Monday, September 30, 2013
In college, students are continuously meeting new people and engaging in relationships. Most college students at some point experience a breakup and it can be emotionally devastating. Dealing with a breakup can be very stressful and harmful for your mental health. The most important thing to avoid in the coping process is letting your emotions affect your wellbeing and having your academics suffer. Don’t let a breakup get in the way of a happy and healthy life! There are many ways of dealing with a breakup and here are some health promoting coping mechanisms:
Positive thinking is key in maintaining good mental health. Remind yourself that many others have dealt with this and many more after you will. Think about what makes you happy and about all the things that have a positive influence in your life.
Engage in activities that help distract you. Exercise, be outdoors, maybe even volunteer! A great thing you can do to keep your mind off of the negative emotions associated with a breakup is to pick up a new hobby like reading or hiking, or maybe restart an old hobby that you once enjoyed.
Surround yourself with positive relationships. Remember that you have friends and family that love you. These people will be your support system throughout this obstacle. Fill your schedule with activities that you can do with people who make you happy.
Seek professional guidance. Seeing a counselor or a therapist will guide you in the coping process and will offer an outside support that can really help. UNH has great resources here on campus, like the Counseling Center and Health Services for students, check it out!
Avoid contact with the person that you are ending the relationship with. Immediately following a breakup, maintaining distance from that person with prevent a relapse in healthy progress and will make moving on and starting over easier. It is possible that in the future you can be friends, but for coping purposes, stay away!
Finally, remember that recovering from a heartbreak is never easy and it can take quite some time to fully heal. There is no perfect way of coping with emotional stress, so find what works best for you!
Friday, September 27, 2013
David Castillo Dominici
Health costs is a significant problem in today’s economy. It is very important for college students to be aware of health care costs even if they are not yet accountable for their own health care yet. Because health care costs is not an easy problem to fix, it is our responsibility to limit our own costs. One way that we as college students can lower our personal costs right now and for the future is to protect our backs! A study conducted by the Sheps Center for Health Services Research found that about 80% of our population is affected by lower back pain and another study by the Oregon Health and Science University found that back pain is the fifth common reason for physician visits in the U.S. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that Americans spend about $50 billion dollars each year on back pain treatment. Physician visits, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and MRI’s are just some of the things that contribute to the costs. The majority of health care expenditure associated with back pain is medication, both prescription and non prescription The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study in 2008 to compare yearly health costs between those who experienced chronic back pain and those who did not. They found that in 2005, people with spine problems spent $6096 in medical expenditures, while people who did not experience spine problems spent $3516 in the same year. That’s a huge difference!
So why should we care? Back pain affects the majority of America’s population and preventing this kind of ailment could potentially cut our annual health care costs in half! There are several ways to prevent back pain and they can all be worked into your lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight and activity level are crucial to maintaining back health. Stretching daily and wearing proper footwear with low heels and proper arch support are also great ways to prevent back pain. Finally, remembering to maintain proper poster, especially while sitting for prolonged amounts of time and properly lifting heavy objects, (lift with your knees!) are ways to prevent lower back pain. Following these guidelines could potentially help you in lowering personal health costs and will also improve your overall quality of life. Your back is very important for our daily health, so please, be kind to it!
For detailed tips on how to prevent back pain, click this link!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
This past summer, I volunteered for a week at a summer camp for children with diabetes.The American Diabetes Association’s, Camp Carefree was geared toward bringing children with diabetes together and providing them with support from all over the country. The kids amazed me every single day with their knowledge and bravery. I knew nothing about how hard their daily lives were; I only knew what I had learned in classes at UNH. I watched these children inject themselves with insulin every day before meals and observed insulin pump changes for 8 year old boys while hugging one of them when he was crying because he was so afraid of the needle.
Diabetes is diagnosed when a person has too much glucose in their blood.Most of these children had Type 1 diabetes, which is known as juvenile diabetes because it is usually diagnosed during childhood.This occurs when the body fails to produce insulin.
Type 2 however, is when your body does not use insulin correctly and it develops insulin resistance. Insulin is used by your body to absorb and transport glucose and use it for energy. Type two diabetes is also known as adult onset diabetes, but is becoming more and more prevalent in younger people. What could be the reason for this?
Inactivity and obesity rates are rising and the correlation between these and diabetes diagnoses is no coincidence.The good new is, type 2 is preventable!The Harvard School of Public Health provides us with prevention tips:
1.Put Exercise First – stay active for at least 30-60 minutes/day!Go for a run, walk, throw a frisbee, and anything that will get you moving.Exercising can greatly reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
2.Maintain a healthy body weight- Again, staying active can help you achieve this!Provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs, but choose to use proper portion sizes at meals!Try the Wildcat Plate in the Dining Halls at UNH as reference!
