Health Minds Healthy College

Campus Well-Being

Exercise and Fitness

rrrr… at last

April 12, 2012

Or maybe that should be brrrr… I missed the beautiful weather last weekend because I was fighting a cold, but I did finally get my bike out a good month earlier than last year. At minus 4, the ride was cut short by painfully cold fingers that felt fused to the handlebars. Still, nice to hit the road again for another season.

rrrr… is for the Red River Rebel Riders. Remember us? We are the RRC team that has been cycling the 150 km round trip between Dauphin and Clear Lake the last 8 years to raise funds for MS. We have so far raised over $30,000 in support of research and services for the many Manitoba sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis, thanks mainly to support from our friends at RRC.

Expect regular posts from here to our September 8th ride. I intend to share info about the rrrr… team, answer any questions, and document our recruiting and fund raising progress along the way. In the meantime, why not consider joining the team yourself!

Visit our MS Team Page to learn more.

Submitted by rrrr… team captain, Guy Dugas

rrrr... 2011

Team rrrr... 2011: Mike, Guy, Yuri, Michael, Derek, Roxanne

“It only takes a minute to win it!” challenge

April 10, 2012

Looking to motivate each other to get active in the new year, the Aboriginal Student Support and Community Relations department held the ” It only takes a minute to win it!” challenge earlier this year. 

To kick things off, event co-organizer Tracy Brant (Aboriginal Centre Coordinator) sent a message to staff in the department, encouraging them to enter into a four week challenge to increase daily fitness.  Two teams of five members were formed, and each member began tracking the amount of time they spent participating in daily physical activity.

The rules were as follows:

  • The activity needs to be at least 15 minutes per session
  • The activity should get you heart rate up.  If it’s something like walking try to walk at a brisk pace to get your heart rate up!
  • Don’t stress out and put too much pressure on yourself…it is for fun (as well as an excuse to get off the couch and get active!)

The challenge ran  from Monday, January 23 to February 20, 2012 – and resulted in a whopping 167 hours of physical activity!  As one participant, Lisa Carriere, said:

 “I felt the challenge was a great idea, it gave us a chance to get away from our desks and motivate each other as a team.  I’m sure some people could hear us laughing in that stairway thinking – Hey, sounds like they’re having fun, and we were having fun!”

It goes to show how a little bit of friendly group competition among friends can help motivate one to spend a few more minutes each day to be active.


Staff from the ASSCR posting on the "dreaded" staircase

The Great Grain Relay

March 6, 2012

On Saturday March 25th College students and staff laced up their sneakers, put on their RRC t-shirts (props to the RRC Bookstore) and headed out to the Great Grain Relay at the University of Manitoba. This annual event started in 1983 to commemorate the opening of the Max Bell Centre. The relay brings together colleagues, friends, neighbours and classmates to participate in a 2 hour fitness event . It’s a great way to beat the mid-winter fitness blahs.

Two College teams participated in the Corporate Female category. The staff team included Hannah McKinnon(Enrollment Services), Judy McMullen (Controller’s Office), Fatima DeMelo (Library Services), Margarita Natcheva Rowley (Diversity and Immigrant Student Support) and Sara MacArthur (Sustainability). The student team comprised five Nursing students. You can find the race results here.

The Great Grain Relay isn’t just a nice way to get to know College colleagues and have a fun week end workout, but proceeds from the event are donated to a different non-profit organization annually. This year’s “Charity of Choice” was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

A special thanks goes out to RRC instructor James Slade for promoting the event and encouraging College participation. James  participated in the relay as well, though he was on a much more competitive team (which is defined by wearing real running shorts and checking your lap splits).

So mark March, 2013 in your calendar and keep your eye on All Staff News. We want to increase College participation next year.

The Red River Runners are (left to right) Margarita, Judy, Sara, Fatima and Hannah

Submitted by Sara MacArthur, Sustainabilty Office

International Soccer Tournament – March 10th

February 28, 2012

Are you tired of playing winter sports? We may have just the right cure! The Diversity and Immigrant Student Support Department invites you to register and compete in the 3rd Annual indoor International Soccer Tournament on Saturday, March 10th at the Notre Dame Campus. In partnership with the Recreational Service department, we have coordinated a fun tournament that brings students and staff together from all different parts of the world.

General Tournament Information
Date: Saturday, March 10th, 2012
Where: Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus, North Gym
Time: 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Teams: Maximum team size of 8 -10 players
What to Bring: Players must wear gym clothes, shin guards and indoor running shoes. In order to tell teams apart, please bring TWO t-shirts: one black t-shirt and one white shirt. Water bottles (optional).
Registration Options:

Option A: Players may register as a full staff team consisting of no more than 10 players. Players, who wish to register together, must indicate the same team name.
Option B: Individual players are encouraged to sign up. You will be randomly assigned to a team the day of the tournament.

