Healthy UNH Blogger: Haeley Stewart, All Entries

Make the Switch to Generic Drugs?

Monday, July 22, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Being a college student means pinching every penny you have. Whether that means paying for lunch with change, waiting to go grocery shopping until your cabinets are bare or skipping out on going for drinks with your friends because your wallet is empty, almost every students feels the pressure of having limited money. One way to save on your spending is by buying generic versions of the products you use. You can by generic versions of almost everything, but one generic thing that can save you tons of money is drugs, when you are sick or have a cold.

Unfortunately, a lot of times when people are struggling for money or do not have health insurance, they go without prescription drugs that are needed. In fact, 13% of adults did not take a prescription drug that they needed because of its high cost. Generic drugs have the same exact ingredients as brand name drugs, but are sold at a lower cost to promote competition in the marketplace. As of now, one fifth of Americans ask their doctors to prescribe cheaper medicines than the first choice. If more Americans inquired about generic drugs, it could help save a lot of money. According to Healthy UNH, if USNH employees just increased generic drug use by 10%, which is not a lot, we could save $250,000. I don't know about you, but I'm always down for saving money, especially if I'm going to get the same results either way. 

 

Tagged In: brand name, choice, control, generic drugs, Haeley Stewart, Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthy UNH, patient options, prescription drugs, Savings

Do you suffer from Cyberchondria?

Friday, July 12, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Being college students, we get enough anxiety in the form of schoolwork, midterms, work and money issues, and the last thing we need is any more anxiety to add to the pile. Unfortunately, with the increase in technology in the past decade, a new form of anxiety is emerging known as "cyberchondria." Cyberchondria is the internet version of hypochondria where people go online and self diagnose themselves with having certain diseases and sicknesses and think the worst. Thirty-five percent of Americans have gone online to self diagnosis themselves at one point or another. Having the internet is a great tool to have and gives you the ability to learn about anything at any given time, however it can also lead to a lot of misdiagnoses and make you think your condition is worse than what it is. I know that in the past if I have been sick with something that I didn't recognize, I have gone online and searched my symptoms and my common cold has come back as a more serious infection. Doing this can cause a lot of stress and anxiety to form when you really have nothing to worry about. The best thing you can do if you are feeling sick or just feel the need to check up on yourself is go to the doctor, don't make yourself worry with all of the information on the internet.

Tagged In: anxiety, Cyberchondria, diseases, Googling, Haeley Stewart, Mental Health, mental wellness, misdiagnoses, research

Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

Monday, July 8, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

The weather is getting warmer and everyone is starting to spend more time outdoors, so why not take your workout outside as well? There are tons of things you can do outside to get a good workout in such as running, hiking, cycling, walking, playing a sport, swimming and much more. There are many difference between working out inside versus outside. When you workout inside a gym, usually it is climate controlled, convenient and predictable, which is definitely not the case for working out outdoors. Besides the differences in taking your working from indoors to outdoors, working out outside can actual have benefits over working out inside. For example, runners who run outside exert more energy than those who run inside. This is because of outdoor obstacles such as wind and changes in terrain which cause you to expend more than you would by running at the same speed with the same resistance and the same incline that you would on a treadmill. In addition to using more energy, being outdoors is also more psychologically pleasing. According to New York Times, those who took their physical activity outdoors ranked higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self esteem in comparison to those who worked out inside. Finally, there is also speculation that the sunlight absorbed from being outdoors can play a part in your mood, as well as a good source of Vitamin D. For more reasons why you should take your routine outside visit this article

Tagged In: energy, Exercise, exertion, Fitness, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, incline, Mental Health, Outdoors, Physical, Physical Activity, terrain, Vitamin D, wind

Foods that Contain Toxic Ingredients

Friday, June 21, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Today "food" is comprised of so many different additives and chemicals in order to make it edible and appealing for a consumer to purchase and eat. Recently there has been a lot of controversy over which chemicals and substances are dangerous and how all of these additives can affect us down the line. I don't know about you, but having weird additives in my food that I don't know are safe or not kind of creeps me out. Luckily, nutrition professionals Mira and Jayson Calton, authors of Rich Food, Poor Food, came up with a grocery list to help you avoid toxic chemicals in your food!