3.Incorporate healthy fats- choose mono and polyunsaturated fats at meals!Foods that contain these are avocados, and almonds!
4.Choose plant-based foods- Make half of your grains, whole grains!
5.Stay away from refined carbohydrates and sugary beverages- refined carbohydrates and drinks like soda, can cause spikes in blood sugar, which in time can lead to diabetes.
Prevention of Diabetes can help you avoid other serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage.If you keep yourself at a healthy weight, incorporate a healthy diet, and exercise, you can help not only yourself but also others by becoming a positive influence.Help us make a change to end type 2 diabetes!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Allowing your body to rest and get a good night's sleep is vital to your mental and physical health.Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep per night.If you are having difficulties getting a good night's sleep, Help Guide has numerous tips on how to sleep better so you can wake up feeling your best. Below are just a few of the many tips.
1.Regulate your sleeping cycle.
It is important to keep your body on the same sleeping cycle.This means waking up and going to bed around the same time each day, even on the weekends.This will help you sleep better because your body will already know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up.Try not to take a nap too late in the day, as it will make it harder to fall asleep later.
2.Induce natural melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone in your body which helps regulate your sleep cycle.It is induced by light exposure.This means laying in bed on your phone, scrolling through Facebook or checking Instagram, is not going to help you fall asleep.Turn off bright lights and electronics before going to bed and try reading a book to relax instead.
Many of us may find falling asleep difficult when we cannot seem to stop thinking or worrying.Try to focus instead on relaxing with a breathing technique.If you still cannot stop your thoughts, try jotting them down on paper by your bed.This way, you know you will not forget them and you can review them in the morning.
To learn all of the tips for getting a better night's sleep, check out the Help Guide's website.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Physical activity is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle.Physical activity reduces cardiovascular disease risk, helps in maintaining a healthy weight, helps keep blood pressure and blood lipid profiles in a healthy range, and also helps reduce risk for other diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The World Health Organization recommends that all adults between the ages of 18 and 64 participate in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. That means about 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week of activity that keeps your heart rate elevated.
For some people this can be a very challenging task!Do you ever have a hard time getting yourself motivated enough to do a workout?Or do you avoid the gym for fear of not knowing what to do?An easy solution to these types of concerns is walking!You don’t have to do sprints or run 6 miles to get a good work out in, believe it or not walking can be very beneficial for your health.Walking at a moderately fast pace gets your heart rate up and your muscles working Walking is a great form of exercise because you can do it anywhere, its low impact, and it leaves little room for excuses.This form of exercise can be done by people of all ages and requires no equipment!Another great benefit of walking is that you don’t have to have a gym membership, you could go for a brisk walk around the UNH campus with a friend for 30 minutes a day and that counts as a workout! At the gym, you could walk around the indoor track or on the treadmill; and if you’re looking for an extra challenge, bump up the incline level! Other great activities would be to go for a nature walk or hike a mountain. Walking is a fool proof way of ensuring that you get your 30 minutes of daily exercise in, even with the busiest schedule.So go ahead and get walking!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Whether you were a track star in high school or just like to jog from time to time, road races are a great way to get physically active while also supporting a good cause. Road races almost always include a wide variety of people, young and old, with faster and slower paces. Even if running is not your favorite activity, most road races also include walkers. Being in a large group of people makes a timed course much less intimidating. The energy of a road race is always so much fun. Everyone is excited and happy to be part of a great event. There is also usually food, drinks, and an award ceremony at the end. If you register early, some races will even offer a free event t-shirt.
Running In the USA is a great website with a full listing of upcoming road races around New Hampshire. Most of the listings have a link to the race's page where you can learn more about the cause, registration fee, and running course. Find a cause that you are interested in such as breast cancer or autism. Knowing that you are making a difference is great motivation to the finish line.
Road race distances can range from just a few miles to a full marathon. If you are a beginner, start with a shorter distance and slowly work your way up. It is fun to see if you can beat your last time or go a little bit farther in distance. Do not forget to save your running bibs to show off all your hard work! Running with friends and family make a road race even more fun, so try to get as much people as you can involved. Chances are they will be glad you asked, after all, who does not love free food and a t-shirt? At the end of the race, you will walk away not only feeling great physically, but you will also have a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
Monday, September 16, 2013
The Buddhist practice of Reiki is coming to UNH Health Services this October 8th! Free classes will be available to students and employees once a month, starting in October and concluding in April. No registration is required! The spiritual practice of Reiki is used to promote stress relief by using life force energy.
