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The Faces of Healthy UNH

October 27, 2010

Healthy UNH has begun telling the stories of people on campus who are committed to making healthy choices. If you would like to share your story, send it to healthy.unh@unh.edu. Healthy UNH was formed in the fall of 2008 through a charge from President Mark Huddleston to improve the health of the campus community while decreasing healthcare costs.

Sinthy Kounlasa, administrative assistant III, economics

Sinthy Kounlasa, administrative assistant III, economics

Years Worked at UNH:
25

What does health mean to you?
It means a billion bucks!

What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?
I eat right by choosing healthy foods and I try think positively. I encourage others to do the same.

How do you stay fit?
I've done running races ranging from 5Ks to 50 mile trail races and have even run some mountains: Loon, Cranmore, Mt. Washington, Pack Monadnock, and Jay Mountain. I have done three sprint triathlons, one international triathlon, and one half iron man triathlon.

Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?
I avoid eating out--especially at fast food restaurants. The best thing about eating at home is that when I cook, I know that what I'm eating is healthy and clean because I am in control of the ingredients.

How do you find motivation to stay healthy?
Motivation comes from being a grandmother. I need to set a good example to all of my children and grandchildren. I want to be healthy so that I can help taking care of my grandchildren and to live long enough to see them in college and have their own families.

Have you made any tangible improvements to your health by making positive changes in your life?
Yes! It shows and I can feel it!

 

Laura Davie, project director, N.H. Institute for Health Policy and Practice

Laura Davie, project director, N.H. Institute for Health Policy and Practice

Years Worked at UNH:
5

What does health mean to you?
Health is a combination of feeling physically fit, having good “numbers” (like blood pressure and cholesterol), and feeling well mentally.

What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?
I consider the cost of services across different providers when I need care, see a chiropractor on a regular bases, take advantage of the exercise opportunities on campus, eat healthy foods, and listen to music when I am getting stressed at work.

How do you stay fit?
Right now I am biking a lot but I also hike, use the elliptical machine, lift weights, stretch, Pilates, and walk the dog.

Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?
The key for me is to not have unhealthy things in the house or in the office. If I can see it, I will eat it.

How do you find motivation to stay healthy?
I just feel better when I am exercising and my clothes fit.

Have you made any tangible improvements to your health by making positive changes in your life?
Recently, I significantly reduced the amount of caffeinated diet soda I was drinking (down to one a day!). While I still drink coffee, I have not increased my coffee intake. I feel more rested in the morning and have fewer energy swings during the day.

Joanne Samuels, assistant professor, nursing

Joanne Samuels, assistant professor, nursing

Years Worked at UNH:
3

What does health mean to you?
Health means that I can do what I want, when I want.

How do you stay fit?
I life an active lifestyle. I spin two to three times per week and lift weights twice per week. On weekends in the summer I bike and kayak, and in the winter I will bike if there is no ice on the roads. I also cross country ski and snowshoe. I try to eat right, especially during the week, but on the weekends I have to admit to a few extra calories.

Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?
Just do the best you can. I started by weighing and measuring everything to obtain a sense of portion size. Unfortunately, I have to admit that there is more than ½ cup in a large bowl of ice cream. Next I eliminated all saturated fat and salt, and minimized as best I could white flour and white sugar. I also bring my food to work – even coffee. It takes a little bit of planning, but it not only saves calories but a whole bunch of money.

How do you find motivation to stay healthy?
Truly, I don’t think I have the strength or courage it takes to be sick. I could never stick to a regime of medications, doctor visits, etc. Rehabilitation is hard work. I also really like the feeling of being strong.

Have you made any tangible improvements to your health by making positive changes in your life?
Absolutely. After lifting the veil of denial (mirrors lie, pictures don’t) I started to address my eating habits. The fight continues, but I did manage to get my blood pressure down without medications. I also started taking supplements like omega 3 and 6 and daily vitamins. I have been exercising since college, so that was a plus.

Anything else you would like to add?
Changing your lifestyle and resisting the ever present temptations requires daily vigilance. The important thing is that people get back on the wagon after they may falter occasionally. Changes happen slowly despite our need for immediate reinforcement, but the rewards and the feeling of accomplishment is great and can fuel future successes. I do some of my best thinking when at an exercise peak. It is very cool. Ride like a girl!

 



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We welcome your story ideas, letters, photos, notable events, achievements, obituaries and/or memorium.

If you would like to submit an item, please contact the Editor at 862-1567.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesdays at 4 pm.

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