No contact is allowed. This also means NO Charging and No Slide Tackling. This is a 6 player vs. 6 player style tournament, using traditional futsol Balls and Nets. Wearing cleats are NOT allowed.

To register, please pick up at registration form in the Diversity and Immigrant Student Support Department in D-206 at the Notre Dame Campus. If this location is not accessible to you, please e-mail Margarita Rowley, no later than Friday, March 2nd, 2012 to receive an e-copy of the registration form.

Contact Information:

Margarita Rowley
Immigrant Student Advisor
Phone: (204) 949-8393
Office: Building D, Room 206 Notre Dame Campus

Submitted by Diversity and Immigrant Student Support Office

Hockey Tips – Stickhandling

February 23, 2012

Like many other Winnipegers, I’m a die-hard hockey fan who enjoys playing “oldtimer” hockey and watching the Jets on the tube.  Since coming back to the sport after a 15 year hiatus, I decided to improve my game so I’d be more than just a pylon on the ice.

So if you’re playing or coaching hockey or are interested in seeing some practical stickhandling tips, here’s an interesting video from Planet Hockey.  There are many videos on the web to choose from, but I liked this one (despite some low production quality) as the drills are interesting and it’s fun to watch some stickhandling magic.

Submitted by Mike Krywy, Research and Planning


February 16, 2012

I love Walking. It’s such a healthy way to get around, and it doesn’t wreak havoc with my feet. I used to run a wee bit until plantar fasciitis came for a long, painful, visit. But walking has been beneficial; it’s kept me moving, it gets me outside and away from my computer.

Being a person who requires an external motivation, I’ve found that walking to a location is preferable to walking around a track or on a treadmill. Making a commitment to exercise can often be hard to keep up if it’s self-directed. If you live close to work or commute by bus, walking part of the way to work is a perfect motivator, particularly if you want to reach work in time. And at the end of the day, walking at least part way home from work is one of the best stress relievers available. Walking with a companion or two, either human or canine is a great incentive particularly if you can commit to regularly scheduled dates and times.  

At any time of year, Winnipeg is a perfect city to walk in and around. There are so many beautiful places to wander. At this time of year, walking in the city is a bit of an adventure. So far this winter it’s not snow drifts that get in the way, it’s the ice. A person has to stay alert and plot their course down a stretch of sidewalk, with lots of weaving from one side to the other, a bit of clambering over some piled snow, a couple of hops over icy bits, and one or two leaps of faith.   

If you are able to be mobile, walking is a convenient, easy-to-use method of staying healthy. It relieves stress, it can be meditative, or it can be exhilarating. Other than good shoes, no special equipment is needed. You can think, talk, sing if you want, and wander to your heart’s content, all while getting fit and healthy.

I’ll say it again, I love Walking … and Yoga and Zumba, but that’s another post, maybe.

Submitted by Nancy Ball, Research and Planning


Wellness resources are only a click away

January 24, 2012

Whether we’re 25 or 75, everyone needs wellness.

While our fitness goals and needs might change as we get older, staying healthy is the number one tool you can use to help in the prevention of health problems down the line.

In order to help provide wellness resources to all Manitobans at every age level, the Province has created a great portal in their Manitoba Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors website.  It links to all their different healthy living initiatives, from information about infant nutrition to promoting age-friendly options for seniors, and even the latest in provincial wellness news.

One initiative that really stands out is Manitoba in Motion, whose tagline reads “Physical Activity – do it for life!”.  You may recognize this initiative from the mini-videos they play on TV, featuring CTV’s Maralee Caruso and Gord Leclerc, but the model of the strategy really focuses on providing different health options for Manitobans of any age – children, youth, adults, older adults, and families. They’ve also developed three really great programs to help encourage group participation in getting healthy:

Want to get your workplace, community, or child’s school thinking healthier? Sign up! Each program provides users with ideas, resources, and support to help develop wellness plans and strategies.
Sometimes, working towards health goals as a group can often be more successful than trying to do it on your own. Need help? Don’t be afraid to use resources to help you – that’s what they’re there for!

 Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student

Sign up for fitness classes at RRC!

January 19, 2012

The deadline for registration for any Red River College winter fitness classes is coming up soon. Like we mentioned in an earlier Wellness blog post, it’s important to find ways to work out and stay active throughout the work day, so why not sign up for a fitness class right here at RRC?

There are several  different classes to choose from, including; Zumba, Iyvengar Yoga, Cardio Complete, Circuit, Rapid Revolution Spin Plus, Total Body Workout, Beginner Boxing, and Body Blend.

