Spotlight On: Chao Yang
Former Graduate Student
Recreation Management and Policy
What does health mean to you?: Health includes both physical and mental health. To me, physical health means a strong immune system which means not being sick often and a standard weight based on your height. Mental health means the ability to deal with pressure and keep optimistic.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: I like to work out more actively. So I choose to go to the Hamel Rec on our campus at least three times a week and I really love the lessons there, such as Step and Strength, Cardio Boxing, Zumba and Cycling. Sometimes, I just go to the gym and exercise there. Besides going to the gym, I like swimming, too. I go to the Swasey Indoor Pool once a week.
How do you stay fit?: Working out every other day for at least 40 minutes to an hour is a good way to stay fit and I think cardio exercise is a perfect option. In addition, swimming is a good way to release pressure and maintain a good body shape, particularly for women.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: Generally, eating more vegetables and fruits and trying to avoid junk food and other high fat and calorie food is very important. Green and dark vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli and black peas, etc. are good for the body. Fruits, apples are wonderful, and make you full and they contain many vitamins. Having an apple everyday also has the effect of anti-aging. Besides apples, oranges contain lots of vitamin C and bananas help people be positive and happier. I also go to our dining halls to eat, however, I always pay attention to the information tags of the food there. Stir-fry, Omelets, and yogurt are always my first options. After that, I’m almost always full, so I try Jello and a little dessert which contains higher energy. For drink, I think water is the healthiest drink. I rarely drink carbonated drink, coffee or some sweet drink such as hot cocoa. But if I do, I’d go work out that day. Generally, I try to keep a balance. In addition, I make lunch is the biggest meal for me, so I have time to burn calories. For dinner, I have fruits, oatmeal and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans and cashews, etc.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: Staying healthy should become a hobby. I know that one day, health problems could become a big burden for people who care about me if I don’t pay attention to my health today. So I always try to encourage myself. I like to envision a picture of me being healthier, particularly when I can’t persist and am about to give up.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: Since I’ve been exercising regularly, I haven’t been sick at all during the past two years. I think this is the biggest change. Also, I have become more optimistic and resilient to pressure. For example, after exercising, my mind is clearer and I become very calm, so I can concentrate more on the task on hand, instead of being anxious.
Anything else you would like to add?: My mom used to joke with me and say, “I don’t want to invest a large amount of money in the hospital, so stay healthy!” This is so true and I think our body is the biggest treasure in our life, so treat it nicely.