Are You Detoxing the Right Way?

Thanksgiving has passed and our time to indulge in our favorite pies, moms homemade stuffing, and of course the endless amounts of spiked apple cider and wine has come to an end.  With our bellies feeling extra full, it’s now time, unfortunately, to get back on track and start fresh.

Many find that removing unhealthy substances in the body through the form of detoxing will give them the boost they need be in their best shape before Christmas cookie time comes around. Detox plans guarantee to beat inflammation, increase fat-burning and of course eliminate toxins from the body.  With limited research behind detoxing, many of the plans can turn out to be dangerous.

The oh-so famous juice cleanse is just one example of a harmful way to detox your body.  Consuming only juice and water for a prolonged period of time can deprive the body of protein and the healthy fats it needs to function properly.

People become desperate to lose weight fast, which can lead to them believing almost any detox they see on the internet.  Teatox’s have been hyped up ever since products such as Fit Tea and Flat Tummy Tea have been promoted by celebrities.


Although teatox’s are said to be a natural way to cleanse the body of toxins, many of them contain an ingredient known as senna, which is commonly found in laxatives.  Though senna isn’t dangerous to the body, many say teatox’s should be avoided.

Believing that your body needs “help” detoxing is everyone’s first mistake.  Our body hasdetox-your-body cleansing organs like the liver, kidneys, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract which are constantly detoxifying toxins and removing pollutants within the body.

As long as you are treating your body well by fueling it with a healthy, more plant-based diet, exercising regularly and giving yourself enough sleep, you’re already helping your body naturally detox.



Pump Your Way to Fit

A new fitness trend has found its way into the healthy lifestyle community.  CrossFit is a blend of strength and cardio training.  Such athletes work on their cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.  Lifting, running, biking, climbing and much more are all incorporated into CrossFit in one way or another.

At first glance CrossFit looks intimidating and scary, but many become motivated by the strength and determination a sport such as this one creates.  Diana Deshields, West Virginia University senior and CrossFit Ridgeline member, said “The first month of it wasn’t the best because I was at a beginning level compared to others. Throughout this time though everyone continued to motivate me and would tell me that I will get there one day.”  The CrossFit community is known to be like one big family that works together as a team.

There is an overwhelming amount of success stories people have shared that involve CrossFit.  One in particular that caught my eye was a story on a 17-year old guy who used CrossFit to turn his life around after being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He used the diagnosis as motivation to join the CrossFit community and push his body to the fullest.
Another success story comes from Diana Deshields who was encouraged by her sisters to get back into fitness.  After being out of athletics for a couple years she became unhappy with her body, and decided it was time to make a change.  With her sisters help, she was introduced to CrossFit and has been doing it ever since.  “I love doing Crossfit and I get really happy with the progress I’m seeing with my body”, said Deshields.
West Virginia University offers a workout similar to CrossFit called BODYPUMP. The hour long class is the most successful group fitness program in history.  BODYPUMP is proven to be “the world’s fastest way to get in shape” by research which has confirmed fat-burning effects as well as an increase in endurance, strength and ‘wellness’ benefits.  Participants are asked to arrive at least ten minutes before class begins.  Class times vary from month to month, but schedules are posted both online and on the bottom floor of the Student Rec Center.



You Are Not Your Relationship

Eating a variety of good foods and exercising regularly are both important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, although many seem to forget that healthy relationships also play a huge roll in this as well.  According to a University of Buffalo study, for young people being introduced to adulthood, high-quality relationships are linked to better physical and mental health.

Throughout almost every college students career they experience both love and heartbreak, whether it be from a best friend or a significant other.  I think the problem with today’s relationships is that people are constantly looking for the thrill in life.  They look for someone they can party and then come home with, not someone who can hold a conversation without the help of alcohol or drugs.  People search for the person who can make them feel alive in that moment, but when the electricity fades… They’re left with nothing but a person they don’t know much about.

A Wall Street Journal study said that couples must have time apart to stay together.  The majority of couples that I am exposed to make it seem so dreadful to spend just a single day apart.  Not being able to spend a day without one another is a sign of distrust.  You’re in love, you want to hangout with them, but space away from your partner is healthy.  It allows you to have time to yourself, and lets you miss one another.

Your friends enter new relationships promising they won’t be that girl or boy who leaves you on the back burner; but for some reason, that’s normally what happens.  I get it, new relationships are exciting, but sometimes we have a tendency to allow them to consume everything we do.  Take time to hangout with your friends without your boyfriend or girlfriend; granted they are the ones who pick you up when you and your partner have a hiccup.  The Huffington Post made a wonderful article about “How to Keep Your Friends and Your Significant Other.”

