The Start of Something New...

Today marked the first day of Healthy Monday at Syracuse University in Florence!

For the past couple of weeks I have been working hard to bring the Healthy Monday program to Florence. This program is a national initiative that aims to promote healthy habits by offering a variety of events every Monday encouraging others to start their week off on a healthy note. Syracuse University is an avid supporter of this program in the states and I often participate in their events at school. After only a few days in Florence, I felt an absence of health programs at my school so I took the initiative to write a proposal, send it in to the SUF administration, and make moves to bring Healthy Mondays to Florence.

I was overjoyed when my proposal was accepted with excitement from the faculty! Ever since then I have been working with the assistant director, volunteer coordinator and head of the student life office to get the logistics of the program together and be ready for our official launch today, February 6. I must say I am very appreciative of the enthusiasm and support of the faculty as they have been working just as hard as I have to make this program a reality. We hope the Healthy Monday program will not be a temporary endeavor while I am here to manage it, but rather stay at SUF for the long term. It all is very exciting!

Although Healthy Mondays at Syracuse encompass a vast variety of programs, since our campus in Florence is small I chose to bring three main facets of the program to Florence. Every Monday the program will furnish free fruit for students, a nutritional newsletter, and a free exercise class. Today, after sending out the nutritional newsletter to the student body via e-mail, I sat in the limonaia (our cafĂ©) during lunch hour, encouraged people to take a healthy snack and answered questions regarding the new program. Everyone seemed to enjoy it! (But then again who’s going to pass up anything free)

Later in the afternoon, I headed down to Universo Sport to purchase a yoga mat in preparation for the free exercise class that evening – a Pilates class taught by me! Finding a willing volunteer exercise instructor with short notice deemed difficult so I stepped up and prepared a class. I am not a certified Pilates instructor (although I aspire to be one soon!), but I have taken many Pilates classes in the past. I put together a class based on small muscle toning movements performed continuously in one minute increments – a unique form of Pilates. Although I was extremely nervous, not knowing how the students would respond I think overall it went very well. I loved being the teacher! We had a turn out of 12 people, including one faculty member, and everyone seemed grateful for the new program. We are hoping to have a variety of different exercise classes in the future, changing each week so I encouraged them that if they didn’t like this class, not to be discouraged from coming back.

All in all, Healthy Monday day one was a success!

If you have any questions about my new program please leave me a comment, as I am happy to offer additional information. If your are interested in learning more about the Healthy Monday program at Syracuse University please visit their website


  1. What a fantastic program! Congratulations. I'm glad it went well and I'll remember to eat an extra piece of fruit on Monday in solidarity with your Florence effort.

  2. Linda Kenney2/14/12, 10:19 AM

    Oh Ellen! What a wonderful concept! I'm sure it took lots planning and energy to put together and I'm glad for you that it has been a success so far. I'm enjoying your posts (and your yummy food photos!) and am delighted you seem to be having such a great experience.

    1. Yes I too am glad the program has gotten off to a smooth start and that it has been well accepted by both students and faculty. So excited you have been enjoying the blog!

  3. Miss Ellen. What can I say? WOW.

    Congratulations on bringing this program to life! I feel very proud of you.

    Loving you lots and lots...