Tag: Health

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:


As a Sophomore at Loyola, I had the opportunity to take the EXCM 101: Introduction to Exercise Physiology course as did many others. This introductory exercise science class is a service learning course that connects Loyola students with Chicago Public Schools’ physical education and health teachers. It has been a great experience to observe and work with children who go to underfunded schools and don’t have as many resources as do private schools. It was nice to help out these teachers and also gain a learning experience.

Each student in the introductory class is assigned to a local CPS school and have different tasks depending on what their interest is. These activities and lessons are focused on fitness and health. I volunteered in a health class from grades K-5, but others have volunteered with after school sports programs, recess, or helped during physical education class.

It was nice to see a wide range of ages. The lessons I observed and assisted with was based on sex education, so younger students learned about good touching vs. bad touching, whereas the older they got, they learned about puberty, how the body works, male and female body parts, etc. Of course the reactions were priceless, but it is so important that these children are exposed to this information because they become aware of these important aspects at an early age and know what to do depending on what situation they can potentially be placed in.

Loyola students are helping CPS with the LearnWELL Initiative which promotes physical activity and healthy eating choices in school. Doing so allows Loyola students to fulfill their service learning hours which is a requirement by the University. it is easily done and also helps the school meet their students’ needs.

“It does vary,” said Karen Berg, director of clinical placements and experiential learning at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “At some schools, we are supporting after school sports because that’s really the best fit for Loyola students to be volunteering. In others, we’re in the classroom supporting the health education teachers. We’re supporting PE instructors, and we’re also supporting recess. It really is identified by the school themselves—they’re identifying what is best for them.”

Stephanie Wilson, director of the Exercise Science Program says “They truly find it rewarding. These children really count on the Loyola students to show up. They almost look for these students on the day and the time that they’re supposed to come. I think our students recognize that and are confident and proud in the end that they have given something back to the community.”

These are the little things that go so far in our community. Loyola has done a great job in connecting with the community and offering a helping hand. It allows students’ to step out of their comfort zone sometimes and be able to have a hands on experience. This exercise science course has allowed Loyola students to have the chance to give something back and also gain insight for future plannings.

Eating Healthy On a Meal Plan

Eating Healthy On a Meal Plan



One of the worst things that everyone hears about Freshman year of college is the Freshman 15. The supposedly infamous 15 lbs that most freshman will gain in their first year of college. The worst part is that according to WebMD, this old college wives tale, is for real. After some serious googling, I found a statistic that says almost every 1 in 4 freshman gain at least 5% of their body weight, or about 10 lbs. So I guess it’s technically the freshman 10.

So how do you curb the statistics and stay healthy a a freshman in college? Here are a few tips that I have picked up throughout my first year of college at Loyola eating on a full seven day meal plan!

The best thing you can do to avoid gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, is to work out regularly. Take advantage of all the activities and resources that Halas has to offer! You can do everything from rock climbing to yoga in instructor lead classes, or you can do your own thing in the weight room or cardio room. This unfortunately isn’t always easy due to the simple fact that you’re in college and you’re stressed out and have a billion things to do. So what else can you do that doesn’t cut into your intense Netflix schedule.

Stay away from the french fries and pizza as much as possible. These are things that are always going to be in the dining hall, always there staring you down and tempting you to come and indulge – DON’T! Instead of french fries, try the homemade potato chips in every dining hall on campus! Instead of the regular made pizza hit up De Nobili dining and make your own pizza full of fresh spinach, mushrooms, tomato, or any number of yummy fresh veg.

Skip the self server ice cream machine. Don’t worry Loyola makes this one pretty easy because most the machines are perpetually broken, but nonetheless, there are plenty of other sweat after meal snacks to grab instead! My favorite is a banana with peanut butter- super delicious, super good for you.

Go whole grain! All the sandwich bars and bread options for the toaster offer whole grain or whole wheat bread/wraps. They taste practically the same and are just a little healthier which is everything!

Toast instead of waffles. Even though the waffle machines in the dining halls are awesome and really fun especially the first week of school, you can’t eat waffles and pancakes every day. My favorite alternative is whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana on top!

Take the fruit. There’s almost always apples, pears, or banana’s in the dining halls. Take them, steal them, hoard them, but most importantly – eat them. They taste great and are an awesome alternative to chips or junk food.

Stock up on granola bars/ protein bars to eat before exam or early classes. This is key, staying energized and eating all your meals is going to make you feel better and be a better student. If you’re not a morning person, like me, this is great for the days your running late for an 8 am or to catch the shuttle downtown.

If you have the extra cash, mix it up and eat out once in a while. There are amazing restaurants around Chicago and right here in Rodgers Park, treat yo self and go out for sushi or Italian  every so often. It’s a great break from the monotony of your meal plan and will probably be made of high quality ingredients which is, you know, also good.

All in all, gaining a little bit of weight your freshman year, it’s no big deal. It happens to everyone whether you can tell or not. Being on a dining plan and living life as a college student is a lot different then living at home. Don’t let stereotypes and body standards dictate how you live completely, but do be aware that there are little things you can do to stay healthy freshman year.

Loving yourself is 100 times more important than staying a size 4.

The best project to work on is you.

The best project to work on is you.

Eliza's Turbo Class

I do not know how I would’ve gotten through college without my best friends, coffee, and Halas.  Halas, Loyola’s exquisite Recreation Center, is pretty much my second home.  I remember walking in as a freshman, before all of the construction, and waiting in line for half an hour for Zumba class.  Yes, it got crowded and sweaty because the classes are that good.  Not even Chicago’s 2011, horrible snow storm stopped my roommate and I from attending the gym!


Over the course of the years, I have made many friends from attending the Group Fitness Classes.  We like to call each other the veterans because we come back each year and attend classes religiously.  I continue to enjoy these classes, but one of my favorites of all times has to be Turbo Kick.  This class was first introduced Fall of 2011 and was taught by a Loyola alumni: Katrina Badowski. She was the Loyola’s Dance Captain, now a Chief’s cheerleader, and a great friend.  She taught Loyola’s first Turbo Kick class…BUT what is Turbo Kick?  Think of a martial arts, kick boxing and dance choreography class.  If you want to burn around 1,000 calories, this class will do that to you!


After she graduated, I started attending other classes with some fabulous instructors and, now, great friends as well.  Eliza Stucker and Mary Kesinger took over the Turbo Kick classes and continue to teach other classes as well.  Keep an eye out for Eliza’s Step class and Mary’s wonderful PiYo class.  Last year, I was so dedicated to their workouts that I lost 15lbs from Turbo Kick and PiYo classes alone.  Ok, I also had to change my eating habits a tad bit…
If you haven’t checked out any of these classes yet, please give them a try!  Everyone is very friendly and you will get a workout, I promise.  Eliza will push you to that extreme level and Mary will strengthen your core just as well.  We are always looking for new members to make our Turbo and PiYo families bigger!

Mary's Turbo Class