Spotlight On: Danielle Blanchette
Former Nutrition Major
What does health mean to you?: Health, to me, can be a number of different things: healthy physically, mentally, or emotionally. All of which are extremely important to anyone’s well-being. To be healthy means that you give your body what it needs to thrive. Our bodies and minds are fragile, so to me, you can achieve health by feeding yourself good food, filling your mind with positive thoughts, and/or exercising to sweat the toxins and stress away.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: I love walking. It clears my mind and I get to listen to great music and enjoy my free time. However when I get to go for a walk with a group of friends, it makes it that much better. Encouraging your friends to go outside and get some fresh air with you is a great way to make a healthy UNH. We are very lucky that we have access to a swimming pool, countless sports fields and beautiful woods to go to and get some exercise.
How do you stay fit?: I actually am kind of bias because I personally love exercising. I have been playing soccer since I was three and ever since then, I need to run in order to stay sane. I love to run outside, or on the treadmill at the gym. I also have a friend who is a personal trainer and so he has recently been getting me into lifting weights which is a huge feat on its own! Snowboarding is also really fun to me, it works muscles I never knew I had! However, I do have my off days and so when I really don’t feel like leaving my room and walking all the way to the gym (I live by DHOP so walking to the gym can take a while), I tend to dance. It sounds weird, but I love to just dance completely ungracefully around in my room (I’m sure my five other roommates have heard me from time to time). I also have been practicing yoga for a few years now and it really benefits me physically and mentally by strengthening my body and also letting me focus on my breath so I can clear my mind.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: There are countless ways to eat healthy! If you exercise a lot, be sure to refuel your body with carbs and protein and your muscles will thank you. Also, eating a salad can sound pretty boring but if you add other things to it like a hard-boiled egg or pretzels (pretzels are actually amazing in a salad), you won’t feel like you’re just eating a bed of spinach or lettuce!
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: I find motivation to stay healthy by knowing that my body will function so much better if I treat it right. I love the feeling after a great workout knowing that I just accomplished something great, so having that feeling is a great incentive for me to exercise. I also find motivation by exercising in a way that is fun. Doing Zumba and other classes at the Hamel Rec Center gives you such a great workout but the time flies because you’re simply enjoying yourself and you have an instructor to keep you going the entire time.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: Committing to regular exercise like yoga has been a great investment in my health. The regular classes and teachers keep me motivated and coming back. Yoga is the perfect balance of physical and mental well-being.
Anything else you would like to add?: Give tofu a chance! It’s really yummy in stir-fry’s. Also, being healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. There are so many different ways to stay healthy and it can be fun, too!