A message from the wellness program to university employees and students

Oscar Avila, Reporter

An individual who consciously makes healthy choices, is educated and physically fit can theoretically lead to a highly effective employee or student. This is the premise of the Wellness Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. The university recognizes that employees and students personal health and general well-being are important, which is why the Wellness Program offers a variety of opportunities to create awareness of beneficial lifestyle choices.

The Wellness Program focuses on health promotion and education according to the Manager of the University Wellness Program and Student Health and Wellness Center, Daniela Lerma.

“We have a focus on sexual health, but have events in which we give information about many health topics,” Lerma said.

One of the event the program offers is  “Fit 4 Free Thursdays.” Each month on Thursday the Wellness Program features one of their health and fitness programs. These courses are open for free to UTEP faculty and staff, and held in the evening from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Last year, during the Fall semester, they featured four programs: country line dance in September, tai chi yoga in November, martial arts in October, and circuit training in December.

“Wellness Weekdays,” is another event hosted every summer from June 8 to August 15 at 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. People are required to register for each event, and individual evites with registration links will be sent for each event once registration is available. There are six events in total: “Mining for Health Walk,” “Yoga-n-Yogurt,” “Energize Yourself with Tai Chi,” “Join Airrosti for Lacrosse Ball Workshop,” “Dance Away with Line Dancing!” and “Join the Party with Zumba!” These events are informative and interactive sessions that educate participants on various methods to maintain their health and while having a good time.

Along with their physical programs, Lerma said there are educational resources dedicated to inform miners on healthy habits for sexual relationships such as the Healthy Miner: Sex Positive Peer Education program.

The Sex Positive Peer Education program features, “Wellness Articles” and “Wellness Infographics,” that were created by students to provide swift, comprehensive information on sexual health and healthy behaviors.

Their website, healthyminer.utep.edu provides  “Did You Know?” and “FAQs” segments which discuss myths about sexual health and provide facts to clarify any misconceptions.

The information and the programs provided come as a great convenience to residents of UTEP like senior biology major, John Luevano Jr.

“I think it’s amazing. It’s decently cheap, even if you don’t have insurance,” Luevano Jr. said.

Whether students or faculty know it or not while they participate in their programs, the Wellness Program hopes to spread awareness of healthy and positive lifestyles by the tools provided through them to UTEP associates. Thereby reducing the incidence of preventable illnesses and injuries to the miners of El Paso.