Wellness Wednesdays offer spring pick-me-up

By Ashley A. Williams

Wellness Wednesdays offer spring pick-me-up

By Ashley A. Williams
Two weekdays will feature no classes and a host of activities for students aimed at providing fun and promoting fitness, including yoga, nutrition tips, and information on camping.

Are you a University of Miami student in need of a midweek boost? Take a break with Wellness Wednesdays, a day without classes that is filled with virtual and in-person programs intended to provide some relief from the weekly routine—all the while giving students a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

While there won’t be a traditional weeklong spring break, two Wellness Wednesdays are scheduled this semester—one for March 3 and the other for April 14. The new program is a collaboration among the Division of Student Affairs, Healthy ’Cane Network, Wellness and Recreation, Counseling Center, Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, Student Health Service, Housing and Residential Life, Student Activities and Student Organizations, UMindfulness, and Mindfulness in Law.

Anthony Musto, Wellness and Recreation’s director of fitness programs and chair of Healthy ’Cane Network, piloted this first-ever programming. According to Musto, he and his team are  looking forward to seeing students enjoy themselves and connect with on-campus resources.

“There are a few universities doing this, but we might have taken it a step further. Rather than just give the students some time off, we decided to actually provide a program for these two days to give them the opportunity to learn more about well-being,” said Musto, who has been working at the University for more than 22 years. “It would be easy to set an event that was just fun; we wanted to do more than that.”  

Kicking off on Tuesday evening, March 2, before the Wellness Wednesday, will be ’Canes Wellness Night, when students can expect all programming to bring a balance between fun and health. The first event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Lakeside Patio and University Center Canopy. Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., students can start their day with Sunrise Yoga on the Intramural Fields.

One of the signature programs on March 3 is an in-person event on the University Foote Green. Vouchers for $5 will be provided for each student to use at the food trucks and stress-relief and physically based activities will take place.

“This is going to be a drop-in fun event that students can enjoy,” said Musto. “There are going to be various outdoor games and food trucks on the Foote Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.” 

In addition to these and other in-person events, including the return of “Pancakes with Pat” on the Intramural Fields on Wednesday evening, there also will  be “conference-style” programming available that will focus on deep-breathing exercises, mindfulness, nutrition, and camping tips.

According to Musto, students who participate in at least three programs will be entered into a raffle to receive a $50 Amazon gift card; 10 will be raffled. “All students must attend at least one ‘How are You?’ session and chose any other two events or sessions to qualify,” he pointed out.    

All on-campus events will be monitored to maintain physical distancing, and face coverings will be required at all times. Pre-registration is also required for some events.

Students can click here for more information about Wellness Wednesdays and to register for each event.