One SUPER common food that contains questionable additives is good old Mac & cheese (a college student staple). Have you ever wondered why Mac & cheese is bright orange in color and not the same color as a slice of cheese? Well, you can thank coloring agents yellow 5 and yellow 6 for that. The neon orange color is made up of dyes that are made from coal tar. These dyes are also used to clean floors and kill lice. Now you don't have to swear off Mac & cheese for good, just make sure when you are shopping you pick a brand with no added artificial coloring like Annie's.

I am a HUGE salt person, so I love potato chips as much as the next person, but DO NOT try and cut fat with fat-free chips. They contain Olestra, which is a toxic additive that can cause many digestive issues for you. If you must have the chips, try and opt for something cooked in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.

To get the complete list of additives to avoid visit Shape's Magazine's article on the nine ingredients you should avoid.

Tagged In: additives, food, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, ingredients, Nutrition, toxic

Ways to Beat Anxiety

Monday, June 10, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Anxiety is defined as apprehension to an upcoming event and as college students, we have plenty of reasons for having anxiety. Anxiety can stem from an upcoming test, ten page paper, an overflowing to do list or even just finding a parking spot in order to make it to class on time. Symptoms to look for in determining if you suffer from everyday anxiety are things like increased heart rate, lack of concentration in school and work, having issues sleeping or just not being your normal self. If you find yourself often stressed and suffer from any of the above situations you may want to find ways to reduce your anxiety. Luckily, Shape Magazine came up with fifteen tips to help decrease anxiety.

               1. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP: Getting enough sleep is so important. When you aren't getting enough sleep each night it affects physical health and feeds into our anxiety and stress. Aim for seven to nine hours to ease anxiety.

               2. De-Clutter: Take fifteen minutes to clean up your living/work space. When there is physical clutter present, it can cause mental clutter. Keeping things tidy will help lower anxiety levels and help you think rationally.              

               3. Play: Back when we were kids, we could play without having to worry about school or work. Take some time each time to do something you enjoy, whether it is playing a video game, a sport or anything you may enjoy.

There are many more tips and tricks for helping you manage your anxiety. Visit Shape's website to read about the other twelve ways!

Tagged In: anxiety, De-Clutter, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, manage, Mental Health, mental wellness, Nutrition, play, Sleep

“Freshman 15”

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

During these past couple of months, campus has been full of prospective freshman touring the campus and attending orientation. Last weekend I was able to take part in an orientation for incoming freshman where myself and Jenna Channel, another Healthy UNH intern, talked to new students about what Healthy UNH is and what we do on campus. While talking to a lot of these new students, a HUGE concern was gaining the “freshman fifteen” and how to be healthy once they were on campus. I know when I first came to campus I was overwhelmed with all of the delicious things that were offered in the dining hall and didn't care about how much I ate, which I soon grew to regret when I gained the freshman 20.

The great thing about UNH is how active you can be. You cannot walk around campus without seeing at least ten people running outside. Another benefit students have is the dining hall. I dare you to visit surrounding schools and find better dining facilities, YOU CAN'T. Other than the amazing food and variety in choices, the best part is that its very easy to make healthy choices. There is a great salad bar, sandwich bar, stir fry, vegan options and the list goes on and on. This past year, Healthy UNH and Dining teamed up to create the Wildcat Plate. This is a great tool you can use to make sure you’re eating healthy. The plate is divided up into the correct portion sizes of each food group (protein, fruits, veggies, dairy and complex carbs) you should be eating, so you don't even have to worry about knowing how to eyeball what one cup is. In addition to that, the plate also tells you what different foods qualify for each food group. These are great because it takes the uncertainty out of eating healthy and I can't tell you how much I wish they had these when I was a freshman.

Overall eating and being healthy at UNH is very easy to do and if you are worried or stressed about it, RELAX. Making healthy choices can be easy and for all of those incoming freshman, and remember, the “freshman 15” is not mandatory!

Tagged In: Dining, Freshman 15, Haeley Stewart, healthy choices, Healthy UNH, Nutrition, over eating, portion, portion plates, Wildcat Plate

TRX

Monday, May 20, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

In the world of exercise, trends come and go. There is boot camp, zumba, pilates and so much more. The most recent type of workout to hit the exercise world is TRX. The name sounds a little intimidating, but it is a workout that will provide you with strength, flexibility and balance. TRX is made up of nylon straps that you secure onto any steady surface and which provides you with a full body workout. Once the straps are secured, there are a number of different workouts that can be done with them to help you tone up all over. The best part about this workout is that it can be done by beginners, regulars and even experts. If you're interested, TRX classes are provided at a number of different gyms or you can even buy an online kit to do it on your own.  It's even something that can be done in your dorm room- as long as your roommates stay back a safe distance. As UNH students, we're lucky because the Hamel Rec Center features TRX classes, so stop by and see if it is something that may interest you!

