Healthy start to a new year!

By: Nicole Schwindenhammer

After the holidays and perhaps some overindulgence, many of us want to get back on track with our health. As a member of Penn State’s Green Team, I thought it would be a good time to write
about one of the many parts to sustainability, which is health and happiness. Penn State’s  current definition of sustainability is: “the simultaneous pursuit of human health and  happiness, environmental quality, and economic well-being for current and future generations”. With the New Year and focusing on “human health and happiness”, we can start fresh and take
charge of our health through diet and exercise. I am far from an expert in this department but I do strive to be as healthy as I can be, at the same time finding that balance and living a life.

While there are many forms of exercise, whether it’s walking/running, joining a gym, yoga/pilates, and many other activities, remember that taking care of your health doesn’t
just start after work hours. There are plenty of healthy things we can do during our workday that will benefit our bodies and also our work performance.

As far as exercise is concerned during the workday, the idea is to not stay stagnant for too long. It is good practice to get up out of our chairs and stretch from time to time, perhaps each hour. Whatever your duties are, make it a point to move around your workplace during your shift and keep active when possible. As said many times before, take the stairs if you can, as opposed to the elevator. It really make a difference! And don’t forget about your lunch/dinner break. If  possible, try and get outdoors for a walk, even if it’s very brief. The fresh air can be very

Increased physical activity/exercise go hand in hand with eating healthier. What we put in our bodies is equally (if not more) important as exercising. During the workday, being mindful of
what we eat, whether it’s a meal or a snack, will really help keep things on track. Packing healthier lunches and snacks not only keeps the cost down, but also keeps temptation down by not visiting one of the cafes or restaurants on campus with indulgent food.

It is very motivating when we can get others involved as well in living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Departments within your workplace can share nutritious recipes, go for walks together, or even have a potluck. Hosting a potluck where everyone has to bring in a healthier dish is a great way to build camaraderie and learn about different dishes that can be made more  nutritiously.

So here’s to you and a Healthy and Happy New Year!