes, but very little time on their split step or their footwork patterns. Focusing on your split step can be a game changer for your performance, so let’s dive into…

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Improve Your Wellbeing With CA’s Mind-Body Workshops

If there’s anything the past two years have taught us, it’s that self-care is essential to showing up as the strongest, healthiest version of ourselves for the people we love.  At CA, we’re dedicated to helping you find balance as we move forward into 2022. Our mind-body workshops are here to provide deep relaxation and…

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Stay Warm and Save Money this Winter

There are only so many layers we can pile on and so many blankets we can snuggle under before the heat gets turned on. Winter temperatures almost always force us to turn up the thermostat to stay comfortable, but there are things we all can do to use that energy wisely and help protect the…

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What’s Next For The FY23 Budget Process

As you may know, CA is in the midst of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget process. This can be an unfamiliar and complex process for a lot of people, so we thought now would be a great time to recap what we’ve accomplished and where our Board of Directors will go from here.  Approving…

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What is AMRAP?

Have you ever heard of AMRAP? It stands for “as many rounds (or reps) as possible,” and it’s a circuit training-style workout that’s growing in popularity. Why is it so popular? Because it gives you the chance to compete against yourself, assess your progression and see real results. Before you give AMRAP a try, there…

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The Basics of Warrior 2 Pose

Like all the warrior poses, Warrior 2 is undeniably fierce…but there’s so much more than meets the eye here. This posture is just as focused on heart-opening as it is strength, serving as a powerful reminder that you can harness your warrior spirit and compassion at the same time.  Another awesome benefit? Warrior 2 is…

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Positive Outcomes in Symphony Woods

Symphony Woods is considered by many to be a significant asset for all of the Columbia community. Columbia Association (CA) has worked diligently and will continue to ensure Symphony Woods is being used in ways that protect, respect and sustain the land. We are confident in the steps our organization has taken to achieve this…

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What Parents Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

We here at CA know the importance of health and wellness in this community. Now that kiddos in the 5-11 age group are getting fully vaccinated, it feels like one step closer to normal for all of us. We know that you are your child’s fiercest protector, and an added layer of protection brings a…

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Fun Mindfulness Games For Kids

Practicing mindfulness seems to be all the rage these days, and for good reason: It’s said to help children and adults alike feel more calm, focused and centered. If you associate mindfulness with meditating in silence, we have some good news…It can actually be fun! Teaching your kids this lifelong skill just takes a little…

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Isotonic or Isometric Exercises? Why Not Both?

Did you know we exercise our muscle groups through both isotonic and isometric movements? According to CA’s personal trainers, the more you understand your muscles, the more you can take care of them. That’s why we’re talking about the key differences and benefits of both of these muscle movements. Keep reading to learn more! Isotonic…

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New Exhibits Live on the Archives Online Catalog

Calling all lovers of Columbia history! We’re excited to announce that the Columbia Maryland Archives has two new exhibits live on their online catalog. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer people new ways to interact with the collections,” says Erin Berry, CMA’s Archivist. “You can learn new things or take a ride down memory…

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How to Create Your Own Workout Plan

The best way to meet your fitness goals is to plan for success. While it might feel great just to get started and make it up as you go, it will be more beneficial in the long run to create a foundation.  Still, coming up with a workout plan all on your own might seem…

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What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling — it’s something you’ve probably noticed your fellow gym-goers doing at some point or another. This self-myofascial release (SMR) technique is gaining popularity for the benefits it offers both pre- and post-workout.  Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of foam rolling and how you can get started incorporating it into…

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Festive Events & Ways to Give this Holiday Season

Is it just us, or is the holiday season extra magical in Columbia?  There’s no shortage of fun and festive events to choose from — if anything, the challenge is fitting them all in! The fact that our favorite traditions were on hold in 2020 makes this year’s celebrations feel even more meaningful. The same…

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How To Do a Basic Forward Lunge

There’s oh so many reasons to love lunges — like the fact that there’s no equipment required, and plenty of creative variations available. Did we mention that this classic lower body move also sculpts toned legs and glutes? Before we discuss how to do a proper lunge, let’s take a look at the benefits this…

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The Basics of Warrior 1 Pose

Fierce. Grounded. Energized. In our yoga practice, the warrior poses cultivate all of these qualities and more — and during times of stress and uncertainty, calling on these foundational asanas can be a wonderful way to harness your inner warrior spirit and regain balance. Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and Warrior 3 each come with their…

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Creative Tips for a Smooth & Fun Bedtime Routine

We all know that trying to nudge our kids to “sweet dreams” can quickly turn into a nightmare. If bedtime is a nightly battle for your family, don’t fret: We’ve got some fun, playful ideas to get little ones to sleep on time, thus ensuring your own sanity and beauty rest too! You might even…

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How to Increase Your Swing Speed

Let’s be real: Every golfer wants to increase their swing speed. Who doesn’t love the feeling of seeing their ball soar far into the distance, way past their fellow players? When it comes to generating more speed, Joan Lovelace, CA’s head golf pro and director of player development, tells all her students the same thing:…

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Quintin on the aqua mower

Announcing the Winner of our “Name the Aqua Mower” Contest

We are thrilled to announce that a winner has officially been named in our “Name the Aqua Mower” contest! Introducing Chompers, who was named by nine-year-old Columbia resident Quintin and voted in by the community. For the past three decades, CA’s aqua mowers have worked tirelessly like underwater lawn mowers to control vegetation and keep…

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A Statement From CA on Symphony Woods

The following is a statement from CA regarding Symphony Woods: Downtown Columbia continues to serve as a destination and hub for this community. In the heart of this area lies Symphony Woods, 50 acres of open space protected and maintained by Columbia Association (CA) for the community. CA is pleased to announce that it has…

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CA Honored in “Best Of Howard County” Awards

The 2021 “Best of Howard County” awards from Howard Magazine are here! CA is honored to be recognized in numerous categories. This year, more than 57,600 readers voted on the best that Howard County has to offer in 75 different categories. Here’s how CA stacked up…   Best Golf Club: Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club  Best…

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golf balls in the grass

What Causes the Shanks in Golf?

Ah, the dreaded shank shot. This mis-hit happens when the golf ball hits the hosel or heel instead of the club face, which sends the ball flying to the right (for right-handed golfers). It’s not a great feeling, but don’t worry — it happens to the majority of golfers, even the pros, at least a…

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Get Involved in the FY2023 Budget Process

Approving our annual budget plan is one of the key tasks CA’s Board of Directors undertakes every year, and it’s a responsibility everyone takes seriously. The Board is responsible for reviewing, refining and ultimately approving the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. While every organization is different, CA’s FY2023 begins May 1, 2022, and ends…

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How To Do a Proper Burpee

Perhaps more than any other move, burpees are an exercise that people love to hate. While they tend to conjure up dreaded gym class memories and images of extreme CrossFitters, the truth is that burpees really are for everyone. We mean it! Even if a traditional burpee feels too challenging, there are plenty of variations…

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man holding pickle ball racquet

Pickleball: The Fastest-Growing Sport in America

Did you know pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America? Five years ago, there were about 500,000 active players (known as “picklers”). Today, that number is estimated to be around 2.5 million! According to CA pickleball coordinator Duane Sinclair, part of the appeal is that you can play at any age. All you need is…

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Lessons

Pickleball and Tennis: What’s the Difference?

It’s no secret that tennis and pickleball have a lot in common. After all, pickleball was created as a fun fusion of tennis, ping-pong and badminton back in the 1970s. But just like its name, there’s much that’s unique about this low-impact sport! To help beginners feel more comfortable joining in the fun, CA pickleball…

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Why Tennis Players Need To Build Core Strength

There are a million reasons why a strong core can help you throughout life, but if you’re a tennis player, it can actually strengthen your game. From injury prevention to stability and balance, building core strength can help you hit the court with more effortless ease.   Benefits of a strong core  Tennis might look…

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A Statement on the Resignations of Members of CA’s Board of Directors

Columbia Association (CA) would like to thank two members of the CA Board of Directors who recently resigned. Renee Dubois and Alan Klein have served our organization and this community, representing the Village of River Hill and the Village of Harper’s Choice respectively.   CA Board members are typically elected by their respective villages. In…

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Tips For Hitting a Driver

As the longest club with the largest head, it’s easy to see why the driver is so popular: It’s an amazing ally for helping you gain the most distance. Whlle “the big stick” is well-loved, it can also be tricky to hit consistently. It has much less loft than the other clubs, and a longer…

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One-handed Backhand vs. Two-handed Backhand

Tennis is a game of strategy, and knowing when to deploy the right shot is crucial. But when it comes to the backhand, should you hit with one hand on the racquet, or two? The answer is that there’s no definitive “better” shot. Both have pros and cons, and it’s also important to take advantage…

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The Latest on CA Health and Safety Measures

The following is a message from Columbia Association’s (CA) Director of Sport & Fitness Dan Burns: We know that no decision you have been forced to make throughout this pandemic has been easy. We know because our CA team members have lived through it right alongside this community. It’s become clear that this difficult process…

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Fun Camping Games for Families

Camping is the ultimate family getaway. You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money, or even be particularly outdoorsy, to enjoy quality time in the great outdoors. Best of all, everyone gets a welcome breather from technology to focus on making memories as a family. Camping can help bring your kids…

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Tips To Improve Your Forehand Technique

The forehand is one of the most essential shots in tennis. As the most frequently used stroke, there’s a powerful opportunity to turn this shot into a weapon. Ready to take your forehand to the next level? Arun Pant, CA racquet sports assistant general manager, shares his top tips below!   Nail the unit turn…