Tagged In: Fitness, Haeley Stewart, Hamel rec center, Healthy UNH, Physical, Physical Activity, TRX

Ways to Beat Anxiety

Friday, May 17, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Anxiety is defined as apprehension to an upcoming event and as college students, we have plenty of reasons for having anxiety. Anxiety can stem from an upcoming test, ten page paper, an overflowing to do list or even just finding a parking spot in order to make it to class on time. Symptoms to look for in determining if you suffer from everyday anxiety are things like increased heart rate, lack of concentration in school and work, having issues sleeping or just not being your normal self. If you find yourself often stressed and suffer from any of the above situations you may want to find ways to reduce your anxiety. Luckily, Shape Magazine came up with fifteen tips to help decrease anxiety.

                1. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP: Getting enough sleep is so important. When you aren't getting enough sleep each night it affects physical health and feeds into our anxiety and stress. Aim for seven to nine hours to ease anxiety.

                2. De-Clutter: Take fifteen minutes to clean up your living/work space. When there is physical clutter present, it can cause mental clutter. Keeping things tidy will help lower anxiety levels and help you think rationally.           

                3. Play: Back when we were kids, we could play without having to worry about school or work. Take some time each time to do something you enjoy, whether it is playing a video game, a sport or anything you may enjoy.

There are many more tips and tricks for helping you manage your anxiety. Visit Shape's website to read about the other twelve ways!

Tagged In: anxiety, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, mental wellness, Stress, UNH

Using Health Care Wisely

Friday, April 26, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

It is widely known that health care costs are extremely high. Unfortunately in order to reduce the amount of money spent on health care costs, some people go without necessary care as an attempt to cut down. However, there are other options to save money other than avoiding the care that is needed.

One way to reduce the amount of money you spend on health care is to use your health care services appropriately.  When you are feeling sick, or thinking that you need to receive care, the best thing you can do is go see your primary care physician; instead of going to an emergency room. By seeing your primary care physician rather than an emergency room, you could save as much as $250 per visit. Saving money is a great perk, but your local doctor's office can be more convenient as well. Often primary care physicians have appointments open each day and on weekends just in case there are walk in patients. So if you need care or are feeling sick, by choosing your doctor, you will save a considerable amount of money. Emergency room visits should be saved for when there is an actual emergency. Not only will will this save you money, but if you're not having an emergency, it will make room for those who are. 

Tagged In: Cost, Haeley Steward, Health Care Consumerism, Healthcare, Healthy UNH, Savings, UNH

Eating Clean

Friday, April 12, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

There has always been a ton of focus put on different mainstream diets. Everything from Atkins and Southbeach to paleo and being a vegan are attempted by people worldwide. While I was scrolling through my twitter the other day killing time, I noticed someone posted something about this new thing called "Eating Clean." Since I have never heard of this before, I was intrigued and decided to figure out what eating clean was. Eating clean promotes itself as being more of a lifestyle change rather than a diet. Basically, it promotes foods that are bodies are naturally supposed to eat like nuts, seeds, organic lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies and fats and discourages eating processed foods. Have you ever heard that saying, "stick to the perimeter of the grocery store," well this lifestyle change does just that. Huffington Post breaks it down into five easy steps if eating clean is something that interests you, I know I'll be checking it out! 

Tagged In: Eating Clean, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Nutrition

Protection on the Move

Thursday, April 4, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

We live in a time where people are constantly on the move. Whether driving, jogging, biking or anything else you can think of, it is VERY important to make sure you are being safe with whatever you are doing. In honor of National Public Health Week, here are some great tips on how you can stay safe on the move!

If you're driving:

  • WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!! Seatbelts are so important for keeping you safe in the event of a car accident. It literally takes 2 seconds to buckle up, so no matter how short the drive, buckle up.
  • Stop texting! You really do not need to send your text message as badly as you think you do. If it is that important pull over for a minute. Phone usage is a huge distraction to your driving and by using your phone you are putting yourself and others at risk.
  • If you're on a motorcycle, bicycle or scooter, WEAR YOUR HELMENT! A helmet protects your head and face in the event of an accident and can be crucial to your life.

