orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

Healthy Minds Healthy College

News and Events

In the Garden

January 19, 2012

Calling all photographers – do you have some great photos to share?

The Wellness Committee is beginning a blog series of interesting photos taken by staff and students.  First up is Karen Press, an instructor from the Creative Communications program.  She’s an avid nature photographer with a great eye for hidden beauty.  If you’d like to submit your own photo and a brief caption about your art – send it along to


The wind and snow make me wistful. I miss my garden. As a hobbyist photographer, I don’t have much equipment and I just “go to the light,” which makes the garden a perfect subject.


Carrots... hanging on the laundry line

Chive flowers

Chive flowers

You can see more on my Flickr stream.

Submitted by Karen Press, Creative Communications instructor

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

Workshop series takes on tough parenting issues

January 19, 2012

The Wellness Committee will be hosting “Parenting for Prevention” – a series of lunch-hour workshops from Jan. 20 – Feb. 14 dedicated to discussing tough parenting topics like youth and teen gambling, and cyberbullying.

Youth Gambling Awareness for Parents
Presented by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, this seminar will focus on the three gambling prevention programs the organization offers for youth – (for middle-schoolers), (high school students), and (young adults aged 18-25). Each program is aimed at helping teens understand the facts and risks associated with gambling, and what resources youth and parents can seek out if there’s a problem.

Teens and Depression/Mood Disorders
This “Depression and How it Affects Us All” workshop will discuss depression in young people, where to get help, as well as the signs and symptoms parents can look for.

Youth/Teens and Bullying/Cyberbullying
Bullying can have a negative impact on teens, and in extremely serious cases – it can be fatal. The effects of bullying have led many young people to commit suicide, and it’s important that parents know how to recognize if their child is a victim or a bully themselves. This seminar will go over why teens bully others, what to do if your teen is involved, and where to seek help if your child is being harassed by others. And because bullying isn’t just limited to the playground anymore, the workshop will also look at what cyberbullying is and what you can do to protect your teen online.

Raising Kids of Good Character
Bullying, violence, racism, anti-semitism, drugs, and crime have all become serious problems for youth. Parents play a critical role in the development of their child’s character, and it’s important they make a commitment to raising caring, confident, and respectful teens to help prevent some of these serious problems. This session will discuss the key elements of raising children with good character.

Any staff members who are interested in participating in the workshops can register online here, where you can also get more information about what time each workshop starts, and location. Do you have questions or want more information about the seminars? Contact Lucille McLeod in Human Resources Services at (204) 632-2944.

 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

Tangy Noodle Salad: easy recipe for a healthy lunch

January 13, 2012

Making the time to put together a healthy lunch before you head out the door for work or school can be a challenge. A lot of the time we end up grabbing an unhealthy frozen dinner from the freezer, or we suck it up and buy something to eat on campus or nearby the office. Before you even realize it, these last-minute meals can end up packing on the pounds.

Weight loss has been identified as the number one goal of Red River College staff members who have signed up for a Personal Wellness Plan as part of the “One” initiative, and a big part of trimming pounds includes a healthy diet. If we put in the effort to make our own lunches, it’s easier to control what types of foods we’re eating rather than being motivated by hunger into choosing less-healthier options just to satisfy our hunger.

The simplest lunches are meals that can be made the night before and packed up in a container, which is easy to grab and go in the morning – like this easy salad from Best Health Magazine:


Tangy Noodle Salad

1/2 1-lb (454-g) package broad rice noodles
2 baby carrots, finely sliced
Small handful broccoli florets, blanched until tender (about 2 minutes)
1-in. (2.5-cm) length English cucumber, finely sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, finely sliced
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Large handful fresh coriander, minced
Small handful crushed peanuts

Dressing: Combine 1 Tbsp (15 mL) mango chutney, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce, 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) orange juice.

Directions: boil the noodles until cooked and then drain, and let cool. Add noodles to chopped vegetables and toss with half the dressing. Pack the remaining dressing (and peanuts) with your lunch to add when you sit down to eat. 


This salad is great because it can be switched up based on what types of foods you have already at home. Don’t have rice noodles? You can substitute vermicelli noodles, or whole wheat angel hair pasta instead. If you want to increase protein, add sliced cooked chicken or tofu.

Want more great healthy lunch ideas? Check out more recipes from Best Health Magazine and Eating Well. If you have any great mid-day meals that have worked for you in the past, let us know on the blog by sharing your recipes with us!

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student

A second Blogging 101 workshop has been added

January 12, 2012

The first Blogging 101 session is nearly full, so we’ve added another session the following week.  Blogging 101 covers topics like:

  • Why you should blog
  • Types of blog posts
  • Getting the most out of your blog

New Session – January 31, 12pm-1pm

Where: Notre Dame Campus – A137

You can register at the Learning and Development site on the portal.

The hands-on Blogging 201 session is held the following day over the lunch hour – space is limited.

Five reasons why you should quit smoking

January 11, 2012

Smoking can be a hard habit break, especially for those who’ve been at it for a while. While cigarettes may at times seem like your best friend – they also can also cause serious health problems.