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Easy Backyard Games to Play With Your Kids

Outdoor play is just plain good for your child’s mind, body and spirit — and consequently, their behavior. If your kids tend to reappear at your door with complaints of “But there’s nothing to do,” not to fret. We’ve got plenty of fun, low-maintenance ideas for backyard entertainment that all ages will love!   Lawn…

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How Strength Training Benefits Your Golf Game

The beauty of golf is that it’s a low-impact, no-contact game, meaning the overall risk of injury is low compared to other sports. Despite its ‘leisure sport’ status, however, a proper golf swing still works all your major muscle groups, including your chest, shoulders, arms, back, core, glutes and legs.  That’s why strength training can…

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Tips For Working Out Safely In the Heat

There’s something magical about exercising al fresco. Maybe it’s the combination of fresh air and sunshine, plus that extra push to keep going for your adoring fans (er, random passerby). Taking your workouts outdoors is part of summer fun, but it’s also important to take extra precautions to stay safe as temperatures climb. The last…

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The Best Family Road Trip Games

Family road trips are memories in the making…but they can also come with echoes of “Are we there yet?” from the backseat. Like most things in life, you can get ahead of those rough moments with a little playfulness. Your kids may have so much fun that they’re bummed to finally reach your destination!   …

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Sizzling Summer Art Activities for Families

Ready to let your creativity sizzle and sparkle this summer as a family? Enjoy some bonding time with these fun art activity ideas, courtesy of Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey! Plus, don’t forget to scroll to the end to discover upcoming art workshops at Columbia Art Center, open to the public.   Suncatcher Jellyfish…

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3 Power Tips For Women Golfers

The good news: More women are taking up golf than ever. The not-so-good news? Finding more power in your golf swing can be a challenge. While this can be a source of frustration, Joan Lovelace, CA’s head golf pro and director of player development, encourages women golfers to view it as an exciting opportunity. “Since men…

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Energy-Saving Tips for Summer

It’s sweet sweet summer time in Columbia — which means it is hot and humid as ever! Your home’s air conditioning system is working hard to keep you cool, and as you well know, keeping you cool inside can also result in high energy bills. As we move into the heart of our warm season,…

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How to Eat Like an Olympian

With the Summer Olympics fast approaching, there’s a spirit of inspiration in the air. Witnessing the incredible dedication of the world’s top athletes has a way of motivating us to to “go for the gold” in our own lives, too. That’s why Bonnie Pace, CA’s licensed nutritionist and personal trainer, put together some thoughts on…

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Three Ways To Practice Tennis Using a Wall

When it comes to tennis training, you might be surprised by how much you can do with just a wall, ball and racquet. According to CA Adult Tennis Director Anna Pomyatinskaya, practicing against a wall is the perfect way to keep your skills sharp. It’s great for rainy days or when you can’t find a…

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Healthy Summer Snack Ideas

Guest Post by Bonnie Pace, MS, CNS, LDN Summer is a great time for snacking because of the wonderful, colorful bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You didn’t think the nutritionist was going to tell you to snack on anything else, did you?!  But if you’re looking to grab something other than a peach, here…

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CA’s Pool Managers on the Benefits of Joining the Team

Looking for an opportunity to build your leadership skills in a fun environment? Look no further than CA’s Aquatics team, where we have currently have openings for managers, assistant managers and managers on duty.   To give you a better idea of the benefits these positions offer, we went straight to the source: CA’s pool…

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5 Kid-Approved Spots For Summer Fun

Looking for ways to keep the little ones occupied this summer? We’ve got some good news — there’s no need to leave the zip code! Columbia has more than its share of kid-friendly fun, so banish the sentence “I’m bored” in your home and start making memories with our top picks below. Columbia SportsPark With…

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6 Great Places To Bring Your Pup In Columbia

Looking for the perfect spot for your next doggy date? You’re in luck: Columbia is home to a number of pet-friendly locales. From bakeries to breweries, there’s plenty of fun options to check out with your dog for some bonding time this summer. Check out our top six dog-friendly picks below! Pub Dog Pizza, beer…

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4th of July Festivities, Fundraiser and Fireworks

You’re invited to come out for food trucks, festivities and fireworks on the Lakefront this 4th of July! A quick shout out Did you know that a large portion of the Columbia Lakefront is maintained and preserved by CA? Our Open Space team is essential to making that area look great and feel welcoming. That…

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6 Family-Friendly Day Trips From Columbia

There’s just something magical about taking a day trip. You’re getting out of town, but without all the planning and logistics of taking an actual vacation — it feels more spontaneous somehow. Luckily, we live in a state that’s called “America in miniature” for a reason…we’ve truly got it all. From mountains to beaches, you’re…

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How To Keep Mosquitoes Away This Summer

Mosquitoes are pretty much the bane of our summer existence. In Maryland, we’re home to about 60 different species, and it’s safe to say we love to hate ’em all, even moreso than cicadas. Thankfully, we have a mosquito expert on our side here at CA. Our Environmental Program Manager, Danielle Tyeryar, is a great…

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Supreme Sports Club pool

Upcoming Indoor Pool Shutdowns for Maintenance

Now that CA’s outdoor pools are open for summer, it’s time for our indoor pools to get some TLC. Annual maintenance and repairs are right around the corner, with the Columbia Gym pool first up to bat starting on June 21. Each pool will briefly close to the public as we focus on deep cleaning…

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waater in a pool

Swim Reservations Lifted at all CA Pools

Swimmers, get ready to welcome back some spontaneity into your routine! Effective June 16, reservations are no longer required for lap and recreational swimming at CA’s indoor and outdoor pools. The same goes for evening swims at our outdoor pools.  In short, you are free to arrive any time at our indoor and outdoor pools…

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Energy Recycling at Supreme Sports Club

Did you know that energy can be recycled in ways similar to newspaper or aluminum cans? If you’ve visited Supreme Sports Club in the past few years, you’ve experienced it firsthand! Read on to learn more about how energy recycling works.   Sustainability at SSC Why the need for energy recycling in the first place?…

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8 Ways To Stay Cool in the Columbia Sun

There’s nothing like Maryland in the summer. We’ve got crabs, corn, snowballs, the Bay — and, at times, stifling humidity.  Luckily, when you live in Columbia, there’s plenty of fun ways to beat the heat and stay cool. Check out our top picks below!   If you’re looking for some culture… Columbia Art Center  Feel…

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Recruitment Begins for a New General Counsel

Columbia Association (CA) has officially begun the recruitment process for a new General Counsel. Search firm Baker Tilly US, LLP is assisting with the search and hiring for this essential position.  The first review of resumes will occur on July 1, 2021.  Qualified candidates can view the recruitment brochure with in-depth details about the opportunity…

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How CA’s Tennis Pros Warm Up For A Match

Before a tennis match, priming your mind and body for victory is equally important. While the pros are famous for their pre-game rituals — and you may even have a ritual of your own — there are a few elements that are universal to playing your best. Chief among them is giving yourself enough time…

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Summer Swim Safety Tips

Sweet summer is finally upon us, and that means the promise of fun pool days and beach trips ahead. Because so many of us missed out on these water activities last year, it’s essential to make sure your kids are prepared with the skills they need to stay safe. Like any skill, consistent practice is…

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The Unique Benefits Of Aerial Yoga

Ready to defy gravity? Aerial yoga is a wonderful way to inspire and enhance your regular practice — plus, it’s pretty darn fun to play acrobat for an hour.    What makes aerial yoga special? There’s so much more to aerial yoga than Instagram-worthy poses…though those are a nice added bonus.  Also referred to as…

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Reflecting, Recommitting to Inclusion in Columbia

Today, the country marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. This country reverberated with waves of activism in many forms in response. Here in Columbia, we saw demonstrations and inspired conversations throughout the greater Howard County community. The following is a statement from Columbia Association (CA) President/CEO Lakey Boyd:   This day demands…

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Summer Returns to the Columbia Lakefront

Columbia Association (CA) joined Howard County leaders on Thursday to announce the return of 4th of July fireworks on the Lakefront this summer.   “CA welcomes everyone to our Lakefront as such an important point of connection and community for Columbia. We are especially pleased to welcome Howard County to the Lakefront, and we are…

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Masks at CA: What’s Required and Why

We are in the midst of an exciting transition, one that moves us toward a summer that feels a little more like the ones we know and love in the Columbia community. Trends associated with positivity rates, case numbers and vaccinations continue to improve.  As we go through this process, everyone’s perception of “normal” is…

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Introducing Erin Berry, CA’s New Archivist

It’s no secret that we’re living through history. Columbia Association (CA) is incredibly fortunate to have our new archivist, Erin Berry, collecting the voices in our community to help future generations understand the significance of this moment in time. Berry stepped into the role of archivist at Columbia Maryland Archives in February 2021. Previous manager…

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What It Takes To Open CA’s Pools For The Summer

Now that we’re heading into mid-May, that “summer feeling” is in the air. With just weeks until CA’s pools open, the Aquatics team is hard at work prepping each facility for their big debuts. So, what exactly does it take to open 15 neighborhood pools? Since the pools have been idle since September 2019, there’s…

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Welcoming Rodney Green Onboard As New Golf General Manager

Columbia Association (CA) is pleased to welcome Rodney Green as the new general manager at Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club and Fairway Hills Golf Club. Joan Lovelace, current general manager, will stay on board as head golf pro and director of player development, devoting her time to golf instruction. Green’s first official day at CA will…

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Food Trucks Coming To CA’s Outdoor Pools