If you're a pedestrian:

  • Be alert! Make sure you are mindful of traffic by looking both ways and obeying traffic rules.
  • If traveling at night, make sure to wear reflective gear and bright colors, so you can still be seen in the dark.

Most importantly in being safe on the move is to use your common sense! For more tips and advice on how to be safe while traveling, check out the National Public Health Week's website.

Tagged In: helmet, Physical Activity, protection, seatbelt

Feeling Under the Weather?

Monday, March 18, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

We've all heard that this year is one of the worst years for the flu. Everywhere you go there is someone sniffling, someone with a fever and someone who is so sick they can't even make it out of bed. Being a student means having the flu can be a death sentence, because having the flu results in missed classes, piling homework and not so happy professors. It doesn't help things much since it is so easy to catch the flu on a college campus due to close living conditions and huge class sizes.

Luckily UNH's Health Services has a ton of tips and advice to get you through this flu season whether you are already infected or your trying to avoid it. If you've already come down with the flu, try limiting your exposure to others to avoid spreading it and make sure you take care of yourself by getting enough water and sleep. For fact sheets and tips and tricks on how to stay healthy this season check out all the information Health Services has to offer.

Tagged In: flu, Haeley, Healthy UNH, mental wellness, UNH Health Services

What is HIIT?

Friday, February 22, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Losing weight, working out consistently, eating healthy foods, spending less money and making sure to floss are all very popular New Year's resolutions. Ever since the calendar struck January every magazine features some new way to help you drop pounds, clothing stores move their workout gear to the front entrance and every other commercial is about some new diet pill that will transform your body. Instead of feeding into these traps and fads that set you up for failure (whether it is with your body goals or your wallet) why not transform yourself the right way.

I'll admit I have bought a magazine or two to check out their articles and I came across a great one from Women's Health and Fitness. They showcased a workout known as HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. In a nutshell, it is a 15-20 minute workout where you give it all you've got for a short period of time (20-60 seconds) and then slow it down for a short period of time (about 2 minutes). It can be done on any equipment like a bike, rowing machine or even outside and is super convenient. The best part about this workout is that you get maximum results in a short amount of time. Short workouts, maximum results, that sounds like a dream to me. If this is something that interests you, Women's Health and Fitness put together a list of tips to help get you started that you should check out here.

Tagged In: Fitness, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT, Physical Activity, Women's Health and Fitness

Relationships Improve Mental Health

Friday, February 8, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine's Day is coming, in only a few! Excuse my lame attempt at a poem, but whether you like it or not Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  Some people are excited to take their significant others out for a special date and others are sitting in their room stewing over how this is the world's stupidest holiday. Whether you are pro-Valentine's Day or completely against it, there is no denying that it takes a toll on your mental health in some way.

In an article written by Healthews Daily, the mental tolls of being single vs. in a relationship are weighed.  A study done by Florida State University showed that people in committed relationships have significantly fewer mental health problems than those that are single. People who are single have more issues with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, suicidal behavior, etc. Now, I am not saying that you have to go find yourself a boyfriend or girlfriend right this second in order to be mentally sane, but if you're one of those people who shies away at the thought of relationships, maybe you should give it a try. If not, at least there is a ton of chocolate around that has known benefits to your mental health!

Tagged In: anxiety, committed relationships, Depression, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, mental wellness, mood disorders, Valentine's Day

Organic Garden Club

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Organic foods and organic practices are receiving quite a lot of attention lately. I know I can't walk down the grocery store without seeing organic labels on food as well as advertising for "going organic" everywhere. Maybe you have no idea what being organic means and are interested in finding out, or maybe you already are an organic eater and want to spread awareness to others. Either way, those of you interested in eating organic or learning more about what it means to eat organically, this organization at UNH deserves your attention.

For those of you who do not know what the Organic Garden Club is, it is  part of the Food and Society Initiative of the UNH Sustainability Academy. The OGC is not necessary a "UNH program" in the sense that UNH staff does not run it; it is a student run organization. Their goal is to find ways to spread sustainability to the UNH campus, students, staff and more. Not only are they involved with growing organic foods, but they are involved with the process of why things are organic and how they come to be organic. OGC has won multiple recognitions and awards for their work. In 2007, they won Student Organization of the year! If this post has sparked your interest, this is a great group to get involved with!

