Category Archives: 9 Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness Retreats

It’s important to take care of yourself. This semester make your well-being a priority and treat yourself to a day of relaxation and healthy activities! Spaces are filling up for the next Wellness Retreat. Email promotinghealth@psu.edu or call 814.863.0461 to reserve your spot for the October 20th retreat.  To learn more about free wellness activities, visit http://sites.psu.edu/healthypennstate/fall-2018-wellness-activities/

Meditation Series 

Mark Agrusti of the Dharma Lions at Penn State, will lead four meditation sessions to help students learn stress management strategies. The sessions are independent of each other and students are not required to attend all four sessions. Sessions will be held from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. in the Wellness Suite, 20 Intramural Building. Dates and topics include:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 – Learn to Meditate
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Calming the Mind with Meditation
  • Tuesday, Dec. 4 – Relaxation Meditation

Wellness Wednesday

Join HealthWorks Peer Educators and Healthy Penn State Ambassadors every Wednesday during the fall semester for wellness activities. Every week this 45-minute session will feature an activity that is designed to help you reduce stress. Here are some examples of what we’ll be doing:

  • Learn to destress with a body scan and belly breathing
  • Create a mind jar and unplug from your phone and social media
  • Go on a guided nature walk with meditation and cloud gazing

All Wellness Wednesday Wednesdays are located in the Wellness Suite (20 IM Building) from 4:00-4:45pm. We hope to see you there!

Stay Active This Summer

Spring semester has come to an end and summer is approaching. For some students this means starting summer with an internship or a job. These exciting opportunities might also involve being sedentary for long periods of time. So what can you do to keep active during work hours?  Here are some creative ways to stay active if you have an office job or internship:

  1. Change up your routine to work. If possible, instead of driving to work, walk or ride a bike. You’ll get fresh air and work those leg muscles. If you have to drive to work, try to park away from the entrance to get additional steps.
  2. Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and you’ll increase your endurance.
  3. Stand up instead of sitting down. Try changing up the work day by using a standing desk to do your work.
  4. Take calls while standing. If you have the opportunity to stand, do so while talking on the phone.
  5. Move around. Avoid sitting in the same exact position for an extended period of time.   You can stretch your arms or round and then straighten your back several times. This will help increase blood flow.

Written by Michelle Szczech, HealthWorks member

Physical Wellness: What It Is, Why It’s Important, and How to Cultivate It

What does it mean to have Physical Wellness? Physical wellness means getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy and balanced diet, being physically active every day, and getting an annual medical check-up (1).

Why is Physical Wellness Important? Physical wellness is important because your body needs to be healthy so you can perform to the best of your ability in all areas of your life, including academically.  Physical activity is just one aspect of physical wellness.  It also includes managing your stress, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet.  Many college students struggle with getting enough sleep.  Staying up late to cram for an exam or write a paper can be counterproductive because you will accrue sleep debt.  If you are sleep-deprived, your memory will not be as good and you will not be able to learn efficiently or focus your attention.  Also, sleep, stress and physical activity are all connected.  If you are physically active, you will reduce your stress level and will probably sleep better as well.

How do you cultivate Physical Wellness?  To cultivate physical wellness you must get adequate sleep (7-9 hours) every night (1). Aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day. Incorporate strength training and stretching into your exercise routine (5). You can achieve a balanced diet by eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (1 serving = about 1 cup), eating whole grains and, if you eat meat, make sure the protein is lean (e. g., fish, chicken). Limit saturated fats, but consider including more unsaturated fatty acids found in foods such as chia seeds, avocados, and salmon (6). Avoid consuming trans fats (6). In general, make sure to eat a variety of whole foods to get the most out of every meal (7).

Sources

  1. Ohio State University Student Wellness Center: 9 Dimensions of Wellness https://swc.osu.edu/about-us/9-dimensions-of-wellness/
  2. Harvard Health Publishing; Harvard Medical School: Importance of Sleep: 6 reasons not to scrimp on sleep https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health
  3. UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services: https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/wellness/physical
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Why is Sleep Important? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html
  6. Choose My Plate: Saturated, Unsaturated, and Trans Fats https://www.choosemyplate.gov/saturated-unsaturated-and-trans-fats
  7. Choose My Plate: USDA Food Pyramid http://www.foodpyramid.com/myplate/