Calling all Columbia foodies! We’ve got some exciting news: Food trucks will be coming to CA’s 15 outdoor pool locations this summer. This update comes on the heels of the decision to permanently close CA’s nine snack bars. In turn, CA’s Open Space department eased requirements to allow food trucks to reserve slots at outdoor…

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Fun & Games Program Now Running At Supreme Sports Club

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and…your kids are still glued to their devices? If this sounds all too familiar, you’ll be excited to hear that the Fun & Games program is now running at Supreme Sports Club. This program is exactly what it sounds like — Fun & Games gives the entire…

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boy swimming in swim lane

2021 CNSL: What To Expect

Note: We continue to assess the best ways of running CNSL in the safest possible manner. We are grateful for your patience — be on the lookout for an update coming soon!  One of Columbia’s most beloved traditions is back for summer 2021! The Columbia Neighborhood Swim League (CNSL) will launch on June 16 for…

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CA, Greater Columbia Community Thank Milton W. Matthews For Years of Leadership

Columbia Association (CA) team members, the CA Board of Directors, Howard County leaders and various community members took time to recognize and thank Milton W. Matthews for his years of service with the organization Thursday night. The honors took place during a Board of Directors meeting at CA headquarters, both in-person and virtually. “Milton brought…

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Renovations Complete At The Racquet Club At Hobbit’s Glen

Great news: The Racquet Club at Hobbit’s Glen is back and better than ever! We are excited to share that the renovated courts will be open to the public on April 26, 2021. Over the last 12 months, the facility was rebuilt from the ground up to significantly enhance the tennis playing experience for members…

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Building on Columbia’s Foundation of Equity and Inclusion

In light of a decision in the trial of the man charged with killing George Floyd, – a case that captured the attention of our Columbia community and the events of which inspired demonstrations here last year – the following is a statement from Columbia Association (CA) Board of Directors Chair Andy Stack and President/CEO…

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What Swim Lessons Look Like During COVID-19

It’s no secret that swimming is a life-saving and life-enhancing skill. With the closure of outdoor pools last summer, it’s more important than ever to reinforce that ability and get kids comfortable in the water again. However, children aren’t the only ones who are welcome to enroll in CA’s swim lessons. “Lessons are currently open…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of April 19, 2021

Earth Day is this week! We’d love to know how you’re honoring and celebrating our planet, so share your thoughts, your photos, your videos and more with us on social media. We’re always thinking about Mother Nature and our community’s open space.    Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: A contractor on…

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CA Celebrates Latest Groundbreaking in The Merriweather District

Columbia Association (CA) President/CEO Milton W. Matthews congratulates Howard Hughes Corporation and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Wednesday afternoon’s groundbreaking event for Marlow, the latest addition to The Merriweather District. The building is part of Howard Hughes Corporation’s investment in Downtown Columbia. Marlow will be the second apartment complex going up across from Symphony…

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CA Earns 2021 ENERGY STAR® Excellence in Marketing Award

Columbia Association (CA) is proud to announce that it has received the 2021 ENERGY STAR Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. CA, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2012, has been honored for Excellence in ENERGY STAR Marketing. “We are excited to be recognized as a leader in…

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Best Fitness Quotes To Fire Up Your Motivation

No matter how passionate you are about fitness, it’s natural to fall into a rut at times. Maybe you’re lacking motivation, discouraged from a recent injury or just plain tired. Perhaps you’ve lost sight of the “why” that used to fire you up. Sometimes, the best way to re-ignite your love for exercise is to…

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aqua group fitness class

What To Expect in Aqua Fitness Classes

Let’s face it: Working out is just plain better in the pool! “Aqua fitness is as fun as it is good for you,” said CA Fitness Instructor Kim Zanski. “It’s low-impact on your joints and you can adjust the intensity level to whatever you need. Plus, the water massages your body while you’re exercising.” It…

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What Will Masks & Social Distancing Look Like For Outdoor Pools?

CA is currently taking new state and county guidelines on outdoor mask mandates under consideration and will update this information accordingly. We appreciate your patience as we figure out the best way to serve you this summer!   Summer is the sweetest time of all in Columbia. This year, we’re excited to open 15 neighborhood…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of April 12, 2021

There are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in planting, removing invasive species and making sure your neighborhood open space stays beautiful. Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: There will be a new metal swing frame going in at LR-20 Bird Race tot lot in Long Reach this week, replacing…

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Two Fun Tennis Drills You Can Do From Home

Looking to improve your tennis game from the comfort of your own home? You’re in luck: CA’s tennis coaches are full of ideas. Check out two simple drills below to enhance your footwork skills and low volley technique. Remember, regular practice is everything…so have fun with these low-maintenance drills, and enjoy the improvements to your…

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Benefits of Getting Kids Involved in Gardening

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.” -Alfred Austin The satisfaction of nourishing a plant to life is hard to beat. Whether it’s a container plant or an entire garden, nurturing your green thumb is intrinsically therapeutic. Just like adults, kids enjoy a variety of benefits from…

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How to Conquer Anxiety on the Golf Course

Whether you’re a total golf newbie or just feeling rusty, stepping onto the golf course can be intimidating. Golf is a game that’s been called “deceptively simple and endlessly complicated” — and it’s no surprise why. With a language and set of etiquette all of its own, there’s a lot to take in. However, the…

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Why Your Abs Are About More Than Just Aesthetics

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident in a swimsuit, but the truth is that a strong core offers so many more benefits than looking good. In fact, it can even protect your back from injury. Let’s dive into how your ab muscles work and how to strengthen your core effectively…   Abdominals 101…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of April 5, 2021

Spring break is behind us. Time to get to work! Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: A contractor will be out at KC-03 (West Window Way) starting Monday to replace tie walls and mulch. As long as the weather cooperates, work should be complete within four days. Starting Tuesday, crews will be…

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New Programs Moving to CA’s Fitness Clubs From Haven

With the upcoming closure of Haven on the Lake, our goal is to continue bringing our members the best experience possible. We are working hard to expand our mind-body offerings and transition as many Haven programs and team members as possible to other CA facilities. More details will be forthcoming, but here’s what we know…

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CA Announces New President/CEO Lakey Boyd

Columbia Association (CA) is pleased to introduce Lakey Boyd as the organization’s next President/CEO. Boyd has officially accepted the position and will start on Monday, May 3.    “I am thrilled to be selected and grateful to the CA board for the opportunity to serve as Columbia Association’s next President/CEO,” Boyd said. “I am particularly…

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Work Smarter. Reaping the Benefits of the Jacobs Ladder

Wondering what the Jacob’s Ladder is all about? According to CA trainer Darrell Gough, it’s so much more than just a stair climb machine. “The Jacob’s Ladder offers is a unique total-body cardio workout that really takes your heart rate up,” says Gough. “If you’re tired of always using the treadmill or stationary bike, it’s…

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Spring Family Fun Art Projects

With spring bursting forth in inspiring colors, it’s time to get the creative juices flowing with these easy but engaging spring-themed craft projects. A big thanks to Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey for sharing these creative ideas for family fun!   Yarn Egg Paper Plate Design  Supplies Required: 9” paper plates Assorted colors of…

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Tips For Playing Golf in the Wind

With springtime comes greener greens and more sunshine…but also windy conditions that can wreak havoc on your golf game. On a windy day, it’s hard to control everything from the ball to your swing due to the added elements. However, there are a few tricks to scoring well even when the weather is against you.…

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Compound Exercises. Are They For You?

When you’re developing a strength training plan, you’ll definitely want to include compound exercises in the mix.  A compound exercise is any movement where you’re using more than one muscle group at a time. Consider a squat: This one simple motion engages your core, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles and hip flexors. Isolation exercises, on…

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Elevate Your Doubles Game with Partner Warmups

When it comes to doubles, there’s few better advantages than being in sync with your partner. That’s why warming up together and practicing doubles-specific exercises is so important. It helps you establish open lines of communication and get in tune with each other so you can face your competitors as a united front. To help…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of March 29, 2021

Temperatures are warming up, and our team is ready to take advantage. 🌞 Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: Weather permitting, a contractor will be out staining TCBR-06 boardwalk at the North Inlet of Lake Kittamaqundi this week. This project should be completed within five days. Signs will be posted on site…

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Benefits of Swimming in Cold vs. Hot Water

Whether you prefer Polar Bear plunge-esque temps or a steamier swim, being in water offers a multitude of mind-body benefits. For one, it offers a release from gravity that can’t be found elsewhere. This puts the “low” in low-impact and creates a sense of freedom and buoyancy that’s excellent for stress relief. Plus, it’s a…

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How To Do a Kettlebell Deadlift

Don’t worry if you’re not a bodybuilder…anyone can do a deadlift! It’s a great total-body exercise that strengthens your core, back, legs and arms in one rep. Enlisting a kettlebell for your deadlift is an easy way to combine resistance and aerobic training into your routine without stepping foot into the weight room.  Below, CA…

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Strategies For Resolving Sibling Fights

Sibling rivalry is a fact of life — one that’s certainly amplified in the pandemic. Whether it manifests in name-calling, crying, screaming, physical fights or some combination of it all, it’s natural for parents to feel exasperated and overwhelmed.  If you’re weary over nonstop bickering, take heart knowing that there’s some hidden benefits to these conflicts.…

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Best Golf Quotes Of All Time

It’s been said that each round of golf is a mini life lesson — and we couldn’t agree more. Discipline, hard work, sportsmanship, focus and pure love of the game…you’ll find all of this and more each time you step on the greens. We could wax poetic about golf all day, but we’ll leave it…

