Friday, May 30, 2014
Health and healthy are words you hear daily. Many people will think of “fitspiration” and thin men and woman as being the picture of health. I disagree with the notion that healthy is synonymous with being thin. Health should be individualized and encompass balance of mental and physical health.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary health is defined as “the condition of being well or free from disease.” Though I agree that being free of disease improves ones’ health I believe that there are many aspects this definition is missing. People with a disease actually could be healthy socially and mentally, and the reverse is true, someone may not have a diagnosed disease and be very unhealthy.
It is important to remember that everyone comes in different shapes and sizes. There will never be a certain weight, mental state, or fitness level that deems you as “healthy or unhealthy.” Setting goals for yourself is an easy way to keep your health in check. You can talk to your doctor about optimal body weight and exercise goals, but keep in mind that there is more to health then your size.
Bottom line? BALANCE! Balance your plate, exercise, time with others, sleep, play, and work! Don’t forget that everyone is different, it can be tempting to compare yourself to others, but health is more than skin deep.
UNH students check out Healthy UNH! It is a great resource to find all things positive and health oriented going on here at UNH. Walking maps, Wildcat plate information, blogs: you name it and Healthy UNH has it!
Find out what health means to you! And check out Healthy UNH- to help discover all the health-promoting resources available to students!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Fitting in a good workout during the work day isn’t always easy; so why not make sure it’s worth it? I try and fit in workouts every other day at the Hamel Recreation Center in between my class schedule. Published in TIME magazine, Jennifer Cohen, a health and fitness expert lists seven workout habits that make your workout more ineffective, and how to fix them. Fixing the following habits will allow you to be a more efficient exerciser:
- The elliptical – This machine does not flow with the body’s natural motions, and it is also easy to start off at a good place and then before you know it you’re slacking off. With the treadmill, you use a natural body motion and have to keep up with the pace you set.
- Working out for long periods of time at a moderate pace - Slow and steady does not win the race. Cohen suggests giving it 100% for 30 minutes instead of 75% for an hour.
- Lollygagging – Come to the gym or wherever you work out with a time frame and a plan. Come with a set workout to complete, and limit water breaks and time you spend texting or checking social media apps on your phone. Make the most of your time by planning ahead, so you can keep that heart rate up while you are working out.
- Too much cardio too little strength training – A quick strength training or cross training session with get your heart rate up, burn calories, and develop your lean muscle mass, which works throughout the day to burn calories even after your workout session.
- Hydrating with sports drinks - Sports drinks provide an energy boost, but are saturated with sugar and calories. In most cases, water will suffice. If you feel you might need a boost during your workout, try eating healthy snack 45 minutes before your workout. An example would be almond butter on toast.
Visit the article to read all that Jennifer Cohen had to say to enhance your workouts, including her last two tips. With all the various workout equipment and cardio machines at the gym, it can be difficult and challenging to decide what you should do to get the most out of your workout. Try out these tips and discover what works best for you.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Many people associate health care with high prices. However there are ways to lower your costs, like taking advantage of preventative health services. Many health plans cover the co-insurance and copayments that is associated with preventative services because it costs much less to prevent illness then to treat it. Preventative care can save you money by limiting your sick days and preventing costly doctors visits.
Preventative services include things such as flu shots and other immunizations, cholesterol screenings, diabetes screenings, or sexually transmitted infection screenings. By taking advantage of these services you are much less likely to get an illness, and will be alerted you if you have risk factors. Check out: Healthcare.gov for a complete list of copay free preventative services.
There are also things you can do yourself to keep your health in check. You can periodically record your weight using a simple bathroom scale. Make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day (men=13 cups, women=9 cups). Women can administer self breast exams. Be sure to practice good dental hygiene. Everyone should check for moles or beauty marks changing shape or color. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! By doing these easy self-screenings and preventative measures you are staying in charge of your health and can detect something in its earliest stages. It is then important to see your doctor if you have any health concerns.
Preventative services help to keep you living a healthy life by preventing disease and save you money!
Be involved in your health and wellbeing! Take advantage of preventative care!
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness month? Mental Health America has named May Mental Health Awareness month and chose this year’s theme to be “Mind Your Health”. The goal of Mental Health America is to construct public acknowledgement of the importance of mental health on the body and towards overall health. It’s important to recognize how the body and mind interact with each other. Poor health on one can greatly affect the other.