Tagged In: food labels, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Nutrition, organic, Organic Garden Club, student run

Friends Are the Key to Your Mental Health

Friday, January 25, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

Being a student is almost a guarantee that at some point you are going to be stressed out and overwhelmed. When you have a horrible week and are up to your eyeballs in homework, exams and extracurricular activities, how do you make time for yourself? Some things I have done in the past to help get away are taking a nap, going for a run, taking a yoga class and even catching up on my favorite TV shows on Netflix. But one of my favorite things to do for myself is surrounding myself with my friends.

According to Self Magazine, hanging out with your friends is crucial to your mental health. Why are friends so critical to mental health you ask? Well for one, friends tell it how it is. Whether you are going through a tough time or just need someone to talk to, friends are honest and have your best interests at heart. Another reason to surround yourself with friends is that they are actually good for your health. Friends want the best for you and having the feeling of being close with a group of people and having a support system can actually improve your overall health. For example, in 2006 the Nurses' Health Study found that having a close group of friends and family was linked with survival of breast cancer in woman. So if you are ever feeling exhausted or like you need a mental break, call up your close friends or even make some new ones to reap these benefits.

Tagged In: friends, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, mental wellness

Toss It Or Save It?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
By: Haeley Stewart

For my junior year, I decided to make the move to an off campus apartment instead of staying in the dorms. Other than having my own bedroom, the biggest perk is that I have a full kitchen now. No more two foot mini-fridge and nonexistent freezer. The transition from having a meal plan to cooking for yourself can be challenging, but it is certainly fun to learn how to cook. However there are some downsides as well, like the fruit flies that seem to never go away or last week's dinner rotting in your fridge.

Luckily, Women's Health Magazine put together an expired food guide to help know when to toss old food or keep it. They found that in most cases you can keep food long after the expiration dates, which for college students on a budget, is super helpful. In this guide they have everything from when to toss your apples to how long that jar of pickles is safe in the fridge. For example, produce such as lettuce and broccoli is good for about five days after expiration.  Other foods such as canned or packaged food last much longer. For example, jellies and jams can survive and extra year past expiration.  It also important to use common sense when trying to preserve your food as well. As long as your handle your food properly, it can last much longer. For more tips on how long to keep your food, check out the article in Women's Health Magazine!

Tagged In: experation date, expired foods, food storage, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Nutrition

Eat Smart for Finals!

Friday, December 7, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

It's officially finals time! We're at the last stretch of our semester, but for most of us, the hardest part of our semester. I don't know whose idea it was to make the hardest part of our year the part where we are all mentally exhausted, but we just need to man up and get it done.

With finals on the brain, I know it is hard to even think about anything but the upcoming finals looming over our heads, but it is crucial to be eating smart during finals to increase your brain function as much as possible. One of the most important things to do is make sure you are eating breakfast. We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal, blah blah... BUT IT REALLY IS! Make sure you are getting a mixture of fiber, protein, fruits and veggies during breakfast instead of a donut or muffin to make sure you are fully energized and ready to tackle that stack of note cards you need to make.

Is your stomach grumbling for a snack? Grab a banana or any fruit for that matter.  Fruits are ranked one of the best foods you can eat for your brain. So forget the Ben and Jerry's or bag of chips and opt for a fruit instead. Maybe one of the most important tips, STAY HYDRATED! Water is obviously your best option, but I know that during finals the only thing people want to consume are Redbull's and coffee. If that is the route your taking, then just make sure you are taking in moderate amounts to reduce jitters and make sure you don't crash when you need to be studying the most. Happy end of the semester and good luck studying!

Tagged In: Finals, Haeley Stewart, healthy eating, Healthy UNH, hydration, Nutrition

Have You Seen UNH's Wildcat Plate?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "Freshman 15," however for me, it was more like the freshman 20. Coming to UNH as a freshman and having an unlimited dining plan made it super easy for me to eat WAY to much in our dining halls. Don't get me wrong, there are PLENTY of healthy choices to be made while eating on campus, but I just couldn't get over the delicious desert bar or the french fries that seemed to be there every single day. However, this year Healthy UNH and Dining Services collaborated to form the brand new Wildcat Plate. The Wildcats Plate is available in all three of our dining halls. The plate outlines how much of the five food groups (dairy, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and protein)  should be eaten in one meal. These plates are really helpful because if you are someone who doesn't know what you should be eating, how much you should be eating or even just want to be healthier in general, you can use these plates as a guide while creating meals in the dining hall. One of the reasons I like it so much is because with the plate you don't even have to think about what to eat and what size portion to grab; all the hard work is done for you! Your only job is to stick within the guidelines outlined on the plate and enjoy your meal. Go try out one of these plates for yourself! Learn more about it here.