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CA Stands in Solidarity, Supports Rally for AAPI Community

The following is a statement from Columbia Association (CA) Board of Directors Chair Andy Stack and CA President/CEO Milton W. Matthews regarding the recent attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the U.S. and a vigil taking place at the Columbia Lakefront:   The Columbia community was founded on the values of inclusion, established…

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Knee Replacement Exercises: The Do’s and Don’ts

Often, knee replacements come with a mix of emotions. Being able to engage in physical activity without pain is super exciting, but it’s also slightly nervewracking — the last thing you want to do is damage your new knee. The truth is, artificial knees need movement to function at their best just like natural ones…

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waater in a pool

Lifeguards Needed for Swim Season 2021

Looking for a summer job where you can make a positive impact in a fun environment? Good news: CA is still hiring lifeguards for summer 2021. There are plenty of perks to being a lifeguard with CA — including eligibility to get the COVID-19 vaccination. We are still looking to fill positions at the following…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of March 22, 2021

We are just marching our way through the month, aren’t we (just cracking ourselves up over here)? Spring is officially upon us! Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: A new metal play structure is going in this week at RH-24 (Distant Thunder) to replace the old wooden equipment that has already been…

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How to Correct 3 Common Freestyle Mistakes

The freestyle, also known as the front crawl, is the most popular stroke in the world. Because it’s the fastest and most efficient stroke, it can take you farther than other strokes with less effort. The front crawl also provides a great workout for the entire body and is thought to have the greatest impact…

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A Deep Dive on Outdoor Pools This Summer

The following is a guest post from Marty Oltmanns, CA’s Director of Aquatics, about the upcoming outdoor pool season: For those of you who haven’t met me, allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Marty Oltmanns, and I always wear shorts. Seriously. Ask anyone at Columbia Association (CA). There could be snow on the ground and…

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How to Encourage Kids to Help With Chores

Does getting your kids to pitch in with chores feel like pulling teeth? If so, you’re not alone, and the chaos of the pandemic has certainly added to the disarray in lots of households. Thankfully, spring provides the perfect boost of motivation. It’s time to open the windows, let the fresh air in and get…

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Why Functional Fitness Matters

Admittedly, most of us want to work out to look great. However, beyond aesthetics, another benefit of regular exercise is the ability to stay strong and independent well into our golden years.  This is what we refer to as “functional fitness” — the ability to perform daily activities without injury. Below, we explore the benefits…

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How the Handicap System Works in Golf

When you’re first learning to play golf, one of the most confusing aspects is the handicap system. The good news is, most beginners don’t know what their handicap is anyway! It takes some time and a few rounds of golf with your friends to get there, so it’s nothing to fret about. Below, we break…

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Vitamin D and COVID-19

Guest Post by Bonnie Pace, MS, CNS, LDN As COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our nation, doctors and researchers have looked for ways to help boost our body’s ability to protect itself.  One nutrient has stood out in the science research and reviews, and that is Vitamin D.  Early on in the pandemic, when looking…

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The Benefits of Foam Rolling for Tennis Players

For a long time, foam rolling was mostly used by pro tennis players and elite sports medicine facilities.  Today, however, this self-myofascial release (SMR) technique is gaining popularity for the incredible benefits it offers athletes of all levels. Read on to learn how foam rolling can increase your performance on the court, plus how you…

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Best Swimming Quotes of All Time

No matter how passionate you are about swimming, it’s natural to fall into a rut at times. Maybe you’re lacking motivation, discouraged from a recent injury or just plain tired. Perhaps you’ve lost sight of the “why” that used to fire you up. Sometimes, the best way to re-ignite your love for swimming is to…

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St. Patrick’s Day Family Art with Repurposed Materials

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner…and that means fun crafts galore for wee lads and lassies! Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey was kind enough to share some easy yet engaging themed crafts that will strike gold with the whole family. Enjoy, and happy St. Patrick’s day everyone!   Yarn-Wrapped Shamrocks Supplies Required:…

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Strength Training Moves to Improve Your Tennis Game

Spring is finally getting closer, the weather is starting to thaw and the days are getting longer. You know what that means…it’s time to think about getting back on the court to enjoy that extra precious daylight! If you’ve been in hibernation, it’s a great idea to get your body ready with some strength and…

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Why Workout Variety Is Key

Humans are naturally hardwired to be creatures of routine. We crave the consistency and dependability of the familiar. So when you find a workout regime that works, it’s all too easy to develop tunnel-vision and decide you need to stick with it. Whether it’s been weeks or even years of the same old, an occasional…

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CA Responds to Mailer Sent to Columbia Community

The following is a joint response from CA Board of Directors Chair Andrew Stack and CA President/CEO Milton W. Matthews:   We here at the Columbia Association (CA) have been made aware of a mailer many of you have received from a newly formed group called The Rouse Project.    First and foremost, we want…

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The Benefits of Keeping a Fitness Journal

Looking for a boost to your fitness routine?  It may surprise you just how much logging your workouts can motivate you and inspire you to achieve your goals. When you consider the positive effects of journaling in general, it makes sense: Recording the past, present and future makes room for honest evaluations.  When you apply…

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Golf: The Perfect Source of Vitamin D

Throughout this pandemic, the fact that golf is an ideal “social distancing” sport has been high on our gratitude list! Plus, it’s great for stress relief, which boosts your mood and keeps your heart healthy. These benefits have been great for instilling a greater sense of wellbeing during this difficult year. Now, there’s yet another…

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How To Maximize Gains After Your Workout

If your goal is to make consistent fitness gains, it’s time to optimize your post-workout routine.  It doesn’t matter if you jog, lift weights or do Zumba — the “sweat equity” only requires about an hour of your time. But the other 23 hours are just as essential to staying fit and healthy. Efficient post-workout…

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5 Awesome Stretches for Swimmers

Swimming works almost every muscle in the body — and though gliding through water might look effortless, it takes a lot of work! That’s why stretching before and after a swim is so important. Taking the extra time to tend to your body offers so many benefits. From boosting your performance to increasing flexibility and…

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The Importance of Hydration

Guest Post by Bonnie Pace, MS, CNS, LDN Drinking water is more natural when the weather is warm, your body sweats easier and you feel thirst more frequently. But if you consider how dry your skin (your body’s largest organ) gets in sweater weather, it highlights how much you need to hydrate in fall and…

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Best Tennis Quotes of All Time

It’s been said that each game of tennis is a mini life lesson — and we couldn’t agree more. Hard work, discipline, sportsmanship, focus and pure love of the game…you’ll find all of this and more each time you step on the court. We could wax poetic about tennis all day, but we’ll leave it…

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What to Do When Kids Feel Anxious

After the events of the past year, it’s no shocker that children are feeling the anxiety in the air. Kids of all ages have experienced major loss and disruption, from distance learning to the cancellation of beloved social activities. In order to manage anxiety on their own, children may start to behave differently than usual.…

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Get Your Game Up To Par By Choosing the Right Club

With 14 different clubs in a golf bag, it’s natural for newbie golfers to be overwhelmed and confused at first. Once you spend more time on the course, you’ll instinctively know which club to reach for. Still, getting there can be challenging — learning which situation calls for which club is the first step to becoming…

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How To Safely Resume Your Workout After a Pandemic Rut

Guest Post by CA trainer Charlie Dennis It’s no secret that the pandemic has encouraged us to lead more sedentary lifestyles from being at home so much more than usual. If you’re one of the many that are considering getting back into a gym routine but have concerns, don’t worry! Below are four pieces of…

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Bench-Press

The bench press is notorious for building upper body strength. Your chest, shoulders and triceps in particular will see gains in size and strength from benching. For a beginner, however, just entering the weight room for the first time can definitely seem scary. And even if you’re not a newbie, the “gym anxiety” can be…

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A Resolution From CA’s Board on Outdoor Pools

The Board of Directors passed the following resolution on February 25 in addition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget. This resolution reflects the Board’s stance when it comes to opportunities to open more pools this summer.   Resolution on the FY 2022 Budget and Outdoor Pools The CA Board recognizes that outdoor pools are…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of Feb. 28, 2021

Marching on toward the next month (see what we did there), and there’s a lot going on in our world. Let’s not waste any time… Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: Work continues around Lake Elkhorn this week. You may encounter some people with flags who might guide you around equipment and…

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What The Approved Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Means For You

During the Board Meeting on February 25, Columbia Association’s (CA) Board of Directors approved the organization’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget. FY 2022 covers the period from May 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022. Since mid-January, the Board has been discussing the proposal from CA leadership and considering input from the public. That budget has…

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5 Ways To Get Strong with TRX Straps

Did you know that TRX stands for “total-body resistance exercise”? TRX straps were invented by a former U.S. Navy Seal, who recognized the powerful results of using body weight and gravity as resistance. Because the straps are suspended, there’s an incredible amount of core activation that occurs during TRX training. These straps, available at all…

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Why Squats Are So Great For Swimmers

It’s no secret that dryland training has a huge pay-off for swimmers. Dryland training makes you a more well-rounded and resilient athlete overall, and improves your reaction time and coordination in the pool as well. One infamous move — and for good reason — is the squat. “Doing squats on land offers so many swim-specific…

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Defining Strength

Guest Post by CA trainer Keith Oelschlaeger, MS, CSCS This piece is not diving into the philosophy of strength. We are literally going to look at the definition of strength! The intention is to help you think about what physical strength is and what your objective of strength training can be or should be. Yes,…

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Why Tennis is the Perfect Source of Vitamin D

