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Wellness revolution underway at Spelman College

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ATLANTA -

A wellness revolution is underway on a local college campus.
 
Last year, Spelman College made national headlines when it announced that the school would drop its sports program this fall.  The goal: a healthy lifestyle for all students.

It's now a different world for Spelman College senior Carissa Steinmann.  The one-time volleyball star is one of the 98 percent of student-athletes that returned to a new look campus this fall

"At first, honestly I didn't know where I stood. I felt like, 'Spelman is getting rid of sports, you are getting rid of me, my leadership skills,'" said Steinmann.

Steinmann has gone from captain of the Spelman College Jaguar volleyball team to just another student.

There are no more intercollegiate sports on the court, just fitness classes and intra-murals.

"The more you get involved in the wellness program, you start to realize you get more educated about the health disparities of African-American women," said Steinmann. "You start to take in what you are eating. My diet has changed since I learned about this wellness program."

Athletic Director-turned-Physical Education Wellness Director Germain McAulley said that that's the point. According to the CDC, African-American women are more than twice as likely as white women to develop type 2 diabetes; about one in four black women older than 55 has diabetes.

"It is important that when they leave here, and while they are matriculating here, that they take on those processes of behavioral changes with themselves and then use all the resources that we have," McAulley said.

Resources such as a dozen new wellness classes, dietitians, and Healthy U – an online program that all incoming freshman, like Kafi Humphrey, are required to join.

"It's very useful because mainly for the food log. I like it for because it helps you keep track of your calories so you don't overdo it. Or if you're trying to change your body, it will help you do that  and tell you how many calories you should or not take in," said Humphrey.

Humphrey admits to being concerned about her weight,

"I want a fit, firm, thick-type body," Humphrey said.

But she believes this wellness initiative will teach the fitness novices  how to get healthy the right way.

"When you look better, you feel better," Humphrey said.

Spelman College is still trying raise money to build a new gymnasium. The school wants it to be a wellness center all of the student can use.

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