Physical Wellness

Student smiling in foreground with other students climbing monkey bar course

Physical Wellness

Physical wellness involves caring for our body, including our sleep, exercise, nutrition, immunity, and substance use. On this page, we have put together resources for how you can balance your physical well-being! Please note, no content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Immunity and Health

Coming to college offers students an opportunity for agency to make decisions for their healthcare in ways they may or may not have considered before...but you are not alone! The Office of Student Wellness and Health Services are here to help you stay well at Wellesley!


Caring for Your Mind and Body

How are you taking care of yourself?

We know that it can be hard to prioritize taking care of yourself in the midst of midterms, P-sets, deadlines and a host of other obligations that can pile up and create stress.

Did you know that without having strategies in place to manage your stress, your immune system weakens, increasing your susceptibility to getting sick and taking longer to recover?

Learn more tips about caring for your mind and body for a more well you!




LGBTQ+ Inclusive Healthcare

Resources for Inclusive Healthcare
  • Tapestry Health: Provides affordable, LGBTQ+-friendly healthcare, such as free breast and cervical cancer screenings, free and anonymous HIV testing, and a needle exchange program.
  • Fenway Health: LGBTQ+ health care, research, and advocacy organization based in Boston, MA providing comprehensive and inclusive healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community, those with HIV/AIDS, and the greater community since 1971
  • Framingham GLASS Drop-In Center for LGBTQ Youth of Color: Framingham GLASS offers a safe community space for LGBTQ youth of color and their allies ages 13-25. The center provides activities, games, movies, and hang-out space along with free food,toiletries, and safer sex supplies like condoms. Drop-in hours are 4-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, the program offers one-on-one support, STI/STD testing, treatment, PrEP, and other services between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For people over the age of 25, they may receive individual prevention, counseling and testing services on a one-to-one basis. Contact LB Moore at for more information.
  • Planned Parenthood believes everyone deserves high-quality, compassionate healthcare that’s appropriate for your needs and concerns — no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. Our health centers provide education, support, and sexual and reproductive health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex patients.
  • Plume is $99 per month and provides everything you need to start, continue, and maintain your gender-affirming hormone treatment. We know everyone has different goals for their transition, and we are here to help you navigate your journey.
  • Transhealth Northampton is here to support trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals with care from a compassionate team. We are here to support your health in whatever way you need. We offer in-person and telehealth visits and are hoping to open in-person, virtual, and hybrid community services soon!
Sexual Health
Inclusive sexual health education means including representation of all identities, bodies, and individuals. Please see below for resources for LGBTQ+ sexual health:


Eating Disorders

FEDUP is a collective of trans+, intersex, and gender diverse people who believe eating disorders in marginalized communities are social justice issues. Its mission is to make visible, interrupt, and undermine the disproportionately high incidence of eating disorders in trans and gender diverse individuals through radical community healing, recovery institution reform, research, empowerment, and education.

FEDUP Collective offers several support groups including closed support groups for Gender-Diverse Folx and QTBIPOC with Eating Disorders Trans+ and intersex monthly support groups. Click here for more information and a list of all support groups.

Check out FEDUPs resource page for information on how eating disorders impact Queer and Trans people and much, much more!



Food and nutrition are central parts of our wellbeing - whether by fueling our mind and bodies, creating time for connection with others over a meal, for religious and cultural observations, and many more reasons! If you're looking for support around these topics, please explore the resources below or email us for further information.


Navigating the Dining Halls

Do you have questions or concerns about food availability, labeling, or allergens? 

Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics (PERA)

Moving your body in joyful ways can help you to stay active, build a relationship with your physical self, and strengthen your mind-body connection. Are you looking to learn new sports or meet friends on-campus through recreation? Want to improve your strength or flexibility? Are you looking for an outlet to burn off stress and improve your focus? Then be sure to check out these wellness resources and those below from Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics (PERA)!


Physical Education

Wellesley Physical Education engages students through instructional classes in diverse physical activities to develop skills and knowledge on the importance of regular physical activity that leads to a healthy lifestyle.

Students must earn eight physical education credits to fulfill the College's graduation requirement. These credits do not count as academic units toward the degree, but are required for graduation. Students may earn PE credits for:


Wellesley Recreation promotes leadership, a healthy balanced lifestyle, and social interaction through structured and informal activities. Diverse programming meets the evolving wellness needs of the College community with a focus on developing a lifelong relationship with physical activity. 

  • Keohane Sports Center (KSC)
    • Fitness Center
    • Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse 
    • Varsity weight room 
    • Spin studio
    • Chandler pool
    • Indoor climbing wall
    • Squash courts
    • Dance studios
    • Multipurpose gym
    • Fields complex
    • Butler boathouse
    • and Nehoiden golf course
  • Group Fitness Classes
    • Group exercise classes are a great way to stay connected, relieve stress, tone muscles, and provide a renewed sense of well-being.
  • Fitness Trails
    • There are fitness trails located across campus, both indoors and out. We encourage people of all fitness levels to use trails around campus as we all work towards a more balanced lifestyle, while also enjoying the beauty of our campus.