Throughout this pandemic, the fact that tennis is an ideal “social distancing” sport has been high on our gratitude list! Plus, it’s an ace for stress relief, which boosts your mood and keeps your heart healthy. These benefits have been great for instilling a greater sense of wellbeing during this difficult year. Now, there’s yet…

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The Benefits of Yoga for Kids

While kids are incredibly resilient, they’re also not immune from the chaos of the current times. Each age group has been affected by the pandemic in different ways, but everyone stands to gain significant benefits from yoga. Check out our best tips below for getting little ones excited about yoga!   Benefits of yoga for…

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How To Correct Your Golf Slice

The majority of golfers have encountered the pesky slice shot a time or two…or more times than we’d like to admit! If you’re not familiar with the term, a slice is when the golf ball curves in flight from left to right (for a right-handed golfer). For left handers, it’s when the ball heads to…

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6 Strength Training Exercises To Improve Your Sports Performance

Guest Post by CA Personal Trainer Charlie Dennis Regardless of what your favorite activity is, it’s important to prepare your body if you’ve taken a break or hiatus. Most people wouldn’t run a marathon or benchpress 250 pounds without previous training, but minor injuries are more common in the spring and summer because people often…

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Why Swimming is Great For Arthritis

If you suffer from joint pain and arthritis, swimming is an exercise that you can rely on. Few workouts can rival swimming in the joint-friendly department due to the simple fact that being in water offers a release from gravity that can’t be found elsewhere. This puts the “low” in low-impact and creates a sense…

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Keys To a Great Golf Swing Follow-Through

When it comes to a great golf swing, your follow-through is the final piece of the puzzle.  Though it’s easy to write it off as secondary — or just for show — a sloppy finish hinders your overall game. Of course, your follow-through is based on your foundation (proper set-up and swing), which you can…

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Finalists Selected For New President/CEO

Columbia Association’s (CA) Board of Directors has selected five finalists for the organization’s President/CEO position.   “CA is thrilled to invite these five impressive individuals to the next phase of this process,” Human Resources Director Monica McMellon-Ajayi said. “We are confident that any of these finalists would provide the guidance, leadership and energy to expand…

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Understanding Common Yoga Lingo

Walking into a yoga class and understanding the “lingo” for the first time can feel equal parts confusing and intimidating. Because yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India, the first yogis spoke the language of Sanskrit. More than likely, you’ll come across at least a few Sanskrit terms in your practice. The good…

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Tips For Raising Kids Who Love to Read

Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best with, “You are never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”  Reading is a vital link to education, empathy, imagination and the development of problem-solving skills. When you nurture the love of reading in your children, they reap the benefits…

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Why Progressive Overload Is Key To Improving Your Fitness

According to CA personal trainer Titus Montellano, progressive overload is one of the most overlooked training skills for reaching your fitness potential. Don’t worry: The term “progressive overload” sounds more intimidating than it is! This concept simply means doing more work over time to see continual gains and improvements. It’s the process of gradually increasing…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of Feb. 14

Ah, love is in the air. So is that cold winter weather! We ♥♥♥ all of the work that’s taking place despite that February chill. Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: Beginning Wednesday, February 17, the Lake Elkhorn pathway will be partially closed. Crews will replace an existing drain pipe and widen…

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The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training Lingo

Do you ever feel like the fitness world has a language of its own? From “time under tension” to “deloading,” it can be difficult for newbie strength trainers to differentiate between all the lingo. If you feel intimidated by the gym terminology, don’t be! Here’s a cheat sheet of the most common terms you’ll come…

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How To Overcome “Swimmer’s Slouch”

Chances are, at some point in your life you’ve been told to “stand up straight.”  As a swimmer, heeding this age-old wisdom can have a tremendous impact on your performance in the water. Good posture helps you keep your body in a streamline position, which has a positive effect on your stroke and speed. It…

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Want to Play Pickleball? Let’s Learn the Rules

Pickleball is a fun, popular combination of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. Its name is actually derived from the rowing crew term “pickle boat,” which means a mix of different teams (plus, one of the founders had a dog named Pickles who was always running after the ball!). As one of the fastest growing sports in…

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The Real Deal on Recovery Days

Have you ever been complimented by a friend on your weight loss or increased muscle definition? You can thank good recovery time for this! Recovery days are vital to allow your body to rest, recharge and grow after exercise. “Hall and Oates, Salt n Pepa, Simon and Garfunkel; all of these double acts wouldn’t have…

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How To Stay Connected With Grandparents During COVID-19

For so many families, the loss of quality time with beloved grandparents has been a tough casualty of the pandemic.  It can be scary and isolating for grandparents, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. It’s also heartbreaking for the grandkids, who are missing loved ones and may not fully understand the situation. And…

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Enjoy This Heart-Pumping Partner Workout For Valentine’s Day

Ever heard the saying “The couple who sweats together, stays together”? Well, the science is in: Working out with your significant other is great for your health and the health of your relationship. In lieu of Valentine’s Day, here’s just a few reasons that couple workouts are so beneficial… It keeps the honeymoon period alive!…

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Fun Partner Warmup Ideas

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to do a fun couples workout with your sweetheart. Exercising together is the ultimate boost to your health and the health of your relationship. Before we get to all the great benefits (and share a partners workout from CA personal trainer Andy Guerin), we’ll…

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How to Deadlift With Proper Form

According to CA personal trainer Keith Oelschlaeger, the objective of the deadlift is straightforward. In fact, its name is reflective of its purpose, which is essentially to pick a dead weight off the ground and put it back down. This simplicity makes it a great move for beginners, but that being said, the deadlift can…

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5 Strategies to Break Through a Strength Plateau

Guest Post by Keith Oelschlaeger, MS, CSCS So, you’ve been strength training for a while now — maybe even a year or two. You’ve increased your strength significantly, and your technique with the compound movements have improved as well (this piece is under the assumption that lifting technique is beyond a beginner level). Then, it…

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Working on Your Mental Golf Game

Working on your mental toughness is key to taking your golf game to a higher level. What you say to yourself triggers a physical response, so developing positive self-talk and reining in your fears leads to a more fluid, confident performance. However, it can also be more intimidating than practicing your technical and physical skills.…

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8 Benefits of Virtual Personal Training

Let’s be honest: Starting a fitness routine can be equal parts confusing and intimidating. Whether you’ve fallen into a workout rut or you’re totally new to exercise, it’s hard to know where to begin. The beauty of having a personal trainer is that they take all the guesswork out of the equation, which means your…

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Creative Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not have some creative fun with your family at home? Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey was kind enough to share some easy yet engaging V-Day craft activities you can do with all ages. Best of all, each of these can be done while repurposing materials you may…

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How To Choose The Right Tennis String

If you’ve ever watched professional tennis, you’ve witnessed firsthand how often elite players change their racquets. This goes to show just how vital fresh strings are to your performance on the court. It makes perfect sense when you think about it: With tension loss, there’s a feeling that your racquet has lost its punch or gotten…

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Out in the Open (Space): Updates for Week of Jan. 31, 2021

We’re shaking off the January frost and ramping things up around here. Here’s what’s going on in Open Space this week: Neighbors in Kings Contrivance will see a bridge replacement project happening at KCBR-01 off Cape Ann Drive. Weather permitting, crews will take out the old bridge and install a new one. That means the…

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Winter Conditioning Tips for Swimmers

During the cold winter months, it’s far more tempting for swimmers to hibernate than stay active. However, according to Columbia Clippers coach Kelsey Lord, the winter is a prime opportunity for dryland training (also known as strength and conditioning). Maximizing the “off-season” will improve your power, speed and overall performance in the pool come summer.…

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Interested in Serving on CA’s Board of Directors?

Columbia Association (CA) wants to encourage everyone to get involved in the upcoming Board of Directors’ elections. Whether you’re interested in running for the Board or casting your ballot, we would love to see as many people engaged as possible.   Board basics Each village has a representative on the Board of Directors that is…

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An Update on Stream Restoration Efforts

We have received a lot of questions about the stream restoration project going on here in Columbia. Specifically, stretches of stream from Eliots Oak Road to Hesperus Drive, from Eliots Oak down to Faulkner Ridge Circle and south of Little Patuxent Parkway look much different than they used to. You can see the areas affected…

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Try These Chipping Drills To Lower Your Score

Chipping is one of the quickest ways to lower your handicap and save you strokes around the green. Like with any golf skill, practice makes perfect…and luckily, there’s plenty of fun drills and games that can help your short game take off.  Steve Weathersbee, a First Tee coach and golf instructor at Fairway Hills Golf…

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3 Yoga Moves to Ease the Pain Of Sitting Too Much

If you’re sore from sitting too much, you’re in good company. New research shows that a quarter of Americans are experiencing increased aches and pains during their time cooped up at home. 36 percent said they’re guilty of poor posture during their workdays. Our bodies are paying the price for our WFH (work from home)…

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Hidden STEM Lessons In Cooking

Cooking with the kiddos can be an awesome way to bond and beat the winter doldrums together…best of all, there’s a delicious reward at the end. Another benefit is that there’s plenty of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lessons to be learned in the kitchen. It’s no surprise that the techno-pandemic is causing kids…

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How to Meal Prep Like a Pro

The meal prep craze has been attracting attention for years now. While seeing flawless preparations from Instagram foodies can seem intimidating, the whole purpose is to simplify your life.  In fact, meal prepping can help make “healthy eating” easier than you ever thought. And it will save you a ton of time on top of…

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How Swimmers Can Improve Ankle Flexibility

In the swimming world, shoulders tend to steal the show as far as body parts go. However, giving your ankles a little TLC is a crucial — yet underrated — element of a powerful kick. Limited flexibility in your ankles turns your feet into anchors, and the last thing you want is to create drag…

