Anyone who has ever tried to work out while upset about a loved one's illness, or tried to run while fighting anxiety over an exam, has no doubt discovered first-hand the connection between mind and body. Wellness encompasses all the things that make up health, from physical fitness to being drug- and alcohol-free (or close to it) to mental strength and spiritual zen. Many colleges have undertaken full-fledged projects to make their students whole, but these dozen or so schools set the standard for outstanding wellness programs.
Students at UM are blessed with a fantastic array of programs for maintaining mind and body health. From the diet and exercise instruction included in the six-week Healthy Living online class to the relaxation techniques espoused in the Center for Spirituality and Healing's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, the school goes all-out on students' wellness. They even reward students for participating in health programs by offering a medical plan discount of up to $400 by earning credits for their Wellness Points Bank.
Whether it's physical, emotional, or spiritual refreshment you're after, UWell has you covered. For one thing, it offers a feature that ought to be a staple for every college wellness website: a "Need Help Now?" page. For quick help dealing with alcohol abuse, self-injury, drugs, gambling, domestic abuse, and more, UW has hotlines, centers, and programs to come to students' aid. UWell even addresses environmental and financial wellness though resources like the UW Arboretum and the Center for Financial Security, respectively.
UCLA is so confident in its wellness initiative, its website starts off by telling students they're on their way to feeling better just by clicking over to it. With a strong online health resources database known as Living Well; a "Freedom From Smoking" course; Yoga, meditation, and Weight Watchers classes; and reasonably priced massage therapy, they have good reason to be bold.
With its wellness program, BU heads straight for the issues that beep the loudest on college students' radars: stress, sleep, and sex. Students can hook up with other student health ambassadors known as "stress buddies" as a way to cope with anxiety. In-house "sexperts" are available to give presentations or info, and other wellness team staff to inform Terriers about drinking, smoking, and eating right. There is even a dedicated Wellness House for students interested in bringing every aspect of their lives into the healthy range.
This Ivy Leaguer offers some of the most unique mind and body wellness resources we've come across, like a "Stock to Soup" cooking demonstration; lectures on joint pain, home energy efficiency, and strong bones; and e-lists for Lyme disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, Al-Anon, and more. But the more typical stuff is there too, from tobacco cessation programs to stress reduction workshops.
Pick a sliver of the wellness wheel on the UC Davis Wellness Portal and you're on your way to discovering some world-class offerings, courtesy of the Mind Body Wellness Group. Under "emotional" you'll find a link to The House, a counseling center complete with meditation and audio relaxation rooms. Pick "body," and you'll connect with ways to eat right (like at the legendary East Quad Farmers Market), get fit, be sexually safe, and more. Even then you'll only have tapped a fraction of what UC Davis brings to the table.
Restore your sanity with a laughter therapy session or a tai chi class at the rec center, and keep your weight down by joining the Weight Watchers group or the UWalk Program. UWellness is U-Dub's comprehensive plan for "balancing the emotional, intellectual, occupational, social, and physical components of health," and with its Tools for Change, healthy eating info, stress management resources, and more, it's a good one.
GSU sees to students' whole-health needs by staging workshops throughout the semester. Recent entries have included "Mindful Eating," for developing "a positive and peaceful relationship with your appetite"; "Relax Your Mind and Body: Skills for Managing Stress"; and "Mind over Mood," which involves using mindfulness and meditation to quiet busy and worried minds.
Even though they apparently think there are six health dimensions, not seven, UVU does such a good job on the six they more than make up for skipping environmental (or is occupational the seventh one?). There are free Zumba and yoga classes for clearing the mind by stretching and movement. The five-week Stress Less Program connects participants with a health and wellness coach once a week for tips on dealing with that health pitfall. And as happy people are healthier, the school's Keys to Happiness Program seems like one any health-concerned student could use.
Easily the coolest part of the venerable school's wellness program is the Stressbusters — student volunteers who go "wherever the stressed gather" to give free five-minute backrubs and wellness info. Also cool: each residence hall has a wellness proctor so students can literally get health info where they live. Mindfulness is a biggie here, with meditation sessions available somewhere almost daily. Harvard on the Move keeps the pounds off, and the two mid-year farmers markets help students get the right fuel to run on.
Smack-dab in America's fattest city, Rice is working hard to keep its Owls from becoming whales. By offering quarterly "Wellness Lunch & Learns," personal wellness coaches, a Weight Watchers group, and a wellness listserv, students have ample opportunities to stay fit. The Gibbs Rec Center also chips in with its Lifetime Physical Activity Program that tries to start students down a path of good health that they can walk for decades.
The Center for Student Development & Health Services targets no less than seven aspects of student health: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual, environmental, and safety. They put things into practice in EHS 120, a class for new students to learn about effective study skills, time management, and campus support systems.
Be you a student or an employee, if you regularly set foot on UK's campus you've got no reason not to have total mind and body health. The Weight Loss Matters group gives you the passion to drop a few pant sizes, the farmers market gives you your new meals, and the therapeutic chair massages are your reward. Employees have access to free fitness specialists and phone-based health consultations. In fact, with the website's health app recommendations, recipes, and other useful links, you really don't even have to go to campus to improve your health.
Nebraska has some of the finest athletic facilities in the country, so it's only fitting that they have a high-quality wellness program, too. Niche topics like belonging, self-care, eating disorders, and social responsibility, which are too often overlooked on other campuses, all get their due here. Wellness Wednesdays help students keep tables on their physical health, while e-publication Student Health 101 connects Huskers with a healthy dose of knowledge each month.
Austin Peay makes a fun contest out this wellness program, calling it the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Challenge. The semester-long event grants points for activities that benefit the brains and the brawn. There are dance, cardio, judo, and yoga classes under the fitness division, while the wellness category involves courses like "Cooking Concepts," "Healthy Eating Essentials," and "Simple Stress Management."