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Winter: You WIN.

I’m going nuts. (Like, even more crazy than the norm.)

This winter is breaking my will. Yesterday I did so many “laps” around my house trying to find something to occupy my time that I started crying- CRYING!! After a series of questions from my husband and tissues, we determined that I’m stir crazy and just tired of being so cold.all.the.time. (Seems like a logical reason to cry, amIright?!)

My story is not unique. I think pretty much all have nearly reached breaking points in what has turned out to be a long, polar-vortex-ridden winter. It’s March and we’re still waking up to ridiculous-below-zero temperatures.

My friends… as much as we hate to hear it, to think it, or to believe it… we must press on and hold on to hope that warmer weather is on its way. And not just a “temporary warm up,” I’m talking about lasting above zero temps. In the meantime, I think it’s important that we take care of ourselves and each other.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, and perhaps even more prominent this year. People suffering from SAD often feel tired, moody, or depressed for a length of time on an annual basis. It’s more common to see SAD around the winter months, but it may also be experienced in Spring/Summer. Treatments include light therapy, psychotherapy, and medications.

If you aren’t diagnosed with SAD, you might still feel the symptoms (and if you’re like me, you can add stir crazy and anxious to the list). This is the part where taking good care of yourself becomes really important:

  • Drink plenty of water to keep flushing out your body and avoid dehydration. Establish and then keep a consistent sleep schedule- even on the weekends (make sure it’s enough).
  • Fruits and vegetables are also an important part of staying healthy; vitamins and minerals from these foods will help you- inside and out, head to toe.
  • Get off the couch and MOVE. When it’s -50 outside, the last thing anyone wants to do is jump in the car and go workout, but trust me on this one: just get there. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to take a days off because of the cold, but I can tell you I’ve never regretted going. I’ve also “treated” myself to some new workout DVDs (dancing ones are my favorite, because we’re all dance stars in our living rooms) for those days where it is absolutely impossible to go anywhere (we’ve had our share of those as well).
  • Do what delights you. Find your creative outlet and go wild. I’ve gotten quite a few puzzles put together this winter, and I couldn’t be more excited every time I open up a new one. (And if puzzles don’t scream “go wild,” I’m not sure that anything does!)
  • Think positive. I know, this is one of thee HARDEST things to do when you live in a place where it hurts to breathe… but do your best. Surely there are GOOD things in your life that give you reason to be thankful and smile? If not- look harder.
  • Make sure you are keeping in contact with the people who make you happy. Find fun reasons to get together and laugh (gym dates? trying a new sport like cross country skiing using equipment from the Outpost? lunch dates? book club?). Talk about life, or the Olympics, or the latest award show, or whatever you enjoy. Even though I’m a self-proclaimed social butterfly, there have been long spurts of time in the past few months when I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone besides my husband and our dog- and even that was a struggle. In those moments, I’ve been thankful for the gentle nudges and lunch dates with friends and family- something that I could look forward to.

I’ve given you a few things to help you get through the final stretch of this crazy winter we’ve been having…

Now tell me: What would You add to the list?


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

Intramural Champions Spring 2013

Here are the Spring 2013 Broomball, Inline Hockey, Volleyball, and  Dodgeball Championships!

Broomball Champions

CoRec Broomball Champion - Sunnyvale

Broomball CoRec Champion – Sunnyvale

Inline Hockey

Open Inline Hockey Champion - Forgetting Sue

Inline Hockey Champion – Forgetting Sue

Volleyball Champions

Volleyball Women's Champion - The Has-Beens

Volleyball Women’s Champion – The Has-Beens

Volleyball Men's Champion - Derta Ter Derta

Volleyball Men’s Champion – Derta Ter Derta

Volleyball CoRec D1 Champion - Dakota Shore

Volleyball CoRec D1 Champion – Dakota Shore

Volleyball CoRec D2 Champion - Anneka's Stormtroopers

Volleyball CoRec D2 Champion – Anneka’s Stormtroopers

Dodgeball Champions

Dodgeball CoRec Champion - Tongue Punch

Dodgeball CoRec Champion – Tongue Punch

BodPod Body Composition Assessments Now Available at the Wellness Center!