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6 Winter Superfoods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

When it comes to combating flu season, nutrient-rich superfoods are key to boosting your immune system. As the weather changes, so does your body’s needs. For instance, citrus is a popular winter fruit, and it’s no surprise that it comes along just when our body is craving the ever-important Vitamin C. In-season foods are packed…

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Pro Tips for Specialty Shot Success

Part of the fun of tennis is the wide variety of tactical shots available to players.  Once you’re comfortable with the basics — like serves, returns, forehands and backhands — it’s exciting to work on adding specialty shots to your arsenal. While these are more difficult to master and may not be considered “essential” to…

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CA at Home

The “Do’s” & “Don’ts” of Exercise for People With Arthritis

If you have arthritis, exercise can be a true gamechanger for improving your day-to-day function. It’s even been called “the most effective, non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement.” The catch-22 is that working out can seem overwhelming when you’re already suffering from joint pain. It can be tough to know where to get…

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Out in the Open (Space): Updates for Week of Jan. 24, 2021

We are still working hard to maintain everything going on outdoors! Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: We are super excited for our Adopt-a-Spot program that launched just last month. It gives trained Weed Warriors an opportunity to commit to removing invasive species in a specific area in the community and watch…

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Recap of CA’s Virtual Town Hall

We want to thank everyone who tuned in to our Virtual Town Hall on January 21 and look forward to more conversations and engagement in the future. In total, we had about 100 people join us for the Zoom event and dozens more who watched the live stream on our YouTube channel.   What was…

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lady lap swimming

Tips for Bilateral Breathing During the Freestyle

“Swimming is the only sport I can think of during which there are moments you are unable to breathe even if you want to.” -Alex Kostich Let’s be real: Getting water up your nose while swimming sucks. However, breathing underwater while freestyle swimming doesn’t exactly come as naturally as breathing on land. Swimming is a…

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Chipping 101

Did you know that chipping is one of the quickest ways to lower your handicap?  It might seem like an easy and short golf swing, but that’s precisely why golfers often neglect to practice their short game — which is a loss to their overall performance. “Like putting, chipping is a feel technique. Practice increases…

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Pro Tips For Exercising Safely In the Cold Weather

As the days get shorter and darker, the temptation to hibernate is all too real. But before you give into those wintertime blues, consider the perks of supplementing your gym time with some outdoor fitness.  Much as we love seeing you all in CA’s fitness clubs, we also know just how rejuvenating fresh air can…

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Cabin Fever Remedies for Families

Cabin fever has taken on a whole new dimension for most of us this past year. You probably need no telling that it can be extra tough for our cooped-up kids. With distance learning and so much unavoidable screentime, kids aren’t releasing as much excess energy and are extra vulnerable to the restless, edgy feeling…

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Lessons

Pickleball: Fun AND Healthy? Who Knew?

When you combine tennis, ping-pong and badminton, you get a unique game called pickleball…which happens to be one of the fastest growing sports in the United States! Pickleball offers aerobic exercise as well as a component of social connection, which has a positive domino effect of keeping your immune system in strong shape. “When you…

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Fundamental Movements for Strength Training

Guest Post From CA Trainer Keith Oelschlaeger, MS, CSCS So it’s the new year, and you want to start strength training! You look online to do your research, and see countless videos on how to do all kinds of strength training. You notice a lot of terminology, methodology, and strategies that you do not know,…

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How To Properly Clean Your Yoga Mat

Your yoga mat is many things: safety, sanctuary, a portal to greater inner peace. With time, it can also get a little, er, funky. It’s all too easy to forget to give your mat some TLC after a blissed-out savasana, but germs and bacteria love sweaty places. And the last thing you want is an unpleasant…

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Winning Tennis Doubles Strategies 

With twice as many players on the court, doubles is more complex than singles. You and your partner have to get past two opponents, not just one, so it’s a bit more of a finesse game. However, according to Anish Manrai, CA Assistant Director of Sport and Fitness, this also means there’s more opportunity for…

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Fun Ways To Get The Whole Family Moving

Between the cold weather and COVID-19 restrictions keeping us indoors, it is mighty tempting to couch surf through this winter.  However, you definitely know the difference in your child’s behavior when they’re happily worn out from physical activity…versus wearing out a groove in the couch.  Staying active has always been vital for kids’ overall health…

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It’s Time to Add Tabata Training To Your Workout Routine

It’s no secret that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage. And why not? These short workouts offer the same health benefits as a moderate intensity workout that’s twice as long. If you’re pressed for time, tabata is a form of HIIT training that’s even quicker and produces the same fat-burning, muscle-strengthening effects. The…

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Why Golfers Need To Fire Up Their Glutes

Golfers, do you remember Tiger Woods’ “glute activation” mishap? Back in 2015, Woods made headlines for withdrawing from Torrey Pines because his glutes wouldn’t activate, which led to back pain (and some teasing in the public eye). Strange as it may sound, Woods wasn’t being dramatic.  “All great athletes, regardless of their sport, have well-conditioned…

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The Stress-Relieving Benefits of Qi Gong

If you’ve never heard of Qi Gong, it may sound mysterious, perhaps even a little woo-woo.  The truth? After the stress of the past year, our health and emotions have been brought slightly (or majorly) out of whack. We could all benefit from some peace of mind and healing. There’s never been a better time…

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Tips For Keeping Kids Safe in the Water

Swim safety is typically a hot topic in summer, and for good reason. However, the colder months also present an amazing opportunity for your kids to master the swimming skills they need to enjoy the pool days ahead.  Like any skill, consistent practice is key to competence and confidence. For kids under the age of…

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Why Should You Try HIIT Workouts?

High-intensity interval training…sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? While HIIT can be intense, the nature of the workout — short bursts of maximum-effort activity followed by periods of lower-intensity exercise or complete rest — makes it more accessible than you think. After all, finding the willpower to go all out for 30 seconds is far more attainable than powering through…

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Kettlebells 101

Kettlebells may be the most interesting (and sometimes most misunderstood) free weight. Weightlifting as a fitness practice has been around since ancient times in Egyptian and Greek societies. But kettlebells were developed in the 18th century in Russia, and initially used as a counterweight to measure grains. Eventually, the kettlebell found its way to the…

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Low-maintenance, minimum-equipment games

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It is a happy talent to know how to play.”  We couldn’t agree more, but frankly, after almost a year of being stuck inside, this talent is wearing thin for kids and parents alike. If finding fresh ways to keep the kiddos entertained is beginning to exhaust you, don’t fret.…

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Winter Conditioning to Benefit Your Golf Game

It might seem tempting to use the cold, winter months to hibernate and take a break from thinking about your golf game. But we’ve got a secret for you — this is the perfect time to strengthen your body and crush the competition when you get back on the course.  Many golfers overlook strength training…

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How To Break Out of a Workout Rut

Hitting a workout rut is easy enough in normal times, but during these challenging circumstances, it can be increasingly difficult to find our motivation. It’s totally natural, and even expected, to find yourself in a plateau at one point or another. The best way to break through your mental walls? Look at your “rut” as…

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Tennis Singles Strategy To Up Your Game

When you walk out onto the court to compete, practice time is over — last-minute changes to your technique won’t improve your chances at winning. What will help you win, however, is a strong mental game and strategy. “Sometimes we get so concerned with the way we are executing shots that we lose focus of…

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Tackling the Mental Side of Swimming

It’s no secret that swimming is incredibly physically demanding. The mental side, however, tends to get overlooked. The best swimmers don’t just work on mastering their technique; they put an equal emphasis on conquering doubts and distractions, too.  To bring your “A” game, training your brain is just as critically important as consistent physical practice.…

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How to Create Fitness New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Stick With

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been all about our health…though maybe not in the way we’re used to. From Clorox-ing our Amazon packages to finding creative ways to work out — the Columbia community has shown consistent dedication to stay fit and strong amid a life-altering pandemic. Now, it’s time to carry that health-focused…

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surgical mask

Trainer-Approved Masks For a Comfortable Workout

We get it: Wearing a mask during your workout isn’t ideal or super pleasant. However, the benefits of keeping yourself and people around you safe is worth it. And we have to say, we’ve been in awe of your resilience and continued dedication to fitness, despite having to adjust to the mask life. Finding a…

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Life Lessons Golf Teaches You

“In golf as in life, it is the follow-through that makes the difference.”  When it comes to golf, we could wax poetic on the beauty of the game for days. The best part is, the benefits don’t end once you step off the greens.  No matter your age or level of experience, golf teaches valuable…

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The Life-Changing Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga

It’s safe to say that our nervous systems have been through it this year. With our lives upturned by the pandemic, there’s never been a better time for yoga, which is a powerful tool for dealing with the stress and uncertainty of the times. Of all the styles of yoga to choose from, vinyasa is…

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Setting Goals for 2021 as a Family

Goal setting is difficult in normal times, let alone these times. It’s nice to have an unofficial fresh start. Whether you call them resolutions or not, there’s no better time than the new year to mark the beginning of something new and exciting.   Why not have the entire family on board for that?  …

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Basics of the Freestyle Flip Turn

There’s a definite art to the freestyle flip turn, but the good news is, mastering the technique is a pretty fun process. For casual swimmers, flip turns may not be necessary. But if you’re looking to take your swimming to the next level — and you’re comfortable flipping in the water — improving your flip…

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Dance Your Way to Better Fitness

It may be the happiest time of the year, but if we’re being honest, this holiday season could use some extra festivity. You deserve to enjoy yourself and feel your best. Dance fitness is a uniquely joyful way to do so.  After this rollercoaster of a year, dancing is one of the best ways to…

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Open Space Launches Adopt-a-Spot Program

CA is excited to introduce our Adopt-a-Spot program! This provide new way for residents to take charge of their Open Space and ensure native plants are the norm.   Weed Warriors, assemble! You may have heard of the Weed Warriors, an army of volunteer leaders trained and certified to remove non-native invasive plants in Open…

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COVID-19 Vaccines in Our Community

Like everyone else, we here at CA are watching the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines very closely. While it can be very exciting to see this medical marvel come to fruition, there are lots of questions about the shot, how it works, who will get it and more. Thankfully, our partners at Horizon…

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What Is “Butt Amnesia”?

