The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

New interactive wellness program launched

By in Sports & Health

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Campus Rec and the Fit Centre have joined together to launch a new program it hopes will help students reach their wellness goals. The program, Healthy U Interactive, is an upgraded version of Rec Pac, the system previously used to keep track of students’ physical activity and wellness.

“Healthy U is basically the same idea but just brought into the digital age,” said Lynn Orsak, Campus Rec Program Assistant for Healthy U Interactive.

“The program is an online health and wellness platform developed by Total Health Interactive [which] focuses on engaging students into activities that will improve their overall health,” said Shawn Rempel, client service manager for Healthy U Interactive.

Rec Pac was very time consuming for the students who used the program and for the staff who entered the data. Healthy U will be much more efficient and user-friendly.

“It’s all online [and] you do it on your own time and it logs your points for you. It’s super easy to use,” said Orsak.

Beginning Monday Sept. 23 students can create a Healthy U account. To start using the program students go to the Healthy U Interactive website, which can be accessed through recservices.usask.ca under the get fit tab. Students will click on the link, enter their Network Services ID and change their password. After changing their password, students will be able to log into their person wellness account.

“From there you can track your fitness, you can track your nutrition — basically any healthy goal that you have it will help you track it and help you stay motivated and stay on track,” Orsak said.

There are many things students can do with Healthy U, including logging their own fitness activities or taking part in individual or team challenges. Students are awarded points for the activities they complete, logging their nutrition and their motivations.

“If you’re looking to beef up your biceps and you want to log that in you get points for that. If you’re goal is to take 10,000 steps in a day, you can get points for that too,” she said.

Students can win prizes like water bottles and towels for reaching a certain amount of points. Points can also be redeemed at the online store for discounts on things like heart rate monitors, pedometers or training programs.

The program offers students many ways to improve their overall wellness and allows for them to individualize their experience.

“Each student can choose how they best utilize the system. Some may use it as a goal setting tool, others may use it as a resource tool as we have an extensive library of health and wellness related resources including recipes, while others may use it to track their progress,” Rempel said.

“It is designed to be quick, easy and fun to use, with a goal of facilitating student enjoyment and success.”

Healthy U doesn’t just provide students a place to keep track of their activities and their progress but also tries to educate students about wellness through a newsletter.

“They’ve got everything from study habits to how to start an exercise routine and build that into your lifestyle. There’s stuff about living with roommates — basically anything that you could run into being a student on campus,” Orsak said.

Users can choose how often they would like to receive the newsletter or can opt out of it all together. The newsletter also includes different tasks which students can earn extra points for completing.

One major improvement made through Healthy U is accessibility. In addition to the web-based platform students will be able to access their account through the My Healthy Compass app for Android and IOS devices, making it easy for students to log their fitness anywhere.

“If you’re cooling down on the treadmill and you want to log your activity right there and you’ve got your phone on you, you can literally do it in 30 seconds,” Orsak said.

Developers are hoping that Healthy U Interactive will be one more tool students can use to help improve their overall health and fitness. Orsak sees the program as most helpful for keeping students on track with their goals as it shows students how far they have come.

“I think it’s a really good tool to increase motivation,” Orsak said. “I know lots of times you start off really great in September and then back again in January and you’re really excited about being healthy and getting into routine but then you get bogged down with school work. I think just having that little bit of extra motivation will help students a lot with reaching their fitness and healthy living goals.”


Photo: Supplied

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