The BluePrint. (None) 2013-????, November 30, 2013, Image 2
Nov/Dec 2013 SpelmanPaper@gmail.com The BluePrint «• PRESIDENTIAL Corner Why Moving More Matters By: Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum November 1, 2013 marked the first anniversary of the official launch of the Wellness Revolution at Spelman. It was a year ago that we announced our withdrawal from NCAA Division III and our intention to invest in a campus-wide wellness initiative, one that would encourage students and employees to “eat better, move more, and sleep well.” Why did we call it the Wellness Revolution? Because we know that if Spelman women learn about and embrace these core elements of good health, not only will they benefit, but they will spread the news to others, just as the first Spelman graduates used their education to spread literacy in their communities - and that indeed would result in transformational impact. Our goal is not for everyone to achieve some ideal weight or body size; instead, it is to achieve and maintain good health for a long and productive lifetime. Weight loss is nice but not always necessary for good health; what is required is to move! When we are sedentary (and according to a study by the National Institutes of Health, Black women are among the most sedentary women in the nation), we place our health at risk, increasing the likelihood of developing diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, Type II diabetes, and breast cancer , just to name a few. Surprisingly, public health researchers now tell us that being sedentary is even more dangerous to your health than smoking! For more information about that, check out the YouTube video, “23 Vz Hours.” Is the Wellness Revolution taking hold at Spelman? It looks that way to me. It is encouraging to see that the number of students participating in Wellness programs is increasing daily, and I appreciate the e-mails I have received from students who tell me about the changes they are making to improve their own health. If you are wondering how to start, keep it simple and do one thing - find 30 minutes in your day to take a brisk walk around the campus. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and researcher Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, documents studies that show 30 minutes of brisk activity a day will not just burn some calories; more importantly, it will reduce stress, anxiety, and can even reduce the symptoms of depression. Cardiovascular exercise (whether it is walking, running or doing Zumba) will not only improve the condition of your heart and lungs, it will also turbocharge your brain. Post-exercise brain scans show that critical areas of the brain are activated, improving your ability to focus attention, process and remember information. To quote Dr. Ratey , “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.” It is one reason I almost always start my day with exercise. I want that extra brain power! With just a few weeks left before final exams, now might be a good time to test that strategy yourself. There are so many good reasons to make daily exercise a part of your life, and so many creative ways to do it - in Read Hall, on the Oval, or even up and down the stairs in your residence hall. So, what are you waiting for? Join the Wellness Revolution today! 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