Refreshed: Wellness shines on Wednesdays

Published 10:28am Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bruins to join forces with Mower Refreshed weekly health push

Part 4 of 4: See all Mower Refreshed stories here

The Austin Bruins hockey team has set a good example on nutrition and overall health for elementary students the past two years with the Healthy Habits program. Now, with the help of Mower Refreshed, they hope to take their message to middle and high school students.

The Bruins will become part of Wellness Wednesdays this season.

Bruins business operations manager Mike Delhanty, provides players another opportunity to be a positive influence.

“The players do a great job with [these programs],” Delhanty said. “I think it really means a lot to them. The kids look up to the players, and it’s a cool experience for the players and the students.”

Mower Refreshed started Wellness Wednesdays about six weeks ago, and the Bruins are about to come on board.

The idea is change the health culture in Mower County one day at a time.

That one day is Wednesdays.

Anderson and other volunteers started pushing healthier choices on one day of the week. Each Wednesday, a challenge is posted on the Mower Refreshed Facebook page. These challenges are devised from Mower Refreshed goal groups and research. One question may be “How do you connect with your neighbors?” Refreshed Coordinator Sandy Anderson journals the public feedback for Mower Refreshed to use.

Each week, one of the people to respond receives a prize, which have so far included Mower Refreshed T-shirts, a massage, a free yoga class and gifts from places like Hormel Nature Center, Games People Play and other area businesses.

The bruins portion is a program designed to teach K-12 students about staying healthy. Every Wednesday, players will answer Facebook questions with video responses, among other initiatives. The activity, according to Bruins business operations manager Mike Delhanty, provides players another opportunity to be a positive influence.

“The players do a great job with [these programs],” Delhanty said. “I think it really means a lot to them. The kids look up to the players, and it’s a cool experience for the players and the students.”

Delhanty added that in order to compete at a high level, the players have to be in top shape physically and mentally.

“It takes a lot,” he said.

Anderson envisions Bruins players sharing their fitness know-how with Austin students, and she said Youtube videos of the players could be posted on the Refreshed website.

Delhanty said one reason they’ve gone forward with Wellness Wednesdays is the success of Healthy Habits, which is geared toward elementary students. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, the players visit classrooms to promote healthy living — everything from eating right to mental health.

The event has taken off. Last year, according to Delhanty, the Bruins visited about 300 classrooms.

“It’s really fun for them to go into the classrooms and chat with the kids,” Delhanty said.

—Jason Schoonover contributed to this report.


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