A friendly “P.U.S.H.” toward a healthier life
Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:02
Whether related to religion, language, culture or just social fun, there are student clubs and organizations for nearly everyone. Among these is a student organized clubs to educate others about health issues, support the local community and encourage other students to make positive choices. That club goes by the name of P.U.S.H., otherwise known as Parkland United for Student Health.
P.U.S.H. is student organized, which, according to Wellness Educator Mekenzie Lewis, means "The organization is run by students, meaning students get to decide the direction or involvement of the organization. It is an opportunity for students to meet others with similar interests, learn about local events that are focused on health, and decide what activities they would like to be a part of or take part planning or developing an activity or event they are interested in."
P.U.S.H. is for students who are interested in living healthy lifestyles. This does not mean people with health issues or less active lifestyles are unwelcome. Students who want to make a change in their lifestyle, such as exercising more or eating healthier foods, are more than welcome to join. "We actually encourage those that may want to make a positive change in their lives and need support, encouragement, and motivation to turn over a healthy new leaf," Lewis explained.
There are many activities that the group has discussed and would like to start up. Some of those ideas are starting a running and walking group, organizing an intermural sports team, volunteering at blood drives and flu clinics, exchanging healthy recipes and educating peers on sexual health.
Members of P.U.S.H. already participate in numerous activities, including social events that foster health, local community events that promote health and wellness and other activities that promote and support social policies and improve various aspects of wellness.
P.U.S.H. members meet in the Wellness Center in Room X-240, which is right across from the second story entrance to the library. Students are always welcome to come in and ask questions about the club.
"We act as wellness coaches to assist with personal growth and change and to offer health related education to students and staff," Lewis said. Some of the services supplied are personalized diet assessment, smoking cessation assistance, alcohol and drug education, free fifteen minutes chair massages, free condoms, blood pressure readings and stress management counseling. There are also free pamphlets about the P.U.S.H. program and other health topics available just outside of the entrance of the Wellness Center.
In addition to the Wellness Center and P.U.S.H., students can utilize the Fitness Center and even get class credit for it. They may also choose a non-credited, non-instructional class (WAC 650-001 - Fitness Center Use) for $50 per semester, which has no prerequisite but is only available during specific hours. Students should bring their Parkland ID and wear appropriate workout attire with tennis shoes when visiting the Fitness Center. The Fitness Center is located in the lower level of the Physical Education building in room P-128.
P.U.S.H. and the Wellness Center can be found on Facebook as well. For updates and information on these and other programs, students can "like" the Parkland College page.
Out of all the resources that take advantage of what Parkland offers, the Wellness Center should be at the top of every student's list for rough times, even if this means just dealing with extra stress during exam week. And if a person wants to start down the road to a healthier lifestyle but lacks the motivation, they should consider joining P.U.S.H, for that little extra push towards the goal line.