Knockout November and De-stress December events promote UAA community wellness

Looming finals and heavy course loads make the end of the fall semester a stressful time for many students. To help combat the stress, the UAA Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, or HPER, wellness program enlists upper-division students enrolled in the program to develop wellness-based activities.

During the Nov. 22 Fun on the Ice event of Knockout November, students were able to relax, skate and enjoy warm food and refreshments at the Seawolf Sports Complex. Photo by Gabby Vance.

From Nov. 18-Dec. 5, HPER students created numerous, fun fitness activities as part of the annual Knockout November and De-stress December event. All activities are free and open to the entire UAA community. 

Students within the degree program fulfill their course requirements by creating wellness activities. Attending any of the offered events is a great way to relax, learn wellness skills and interact with fellow UAA community members while supporting the HPER students, Kyra McKay said. 

McKay, the employee wellness practicum coordinator, aims to enhance the wellness of the UAA community. McKay graduated from the HPER program with a degree in physical education in 2016. 

“We encourage people of all different variety of backgrounds, fitness and skills to come [to the activites] so our students can get a taste of every type of person,” McKay said.

Throughout the Knockout November and De-stress December event period, around 20 events were put on.

A dog day wellness event was offered on Nov. 20 as part of the Knockout November and De-stress December activities, in which participants went on a snowshoe excursion with their pets. Photo by Gabby Vance.

HPER students hosted a dog day wellness event on Nov. 20. Anyone was welcome to enjoy a 30-40 minute dog walking excursion. Attendees were encouraged to bring their own dogs and some were provided. 

Dog day participants take time for a picture during the Knockout November and De-Stress December excursion activity. Photo by Gabby Vance.
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“Missing your pets at home or just enjoy playing with dogs? Join us for a snowshoe dog walk to de-stress before finals,” read the description of the event on the UAA Employee Wellness Facebook page.

Community members engaged in a game of Water Polo on Nov. 21 at the Seawolf Sports Complex pool.

“The Water Polo [event] was a really great environment. Everyone was pretty new to the game, but we were well instructed before the game,” Teeana Nicholai, a freshman political science major and event attendee, said. “We split up into two teams, but everyone was cheering each other on. When goals were made, it was competitive but also super supportive. I would 100% go again because of the fun I had and the people who made it enjoyable.”

On Nov. 22, two HPER students put on a Fun on the Ice event at the Seawolf Sports Complex ice rink. Skates, soup and hot chocolate were provided for free. The recreational activity promoted socializing while skating around the ice. 

“[The fun on the ice event] offered a chance to skate, socialize and have some soup and hot cocoa,” McKay said. “[Community members] can take a break during the day and do something fun.”

Some of the other events offered throughout November and December included yoga, aqua aerobics, sledding, meditation and snowshoe games. 

Upcoming events on Dec. 3-5 include pause meditation, basketball skills and drills, deadlifting instruction, fitness footwork and yoga. 

For more information on the UAA Employee Wellness activities and notifications of their upcoming events, visit UAA Employee Wellness on Facebook.

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