  • Recreation Saturdays

Wellesley College offers a variety of student-organized club sports that compete with other teams in the region.

  • Archery
  • Equestrian
  • Nordic ski team
  • Rugby
  • Sailing 
  • Squash
  • Ultimate frisbee
  • Water polo

Wellesley College is also a NCAA Division III member with 13 varsity sports teams:

Sexual Health and Violence Prevention

Taking care of your personal health also includes sexual health, such as safer sex options, STI prevention, preventative care and services, healthy communication with partner(s), and feeling empowered to make safe and informed decisions. 


General Sexual Health

Be sure to check out "The Sex Talk You Never Had" by the Wellesley College Sexual Health Educators!

Are you looking to learn more? See below for some great resources:

LGBTQ+ Sexual Health

Inclusive sexual health education means including representation of all identities, bodies, and individuals. Please see below for resources for LGBTQ+ sexual health:

Contraception + Birth Control

Are you looking to find the right option for you/your partner(s)? Below are resources to help you navigate, and as always consult your physician or Health Services for additional questions.


Health Services provided by Newton-Wellesley Collegiate Health offers a variety of services, including gynecologic services, including birth control counseling/discussion and STI testing, counseling, and treatment.

For additional sexual health services and/or STI testing:

Sexual Assault + Intimate Partner Violence Prevention

If you are looking for resources for yourself or a loved one, please see below. Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking are prohibited and will not be tolerated by Wellesley. Wellesley is committed to providing a safe environment in which all students can thrive as they pursue their educational goals.


If you're having trouble getting sufficient sleep after making adjustments to your routine, reach out to us in Student Wellness to discuss how we can help support your sleep!


Did You Know?

Did you know that average college-aged students need 7-9 continuous hours of sleep each night for optimal health and academic and academic performance? Busy schedules and residential living can make achieving this ideal challenging, but there are many things you can do to sleep smart!

Remember: Pulling all nighters, or not getting enough sleep regularly, takes a toll on academic performance. If you want A's, be sure to get your Zzz's! Read the information and tips below to learn more about how you can improve your sleep routines!

Sleep Information + Tips

It is common to experience difficulty acheiving restful sleep, quieting a racing mind, or unwinding from the day. However, rest is one of the key ways to boost our immunity, improve cognitive function & memory, recharge our mental health, and ground ourselves. Please see the resources below to help you achieve more restful sleep:

Meditations + Music for Sleep

Sometimes it can be difficult to quiet our minds when it is time to rest. Tools like calming music or meditations can be helpful aids in acheiving restful sleep.

FREE! Sleep App "RISE"

Are you looking for a tool to help improve your sleep and feel more rested? Check out this new app available free to Wellesley students for FOUR years

From the RISE website:

RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential. 80% of RISE users feel the benefits of improved productivity, performance, and wellbeing within just 5 days!

Did you know? The amount of sleep you get predicts your school performance, your mood, your physical health, and so much else. RISE helps you get more of it, starting tonight.

RISE is built around the two principles that sleep researchers agree affect how we feel and perform: sleep debt and circadian rhythm.

  • Sleep debt: RISE tracks how much sleep you owe your body and helps you pay it back through small changes in your day-to-day routine.
  • Circadian rhythm: RISE not only predicts your daily energy schedule, it helps you take control of it to best prepare for the day and week ahead!


Download the RISE app and enjoy free access for four years!

Substance Use Safety

The College encourages students to engage in thoughtful decision-making and responsible behavior with respect to substance use. A range of educational programs and services are available to help students negotiate choices that promote harm reducation.

For students that choose to use, check out these substance safety tips to practice harm reduction.



For families: Wondering how to talk with your student about making safer choices? Check out the Talking with College Students About Alcohol handbook from Emory University.

For students: If you choose to drink, we have put together a resource sheet with information and harm reduction strategies.

Here are some additional essential things to know:

  • Alcohol is absorbed through the small intestine into the bloodstream
    • Reaches brain in approximately 5 minutes
    • Metabolized by the liver (1 serving of alcohol per hour)
    • Cognitive effects accumulate when liver can't keep up
    • Food and dilution provide a buffer
  • Harm reduction trifecta
    • ​Measure
      • The only way to be certain that what you are drinking is a standard drink is to actually measure it, this will also help you pace yourself.
      • Standard drinks are based on alcohol percentages:
        • 12 ounces - standard can of beer or hard seltzer, 5% alcohol
        • 5 ounces - standard glass of table wine, 12% alcohol
        • 1.5 ounces - standard shot of liquor (i.e. tequila, vodka, whiskey, gin), 40% alcohol
    • Pace
      • Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, knowing your BAC can help you make lower risk decisions

      • We want to aim for the "green zone", where you really only need 1-2 drinks to do so, going higher puts you at increased risk.

        • There is a point while drinking when the buzz will not get better with more alcohol, this is referred to as "diminishing returns."

