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Monica Bulnes

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BULNES: Search for balance in health, wellness

With graduation quickly approaching, I have been preparing my last words for Rutgers University students, faculty and staff about my views on health and wellness. Throughout my time at Rutgers, I hunted endlessly for a peaceful balance in my health — a task hundreds of students are facing every day. Over the years, I have altered my diet and exercise habits to achieve three different goals: losing weight, gaining weight and gaining muscle. 


BULNES: Americans need to care more for their physical health

The advanced nature of American healthcare garners a good deal of attention from political and economic disciplines regarding the system and its evolution over time. We place importance on being able to cure and treat illnesses in order to preserve our extended life expectancy. In 2016, the United States alone spent an astounding $3.3 trillion on health care. But, as remarkable as this all may sound, it simply reveals that America is in the business of “sick care” rather than being in the business of “health care.” 


BULNES: Emotional eating is a habit many need to shake

Within our society, like many others, food is tied to our emotional experiences. Certain dishes remind us of our childhood, other foods are known as “comfort foods” and holidays or events would be nothing without the meals that go with them. For as long as we can remember, we have associated emotions with what we eat. Our experiences with food start off as fond memories and happy moments. That Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream you had when you were young in Disney World and summer nights with s’mores let you associate sweet treats with being carefree and happy. Finishing off your plate as a child meant satisfying your parents and being rewarded with extra play time. But, these little memories become bad habits as we age and can lead to difficulties with proper eating. 


BULNES: Exercise can improve your mental health

Humans gain mental strength in the same way that they gain muscle strength — by consistently lifting what deliberately weighs them down. This is, of course, easier to do with physical weights since anybody can go to the gym and find dumbbells lined up in a row waiting to be lifted. Mental strength, on the other hand, can be obtained by understanding what mentally weighs you down, restricts you, limits you and choosing to lift those metaphorical dumbbells every single day.


BULNES: Your body deserves breaks for daily work

We do not give our bodies enough credit for everything they do on a daily basis. Without this vessel, we would not be able to accomplish the goals we put our minds to. Our bodies are constantly at work — even while we sleep — to ensure that all natural systems are functioning properly. Therefore, when our bodies demand rest, the least we could do is listen and oblige, but many people push past their point of exhaustion. 


BULNES: People should make time for their health, wellness

As we begin the spring 2018 semester with new year’s resolutions in tow, our goals and desires will be challenged due to our increasingly busy schedules. Those who have decided to improve their health might start to feel like they no longer have time to exercise or cook healthier meals. In reality, there is time for whatever you want to make time for.


BULNES: Instagram fitness is contrary to real life

The media has misrepresented male and female bodies for decades, and this trend has continued with the emergence of the digital age. Nowadays, we have access to unrealistic body images through social media on a 24-hour basis. Platforms such as Instagram misrepresent sustainable fitness and body goals through the profiles of fitness models, bloggers and body builders. 


BULNES: To eat well, use your head at Panera Bread

Something tragic happened last semester; Au Bon Pain closed its doors. The most convenient place to grab coffee before catching the LX was gone, not to mention saying goodbye to the Egg Whites, Cheddar, & Avocado sandwich that was a go-to healthy breakfast for many.

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