#HowDoUMove: the DPA of UNI

If you grew up in an Ontarian elementary school, you probably remember the Daily Physical Activity (DPA) program, which required teachers to facilitate a minimum of half an hour of physical activity per school day. It was a commendable initiative, but it fell short for me as my school’s idea of physical activity was to get us to run around the neighbourhood boulevard right after we arrived at school. For me, this was not ideal as I was the kind of kid who more-so preferred long, slow, chatty walks in the morning, and not running in my low-rise Garage jeans being chased around by my homeroom teacher.


It wasn’t until my intermediate grades that I got into running, and stuck with it on the high school cross country team. Now as a full-time university student, I recognize that it can be challenging to find the same time and energy resources to be active. That said, I am able to achieve my prescribed half an hour of physical activity on most days.

Fitness Instructions

It’s a New Year!

A fun fact about me: I am a fitness instructor on campus.


No, but seriously. I love being a fitness instructor:

  1. I find group fitness motivating. It keeps me active, because I know that at least once a week I have to smile while I’m working out. That takes training. In our industry, we are often reminded that when we are instructing, our focus is on the participants getting a great workout. So I try to attend multiple group fitness classes a week to get a good workout myself.

Reflections on 2015


There’s no doubt, this time of year can be full of emotions.  We are reminded of all the things we witnessed and experienced over the past twelve months. Google is reminding us of what we Googled. Facebook is sharing our top moments. We count down 2015’s top songs, movies, sports moments, inventions, new stories, and of course, funny memes.

This time of year also calls on each of us to consider our personal Year in Review. I love counting down to the New Year, and feeling all the hope that comes with a fresh start. Looking forward with a vision for the next year can be daunting, however, I believe it’s important to reflect on our accomplishments and milestones from the past year.

Two familiar faces I spend New Years with each year. Courtesy of www.adweek.com
On New Year’s Eve, I normally find myself lounging on a couch, babysitting, and reflecting the past year with these familiar faces. Photo courtesy of www.adweek.com

Once exams are over, I often take some time to check in on how things are working in my life. I encourage you to try doing this too – patiently, thoughtfully, and truthfully. I like recording my thoughts down on paper so I can get a visual se. What were my ambitions for 2015? Did I achieve them?

peanut butter and exam jam

Hey there!

The Community Crew has been sharing some great tips recently for de-stressing during exam season. Annette wrote about staying active when we are busy; Tiffany provided some very helpful study tips in her post; Madeline (our Arts & Science Blogger) wrote about remembering to eat healthfully; and Emma recently discussed the importance of taking breaks.

Now imagine taking all these tips and tricks, and showcasing them all in one lobby. That’s exactly what happened this past Thursday, as part of UofT’s annual Exam Jam – 2015 edition!

Brought to us in the spring and winter exam season by the ASSU and the Faculty of Arts & Science and friends

Somewhere in the building students reviewed with their profs, and elsewhere there were open study rooms to hang out in. The lobby was alive with activities!


I recently chose to attend the safeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone training for the same reason I decide to take First Aid and CPR training every year: I want to know what to do if someone needs my help. In other words, if ever I encounter someone who is thinking or talking about harming themselves, I want to make sure I can respond appropriately and feel confident in doing so. The safeTALK training helped me in many of these aspects, and incorporated a variety of helpful resources including a take-home manual, video modules, wallet cards, as well as opportunities to engage in role play.

 The Resource Book contains the course information, plus additional readings about suicide prevention policies, healing after a suicide has happened, and mental health.
The safeTALK Resource Book contains the course information, plus additional readings about suicide prevention policies, healing after a suicide has happened, and mental health.

I’ve included my thoughts and notes about how the training went here!

Eating Well to Stay Well

I am a lover of food. I tend to be one of those people who scoff when friends stop to take a photo of their food before they eat– I am too busy lovingly staring at it to ruin the moment with cameras and clever hashtags. This week, I made an exception to my “no-phones-at-the-table” policy to capture my food choices and share them with you.

Given the chance, my food (and the lighting in the room) rose to the occasion. Work it, noodles, work it.

Food is my first line of defence against all the sickies that are going around on campus. I focus on maintaining a balanced and nutritionally vibrant diet (way of life) of three meals a day, plus healthy snacks when I get a grumbly tummy between meals.

Have No Fear: Peers are Here!


UofT St. George has some pretty fantastic student programming on campus, and opportunities to connect with resources. I think its particularly great that students who are seeking help are given autonomy and choice, and flexibility in health care options.

This week, I had the chance to chat with Peers are Here program coordinator, Adam, about the peer groups he helps to run, what you can expect from a session, and why he is passionate about this project.

Screenshot 2015-11-12 23.15.39

Weighing In

Happy November all!

What if I told you I have absolutely no idea how much I weigh? In fact, I haven’t weighed myself in years!

It wasn’t always this way. In high school, I was a member of the school’s wrestling team. During wrestling season, not only was I acutely aware of my weight to the fraction of a kilogram, but so was my entire team. On top of that, I was responsible for maintaining or manipulating my weight in preparation for tournaments, so I could be at my “most competitive”.