Leadership Series: health and wellness in leadership


The Fall 2018 Leadership series occurs every Tuesday in Evans Commons 3020 at 4 p.m.
Graphic by Andria Graeler
Photo by Rolando Dupuy


Evans Commons rec center manager Mitch Palmer gave insight on personal fitness and the natural benefits of good nutrition during Tuesday’s installment of the Spring Leadership Series. 

“How to be the Best You: Health and Wellness in Leadership” was held at 4 p.m. in Harmon 131. 

  • Exercise can lead to health benefits such as weight loss and a decreased risk of disease. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.  However, Palmer said that because one third of American adults are obese, that skews the average for what is considered an acceptable level of health. “I kind of hate recommendations because everyone is different, so don’t get paralysis by analysis, just make sure you’re doing something and start there,” he said. Palmer recommended walking to class instead of driving across campus is a good way to start exercising. He said, “You’ll save money on gas and you won’t get stressed out by the way some people drive.”
  • It is recommended to get eight hours of sleep a night. Palmer said avoiding or dimming bright artificial light, like fluorescents and phone screens, after 6 p.m. can help improve sleep.  
  • Be skeptical of commonly held beliefs about nutrition and wellness. “Everyone has an agenda,” Palmer said. He discussed how government recommendations, such as the food pyramid, can be biased by special interests.  
  • Calories are not created equal. Palmer said the content of fat, protein and sugar can matter more than the absolute number of calories. He spoke about studies that showed that a high fat diet reduced cancer in mice and the negative impacts of modern diets on indigenous people. “We do have a lot of wonderful things in modern medicine,” Palmer said. “But our ancestors and a lot of indigenous tribes did not eat the same things we do, and they don’t see the same diseases.”
  • Pay attention to your body, how your feces look and how you feel after eating, exercising and sleeping. Palmer said modern diets can harm gut health, which causes other health issues.  
  • Leading a healthy lifestyle can improve leadership by building discipline, awareness, positivity and accountability, as well as teaching you to focus on yourself before you focus on others, according to Palmer.  

The next installment of the leadership series, “Leading Through a Hurricane: Leadership in Tough Times” will be instructed by Assistant Director of Greek Life Christopher Miofsky and Associate Director of Student Involvement Nikki Cornwell on Feb 6.  

This is the second story in a series covering the leadership sessions offered on campus. Check back each week for updates.