Wellness center promotes mental, physical, and emotional well-being – The Denisonian

MIA FISCHEL, Asst. Features Editor—

In the first few months since the opening of the Hoaglin Wellness Center, 200 different events successfully gained participation of over 2,000 students. Aiming to offer a variety of programs covering different areas of wellness, Heather Borland, Student Health and Wellness Education Coordinator, strives for inclusion and connectivity.

“We hope that all students can connect with us in some way or another, even if it’s just using the massage chairs,” Borland said. 

The wellness center offers programs focused on the mental, physical and emotional wellness of students. Many students are involved in the variety of fitness programs offered weekly, such as spin, yoga, pilates, cardio and core workouts. Even if they’re not physical, most programs are activity-based and allow participants to walk away with something.

“It’s kind of a break from that classroom setting where they can come with friends but also learn health and wellness skills that they can hopefully go back and use in their everyday life,” Borland said.

Some recent popular events included knitting as well as sip and paint, which were both led by nurses at the wellness center. One upcoming event on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. is a nutrition initiative led by dietician nutritionist and intuitive eating counselor, Alyssa DeBord. 

“I hope to create an open, safe environment for people to bring their questions, concerns and misunderstandings about nutrition and get more accurate information that helps them make informed decisions about their health,” DeBord said.

Topics for some upcoming meetings include discussions centered on PCOS, endometriosis, other general women’s health issues, fitness and intuitive eating.

“Ultimately, my broad goal is to help people feel calmer about food, less anxiety and to help people see that it’s not something that requires the high amount of stress that I think the average college student here has,” DeBord said.

Some of these conversations focus on debunking nutrition myths and guiding students on how to find evidence-based credible information. With all of the misleading information floating around on social media, DeBord wants to help people develop better media literacy and be able to identify accurate and reliable nutrition information.

“There’s a lot of stuff that people hear on social media that demonizes certain nutrients whether it’s fat or carbohydrates or sugar,” DeBord said. “There’s a lot of misinformation about what good nutrition looks like and how to eat for health, and I want to help people parse through that.”

DeBord emphasizes the importance of body positivity and improvement of healthy behaviors rather than focusing on the numbers on a scale.

“It’s more of how you want to feel, versus how you want to look, and understanding that body size and health are not a linear relationship,” DeBord said.

These nutrition events, along with other wellness programs, are centered on helping students become more knowledgeable about their health and wellness.