Students share their path to wellness Kimberley Hartwig March 31, 2014 12:00 am Sports & Health Healthy U Interactive has launched a new program to bring students’ experiences with health and wellness to the forefront. Four students are blogging about their path to a healthy lifestyle and all the difficulties they encounter. Launched on March 4, the program brings four students from diverse backgrounds together to share their stories. The students are third year Anna Darbyshire, Erica Maier, a fourth year Archeology student, Helen Tang a first year in Arts and Science and Aliya Jiwa, a Master’s student from Vancouver. “I think each one of us represents a different perspective on reasons why you’d want to keep a balanced lifestyle, so I think as a whole, our blog team is very relatable,” said Maier in an email to the Sheaf. “Hopefully one of more of our perspectives can help people realize ways to be healthy that they may have not initially expected or considered.” The bloggers will post once a week for eight weeks, concluding at the end of April. The posts will centre around the seven dimensions of wellness: physical, social, emotional, occupational, environmental, intellectual and spiritual. Tang decided to join the blogging team to further explore her interest in living a healthy lifestyle and to make a commitment to fitness. As a first year student, she didn’t want to fall into the trap of the freshman fifteen. Tang decided to make wellness a priority instead of getting caught up in socializing and letting her health fall to the wayside while in the university environment. “That’s not necessarily a lifestyle that you need to fall into,” Tang said. “You can go out and have fun and eat well and keep a healthy weight. It’s all really accessible and there’s an easy way to keep track of that on Healthy U.” Familiar with the positive effect social media can have on motivating people to stay healthy, Maier was interested in sharing a healthy lifestyle with other students. “I follow tons of fitness accounts on Instagram and it seemed really cool to me to perhaps be on the other side of things and be able to post my own experiences,” she said Maier tries to pack a lunch every day, as one of her biggest challenges has been finding affordable, healthy food options on campus. “It’s cheaper to go buy a cheeseburger than to buy some vegetables and an apple, which is a bit disappointing,” she said. Other than the lack of healthy food, Maier hasn’t had too much difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle on-campus thanks in large part to places like the Physical Activity Complex and the Fit Centre. “U of S students are actually really fortunate because there are so many facilities and programs offered to maintain a healthy balance that just need to be taken advantage of,” she said. Since they began blogging, both Maier and Tang have become more conscious of their overall well-being. “I’ve been way more aware of my physical and emotional health especially, and the balance between the two,” Maier said. “It’s really easy to neglect those things when you don’t make them an active part of your life every day.” Tang’s most recent post was on emotional wellness, which forced her to look at how little time she allotted to doing what makes her happy instead of constantly focusing on school and other necessary activities. “I’ve definitely increased my awareness of my emotional health so far,” she said. “I used to not give time for myself. Now I take study breaks, I make sure that I get plenty of sleep and drink a lot of water. It really makes me aware of all the choices that I’m making.” Tang hopes that other students can learn from her experience and will use Healthy U Interactive to help them further their own wellness. “It’s a great resource,” she said. “I want [students] to learn that being healthy is really accessible on campus.” Visit hui-blogger.tumblr.com to read the bloggers’ posts.