Category Archives: Intellectual

Our minds need to be continually inspired and exercised just as our bodies do. The intellectual dimension encourages openness to new ideas, motivation to master new skills, a sense of humor, creativity, and curiosity. People who possess a high level of intellectual wellness have an active mind and never stop learning. Striving for personal growth and a willingness to seek out and use new information are also characteristics of an intellectually-well individual

Tips for a great spring break- without breaking the bank!

Spring break is two weeks away and you can’t wait to relax! But while you’ve been studying and stressing over midterms exams, you might not have made any big plans- or have a ton of cash set aside.

Don’t worry. UND financial wellness has got your back.

You don’t need to drain your life savings and sell a kidney to afford a fun spring break. What you do need is a place to travel, a way to get there, somewhere to stay, cheap grub, (and for those of the appropriate age, maybe a drink or two).  So here are some tips to have a great spring break without breaking the bank.

  • Plan ahead. With two weeks to go, it might be a little late for extensive planning and advanced ticket purchasing but it’s important to plan what you can. Knowing where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what you need will lead to you being less stressed and less likely to spend more on last minute rate increases.
  • Getting there. Whether you are planning to drive or fly, money can be saved. If you’re driving, take the most fuel efficient car you can get. If you fly, you need to be flexible, especially this late in the game.  Mid-week or middle-of-the-night flights are often the cheapest. Also flying out of Minneapolis can save you hundreds over flying out of Grand Forks.
  • Look for deals.  Groupon and LivingSocial can provide deals for areas you are heading to or traveling through. It is also a good idea to look for online promotional deals when you are booking hotels or looking for places to eat. Hotels also often provide deal books in their tourist information area- you’ll find both things to do and coupons for them!
  • Be outgoing.  When you’re traveling, it is no time to be shy. Talk to the locals you meet. First of all, meeting new people can be fun and secondly, they can tell you what places are worth checking out and which places are the overpriced tourist traps.
  • Don’t buy cheesy souvenirs. We like to cut loose on vacation, and sometimes we do so with our wallets. It may be fun to be impulsive on the places you visit, but don’t give in to the tourist junk. Most likely it is poor quality and way overpriced.
  • Know the local laws. Whether you are visiting a different state, or a different country it is important to know the local laws. Some laws like speed limits are obvious, but other places may have different rules about driving that could get you pulled over. Many states have laws against talking on the phone and driving. The last thing you want on vacation is a brush with the law a heavy fine. There also may be noise ordinances and restrictions on what you can carry with you.  The one place you don’t want to save is with free lodging at the local jail.
  • Your Friends.  Traveling with your friends can be a blast no matter where you go. Spring break will also be more cost effective with your friends. Cost sharing is a great way to cut car, hotel, and other travel expenses.
  • Bring all the necessities.  If you’re the kind of person that waits until the last minute to pack, you might end up forgetting something. Make yourself a list of stuff you know you’ll need throughout the week prior to leaving. Remembering to pack important stuff like your sunglasses, swimsuit, sandals, and camera will keep you from having to buy them at your destination.
  • Pack groceries. Save some cash by cooking/bringing a couple of meals and snacks. Especially if you’re driving, bring a cooler. You can pack water, pop, lunch meat, and other goodies for the trip. This way you can avoid frequently stopping and convenience store prices.

Now you’re ready to go! Just don’t do anything UND Financial Wellness wouldn’t do: In other words, don’t waste your money.

Ballenger, B. (2013, February 25). 26 Tips to Save on Spring Break 2013. Retrieved from Money Talks News: http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/02/25/26-tips-to-save-on-spring-break-2013/

But how do I know?

Last time you heard from me, I talked about change; specifically, why I resist it with everything inside of me. I’ve never really been a risk taker, and so far it’s led me down a pretty decent “safe” path.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I have moments of “Let’s do this!” They come out of nowhere, leaving a giant pit in my stomach, and shortness of breath, and a desire to move. Sometimes those moments are for little things, like deciding to workout when I don’t feel like it or trying a new recipe. And sometimes those moments are for big things, like zip lining through a rainforest* or starting a new job. (*Full disclosure: I’ve never ziplined through a forest. Let’s be real.)

A few months ago, I decided to try something new in my professional life. I have a very unconventional path when it comes to the workplace. I graduated with a degree in Dietetics (the science of food) after dabbling in secondary English education. My first “real job” was as a NDSU Extension Agent in Benson County, focusing on things like youth development, living on a budget, overall health, and 4-H. It was a great mix of teaching and wellness.

