Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wellness and Sustainability: WWU's Wellness Program

The WWU Faculty & Staff Wellness Program Presents: 3 Minutes of Breathing featuring Nancy Metcalf from Fairhaven College, WWU on Vimeo.

This past April, one of the Office of Sustainability's "Lunch and Learn" sessions featured Kaylee Nightingale, a Wellness Program Instructor from WWU's Human Resources Department. She spoke about health, wellness, and sustainability, and said some really insightful things that made a lasting impression on me. For example,  she talked about how wellness makes everything better because it makes us less dependent on medicine, on "things," and on "stuff." She spoke about consumption and wellness, and pointed out how we don't need to buy and consume in order to become more fit. It doesn't matter if we don't have expensive exercise equipment because it is possible to use what we have around us. One of the things I really liked is when she said "We don't need much to do what our bodies want to do, and that is to move!"

Kaylee also talked about how there are ways to incorporate fitness into our everyday routines, such as taking a 20 minute walk as part of running an errand, using the stairs, or just walking more. So often we think driving somewhere will actually get us there faster, or that we don't have time to walk, when if we try it we might be surprised. And, exercise is always a great stress reliever!

The faculty and staff here at Western are really lucky to have access to such a great Wellness Program right here where we work every day. For example, there are a number of classes we can take, or we can also call to schedule a personalized wellness consultation.  In addition to the classes, there are also some great yoga videos online, like the one I posted above featuring Wellness Instructor Nancy Metcalf.

Wellness and sustainability are intrinsically connected, and the better we feel, the better everything is in our lives, including our work and our relationships. Summer time is now officially upon us which means it is easier than ever to explore our options for finding more ways to bring wellness and physical activity into our daily lives. (My personal favorite is walking up Sehome Hill during my lunch break!) If you are looking for ways to integrate well-being into your life, drop Kaylee an email at and she will help you get started.

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