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9 February 2014

Vitality U targets campus, community wellness

What makes a person healthy? According to Vitality U, a student-driven Wellness Center program that strives to inspire University of Miami students and children in the Miami community to lead better lifestyles, health is about more than muscle and protein shakes.

“Health is holistic,” Vitality U president Ansh Grover said. “Physical fitness is important, but there are other aspects of health that we address such as mental, physical and emotional well-being.”

Vitality U’s slate of upcoming events illustrates the program’s mission to help students of all ages achieve well-rounded health. The Plant Project, in which UM students teach children how to grow healthy food, is one of many initiatives to help guide young students toward a healthier life.

“It’s easier for people to grow healthy food, easier than they think,” said Blake Hampton, community outreach chair for Vitality U. “These students are a product of their environment. If their environment doesn’t educate them, it’s not their fault. That’s where Vitality U comes in.”

In addition to informing children about ways to eat healthy, Vitality U also makes an effort to visit schools and educate children on mental and physical health.

“The level of education among the children we work with varies wildly,” Hampton said. “Being able to go into a class where kids don’t even know what a calorie is and teach them, it’s a nice feeling.”

Of course, Vitality U strives to make the whole campus a more holistically healthy place as well.

One Vitality U event this semester geared toward building that type of environment is a seminar designed to teach students meditation techniques and to inform students on how to adopt a positive outlook on life.

“The attitude of gratitude can take you places,” Grover said. “We want to teach students to access their true potential and make the most out of uncertainties and turn negatives into positives.”

Vitality U is not short on events and programs for UM students that emphasize comprehensive wellness.

“Vitality U’s motto is that we try to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for UM students,” wellness center assistant director Ashley Falcon said. “On St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll be serving green kale smoothies. We offer weight training classes, and on Feb. 25 we’ll be participating in the Canes4Play program. It’s events like these that help students find new ways to develop mental and physical health.”

Canes4Play is another initiative that combines multiple dimensions of wellness by engaging students in children’s games.

Whether it’s on campus or in the community, Vitality U is making an effort to spread awareness that while physical fitness is a key aspect of wellness, one’s health transcends simply staying in shape.

To Vitality U, wellness is the amalgamation of a sound mind and body, and it is achieved through the same enthusiastic devotion that Grover brings to getting students involved in the club.

“As students, we have the platform and the resources to make a difference,” Grover said. “I don’t like limiting thoughts. If it’s an idea, let’s do it.”

 

For more information:

To find out how to get involved with Vitality U, contact Grover at a.grover@umiami.edu or visit the Vitality U Facebook page.