THE ENERGY OF SPRING: FORWARD AND UPWARD!
Like a seedling steadfastly pushing its way through the soil towards the warmth of the sun, such is the upward-moving energy of springtime. While winter is a time for conserving energy and resources, spring is a time of heightened energy and activity; a time to utilize those stored resources and nurture their inherent potential. The weather pattern associated with spring is wind - literally as spring allergens such as ragweed are carried through the air, and figuratively in the form of major life transitions. If you pay attention, you can feel a kind of ‘buzz’ in the air as things are stirred up by these winds of change. There’s much to do, and we can easily get caught up in wanting to do it all at once. To avoid burnout, take care at this time of year to balance this ‘buzzing’ energy with calming and grounding practices such as meditation and contemplation. Most importantly, remember to breathe! Steady breath is the foundation of life and productive forward movement.
TIME TO GO OUTSIDE! SPRING FITNESS TIPS
We are meant to move! While there are many things we can and should do to optimize wellness, moderate exercise has been shown to offer the greatest general benefits, both to our physical and mental health. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a professional athlete to optimize your strength, flexibility and endurance. Even a simple 30-minute walk each day followed by 5-10 minutes of light stretching can do wonders, especially for those of us who work at jobs that require sitting in a chair most of the day. The inertia we often feel from this lack of activity can be broken through in the simplest ways. So, get yourself off the couch and out of the house! Check out the video and articles below for ideas and inspiration:
OPTIMIZING WELL-BEING WITH ERGONOMICS
Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. The aim of the discipline is to prevent the development of occupational disorders and to reduce the potential for fatigue, error, or unsafe acts through the evaluation and design of facilities, environments, jobs, tasks, tools, equipment, processes, and training methods to match the capabilities of specific workers.
The UMBC campus, like any other large organization, benefits from an ergonomic program. This program is in place to handle requests for analysis and evaluation of the workplace design. Click on the links below for more information about ergonomics, and to sign up for a UMBC ergonomic evaluation.
SPRING NUTRITION: SEASONAL FOODS AND RECIPES
As fresh, local produce becomes more readily available, spring is the perfect time of year to clean up your diet and experiment with new recipes. Here are some resources to whet your appetite:
LYME DISEASE SAFETY TIPS
Maryland has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country, and spring can be a particularly dangerous time for insect-born illnesses such as Lyme, as ticks become active when the temperatures rise above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. During the spring and early summer, tick nymphs end their dormancy and begin to seek a host, and most cases of Lyme disease are reported from May through August. Read the article and attached ‘Lyme Safety Tip Sheet’ to find out how to protect yourself and your family from this dangerous disease.
Did you know that smoking as few as 1 cigarette per day increases the risk of heart disease? Cessation of cigarette smoking constitutes the single most important intervention in preventative cardiology. Even if you’ve smoked for a very long time, you will still gain the health benefits of quitting. Don’t wait any longer! For assistance with quitting, click on the links below.
Smoke-Free UMBC - Information on the new smoking policy as well as resources on managing tobacco use.
HEART HEALTH RESOURCES
February is Heart Health Month and a great time to take a look at your routines and make some heart healthy changes. Below are a list of on-campus prevention resources available at UMBC as well as some additional internet links with information associated with heart health.
Information on group fitness classes, personal training services, and upcoming clinics and workshops.
Information on RAC building hours, weight room hours, and open recreation pool hours.
University Health Services - Health information and campus services available, including blood pressure and BMI checks.
Did you know that Diabetes kills more people each year than Breast Cancer and AIDS combined? Even if you are not overweight or have a family history of Diabetes, you can still be at risk. Stress, poor eating, and a lack of physical activity are all factors that lead to the development of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Stop Diabetes in its tracks! See below for on-campus and off-campuses resources to increase a healthy lifestyle.
myUMBC Fitness and Wellness Group - join this group for the latest group fitness schedule, UMBC walking, jogging, and CERA trail maps, as well as information on personal training sessions at the RAC.
myUMBC Recreation at the RAC - join this group to obtain a swim calendar and find out more about intramurals and sports clubs.
University Health Services - UHS is staffed with Board Certified Physicians and Nurse Practitioners who are available to meet with you to monitor your health and/or discuss your health concerns. To make an appointment at UHS, call 410-455-2542.
American Diabetes Association has a wealth of information about the disease, including basic information about the disease and how to avoid it, tips for the newly diagnosed and different populations (women, men, children & parents, seniors), as well as recipes and exercise information to help you start exercising safely and how to stay fit.
Oftentimes a great way to combat individual stress is to initiate a new wellness regimen. The same holds true for departmental stress. Working together as a team to meet a shared wellness goal has many benefits that include increasing well-being and collaboration, and fostering a sense of individual and collective accomplishment. We’ve included several tip sheets and templates below that departments can use to implement a wellness activity and will add new content to this section on an ongoing basis. Please use these documents to your advantage and consider submitting a departmental ‘Success Story’ (under ‘About UMBC-WIn’ tab) at the end of a group session to share your success and inspire others on campus.
Tips on Walking for Fitness at UMBC tips on creating a departmental walking group
Biggest Loser Program Tips and Reproducible Templates
Some good reasons to exercise (from Neila Rey):
Some delicious and nutritious spring produce:
To reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease: