Posts Tagged 'Marquette'

How To Make Your Health Less Ruff

Dog Heart

In honor of the Pup Rally that took place today, June 5, 2018, on Marquette’s very own campus, I felt as though it was most appropriate to post some puppy appreciation. It is no secret that therapy dogs are used heavily around campus, since the college culture has its tendencies of causing a stressful atmosphere. Aside from obviously being cute and cuddly, did you know that there is a science behind why their existence betters our overall health and well being?

The responsibility of owning a dog, comes along with the responsibility of having to take them on frequent walks to let them do their business. Therefore, whether you plan on jogging or walking as your source of a workout for the day, you will always have company and will never have to do it alone. Walking your dog will attract the best kind of attention from others, igniting conversation and bringing joy to anyone you may encounter. The beauty of it all is that you are doing all of this, without even noticing that you are meeting your obligations of staying fit and active for yourself and and your health!

Marquette’s utilization of therapy dogs throughout campus is a great investment to the community surrounding it. With the atmosphere of college always bringing out the worst when it comes to stress, dogs have the ability to lower anxiety and blood pressure, while increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurochemicals that play significant part being in calm and maintaining overall well being. Spending as little as a few minutes, has the capability of causing immediate relief and brightening up your day filled with newfound happiness and motivation.

Despite the popular belief of dog’s being harmful to the well-being of children back then, recent research has proved that it does the exact opposite. Pets are known to help reduce allergies found among children, in addition to strengthening their immune systems when being exposed to a furry friend within the household at a young age.

Dogs’ presence alone has the ability to add more meaning and a purpose to your life, so today appreciate a pup, whether that be through embracing your own, donating to a humane society, or adopting today. The world can use more loving owners to creatures that give the same amount of love back!

Diana Banzon

So long Marquette

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It is so hard to believe that I am writing my last blog to all of you right now. I remember writing my first blog almost two years ago when I started at Marquette as a transfer student. And now, it’s already all coming to an end. It is time for me to graduate!

Looking back over the time I have spent blogging for MU Employee Wellness, I realize how much I have grown myself. I knew right from the start that being well is more of a journey than anything else. It is not something you can just do overnight, but it is something we all have to work at. And although that can be hard sometimes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Being well means everything from physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and more. Basically, wellness is anything that you want it to be. To me, wellness is anything that gives you life, not just simply surviving. My wellness is eating healthy, exercising regularly, creating a balance in life, making time for friends and family, spending time with animals, making art, enjoying the outdoors, and yes, relaxing too. Sometimes my relaxation includes binge watching Netflix, don’t tell anyone. But the point is, wellness is not quite what it first seems to be. It is not just about eating healthy and exercising, wellness is anything that makes you a better you.

My wellness journey has been anything but smooth, but I always manage to somehow motivate myself to get back on track. Wellness has played such an important role in my life, especially when trying to deal with health issues. And I am so thankful for everything in life that lead me towards always trying to better myself and to be well. I am especially thankful for having had the experience of sharing my journey and everything I have learned along the way with all of you. I am looking forward to continuing my wellness journey after I leave Marquette.

It is so bittersweet to be leaving campus and this blog, but I am beyond excited at the opportunity to grow myself and my wellness even further. I will be staying in Milwaukee (at least for a little while yet), so I hope to see you all out being well and enjoying Milwaukee’s summer.

I am off to accomplish some great things in life, I leave you all in the very capable hands of Diana. So long Marquette, it has been a great, although very short, two years with you.

Alicia Diedrich

Sendik’s: benefits and drawbacks

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I hope today finds all of you rested and ready to tackle the second week back at Marquette after the three-day weekend. If you didn’t already know, Marquette has a new addition to campus this semester: a grocery store, Sendik’s Fresh2Go. This addition to campus has been anticipated for years and years.

President Lovell had eagerly attempted to establish a grocery store on campus ever since he became president in 2014. This is a huge advancement for the campus and near west side, as they have been stranded in a food desert for far too long. This is the 19th grocery store for Sendik’s markets, which have a great local reputation for providing excellent, fresh, healthy choices for its’ customers. The new Sendik’s Fresh2Go on campus features a salad bar, olive bar, and a made to order sushi bar along with easy, individual grab and go meals. These features have been Sendik’s key attraction points for their new location.

However, when inside the store it is discovered that although there is a very generous sushi bar and salad bar, it appears to be lacking in other to-go meals that it could be offering. The individual ready made meals are limited to mostly boxed chicken dinners. There is an opportunity here for Sendik’s to introduce soups, pastas, prepared vegetables, and other deli items that are typically found in some of Sendik’s other locations. While the store may be limited on their space, if Sendik’s cut down on their liquor selection, it would free up space for the fresh items this community really needs. Considering the majority of students on campus are underage, the size of the liquor section is slightly unnecessary. We are in more need of fresh, healthy options than alcohol.

