Getting to a healthy lifestyle

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By Amanda Ramirez

 

Last Wednesday, 1,050 students learned how to live a healthier lifestyle at the 2013 Wellness Fair.

“When we think about wellness, we think about working out and eating healthy, but there is so much more to it,” said Whitney Henley, UW-Whitewater wellness coordinator.

Whitney Henley

Whitney Henley

The health and wellness fair took place on Oct. 16 in the University Center Hamilton Room. It is a yearly event that has been informing students of how they can become healthier for nearly 15 years. Fair operators performed 44 massages, gave 63 flu vaccinations and administered 143 mental health screenings.

Henley said the goal of the fair is for students to recognize the multiple forms of wellness, including: emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual.

Research papers, group projects and extracurricular activities hardly leave enough time for college students to get sufficient sleep or maintain healthy eating habits. But what many students might not realize is that a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for success in academics and future endeavors, Henley said.

Freshman Nia-Nicole Mitchell had her first experience at the Wellness Fair this year.

“College is a very stressful time in our lives,” Mitchell said. “If you don’t take care of your body first, you won’t be able to take care of everything else around you.”

The wellness fair provided students with an opportunity to identify campus resources that can improve their health.

Freshman Andrew Brentz found the fair a helpful source to discover local resources such as on-campus counseling, exercise facilities and various workshops offered on campus.

“It opened my mind to what I can do to make myself healthier while on campus,” Brentz said.

The various exhibits were hands-on, personalized activities and lessons that taught students how to apply healthy habits and methods to their daily lives.

Brentz said he appreciated that students created a majority of the exhibits. He found the topics relevant and relatable, because the information was presented by peers rather than professionals who sometimes forget the pressures and health concerns specific to college students.

Hands-on activities included challenges such as use of beer goggles to demonstrate the adverse health effects of drinking and drugs on the mind and body. Another exhibit featured a station that allowed students to make their own stress ball.

There also were activities that catered to students as individuals rather than a general student body. Students could determine their bone density, check their blood pressure and complete fitness tests.

Junior Abriel Odling attended the fair to learn new health tips. Odling said she believes there should be more awareness and education about health and wellness for college students.

“I think there are a lot of students that don’t understand how much [a healthy lifestyle] will help you physically get through the day, or how much more energy you get from being active and eating correctly,” Odling said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the Wellness Center will host Keep Calm & Dream On, an informational workshop about sleeping habits at the Ambrose Health Center from 1-2 p.m. The seminar will feature proven ways to fall asleep, how to deal with waking up at night, and how to adjust your sleep schedule to better fit a college student’s lifestyle.

“If you’re not healthy, you’re not going to be able to do well in school, and you’re not going to be able to do well in life,” Henley said.

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