A Healthy and Active Campus: Whipping us into shape for 10 years

Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Melanie Bellefeuille in a selfie with her two young boys after a workout

Melanie Bellefeuille in a quick selfie with her boys after a workout.

As we hunker down for what we can only hope will be a short, merciful winter, A Healthy and Active Campus, which turns 10 this year, would like to remind us to make room in our routine for physical activity and healthy habits.

A Healthy and Active Campus is an employee initiative that supports uOttawa’s Human Resources, Sports Services and Food Services in their efforts to organize and promote on-campus and virtual activities that contribute to faculty and staff well-being. Though 2020 has been a difficult year for all, the pandemic has not succeeded in slowing down this network of more than fifty champions that has put on more than a dozen activities and events since last January.

“We certainly would have liked to go big and celebrate our 10th anniversary in a special way, in person and on campus,” says Gaby St-Pierre, director of CO-OP and Careers and one of the founding members of the initiative. “But the pandemic has not stopped us from hosting events: Lunch-and-learns on Zoom, pedometer challenges in our neighbourhoods, a virtual running and walking club... Not to mention the wide range of activities on campus that offer something for everyone.”

Known on campus for its sports and recreational challenges and activities, the group encourages faculty and support staff to adopt healthy lifestyle habits even while they work from home.

Its most recent virtual event, held on November 18, was a webinar with Christian Milette, a uOttawa alumnus and Team Canada triathlete and duathlete, who discussed the concept of “the comfort zone,” a space where we’re content, and at times complacent, until we’re thrown into situations that force us to adapt. Sound familiar?

A chance to regain a sense of balance

For the Healthy and Active Campus champions, the past few months have been a time to take stock of their lifestyles and review their habits.

“The pandemic has resulted in many of us working from home,” reflects Melanie Bellefeuille. “For my part, I feel that I have gained time and balance. I’m taking advantage of the time I used to spend commuting to work to be with my family, cook and incorporate more physical activity into my routine.”

“Of course, the situation brings its share of worries, stress and even feelings of isolation, but it also allows us to review our priorities,” says Stephanie D. “My partner and I took advantage of this moment to reorganize our living space. It even led us to review our consumption habits and question our reasons for making certain purchases. We are now focusing on the essentials.”

Want to be inspired by the Healthy and Active Campus team’s positive energy? They invite you to join them after the holiday season and get 2021 off to a good start. Keep an eye out for their Wellness Week activities, taking place in the new year (Jan 18-22).

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