UWG getting healthy for spring
by Bradley Hartsell
One New Year’s Resolution almost everyone makes is to get fit and stay healthy in the new year. However, maintaining that plan is often easier said than done.
With obesity and other health-related issues on the rise in the United States, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has never been more important than it is today.
The University of West Georgia Wolf Wellness Initiative is dedicated to helping students, faculty and staff achieve their health goals in 2014 through a six-segment wellness model. Wolf Wellness is a comprehensive campus wide endeavor made possible through a Wellness Initiative Mini Grant from the Board of Regents. This initiative has been strengthened by a local partnership with Tanner Health System’s existing wellness improvement program, “Get Healthy, Live Well,” which is funded by a $1.22 million community transformation grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This spring, the initiative will include multiple opportunities for health and wellness education. The Get Healthy West Georgia Weight Loss Challenge, sponsored by Tanner Health System, is a free, 12-week program in which teams and individuals compete to lose weight, increase exercise and improve nutrition. The initial weigh-ins for the Weight Loss Challenge took place from Jan. 21-23 at the Carrollton campus, and the second round of assessment took place on Feb. 20. The final weigh-ins for the challenge will occur this month.
Tanner Health System has also brought smoking cessation classes, Cooking Matters classes, new community gardens, the year-long National Diabetes Prevention Program and events featuring nationally acclaimed wellness speakers to UWG’s Carrollton campus.
“I think it is important as a university that we partner with our community institutions,” said Elizabeth Butts, health and wellness promotion coordinator at UWG. “The expertise offered by the Tanner staff helps tremendously with different events and program opportunities that have included our UWG community.”
In honor of National Walking Day today, Wolf Wellness is planning a weekly campus walking initiative for faculty and staff throughout the month of April. The walk will take place at a pre-determined location and route. Organizers hope to spread awareness about the importance of physical activity such as daily 30-minute walks, as well as encourage employees to develop healthy exercise habits. The tentative dates for the weekly walking session are April 10, 16, 23 and 30.
Also planned are five Lunch-and-Learn sessions, with each session focusing on different topics. The first session took place on Feb. 27 and covered financial wellness. The second session will take place on March 27 and will focus on nutrition and portion control with a licensed Tanner dietician providing individualized nutrition consultations to the first 20 people to sign up. Portion control plates will also be given out as incentives to the first 25 people. The third session is planned for April 10 and will provide tips for exercising at work and the fourth session will occur on April 21 and will teach stress management. The final session will involve a demonstration on healthy cooking.
“Along with ‘Going West,’ we want students to be well, stay well and do well, and for our faculty and staff to work well,” said Butts. “These programs offer website wellness information and support for our community members who are seeking to improve personal wellness and make positive lifestyle adjustments. We hope that our UWG community will continue to tap into the resources that are provided.”
For more information, visit westga.edu/wolfwellness .