New year’s resolution on a budget

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  • Losing weight and becoming more fit is a common resolution people make going into the new year.

MEG GROVE, Staff Writer

Every year, a vast majority of people’s New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, become fit or get back into the gym. These resolutions are tough to keep while in school and on a budget. UNI recognizes these barriers and provides resources to make it easier for students to practice healthy lifestyle habits.

Gym memberships can be expensive, but UNI provides many opportunities for students to work out and get their body moving without adding that monthly fee to a budget. Students at UNI pay a recreation fee included in tuition which allows all students drop-in use at the Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC). 

Students have access to three fitness centers, gymnasiums, leisure and lap pools, racquetball courts, a spin studio, a boxing center and lounges for free at the WRC. Students can also participate in programs such as intramurals, sport clubs, group fitness classes, personal training, outdoor recreation gear rental, outdoor clinics and aquatics for a small fee.

Working out and keeping your body moving is important for your physical and mental health. “A recent study showed that 90% of respondents agreed that use of the WRC improved their mental health. Additional research shows that WRC users have higher GPAs, higher graduation rates and had a 7% higher retention rate compared to a non-user comparison group,” said Christopher Denison, recreation services director. “This semester we are averaging about 1,000 uses a day and still have room for more.”

Another issue students face is eating healthy while on a budget. Healthy and organic foods tend to be more expensive and busy schedules make for lots of drive-thru stops. UNI tries to help encourage healthy eating habits in multiple ways.

The dining centers offer allergy friendly and vegan options for students with a meal plan. They also offer healthy foods and snacks for students. 

Students can also schedule individual appointments with Lisa Smith, Administrative Dietician/Purchasing Manager, to help them with healthy eating habits. Smith helps students with specialty diets, locating healthy healthy foods in the dining center and eating healthy on and off campus. 

Wellness coaching programs are offered “to explore ways to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind and body with a trained wellness coach,” said Shawna Jesse, health promotion coordinator. The wellness coaching programs are covered by the mandatory health fee so students don’t have to pay out of pocket.

According to the UNI website, these wellness coaching sessions, “can help you create a routine, manage stress, eat well, strengthen relationships, practice gratitude and self-compassion, create a balanced budget, make career decisions and move your body in a way that you enjoy.” These sessions help build and strengthen healthy habits. 

It’s important to take care of yourself in all aspects of life in order to feel your best. Be sure to check out the Student Health & Well-Being page on the UNI website to see all the programs and services available to students.