In addition, while the introduction of this Sendik’s Fresh2Go store to the near west side creates a new opportunity for residents, it still leaves the community faced with some issues. Namely, the prices. Most Sendik’s items may only be a few cents more than large chain grocery stores, when customers are buying multiple items, these few cents can mean a lot to an already struggling community. At this time, the addition of this store may also be taking away from the Near West Side Farmers Market located on 20th and Kilbourn in Avenues West. The farmers market was started with the vision of bringing fresh food options to Milwaukee’s near west side neighborhoods. The farmers market is still available through September 14th, so be sure to check it out before we are confined to grocery store shopping in the dead of winter.

And although there are some drawbacks to the new Sendik’s store on Marquette’s campus, it is a huge leap in the right direction for the surrounding community. We would love to hear your opinions in the comments. Enjoy the rest of your week and eat some healthy produce!

Alicia Diedrich

Mindfulness Meditation

I hope this week finds all of you in a peaceful, calm, and relaxed state of mind. I am anything but all of these right now! I am moving to a new apartment today, and it’s only a block away from where I was living. Needless to say, my day is a little hectic! So even if you are finding yourself in the midst of some crazy life change like me or just any old stressful day, week, or month, I’d like to remind you it will all be okay. But make sure you’re taking some proactive steps to help yourself along the way to a relaxed mind so you don’t get too stressed out. We’re lucky here at Marquette because we have lots of great resources to help you work towards a life of wellness.

One of these great resources is the free Mindfulness Meditation sessions that are held every week. Now I’ve definitely heard it before. “How is sitting there in silence and meditating going to help me?” And I have definitely been skeptical about it before, but this year I was given the opportunity and motivation to have a new experience with meditation. This past spring semester I took Theology 2310 – Explorations in Christian Theology with Dr. Nussberger. In this class we were assigned a project to spend half of the semester regularly performing or participating in any kind of prayer practice. I chose to do at least 10 to 15 minutes of meditation daily for the remainder of the semester. I did a quiet meditation where I focused solely on my breathing, allowing all of my other thoughts to escape my mind. And while this was not always an easy task with my crazy-busy, racing mind, it was well worth it in the end.

I could not believe what just a few minutes of silence could do for me. Letting myself turn off my brain from all of my worries and everything on my to-do list. Before my quiet meditation days I never realized just how necessary it is to give all of your body a break: yes, including your brain! Now, if you’re unsure how to get started on meditation, let’s backtrack to the Mindfulness Meditation classes that I mentioned. There’s just a few more weeks left of the summer session, so get started on your meditation now! Join this week’s Mindfulness Meditation on Wednesday from 12:15 to 1 in AMU 233. If you end up loving the Mindfulness Meditation, don’t worry that the summer session is almost over, we will surely be back with another session this fall! Mindfulness is just one step in the direction of living a life of wellness, but being mindful in your everyday decisions on nutrition, exercise, and a well mind are the key to overall well-being. Meditation is a great way to achieve a new level of mindfulness.

Hopefully discovering Mindfulness Meditation will allow you to find yourself in a new, relaxed and peaceful state of mind despite whatever craziness is going on in your life, just like it did for me. Happy meditating!

Alicia Diedrich

National Bike Challenge: Accepted

The National Bike Challenge – Town Gown Showdown has been going on since May 1st and there’s still a couple months left to take part! Marquette teamed up with other Milwaukee-area schools and Milwaukee County as a whole to take on this annual cycling competition. Last year Milwaukee took 3rd place with over 169,000 miles from May 1st through September 31st! If you ask me that’s pretty incredible. But I also say that means this year Marquette and Milwaukee will do even better.

I want to see Milwaukee as the #1 biking community. I especially want to see all of Marquette’s employees and retirees out putting on some miles on their bikes. As of week 8, we were sitting at 57,746 miles. Considering the challenge lasts a total of 18 weeks, I think it’s safe to say we’re off to a good start (although behind last year).  We are currently in week 11 and have 7 more to go, so that leaves plenty of time to make sure you log some miles. Whether you are going 1 mile, 10 miles, or 30 miles at a time, it all counts. When you are doing something beneficial for your body, IT ALL COUNTS. So don’t be afraid to get out there and do some biking today.

It’s really easy to take part in the challenge. First, you have to create a Strava account, connect with Marquette’s club and then sync to the National Bike Challenge. For detailed instructions on how to participate, visit our employee wellness page.

After you’re all set up with your Strava account, it’s time to get on your bike. You could go on a grand, solo adventure, or gather up some family members and enjoy a fun afternoon together. There are so many cool places to bike in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. You can find maps of biking trails here along with plenty of other biking resources from bike sharing to safety information.

Now that you’re all set with biking resources and plenty of motivation to get out there and make Milwaukee and Marquette proud, I hope to see you all on the trails.

Alicia Diedrich

Being well in life can depend on your pockets

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What does it mean to be financially “well?” This question has really peaked my interest for a long time. There are many factors that contribute to someone’s financial wellness, and they are fairly universal since they can apply to a college student just as much as they can apply to a professional reaching retirement age. These factors can include personal finances/budgeting, financial risks and investing for retirement.

