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Wellness Wednesday- August 8

Wellness Warrior

The Be Well program is excited to announce our second Wellness Warrior Award recipient- Tracy Viles. Tracy, a staff member in the School of Music has been with UT for 22 years. Some of her favorite hobbies include  traveling and cake and cookie decorating. She admits that while it is not ” the healthiest hobby, but the results normally bring a smile to someone’s face and that’s what life is about.” Her co-workers say that she is always smiling, encouraging her co-workers to be the best they can be, and motivating them to work hard to reach their goals. Tracy has invited her peers to join her on walks during their lunch hour. 

When asked about what inspires her to make the healthier choices, Tracy said “I have a group of friends that I walk with a few times a week which helps keep me motivated. I also have a weight loss accountability partner.  We send each other encouraging messages throughout the week.  Knowing others are cheering me on truly inspires me.”Tracy’s journey has been not been easy but it has been truly inspiring. Her outlook is incredible as she uses times of hardship to draws her  strength to move forward.  I lost my husband to stomach cancer in September 2015 and within three months, I gained 15 lbs. from stress eating.  I decided to join Weight Watchers in January 2016 and so far have lost 30 lbs.  I still have more weight to lose, but as with life, I just take it one day at a time and try to make the best choices I can each day.

The Wellness Warrior Award is a recognition of individual efforts to lead by example when it comes to making healthier choices. Making the healthy choice is not always the easy choice. It is an appreciation of the 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.

Move More

We all know smoking is bad for our health! However, historically that was not always true. It took a lot of research, deliberation, legislation, and public health campaigns to understand the impact of smoking on health and then communicate that with the public. Even with all of the progress that has been made, we still continue to discuss smoking and tobacco consumption till this day.

New research now indicates that being unfit may be as bad as smoking. A New York Times Article explains that we have always known that fitness levels could influence overall health and even life expectancy. However, many of these studies were limited were limited by their specific population and the length of the studies-which usually last between 10 and 20 years. These limitations make it difficult to generalize the results to younger populations and fully understand them in full capacity. However, new research that was recently published avoided those limitations in age and length of study and has indicated that lack of regular fitness can be more detrimental to health than smoking. The full article can be found here.

Eat Better 

There are many resources on campus that focus healthy nutrition. This week we would like to highlight some of these resources.

  • Be Well is excited to be able to offer two programs the focus on overall health and nutrition.
    • Be Well Lifestyle, is a 6-weeks program that reviews current recommendations, provide support for personal goal setting, and group motivation to succeed. Participants will be loaned Fitbits to track physical activity levels and assist in developing personal goals. Sessions will meet on Tuesdays at 12:00 PM in the Student Health Center starting September 6th. If you are interested in participating please contact Yusof Al-Wadei at to RSVP. Space is limited
    • In a partnership with Knox County Health Department, Be Well is Happy to bring the Living Well With Chronic Disease Program to our campus. An evidence based program out of Stanford University that has been shown to be effective and sustainable. The workshop is two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks. All sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 PM in Room 201 Student Health Center. It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. If you interested in participating in the program email Yusof Al-Wadei at with the subject line “Living Well RSVP” to reserve your spot- space is very limited.
  • UT Farmers Market meets every Wednesday afternoon 4-7 PM 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.
  • Weight Watchers on Campus will be holding several meetings this semester. A new 12-week series will begin soon. Two open information sessions will be offered   on Wednesday August 10th at 11:00 AM in Jessie Harris Suite 110 and at 12:15 PM in Communications Bldg Suite 40.  For more information about the program please contact Gwen Roddye at


Be Mindful 

Learning whether it is in a class setting or at work can sometimes be  tedious and tiresome. It is more than just the accumulation of information but it is the process of active learning that makes more effective learners. Exercise has been notoriously linked with better learning outcomes. The following NY Times article explains how a recent study has looked into the link between exercise and better learning.

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.