BodPod®Body Composition Assessment is now available!
This is a measurement of the distribution of fat and lean mass in the body, which uses air displacement, and tends to provide more accurate results than the traditional skin fold assessments.
Spring Special: $10 (Good Through May 31st, 2013)
Make an appointment for your BodPod Assessment by calling: 701.777.3417 or visit the Fitness Desk at the UND Wellness Center.
Compression shorts/leggings and a sports bra or compression swim wear are required for accuracy of the testing. Jewelry, eyeglasses and underwire are not allowed.  Refrain from eating 2-3 hours prior and try to use the restroom before to testing.

Culinary Corner on WDAZ!

WDAZ is starting a new series on their show called GR8 Plates, and the Culinary Corner was featured for their first episode of the series! In the feature a local chef showed how to create a healthy and delicious meal. The menu consisted of a stuffed pork chop with sweet and russet potato mash with banana foster for dessert. The recipe for the meal is below:

Stuffed pork chop

4- 1 to 2 inch thick bone in or boneless pork chops

1/2 bag fresh spinach

1 yellow onion diced

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

Balsamic vinegar glaze (optional)

1.  Take a boning knife, and at one end of630_pork_potatoes the pork chop make a cut big enough for your finger to fit into.  Slowly work knife into the chop lengthwise. Slowly bring knife back making a pocket throughout cavity.

2.  Melt butter in a hot sauté pan.  Add onion and begin to stir. Add spinach and let cook until nicely wilted. The spinach should reduce in size greatly.

3. Once spinach mixture it cool enough to handle, begin inserting mixture into the cavity of the pork chop.

4. Add olive oil and Italian seasoning into a bowl, and cover outside of chop with seasoning.  Let marinate for 2 hours and up to overnight.

5.  In heavy bottom pan, or on a grill, heat pan and add a little oil.  Once you place the chops into the pan, or on the grill, you will want to hear a sizzle in order to get a good sear and a browning effect.

Russet and sweet potato mash

3 russet potatoes

2 sweet potatoes

2 tbsp butter

Salt and black or white pepper

Honey and fresh basil (optional)

Peel and cut potatoes. Cut both similar in size to assure even cooking. Place into a pot and cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until done. Drain and mash mixture until smooth.

Add butter and other ingredients if desired. Chop fresh basil very finely. Season with salt and pepper until the flavor makes your taste buds melt!

Bananas Foster

Before starting this, whether cooking over a gas range or using a long lighter to ignite the dessert, be sure to have your area clear 76_gr8_bananasof anything that could catch fire.  Keep a lid near by and fire extinguisher just in case.  Its really not that dangerous as long as you are careful.

2 bananas

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp or so brown sugar

2-4 oz dark rum, light rum, whiskey, or 99 bananas – Rum is classical and will flame quite well.

Vanilla ice cream

In a pan melt butter and wait for foaming to subside

Add brown sugar and let the two become sauce like in the pan

Add bananas and stir continuously for a minute

Once the sauce and bananas are nice and hot:

Add alcohol to pan and either tilt to one side for a gas range, or light with a long grill lighter.

Stir pan until flame goes down. Pour mixture over ice cream.


Intramural Ice Hockey Champions

The long road to the championship started back in October and after 5 months of league play and playoffs; three champions emerged from the D1, D2, and D3 leagues on the REA Main Ice.

Grand Forks D1 Champions

Grand Forks – D1 Champions

Celly Hard D2 Champions

Celly Hard – D2 Champions

Dangle Berries D3 Champions

Dangle Berries – D3 Champions

“The Dirty 30″ Climbing Competition

The Rock wall is hosting the DSC_1971Dirty 30 Climbing Competition on Saturday, April 20th 2013! In case you were wondering…“Dirty 30” refers to 30 different routes that climbers will have to be challenged. There are 3 divisions to climb in: advanced, intermediate, and beginner. Snacks will be provided and prizes will be awarded!

