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Student James T. posts flu prevention tips around campus at Chapel Haven West.

Most of us have a general idea of what it means to make healthy lifestyle choices – but how often do we consider the reasons behind these choices and their long-term implications?

Applied Wellness is a new course offered at Chapel Haven West that is designed to give students practice making healthy choices and discuss what it means to be healthy. This course, taught by Wellness Coordinator and Point Staff Emily DeWalt, utilizes the knowledge gained from Wellness I and Wellness II and covers topics in nutrition, physical activity, sleep hygiene, environmental wellness, and flu and cold prevention.

One of the Applied Wellness lessons includes identifying the anatomy of a nutrition label and health food claims on a number of non-perishable foods. In this lesson, students answer questions regarding daily value % of micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein). The students are also tasked to calculate the caloric value of various foods based on the serving size suggested and the portion size they would choose to eat. The ultimate goal of this lesson was to help the students become more aware of the nutritional value of their food. The lesson also provided an opportunity to discuss meal planning for balanced meals.

Another lesson in Applied Wellness includes using the understanding of how the flu or a cold may spread to promote prevention across the Chapel Haven West campus. For this lesson, the students chose strategic locations to display signs that discussed how to differentiate cold versus flu symptoms, how to disinfect the home and the 7 steps of handwashing.

The students worked together to determine the most effective locations for these signs based on the information they conveyed. This is a wonderful lesson in Applied Wellness, as it is both a great learning experience and a way to promote better health among students, visitors, and Chapel Haven West staff!