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Wellness Challenge to promote healthy lifestyle

February 21, 2013

Student Health and Counseling Services is continuing its annual campus-wide Wellness Challenge. This program is for students and faculty to promote healthy lifestyles from Feb. 18 to March 17.

“It started to get people active and engage in a healthier lifestyle as we move into spring,” said Keven Syverson, UW-River Falls’ health education coordinator.

The program started about six years ago and is run this year primarily by Cassie Swenson who is an intern for Student Health Services. The program is based on the honor system. Participants have a points log that they turn in at the end of each week for four weeks on Desire to Learn (D2L).

There are weekly prizes and grand prizes at the end of the four weeks which have been provided by local businesses and the campus community.

Participants can choose to either do this program as individuals or create a team of five to eight people.

Last year, the program had about 185 students and staff sign up which included 23 teams and 42 individuals.

As of Monday, Feb. 19, Swenson said the program has one-third less participants than 2012 including just 13 teams.

“[The program] really looks at nutrition, physical activity, relationships, mental health and overall health,” said Syverson. “It’s an opportunity for campus to come together and continue it not just during the challenge but year-round as well.”

Both Swenson and Syverson are part of a team with three of their co-workers from Student Health Services and are excited to be together.

“You recognize what you’re doing and how you can improve,” Swenson said. “It’s a really good incentive to stay motivated.”

Joining the Wellness Challenge has other perks such as free access to the Knowles Center and Hunt Arena for ice skating.
They also are able to have one free equipment rental a day from the Kinni Outdoors Adventures and during the four week challenge they get one free rock climbing session and one free spin class.

Those who were unable to register for the Wellness Challenge are still encouraged to be healthy by Swenson.

“We still have the points log on the [Student Health Services] website,” Swenson said. “The only things they’ll be missing out on are the prizes.”

Students and faculty are encouraged to follow along with the points log and to take advantage of outdoor activity.
“The biggest thing would be to be out and being active,” Syverson said. “Being outside is great, too, and River Falls offers a lot of great areas.”

Syverson said that there is a map located on the Student Health and Counseling Services website which shows all the parks around campus and in the River Falls community.

Student Health Services can also provide students and faculty with tips on how to get healthy and can offer support when needed.
“I just hope that everyone that has signed up will stay with it,” Swenson said. “Stay active and pay attention to your wellness.”
Both Swenson and Syverson want to remind students and faculty that although the deadline has passed to sign up for the Wellness Challenge this year, it will be offered again next year.

For more tips and information on ways to stay healthy in River Falls, students can visit Health Services in Hagestad Hall.