We all want a derriere worthy of peach emoji praise. However, a well-conditioned butt is about more than aesthetics — it’s essential for protecting your back from pain and injury. In our sedentary culture, however, most of us have actually lost the mind-body connection to our glutes. Sitting at a 90-degree angle switches off our…

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The Benefits of Golf For Kids

As a parent, one of the best things you can do is introduce your kids to the game of golf. Not only does it boost their physical and mental development, but it provides a social outlet that can be enjoyed for years to come. “The great thing is that once you get to the first…

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Reflecting on 2020 With Your Kids

Some might argue that this year is not worth looking back on. To put it lightly, it has been tough. It has been an exercise of patience and a test of courage, and while we’re all looking forward to a future filled with more normalcy, it might be important for you and your family to…

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What Women Need to Know About Strength Training

Often, women are hesitant to try strength training, also known as resistance training. There’s a common misconception that this form of exercise will result in unwanted bulkiness, but the reality is quite different. In fact, the health benefits of strength training are too tremendous for ladies to ignore…so let’s break it down! What is strength…

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Elkhorn bird

Out in the Open (Space): Updates for Week of Dec. 21, 2020

What’s winter break? 😆😆😆   Here’s what Open Space is working on this week: Bridge replacements continue around the area. ORBR-07 (off of Red Branch Rd in Oakland Ridge Industrial Park) is still being worked on, but the team expects pedestrian access to be back open in a week or so. Crews will return soon…

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Symphony Woods Park sign

Standing Strong for Symphony Woods Park

  While the Court of Special Appeals has summarily denied an emergency motion for injunctive relief pending an appeal, that denial is not dispositive of any of Columbia Association’s (CA) claims on appeal or pending in the circuit court.  CA remains steadfast in its argument that the current drive-through holiday lights display – which has…

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The Benefits of Raising Strong Swimmers

As a parent, one of the best things you can do is raise your children to be strong, confident swimmers. It’s not just a life-enhancing skill — it’s a life-saving one.  The best part is, it’s never too early to introduce your little one to the water. In fact, the sooner you do, the more…

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4 Great Dynamic Stretches to Add To Your Warmup

To help clients understand the importance of dynamic stretching, CA trainer Darrell Gough has a go-to analogy: Saltwater taffy. “If it’s cold and you try to bend it, the taffy breaks,” says Gough. “The same philosophy applies to your muscles and joints. To properly protect them, dynamic stretching is essential before jumping into your workout.”…

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Foundations of a Good Swing Stance

“If you set up correctly, there’s a good chance you’ll hit a reasonable shot, even with a mediocre swing.” -Jack Nicklaus When it comes to improving your golf swing, finding a balanced, centered stance is the first step. A strong foundation sets you up for success when you actually make contact with the ball. According…

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Static Stretching 101

Regular stretching is essential for maintaining flexibility — but many of us don’t do it nearly as often as we should. Often, the longer we go without stretching, the more we put it off. It makes sense: Who wants to stretch when they feel super stiff? The reality is, you can make gains back in…

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How Open Space Preps For a Wintry Mix

The Open Space team is making their list and checking it twice to make sure CA’s facilities and pathways are ready for any wintry mix in the forecast.  Here’s a quick glimpse at the preparations underway!   Keeping Columbia Safe The equipment preparation takes place beginning weeks prior to the winter weather. Then, both Open…

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Tackling the Mental Aspect of the Game

Tennis is a mental game — but just like the physical aspects, it can be trained to help you become an even stronger player. It’s completely natural to have feelings of anxiety, doubt or just plain intimidation on the court. In fact, these emotions can even be a good thing…they show that you truly care…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of Dec. 14, 2020

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter projects. We aren’t talking about wrapping presents, but… Here’s what Open Space is working on this week: Neighbors are welcome to check out the progress on the stream restoration efforts continuing right now to reduce erosion and decrease sediment that flows into Lake Kittamaqundi. The bulk of…

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How to Master the Butterfly Stroke

Butterfly is known as the “mental mountain” of the strokes — quite the intimidating nickname. However, according to CA swim coach Carl Barr, if you like to dance, you can learn to like the butterfly!  The key? Learning to find the rhythm with two kicks to every one stroke, as well as a few other…

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How to Put the Fitness In “WFH”

Ah, the 3 p.m. slump. And pandemic-induced brain fog. Oh, and don’t forget the screaming kids in the background. Working from home definitely has its perks, but it can also make finding your focus a monumental challenge. The good news is, just devoting five minutes to physical activity during the day can make all the…

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Navigating Holiday Stress as a Family

Pandemic Stress + Holiday Stress = HELP! We are reaching the end of a year that has been, at the very least, a rough road. Now, we’re combining one of the most stressful times of the year with the fact that we can’t get together and celebrate. How many different ways can we express that…

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Pro Tips For Staying Hydrated This Winter

Most of us are well-aware of the recommendation to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day, but if we’re being honest, this feels a little easier in the heat of the summer. In sweater weather, drinking enough water isn’t quite as appealing — but it’s every bit as important. We spoke to our…

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Three Drills To Take Your Putt to the Next Level

Despite the fact that putting makes up 40% of your score, it’s a skill that tends to get neglected in golf. “Putting represents most of your strokes by far, so its importance can’t be overstated. It isn’t difficult, but it’s something you need to commit to,” said Joan Lovelace, head professional and general manager at…

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How To Make Fitness Fun For the Whole Family

Parents, how many times have you felt a pang of guilt for working out when you could be spending quality time with your kids? This nagging guilt (however irrational), is all too real, and it sucks. But here’s the truth: Exercise enables you to be your best, strongest and healthiest self, which is the only…

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How Good Footwork Can Transform Your Tennis Game

Everything starts with the feet — it’s the foundation for your every movement.  Tennis is a game of constant movement, yet it’s often overlooked that excellent footwork is the key to being a successful player. It’s no secret why: The pursuit of the perfect stroke tends to steal the spotlight! “You might have strong groundstrokes,…

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Out In The Open (Space): Updates for Week of Dec. 7, 2020

We’re getting closer and closer to closing out 2020, but our Open Space team is still hard at work! Here are the Open Space updates for this week: Crews will replace ORBR-01 bridge off of Rumsey Road after that work was delayed last week. The section of Pathway connected to the bridge will also be…

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How To Master The Breaststroke

As the slowest stroke, you might assume that breaststroke would be the easiest to master. According to CA swim coach, Carl Barr, however, the breaststroke actually tends to be the most challenging — which is why understanding the mechanics is extremely helpful.  So, what makes this one a toughie in the first place? For one,…

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4 Trainer-Approved Ways to Use Resistance Bands

Look for a simple yet effective way to level up your workouts?  Resistance bands are the ultimate versatile workout tool, creating infinite possibilities to add variety to your routine. Because they can be adjusted to work pretty much every muscle group, you can enlist resistance bands for strength training, core work, dynamic stretching and mobility…

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How Your Village is Safely Celebrating the Holidays

We probably won’t be able to visit Santa in-person this year, but our villages have come up with some safe ways to enjoy the holidays and give back to our community. Here’s a look at some of those events.   Hickory Ridge Hickory Ridge Community Association will be holding a donation drive on Saturday, December…

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How Group Fitness Provides a Mental & Physical Boost

In this era of COVID-19, we all need to connect now more than ever. We also need to move our bodies to bolster our immune systems, keep stress in check and stay fit amidst the most sedentary year many of us have ever experienced. At CA, we offer a wide range of fun group fitness…

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Pro Tips For a Great Golf Warmup

As a no-contact sport that’s easy on the joints, the great thing about golf is that it’s relatively low-risk when it comes to injuries.  That being said, there are precautions you should take to protect yourself so you can enjoy the game pain-free well into your golden years. Though golf injuries often arise from pre-existing…

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The Nutrition Rainbow

The rainbow connection… of nutrition   We know there’s a lot to consider when it comes to feeding our kids. Arguably, the most important factor is whether they’ll actually eat what we put in front of them. Pediatrician Dr. Edisa Padder is making another Parents’ Corner house call, talking about how vibrant our plates should…

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The Benefits of Cardio

Cardio tends to get a bad rep — some might even call it tedious, treadmill-bound torture. The truth is, there’s plenty of ways to get your heart pumping that don’t involve being chained to a workout machine (and if that’s what you’re into, that’s great too!).  Making time for cardio can make all the difference…

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5 Great Benefits of Tennis For Kids

With so many sports and activities out there, it can be tough to find the right fit for your young athlete.  If you’re looking for a fun, safe and healthy outlet that also boosts your child’s mental, emotional and physical development, very few options can rival tennis. Best of all, it doesn’t require a ton…

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Introducing Columbia Maryland Archives

