As the Olympics began on Friday, July 27 two of our GenerationSUNY interns took part in a program called the WellNYS Everyday Olympic Experience. The goal was to complete a healthy behavior each day of the Olympics from the list of 16 provided. The end goal was learning the benefits of such behaviors so they can therefore become daily rituals.
The Healthy Behaviors:
1) Weigh yourself and write it down
2) Wake up early and participate in 20 minutes of physical activity
3) Listen to energizing music for 10 minutes
4) Participate in one of the Summer Olympic sports for 15 minutes
5) Spend 20 minutes in meditation/quiet reflection or write in a journal
6) Spend time outside and explore nature
7) Eat a variety of 5-7 fruits and vegetables today
8) Try something fun that will make you laugh
9) Put on sunscreen and wear sunglasses
10) Do a random act of kindness
11) Read one food label
12) Make water your beverage of choice today
13) Floss your teeth twice today
14) In bed lights off for 8 hours before alarm goes off
15) Write down everything you ate today
16) Start a new habit and end a bad habit
Maxwell Lochte Morgan:
Given my busy schedule this summer, I was reluctant to join the WellNYS Everyday Olympic Experience. However, persuaded by an award, I signed on. After all, if Michael Phelps can earn 19 career medals, there was no reason for me to avoid practicing 16 healthy behaviors.
By Day 6 of the Olympic Experience and I had completed an equal number of tasks—four of those I will share. Actually, in the spirit of television coverage of the Olympics, I will only give you three and we will all pretend like the fourth hasn’t happened until 14 hours from now:
Friday, July 27: Spend time outside and explore nature On Friday, I attended a barbecue in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Although it was overcast for the majority of the day, being outside of a metro environment was a huge relief. I breathed fresh air, could hear birds sing love songs to each other and felt the grass between my toes. I was relaxed and re-energized to begin my weekend.
Saturday, July 28: Listen to energizing music for 10 minutes On Sunday morning, I was on my way back from visiting family in New Jersey. I felt tired and wanted to be more awake for the drive so I switched Saturday’s podcast of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! off and shuffled a Modest Mouse playlist. The music made my heart beat a little bit faster and calories danced away.
Wednesday, August 1: Make water your beverage of choice today For about two weeks now, I’ve been trying to stop drinking coffee. Last spring semester, I drank it up to three times a day. Ever since cutting my consumption, I’ve found that I have constant levels of energy all day—for a longer time. I also find that it is easier to wake up in the morning. So, on Wednesday I ditched coffee for a full day and drank only water. I felt refreshed and surprisingly awake!
I was most excited to Participate in one of the Summer Olympic sports for 15 minutes because I want to be a dresser for a dressage horse. Stephen Colbert’s recent coverage of his Sport of the Summer is inspiring and it seems like the most reasonable and appropriate athletic event of Olympic sports. With the conclusion of the games, I failed to figure out the logistics of getting a horse, but I now have four more years to figure it out!
Megan Morgan Wolszczak:
As the Olympics concluded last night and I watched the closing ceremony I reflected on what it takes to become an Olympian. While also loving the reuniting of my favorite childhood band, The Spice Girls. Sports are a great passion of mine and I have always participated in them. As a young girl, I began with indoor soccer. Too boring for me, I abruptly transitioned to gymnastics; now this was something I loved. I was never capable of capturing a crowd in shock and awe with my limber moves on a balance beam or dramatic routine across the floor but I still loved training anyway.
Watching the US Women’s Olympic team in individual competition and group exercises literally moved me to tears. I’m not sure if it was the reflecting and mourning the fact that I never made an Olympic debut or the sheer joy for these young women who have given up all facets of a normal lifestyle to become an Olympian. (Some of them living half way across the country from their family just to be closest to the best gyms in the US).
Either way I was always ecstatic every night to tune in to NBC to see what sport I would become intrigued with next. All while avoiding all forms of social media and Internet to avoid ruining the news of a major upset or new gold medal to add to the tally!
Not to mention was I thrilled every time a new medalist was from my native Rochester, NY. The city producing the most Olympians per capita in the US.
So as far as the Olympic Experience I did my best to incorporate the whole gamut of healthy behaviors throughout the games but will highlight only a few.
Weigh yourself and write it down: My post college depression has sank in and I have realized my nights no longer conform to pizza, beer, McDonalds, Law and Order: SVU marathons or wasting endless time on the computer. It is time to get serious about a regular exercise plan and healthy diet by cooking for myself instead of always ordering out.
Listen to energizing music for 10 minutes: This was a no-brainer as I listen to music every morning while I get ready. I changed my usual station to some old school dance hits and was ready for a busy day.
Spend time outside and explore nature: I spent a recent weekend working in Lake Placid. With no cell service (my phone literally read No Service in the top left corner) I was at the mercy of Mother Nature. It was calming, grounding and serene wandering about acres and acres of the Adirondacks with not one technological distraction.
Put on sunscreen and wear sunglasses: Yesterday I attended Giants Training Camp at UAlbany and knew the sun was going to be roasting as I sat on the metal bleachers for a few hours. I didn’t make it out completely red-free but it’s is much more of a blush color than a painful lobster stinging red.
Now you tell us…
What did you enjoy most about the Olympics?
What of these Healthy Behaviors could you easily incorporate in your lifestyle?