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Friday, November 11, 2011

Stressed? Try This - Run Away!

New ‘Fresh Start’ Running Program Helps College Students Take Steps to Healthier Living -

Press Release HKLPR Health Unit

Sir Sandford Fleming College Lindsay students are literally walking, and  running away from the stresses of going to school.

Sir Sandford Fleming College Partners With HKLPR Health Unit

Approximately two-dozen college students have signed up this fall for the new Fresh Start walk-to-run program at Fleming’s Frost Campus in Lindsay. Fresh Start, an initiative between Fleming College, the students’ association and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, is intended to help Fleming students better cope with their workload and the stresses of post-secondary education. 

“The program is not about going the furthest or being the fastest,” says Fyffe Murdock, a Public Health Worker with the HKPR District Health Unit. Murdock adds,“Fresh Start is designed to help students be active, make
healthy choices, reach personal goals and ease the stress that comes with going to school.”

Fresh Start Facebook Offers Healthy Choices

Each Tuesday evening, the Fresh Start group will meet to go for a short run or walk around the Frost campus. Afterwards, students gather for a healthy snack and “an exchange of information” on a particular health topic that interests them, Murdock adds. A Fresh Start Facebook group has also been created.

“We try to offer advice and strategies for helping students avoid injuries, relax, reduce stress and make healthy choices,” Fyffe says. “A good example is smoking. Students may use tobacco products to cope with
the stress of school. If we can show them ways to relax and deal with stress in healthier ways, it is better for them.”

Sir Sandford Fleming College Student-Led Health Program Rewarding

Along with students offering each other advice and encouragement, the Fresh Start group has also received information from community representatives, including Health Unit staff, a representative of the Canadian Mental Health Association, a local yoga instructor and running coach. 

Fleming student Michelle Lalancette, who is part of the youth-led Fresh Start initiative, says it is an innovative way to help students be healthier and cope with stress.

“Working with the Health Unit and Fleming on Fresh Start from the beginning has given me a sense of satisfaction,” Lalancette says. “Seeing
it grow to a point where members enjoy what we’ve put together is really rewarding.” 

Find out more about the “Fresh Start“ Program by contacting Fyffe Murdock, Public Health Worker, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, ext. 228

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