Rec-Well initiates a wellness calendar promoting healthy habits

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The Rec-Well issued increased safety precautions a year ago. Now, the Rec-Well is still offering creative ways to maintain mental and physical health, including their March calendar.

Autumn Page, Staff Reporter

The March wellness calendar has kicked off on Oakland University’s campus, promoting healthy habits all month.

OU’s Recreation and Well-Being Center started the tradition of monthly wellness calendars last year in April to help students, faculty and staff with the restrictions of the pandemic.

“When the calendar was published on social media, the feedback was that people appreciated that we were giving them new options and things that they hadn’t thought of,” Courtney Heileman, health and wellness coordinator, said.

Every month, Heileman and her team of wellness ambassadors pick out a specific theme for the calendar.

The themes come from the initiatives of Healthy Campus for Michigan.

The Healthy Campus initiative is a campus-wide effort to prioritize mental health, well-being and an overall healthy campus.

“For this calendar, March is all about being physically active and trying to connect with one another,” Heileman said.

Throughout the month, each day of the week has a theme.

Mondays are “My Healthy Mondays,” Tuesdays are “Tasty Tuesdays,” Wednesdays are “Wellness Wednesdays,” Thursdays are “Thoughtful Thursdays,” Fridays are “Fitness Fridays,” Saturdays are “Social Saturdays” and Sundays are “Self-care Sundays.”

There are two challenges implemented throughout the month — the hydration challenge and the shamrock step challenge.

The hydration challenge lasts the entire month of March, and participants are challenged to drink 80 ounces of water per day.

“We’re trying to reach a middle for the majority of people and along with it comes little educational pieces and weekly prizes from those who consumed the most that week,” she said.

It doesn’t have to be plain either, it can be through tea or infused water as well.

The shamrock step challenge is only a week long, and participants are challenged to get as many steps in as they can.

For both challenges, there is a tracker for all participants that get submitted.

Another notable event happening during March is Pet Therapy.

There will be therapy dogs from the nonprofit organization Fur Angels on the 22, from 12 to 2 p.m. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, it will look different compared to the previous times OU has brought therapy dogs on campus.

The dog handlers will be spread throughout the lower level of the Recreation center and the dogs will be on leashes. Only one participant per dog is allowed, and everyone is required to wear masks.

“We’re trying to eliminate people gathering and congregating by making sure it’s only one person per dog,” Heileman said.

The dogs will be at the end of their leash, and the goal is to create as much space between the handlers as possible.

Each calendar has activities for all ages and isn’t only for students.

Each month will continue to have calendars made — just in time for warmer weather.

“We’ll have nice weather so we can encourage people to get outside and participate in the things that the Rec Center and the rest of campus has to offer.”

All calendars can be found on OU’s Rec Center Instagram page, along with tips from some wellness ambassadors.