Category Archives: Fitness

Being physically active in college is a great way to manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Tread Desk

Have you ever tried to study or read over your notes while on the elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike? You might want to try one of the new walking treadmill desk at the White Building Fitness Center. UPUA and Campus Recreation partnered up to bring this specialized, walking treadmill desk to Penn State. Located in the hallway to the right of the fitness center entrance, this ‘Tread Desk’ allows the user to be as productive as they would be at a regular desk, while stretching their legs and racking up steps.

Recent research has shown that sitting for too long each day is detrimental to one’s overall health[i],[ii] and has shown that Americans, on average, sit too much and exercise too little. According to Harvard Health Publications, the average person is inactive for over half their day, which can lead to lower cardiovascular health and higher rates of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cancer-related deaths in very sedentary people[iii],[iv].

Walking treadmills like the Tread Desk provide a unique solution for individuals who would like to be more active, but due to the nature of their job, school, or other obligations, do not have time. From answering emails to reading over flash cards, the Tread Desk is a great way to multitask and save time, while getting some steps. The Tread Desk is in White Building for a trial period, so try it soon!

Looking for other ways to move more, sit less, and increase your daily steps? Then check out the Walking Club! Every Monday at 4:30 pm, students meet up in the lobby of the Student Health Center  and, weather permitting, walk outside for about an hour. The route changes each week.  The participants get to decide where they want to walk. Now that the weather is getting warmer, come hang out with Healthy Penn State Ambassadors for a fun and relaxing walk.  It’s a great way to end your Monday and start your week off on the right foot!

Written by Healthy Penn State Ambassador, Michelle Mehallow

[i] American Heart Association News – Sitting Too Much Can Increase Heart Disease Risk.

[ii] Mayo Clinic – What are the Risks of Sitting too Much?

[iii] Biswas A, Oh PI, Faulkner GE, Bajaj RR, Silver MA, Mitchell MS, et al. Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:123-132

[iv] Corliss, Julie. “Too Much Sitting Linked To Heart Disease, Diabetes, Premature Death – Harvard Health Blog”. Harvard Health Blog. N.p., 2017. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.


Winter Thaw 5K

On Saturday, February 25th, Penn State Club Cross Country hosted the third annual Winter Thaw 5k. Despite the rain and wind, a number of students and community members came out to participate in the 3.1 mile course. The race kicked-off at the Institute of Science and Technology Building, looped around the Penn State Golf Courses, and finished just outside the HUB-Robeson Center.

The top five finishers for men and women are:


  1. Andrew Sell
  2. Mark Puleo
  3. Matthew Balogh
  4. Ray Friend
  5. Bryan Moon


  1. Leah Narkevic
  2. Amy Mohler
  3. Marissa Fritz
  4. Rita Concannon
  5. Steph Vignette

Each finisher received a KIND bar as they crossed the finish line. The top 5 male and female place winners received gift cards to Rapid Transit Sports. A big congratulations to all the runners! Healthy Penn State would like to thank the race volunteers who helped set up, marshal, and tear down the race.


Stay Active this Winter

Are you ready to make some changes to your current exercise program? Does winter make it tough to get motivated for exercise?  Here are some tips to help make those changes and focus on a healthier you:

  1. Try a new workout class – Penn State Fitness has plenty to choose from!
  2. Meet with a personal trainer and develop a new exercise routine
  3. Go to the gym or an exercise class with a friend
  4. Schedule exercise like you schedule classes and meetings and make it non-negotiable
  5. Choose an activity you enjoy doing – basketball, yoga, skiing, etc.
  6. Look for clubs on campus that support indoor exercise and fitness – Indoor Activities
  7. Join the free walking group – Mondays 3:45-4:45 at Rec Hall track

Take advantage of the free stuff in Health Promotion and Wellness

If you are looking for some free ways to be active, join us every Monday at 3:45-4:45 at the Rec Hall track for a walking group. For more information, click here. If you’re interested in free wellness classes, UHS offers Pilates and Yoga classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in room 205 Student Health Center from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. See the flyer below for more information.  Looking for a De-stress zone? Visit Health Promotion and Wellness, in 201 Student Health Center, to relaxing.  While you are there, check out the biofeedback software and relaxing sound tracks.

