Beyond Nutrition and Fitness: A New Weekly Approach to Wellness
01/24/2014   By:    Campus and Community   No Comment

Student wellness logoIn an age when people are bombarded with diets and workout tips, many have become unreceptive to advice related to a healthy lifestyle. However, overall wellness and quality of life are not simply affected by food and physical activity. At Elizabethtown College, the Student Wellness team educates the campus community on the various elements of personal well-being and hopes to instill lifelong skills. This year the team created Take Care Tuesday, a weekly, hour-long session emphasizing elements of wellness.

Take Care Tuesdays’ weekly programs are grouped in specific areas of interest. The first four sessions focus on alternative medicine options, including a brief demonstration and participation opportunity. Local professionals lead the first two sessions, including “More Than Just Pins & Needles: Exploring Acupuncture” and Dragonfly Healing House presents “Exploring Tai Chi.” On Feb.  11, Dr. Jeff Long, Elizabethtown College professor of religion and Asian studies, discusses the importance of mediation. The first month of the program concludes with a local chiropractor teaching the importance of posture and preventing injury in “Stay Healthy Your First 100 Years.”

Meanwhile, the “Love Your Body” Fashion Show returns for its second annual showcase during Body Appreciation Week. Later programing includes nutrition, self-defense and sex education. The program wraps up with a screening of “Sin by Silence,” a film sharing the stories of women imprisoned after killing their abusive partners.

We want to take a holistic approach to wellness. We want to focus on wellness not just physical health and nutrition, but also emotional and mental health.”

All Take Care Tuesday programs begin at 8 p.m. and run consecutive weeks from Jan. 28 through April 22. All events are free and open to the public. For every event attended, students are entered for a chance to win an iPad.

“We want to take a holistic approach to wellness,” said Amanda Cheetham, Student Wellness and Health Promotion health educator. “We want to focus on wellness not just physical health and nutrition, but also emotional and mental health.” Not only is Student Wellness offering this information, they are presenting it in a new, more visible manner.

“Student Wellness is taking a new spin on getting information out to students,” said Daria Hammet, senior and four year member of Student Wellness Advocacy Group (S.W.A.G.). “We’re not pushing information, we’re trying to help people see information in a new light and promote wellness throughout everyone on campus.” In addition to Take Care Tuesdays, Student Wellness has started the Wellness on Wheels program making health-related products more accessible.

Individually, S.W.A.G. members are responsible for organizing an assigned program, but collaboratively work on creative new marketing efforts. Prior to the first event, statistics and facts regarding acupuncture will be presented on Student Wellness’s official Facebook page ElizabethtownStudentWellness and Twitter @etownwellness. Students also will be given Wellness calendars of upcoming events. “We hope people will hang them in their dorm room like OSA (Office of Student Activity) calendars,” Hammet said.

Additionally, Hammet emphasized the importance of working with other student organizations, campus offices and sports teams to ensure everyone is educated. In February, Student Wellness is co-hosting “Love is Louder,” an informative session on bullying and mistreatment. Five tables will be set up in the Brossman Commons concourse from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 10. Noir: Black Student Society of Elizabethtown College; Allies: LGBTQ-straight alliance; To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA); Chaplain and Religious Life office; and counseling services will be represented.

Moving forward, Cheetham hopes to gain feedback from Take Care Tuesday attendees to continue and expand the program. “I want to make students aware that counseling services is available and personable,” she said. “There is free access and no referral needed…We want to be more visible…I want students to come and check out The WELL, stop and talk to S.W.A.G. students.”

“It’s really exciting,” Hammet said in regards to the Student Wellness changes. She has been involved in the program since her first year of College and has seen the program grown, calling it “new” and “fun.” “The group has become more united,” Hammet said. “We’re more than just the students who sit in The WELL.” She commented that the program is fulfilling the potential she always envisioned. “I’m sad to graduate,” Hammet said with a smile, as the program is excelling and she would like to be involved in its future success.

View the complete Take Care Tuesday schedule.

About the Author :

Megan Leppo is a graduate of Elizabethtown College and past NOW staff writer.