On the Mental Health America website, there are numerous sources about mental illnesses including a section just for college students. Mental health issues are very likely to occur in college students, whether it be anxiety of living away from home or stress from the intense schoolwork. Within the help resources is a page dedicated to the Top Ten Freshman Year Issues. It lists major problems that almost everyone has to deal with including roommates, sleeping, money, and schoolwork. It also gives pointers on how to deal with these issues.
These resources are great places to start, but if you feel you need more guidance, don’t forget about the Counseling Center here at UNH. It’s a great place to get in touch with your mind and improve your overall wellbeing.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Making time to eat a healthy breakfast can often be put on the backburner. Work is important, but breakfast is just as important- in fact, it’s arguably the most important meal of the day!
What are the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast?
- Breakfast gives you your first boost of energy that you will carry throughout the day and help overcome feelings of groggy-ness upon first waking up.
- Breakfast can give you increased concentration and helps you retain and recall information more efficiently
- Breakfast helps you maintain a healthy body weight
- Breakfast is your first chance at providing your body with essential nutrients during the day, which can often not be accomplished in those who skip breakfast
Be sure to incorporate at least 2-3 of these healthy breakfast essentials to get the most out of your breakfast by eating foods that give you sufficient nutrients and guard against feelings of hunger during the day!
- Whole grains: Cereals and oatmeal that are low in sugar and high in fiber, whole-wheat toast or ½ of a wheat bagel
- Lean Protein: Peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs or lean meats
- Low-fat dairy: skim or low-fat milk, cottage cheese and yogurt with low amounts of sugar
- Fruits and vegetables: Fresh or frozen fruit, 100% fruit juices with no added sugar, or a smoothie packed with fruits and vegetables to get in your vegetables in the morning but still get that delicious fruity taste
Breakfast does not have to be complicated, extravagant or time consuming! Whether you have time to cook breakfast in the morning, or have to eat your breakfast on the go, there’s a healthy breakfast for everyone! Check out these healthy breakfast ideas for any type of morning you may be having!
Friday, May 16, 2014
Did you know that your chances of getting a foodborne illness this year are 1 in 6? When we eat and cook healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits and lean proteins we are indeed making the right choices by choosing foods that are beneficial to our health. But what’s also important is making sure that our food is handled, cooked and stored safely and properly!
With the increase in warm weather and tendency for bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses to quickly multiply and spread, be sure to follow these steps to help reduce your chances of getting a foodborne illness during the upcoming months!
Keep things clean
- ALWAYS wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water before and after preparing food, using the bathroom, touching pets or handling uncooked meat, poultry and seafood.
- Wash all countertops, pots/pans, dishes, utensils, and cutting boards before and after you prepare food or cook, especially when they come in contact with raw meat, poultry or seafood.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables with running water before eating them, with the exception of ones that come in packages that say “pre-washed” which are safe to eat right away.
- Clean up all spills immediately after they happen.
Cook food thoroughly
- Use a thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry and seafood reach the minimal internal temperature before serving.
- When using a microwave, stir food and rotate the dish often to ensure that food reaches minimum temperature of 165 degrees and contains no cold spots where bacteria can survive.
Store food properly
- Make sure your refrigerator is at a temperature that is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
- Put leftovers, takeout foods and perishables in the fridge within 2 hours of being served (within 1 hour during the summer).
- Organize your fridge so that raw meat, poultry and seafood are separated from other foods and in their own closed container.
- Label containers of food with the date you cooked or bought them to ensure that they do not get eaten past their maximum storage time.
- Make sure the refrigerator is not overcrowded and the door closes tightly.
With this warm weather also comes an increase in time spent outside while eating including BBQ’s, picnics and camping trips. Read the U.S. Department of Agricultures tips when cooking and eating outside to increase food safety!
Be sure to check out the FoodSafety, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture websites for more information on food safety and ways to help reduce foodborne illnesses!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
May is National Bike Month, and what better way to celebrate the warm weather than enjoying a bike ride in the sun? Here at UNH, we are lucky to have a bike-friendly campus, which is demonstrated by the bike lanes that are provided on the roadways. In addition to the roads, College Woods is a large, popular outdoor spot on campus for biking, along with Kingman Farm which is located on Route 155 in Madbury. This farm contains 234 acres of woodland, and boasts an extensive trail system that is ideal for mountain biking, hiking, or running. Bicycling is an easy way to get daily physical activity, and over time, increases muscle tone, builds stamina, and improves cardiovascular fitness. The following are some reasons provided by the International Bicycle Fund as to why recreational bicycling and bicycle commuting are beneficial for everyone:
- Regular bicycling is therapeutic for the mind and spirit, as well as the cardiovascular system
- Bicycling can become a life-long activity for those who get involved with it, and it is a great activity to bond with family or friends
- Cycling is low impact on the body, as well as the environment
- Bicycling is a great way to get physical activity without spending money at the gym
- Bicycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation
- Bicycling is a great way to reduce stress
There are numerous advantages for those looking into bicycling. Along with getting physical activity, bicycling is a great way to reduce stress and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. To celebrate National Bike Month, grab a friend and take a bike ride through beautiful College Woods!