Unfortunately, warnings against health risks aren’t always enough to deter someone from buying another pack of cigarettes. Sometimes people need a bit of an incentive, and there’s a few different organizations that are trying some cool tricks to try and get people to give it up for good.

The Manitoba Lung Association has started up a new contest with a breakup theme called “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”, where users who are serious about quitting can pen a breakup letter on the organizations Facebook page for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the retail outlet of their choice. In Ontario, the provincial government has teamed up with The Canadian Cancer Society to give away a car and cash prizes to smokers who register and stay smoke-free until March as part of their Driven to Quit contest.

In honour of national Non-Smoking Week (Jan. 15-21), here is a list of five reasons why you should consider kicking the habit to the curb.

1. Live Longer
Smoking cuts years off your life, and according to a 50-year British study, you’ll increase your lifespan more the earlier you quit. Becoming a non-smoker at age 30 can add upwards of 10 years to your life, while you may only ad 3-5 years if you quit in your 50’s or 60’s.

2. Save Cash
The cost of cigarettes is consistently going up, with an average pack setting you back upwards of $10 – with some users purchasing multiple packs per week. Even if you only smoke one pack of cigarettes per week, you’re still throwing away more than $500 per year that could have been better spent on something else. With the money that the average person spends per year on smoking, you could take a trip, or even afford a new car. Want to know how much you’re spending on cigarettes? Try out this handy online calculator from

3. Look Better
While some people might think that smoking looks cool in the movies, in actuality it does nothing but bad things for your physical appearance. Yellow teeth and fingernails from nicotine stains are only the beginning,  because smoking has also been linked to causing an increase in bad skin and wrinkles.

4. Be More Active
Many of us can walk up one flight of stairs without getting winded, but that might be hard to do if you’re a smoker. Smoking damages our lungs, which can hinder our physical performance. Smoking may limit your ability to play sports, exercise – leaving the door open for problems like weight gain, and obesity.

5. Stay Healthy
It’s no secret that long-term smoking can lead to several different life-threatening conditions and illnesses like cancer, heart disease and stroke. But smoking can negatively affect other areas of your health, too. Men and women who smoke can experience sexual health and fertility problems, and cigarettes can also weaken your immune system, lead to gum disease, and can also be deadly if you have other health problems like diabetes. For a full list of all the health risks associated with smoking, visit Health Canada, or the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thinking about quitting smoking? The Canadian Lung Association, Help Guide, and Quit4life are all great resources with information about how you can kick the habit, or where to seek help. Have you successfully quit smoking before? If so, do you have any tips for others who are trying to kick the habit?

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student

Upcoming blogging workshops

January 11, 2012

In a few weeks, the Wellness Committee will be hosting two blogging training sessions that cover the basics of blogging and how to use the WordPress blogging platform.

Blogging regularly can be a great way to improve your writing and share your thoughts and opinions on various subjects. And if you’re interested in blogging but don’t know where to start, writing an occasional post for the Wellness blog could be a good opportunity for you. We’ll see you later this month!


Blogging 101 covers topics like:

  • Why you should blog
  • Types of blog posts
  • Getting the most out of your blog

When: January 25, 12pm-1pm
Where: Notre Dame Campus – E305


Blogging 201 gets into the technical details including:

  • Using the WordPress blogging platform
  • How to add links, photos and videos to your post
  • Moderating comments

When: February 1, 12pm-1pm
Where: Notre Dame Campus – Room A115


Register for the sessions soon as space is limited.

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


Resources to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions

January 4, 2012

It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions, and it’s even easier to break them.

Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, or simply be more active, our New Year’s goals seem attainable until we get sidetracked. So how do we make sure that we stick to the resolutions that we make? A lot of it is about willpower, but organization goes a long way in making sure you reach the goals that you set out for yourself.

It’s hard to keep track of what progress you’re making or things you need to change in order to meet your goals unless you record it somehow. It’s important that we see how well (or poorly) we’re doing to help stay motivated, so keep some type of a log to remind yourself of what accomplishments you’ve made so far.

There are several easy resources that you can use, including websites like Remindr and HassleMe which allow you to set up random daily notifications to your email, cell phone, or social media outlet that can act as reminders to do things you’re trying to make a priority. If you want to lose weight, sites like Traineo allow you to keep a food diary, track how and when you’re working out, and give you access to healthy recipes and training tips from professionals. And if all else fails, a good old-fashioned notebook and pen will probably do the trick too.

If you’re trying to give your finances a makeover in the new year, Mint is an easy-to-use web application that can be synced with most mobile devices, and gives you a breakdown of exactly where your money is going – like how much per month you spend on fast food, or shopping.

If you’re a Red River College staff member or student, you can develop your own Personal Wellness Plan for free with the “One” initiative. The program is designed to help users identify ways to meet their goals, and also let them know of any activities or programs around the college that meet their wellness interests.

For more great mobile apps and gadgets you can try to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions, check out these great lists from Time Magazine and Know of any other great ways to make sticking to your goals easier? Share it with us on the RRC Wellness blog.

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student