While there is an astronomical amount of information on all of these topics (thanks, Internet!), I have tried to condense some of the information in fairly simple terms. This is a great jumping off point if you are interested in improving your financial wellness!

Having a good understanding of your personal finances is an integral part of becoming a financially well person. Knowing exactly where your money is coming and going is part of being fiscally responsible. Many people find it very helpful to create a monthly budget to provide them some guidance. A simple way to do this is to record exactly how much income you are receiving, whether it be from a job, an investment, or otherwise. Next, you can track everything that you spend that money on. This is a very wide range of things; from car payments to grocery bills to clothes shopping. Understanding exactly how much you are spending and what you are spending is possibly the most important part of your personal finances. Once you have your monthly income and monthly expenses, find the difference (income –minus expenses). If the difference is a positive number, you are living in a financially sustainable way. If the difference is negative, you are actually losing money every month, which means you are living in a financially unsustainable way.

While the concept of keeping a budget and sticking to it is simple in theory, it can be very hard to limit ourselves to spend less than we earn. It takes a lot of focus and discipline to do this. The outcome of being financially responsible is a sustainable lifestyle that minimizes financial stress and allows for a lot of flexibility when something like poor health or unintended expenses come up (and they always do).

We can separate financial risks into three categories: loss of income, unintended expenses, and outliving assets in retirement. Loss of income can be due to a whole host of things like death, sickness, injury or loss of job. Unintended expenses are things like medical bills after an accident or natural disaster causing damage to the home. Outliving your assets in retirement is most likely the least consider risk people have. Most people don’t really worry about retirement until it is staring them in the face. This is obviously not the correct way to do this, considering time is one of your greatest assets when it comes to investing. Taking advantage of very simple investing strategies and placing them in a work sponsored 401k or IRA, letting them sit and profit from compound interest is a very popular and simple way you can hedge against outliving your assets.

Therefore, realizing and obtaining financial wellness goals can be broken down very simply – be informed and active in your personal finances and minimize your financial risks. The things discussed in this article are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financial literacy, but understanding that this is the starting point is the first step in becoming financially well.

 

By Ben Eccles

Wellbeing Biography: Ben Eccles

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Well-being: the state of being happy, healthy, or successful.

Since becoming aware of how important my wellbeing is, I have always found it interesting that we as humans constantly barter our wellness for some other medium of satisfaction. For example, I know that I love Chinese food. Not the traditional dish you would be served in China, but the greasy “Americanized” Chinese food. I love the smell, I love the taste, but the feeling I have the morning after a night of Chinese food is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. After an experience like that, you would think I would never return to the sweet and sour chicken I love so much, but you can bet that a few weeks later, I will be on the phone ordering that same dish. Why? Why would I subject my wellbeing to that torture?

While I admit that not everyone feels the same way about fried rice and egg rolls, we all have our own “Chinese food.” Most of us probably have multiple things that we do even though we know there is really no long-term positive affect to them (and possibly a negative long term affect!). It doesn’t take a nutritionist to tell you that your double fudge brownie adds little to no nutritional value to your diet, or that your daily Diet Coke isn’t really very good for you. We all make choices that are poor for our health, and my theory behind why we do these things is that we don’t value our wellbeing nearly as much as we should.

This became clearer than it has ever been for me during my freshman year of college. I, along with most college-aged people, didn’t value my wellbeing very much at all. I didn’t eat particularly well, my workout schedule started strong but fairly quickly I had eradicated the gym completely from my weekly routine, and I probably averaged around 5 hours of sleep per night. The affects of these choices didn’t hit me immediately. They were gradual, and once in action, they were very hard to counteract. My grades began to suffer, I started napping in class, and the Freshman 15 became a very real thing for me.

This was one of the most confusing times in my life. I was having all of these great experiences as a young college student living on his own for the first time. But at the same time, my mental, physical and emotional state was pretty severely damaged by the poor decisions I was making. I remember very clearly the night all of this truly dawned on me. I was in the McCormick basement studying for a chemistry exam and it was almost 4 o’clock in the morning. This wasn’t an every day thing, but it happened often enough that I just accepted the fact that a good night’s sleep wasn’t an option on a night before a test. Once I finished studying, I packed up my things, and dragged myself to my room to catch 3 hours of sleep before my 9 a.m. chemistry class. As you might have guessed, I bombed the test. It was almost like I hadn’t studied at all. My thoughts were so scrambled by my lack of sleep that I could hardly read the questions on the pages. After this experience, I was always more aware of how my current decisions were going to affect my future self.

The point of this story is not to make anyone (including myself) feel bad about the decisions made. I think it is important to indulge in ones personal pleasures every once in a while because I think that is how we get the most joy out of our lives. But hopefully after reading this article, you can more consistently say no to things that may cause some immediate satisfaction or relief but are detrimental in the long run. Awareness is truly only a small part of the battle, but acting in favor of your wellbeing will ultimately lead you to a better, happier life.


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