Each of the classes are being offered at various locations around the Notre Dame campus, and are extremely affordable – ranging from $30 – $100 for 10-12 sessions, depending on which class you choose.

Not sure which class is for you? Check out descriptions, locations, and times for each of the classes by visiting the RRC Athletic and Recreation department website, where you can also download their winter brochure and registration form so you can get started.  The registration deadline for winter fitness classes is this Friday, Jan. 20.

If you still want to work out at RRC but aren’t interested in taking classes, there are other fitness programs available too. Recreation services also offers Body Composition Analysis, Fitness Appraisal, and either one-on-one or group training sessions. For more information on those services, click here.

If you’re a student or staff member taking fitness classes, or using the workout spaces here at RRC, why not sign up for a Personal Wellness Plan to track your progress, and provide the RRC Wellness Committee with feedback and ideas of what other wellness initiatives that you would like to see offered at RRC.

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student

City of Winnipeg’s Winter Leisure Guide full of affordable activities around the city

January 16, 2012


There’s lots of great things to do in Winnipeg – especially in the winter. While most of us know where to find favourite outdoor skating rink, taboggoning hill, or what general fun can be found at The Forks, there are endless other events and activities going on in the city that you only need to look as far as the City of Winnipeg’s Winter Leisure Guide to discover.

The guide includes information on countless different events, activities, classes, and programs that are all being offered throughout the winter months at different recreation centres and organizations in Winnipeg. Part of the guide is organized by age group (pre-school, children, youth, adults, and seniors), so it’s easy to see what’s available for either yourself, or your children. The guide also includes a directory of all Winnipeg community and recreation centres, as well as information on how to register for any of the programs that are being advertised.

After browsing through the guide, here are a list of great affordable (or free!)  events coming up that might be worth checking out:

  • Cooking classes: Throughout January, February, and March,  learn how to create a new dish that you can serve up at home with classes at the St. John’s Leisure Centre, Arthur A Leach School, and the Fort Rouge Leisure Centre. For often less than $40, you can get hands-on training with an instructor on how to make dishes from around the world – like Asian curry dishes, French soups, and Nigerian cuisine.
  • Free swim: Swimming is an excellent way to exercise – especially if you’re overweight, have a physical disability, or are a senior. From January 3 – March 11, over a dozen indoor pools across Winnipeg are offering free swim periods for people at any age  that are often scheduled in the evenings, and on the weekends. Some pools are also offering free swim periods for youth ages 9-19 only. For a full list of Winnipeg pools to see which ones are offering free swim programs in your neighbourhood, click here
  • Drop-in fitness classes: Can’t commit to a full 10 or 12 week fitness course? Many of the fitness programs listed in the leisure guide also allow for drop-ins for those who can’t attend regularly, or who want to check out several different classes. Most classes charge a $10.75 one-time drop-in fee, but passes can also be purchased in groups ($42 for 4 classes, $74 for 10 classes, $134 for 20 classes, or $171 for 30 classes). The best part? They don’t expire.
Want more ideas on free activities you or your family can take part in this winter around Winnipeg? Check out the City of Winnipeg’s Winter 2012 Priceless Fun free programs guide. You can also register for any of the city’s Leisure Guide programs at 
Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student

Staying active throughout the school or workday

January 6, 2012

Did you know that sitting for prolonged periods of time can be damaging to your health?

According to a new article on, several health experts say that new research is suggesting that people who spend the majority of their days sitting – whether it’s in school, at the office, in the car, or in front of the TV – are at higher risk for developing obesity and heart disease even if they exercise regularly.

Some companies are jumping on a new trend to help encourage their employees to stay healthy at work by offering them access to wellness programs and onsite gyms throughout the work day, as noted in a recent CTV interview. These companies have found that their workplace fitness initiatives were having a positive effect, noting their employees seemed “healthier and happier”, and came to work with more awake, alert, and energetic.

So how can those of us who spend the majority of the day behind a desk get more active at school, or on the job? If your workplace or school has an on-site gym, take advantage. If at all possible, try and go when you have a free period or lunch in order to break up all the sitting down you’ll be doing during the day.

Don’t have access to a gym? There are plenty of simple things you can do in the office or at your desk to help increase bloodflow throughout the work or school day:

  • Try swapping out your regular desk chair with an exercise ball, which helps to improve posture and balance
  • Use your breaks to move around; take a quick walk, go outside, anything to get you up and away from your desk
  • Skip the elevator – use the stairs
  • Suggest walking meetings when appropriate instead of traditional table meetings

Check out these articles from ABC News and for more ways to stay healthy and active at work, or watch the video below for easy exercises you can do around the office, or at your desk throughout the school or work day.

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student