Introducing ColumbiaMDArchives.org: Columbia History at Your Fingertips Columbia Association (CA) is thrilled to announce the launch of the new Columbia Maryland Archives. That means for the first time in the history of the Columbia Archives, there is a fully public online searchable database. The online platform allows researchers and residents alike to browse through the…

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Out in the Open (Space): Week of November 30, 2020

Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space: Contractors will start a three-week long project (weather-permitting) to refurbish Pathways in Oakland Mills starting Monday, November 30. Signage will be posted to help pedestrians avoid these areas while the work is going on. The affected Pathways are marked in red on the map below.  …

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How to Master the Backstroke

Rumor has it, the British didn’t like having their face underwater…and that’s how we ended up with the backstroke!  The backstroke is often thought to be the fastest and easiest stroke to learn. Though it might appear leisurely compared to the other strokes, there are a few unique challenges to being belly up — like…

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Symphony Woods Park sign

The Latest on Symphony Woods Park

  Columbia Association (CA) wants to genuinely thank the community for their comments and questions about Symphony Woods Park, specifically when it comes to the Symphony of Lights. This has been a trying year for everyone, and we understand how the uncertainty and complexity surrounding this event could add to that frustration.   The organization…

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Why We All Need Strength Training Now More Than Ever

Thinking about starting a strength training routine? According to Daniel Silva, personal trainer and fitness training Supervisor at Supreme Sports Club, you can consider the pandemic to be your biggest motivator. “Most of us have been so much more sedentary, and as a result we’ve lost muscle tone from everyday activities we used to do…

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What Are The New Town Work Sessions?

Roughly 53 years after its founding, greater Columbia has grown into an established community with a vast number of stakeholders and property owners. As an organization, Columbia Association (CA) believes that Mr. Rouse was ahead of his time and would desire for his community to remain so, always evolving as an example of a model…

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What Beginners Need to Know About Golf Clubs

So, you’ve caught the golfing bug, eh? Your timing couldn’t be better: Golf is pretty much the official sport of social distancing!  It’s a wonderful way to spend safe quality time with loved ones, while also slashing stress to keep your spirits high and your immune system strong.  As a beginner, though, there can be…

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Take It Personal. Why You Need a Personal Trainer

Let’s be honest: Starting a fitness routine can be equal parts confusing and intimidating. Whether you’ve fallen into a workout rut or you’re totally new to exercise, it’s hard to know where to begin — or how to navigate all the machines and equipment.  The beauty of having a personal trainer is that they take…

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How to Hit a Powerful Serve In Tennis

In tennis, the serve is more than just the stroke that starts the point. Because it’s the only stroke that a tennis player has complete control over without the influence of an opponent, it dictates the pace of the entire game.  A strong serve can be your ultimate weapon, hence the reason for the saying,…

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Remembering Robert “Bob” Tennenbaum

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Robert “Bob” Tennenbaum. The following is a statement from President & CEO Milton W. Matthews:     From all of us at Columbia Association (CA), we extend our deepest condolences to the family of Robert “Bob” Tennenbaum. As many of you know, Mr. Tennenbaum was not…

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How to Master the Freestyle Stroke Technique 

The freestyle, also known as the front crawl, is the most popular stroke in the world. And what’s not to love?  It’s the fastest and most efficient stroke, which means it can take you farther than other strokes with less effort. The front crawl also provides a great workout for the entire body and is…

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Thanking Our Amazing Teachers

Tis the season for gratitude And we want to thank our teachers!    The Howard County Public School System is still taking input for how the spring semester instructional model will look. Regardless of that decision, we know our teachers have been working harder than ever to make lessons come to life through a computer…

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Strength Training for Seniors: Where to Begin?

For those in their golden years, strength training is one of the most overlooked and age-defying forms of exercise out there. The benefits — from combating muscle loss to boosting feel-good hormones in the brain — are nothing short of transformative when it comes to living a longer, more independent life.  Despite these health perks,…

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A Breath of Fresh Air: CA’s Air Exchange and Filtering

We built and designed Columbia Association’s (CA) facilities to have high rates of air exchange. Why? It’s best to have quality air flow where a number of people are consistently gathering and active. The gathering isn’t happening right now, but pandemic has elevated the emphasis on air exchange. It’s important to have air turning over…

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Electrostatic Sprayers and 24/7 Disinfecting Efforts

If you’ve been in any of Columbia Association’s (CA) fitness clubs since our reopening, you may have noticed something resembling a simple pump that kinda looks straight out of the GhostBusters.  These are hospital-grade electrostatic sprayers – yet another line of defense in CA’s arsenal of tools to protect your health and safety. These top-of-the-line…

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New Mask Mandates For CA Fitness Facilities

Mask Requirement Changing Friday, November 20   Looking out for you and your neighbors   In Columbia, we care about our neighbors. It’s one of the many things that makes this community a great place to live, work and play.  Columbia Association (CA) continues to make calculated decisions about all of our resources. We are…

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temperature check

Why Is CA Checking Your Temperature?

With the combination of colder weather (and more people moving indoors), flu season and a rise in COVID-19 cases, CA is ready to pull out all of the stops. That includes the use of our contact-free thermometers and daily temperature checks at CA facilities. Starting Friday, November 20, we will now be taking the temperature…

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Small Group, Big Gains: Benefits of Tribe Team Training

There’s strength (and accountability) in numbers  It’s not exactly groundbreaking news that working out in a pack is easier and more enjoyable than when you’re flying solo. We’re social animals after all, and who isn’t motivated by a little friendly competition?  Countless studies back up these benefits, too — like a study published in the…

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Brain Breaks for You and Your Kids

How to Step Away From the Screen and Take a Brain Break We are all guilty of forgetting to step away from work for just a moment, and it can set us all up for success. Brain breaks should be seen as an essential part of the day and not an exception to turn to…

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The Golf Terms Beginners Need To Know

It’s undeniable that golf has a language of its own — one that can be slightly baffling for beginners. The quicker you begin to understand the lingo, however, the quicker you begin to really pick up the sport (and enjoy yourself!). To help expand your golf lingo, the golf pros at CA compiled a list…

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Recruitment for New President/CEO Underway

Columbia Association (CA) is excited to officially begin recruitment for our next President/CEO, a process assisted by search firm Baker Tilly US, LLP. The successful candidate will see the pandemic as a catalyst for thinking outside of the box and taking a fresh look at new ways of providing services and programs with greater effectiveness…

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Why Mobility Training Is Important for Young Athletes

The secret meaning behind the word “mobility”?  According to CA personal trainer Keith Oelschlaeger, mobility really boils down to “mo ability” (mo as in more, for those scratching their heads).  Mobility training is a key component of the new Columbia Athelete Performance Program (CAPP), which is designed to keep young athletes at the top of…

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lake elkorn

Out In The Open (Space): Week of Nov. 16, 2020

As we head further into fall, we want to remind everyone that there’s plenty to do outdoors. That’s certainly the case for our Open Space team. They continue to work hard to make Columbia a great place to live, work and play. Here’s what’s going on this week in Open Space:   Bridge replacements continue…

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CA Budget Breakdown: Capital Budget Moves Forward

Columbia Association’s FY 2022 Capital Budget Plan Moves Forward   The Board of Directors has moved forward with a capital budget plan for Columbia Association, the next step toward an approved FY2022 budget for the organization. But what does that mean?   Understanding a capital budget   Capital projects are typically ones focused on repairing…

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The Literature Lesson Behind Columbia’s Streets

  Story behind the street signs of Columbia   Has the cabin fever set in already? Seriously, though. The kids aren’t even going out to the bus stop, let alone around the neighborhood. Well, we might have a solution.   You might already know this, but Columbia’s neighborhoods are a built-in literature lesson! Most of…

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How to Avoid Your Kids’ Sugar Crash

Another Kid-Friendly, Healthy Recipe! CA personal trainer and registered dietician Bonnie Pace is back with a recipe that will satisfy your kids’ sweet tooth and let them get their hands a little dirty.   First, Columbia-based pediatrician Dr. Edisa Padder is breaking down why too much sugar can be problematic for our kids. The sugar…

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Columbia Art Center Provides Space to Cope With Pandemic

Center Recently Honored With “Best of Howard County” Award Vickie Howell, who has been taking pottery classes and workshops at the Columbia Art Center for over 20 years, says that creating art has played an enormous role in being able to cope with the stress of the pandemic.  “Thanks to the Art Center, I’m able…

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CA Honored In “Best of Howard County” Awards

The 2020 Best of Howard County awards from Howard Magazine are here! CA is honored to be recognized in numerous categories. This year, more than 53,000 readers voted on the best that Howard County has to offer in 75 different categories. Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club was once again named the best golf course in Howard…

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Self-Care and Stress Relief For Parents

Self-care for parents Okay, okay… We know this “self-care” term is overused, but we are all overwhelmed, over-extended and frankly, over it. So whatever you want to call it, we probably could all use more of it. Let’s start by echoing what others have stressed more than ever: You are enough.   Be kind… to…

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The Ultimate Art Supply List For Kids

Parents, if you’re wondering what art supplies you need to keep your kids’ creative juices flowing, you’ve come to the right place.   Columbia Art Center Director Liz Henzey knows art could be a saving grace in this screen-heavy time.   “The benefits of these activities are abundant and include providing fun and educational experiences,…

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CA Budget Breakdown: Phase 1 of FY2022 Budget Talks

Budget Breakdown: Phase 1 of FY2022 Budget Talks We know budgets are important, but they’re also complicated. The dollars and cents behind Columbia Association’s (CA) budget is no exception.    We want people to understand the meaning behind the numbers and the impact on our organization, impacts that will trickle down to everyone living in,…

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