Deciding where to go to school affects multiple aspects of your life, not just your future career. It can also impact your health. Young adulthood is the perfect time to develop self-care habits that support positive health for life. A school with a comprehensive wellness program can guide students toward appropriate behaviors that encourage lifelong fitness.
What do those considering attending school in the Lone Star state have to encourage healthy choices? Here’s a look into the wellness programs offered at the University of Texas.
First, the bad news — many college students don’t meet their nutritional and physical activity requirements. However, there’s also a small silver lining. The dreaded “Freshman 15” appears to be a myth. On average, people gain only 1.6-3 kilograms over four years of study. The downside is that many college students are overweight or obese when they first enter university.
Now, the good news — the University of Texas goes above and beyond to offer nutritional education and support to its students. Their Farmhouse Delivery program partners with Austin farmers to provide staff and students with healthy fresh foods like berries, broccoli, whole grains, oats and nuts. Such foods are low in calories and high in antioxidants that fight disease. For example, broccoli is a particularly rich source of vitamins A and C for reducing cancer risk.
Their Bites of Wellness program is a monthly lunch and learn that helps students acquire valuable self-care skills. For example, they may cover topics such as looking at your plate as a clock, filling a full half-hour with fruits and vegetables to ensure sufficient intake of various antioxidants and phytonutrients.
You can further your learning independently. The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers a series of “Cook ‘Em: How To” videos that teach you to choose and prepare healthy foods.
Fitness is vital for everyone, not only those who enjoy the competitive aspect of sports. The University of Texas Rec Sports Center opens at 6 a.m. every weekday to allow students to exercise, play and relax.
Throughout the campus, you’ll find points of health. For example, you might encounter an elliptical machine you can ride in five to 15-minute segments to get a boost in concentration and energy while better controlling your blood pressure. The Healthy Strides program features miles of walking paths where you can exercise in the great outdoors, solo or with a partner.
Of course, if you do have a competitive bone or two, you can participate in the University of Texas’ many sports programs. Some of the activities offered on campus include:
Mental health is a pressing issue among college students. Suicide remains the third leading cause of death for this demographic, and others struggle with depression or anxieties that prevent them from living life to the fullest.
The counseling and mental health center lies within the student services building. They offer various documents to help yourself or others in need. The Wellness Network is a campus-wide coalition devoted to health and wellness that is open to students. BeVocal promotes preventing high-risk behavior and creating a culture of caring for one another.
Finally, the University of Texas understands the needs of nursing parents. They have quiet lactation rooms throughout campus where moms can nurse their infants or retreat for medical reasons.
The University of Texas also offers Mammo Mixers, where students can enjoy a free chair massage and a snack. They’ll also learn about breast health and get priority scheduling for mammograms.
Deciding where to go to school affects more than your future career. It also impacts your health. Consider what the University of Texas offers for wellness programs and how the school can help you develop as a whole and healthy person.