About 2 years later, I took the job as the first Executive Director of the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. This was a brand new arena for me, filled with new obstacles and experiences. I joked that I was still using my degree, because I had many coffee and lunch meetings, so I was still involved in the “food part.”

Two weeks ago I started a new position as Events Coordinator for Scheels in Grand Forks. A much larger store is opening in June, and it’s my job to find fun and useful ways for our store to be a part of the community. I have to be honest; this is another BRAND NEW place for me to be. As Executive Director, I did get some experience in event planning and execution, but I have a feeling this will be a bit different.

While attending a pretty intense job training recently, it hit me:

This feels right.

We all wait for that moment after deciding to try new things because of that possibility of failure. Sitting in the unknown can be almost unbearable, so when the moment of “ahhh…” hits, it’s pretty awesome.

I feel fortunate for my newest professional opportunity, and even more for that “ahhh…” moment. For several months I’ve thought “I THINK this is the right move… But how will I know??!” It has taught me patience, the beauty in courage, and confidence in myself and my abilities.

I can’t promise you every ending to a new adventure will be smooth or comfortable or even pretty. But unless you take a chance every now and then, you never have the opportunity to grow!

When was the last time you had an “ahhh…” moment?

Save Some Money On Your Honey

money heart

Valentine’s Day or National Single awareness day.  It’s either a day to spend with a loved one or another reason to complain about how Hallmark is making more money.  February 14th is right around the corner and it might be time to think about how you are going to be spending—both figuratively and literally—that Friday evening.

Many may choose the traditional theme: dress nicely, buy a dozen fresh roses, splurge on an expensive two-person dinner package, and possibly a movie.  Just thinking about this makes my wallet burn my back pocket.  Valentine’s Day seems to require spending a lot of money in a short period of time to prove your love.  Being a college student myself, it is apparent that many of us are not always able to fund this.  Do I really have to spend $50 on a meal to show someone that I love them?  If you feel like you are in a similar situation, why not try something new this year?

1)  Avoid the waiter

Spending the night at your place not only greatly decrease your urge for impulse spending, but it will be a more personal night for you and your loved one.  There will not be the annoying waiter who disrupts your conversation just to ask if you would like a refill on your empty glass of water.  Clearly you want that refill.

Purchasing food and preparing the meal yourself will also show that you put more time and effort into the date, even if you end up over-cooking the pasta and the bread is a little stale.  Chances are both your significant other AND your bank account will appreciate it more.

Not looking for the stereotypical dinner at your kitchen table?  Try setting down a blanket near a fireplace and making it more of a picnic.  Do you live in a boring apartment without a fireplace? Search YouTube for “Yuletide Fireplace” and hook it up to your TV – or just though your computer—for that extra light and comforting crackling noise.   The video is posted year round and it is acceptable to have it playing after the holiday season.

2)  Get out the Snuggie

Your girlfriend really wants to go see that new romantic movie that night with you and says that you’ll be the best boyfriend ever if you take her.  There are a couple problems here though.  Your restless leg syndrome always kicks in after about 15 minutes into a movie, you can’t stand spending $5 for a box of candy, and you hate large crowds.  Or maybe you are just trying to be more economical.  Here is a very simple solution for your problem:  Figure out what her favorite movie is.  If you already know, then great, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask one of her friends what movie or genre she likes and ask to borrow a movie.  Alternatively, you could find a movie together on Netflix if you have a subscription.  Worried about a snack?  A box of candy is about a dollar per box at CVS, Target, or Walmart and sometimes they even have a deal where you can get 3 boxes of candy for $2.  That’s an entire box of candy for when you’re engulfed in Netflix sometime next week.  Finally what is better than watching a movie in your own place, on your couch, in a Snuggie or blanket, with someone that you really care about?  There isn’t some random person that you have to share an arm rest with or trying to rest their feet on your chair.

3)  Screw date night

Now for those of you who would prefer to look at this day as National Single Awareness day, UND Men’s hockey is skating in to save you.  There just so happens to be a series that weekend against Miami.  This will cost around $10 per game or $20 for the series for students unless someone is selling them for cheaper.  Get a group of friends together, make a couple pizzas, and then walk over to the Ralph for a good time watching some North Dakota hockey.

