The Wellness Leadership Council is a university-wide initiative comprised of numerous campus offices and organizations. Our goal is to develop an inclusive culture of well-being and human development for the Mercyhurst community. 

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There are many dimensions of wellness that extend far beyond physical health. We seek to include all dimensions of wellness—including emotional, financial, physical, occupational, spiritual, environmental, social, and intellectual—in our culture of well-being. To be well is to have a zest for life, a sense of meaning and purpose, and a sense of social responsibility. Mercyhurst’s Wellness Leadership Council strives to promote these values for all members of our campus community.

Explore the dropdowns below to learn more about Mercyhurst wellness initiatives!

Me+Self Awareness & Values+Support & Resources+Community & Planet=Whole Health; Community & Planet; Financial Freedom; Social &Cultural Communities; Open Your Mind; Connecting with Your Environment; Spirit, Faith & Soul; Your Body; Find Your Way & Why; Support & Resources; MU 4U Whole Health Wellness Wheel; Wellness is actively caring for yourself to achieve wellbeing


Nutrition matters. In today’s world of social media, expert opinions, and conflicting evidence, it can be difficult to identify the best, most updated information about how to fuel our bodies well. 

Proper nutrition means eating and drinking the building blocks that keep our bodies running: macronutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, and water. Every person has slightly different nutrition needs. Lack of sleep, stress (personal, academic, social, etc.), illness and injury, health status, body size and composition, and even climate can affect these needs. Pair these factors with the sheer number of nutrition products on the market today, and it’s no wonder people have a hard time knowing who and what to listen to.

What are the first steps to proper nutrition?

  1. Fuel and eat to move, don’t move to fuel and eat. Knowing how to fuel our bodies begins with reframing how we look at food and nutrition: food is fuel, and we need to eat to be able to do the things we want. If we do not fuel adequately, we cannot do everything, especially not to the best of our abilities. 
  2. Enjoy all foods, in moderation. Unless you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, allergy, or intolerance by a healthcare provider, there is generally no reason to avoid certain foods, food groups, or macronutrient categories. Some foods may make you feel better than others, but it is okay to enjoy all foods in moderation. There is room for cookies and broccoli in your daily diet—but if you ate only cookies, you would miss certain nutrients, and if you ate only broccoli, you would miss certain nutrients. 
  3. Calories are essential to brain power, survival, and day to day activities. Calories are not something to be feared. Calories are simply how food energy is measured in the United States, much like joules, kilowatt-hours, or electronVolts. Without consuming energy, our bodies cannot sustain activities and body systems for very long. Without adequate calories, our bodies will start to breakdown structures to use stored energy and will slowly shut down biological processes to conserve what is left. 
  4. Play with your food and make it interesting! Try to build your plate with a mix of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Challenge yourself to try a new food or new preparation of a familiar food at each meal. You can also try to include as many colors on your plate as possible. 

Healthy Sleep

The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep per night.  When was the last time you got enough sleep?  Do you regularly get less sleep than you should?  College students often struggle with making enough time for sleep. With busy lives and so many things competing for their attention, sleep often suffers. 

The effects of not getting enough sleep regularly are cumulative.  Going 24 hours without sleep—or going a week of only getting five hours of sleep per night—has the same effect as a blood-alcohol content of .10%. Not getting enough sleep can cause many health consequences, including depression, anxiety, daytime sleepiness, chronic disease development, cardiovascular morbidity, and obesity, to name a few.

As a college student, you may not feel that it’s always possible to get enough sleep. Here are a few tips to help you get enough rest. 

  • Set an alarm for bedtime.
  • Get sufficient exercise throughout the day (not right before bed).
  • Turn off screens 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Develop a bedtime ritual (listening to music, turning off lights, etc.).
  • Resolve conflicts or unsolved problems.
  • Prioritize sleep. 

If you can’t get a good night’s sleep, try napping after lunch!  A study determined that a 15-minute nap after lunch “maintains subsequent alertness and performance even in subjects who sleep for only 4 hours the night before.” 

Overall Health Benefits of Movement

According to the CDC, a single bout of moderate-to vigorous physical activity provides benefits for your overall health. Immediate effects include improved sleep quality, reduced feelings of anxiety, and reduced blood pressure. Long-term benefits of regular exercise for adults includes improved muscle and bone strength, improved balance, reduced risks of developing dementia and depression, decreased chance of unwanted weight gain, and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers.

Key Physical Fitness Guidelines for Adults:

  • Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day—some physical activity is better than none! Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity improve their overall health.
  • For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

Examples of moderate activity include brisk walking (4 mph), vacuuming, cycling (10-12 mph), and playing doubles in tennis. Examples of vigorous exercise include jogging (6 mph), cycling (14-16 mph), hiking, and shoveling. Strength training exercises can be done with dumbbells, body weight, or machines. Take advantage of our beautiful campus and Erie community to get your 150 minutes of physical activity in!

Please visit the CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine to learn more about safely adding physical fitness into your life. It is always advised to talk with your health care provider before starting any new fitness program.   

Recreation and Fitness Center

The Mercyhurst Recreation and Fitness Center provides each student the opportunity to enhance their physical wellbeing. This center was designed with the intent of meeting the recreational, fitness, and athletic needs of Mercyhurst students, employees, and intercollegiate teams.

The Recreation and Fitness Center is open daily to those within the Mercyhurst community. Each student will have the opportunity to enhance physical performance through a spacious free weight room, hammer-strength equipment and up to date cardiovascular machines. Fitness classes are offered for students and employees. Follow the Rec Center on Twitter and Instagram for updated schedules and visit the Recreation Center webpage for current hours and contact information. 

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