Category Archives: Occupational
Occupational wellness is a journey that involves preparing and making use of your gifts, skills, and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in your life. As you travel towards occupational wellness, choose a career that is consistent with your personal values, interests, and beliefs. On your journey, you will begin to value the importance of not only your own personal gratification, but also your contribution to the well-being of your co-workers. The choice of profession, job satisfaction, career ambitions, and job performance are all-important components to your path. By following your chosen course and developing the skills that will make you valuable, you are working towards total occupational wellness.
Are you one of those sitting a lot, not taking stretching breaks, constantly wearing a heavy backpack, or not exercising much? If yes, you may have noticed that back or neck pain has become a frequent guest. Even though you might be ignoring it, your body is actually trying to tell you something. It is time for you to start thinking about your posture when you sit, stand, sleep, and carry heavy backpacks or bags that might be weighing more than is healthy for your spine.
The danger is that if you keep ignoring the pain in your back and neck, your muscles will get strained or pulled and will stop supporting your spine correctly. Guess what- if your spine is not supported correctly, your vertebrae can get misaligned, nerves between the vertebrae can become pinched, and your brain will not be able to communicate with the body organs (how it usually does through the nervous system). This is not the news you want to hear about your spine and organs, right?
So how can you avoid the misalignment in your spine and say good-bye to the pain? There are a couple of good tips to consider:
- Exercise! Do it on a regular basis, not just weekends or when you have time. Exercise every day! Build up those back and neck muscles to help support the vertebrae and spinal ligaments.
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight. The less weight you are carrying around, the less stress you are putting on your back and neck joints and the less pain you will feel.
- Rest! Get a good night’s sleep every night, your muscles will be rejuvenated and ready for the next day.
- Relax! Take time to distress and become as stress free as possible; this will help those “knots” in your back.
- Keep good posture habits! Make sure that your back is straight, shoulders are squared, chin is up, chest is out, and stomach is in. If you can draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle—–you’ve got it! To learn more about good posture, go to http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Posture
- When driving for long periods of time or sitting for extended hours, take stretch breaks, stand up and walk around at least once an hour.
- Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder and do not sleep on your stomach. This can cause stress and extra pressure on your cervical vertebrae and pinch nerves.
- Get lots of vitamin D and calcium. Your spine is made of bone so make sure you keep them strong!
- Lift with your knees bent, not from your back.
- Choose a well-padded backpack; wear it with both straps that are properly adjusted. It should weigh between 5-10 percent of your body weight- so keep excess items out of your bag!
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.
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 effort 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.
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
You are a Leader.
What… you don’t like to stand in front of a crowd while dancing and singing?
Big whoop. You’re still a Leader.
You have a circle of influence; likewise, you are in someone else’s circle of influence.
During my years as a ND 4-H Ambassador, I learned an important lesson: some of our group’s best leaders were those who preferred to stand behind the machine that was casting the spotlight.
Too often I think we associate Leadership with the act of being up in front of a group, but that is not necessarily the case. And in order to be successful, we need variety.
In today’s workforce, it has become more important than ever to increase your portfolio, knowledge, and experience. The more that you are able to bring to the table, the easier it may be to find a job after graduation.
One of our main focuses within the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals is Professional Development. We want to help our members become the best versions of themselves, and one of the ways we do this is by offering a one day Leadership Development Seminar called Chick-Fil-A Leadercast.
This is an internationally-known simulcast that takes place in Atlanta, and allows people like you or me to listen to outstanding leaders without having to leave the city.
We recently found out we have access to FREE student tickets… this is an $85.00 value!
If you’re interested, please email me (email@example.com).
You can learn more about Leadercast by visiting our website:
This year the theme is “Simply Lead,” and I can’t WAIT to see you there!
Did you get a chance to attend the Wellness Expo and see all of the wonderful dishes being prepared by Chef Greg?
Greg Gefroh is the Executive Chef for UND. He was a guest presenter during the 2nd Annual Wellness Expo that took place on February 27th. He prepared Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Banana Chips, Fresh Salsa, and Asian Edamame Hummus.
Here are the recipes for each of these delicious dishes:
Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Banana Chips
(Serves 8 – 2 oz. servings)
LB & OZ scale, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Chef’s Knife, Paring Knife, Cutting Board (Green), Peeler, Corer, (2) Mixing Bowls, Bake Pan, Slotted spoon for service
1 ea. – Apple, Granny Smith, peeled, cored, diced
1 ea. – Kiwi, fresh, peeled, diced
4 oz. – Strawberries, fresh, diced
1 tsp. – Pepper, Jalapeno, diced
1 ea. – Orange, fresh, zested & juiced
1 tsp. – Herb, Mint, fresh, chopped
1 TBSP – Sugar, Brown
4 oz. – Banana Chip, dried
¼ tsp. – Cinnamon
1 TBSP – Sugar
Method of Preparation:
- Clean & cut all veggies, fruit & herbs. Leave skin on apple. Peel kiwi. Remove stems & half strawberries. Zest & juice orange.