Whether you chose to spend the money on the meal out, spend some quality time at home and make a meal there with your loved one, or go with your friends to the hockey game, make sure to make this Valentine’s Day a great one and save some money while you’re at it.

How are you going to spend your Valentine’s Day?

valentines day single

Written by JT Knutson, Financial Wellness Peer Educator

Stressed by Finals?

If you’re like me with finals right around the corner your stress levels have gone up with studying for test, projects, or papers. DeStress Fest Poster - Dec 2013 (2)However there is a way to help you cope with these added stress levels, exercise.  Aerobic exercise is a great way to help lower your stress levels even if it is a thirty minute quick workout. Usually weekends are my days off from working out but I was starting to get stressed and couldn’t focus so I came to the UND Wellness Center and used the 30 minute circuit (located on the upper level). I felt so much better after that quick workout. I had my focus back and my stress levels I could feel were lowered. I finished my homework stress free and I could enjoy the night, while not having to focus on my homework instead.  stress2Head to the Physical Activity Booth during the FroZEN De-Stress Fest at the Memorial Union Loading Dock this Wednesday (Dec 11th, 2013 11am-2pm) to learn more about how Exercise helps improve brain function & take stress away during stressful times (like FINALS)!

-Kelsey Olson, FLEX Intern, UND Wellness Center

QR Code? Wait, What??

Have you seen the funny looking bar code squares around campus? You may or may not know what they are but QR Codes are very useful to get quick information on products, services and promotions.  The UND Financial Wellness Services team is utilizing these codes as well to offer discounts for businesses in the area. Check out a door hanger they used for the Student Discount Program that has a QR Code on it:

QR CODE PIC 1

Most smart phones with cameras are able to scan these QR Codes and get directed to a specific website on your cell phone instantly.  Follow the steps and images below to get started using QR Codes:

1. Start by searching your app store for a QR Code Reader such as Google Goggles or RedLaser.

QR CODE

2. After opening up the app take a picture of the code by clicking the “SCAN” button and hover over your QR Code Square like in the image below:

QR CODE PIC 2

3.Once your QR Code has been successfully scanned the link to the website of the QR Code will pop-up! All you have to do is click on the link:

QR CODE PIC 2.5

4.And there you go! You have reached your QR Codes Destination:

QR CODE PIC 4

QR Codes can be used with ALL types of Smart Phones.  There are a variety of scanners and they each have different features.  Explore which one makes the most sense for you and start scanning the world.

See if you can find a QR code for the UND Student Discount Program to test out your new skills.

Stuck at a Plateau??

Are you stuck at a plateau for exercising?

We’ve all been there with all different approaches on how to change up our routine or possibly not change up the routine at all and hoping that it’s just a minor phase in exercising.

After doing some research there is a fun new piece of equipment that can help in your exercise routine while helping to improve on your power and performance with weightlifting/powerlifting. This piece of equipment is called kettlebells. kettlebell1What makes a kettlebell so unique is the continuous and never-ending improvement which gives you a full body workout. The kettlebell appears to have something to do with the cannonball shape and the offset handle, which allow you to manipulate the kettlebell much differently than you could with a dumbbell, barbell, or any other training device. The shape and the handle allow you to perform ballistics and grinds. Ballistics are fast, explosive movements, while grinds are slow and deliberate. I have added kettlebell into my exercise routine and afterwards I feel the workout instantly. I wish I would’ve know about this piece of equipment before but now that I have I want to let everyone else in on this secret for a full body workout and to help improve on their exercise routine.

 

The best way to get started is to find a certified instructor KettleBell2and get qualified instruction from the beginning, if you can. This will ensure you get started off the right way and get results, faster and more safely than trying to figure it out on your own. For total body strengthening and conditioning, kettlebells are definitely a very special fitness and performance training tool to incorporate into your program.

 

- FLEX Intern  Kelsey Olson

Your Turn.

Take a moment to imagine something with me: You are given money to change/create something in the Grand Cities area that would help to make it feel more like a place you want to live. It’s your idea, your plan, and your operation. What would you do?

OK, now stop imagining and start doing: dreaming, thinking, planning… sketch it out on paper.

It might be your birthday, but even if it’s not you now have this unique opportunity to make an impact in our community. With funding from the Knight Foundation and Community Foundation, YOU- college students, recent grads, young people, youthful professionals and groups, and Millennials are encouraged to submit ideas they’d like to see come to life.

