In 2010, first lady Michelle Obama organized the nonprofit organization Partnership for a Healthier America, or PHA, to take initiative against childhood obesity. Although, initially, the intended demographic was children, the organization later proceeded to cover college students as well. This initiative, known as the Healthier Campus Initiative, is a three-year commitment to uphold specific requirements to ensure a healthy environment for college campuses. UNF elected to partake in this initiative, in order to provide a better environment for students, faculty, and staff. One of the requirements of the Healthier Campus Initiative is to host a Healthy Campus Week every September. The Department of Recreation and Wellness, "RecWell," took the lead on Healthy Campus Week, and collaborated with UNF Dining Services to bring many different events to UNF students.
Healthy Campus Week was created to promote physical, mental, and spiritual health, through events and activities that encourage healthy decision making. Some of the events included during the week were fitness classes such as glow yoga, a ziplining challenge course, WCW spin, and TBT power yoga. Nutrition related events included meatless Monday at the Osprey Cafe, build your own smoothie bowl and a teaching kitchen. The Ogier Garden hosted Tea at 3 where students learned how to make their own tea while socializing in a relaxing outdoor environment. Additionally, students could learn the importance of mental and emotional health by attending presentations such as More Love for You, Healthy Relationships, and Refresh at Starbucks.
I was able to attend the following events: Refresh at Starbucks, Market Day Wednesday, and Throwback Thursday Power Yoga. At the Starbucks Refresh event I, along with 69 other students, colored a Starbucks cup, relaxed with friends, and put the chaos of college life to rest. The event was simple, yet brought awareness to the importance of mental health and relaxation throughout the stress of college. After I walked into Starbucks, there was a table with Sharpie markers and plastic Starbucks cups. The table quickly became filled, but this was a great event to bring a friend to catch up and color together. There was even a band playing outside, with many more students stopping by to take a break.
The next event I attended was Market Day. While Market Day occurs every Wednesday outside the Student Union, this past week offered many different booths focused on nutrition and overall health. This was a great day for outreach since it brought awareness of all of our health services on campus.
Throwback Thursday Power Yoga had a turnout of 16 people, who were able to relax and get a small workout in before the rest of the hectic day began. It was a sunrise yoga class that began at 7:30 A.M. and it was on the outside patio area at the UNF Recreation Center. The class had a great instructor who made waking up an hour earlier worth it. She teaches class every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 A.M. in the Student Wellness Center 2nd Floor Patio, so next time you can join too!
The students who attended the most events throughout the week were entered into a raffle to win a $100 Target gift card. If any of these events sounded interesting to you be on the lookout for the events next year in September. Events occur all around campus and all week long. You can find more information through the Department of Recreation and Wellness at www.unf.edu/healthyosprey.
Want to join in on the fun? Follow UNF Dining Services on Instagram and Facebook to hear more about events happening throughout the year!
Stay Healthy Ospreys!