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Health and Lifestyle

Miller School Researcher Finds Peace Teaching Meditation

By Myranda Tarr
Special to UM News

Lunthita Duthely

Lunthita Duthely

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 28, 2016) – Meditation is not just a pastime for Lunthita Duthely, B.A., ’86, B.S., ’86, M.S., ’92, an assistant research professor at the Miller School of Medicine. Though the faculty member spends much of her time guiding medical student research and managing HIV/AIDS research databases within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, her heart also lies with instructing free meditation classes at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center.

Born in New York City of Haitian descent, Duthely began her undergraduate education at the University of Miami in 1981, studying computer science and chemistry. It was during these formative years when Duthely took her very first meditation class at the U.

“I benefited greatly from UM’s free meditation classes,” explains Duthely. “After that first experience, I knew my life was changed for the better.”

Upon completing her dual undergraduate degrees, Duthely received her first permanent position at the Miller School. The UM alumna brought together her skills in database programming with her interest in medicine and health, specifically HIV/AIDS research, to work as a programmer and analyst.

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic was on the rise in South Florida and I was eager to get involved with that research,” says Duthely, who also holds a doctor of education from the University of Phoenix. “What’s more, the epidemic was also affecting the Haitian community, which hit very close to home.”

Soon after, a perfect opportunity opened up to create and manage databases supporting HIV/AIDS research within the Department of OB/GYN. Duthely delayed her original plans to move to Europe in order to pursue this three-year commitment.

Nearly a decade after her first meditation class, Duthely began meditating on a regular basis and continues to practice with Master Sri Chinmoy. Seeing the incredible effects of meditation in her personal and professional life, Duthely became a meditation instructor in 1994 and has been teaching at the Herbert Wellness Center since 1997.

“I saw how the practice of meditation impacted my life, and so many others I met,” she says. “I was motivated to share the experience with others.”

The Department of Wellness and Recreation believes that achieving optimal health requires finding a balance between physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational and global wellness, the seven dimensions of wellness. Duthely finds that practicing meditation has had a positive impact on all aspects of her life.

“I teach at the Herbert Wellness Center because I truly believe in all dimensions of wellness and try to live by them each and every day,” adds the instructor. “Also, as a meditation facilitator representing Sri Chinmoy Centres International, it is our philosophy to offer classes free of charge.”

Meditation classes at the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center are free and open to the public.

There are three remaining classes at the Herbert Wellness Center taking place on Friday, October 21, Friday, November 18, and Monday, December 5, all from 7:30 to 9 p.m. For more information or to register for a class, call 305-284-5433 or click here.

The three remaining classes at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center take place on Fridays, October 21, November 18, and December 16 from 1 to 1:45 p.m. For more information, click here. Duthely also teaches Hatha yoga classes at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.

Duthely believes everyone should take a few minutes a day to “recharge” their inner battery with a quiet and still mind.

“Meditation is perfect for anyone who inhabits Mother Earth and breathes this precious air,” she says.

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UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary with a Month of Special Activities

uhealthwellnessanniversaryThe UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on the Miller School of Medicine campus begins a monthlong celebration of its tenth anniversary on Monday, October 3, with an array of fitness workshops, free giveaways, fitness challenges, special exercise classes, and much more.

Visit the the center website  or the front desk for a  list of events open to members and prospective members.

 

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Herbert Wellness Center Staffers Step Up to Keep UM Safe

Three professional staff members become certified CPR and first aid instructors.
cpr-firstaid

From left, Christina WooChing, Elena Fajardo, and Nikki Reifschneider display mannequins and a training AED used used in a CPR certification class.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 19, 2016) – When the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center found itself in need of CPR and First Aid instructors, it took some creative brainstorming to find the appropriate solution: three Herbert Wellness Center professional staff members stepped up to the plate and became certified instructors. Elena Fajardo, customer service manager, Nikki Reifschneider, assistant director of fitness and personal training, and Christina WooChing, assistant director of wellness programs, knew that by becoming certified instructors, the University of Miami would immediately become a safer community.

