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ISSUE 116 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/6/2002

A sneak peek into wellness

By Betsy Pedersen
Staff Writer

Friday, December 6, 2002

The winter months loom before us. When they arrive, make your mental, physical and emotional well being a priority. The St. Olaf Wellness Center can help. According to the St. Olaf website, the Wellness Center serves as a resource to promote awareness and education on issues relating to healthy lifestyles. The Wellness Center offers a wide range of services including confidential counseling, chemical use evaluations and educational programs. The center, located on the first floor of the administration building, also has a large variety of resources available on related health and wellness topics. The most well known service the Wellness Center provides is the Peer Education Programs. Students who are in a physical education class are required to fill up a "blue card." The blue cards can be filled by attending the peer education programs. Jessica Murphy '03 said, "They are helpful because there are students teaching the programs who we can relate to and are useful because they choose subjects that are interesting to people our age." Peer Education Programs are put on by the Wellness Peer Educators. Peer educators provide approximately 20 programs a month at various locations around campus. Each peer educator has an area of specialty. Specialties include chemical health, healthy relationships, nutrition, sexual health, sexual assault, emotional/spiritual health, self esteem, and men's and women's health. Peer educator Noelle Noah '03, specializes in emotional and spiritual health. With finals on the way, she advises students to take control of their stress. "Learn how to take care of yourself by planning ahead, eating a nutritional diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest, and finding time to play," said Noah. In addition to giving programs, Wellness Peer Educators write articles about their areas of specialty, which can be found on the center's website. Peer educator Stephanie Maling '03, specializes in nutrition. She recommends weight management, not dieting. In an article on dieting she said, "Dieting is actually proven to contribute to obesity as 90-95 percent of dieters regain their lost weight plus more which tends to be mostly fat." Maling suggests that making small changes to exercise and eating habits will result with maintainable weight loss. In other words, to lose weight and not gain it back, exercise and eat in moderation. Danielle Peltier '05, specializes in self esteem and wrote an article on Feng Shui. The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui teaches people how to create harmony and balance around them. Peltier wrote, "The central principle of Feng Shui is to rearrange your environment so that it benefits you physically and spiritually." Other wellness articles cover a variety of topics. With titles like "That Nasty Nicotine" and "Lasting Impressions," one is sure to catch your interest. Murphy said, "I have been to peer educator programs, but I didn't realize there were articles as well. I don't think many students know what services the Wellness Center offers." There is no time like the present to start working on a healthy lifestyle. If the winter weather has you down, make the most of it by going sledding or building a snowman. When the stress of school is unbearable, take a break and journal until it subsides. As finals roll around, try not to overload on caffeine and junk food. Rather than dieting, try to exercise regularly and eat in moderation. The Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but is closed during chapel. One can call to make an appointment, although one is not necessary. Seven peer education programs are offered in December. Students can participate in upcoming programs by making Christmas cards for kids Dec. 9 or imagining life as stress free Dec. 10. For a complete list of December programs, log online to

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