A group of students and community professionals from Grand Forks and East Grand Forks have been meeting up to put together this opportunity, which we’re calling Forkin’ it Over. This is a chance for you to learn more about what the area has to offer and what it needs to offer in order to be more attractive to young people; to connect with the community in new and innovative ways; and to be informed and engaged with a variety of great people in our community.

Nothing fun to do here?
Too hard to meet people in the community?
Feeling as though we lack stuff?
NO MORE EXCUSES, PEOPLE!

Apply for a micro grant from $500-3,000 by visiting gofoundation.org and clicking on the Micro Grant button to fill out one-page form by 5:00pm on Monday, November 18th.. Ideas will be presented and grants will be awarded at a Grants Night Event on Thursday, November 21st at the Empire from 7-9pm. Whether or not you submit an idea, you are encouraged to attend for an evening of networking, food, beverages, music and more!

Need some inspiration? Click here!

For more information, check out this Poster. 

Adventures of a FLEX intern!

Greetings UND Wellness Center members! My name is Matt McCreary and I am a senior majoring in Exercise Science and Wellness here at UND and I’m also a FLEX Intern at the Wellness Center for this Fall 2013 semester. FLEX stands for Future Leaders in Exercise and that’s exactly what I hope to be in the future. I’m hoping this internship provides useful insight into what I can expect in potential career opportunities while also helping to polish my skills as an effective communicator regarding health and wellness knowledge.   My main responsibilities as a FLEX Intern are performing fitness assessments on members of the Wellness Center. This can range anywhere from getting skinfold measurements taken to a cardiovascular test on a treadmill. These are helpful tools for those of you who have health goals but maybe don’t know where to start.  The fitness assessments are only a small fraction of services and activities offered at the Wellness Center._MG_0195

Part of my process in becoming acclimated with the Wellness Center’s various offerings was to shadow one of the personal trainers and also to attend a Group Exercise (GX) class. I was fortunate to shadow Shawn, one of the personal trainers here at the Wellness Center, while he was with his client. Having a personal trainer that can help you reach your goals while also holding you accountable during the workout is the best of both worlds. These trainers understand that you want their help, and in return they put their best effort into developing a program that can meet your goals. They also are there to push you when things get tough, to motivate you feel like you want to quit, and to congratulate you when you complete your workout. I observed all three of these scenarios during Shawn’s and his client’s 75 minute session, and needless to say I was very impressed with the quality of work and _MG_0720effort from the two of them.

Another task I had to accomplish was to attend a GX class. Even though this is my 5th year at UND I never once attended a GX class prior to this internship. I attended the Power Cycling class offered on Saturdays at 11 in the morning. This was a new experience for me and shortly after it began a fun one at that. The class consisted of cycling at various speeds, resistance, and postures for 45 minutes. The class is set in the upstairs cycling room, fully equipped with a sound system, black lights, and a projector screen that plays music videos. Generally the rhythmic cycling that you do corresponds to the beat of the song playing, which provides the class with a little more entertainment than just staring at a blank wall in silence for 45 minutes. For me the biggest factor that got me working harder was the resistance on the bike. At first there is no resistance on the bike so pedaling is super easy, but as the class progresses the instructor will have you increase the resistance gradually. The resistance on the bike is altered a lot throughout the class which makes for a good change of pace in your cycling speed and thus your work output. GX 3

Overall this was a fun class and I recommend students and faculty take advantage of these free GX classes. There is something for everyone, whether you are super fit, a beginner, an early riser, a dance enthusiast, or a FLEX Intern. There’s plenty more to come in this blog so stay tuned for more insights.

- Matt McCreary

Specialty Group Exercise Classes

Have you ever wondered “Why should I pay for group exercise classes when there are free ones on the schedule?”

Believe me, I’ve wondered the same thing. – but then I realized one of the MAJOR benefits that come from these classes.  I’m the type of person who doesn’t like being surrounded by a TON of people when I exercise.  I usually workout at the Wellness during times when there are NOT a lot of people in the building – but I’ve always wanted a little extra guidance and motivation with my workouts without the many faces all trying to do the same things as me at the same time – like in group exercise classes.  Let’s face it – I can get stuck in a rut sometimes, even as a personal trainer.  So my choices for the extra guidance & motivation as well as the major change up to my routine was either hire a personal trainer for an hourly rate OR look into the Specialty Group Exercise program.  Since I was a college student at this point – I was like any other college student and strapped for cash I had to decide what was more budget friendly, but still getting the same results.  The answer?  Specialty Group Exercise.

