Your body is a lot like a machine. All parts must be in perfect sync and operate efficiently for maximum performance. However, instead of having gears and cogs and maybe even a hard drive, humans have their different divisions of health. All of which balance each other out and work with one another to form a foundation.
There are many different classifications and groupings for an individual's well being. For the purpose of this post we'll focus on only three of them: Physical, Mental, and Sexual.
Let's start with the most external aspect of personal health. Physical health encompasses your body and the nutrition and other forms of wellness that go into making it as pristine as possible. Maintaining your physical health can be difficult, but entirely doable even if you are a busy college student. One of the amenities offered at the University of Wyoming is the Half Acre gymnasium, which was profiled in a previous blog post that can be found here. Some of the highlights include the option of using a personal trainer, daily group fitness classes, and open recreation for weights and cardio machines. At home workouts or activities outside of a gym setting are also a viable option to succeed at advancing your physical health.
Getting exercise is only part of the equation, however. Eating right is just as important as running on an elliptical or lifting weights. Fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. are necessary to keep your body top notch.
The benefits of physical health are, obviously, weight loss and better nutrition, but some of the lesser known benefits include decreased chance of heart disease, certain forms of cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as improved mental health through a boost of feel-good endorphins.
Mental health is arguably one of the most overlooked parts of what makes up a healthy person, but it is just as important as your physical health or any of the other parts covered in this post. To put it simply, mental health is the reflection of how you see yourself, how you manage your feelings and emotions, and even how you interact with people around you.
Maintaining your mental health means allowing yourself to recognize when you are in emotional distress and then building your coping mechanisms to help you manage that emotional distress, which can include asking for help. Counseling is a great way to help build or enhance effective coping mechanisms for things like depression or anxiety, which are some of the most common mental health problems for college students.
Fortunately, you are not alone with these concerns and there are a million and one resources and aid available to you including the University of Wyoming Counseling Center, which is free to UW students and Peak Wellness Center which offers affordable aid for insured and uninsured patients in Albany, Laramie, Goshen, and Platte counties in Wyoming. Behavioral Health Services at Ivinson Memorial Hospital is another resource available to anyone in need of help.
Outside of speaking to a professional, you can also look into sites like this one which provides tips on how to keep up with your mental health. Highlights include spending time with other people, something you can do at the UW Student Union, taking care of your body by eating right and going to the gym, finding ways to deal with stress, and asking for help if you are having troubles.
Contrary to what Coach Carr says, having sex is not likely to get you killed. Sex and all manner of sexual activity is perfectly natural and isn't something to be afraid of and definitely is nothing to be ashamed of, that is if done correctly and the proper safety precautions are taken.
Sexual Health is defined as "a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality" as well as the absence of disease and the inclusion of consent and other forms of safety.
To keep this part of your health in top condition it's important to practice "safe sex," which is the prevention of STDs. For those of you who aren't aware, Sexually Transmitted Disases are infections spread via sexual contact that can be prevented with protections like condoms or dental dams and basic hygiene practices like hand washing.
Here at the University of Wyoming, condoms are given out all across campus including all of the residence halls, the Student Union, and Student Health. Best part? They are absolutely, 100% free to anyone and everyone. You can also visit the Wellness Center at Half Acre gym for more educational resources on sexual health.
Protection aside, another key component of sexual health is consent. When engaging in any kind of sexual activity you and your partner must be 100% behind it and have said yes. If you do not have, or do not know if you have, consent to engage in the proposed sexual activity, then you owe it to yourself and your partner to stop what you are doing and make sure that your partner feels safe and comfortable.