The registration fee and schedule are posted below.


Now – April 14th: $20

April 14th – April 19th: $25

Morning of Competition: $30


9:00-9:30am – Registration

9:30-10:00am – Rules, Prep Time, and Morning Snack

10:00am – Competition begins!!!

10:00am-Noon – Advanced Division

11:00am-1:00pm – Intermediate Division

Noon – 2:00pm – Beginner Division

2:00-4:00pm – Finals and Awards!!!

NOTE: Please come 15 minutes early if in the intermediate and beginner divisions to get rules and score card information!


Dimension: Physical
Activity: Workout
Monday, February 18th

This activity was normally supposed to be completed on President’s Day, the day there was no class, but even if we would have had class it would have been cancelled. This was the day of one of the huge storms we have had in ND, but that wasn’t about to stop me from working out; however, the Wellness Center had to close. Since the Wellness Center was closed, I was able to complete this challenge the next day. I normally lift weights with a friend every morning at about 6:45am, but that day I told her that we were going to use the new Circuit Deck instead. Neither of us had used the Circuit Deck yet so we were really curious about it. Early in the morning is a great time to work out, I recommend it because no one is there. My friend and I had the Circuit deck completely to ourselves, so that was really nice. I have only done an ab circuit once before when I worked out with a friend at Planet Fitness, but I have never done a full body circuit like this one. I definitely liked it alot because it kept you moving. One of my biggest problems is that I take too long of a time resting between different exercises and then I end up spending too long of a time at the gym. Sometimes I have to skip some of the exercises I want to do just because I don’t have enough time. The new Circuit Deck gets rid of the problem with the timer it has. I also like this new Circuit Deck because it gives people a different place to do weights, but in a more secluded area.

Get IN, get OUT, & get on your way!

Circuit Deck EntranceIts finally time! We are nearing completion of the new Wellness Center Circuit Deck and it is set to be open on Tuesday January 15th at 4:30 PM!  Seeing the transition from the lounge space that it was to now a functional 30 minute strength training circuit workout has been amazing. The space features 10 new pieces of strength equipment, a red & green timing light, new flooring, walls, a few pieces of cardio equipment and eventually a video running showing how each machine works.  It was created to give people a quick 30 minute workout with some privacy as well.
Circuit Deck MachinesHow the circuit will work is – you can join in at any time – when the light is red just grab an empty machine and adjust it to fit you. When the light turns green you will perform the exercise that the machine is designed for which will run for 1 minute. When the light turns red, you will have 30 seconds to move to the next machine in the rotation and repeat the process moving through each machine – using them each 2-3 times. Fitness staff will be available 3-8pm in the first few weeks to help those who might need a little guidance with how to operate the circuit. This will give you a quick, easy 30 minute workout – so you can get IN, get OUT, and get on your way!

Healthy Campus Challenge Zumbathon: A Fun Way to Exercise!

Do you wish there was a FUN and CONVENIENT 1194700_breakdancer_vector_4way to exercise that still challenges you?! The Healthy Campus Challenge is put on by the Healthy UND Physcial Activity Subcommittee and will run the entire academic year and is open to all faculty, staff, students, and members of the UND Wellness Center. Registration for each event will occur when the event takes place. At the end of the year, we’ll crown Healthy UND Physical Activity Champions to those that participate and complete the most events.

Challenge #5 is a ZUMBATHON! If you want to get physical and have fun at the same time, be sure to attend the Healthy Campus Challenge #5 at the Wellness Center. The Zumbathon will be held on February 2nd at 2:00 PM in the Group Exercise Room.

For more information contact Steph Hoffman at 701.777.2943 or by email at


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