Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Chances are, you’re probably reading this blog while sitting down. I’m also sure that you’ve heard one time or another, too many Americans don’t get enough physical activity and spend too much of their day sitting down. While this may be undoubtedly true, I bet you didn’t know that a large amount of time spent sitting each day is harmful even for those who do get the recommended amount of vigorous physical activity. A report from the Harvard School of Public Health states that not only does lack of inactivity increase ones chance for disease, but being a “couch potato” even when physically fit can change ones metabolism in ways that can promote obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
While it is impossible to be constantly moving and never have a chance to relax and sit down, try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and increase the amount of time you spend standing in ways other than going to the gym!
- While studying: every 30 minutes, take a 2-minute break by walking a lap around the library.
- While watching TV: Do some of these great TV Workouts during commercials!
- While attending UNH sporting events, ditch the bleacher seats and stand closer to the field or ice!
- Instead of texting your friend in another dorm or apartment a question, walk there and personally knock on their door!
- Make it a habit to stand while talking on the phone and every time you check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media.
Remember when making your daily or weekly exercise routine, make sure to not only include times for vigorous physical activity, but also try to decrease the amount of time you spend sitting!
Check out this article on the WebMD website for more tips on how to decrease your sitting time!
Monday, April 28, 2014
As college students, we are familiar with the hefty workload of classes, and the negative consequences of not keeping up with school work. Being unorganized and falling behind in class can lead to nervous breakdowns, feeling burnt-out, increased stress levels, and physical illness. With the amount of freedom and independence that being in college comes with, it could be easy for any student to let their grades slip. Here at UNH, there are a variety academic resources available on campus, and it is never too late to seek them out for help. The following are examples of academic resources available to UNH students on campus:
- Academic Mentors – These undergraduate students are trained to coach their peers on reaching their academic goals. They also assist in a “Study Skills Drop-in Clinic” where students can drop by and receive help with how to enhance study strategies and skills by a trained mentor. No appointment is necessary; simply drop by Smith Hall room 201 on Monday through Wednesday from 4-5:30pm.
- Math Assistance Center – Located in G33 (B tower basement of Christensen Hall), this center offers assistance by staff members for 300 and 400 level Math courses. The hours are Monday and Wednesday 1-9 PM, Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM–5 PM, Friday 1-5 PM, and Sunday 2-5 PM.
- Robert J. Connors Writing Center – Located in Room 329 in Dimond Library, this is a great resource to utilize for assistance on writing papers from brainstorming to the final draft.
- Society of Physics Students- Offered for spring 2014, this service provides help to students primarily for Physics 401, 402, 407 and 408. They are located on the third floor of DeMeritt and are available Mondays 4-5:30 PM, and Thursdays 12:30-2 PM.
There are many additional services offered to students who wish for help in succeeding academically. Allowing the stress of classwork and exams to build up is unhealthy can be avoided with good organization skills and seeking help. Check out these tips provided by the Center for Academic Resources on ideas and services that may best fit your needs.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Looking for a new spin on your current workout routine? Skip the gym next time and instead, take on the mountain! Hiking in beautiful New England not only gives you the opportunity to get a breath of fresh air and clear your mind, but hiking is also a powerful cardio and strength building exercise! While getting in a great cardio workout, strengthening your muscles and improving your balance, hiking can also decrease your risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis.
Hiking is a great choice for a workout for both beginners and experts because you can control the amount of strain and intensity you put on your body by choosing what trails you go on, and the speed at which you hike. Hiking is also easy to start and continue throughout your lifetime, and is even more enjoyable when you bring along friends and family.
Before you hike
- Make sure you’re physically able to and ready- try walking around your neighborhood including going up and down hills with your full hiking gear and 5+ pounds than you would normally bring to ensure you will be fully able to make the hike!
- Check out the American Hiking Society’s 10 essentials of hiking to make sure you’ve got everything and anything you may need on your trip!
Already an experienced hiker? Try these tips to intensify your hiking workout!
- Use poles to help build your upper body strength
- Choose the more challenging trails with steeping inclines and uneven terrain
- Add more weight to your backpack and gear
Visit the American Hiking Society’s website for more information on hiking, safety tips and resources to prepare for your trip!
Also, be sure to check out more information on all of the 600+ Mountains in New Hampshire including their trails, length, intensity level and resources to help you prepare for your trip!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, especially among young women.Iron is essential to making hemoglobin, a part of red blood cells that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout our body.When our bodies do not receive enough iron, it becomes iron deficient and our red blood cells can no longer properly carry oxygen.Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, pale skin, weakness, headache and dizziness.
Many people become iron deficient after becoming a vegetarian because the body absorbs more iron from animal sources than from plant sources.However, it is still possible to get enough iron in your diet from plant sources especially if you include Vitamin C, as it helps with absorption.Some of the best plant sources include beans, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, and whole grain and enriched breads.If you are not a vegetarian, the best animal sources for iron include lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and lean pork.