Reiki treats people’s minds, bodies, spirits and emotions by radiating energy within. The practice revolves around the idea that if one’s life force energy is low, a person is more likely to become ill, and if their life force energy is high, a person is more likely to be healthy and have a better overall well-being. Reiki is a safe practice and works hand in hand with treatments for various illnesses. A Reiki practitioner will lay their hands on a patient in various spots on the body called the chakras to promote energy healing and spiritual balance. In order for Reiki to work, a patient must be fully involved in their healing process. Visit Health Services for your free Reiki session!
Friday, September 13, 2013
In a workout rut? Looking to meet new people? Want a fun way to stay in shape?
Look no further then our own UNH Hamel Recreation Center! Every student’s activity fee, which is included in tuition costs, covers many of fitness classes offered at the Hamel Recreation Center! Classes are offered every day of the week at a wide variety of times to encourage students to participate. Classes range from belly dancing to strength training, bootcamp to yoga! All of the trainers are certified, and some are even fellow UNH students. Class descriptions are all available online, classes are usually an hour long, and classes range from beginner levels to advanced.
One class offered is called “TRX” (total body resistance exercise), which challenges your core and balance, by using straps mounted to a bar and your body weight. Another class is called “Punkrope” which involves jump-roping drills, while listening to Punk music.
There is a different workout class for everyone. So grab some friends and try out a class today!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
It is almost that time of year again. As the summer wraps up and the air starts to chill, it is important to keep in mind what is right around the corner, the flu season. While you may feel queasy with just the thought, now is the time to start thinking about getting this year's flu vaccine. Protecting yourself against the virus now, will help lower your health costs in the future. And by health costs, I do not mean just paying to see a doctor if you do catch the flu. The cost of the flu goes beyond just the monetary value.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), every year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu, including an average of 20,000 children younger than 5 years of age. By getting vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself but also young children who are more susceptible to the flu. Among the healthy adults, vaccines are about 70-90% effective for reducing the influenza infection rate. On a personal level, you are also saving yourself a lot of time and hassle with getting the vaccine. Imagine being out of work or not being able to go classes, if you came down with the flu. It would most likely hurt your paycheck and grades to be out sick for even a few days, never mind if you were to be hospitalized.
From an economic standpoint, The World Health Organization estimates that the flu virus costs the United States between $71-167 billion each year. This is from hospital admissions, other health care provider costs, and lost productivity in the work force. By getting vaccinated, you can help cut these costs with less hospital visits for yourself and also the others you may have protected by getting vaccinated. To learn more about the virus, vaccine, and the costs associated, check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization's websites.
Monday, September 9, 2013
The transition from high school to college is a big step for many teens. Moving into a dorm room, eating in dining halls, hugging your parents’ goodbye, and leaving childhood friends, can be extremely overwhelming for a college freshman. It is a time of change and for many it represents the beginning of adulthood. Many students, like myself, do not do well with change at all. The sudden change of environment and new responsibilities can cause students a great deal of stress and can make the transition difficult. College students are one of the highest populations of people with depression and anxiety. By taking the right steps and being proactive, college students can begin their college career in a positive way. Rutgers University Health Services provided a list of tips for freshman to maintain positive mental health.
I personally think that the most important tip on the list is to keep the communication lines open with family and friends. They are your number one fans, and will always root for you and be there for you no matter what. Family never fails. Also on the list, is to volunteer and get involved on campus. This is a great way to make new friends and avoid being lonely. Being involved on campus will keep you very busy; so much that you won’t have time to be sad or homesick.
Another tip is to make sure you know the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Normal sadness or homesickness will only last a few days and then pass. Depression is debilitating and is long-term. If you are not feeling happy or more at ease after the first few weeks of school, relax, and ask for help if you need it. Know that you can always reach out to the UNH Counseling Center or UNH Health Services to speak with a counselor. Do not be ashamed to ask for help, you may simply need someone to talk to! Other freshman or upperclassman may be going through something very similar. Every student experiences first year jitters; you are not alone! Check out the rest of the list for more mental health tips and others! Have a happy, healthy start to college!
- Key Resources
- Physical Activity
- Mental Wellness
- Health Care Consumerism
- Cost Variation
- Appropriate Emergency Room Use
- Avoid Duplicate Radiologic Testing
- Increase Generic Drug Use
- Use Independent Labs
- Healthcare Spending
- Establish a Medical Home
- Understanding Health Insurance
- Using the Health Education Benefit on Campus
- USNH Benefit Resources
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