By Kelsey Schwab
The Utah State University Dietetic Student Association is issuing a set of weekly campus-wide challenges throughout March to encourage students and athletes to live healthier as part of National Nutrition Month.
These challenges include making a meal completely from scratch, counting the amount of calories consumed each day, doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity outside and making other healthy substitutes and food choices.
“This is the first year I’ve actually tried participating in the National Nutrition Month challenges, and it has been really fun,” said Tracey Munson, a member of the USU Dietetic Student Association. “It’s sometimes pretty difficult for me to live a balanced life. The challenges this month have helped me make small but significant changes to my health and happiness.”
In addition to the challenges, USU athletes have had a more intense focus on the importance of nutrition.
“Nutrition effects how we feel and it impacts all aspects of life,” said Samantha Curtis, a midfielder on the USU women’s soccer team. “It’s amazing that our performance in school or work can be influenced by what and how we eat.”
There have been new challenges for students to complete each week in March. Five points are earned for every challenge completed throughout the week. The participants must post pictures of themselves completing the challenge on the USU Dietetic Student Association’s Facebook page. Prizes are given to the weekly winners and will be awarded at the association’s closing social on April 8.
“It’s a challenge for me to find time to exercise and make myself a really nice meal,” Munson said. “So for me, National Nutrition Month is a good reminder and motivator to take care of myself and to live the nutrition values I believe in.”
National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. USU sports teams have capitalized on the nutrition emphasis by having additional team nutrition meetings.
“One thing that stuck with me from a team nutrition meeting was when the nutritionist told me to ‘eat like an athlete,’” Curtis said. “Because everyone’s bodies are different, it’s important to listen to your own body and find what works best for you personally. I have really enjoyed nutrition month and I want to continue to focus on living a healthy life.”
More information about USU’s National Nutrition Month 2015 Challenge can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Live-Love-Nutrition/227514407343247?pnref=lhc.