Healthy UNH is celebrating National Bike Month with Bike/Walk to Work Day on Friday, May 16.
Join us at Murkland Courtyard, from 7:30-9:30am with a continental breakfast!
Monday, May 12, 2014
As finals are here, now is a great time to talk about procrastination. It may seem like you have plenty of time to study and finish all your assignments, but with a full course load, you will probably need all the time you can get. Procrastinating and getting distracted can put you way behind schedule. What may seem like a quick Facebook break, can easily turn into an hour long process of looking through random people's pictures (we all know it happens) or taking countless Buzzfeed quizzes. All this procrastinating can lead to stress and unnecessary anxiety. It can also weaken your immune system and make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. If you feel you easily get distracted and usually put things off until the last minute, try out some of these tips!
1. Make a to-do list. Put the most important and time sensitive assignments at the top. Put the list somewhere where you will be likely to look at it and be reminded of the things you have to get done. Once you complete an assignment, cross it off the list! As the list gets smaller, you'll feel more motivated to get it all done!
2. Set goals but make them realistic. Setting goals out of your reach will make tasks seem daunting and unachievable.
3. If you have big projects, break them down into smaller parts and do things one at a time.
4. Plan to reward yourself. This will give you more motivation to get things done and something to look forward to!
Finals are here, don't procrastinate studying!
#mentalhealth #healthyUNH #UNHstudents
Friday, May 9, 2014
For my nutrition class freshman year, I had to wear a pedometer everywhere I went for 3 days. I felt a little silly walking around with it attached to my belt loop but at the end of those three days we were able to average our steps and convert it into miles. It was really cool to see how much I was actually walking, on average about 6 miles a day! That 6 miles was just from my daily activities: walking to classes, to the library, to the dining halls. You may not have time to get to the gym everyday but that's okay. You can get a lot of physical activity in just by walking. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day. If you find you don't have to walk very far in your day to day routine, try going for a walk in College Woods or around the outskirts of campus.
To find out how much you are walking each day, use the UNH Walking Map made by Healthy UNH. This resource has you pinpoint the start and finish on a campus map and calculates the distance for you. You can then add up all the mileage for a day and see if you are on track. The U.S. general surgeon recommends adults walk about 5 miles per day. Try it out today!
Monday, May 5, 2014
The dentist may not be everyone's favorite place to go and it may be tempting to ditch a few visits but skipping on these appointment could cause much more harm than an uncomfortable visit. Just think about all the things we use our mouth for, talking, singing, eating. It's important to keep our mouth healthy so that we can continue using it without any pain.
While you may think brushing twice a day will be enough, it's actually not. Dentists are trained to look for warning signs that we may not pick up on. They can prevent and detect diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease before they worsen and cause serious damage. Decaying teeth can be covered with crowns in the early stages but once they progress too far, it can be difficult to reverse.
Along with preventing the pain involved with mouth diseases, regular checkups can also prevent you from spending thousands of dollars. At the early stage, crowns and fillings usually can cost a couple hundred dollars, this may sound like a lot but if you wait until the disease progresses and you have to get a root canal, it could cost upwards of a thousand dollars! The more time you spend putting off going to the dentist, the more money it will cost when you do go. It can be a bit of a viscous cycle for people with low incomes. They can't afford a regular checkup so they skip their appointment, then they assume everything is fine and they skip a few more appointments. Years go by without going to the dentist and suddenly they have terrible pain in their gums and they finally make an appointment to see a dentist. Once there they are told they have gum disease and need all of their teeth pulled out. It may sound like an extreme situation but it's really not. A survey from the American Dental Association shows that adults making less than $30,000 per year are more than twice as likely than those earning $30,000 or more to have had all their teeth removed. In oral health, prevention is extremely important.
In order to avoid agonizing pain and dental bills, have your teeth checked every 6 months. Also continue brushing and flossing twice a day. Remember that paying money for the dentist now will ultimately save you hundreds of dollars in the long run and plus who doesn't want a nice clean smile? :)
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