Farewell to Warhawk Fitness

Farewell to Warhawk FitnessBy: Abbey Bowen

Last week, the public relations team started looking for new candidates to replace me, as I will be graduating in a week.

During the interviews, we asked “What does Warhawk Fitness mean to you?”

I would like to take a moment to reflect on my answer to that question.

I started working at University Fitness during my sophomore year. I applied for the position on a whim, and didn’t think I had any chance of getting it.

To my surprise, I was selected out of a pool over 100 other people. My membership in the highly-desired Warhawk Fitness family soon began.

Working at the gym gave me so much more than an hourly wage.

Socially, I was immediately welcomed and assimilated into the group. I made instant friends with the other supervisors I worked with.

Physically, on the other hand, working for Warhawk Fitness kept me motivated to be the healthiest version of myself.

I had always tried to stay fit and eat a healthy diet, but working around other individuals who ate, slept and breathed fitness truly inspired me.

This aspect of my new, healthy life gave me the desire to work as part of the public relations team. I wanted to give others access to the information I had learned while working at the UF.

More than anything, Warhawk Fitness kept me accountable throughout college. Not only did my colleagues motivate me to be healthier, but the relationships I formed made me a better “me” overall.

As I sit here reflecting on my time working for Warhawk Fitness, three words come to mind when I think of what being a member of the Warhawk Fitness family means to me: inspiration, motivation and friendship.

The friends I made working as a fitness supervisor and member of the PR team inspire me, and will continue to inspire me, to continually seek a healthier lifestyle. They have motivated me to do so through their own example and actions. They’re supervisors and promoters for a reason; they know what they’re talking about! Some of the most dedicated people I have ever met work for Warhawk Fitness.

Above all, my fellow employees have provided me with unconditional friendship. Some day when I’m old and grey, I know I will always chuckle while thinking back to the UF’s Christmas parties, which were properly named “Snowballs and Booty Calls,” and the time we ran in the freezing cold “nearly naked” to raise money for charity.

I would also like to thank Jen Kaina for everything she’s given me. She first hired me to be a fitness supervisor and later as a member of the PR team, two opportunities I would’ve never had access to without her. She is one of the most hardworking and caring people I will ever have the pleasure of working for. I also know it is thanks to her and her talent for writing recommendation letters that I was accepted to attend law school at Marquette University next fall.

As I leave my Warhawk Fitness family next week, I will make the commitment to continue improving myself every day. I will also leave with warm memories of all the amazing people I have met.

Thank you all.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

Aaacchooo!! Spring allergies return.

Spring Allergies PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

Sneezes, runny noses and itchy eyes. Ah, the symptoms of spring allergies!

Spring allergies are mainly triggered by pollen release from trees, grasses and weeds. Your immune system mistakes pollen as a foreign antibody and attacks the allergens. This attack releases chemicals known as histamines into the blood. Histamines cause runny noses, itchy eyes, etc.

Allergic rhinitis (allergies) affects 10 to 30 percent of adults and almost 40 percent of children. With high percentage like this, there’s a good chance you suffer from allergies of some kind.

So, what can you do to alleviate your symptoms?  Dr. Andy Nish, and allergist in Georgia, recommends changing your environment before going on medication. Nish says to limit your outdoor activity to the times in which pollen levels are the lowest. Such levels can be found by checking local weather reports.

According to Joanna Broder, of Webmd.com, it can also be helpful to keep the windows of your home and car closed at all times. She also suggests running your air conditioning to filter the air.

If simply avoiding the outdoors and fresh air doesn’t work, over-the-counter, non-sedating medications with antihistamine can help rid you of your symptoms, Dr. Paul Enright, allergy specialist, says. Look for “antihistamine” on labels when looking for eye drops, and decongestants. If your nose continues to run, however, saline nose sprays may also provide relief.

While it can help to avoid the outdoors, spring allergies should not throw off your workout routine! Like mentioned before, you can always check pollen counts before heading outside, or you can work out from the indoor comfort of the Weight Room in the Williams Center or University Fitness in the basement of Wells resident hall.

However, asthma triggered by allergies is a whole other story. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in both the small and large airways, which are known as the branches that carry air into the lungs. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. For some sufferers, these symptoms become worsened when exposed to allergens. Asthma can be controlled through the use of inhalers and nebulizer treatments.

It’s hard to say whether it is “safe” or not to work out when asthma symptoms flair, but for the most part it’s best to just listen to your own body.

