Free ways to make healthy changes

The Student Health Service’s Wellness Programs offer help to students looking to lose weight, stress or bad habits. Lyndi Boone/UVU Review

As healthy New Year’s resolutions have already come and gone, Student Health Service’s Wellness Programs can help people recommit to them by taking advantage of the numerous free services they offer.

Room 221 of the Sorenson Student Center is home to Wellness Programs, a department dedicated to the health and well-being of students and employees. With a focus on nutrition, fitness and stress management, a variety of free programs, workshops and services are offered.

If students have resolved to change eating habits or exercise more, there are programs specifically designed to help students succeed.

“Spring is a busy time for Wellness Programs because people have made New Year’s resolutions related to health and wellness,” said Rebecca Holgreen, assistant coordinator for Wellness Programs.

And because they know students and employees are busy too, Wellness Programs makes it free and easy to participate.

Those looking to find a quick fix can do so with free wellness drop-in sessions. These sessions last approximately 30 minutes and are conducted one-on-one by a wellness coach. Coaches are either seniors in a health related field of study or graduates with a bachelor’s degree in the health industry.

Each drop-in session provides an assessment and program plan for the participant and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis because, according to Holgreen, most students don’t want to make an appointment.

Upcoming sessions will focus on sugars on Feb. 9 and intuitive eating on Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in SC 221.

Other free services offered to all students and employees include wellness fairs and health screenings held each month in the Hall of Flags. Blood pressure and body composition testing will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 16 and 17. All tests are performed behind privacy screens and administered by wellness coaches.

Free workshops with guest lecturers are also offered. Because February is National Eating Disorder Awareness month, Dr. Nicole Hawkins from the Center for Change will speak at noon on Feb. 24 in SC 206 regarding eating disorders and the media’s influence on them.

“We get really good feedback from students about her presentation,” Holgreen said.

The opportunities for free help aren’t hard to find. Just look for the Wellness Zone located outside the bookstore every Tuesday and Wednesday before noon. Students can find tips on nutrition and fitness, relaxation services, free samples of food with healthy recipes and other prizes. They are eager for students to engage in the activities.

“We always offer incentives,” Holgreen said.

And in an effort to encourage more relaxation, free yoga is available from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in SC 111.

If students are looking for something to keep them motivated, they can register for the free Spring into Shape health and wellness challenge. This nine week challenge focuses on nutrition, physical fitness and stress management.

Participants keep track of the points they earn by completing simple challenges such as consuming 64 ounces of water a day.

“The program builds on small easy steps so it’s not overwhelming to participants,” Holgreen said.

Prizes will be awarded based on the number of points earned and include Visa gift cards in various amounts. Drawings for gift cards to iTunes, Jamba Juice and more will also take place throughout the challenge, which begins Feb. 14. Register online by Feb. 11.

More information regarding all the programs is available at and the organization also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Search for Utah Valley University Wellness Programs.