Exercise in the Winter

by Scarlett Underwood

Getting your daily workout in the winter can become a struggle for many and you aren’t alone.  Luckily, there are things you can do to help make it a little easier.  Whether you work out indoors and you can’t shake the fact that the sun doesn’t rise until later in the morning, or you love to workout outside and you can’t bear the cold.

For those that enjoy the early morning workouts, and find it difficult to wake up while there isn’t a bit of light outside, here are a few tips:

  • Go to bed earlier: slowly move your bedtime back 15 minutes earlier each night until you are able to wake up with ease in the morning
  • Set an alarm on your phone so you know when to be in bed
  • Turn TV, computer, or cell phones off an hour before bed to help the brain wind down

If you enjoy outdoor workouts and can’t find the perfect way to handle the cold weather, there are a few ways to combat that as well:

  • Warm up inside with jumping jacks, running in place etc. for 10-15 minutes before going outside
  • Dress in layers that are easy to pull off as your body temperature rises

Additional ways to create consistency throughout the winter weather is to have a workout buddy.  Having someone who will create accountability with you sets you both up for success.  Plan what time you will get your daily cardio, or pump in, and stick to it.  Put your workout clothes on, and head straight to the gym.  Once you are there, you have come too far to turn around and skip your sweat session.

Scarlett Underwood Contactscarlettunderwood

Scarlett joined UTC Campus Recreation as the Coordinator of Fitness in July.  She loves working out and teaching group fitness classes in her spare time, especially Les Mills BODYPUMP.  In her free time, she is an animal lover and enjoys getting out to explore Chattanooga and all of its surroundings

Supporting your spouse with dementia starts with caring for yourself!

By Karen Rose

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2016 Facts & Figures, every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. develops this disease. The hidden heroes are the family members who support their loved ones with dementia in maintaining their independence and dignity, too often at the expense of their own health.  Below, I offer my insights for supporting a spouse with dementia—although these tips apply to supporting anyone with dementia.

  • Take care of yourself! Supporting a loved one with dementia is a hard job.  Family caregivers are known to forego their own health needs as manifested by skipping medical check-ups and failing to maintain routine self-care activities.  This likely plays a role in poor health outcomes for many family caregivers.  Make and keep the appointments you need with your healthcare provider to maintain your own health.
  • Stay connected with your social networks. Your loved one with dementia is a person who benefits from being around others to maintain their own dignity and self-worth. It may be that your loved one no longer enjoys being in big, noisy crowds—but, that doesn’t mean that smaller, more intimate social activities surrounded by loving family and friends need to be relinquished.  You need to stay connected with your friends and your loved one does, too.
  • Stay active! Regular physical exercise is good for you and for your loved one with dementia. Being outdoors, weather permitting, can have a calming effect for your loved one as the sights and sounds of nature are known to be soothing. And, there are health benefits from regular aerobic and strength-training exercises for persons with dementia, so it’s a good thing to do for everyone.
  • Get adequate rest and sleep. You cannot support your loved one if you are operating from a glass that is “half full.”  Maintaining adequate rest and sleep help support your ability to be at the top of your game.  Avoid too much caffeine and strive to maintain a regular schedule for when you go to bed and when you rise in the morning.  A routine for you and your loved one with dementia helps everyone feel well rested.
  • Ask for help. Family and friends want to help support family caregivers and aren’t always sure how to do so. Make specific requests for assistance, like picking up a prescription or going grocery shopping, as you will find that people are eager to help.  People want to help—it makes them feel good and it helps you to continue to provide support for your loved one.
  • Reexamine holiday traditions. Are you able to pare back some of the activities of your holiday traditions while still maintaining what’s important to you and your family? You may notice that your loved one with dementia becomes anxious or seems agitated when many people are around, even if the people are family members. In this case, reexamining family traditions and reframing these in ways that will not overwhelm your loved one may allow you to continue to honor family traditions in a different way.
  • Plan for the future. Now may be a good time to have meaningful conversations with your loved one with dementia and your family so that you can make plans for your future.  Working with your attorney and financial advisor will provide you with comfort in knowing your wishes for the future are carried out in the ways in which you and your loved ones want them to be.