West Virginia University recently had a wellness workshop, conducted by Ashley Kasardo, about how to navigate new relationships, breaking up in the world of technology, and how to cope.  Workshops on healthy relationships are put on by The Harrison County Healthy Relationship building program and sponsored by WVU Extension Service Families and Health.  Other workshops available are “Fire Love Languages”, “Stress Less with Mindfulness”, and “How Not to Marry a Jerk”.

Wellwvu also has a page on all types of relationships, whether it be on diversity, friendships, or life with a significant other.







Balance Your Way To Fit

With high levels of stress coursing through a college campus students may seek a way to release the built up tension.  Yoga is known for its stress relieving health-benefits, although many may not know that it can also create both a strong and flexible body.  Marisa Jaroszewski, yogi in screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-19-25-pmtraining, says, “It’s funny to see how you change in favor to what your body and lifestyle need. A few months ago I was focusing on shoulder stands, head stands, and strength poses. And looking back at that time in my life I needed more strength.”

Yoga is becoming more and more popular as research continues to show its countless health benefits.  Recent studies show that benefits of yoga can include anything from boosting your immunity to reducing food cravings.  Your body doesn’t only gain physical strength and flexibility, but you mentally become more aware of yourself. You can find more about The Science Behind Yoga on the Yoga Teacher Training Blog.

Many forms of yoga exist, which can cause confusion for any yoga beginner.  To minimize your options, ask yourself if you’re looking for a more intense workout or an outlet to relieve built up stress.  Don’t be afraid to try a few different classes to find what fits your goals the best.  Yoga Digest does a great job at explaining a few of the more popular styles of yoga.

West Virginia University offers two very different styles of yoga open for all students and faculty.  The first form of yoga offered is called power yoga.  Power yoga focuses on the combination of movement and breath.  “Students can expect a class that engages core muscles, challenges balance, and increases flexibility.”

The second style of yoga offered is known as restorative yoga.  Restorative yoga is one that will relax your body and help release built up tensions.  This class focuses on strengthening and stretching the body.

Class times and instructors vary month to month.  You can find the class schedule both online or on the bottom floor of the Student Rec Center.


Addiction Crisis Continues to Rise

It used to be uncommon to talk to someone who has been affected by drug addiction.  Whether it be themselves, a family member, or a close friend, over the past year it seems that almost everyone has been touched with addiction in some way.  Substance abuse continues to rise as addictive painkillers and heroin continue to increase in popularity across the country.

In West Virginia, 34 out of every 100,000 deaths are related to drug overdose.  This is said to be the highest in the nation.  An article from the Daily Athenaeum, around this time last year, was reporting the same problem, and it only continues to rise.

Young adults are given prescription drugs not realizing how addictive they are, and before they know it, they have a problem.  When doctors start to cut off on renewing the prescription drug, patients turn to the streets to get their fix.

Drug addiction effects everyone surrounded by the addict.  Although the addict doesn’t realize it, addiction takes a toll on their family that is truly indescribable.

The addict feels extreme pain. Family and friends feel extreme pain. Soon everyone becomes selfish and thinks their pain is the worst. Take a look at The Selfish Truth Behind Addiction, a collaborative post by Emily Arcuri and myself, to hear about our personal experience with an addict. 

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will be holding an event on Monday, October 24th to discuss the University’s response to the recent addiction crisis in West Virginia. You can find more information on this event here.

West Virginia University is trying to educate students on this topic by offering a 2 credit class in Spring of 2017 for those interested in learning more about illicit drugs.  “The taboo nature of illegal drugs and their illicit use makes for a fascinating story of history, culture, medicine, and the ongoing challenge of identifying the drugs being used and abused by the American populace.  With nationwide deaths from overdose at an all-time high, there’s no better time for everyone to learn about “killer chemicals”.”  If you have any questions about the course you can contact the instructor Dr. Rachel Mohr at

To learn and understand more about addiction check out the blog The Memoirs of an Addicted BrainMarc Lewis does an impeccable job at comparing addiction to other problems around the world. He also shares his own personal substance abuse experience while still shedding light on a problem that is slowly taking over the country.




Crunch Your Way To Fit

This weeks workout is slightly different from the usual group exercises.  The majority of classes offered at the WVU Rec Center are also cardio based.  Les Mills CXWORX is a 30 minute, high-intensity, workout built to strengthen your core and tone your abs, butt, and legs.

Participants will work with resistance tubing and weight plates, as well as the incorporation of body weight exercises. CXWORX can modify each exercise to match your level of fitness.


Not only are you able to attend the class, but WVU is offering a 2-day certification to become a Les Mills CXWORX Instructor! The certification classes aren’t offered until November, but many are advised to sign-up early to be certain you get a spot.


Class times and instructors tend to vary from month to month.  A full class schedule is offered in the WVU Student Rec Center, as well as online.

WELLWVU Thursday?