For better absorption, include Vitamin C sources with iron sources such as:
-fortified cereal with berries
-lean ground meat with tomato
- spinach with lemon juice
-beans in a salad with kale and bell peppers
-lean pork with pineapple
To avoid iron deficiency, make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and try some of the tips above.To learn more about iron deficiency, visit EatRight.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Excessive medical procedures can be hazardous to your health—and your wallet. Making medical decisions without even considering cost has contributed to skyrocketing health care spending and waste. What’s most astounding is that doctors often aren’t aware of the price of the procedures they recommend. For example, a $15.44 blood test is able to check a person’s electrolyte levels, blood sugar, kidney and liver function, but there is a considerably cheaper option available. A more basic metabolic test screens for virtually the same things for $12.36. Scientists conducted a study at John Hopkins Hospital to test whether informing doctors of the cost of tests would alter their decisions about the medical services. When they compared ordering rates to a six-month period a year earlier when no costs were displayed at all, the researchers found a nearly 9 percent reduction in tests when the cost was revealed as well as a 6 percent increase in tests when no price was given.
Although this may seem like a small difference, this resulted in a savings of $27,000 over the six month study period. It is critical that we use testing and medical technology sensibly and assess whether potential beneﬁts justify the costs. Simple comparison shopping between testing procedures can significantly limit your medical spending. There are several accessible websites, such as Maine HealthCost, which provide current information on medical services and lab tests along with their associated costs. There are plenty of opportunities where price comparisons could lead to more cost effective choices, and taking advantage of this information could still lead to substantial savings.
Friday, April 18, 2014
On Tuesday, April 22nd at 7pm a documentary film will be played in the MUB Theater 2 titled “The Anonymous People”. Health services, S.A.F.E Peer Education, and the UNH Department of Social Work sponsor this event.
“The Anonymous People” is a film about the 23 million Americans who are suffering and recovering from addition to alcohol and other drugs.It focuses on the problems of the current solutions, and evokes the audience to become involved in a new solution.This film highlights the negativity associated with addiction and how its keeping people away from seeking help.Many different people are featured in this film including celebrities, public figures, and citizens all speaking out about addiction.
After the film a discussion will be lead by local representatives of the Drug and Alcohol services, the UNH social work program, and additional local recovery specialists.
Drug and Alcohol addiction is widely misunderstood.People who have not experienced addiction often think of addicts as being lazy and lacking will power.However it is an extremely complex disease that affects the brain making it very hard for people to quit.“Drug abuse and addiction have negative consequences for individuals and for society.Estimates of the total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States, including productivity and health- and crime-related costs, exceed $600 billion annually.
” Drug and alcohol addiction is a huge problem in the United States that needs to be faced; “The Anonymous People” will give you a new insight into this disease and its effects,
Check out “The Anonymous People” at the MUB on Tuesday, April 22nd! To learn more, watch the trailer.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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As the ground is finally unthawing and the leaves are starting to grow, it's time to start getting outdoors again! Spring is finally (FINALLY) here and what better way to celebrate than to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air while working out? One of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking. It's a really great form of exercise and can also be good for your mental health. Hiking has similar health benefits as walking, such as a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, plus it's a weight-bearing exercise so it increases bone density. Hiking is also a good exercise for building muscle. The steeper the terrain is, the harder your hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus, and lower leg muscles are working. Hiking improves balance and strengthens your core as well.
Before you run out into the woods, there's a few safety tips to know. First off, if you are a beginner hiker start small. Try looking for a short, local hike in an area you are familiar with. You should also have a hiking partner. Eventually you can hike by yourself, but just starting out it's better to have a friend there just in case you get lost or injured. Make sure to bring water along on your hike and dress appropriately. Stick to the marked trail and don't wander off course.
If you are already a pro hiker, here's a few tips to increase your health benefits. To increase your cardio workout, look for hills. It's like walking on an incline on a treadmill except so much better because you are outside and enjoying nature! Also try using poles. You might not think you need them but they actually cause your upper body muscles to work harder by pushing them into the ground. To strength your lower back muscles, try adding more weight to your backpack. A 10 to 15lb bag will do the trick.
To find a trail near you, try looking on Scout Me. They have tons of places all around the area and even show a map of all locations.
Hike your way to better health! Learn the benefits and a few tips!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Starting something new can be scary, exciting, and empowering.Especially if you are making the decision to start exercising!First and foremost, good for you for making the decision to become a healthier you!I know that working out can seem very daunting so here are some tips on how to exercise for beginners!
1.It is important to talk to your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program.Whether it is walking, strength training, or Zumba, check with your doctor about your readiness to start being active.
2.Create short and long term goals for yourself, and write them down!For example a short-term goal could be to not take the elevator for 1 week, or to go to 3 fitness classes a week.Then think of some long term goals, maybe in 2 years you want to run a marathon, have your BMI in the healthy range, or be able to walk to work!
