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Wellness Wednesday- June 29

Be Different. Be Well. 

The Wellness Wednesday Newsletter is a bi-weekly release in which Be Well will share events, information, and resource to support healthy lifestyles. It will serve as our communication with our campus community as we try to make the healthy choice the easy choice. 

Wellness Warrior

The Be Well program is excited to announce our first Wellness Warrior Award recipient. As many of us know, making the healthy choice is not always the easy. The wellness warrior award is a recognition of individual efforts to lead by example when it comes to making healthier choices. It is an appreciation of their determination and dedication to living a well and healthy lifestyle. To nominate someone who you feel is deserving of this award please visit our website to fill out the nomination form

The recipient of the first Wellness Warrior Award is Joel Kramer. Joel serves as the Assistant Director for Assignments and Accommodations with the Housing Department. He has been with the university for 10 years and his favorite hobbies include Reading, walking, collecting comic books and vintage Pyrex. When asked about what inspires him to make healthier choices Joel says, “I started making healthier choices mostly because my doctor yelled at me, but also because I was unable to do a lot of things I had taken for granted when I weighed less, like climbing stairs or walking across campus without needing to catch my breath.”

Joel-kramer“I have gone from not being able to walk across campus without breaking a sweat to completing two half marathons and registering for two more. Since embarking on this journey, I have competed in over 20 5K races, which is something that I would not even have imagined was possible before. I would like to thank all of my friends for their support and kind words along the way, because I would not have been able to stick with this without them.” – Joel Kramer.


Move More

Did you know about UT’s Walking Community? The Center for Physical Activity and Health has created walking trail maps on campus with loops of varying lengths. You can also utilize the Map My Walk App to create your own trails or explore others around the city.

Additionally, there has been some interest in creating an employee running/jogging/walking club that meets after work (~5:30-6:30). The group would serve as a support network to help individuals train for their specific goals and would be open to all interested participants. The group would also register for 5Ks and races across town as a team. If you are interested in joining an employee running club please email

Eat Better 

Sometimes it is difficult to be able to find fresh locally sourced foods that are convenient in both location and price. Lucky for us, the UT Farmers Market is just a short walk away. Every Wednesday afternoon 4-7pm in the UT Gardens, the market provides our community with access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local products along with games and entertainment for the whole family. After work on Wednesday take a short stroll to the Gardens and checkout all of the available fresh foods. For more information about the market, their vendors, and activities sign up for the market’s weekly newsletter.

Be Well is also in the process of scheduling several nutrition related programs for the fall semester. The success of our pilot Be Well Lifestyle program only highlighted the interest of faculty and staff members to attend and participate in such programming. Be on the lookout for emails in the next several weeks to sign up. If you are interested in a weight-loss program, the campus Weight Watchers program is a great reference. This is a program that has been studied numerous times and has shown to be effective. If you are interested please contact Gwen Roddye to sign up and get more information about the meetings.

Be Mindful 

The New York Times recently published an article titles “Alzheimer’s Disease as an Adventure in Wonderland” by Nancy Bercaw. In light of recent events, this piece highlights the effects of Alzheimer’s on families through this artist’s perspective as a caregiver. It is unique in that it provides a personal touch to a disease that affect many families.

In conjunction,  there are many pieces of literature in publication that highlight the importance of physical activity to mental health. Many scientific studies have shown a strong link between exercising and mental strength. A recent study indicates that exercise affects hormonal levels in the brain that lead to new cell growth in the brain and result in a stronger mental capacity. This study is explained in another New York Times article titles “How Exercise May Help the Brain Grow Stronger?