By Sarah Richards
FITT & Well isn’t just a club, but a multi-sourced resource for students interested in increasing their overall wellness. This resource aims to dispel the myth that wellness is limited to the physical realm.
College is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life; stress can cause sleeplessness, which can contribute to poor decision-making (i.e. consuming empty calories), which can contribute to weight gain. The FITT & Well Club at Pensacola State College, overseen by Coach Paul Swanson, may be able to help people help themselves.
This self-health club addresses whole-life health by setting attainable goals. Members can earn points (that can go towards a water bottle or a Fitbit) for implementing all sorts of self-improvement tools, such as attending workshops, completing a medical family tree, participating in the intramural program, having a physical examination and working out in the gym.
Students who become members of the FITT club will have their blood pressure and body fat percentage checked, along with a hip and waist measurements done, and their BMI (body mass index) calculated. Swanson says as you exercise, you “increase brain neuron pathways…even at age 100, you can still build bone density, stay cognitively sharper.”
A healthy body nurtures a healthy mind; it all starts with education, and what one does with it. FITT has the directions, students already have the tools.
“Seventy percent of all health issues could be eliminated until the very late stages of life,” said Swanson. “Stress management is three things: carcinogens in the environment, antibiotic overuse, and emotional stress.”
When you’re always checking your technology, “you’re in a stressful state…managing social media is a part of stress management.” Furthermore, “We’re getting plenty of stimulation, but not socialization,” said Swanson. As studies have shown that a lack of face-time and communicating through a screen has lowered emotional intelligence.
Dahlen Wilson, club’s vice president and physical therapy major, just wants to let students know the club exists. In addition to members, the club is looking for a secretary (as every club on campus is required to have someone take notes at meetings), as well as a media person.
Wilson says that part of being healthy is “making smart substitutions and alternatives.” Wilson seeks to get most of what he needs from food, not supplements, but everyone can tailor what they learn to their own needs.
“Moderation, not starvation,” and “function over fashion” are two principles he adheres to in gaining and maintaining his own health. He says you don’t have to be an athlete to be healthy, for “physical activity and exercise are two sides of the same coin…you can be healthy by living an active lifestyle.” Same principle as mindful eating over dieting.
Key West won’t be rebuilt in a day, just like your body won’t be “built” in two, but “give it a solid three weeks, and you’ll see results,” Wilson says.
FITT & Well seeks to impact students in a positive way—to be part of a group that cares about them.
Those interested in joining the FITT & Well Club, or just checking it out, should contact Coach Paul Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.