Tagged In: Haeley Stewart, Healthy UHH, Nutrition, over eating, Portion Plate, portion sizes, Wildcat Plate

Fight Fatigue!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

A college student’s life is a constant struggle between balancing class, studying, work, exams, internships, any type of social life and much more. Even reading that list is tiring. Trying to find time to simply fall sleep can even feel like a monumental challenge. With that being said, fatigue for a college student is almost expected, in my opinion. Luckily, according to Women’s Health Magazine, there are other ways (besides getting 8 hours of sleep each night!) to fight back against those feelings of fatigue.

One way would be to increase your intake of water! Being moderately dehydrated can affect your concentration or the way you function mentally. So, next time you feel like you are starting to doze off, chug a glass of water to make you feel more refreshed. Another way to feel more energized is to put your cell phone down. Our generation is practically glued to their cell phones and I know that turning it off seems bizarre. However, not using your cellphone, or any other electronic device for that matter, before bed will help you get a better night’s sleep. The light that is given off by electronic devices actually suppresses our natural sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder for us to fall asleep after. Do yourself a favor and use these helpful hints to feel more alert during your hectic days as a student. For more ways on how to fight that fatigue check out the Women’s Health article.

Tagged In: drink water, Fatigue, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, hydrated, Nutrition

Couch to 5K

Monday, October 29, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

There is rarely a time that I go through campus and don't see someone running. It is a really easy way to get in some exercise and bypass the crazy rush at the gym. But, for some of us who aren't that great at running or have injuries or even just get bored doing it, there is hope. I have really bad shin splints and want to be able to run long distances and do races, but my shins hold me back. So, when I heard about the Couch to 5k app, I bought it instantly. It is a 30 minute run that you do three times a week. During the run you alternate between walking and running. For example, on the first week you run 60 seconds and walk 90 seconds. The next week you up it to 90 seconds of running 90 seconds of walking. It is a really good way to introduce yourself to running slowly and gradually. Normally when I run for 30 minutes straight, my shins will be burning by the end, but being able to go in and out of running and ease my way into it has resulted in zero shin pain. After my success, I read the reviews provided for the app and there are thousands of reviews saying how it helped people start to run for the first time, or helped them ease their way into running marathons. So whether you are recovering from an injury, running for the first time or even training for a marathon, you NEED to check this app out! For more information about this app, check out their website.

Tagged In: Couch to 5K, Exercise, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, IPhone App, Physical Activity, Running

Foods For Every Mood

Thursday, October 18, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

Ever feel like your moods are out of whack?
According to Woman's Day magazine, there are certain foods you can eat to tame your wild moods. Being a college student means you get your fair, or unfair, share of stress. In order to combat this stress, studies  show that eating just a small piece of dark chocolate a day helps to reduce stress hormones like Cortisol and Catecholamine from flaring up, which helps to decrease overall stress.  I'm sure you've woken up early for your 8 AM feeling super cranky because you only got four hours of sleep the night before; we've all been there. If that's the case, grab an apple and some peanut butter before class! The combination of carbohydrate and protein work together to give you extra energy and make you feel better throughout the day. Another effort to help you feel better and happier throughout the day is to nosh on some whole grain cereal and low fat milk. Studies show if you are feeling sad, this meal helps to produce serotonin in your body. Serotonin helps to release that happy, calm feeling throughout your body. In addition to regulating serotonin, eating this quick meal will also help to boost your amounts of vitamin D, which in turn can help regulate your mood as well. If these quick fixes are intriguing to you, check out the article for yourself to see even more ways to control your moods by clicking here.

Tagged In: Haeley Stewart, healthy foods, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, mood, Nutrition, serotonin, Vitamin D

Why Students Should Care About Health Care Costs

Friday, October 12, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

One of the biggest complaints about organic food is that it is too expensive.

