VIU students made their way to the gymnasium lobby for Campus Rec’s second Wellness Wednesday event of the semester last week, following the successful Free Fruit Popsicle Party in Sept. This time students were treated to homemade whole wheat pancakes with fruit on top.

Three more events are planned this semester, and coordinator Karen Alden explains the mission is to supply information while offering a lunchtime snack.

“The overall goal of Wellness Wednesdays is to provide students [with] the information and tools to make personal healthy lifestyle choices by adding or making small changes in their daily lifestyle,” Alden says.

“This term we are focused on how to add more fruit and vegetables into your day and highlighting the importance and role that physical activity plays in one’s lifestyle by offering opportunities to be active.”

Alden initiated the program when she began working at VIU in 2008. She understands the difficulty for students to maintain a healthy lifestyle while adhering to the demands of university life.

“It’s important that the students have proper nutrition and lead an active lifestyle to be successful with their studies here at VIU,” Alden says.

“University can be very busy and stressful and students need to juggle several important factors during this time. If we can help them get through this busy and hectic semester by offering opportunities to be healthy, active, and involved, we can help set the path to success here at VIU.”

Another goal of the program is to help students make positive choices when it comes to decision-making with their health and diet. Since university students have little time to spare for cooking elaborate meals, it is easy to grab an unhealthy snack when hunger strikes. Wellness Wednesdays events aim to provide solutions to this familiar dilemma by suggesting quick, nutritious meal options.

“We want the students to think about the choices they make before actually acting on those choices—controlling the decisions around their health and not letting spontaneous and negative impulses allow their health to take control of them,” Alden says.

“For the students, it’s worth it. It’s also pretty nice to have some free food handed their way.”

The next Wellness Wednesday event takes place Oct. 31 at noon in the gym lobby. Healthy Halloween treats will be handed out, and students attending in costume will be entered to win a prize. For more information and upcoming events, please contact Alden at 250-740-6239 or visit <>.

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