College Health & Wellness: Tweetchat #CHWchat Tuesdays @9PM!

Did you know students that exercise at least 20 minutes a day around 7 days a week have a GPA of .4 greater than students who don’t? We’ve known for a long time that exercise helps various aspects of our lives, but making someone more intelligent? (& More desirable post-grad?) These findings may be due to some or all of the following surprising exercise benefits:

Source
  1. Exercise Stimulates Brain Cell Development
  2. Exercise Improves Memory Retention
  3. Exercise Increases Focus & Concentration
  4. Exercise Boosts Mood
  5. Exercise Relieves Stress



Despite these results, less than half of college students meet exercise recommendations.

At the same time, students have incredibly unhealthy eating habits:

Source
  • 66% of freshmen don’t consume the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • 50% of all students don’t get enough fiber.
  • 60% eat too much artery-clogging saturated fat.
  • 30% of college women don’t get enough calcium.
  • 59% say they know their diet has gone downhill since they went to college.

And we’re not just talking physical fitness here:

  • 32% of all students report a decline in their body image during their freshman year.
  • 40% of normal weight college women perceive that they are overweight.
  • 41% report a decline in their overall feeling of happiness during their freshman year.
  • 25% of college-aged women engage in bingeing & purging as a weight-management technique.
  • 27% of young adults between the ages of 18-24 have diagnosable mental health problems.
  • Suicide is the #2 killer of college students ages 20-24.

Lack of physical and mental wellness is way to prevalent on college campuses. 

 
Obviously these facts aren’t new, and most of the country isn’t even getting their recommended servings of x, y, and z a day – but look at these stats and how close to 50/50 they are. While we focus on the students not getting enough exercise or eating healthily, there’s the other half of the student body that are. These are the students who can help their peers start and maintain these healthy lifestyles, which is so incredibly important because the habits we make at this stage stay with us for the rest of our lives. 
 
So we created a College Health & Wellness Tweetchat. #CHWchat

To be completely honest, @MarissaMirabito, @Sarah_M_Webb and myself are required to host a few tweetchats in our Strategic Digital Community Management class. (Taught by the amazing @ejyoung67!)  


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When considering options for our topic we found we were all invested in our own and others’ health and wellness – especially during the trying college years, which are supposed to be the best years of your life but seem to be intermingled with periods of pretty intense stress. We wanted to connect people who are super fitness oriented, or are awesome at cooking really nutritious meals, or really believe in the benefits of meditation, or some combination or no combination of the three to start talking and inspiring one another.

We’re not trying to get people to lose weight or feel bad about their current habits. We’re trying to make a stronger student community by promoting overall wellness and helping people achieve their health-related goals.

Our first tweetchat will discuss how to stay physically and mentally healthy during the finals season which is quickly encroaching upon us. If you’re curious and want to be prepared (for the greatest chat ever), we’ll be asking the following questions:

    • Do you have any bad health habits during finals?
    • What are healthy ways you unwind during finals?
    • What foods do you keep on hand to avoid unhealthy snacking?
    • What are your “junk foods”?
    • Do you exercise to combat stress?
    • Are there any meditation or de-stressing activities being offered through your college?

Everyone is welcome: you do not need to be a fitness buff or never eat potato chips. We simply want to promote overall health and wellness within the college community. We are super excited to be inspired by all of you, and hopefully vice versa.
 
So we will see you tonight at 9PM! Follow along under the hashtag #CHWchat. If you can’t make it this week: no worries! We’ll be tweeting next Tuesday at 9PM as well. See you there!

Me doing yoga at Montmartre in Paris during my study abroad

Sources:
5 Reasons College Students Should Make Time for Exercise
College eating habits are clogged with fat

Eating Disorder Statistics
Exercise Boosts College Students’ Grades
Mental Health: What a Difference Student Awareness Makes
Statistics About College Depression

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