Health Promotion and Wellness has lots of great resources that are free to every students, including free condoms, HIV testing, sleep kits and a stress management workbook. 201 Student Health Center is open Monday-Friday 8 am – 5 pm. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Finals Week Wellness

It’s been a long semester and you’ve studied hard.  Now it’s time to cap off the semester by doing well on final exams and projects.  A lot of students associate finals week with all-nighters, constant studying, and plenty of coffee.  These behaviors can actually be detrimental to your academic performance.  Here are ways to take care of your mind and body so that you can do your best on finals.

  1. Sleep

Sleep deprivation affects not only your energy level and mood, but also your ability to concentrate, learn, and focus.  As finals week approaches, maintain a regular sleep pattern and aim for 7-9 hours per night.  For more restful sleep, avoid alcohol and stop drinking caffeine at least six hours prior to your typical bed time.

  1. Get your nutrients

Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables help keep your brain healthy.  Throw an apple or a banana in your backpack before you head out to study or have a salad with your next slice of pizza.  Most importantly, do not skip meals.

  1. Be active

Physical activity is not just good for your body, but also for your brain.  Endorphins released in the brain during physical activity can reduce tension, improve mood, and increase brainpower.  Take a walk, turn your music on and dance, or take some time to stretch.  If you exercise regularly, keep it up!  You’ll reap the benefits more than ever this week.

Staying Motivated

Trying to lose weight because of a medical condition? Consider visiting a dietitian in the Nutrition Clinic at University Health Services (UHS).  UHS has a Weight Management Program that is specifically designed to help students who need to lose weight due to health needs.  So far, students who have enrolled in the program find it rewarding.

Losing weight takes time, so it’s normal to question your ability to continue to make positive change. The following strategies will help increase your chances of successful weight loss.

  1. Find your inner motivation: find the “thing” that will give you the burning drive to stick to your weight-loss plan
  2. Set realistic goals: make small changes every day that will lead to big results in the long run.
  3. Remember your priorities: set priorities that support a healthy lifestyle and that promote lasting change.
  4. Focus on progress, not perfection: see every snack and every meal as a new opportunity to make a healthy choice.
  5. Celebrate achievement: recognize and be proud of your progress by using mini rewards. For example, buy yourself fitness gear; go to a sporting event, concert or movie with friends when you consistently eat 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily for a month.
  6. Patience: remember, evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off(1).

(1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Taking Steps toward Better Health

Walking has many health benefits that we often don’t even think about. Whether you are walking for exercise or walking to class, this activity gives you a physical and mental health boost. You may not think of walking as exercise, but it is! Long ago Hippocrates said, “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” In our common day, Exercise is Medicine is a well-known campaign[i] at Penn State University.

American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine guidelines call for able-bodied adults to engage in moderate-intensity exercise (brisk walking) for at least 30-minutes per day.  Do you meet these recommendations?  Walking has numerous benefits including protection against depression, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol[ii]. Walking can even boost your mental alertness, making it a great study break.

If walking isn’t already part of your routine, consider making it a part of your daily life. The best thing about walking is that it’s free and doesn’t require equipment. Walking is simple and natural. It does not require skill and the risk for injury is low. Next time you have the choice to ride the bus to class, choose to step toward better health.



Stress, Food and Exercise During the Holidays

Do the holidays create stress for you?  Do you feel pressure to overeat at meals and parties?  Here are ways you can incorporate a variety of nutritious foods and activity during this busy time of year:

  • Keep healthy snacks with you, for example, fruit and cheese, peanut butter and crackers, yogurt
  • Eat consistently to avoid getting over-hungry
  • Drink sparkling water instead of eggnog, beer and mixed drinks
  • Bring a healthy dish to share at parties
  • Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full
  • Make time to exercise. It’s a great way to relieve stress
  • Go for a walk before or after a holiday party or get together
  • Fill up on nutrient dense foods including fruit, vegetables, whole grain breads and crackers, lean meats and cheeses