- In a clean mixing bowl, measure & combine apple, kiwi, jalapeno, orange, mint & brown sugar. Strawberries need to be added just before service as they will bleed into other fruits. Place in cooler until service. This step can be done day ahead.
- In a clean mixing bowl, measure & combine banana chips, cinnamon & sugar. Place on sprayed 2″ full size pan. Bake in oven at 325F. for 10-15 minutes. Stir once during process.
- Mix Step #2 & Step #3 together & add strawberries. Mix to incorporate
- Garnish – Herb, Mint, fresh, sprig
(Serves 50 – 2 oz. servings)
LB & OZ scale, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Chef’s Knife, Paring Knife, Cutting Board (Green), Mixing Bowl, Tong for service
3 Lbs. – Tomato, fresh, diced
4 oz. – Onion, Green, sliced
8 oz. – Onion, Red, diced
8 oz. – Onion, Yellow, diced
4 oz. – Pepper, Jalapeno, diced
1 TBSP – Cilantro, fresh, chopped
1 TBSP – Garlic, fresh, minced
2 oz. – Seasoning salt, Lawry’s
5 C. – Juice, Tomato
¼ C. – Juice, Lemon
Method of Preparation:
- Clean & cut all vegetables & herbs. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Measure & add garlic, seasoning salt, tomato juice, & lemon juice. Mix to incorporate.
- Garnish – Cilantro, sprig
- Best if left to sit overnight for flavors to blend
Asian Edamame Hummus
LB & OZ scale, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Chef’s Knife, Paring Knife, Cutting Board (Green), 2-Qt Sauce Pan, Mixing Bowl, Food Processor, Sheet Pan
10 oz. – Edamame, soybean, shelled, cooked
½ TBSP – Garlic Cloves, minced
½ TBSP – Ginger, minced
½ each – Orange, fresh, juiced
¼ C. – Oil, Canola
1 TBSP – Oil, Sesame
½ oz. – Nut, Sesame Seeds, toasted
1 TBSP – Sugar, Brown
½ TBSP – Soy Sauce
(To thin) Water
Method of Preparation:
- Place edamame in 2-Qt sauce pan. Steam 8 minutes or until soft. Place in cooler to cool.
- Toast sesame seeds in oven set to 350F.
- Juice orange.
- In a food processor, measure & combine cooled edamame, garlic, ginger, orange juice, canola oil, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, brown sugar, soy sauce & water.
- Finished product should have consistency of peanut butter. Smooth & creamy.
- Garnish – Nut, Sesame Seed toasted
What did you think of Chef Greg? Will you try these recipes at home?
Activity: Wellness Expo (Labyrinth in the Group Exercise Room)
Date: 2/27 12-5pm
This event was one of the last events that we could attend and therefore it was a free event where we could pick any wristband we wanted. I chose occupational because I could not attend any of the occupational events available. I was a little disappointed to see that there were not more options for the occupational wristband. I would have really liked to see some events with career services, such as their resume and cover letter writing presentations.
When I saw that this event was a labyrinth I had no idea what to expect. I knew what a labyrinth was, but I didn’t know if we would be doing one on paper or if they would have an obstacle course set up for one. When we got there I was very intrigued. The labyrinth was a large mat where you just followed the lines. The lady explained that the labyrinth is an ancient symbol of spiritual journey. I had no idea that they had a spiritual purpose, that was a complete shock to me. She said that the walking the labyrinth could help to focus our minds on God or prayers. It can be as simple as to just help untangle a problem that may seem difficult by making it more clear as you walk. She said others find new insights during the walk. When I walked I just cleared my mind and tried to relax and shed all the stress from school. I do have to say that it was very relaxing and I definitely want to check out the small labyrinth in the quiet space at the Wellness Center.
Activity: Career Fair, Wellness Center
Tuesday, February 12th at 12:00pm
As a 1st year graduate student it was a good experience to go out at look at some possible employment options near UND. I felt kind of bad since I didn’t have much time to stick around and bring a draft of a resume, but I’m sure I’ll be getting that kind of help later on though. It was pretty cool that some hospitals I talked to had loan forgiveness programs as long as you worked for them for so many years as tuition can stack up. Although I am WICHE student, which they said they would find me work in the state I came from, it is nice to know I have options out here if I end up liking the North Dakota area more than Wyoming. This fair would probably be a good idea to attend during my 3rd year as I’ll be close to entering the work field.