Resources can help BYU students stay healthy

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Robin Huddleston walks into Jamba Juice knowing she is going to have a limited menu. The only smoothies that fit her diet, which eliminates animal products, dairy and unnatural sugars, are the “all fruit smoothies” and the “fruit and veggie smoothies.”

She chooses the pomegranate paradise all fruit smoothie. After taking a sip, Huddleston gathers her belongings and heads to the gym for her daily workout. She has found a simple way to live a healthy lifestyle and still have time for her responsibilities with school.

BYU students have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle if they access and apply the tools provided by the university for health and wellness. Students on campus have resources such as nutrition coaches, trainers, wellness coordinators and websites as well as workout facilities.

Huddleston, a physical education major from St. George, said her diet and workout plan make her a more energized person.

“I work out every day, follow my diet and try to eat all my fruits and vegetables,” Huddleston said. “I have noticed that since I did these things, I have more energy, sleep better and I just feel better.”

Huddleston said she tries to stay active and healthy in all aspects of her life, but she is still figuring things out.

“I try to walk places more often, pick up different activities and set up pick-up soccer games,” Huddleston said. “I try to be healthy, but I am still figuring out how to do everything in moderation.”

Susan Fullmer, a BYU professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science, said diet and exercise are equally important but don’t cut certain foods out of your diet.

“In the nutrition world, there is no such thing as good foods or bad foods,” Fullmer said. “There are just good diets or bad diets.”

In order to eat a healthy diet, Fullmer suggested MyPlate.

“MyPlate is the latest tool to help people meet the dietary guidelines and eat a healthy diet,” Fullmer said. “MyPlate replaced the food guide pyramid. It gives you an idea of what a dinner or lunch would look like. It has half the plate with fruits and vegetables with the other half holding grains and proteins. In the cup is dairy which should have 2-3 servings a day.”

Fullmer said no matter the budget, students can still eat a healthy diet.

“When fruits or vegetables aren’t in season, buy frozen or canned,” Fullmer said. “Also buy whole grains and low fat animal proteins.”

Fullmer said there are small changes a student can make in order to eat a healthier diet.

“If students plan what they are going to eat, it will help them eat a better diet,” Fullmer said. “By planning meal times and menus, it will help them when they grocery shop as well. Something else that will help is carrying a lunch and healthy snacks.”

Melanie Crane and Emily Perkins are two nutrition coaches available to students on campus. Perkins said they use MyPlate with every person who talks to them.

“It is an easy application of nutrition,” Perkins said. “We will find the person’s calorie needs and then find how many servings from each food group they should be eating. We will often go over the food groups with the person we are helping and discuss what they normally eat as well.”

Crane said when people come in and ask for their help, they have to be general.

“We can go over weight management, sports nutrition and eating on a budget,” Crane said. “We can’t go into diseases like diabetes or celiac. We also can’t recommend diets.”

Sarah Miskell, a fitness trainer on campus, said when people come in to see her, she goes over what they want to get from the workout.

“I go over basic exercise recommendations like strength, flexibility and cardio,” Miskell said. “Then we talk about what their goals are for the workout, how they can achieve it and what they need to do. Then I design a workout and take the person through everything so they understand what to do.”

Miskell said a general workout that would benefit most people would include cardio and strength training.

“I would recommend 10 minutes of cardio to warm up,” Miskell said. “Then do 2-5 upper body lifts, 2-5 lower body lifts and 8-10 core lifts. To end the work out, the person should then stretch for at least 10 minutes. People get sore because they don’t stretch. If someone wants to get big, they should lift a high amount of weight for a small amount of reps. If someone wants to get toned, they should lift a low amount of weight for a high amount of reps.”

Bre Booren, a wellness coordinator on campus, said many people overlook other aspects of wellness.

“Most people only think of physical wellness, but there are many areas that people should focus on to live a healthy life,” Booren said. “These are the eight areas of health from BYU student wellness: career, physical, spiritual, social, emotional, financial, intellectual and environmental.”

Booren said in order to improve overall wellness, it depends on the person.

“Not one solution will fit every single person and it also depends on what area of wellness you want to focus on,” Booren said. “The student wellness website has a ton of resources on each area of health. I would direct people to that, and they can choose what will work best for them.”

Booren said the best way to improve wellness is to make a goal.

“If you find an area in your life that you think is out of balance, find something you think will help improve it and set a goal to work on it,” Booren said. “This being said, don’t try to make too many goals at one time. It is better to improve at one thing than fail at a lot of things.”

For more information on resources offered to students, go to studentwellness.byu.edu.

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