In short, taking care of yourself is the best way to support your loved one with dementia.  There are many community resources that are available to support family caregivers and persons with dementia.  A great place to start is by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging.  Additional resources are available through the Alzheimer’s Association and through the Family Caregiver Alliance.





rose_karenKaren Rose Contact
UT Knoxville

Karen Rose is the McMahan-McKinley Professor of Gerontology in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in gerontological nursing. Dr. Rose’s program of research is focused on supporting family caregivers for persons with dementia and in addressing and ameliorating neuropsychiatric behaviors in dementia. Karen enjoys traveling, hiking, doing almost anything outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends.

Why I Schedule Time for Family Activities

By Sabrina Soltau

Why I Schedule Time for Family Activities:
“Because I value time with my family and try to make them a priority every weekend.”

My motivation:
“It’s all too easy to get caught up in work-related issues and emergencies during your off time. I work very hard while I am at work to ensure I don’t need to take work home with me.”

My wellness goal:
“Since we will be adding to our family in August, my immediate goal will be to carve out some time for myself while successfully juggling a baby, toddler, family commitments and my job. Please wish me luck!”

Sabrina Soltau  Contact
UT System Administration
Interim Director of Contract Administration, Office of the Treasurer

Why I Only Have One Coke Per Week

By Sue Denning

Why I Only Have One Coke a Week:
Because I feel a lot better when I drink water or unsweet tea.

My Motivation:
I became more aware of studies about sugar and sweeteners and realized I just didn’t feel very good after drinking soda.

My Wellness Goal:
I try to watch what I eat, walk, chose lean proteins that give me energy, keep an eye on sodium and balance indulgences with healthier options.

Sue Denning  Contact
UT Foundation
Alumni Assistant

6 Apps to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle

By Erica Jenkins, PR Associate, Office of Communications and Marketing, UT System Administration

Maximize your smartphone’s capacity by using the six apps below to help jumpstart your healthy lifestyle or take it to the next level.


MyFitnessPalMy Fitness Pal app icon
This free app will help you track calories and set intake goals to reach your goal weight with its extensive database of recipes and restaurant items. Invite friends to join the app, and they can connect and encourage you to stay motivated.


SWorkItSWorkit app icon
If you’re on the go and still want a great workout, this free app is for you. Set your time and desired intensity or focus area, and this app will instantly create a strength or cardio workout that you can do anywhere.


Yoga StudioYoga Studio app icon
Increase your flexibility, strength and focus with this yoga app. For $2.99, you can have a customized yoga class wherever you go. From 15-minute flexibility sessions to quick stretches and hour-long strength training, this app has it all.


iTriageiTriage app icon
Not feeling well? Don’t panic or ignore your symptoms. Use this free app, designed by physicians, to check your symptoms and take recommended actions. You also can use the app to create a safe place to store insurance, records and allergies and to manage medications or conditions.


MindBody CONNECTMind Body Connect app icon
Save yourself hours of Google searches, and use this app to find classes and wellness activities in your area. From massage to yoga and spin classes, this free app will direct you to the resources you need to find a community of people that enjoy similar activities.


LumosityLuminosity app icon
There are plenty of apps to keep your body strong and limber, but Lumosity is the free app that works your mind. Next time you reach to play a game on your phone, try the games on this app instead that are designed to increase your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

Erica Jenkins HeadshotErica Jenkins  Contact
UT System Administration

Erica joined the UT System Office of Communications and Marketing in 2011 and currently serves as public relations associate, specializing in measurement and analytics and managing communication planning for government relations and advocacy initiatives. When she’s not involved in community and campus organizations, Erica enjoys deep sea fishing with her family and working on music.