Spotlight On: Megan Donohue
Alumni, Track Coach, Minister
What does health mean to you?: To me, health means feeling great emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When I think of the word health I picture someone who is positive, full of energy and has a balanced life (faith, friends, family, work, exercise). I also associate being disease free with being healthy.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: I am a minister on campus with a group called Cru, and I am also volunteer track coach. I love both of these roles! With the work I do with Cru, I encourage students to know and experience Jesus, who not only yearns for us to experience joy and satisfaction through knowing him, but cares about our emotional, mental, and physical well-being too. Through Cru, I get to mentor students in more practical things such as growing in their relationships with others, knowing how to structure their time, etc. As a track coach I get to focus more on coaching students in their running and encourage them to make healthy choices outside of track practice. Examples of those are: getting enough sleep, eating enough, getting proper nutrition, and having healthy outlets for fun!
How do you stay fit?: I love running and weight lifting! As a coach I get to run with the track team sometimes and lift weights with them (in the weight room in the field house). I exercise 5-6 times a week, and bike and swim for cross training some of those days. I also try to make little choices throughout the day that will just get my body moving (walking instead of driving, doing house hold chores, stretch in the morning, or even something like answering emails while standing, etc.).
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: I try to only eat “real” foods: ones that are not processed and have lots of added unnatural ingredients. If I cannot recognize the ingredients on food labels, I usually do not buy them because I do not want to add chemicals to my body! I do most of my shopping on the outside of the grocery store (where the produce is), and eat a nice big salad for lunch (with some sort of protein in it) with fruits, veggies, and nuts for snacks. I also try to plan what I eat before meals (helps me avoid over eating or making poor choices). Before I go into the dining hall, I usually look online at what is being served that day to avoid the temptation to take a lot of everything! Hanging out with and cooking with friends who care about eating healthfully has also been very helpful! We bounce ideas off of each other and they help hold me accountable to making smart choices.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: Reading books on nutrition has been super helpful to me! I never knew how powerful food is until I learned about how certain nutrients in foods affect our bodies. As a coach, being around and running with athletes who are in great shape motivates me too. I want to be a good role model to them by being physically fit (and be able to keep up with them on runs too!)! The healthier I am (physically, emotionally, etc.), the more engaged and present I am in what I am doing. Being healthy frees me to do what I was created for!
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: I recently have been taking more initiative to do activities that are life giving for me: hikes, spending time with friends and family, going on walks, etc. I also try to take one day off a week where I am not working and can rest (I keep the schedule free that day!). It is easy to let our schedules fill up with work and other things that need to get done, but scheduling in rejuvenating activities and rest is so important!
Anything else you would like to add?: Remember that we are human beings with limited time and capacities! It’s ok to not be able to do everything. I have to stop during certain seasons of life and decide what my priorities are, and pick a few things and focus on doing those well! Living within my boundaries allows me to relax, have more quality relationships, and in general enjoy life more!