3.Plan out your workouts, to ensure they are do-able.The American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week.1 This can be a great way to start. It is also good to note that it does not need to be a consecutive 30 minutes; you could do three, ten-minute sessions per day. If you plan your workouts ahead of time you will make time for them!
4.Always make the time for stretching after a workout.It will reduce soreness and increase flexibility.If you make time to stretch you are less likely to injure yourself and will have better balance throughout your life.
5.It can be helpful to keep track of your workouts.If you are exercising in a gym you can count your reps and weights.Or if you are walking and running try tracking your miles or steps using a pedometer. This will help you watch your progression!
6.Reward yourself!Reaching goals is very empowering.I enjoy splurging on new workout clothes or sneakers once I reach my goals.The new equipment also makes me motivated to keep exercising.
7.Keep an open mind.Working out is not easy.Some days will be harder then others but it is important to keep active and try to keep a positive attitude.There are SO many different ways to keep active and if you are not enjoying something, then try something new!
Starting a exercise routine can be intimidating for anyone!Here are a few helpful hints to getting in shape!
Friday, April 11, 2014
Happy National Public Health Week!This week, April 7-13th 2014, celebrates the advances and importance of public health.Each day of the week has a different theme related to public health which you can check out in more detail at nphw.org.Today's theme is Healthiest Nation in One Generation.
Did you know that for the first time in decades, the current generation isn't as healthy as the one prior to it?For generations in the past, health was constantly improving as new science and technology was discovered.It's pretty freighting to think our children's generation could now be at a higher risk for health problems.In order to stop this horrible trend, communities need to stick together to find a solution.Lucky for us, the UNH community is full of bright ideas and a passion for helping others.The majority of our community enjoys being healthy.In fact, Healthy UNH was created to help make this campus the healthiest campus community in the country by 2020.
Healthy UNH is designed to help faculty, staff, and students improve their health while also cutting health care costs.It has identified a few of the major health concerns that should be addressed.These include chronic disease; resources to promote health; increasing rates of stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues; and health care costs.Healthy UNH has a variety of different resources and events on campus to help promote health and educate the public. Some of these resources include weekly informative blogs on topics such as nutrition, health cost, physical activity, etc., the Wildcat Plate which can be found in the dining halls to help manage nutrition, the UNH campus walking guide to track walking distance, and so much more. You can find all these great resources and more on the Healthy UNH website.
Along with Healthy UNH, the UNH community offers a variety of other departments and programs on campus devoted to creating a healthier population. Health Services is obviously a huge contributor to health on campus, along with Campus Rec, Dining Services, and the Counseling Center and many more.Each of these departments provide education and resources to students and faculty in order for them to make the best decisions for their health.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Public Health Week is recognized as April 7th to the 13th. One of the themes for this movement is eating well, which is being recognized on April 10th. The National Public Health website contains information on what government agencies are working on to improve food choice and eating habits among Americans. There are many ways that UNH has tried to encourage students and staff to make healthier choices. The following are resources and programs provided by UNH to create a healthier campus in terms of eating well:
- Health Services – Health Services is located on campus at 4 Pettee Brook Lane, and offers many resources on nutrition and wellness. As seen on their website, The Office of Health Promotion provides a variety of options for those looking for assistance with food and nutrition. Eating concerns education and counseling is available to UNH students who have paid their health fee, and want to talk to fellow trained students about an eating concern or disorder. Health Services lists other educational programs such as the YUMEE, Nutrition Lecture Series, Cooking Classes, and information on the SPIN Peer Education. Check out the website for full information on what Health Services offers, and how you can get involved.
- UNH Dining Services – UNH Dining Services are heavily involved in promoting good nutrition and healthy choices on campus. Rochelle L’Italien is a registered dietitian who works for UNH Dining Services. Rochelle is available to students or staff who have concerns with making better choices in the dining hall, or with special diets or intolerances. The dining hall also contains foods with food labels containing Guiding Stars so people can see if the food they select has been rated as nutritious.
- Healthy UNH – Located on the second floor of Hewitt Hall, Healthy UNH is an initiative on campus working to making UNH the healthiest campus community in the country by 2020. The Healthy UNH website contains numerous resources to students and staff on mental health, nutrition, physical activity, programs run by UNH and health cost. Healthy UNH partnered with UNH Dining Services to launch the Wildcat Plate. This new plate is found in all of the dining halls, and is based off of My Plate. This portion controlled plate attracts students to think about the different food groups they can put on their plate, specifically fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein.
We are lucky at UNH to have programs that are designed to help students and employees make better choices when it comes to eating well. With the large variety of food options, it is not always easy to make the right decisions. However, knowing how to make better food choices makes all the difference, and Health Services, UNH Dining Services, and Healthy UNH all have numerous resources available to help with that. Celebrate Thursday, April 20th by trying a new way to make more nutritious choices!
- 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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