CPR and First Aid classes are free for Herbert Wellness Center student employees, and all emergency care courses are available to the public regardless of membership at the Herbert Wellness Center.
“As a fitness professional, I feel I am always in a position where patrons around me could potentially need CPR/AED or First Aid,” says Reifschneider. “I realized that not only is it necessary that I be certified, but that my fitness room staff and personal trainers be certified as well.”
Two eight-hour days of off-campus training tested the three women’s knowledge of what they thought they knew about CPR and First Aid, and taught them ways to organize fun and engaging classes.
“The best part about the training was the team-bonding experience I had with Elena and Nikki,” says WooChing, the newest member of the Herbert Wellness Center team. “We can now support each other in our staff positions and in teaching. We are already planning to co-facilitate some sessions.”
As professional staff members, and now as instructors, Fajardo, Reifschneider, and WooChing are working to create a safer community for UM students, faculty and staff. The women are also excited to give back to the students under their own roof. Every Herbert Wellness Center student employee has access to free CPR and First Aid training. With additional instructors, more student employees will learn how to quickly and appropriately respond during emergency situations, both on duty and in their everyday life.
“I want to make our facility and the UM campus as safe as it can be,” explains Fajardo. “It is important that our student staff is highly trained and prepared to expertly react to any emergency.”
The Herbert Wellness Center is one of the Coral Gables campus’s busiest facilities. Almost everything within its walls involves some level of physical activity. Thinking fast and feeling confident when responding to an emergency is imperative. CPR and First Aid classes equip participants with the preparation and skills to handle high-pressure situations. The Herbert Wellness Center operates under a high service standard of safety, and with three new emergency care instructors, that standard was just raised to new heights.
“The fact that we can potentially save a life or help in a crisis—who wouldn’t want the ability to do that?” adds Reifschneider. “I know if something were to happen to me, I would want a certified individual to step in and help.”
All emergency care courses are open to both members and non-members of the Herbert Wellness Center and are offered several times throughout the semester. For more information about emergency care courses or to register, click here.
Learn proper CPR technique, AED use and relief of choking in adults, children and infants. Upon completion of the course, those enrolled receive a two-year certification from the American Red Cross.
• Wednesday, October 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
• Monday, November 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Learn how to manage illness and injuries in the first few minutes until professional help arrives.
• Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Tuesday, November 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, December 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“UM is an active and dynamic campus,” says WooChing. “There are some situations you cannot plan for, so you never know when these simple, easy-to-learn skills could save someone’s life.”

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Staying Sane in an Insane World

Multiple work, family, and social demands can take their toll on one’s emotional well-being, often leading us to feel vulnerable and wondering how we will cope and manage it all. So much of our time and energy are spent tending to the needs of others that we forget to care for ourselves. This seminar is offered for those interested in exploring positive, proactive strategies to reclaim, cultivate, and nourish their sanity. This seminar will be facilitated by a UM Faculty and Staff Assistance Program consultant.

Rosenstiel campus: Wednesday, October 5, 12-1 p.m., Library Media room

Coral Gables campus: Thursday, October 6, 12-1 p.m., McKnight Building, room 201AB

Miller School campus: Friday, October 7, 12-1 p.m., Clinical Research Building, room 1381A

FSAP Health and Wellness seminars are offered as part of the University of Miami’s Well ‘Canes Program. Register through ulearn.miami.edu. For help with ULearn registration, or to receive email announcements of upcoming seminars, please call the FSAP at 305-284-6604.

 

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#HealthyCampus Week Offers Free Yoga, Bootcamp, and Expo

Special to UM News

yogaclassCORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 14, 2016) – #HealthyCampus Week is back and the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center, in collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America Healthier Campus Initiative, will highlight and support healthy choices on campus September 20-23 with a variety of special events and activities free to the UM community.

Get ready to challenge yourself with the #CanesStayFit Body Bootcamp. The bootcamp features a variety of exercises and intervals on Tuesday, September 20 at 7 p.m. in the Herbert Wellness Center’s Centre Court.

“This class is a great opportunity for people to be social and stay fit at the same time,” says Michelle Kasparian, assistant director of group exercise and community classes at the Herbert Wellness Center. “We’ve enlisted our best instructors to give the UM community the most rewarding fitness bootcamp class Miami has to offer.”

On Wednesday, September 21, students will learn how to make healthy and delicious dorm-friendly dishes at the Dorm Room Cooking Demo. Held in the Herbert Wellness Center Atrium at noon, this cooking demo provides students with the tools to prepare food in their dorm room like a master chef.

“The majority of college dorm rooms are scattered with unhealthy foods like chips, candy, and soda,” says Christina WooChing, assistant director of wellness programs at the Herbert Wellness Center. “We want to help students combat their unhealthy dorm-eating habits and provide them with easy meals to make that aren’t ramen noodles.”

#HealthyCampus Week culminates with a double-header of events on Thursday, September 22. Come meet all the UM campus partners involved in making the healthy choice the easy choice at the #HealthyCampus Expo at 4:30 p.m. in the Herbert Wellness Center Atrium. Once you’ve met the partners, venture upstairs to the Main Gym and take part in UM’s Largest Yoga Class at 5:30 p.m. In celebration of Yoga Awareness Month, this yoga class is free and open to the UM community.

All week long, share how you stay fit on Instagram and attend the #HealthyCampus Week events to be entered to win a $100 Target gift card or a Fitbit Activity tracker. Be sure to tag @UMiamiWellness with #HealthyCampus and #FoundMyFit. As a bonus, attending all three events and posting on Instagram earns you five entries.

The Partnership for a Healthier America works with the private sector and First Lady Michelle Obama, PHA honorary chair, to ensure the health of the nation’s youth and end childhood obesity. By brokering commitments with colleges and universities, the Healthier Campus Initiative helps campuses adopt guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity, and programming.

“This is the third year of UM’s collaboration with Partnership for a Healthier America and the University has made great strides to make our campus a healthier one,” says Scott Levin, executive director of the Herbert Wellness Center. “From providing healthier food and beverage services at on-campus dining venues to encouraging physical activity and movement through facilities and programs on campus, every UM partner is committed to helping students, faculty, and staff make healthier choices that will ensure their personal and professional success.”

To learn more about #HealthyCampus Week, the events at the Herbert Wellness Center or the week-long raffle, click here.

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