Campus Health


Wellness Plan

What's your Wellness Plan? Do you have a "health plan"? Besides paying money for health insurance, what is your plan for maintaining or improving your health? If you have a plan that's great! Review it and keep it up to date.
Sometimes inertia keeps us stuck in bad habits and we just manage to keep our heads above water. If you don't have a plan or feel it needs something, read on...

Step One

How much do you weigh? Did you gain or lose any weight last year? Every year a lot of people make resolutions to lose weight. Sometimes that resolution is blown by January 2nd. Sometimes we partially meet our goals. Did you resolve to lose 15 but lost five? Thatís ok. Try for another five this year. How? Think about that as you read the rest of the list. If you met your goal or are at goal weight, congratulations!

Step Two

How tall are you? Resolve to stand tall. If you stand up straight and hold your shoulders back, you may look taller (and thinner) and confident. The main reason for asking this question if to determine your body mass index. Even with its flaws, it's an indicator to gauge if you need to lose or gain weight. The formula is:

[ weight in pounds / height in inches x height in inches ] x 703

You can also go to visit an online BMI calculator and it will calculate it for you. Keep it between 20-25.

Step Three

Do you exercise? Can you touch your toes? You don't have to go to a gym. You don't have to get all sweaty or stinky. Muscles need to burn energy. Take a brisk walk for 20 minutes a day. Inside or outside. How long does it take you to get from your car to your building? Double that time for "to and from" time. Got a pedometer? Get one and use it. See how close (or far) you are from 10,000 steps a day. Figure out how to increase that number by 1000 steps. And do it.

Step Four

Ever had your cholesterol checked? If yes, what was that number? If it was under 200, good for you! If it wasn't, resolve to lower it this year. Really look at how you eat. Pick one high fat favorite food. How often do you eat it? Can you cut down on the frequency or the quantity at a sitting (without increasing the frequency)? Downsize those fries, eat half that snickers bar, cut out the mayonnaise on that hamburger. Lower your cholesterol, and probably your weight. Cholesterol is best measured after not eating for 12 hours. If you don't know your cholesterol level, why not? Go to a health fair or your healthcare provider and find out.

Step Five

The only way you know if your blood pressure is right is to have it measured. Ideally, it should be below 120/75. If it stays above 140/90. your pressure is too high. Think of the oil or water pressure in your car. Too much pressure causes problems. Same thing with your body. Too much pressure ruins the vessels; that includes the eyes, heart, kidneys, brain and penis. It may be lowered by controlling your stress, decreasing your weight, lessening your salt intake or getting regular exercise. Sometimes medicine is the only way to get it within normal range.

Step Six

How much sleep do you get? Cutting yourself short? Some people can get by with little sleep (under eight hours). Others of us can do it periodically but risk being irritable or eating all day to give us the energy boost we need when we cut ourselves short on sleep. Make bedtime a consistent time.

Step Seven

Are you happy? Are you depressed? Being unhappy or depressed can be miserable for you and people around you. Is there something you have always wanted to do but never got around to it? Make a commitment and start planning. Quit dragging yourself around. Some people are miserable but are afraid to change. Is there something you know you should do but you don't want to? Are you afraid to change? Talk to someone about that. Make sure there is some fun in your life. Do something fun every week and give yourself something to look forward to.

Step Eight

Is your life consistent with your beliefs? Do you have the right people in your life? Are those close to you good for you? Do they support you or drag you down? We all need someone, some need more than others. Do you have someone you can talk to? Sometimes we have different relationships for different reasons. Do a reality check - is a bad relationship getting in your way? Do you need another friend? A different friend? Avoid people who criticize and judge. Let your spirit soar.

Step Nine

How's your job? Don't like it? What type of work would make you happier? Or is it the boss? Or are you bored? If so, can you distract yourself from it with hobbies? Or take classes to change jobs? People who feel their jobs are worthwhile or feel they make a difference are happier. Make a difference with your life.

Step Ten

Are you stressing over those Christmas bills? Or did you maintain your budget? I hope you made a budget and stuck to it. If you're stressing over the bills, make a realistic plan to pay them so you donít keep yourself awake at night and then eat all the next day worrying about how to pay your bills. Your blood pressure will notice.

Everyone is different. Different lives, different habits. But the same concepts apply to everyone. There are many parts of our lives that impact our feeling of wellness. If you are interested in feeling better or just improving your wellness, then try changing one of the above. Small successes lead to bigger successes. Do something good for yourself every day.