It’s safe to say that allergies stink, but there are things you can do to combat your symptoms! Most importantly, don’t let them interfere with your normal workout routine. If I missed any information you think is of key importance, please e-mail me at BowenAK15@uww.edu.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

Ban “Bossy”

Ban BossyBy: Abbey Bowen

Hello, everyone! This week I’m taking a break from blogging about health and fitness to address an important topic brought to my attention recently.

Some of the most powerful women in the world, including Beyonce, Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Michelle Obama, have come together to spread a simple message, to ban the word “bossy.”

When I first heard of banbossy.com, it took me about five seconds to fall in love with it. The main premise of the campaign is to ban the usage of the word bossy to describe young girls who are assertive and demonstrate leadership. Bossy, as argued by the founders and partners of the website, carries a negative connotation that discourages girls from participating in school.

This concept was derived from, the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In.” The book was a response to the overwhelming feedback she received after giving a TED talk in 2010 titled “Why we have too few women leaders.”  In this talk, Sandberg argued the ways women are held back by society and held back by themselves. Sandberg’s ideas have been credited for rebooting a recent wave of the feminist movement, and she can also be thanked for raising awareness to the harm done by the word “bossy.”

Now, this campaign is so near and dear to my heart because I, too, was called bossy as a child. To be honest, it did feel like an insult whenever someone slapped that label on me.  I loved school, liked to answer the teachers’ questions and had no problem telling the other students when they were wrong. Somehow, all of this led others to believe I was bossy. However, I have been fortunate enough to grow up with parents who praised my assertiveness and drive. I can’t recall a time when my Mom or Dad ever called me bossy.  Thanks to them, I have carried the empowerment bred in me from childhood into adulthood.

In the fall of 2014, I will enter my first semester as a law student at Marquette University. As I sit here now, I can promise you I wouldn’t have made the bold decision to become a lawyer if my parents had suppressed my desire to learn and lead.

I am also passionate about this campaign because I have two little nieces, one is 11 and the other is only one. They are both strong-willed and intelligent. I took the pledge to #banbossy because I don’t want anyone to ever make them feel like those characteristics are a bad thing.

Please join me and take the pledge to #banbossy so we can continue to raise young girls up to be strong, determined and confident. Think about it, if a young girl is raised to feel strong, powerful and confident, she will strive to be the best she can be for the rest of her life. She will strive to be mentally, emotionally and physically happy and healthy. More information on the Ban Bossy campaign, can be found on banbossy.com or leanin.org.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

The Chew on Eating Disorders

I am enoughBy: Abbey Bowen

Eating disorders…two words we hear in passing on a constant basis. “He’s anorexic,” or “So and so used to have bulimia when she was in college.”

Even though we constantly hear about our colleagues and friends who may suffer from eating disorders, do we actually process the profound affect such behavior has on an individual and our society as a whole?

With the slogan, “I Had No Idea,” NationalEatingDisorders.org is raising awareness for eating disorders from Feb. 23 to March 1. UW-Whitewater’s campus has been and will continue to participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week with full force. University Health & Counseling Services has set up several events including the “I AM Enough” selfie campgain, workshops on Art & Media and Media & Body Image and a presentation by UHCS’ own Gwen Hering.

I AM Enough” Selfie Campaign
UHCS challenged students and staff members to take selfies holding a message that reads why and how they are “enough”. These images were then uploaded directly to the UHCS Facebook page. Examples of messages include “I am strong enough,” “I am pretty enough,” etc. Booths were also set up in the University Center on Feb. 17 and 18 for students to drop by and have their pictures taken. All selfies will be displayed on the “I AM Enough” wall throughout NEDAW.

Media & Body Image
This workshop aims to “train the trainer” of young girls. It will take place at noon on Feb. 25 on the Fern Young Terrace. Artist, activist and co-founder of Project Girl, Kelly Parks Snider will lead participants through a cultural landscape that investigates how advertisements and media affect young girls today. The goal of the workshop is to learn how to proactively engage young girls in conversation and teach them how to employ media literacy skills.

Then & Now: I Had No Idea
Gwen Hering, a counselor for UHCS, will speak about her own journey of recovery from an eating disorder at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 in Hyland Hall 2101. The presentation will be followed by a “Q & A” with a panel of experts from UHCS.

Art & Media: A Hands-on Workshop
At 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 on the Fern Young Terrace, UHCS will sponsor a workshop that targets students interested in creating “a symbolic piece of art” while learning about the impact media has on peoples’ self esteem. The workshop will also be led by Snider. Students who participate will create a piece of artwork using images from popular magazines.

Visit this link for more information about NEDAW and the events UHCS is holding. Heading into this week of awareness, please remember the struggles people go through every day and keep reminding yourself that you ARE ENOUGH!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]