Spotlight On: Kathleen Sheahan

Office of Business Affairs

Year Started at UNH: 2013

What does health mean to you?: Health means being healthy in mind, body and soul, they are interconnected. It comes from personal choices made daily with regards to exercise, food and life decisions and one area will affect the other. The benefit of being physically healthy is that it improves your mindset, and in turn, your center of well-being and consequently your outlook on life is more positive.

What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: 1. I have never worked at a place that has put such an emphasis on being healthy. It is a great atmosphere to be in. UNH makes it easy. The Wildcat Workout is a great way to start. This program started soon after I came to UNH and I work out with a great group of people every M/W/F morning. The instructors are wonderful and encouraging. They readily answer our questions and demonstrate the proper way to do an exercise and they keep it interesting and diversified. I am no longer intimidated by the free weights or the machines in a gym. I also joined the Employee Fitness Program and was connected with a kinesiology student who has taken the time to work up a fitness plan specifically for me. In addition, I started swimming here on campus at Swasey Pool. It’s a great low impact exercise. I don’t know where else I could do all of these in the same place. Healthy UNH is an amazing benefit of working at UNH.

How do you stay fit?: It’s a work in progress; eating right and working out are part of it. It has gone beyond my workouts at UNH and filters into my home life. All my immediate family members work out regularly and I often walk with a neighbor after work. It’s contagious, as one person starts to work out the others see it as a good idea and joins in.

Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: A coworker told me about an app for my phone, and I’m sure there are a lot out there to choose from but using it has made me mindful of what I’m eating. It’s called My Fitness Pal and it’s free. It’s easy to use. You set a goal and then you enter your work outs and enter your food intake (you can scan barcodes too) and it calculates where you are at any point in the day. It makes you visually aware of how many calories you are taking in and how many you are expending; I have been surprised at some of the food items and their calorie content so it’s been helpful when making choices. Bringing lunch to work, limiting takeout food and just in general making good healthy food choices will put you on the right path for healthy living.

How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: Well as I've gotten older, things aren't as easy as they used to be, and I know that weight training is very important. So my motivation is to be strong and healthy so I will be able to do more and stay well in the future. It is so much easier to feel positive when you’re feeling healthy; you have more energy and a better outlook on life. So that’s my goal, to stay healthy and fit.

Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: After several months with the employee Wildcat Workout Project, I’m more physically fit, I am stronger and have more endurance, but still have a way to go before I’ll be satisfied. I look forward to getting to the gym in the morning and after the workout I feel accomplished, energized, and ready for the day. It’s a great feeling to know that at 7:30 in the morning I’ve already made one positive step to healthy living that day.

Anything else you would like to add?: One surprising benefit of the Wildcat Workout has been getting connected with employees in other departments. I have gotten to know people I probably would not have met unless I had to consult them on business between departments. Now if I need to call a department, I may have a contact there which makes work easier and more productive.