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Friday, October 22, 2021

Wellness challenge encourages students to adopt healthy habits

With the dawn of the new year and plenty of resolutions to keep, the Mind Body Wellness Challenge offers a way to stay focused on those healthy promises – at least until the end of the quarter. Starting Friday, students are encouraged to adopt a healthy habit and maintain it for seven weeks with hopes that it will turn into a lifelong change.

“People will have a lot healthier lifestyles if they start healthy habits when they’re young,” said Sue Barnes, program manager at the UC Davis Retiree Center.

Sponsored primarily by the UC Davis Retiree Center, the challenge focuses on the seven different dimensions on the “Wellness Wheel”: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, environmental, occupational and spiritual. Participants are encouraged to choose a dimension and a healthy habit within that dimension to pursue for the duration of the challenge.

“The definition of wellness, according to the World Health Organization, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being – not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” Barnes said. “It’s important to manage stress and maintain a healthy social life.”

Participants will receive weekly tips and motivational messages such as links to websites, information on keeping up healthy habits while traveling or on vacation, a healthy eating chart developed by Harvard and tips for managing stress.

“The wellness challenge is good for all ages and all groups,” said Loraine Townsend, program coordinator with UC Davis Extension. “It encompasses the various categories of wellness. It’s important that the campus supports it because our own wellbeing enhances everything else.”

Dirk Frankenbeger, a sophomore biological sciences major, hopes to use the Wellness Challenge to aid in his personal goals.

“It’s important to keep a balanced life,” said Frankenberger. “There’s a connection between the body and mind and keeping a healthy habit leads to a healthy mind.”

The program will culminate with a healthy potluck luncheon that will feature a wellness presentation. Those who wish to participate can register online at wellnesschallenge.ucdavis.edu.

AKSHAYA RAMANUJAM can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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