Spotlight On: Mike Ferrara
College of Health and Human Services
Year Started at UNH: 2011
What does health mean to you?: Being healthy is a lifestyle and a choice. It is about being active and also making good nutrition choices, managing stress, getting adequate sleep.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: I always try to be as active as possible during the day by walking to all campus meetings, taking the stairs, monitoring my diet and parking far away from stores in the parking lot.
How do you stay fit?: I just finished training for the Northeast Passage (NEP) Century Ride and my next goal is to ride a metric century later in the Fall. I’ve never used biking as a method for physical fitness but it puts less stress on my knees and more specifically, my IT Band. Also, I like learning about new sports and experimenting with different training principles and see how my body responds to those new activities and physical challenges. For example, I’ve run a marathon in 2007 and hiked to Everest Base Camp in 2009.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: I try to monitor my diet whenever possible. I have several meals out during a week that I try to make thoughtful choices to eat well. I have also started to snack more during the day so I don’t eat such a large meal at dinner. The biggest adjustment I have made recently is to consistently drink more water during the day to stay hydrated.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: My motivation is two-fold. First are my kids and by remaining physically active allows me to keep up with them when we go hiking, biking or skiing. We have always been an active family and participated in a variety of recreational and sporting activities. Second, I want to continue to be able to do the things I want as I get older and not be limited by injury or other preventable ailments that could deter my enjoyment.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: Since I started training for the Northeast Passage Three Notch Century, I have lost weight and generally feel better. I also notice that when I am physically active, I sleep much better.
Anything else you would like to add?: The hardest part is getting into a routine and sticking with that routine whether it is being physically active or making good nutrition choices. It is best to find friends who like similar activities to train together which make you accountable. The Employee Fitness Center has a great staff and a wonderful facility in helping anyone interested in physical activity and to maintain that motivation for continued success.