Ashton A. Day, Alumni '15

May 20, 2015


Employee Fitness Program Photo, Healthy UNH
Photo credit: Lyin Schramm
Department: Major: Kinesiology; Exercise Science Minor: Nutrition, Psychology
Position/Role at UNH: Student Exercise Physiologist and UNH Alumni '15
Year Started at UNH: 2015
What does health mean to you? 
Health is the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the individual through functional: metabolic management and longevity. In essence, health is exactly as it sounds: heal - to alleviate pain, sickness, anguish or distress to making an individual whole and sound.
What do you do to make a healthy UNH? 
To keep UNH healthy, I work clients to personally tutor exercise prescriptions to each individual “client,” to get them involved in thier wellness and confident to begin or master workout programs. Together we work on the client’s SMART (Specific, Measurable Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals through the semester, not only as a coach, but as a friend, to help keep the client motivated with interesting and fun workouts. Everyone has dreams, everyone has goals, but not everyone knows how to achieve them. 

How do you stay fit? 

Personally, I exercise about three hours a day at least six days a week. Depending upon my goal at hand I alter my workouts duration, intensity and frequency in order to maximize my results that I am looking for. My workouts generally consist of: Weight Lifting, Running, Swimming, Cycling, Equestrian, Soccer, Skiing, and Hiking. The best part in being so diverse is that my physical fitness in one area can translate to another area, so I am always willing to try something new
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully? 
Keep a log and keep to your log. Be truthful. I use the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and after every meal I record what I’m eating. I decided what I wanted for my max calories, protein, carbohydrate and fat numbers would be and I make myself accountable to hit my goals. Some days I am constantly hungry but I learned to check MyFitnessPal before I eat to get an idea of what I can eat. In the end, you truly deep down have to want to eat healthy, yes I find food as delicious as the next person, but I learned its only food. Once I’m about a week onto my healthy kick, junk food isn’t even on my mind anymore, its irrelevant; junk food cravings no longer exist! Just push past the first week and you are that much closer to finding success.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy? 
As weird as it may sound is one of my top motivators. Every day before I go to the gym, I watch a motivational video, something workout related or even just a song that gets me “pumped- up.” Its great having such access to so many different options, I can see individuals who inspire or get me motivated such as: Lazar Angelov, Diana Linn Bailey, Les Brown, Eric Thomas and CT Fletcher.
Besides YouTube, my top motivators are my fellow “gym-rats,” the friends I have made wwho are always in the gym at the same time as me. Having friends in the gym is key.  You can ask them for help, ideas, or just to make a joke to have fun. It really does change your ideology. You feel like-I’m not just working out, I’m having fun with friends!
What resources have you found at UNH to be helpful?
Opening my eyes at UNH, I found many resources that could help me physically and mentally. There is so much in front of you that you do not see.
  • Nutritionists offer courses frequently.
  • New Hampshire Hall offers body composition testing.
  • UNH dining halls have nutritional guidance.
  • There are 5K runs all around to motivate us.
  • Health services offers massages and mood therapy.
  • The most obvious is the walking community. We can increase our daily physical activity simply by walking instead of driving somewhere. We can take the stairs to the second or third floor; we can park our cars further away in the parking lot.

At UNH, I’ve been given such a great opportunity to do something new.
(Healthy UNH's Wellness Resource Guide lists health and wellness resources available to the UNH population). 

Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being? 
Absolutely, I can see changes in my body daily-based upon my stress, diet and exercise levels. This past January, I began doing specific aesthetic bodybuilding rather than my usual athletic performance as my primary goal. I was able to lose 30 lbs. in 30 days, a much faster rate than I expected or desired. During this time I was strict in my diet and workout regiment to the point every calorie, every macronutrient was calculated. By being so precise I was able to drop my body fat percent from 10% to 6%. Once I had completed my thirty days I looked great I felt great and it only inspired me to do more.
Anything else you would like to add? 
It doesn’t matter where you are. All that matters is that you go after what you want with all of your heart, mind, body, and soul. At some point in time a transition will take place. The transition will be one where you start becoming a stronger, more powerful person, and that will change your life. It will develop you into something you never believed you could become. It comes from experiences that boosts your confidence and competence, such that you can take on your goals and dreams. It’s your life. No one can go after your dreams except you. There will be struggle; there will be pain; and there will be doubt. But make the doubt question itself. 
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