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Searching for a balance of nutrition and activity
By Deborah Stull Erickson
From Brief, January 19, 2005
Just in time to rekindle those New Year's resolutions comes "Energy Quest: The Pursuit of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity."
Energy Quest is a UPlan Wellness program that runs for eight weeks beginning February 7. University employees and their family members can use Energy Quest to increase awareness of how small changes often can make a big difference.
Each week, different topics will be highlighted. Each topic builds on the previous topic:
- physical activity
- fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- meal planning and shopping
- eating out/fast foods
- healthy snacks
- dairy and meats
The goal is to develop a balance between the food you eat and the energy you use.
Energy Quest coincides with the latest findings of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which recently announced new recommendations in 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. According to the new guidelines, "Eating a healthy balance of nutritious foods continues as a central point in the Dietary Guidelines, but balancing nutrients is not enough for health. Total calories also count, especially as more Americans are gaining weight. Because almost two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and more than half get too little physical activity, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines place a stronger emphasis on calorie control and physical activity."
Energy Quest can help you make positive changes in your life. It encourages setting reasonable goals to achieve results.
Watch for packets to arrive soonEnergy Quest packets will arrive soon by campus mail. They will include
- Energy Quest Guide. Use this book for essential program information, recommendations, tips on setting goals each week, as a reference, and to help chart your progress in the Energy Quest Log, below.
- Energy Quest Log. The log is designed to carry with you throughout the program. It gives you an easy way to keep track of daily progress and an overall record of your improvement. The log includes the Post-Program Survey.
- Post-Program Survey. Complete this survey at the end of the eight weeks.
Circle of Health
Circle of Health is an interactive, online resource that helps individuals assess their current health and set realistic goals for improvement. It also includes a wealth of information to help you become as healthy and well-balanced as possible.
To begin developing your personal health plan, go to the Circle of Health Web site.
Circle of Health was developed by the U's Center for Spirituality and Healing, which is a UPlan Wellness partner helping to support the health and well-being of employees and their families.
Energy Quest will also include weekly e-newsletters. For the first four weeks, they will be sent as University-wide e-mail messages, and for the last four weeks, you can find them as links in Brief.
When you return your log and survey to UPlan Wellness--no later than June 1--you will receive a $10 gift certificate redeemable at your campus bookstore.
If any of your family members wish to participate in the Energy Quest program, copies of the log will be available to download online by February 1 at www.umn.edu/ohr/eb/wellness/quest.htm. Family members who complete the log and survey will receive a $5 gift certificate to University Bookstores. The total gift package for an employee and family is $25.
Watch for more information coming soon on the UPlan Wellness Web site at www.umn.edu/ohr/eb/wellness.
For more informationFor more information on UPlan Wellness, call 612-626-WELL (9355) or 1-888-433-WELL (9355), or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2005 Dietary Guidelines are on the Web at www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines.
Deb Stull Erickson is an editor in the Office of Human Resources, Twin Cities campus.