Well, in many cases that is in fact true. However, organic food may cost more, but that's because it is worth more.

One way I like to rationalize paying more for organic food is to think about all the good things it does for my health and the earth, and how the extra bucks really are worth it in the long run. Usually I run this list over and over in my head as I near the checkout aisles...

  • It supports sustainable agriculture
  • I won't be consuming any pesticides
  • I won't be consuming and GMOs
  • (If buying locally) I know the farm where this is coming from
  • I'm eating food the way nature intended it to be
  • I'm taking preventative measures for my health
  • I'm taking preventative measures for the health of the planet

These sort of things help me realize that choosing to eat organic may cost more up front at the check out aisle, but if I continue to eat healthy organic food, I'm really taking preventative measures for my health. This, in turn, would allow me to potentially save money from doctor's bills in the future.

Many people find it easier to think about it this way:

"Would you rather pay your farmer now, or pay your doctor later?" 

For me, I want to see my hard earned dollar in the mud-stained hands of my farmer.

The USDA has put together a great website to help consumers know their farmer and know their food, click here to be brought to the page.

Tagged In: Affordable Care Act, Haeley Stewart, Health Care Consumerism, Health care costs, health care planning, health insurance, Healthy UNH

UNH's Eating Concerns Mentor Program

Monday, October 8, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

Do you ever have concerns with your eating habits or even the eating habits of a friend or family member?
If that is the case, you are in luck. UNH's Health Services offers a program known as the Eating Concerns Mentor Program. Chances are that you have seen promotional events the program has done around campus without even realizing it. For example, last year they had a life-size Barbie Doll on display to show how distorted and unrealistic the "ideal" body is portrayed for woman. The program does a really good job of making students aware of concerns and helping to work through those concerns. The program is made up of trained UNH students who can provide information and support to those who have concerns about their eating habits and patterns. If you or a loved one suffers from an obsession with food, weight, exercise, etc., you may want to consider this program. Other symptoms or signs could be inability to menstruate, severe weight variations, feelings of no control regarding food or even not being able to do activities you normally could. If you feel any of these symptoms or have a loved one feeling these symptoms, it can't hurt to make an appointment. The mentors are really easy to talk to and have open availability. Working around class and work schedules is no problem for them. If you're interested in more information regarding the program or how to make an appointment, search the Health Services page for Eating Concerns Mentor Program, click here.

Tagged In: Eating Concerns Mentor Program, eating disorder, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, love your body, mental wellness, Nutrition, obsession

Get a Handle on Stress

Friday, September 21, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

After our first week of classes I think it is safe to say that some of us are overwhelmed by our class schedules, afraid of future homework and project loads and are already stressing for the exams that span our whole semester. Instead of making yourself crazy, engage in some of these stress reducing behaviors.

1. Get some Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's: College students are notorious for staying up all night "cramming" and then waking up for class four hours later. In order to function properly, it is best to get the recommended 7 to 10 hours worth of sleep.

2.  "Me" time: Allow yourself time to do things you enjoy. Pick up a book (NOT a textbook) and read, hang out with friends or even go for a walk. Anything that gives your mind a break from all the stress will be helpful.

3. Hit the gym: Exercise can be a great way to alleviate stress. Just 20 minute sessions at a time have significant mental health benefits. Try something new like yoga or zumba and even make it fun.

For more tips on how to stay stress free on campus, click here.

Tagged In: back to school, Exercise, gym, Haeley Stewart, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, mental wellness, Stress

Let's Hit the Rec

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
By: Haeley Stewart

With school starting back up for the year, it is almost a guarantee that the Hamel Rec Center will be full of students trying to stay physically active. Before you hit the Rec Center this semester, why not find out about all of the group classes and opportunities available to you besides the gym itself? One of the favorites among students, myself included, are the FREE group aerobics classes taught by experienced instructors. The Rec Center has everything from zumba and cycling to yoga and boxing. These classes are offered at all times of the day, so no matter how hectic your schedule is, there is something for you. In addition to group classes, the Rec Center also features basketball courts, racquetball courts, a running track and even a skating/ hockey arena. No matter what your preferred method of physical activity is, they'll have something you'll enjoy. Stop by the Rec Center or check out their website for more information or current group class schedules!

Tagged In: Boxing, Cycling, Hamel, Healthy UNH, Physical Activity, Rec Center, Wellness, Yoga, Zumba