Did you know that every Thursday WELLwvu sets up a stand across from the mountainlair?  “We img_3535set up in front of the lair because that is where the majority of ‘traffic’ will be”, says WELLwvu rep Amanda Lacroix.  The stand includes a very intriguing spinning wheel, and did I mention prizes?? Oh yeah,  you will be rewarded a prize if you provide the correct answer to the question the wheel chose!! Lacroix jokes that people definitely approach the stand because of the wheel.

Obviously prizes are exciting and all, but the best part about the WELLwvu stand is the amount of knowledge standing behind it. The whole pop-up is filled with information along the sides about each program WELLwvu offers.  Any questions or interests you may have can easily be answered by one of the WELLwvu representatives.

Not only is the location one of the busiest in Morgantown, there are also several other stands set up to attract out-and-about students.  A group of diverse students work together to run a delicious taco stand that has everything from classic beef to chorizo and potato.  Make sure you get your taco early though because they tend to run out of the more popular combinations pretty quickly!

55dfd8d4c8b7d-imageAn older man runs what seems to be a small farmers market, displaying an array of colorful vegetables and fruits.

A young woman also sets up a freshly squeezed lemonade stand and believe me when I say it is DELICIOUS.

Each booth opens up every Thursday around 9AM and shuts down when students seem to be clearing out of the area around 4PM.  Events like this are what keep students involved with the West Virginia University community. To seek more of  WELLwvu you can follow @WELLWVU on Twitter.


Dance Your Way To Fit


This weeks workout is made for anyone looking to burn calories in a fun and effective way.  Yes, you guessed it, ZUMBA!

Zumba is an hour long class that  combines beginner dance moves and high energy tunes from all over the world.  Each class begins with a warm-up and ends with a cool down period. Instructors encourage all participants to make up their own moves, laugh and to enjoy the program.  This class is directed towards those of ALL different fitness levels.

How many people ACTUALLY enjoy running in one place on a treadmill for 30 minutes?  I know I don’t, so I went to a Zumba class to talk to students about what the rave was all about.

Lindsay Berg, WVU junior, says, “You’re getting a great workout while having fun with your friends, what more is there to ask for?”

Another Zumba goer admits that she has tried everything, but she could never stick with it. “I tried everything from yoga to biking, you name it.  I kept getting bored with everything, until I found Zumba!” says sophomore Anna Del Zoppo.

Class times and instructors vary from month to month. An October schedule is provided both online and on the bottom level of the Student Rec Center. Participants are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to class time, due to a first come first serve basis.


Don’t Sweat It

With midterms approaching quickly, stress levels of students tend to rise.  Luckily, West Virginia University offers an array of information and workshops for those feelings overwhelmed.  1426699448_sm

The university offers a program located both online and in the CPASS building called chillWELL.  chillWELL was designed to beat stress in a healthy way to improve your quality of life.  They offer yoga and meditation sessions, along with a system called HeartMath that “focuses on teaching students to self-regulate emotions.”

As part of the Wellness Workshop Series, the Carruth Center will be offering a free workshop designed to help students manage their stress in a healthy, effective way.  The workshop is being held in the CPASS building, Room 101 on October 4th from 6:30PM-7:30PM. It is said that students will learn strategies to help control worry, relieve tension, and reduce the impact stress has on an individuals life. A schedule is posted online for the additional workshops being offered throughout the semester.

I recently found a few self-tests on wellWVU’s Anxiety and Depression page.  They make a note that the self-tests should not be taken in replacement of a real evaluation by a mental health professional.  Each test consists of a series of questions, ultimately to determine whether you “have” anxiety or need a mood boost.  aa0846be2ffb89ded32799351d1a3ce9

I would like to end this blog-a-day week post with a few ways others have learned to cope with their stress. I took to the streets (well the mountainlair) and asked a few people how they deal with being overwhelmed.  Emily Wurster, WVU Junior, admits that sometimes she just needs to take time for herself. “I love to light all the candles in my room and watch my favorite TV series.”  Others take a different approach like sophomore Taylor Harris who needs to visually see what assignments are due and when. “I take out my planner and write down everything I need to get done. Then just start from the top and make my way down!”Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the programs and information WVU offers. Good luck on mid-terms!!


Bring on the Diversity Cup


The College of Sport Sciences has teamed up with the Division of Diversity for this years Diversity Week! The two are coming together to create the Diversity Cup, a five vs. five Coed Soccer Tournament.  Registration has already begun and will end on October 1st, or once all 16 teams are acquired.  The tournament will take place on October 8th and 9th on the turf fields in front on the Student Recreational Center.

The Diversity Cup is a perfect way to teach students how to accept diversity, while also staying active and having fun.  “I played soccer all of high school, but never really got into it much at college. This event will bring back some memories, and I get to meet new people all at the same time!” says WVU junior Alex Arcuri.

For more information on the Diversity Cup and tournament highlights visit West Virginia University’s CPASS eNews page.