        • In fact, drinking more alcohol at this point can lead to more negative feelings like fatigue, impaired speech and judgement. If you choose to drink, aim to stay below .08 BAC for a safe, relaxed buzz effect.

      • Note: the legal limit for individuals 21+ years of age in Massachusetts is .08

    • Know your limit

      • ​​Plan and prepare so that you stop when you've reached your limit, and respects others' limits, as well
      • If taking any medication, make sure it’s safe first
      • If feeling any strong emotions, go slow!
      • Eat before drinking
      • Pace and track number of drinks
      • Pour and hold your own drink
      • Avoid shots and drinking games
      • Check in with yourself
      • Stick together - especially if off-campus
    • For athletes: please see NCSA and NCAA for further details
  • Wellesley's Alcohol & Other Drug Policy

Harm reduction refers to a range of skills, strategies, and public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with substance use. Below is information about cannabis use to help you make informed decisions that balance health and safety:

  • Note:
    • Cannabis in any form is not allowed on campus
    • You must be 21 years or older to use cannabis products in Massachusetts
  • Should you choose to use cannabis:
    • Plan to stay in a safe place until the impairing effects wear off
    • Avoid using cannabis before activities that require intact cognitive functioning
      • Such as driving, homework, exams, classes, etc.
    • Don’t mix cannabis with other drugs, including alcohol, which can intensify negative effects
    • Know your source and dosage
  • Should you choose to use edibles:
    • Overdoses are more likely to happen when using edibles
      • They can take time to feel the effects, so people may often overestimate the dosage
      • Start low and go slow
    • Always follow serving sizes, if you don't know the serving size, take less
    • Wait at least two hours before taking more, edibles have delayed effects
    • Plan to stay in a safe place until the impairing effects wear off
  • Understanding terminology
    • THC and CBD
      • THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants, responsible for the "high"
      • CBD is non-impairing or non-euphoric, can provide physical benefits such as reducing pain or nausea
    • Strains
      • Indica: higher CBD, but THC content isn't necessarily less; full-body, deep relaxation, drowsiness
      • Sativa: often higher THC and lower CBD; head high, stimulating, energizing
      • Hybrid: hybrid of both THC and CBD; effects are dependent on the strain
    • Chemovars (chemical varieties)
      • Type I: high THC
      • Type II: THC/CBD combined
      • Type III: high CBD
Prescription Drug Use, Stimulants, Depressants

Medication can be part of someone's treatment plan, so how do we stay safe?

  • Safety is why they are not available over the counter
  • Take only as prescribed
  • Ask provider if it is safe to take with alcohol or other substances
  • Do not share with others; they may metabolize and/or react to medication differently than you!

Mixing substances

  • Alcohol and stimulants
    • Combining with alcohol increases occurences of alcohol poisoning
      • Stimulants can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, causing people to underestimate how drunk they are, and continue to drink risking poisoningSome examples of stimulants include:
      • Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, meth, ecstasy, cocaine, coffee, energy drinks
    • Other potential risks include:
      • Racing heart rate, elevated blood pressure, respiratory depression
  • Alcohol, Opioids, and Depressants
    • Stacking multiple central nervous system (CNS) depressants is extremely dangerous
      • Some examples include:
        • Anti-anxiety and sleeping pills (Xanax, Ativan, Valium)
        • Opioid painkillers (oxycontin, Tylenol 3 with codeine, Percocet)
      • Combining with alcohol slows the central nervous system, affecting:
        • Breathing and heart rate
        • Motor skills and coordination
        • Can be fatal!


Vaping, Tobacco + Cigarettes

Did you know that 77% of Wellesley College students have never smoked cigarettes? And only 3.5% of Wellesley College students reported smoking cigarettes on 3 or more days in the last month. Many of those who do smoke would like to reduce the amount they smoke or quit entirely.   

e-Cigarettes and Vaping

e-Cigarettes are battery operated devices designed to look like actual cigarettes, but rather than burning their contents, they heat up liquid to release nicotine and other chemical vapors.  The contents of the liquid may vary widely in terms of the amount of nicotine and other additives included.  Although e-Cigarettes may not deliver the same toxins as cigarettes to the user, they are still a carcinogen delivery device.  Early research shows that e-Cigarettes may be useful in helping existing users quit tobacco use, but that in young people, they may be serving the exact opposite function and facilitating initiation of tobacco use.


Online Resources for Help with Quitting

Alcohol + Other Drug Policy

Wellesley College is committed to providing an environment of well-being, learning, and accountability for its members, and established its Alcohol & Other Drug Policy with the priorities embodied in the logo created by Ashley Longseth ‘13 for the College's alcohol and other drug education programs: Educate, Moderate, Communicate Concern.

The Alcohol & Other Drug Policy establishes the following Community Standard regarding alcohol:  Students are expected to comply with governing law and College policies; respect this community by minimizing the impact of drinking upon others; care for their own health and well-being; and seek assistance for themselves of someone else who needs support or medical attention. Please read the entire policy here. The College complies with federal law which prohibits marijuana use.