So when I discovered Boxing which was offered as a Specialty Class (a few years ago) – I fell in love with the SMALL class size.  There were only 8 people in my class and I got some very valuable attention and training at about 1/12th the cost of a personal training package!  Strapped for cash

I had never pushed myself so hard in a workout in a long time.  Sure in the past I’ve always had my good workouts that left me sore the next day, but in this case someone was there holding me accountable making sure I wasn’t letting myself become complacent and take the “easy” route.  They encouraged me when I didn’t feel that great about myself,helped me meet my fitness goals and kept me moving!!

Now while Boxing isn’t here this semester (bummer I know!) – I know there are some great options to choose from – there is ViPR which is brand new and puts a fantastic Outdoor 4spin on strength training – taking you back to some very functional work in a new light.  Reformer Pilates (which I’ve taught in the past) that is a great CORE workout that helps with balance too – after teaching that class I always felt stronger than when I wasn’t teaching!  Rise & Climb is a completely NEW concept – this class will teach you how to become a better climber, become a stronger climber and will get you into the wall during the off hours (now ladies – who couldn’t use a little upper body strengthening?  Am I right??)  And lastly Beginner’s Mediation Yoga – which will help you center yourself spiritually & emotionally to be able to help find yourself & help keep you calm in the waning moments of the fall semester.  Registration is going on NOW for all of these so I encourage you to sign up too before all the spots are gone!  Head to the Wellness Center website NOW!!!

2012 Welcome Weekend 062

I hope to see ALL of you trying something new!

How to Keep your Student Debt Low

By Dana Kraus
Let’s face it, college is expensive.  After working all summer to save up some cash, there is nothing worse than the feeling of paying your tuition bill – and still not having enough money!  So you take out loans hoping that one day you will land a good job and it will all be worth it.  But even then, with the average graduating student loan debt over $26,000, it will still likely take you around ten years to pay back your loans. 

You might wonder; what can I do about this?  By making wise choices now about what loans you accept, how much you choose to borrow, and how you spend your money, you can severely reduce your student loan debt.  So here are some quick tips that can help you obtain money for college without leaving yourself in a financial mess after you graduate.

     1.  Keep looking for Scholarships and Grants

You should continue looking for scholarships and grants even after you start your college education.  Grants and scholarships are a type of gift aid; this means they don’t need to be paid back.  The more money you’re able to find in grants and scholarships, the less you’ll have to take out in college loans.  This means less money you have to worry about paying-off when you get your degree.

      2.  Get a job

In addition to school scholarships and grants, getting an off-campus job or a Federal Work Study job on campus can help you bring in some extra dough that can really help you keep your loans down and pay them back faster.  Even if you’re only working a minimal amount of hours, the extra cash can go towards living expenses like rent, gas, and groceries.

     3.  Don’t accept every loan in your Financial Aid letter

If you don’t need the money, don’t take it out.  Only accept the amount of money you need for school and only accept loans that have terms you know you’ll be able to pay back.  Avoid taking out extra loans to finance your hobbies.  Also, take a look at the interest rates – generally, federal loans have the best interest rates and can be subsidized, meaning the interest doesn’t start accumulating until after graduation.

      4.  Cut simple daily expenses

There are simple ways you can cut your daily expense, which will allow you to rely less heavy on college loans without dramatically changing your life.  Watch the money you spend on perishable items like food and coffee.  By simply making your own morning coffee or cutting back on impulse snacks, you can save up to hundreds of dollars over a year’s span.  Another simple way to cut expenses each semester is by buying used textbook or the online version of the book, or by renting your textbooks.

           By making the most of your money as well as taking advantage of free gift-aid available you will put yourself in the best position for paying your student loans back in a timely fashion. 

Sources:

How to Keep Debt Low.  (2013).  Retrieved April 06, 2013 from Campus Explorer: http://www.campusexploer.com/college-advice-tips/5857D342/How-to-Keep-Debt-Low/

Kingkade, T. (2013, January 31).  Student Loan Debt: New Reports Find ‘Unsustainable’ Trend Dragging Economy.  Retrieved April 06, 2013, from HuffingtonPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/student-loan-debt-unsustainable_n_2593303.html.

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