Healthy UNH Blogger: Kelsey McCullough, All Entries

Urgent Care Facilities

Friday, July 25, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

With the rising costs of medical care it is important to be a smart healthcare consumer. Urgent care facilities can be a great alternative to going to an Emergency Room which normally have high prices associated with them.

An Emergency room in usually attached to a hospital and runs twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. An ER is where to go in emergency situations or if you need an ambulance. However if are in a nonlife threatening situation an urgent care facility can be a smart alternative.

Urgent care facilities are not always open 24 hours a day but often have extended hours. Many of these facilities offer X-rays, basic laboratory services, proscribe prescriptions, and more.  There is no appointment necessary for urgent care facilities.

The average cost of an ER visit in 2009 for a middle ear infection, pharyngitis and urinary tract infection was $570 dollars. The same study looked at the cost for the same illnesses treated at urgent care facilities and found the average was $155. By planning ahead and knowing where an urgent care facility is near you, you can plan ahead and save money!

If you ever are in need of emergency medical care don’t wait to seek help. But plan ahead! Know where your closest urgent care facility is located, as well as an ER, so you can be prepared in an emergency situation.

Urgent care facilities are an underutilized cost saving alternative to expensive ER visits. Learn more about urgent care so you can make the right decision in an emergency situation! 

Tagged In: emergency room, Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, laboratory, prescriptions, urgent care facilities, X-rays

Shake Up Your Workout Routine!

Monday, July 7, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

It is extremely easy to get into workout ruts. Maybe you go to the gym and always do cardio, maybe you only go to step class, or are only focused on getting flat abs for summer. Whatever your rut—Shake it up! 

It is important to continually challenge your body when working out and an easy way to do that is by trying an alternative way of exercising. You may be only focusing of certain muscle groups and by varying your routine you can become stronger, healthier, and more fit! This idea is sometimes referred as “Muscle Confusion” and entire workout plans have been created and proven to be very successful. 

Often times a workout routine can become boring, or too easy. A great way to combat this is by trying a new form of exercise. The Hamel Recreation Center offers fitness classes over the summer ranging from: Zumba, to spin classes, or weight training. Try out something that’s new to you! If you are not staying in the Durham area this summer then the Internet is your friend! There are tons of online resources for basically any type of exercise and I personally really enjoy workout videos.

Trying a new workout routine can be exciting and challenging. I recommend working out with friends and trying new routines and forms of exercise! For employess, Healthy UNH and UNH Athletics have teams up to offer the Wildcat Workout Project (a bootcamp style fitness program) for a limited time.

Other ideas to try are:

  • Cycling
  • Bootcamp
  • Kickboxing
  • Strength training
  • Pilates
  • Swimming at Swasey Pool

Just search any topic in our website search window to find more ideas. 

 

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Physical Activity, routine, workout

Focus on Water

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

Everyone knows that it is important for humans to consume water. Sometimes the health benefits of drinking water are over looked. Here is a how to guide to consuming more water and the science as to why water is an under rated super drink!

The human body is 60% made up of water. Water is excreted through the body in multiple ways: urine, stools, perspiration, and simply breathing. It is vital for the body to replenish water loss otherwise we become dehydrated. Dehydration is very dangerous and can make people feel sluggish, weak, and can potential cause fainting. It is important to consume water when exercising, if you’re sweating, if consuming alcohol, or if you are in a hot climate. 

So what is so good about water? Water is a great beverage because it is able to balance body fluids and does not provide any calories. Therefore people can consume water without worrying about gaining weight. Water actually has the ability to control calorie intake by replacing empty calorie beverages like soda. The body also can feel hungry when it is actually thirsty so by consuming one glass of water before each meal you will likely eat less. 

Water additionally keeps your skin healthy. Hydrated skin has less wrinkles and lines, and helps prevent pimples. Water also keeps muscles working properly which will increase workout performance. Water allows the kidneys to properly function, which then rids the body of toxins.

Increase water intake by:

  • Keeping a water bottle with you as often as possible.
  • Try to consume one glass of water before each meal.
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables that contain water.
  • Try adding fruit or vegetables to your water. I enjoy lemons and limes in my water, which will additionally add electrolytes.

Have you taken a sip from your water bottle yet??

Tagged In: balance, beverage, consume, Dehydration, empty calorie, Exercise, Fitness, Healthy UNH, hydration, Kelsey McCullough, muscles, Nutrition, skin, water, weight

How to Begin a Workout Program!

Monday, June 9, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

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 AHA 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!

And if you need some help getting started, Campus Rec has some great programs with experts to guide and encourage you. For UNH employees, Healthy UNH partners with other departments to bring programs like the Wildcat Workout Program and Faculty and Staff Outdoor Adventures.

Tagged In: Exercise, Fitness, goals, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Physical Activity, plan, reward, stretch, track, workout, Workout Program

What does healthy mean?

Friday, May 30, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

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!

 

Tagged In: balance, Fitness, Healthy, Healthy UNH, individualize, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, Nutrition, recreation, resources

Preventative care: saves lives and dollars!

Friday, May 23, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

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!

Tagged In: Health Care Consumerism, Health Cost, healthcare.gov, Healthy UNH, immunizations, Kelsey McCullough, preventative care, prevention, screenings

Reach for the (Guiding) Stars!

Friday, May 2, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

Did you know that in addition to the “Wildcat Plate” every UNH dining hall offers Guiding Stars to help pick the best food options for you? Learn to read the stars and create a healthy plate! 

The Guiding Stars can be found throughout Hannaford’s supermarkets as well as the Dining Halls at UNH. They help navigate you to make healthy food choices. Each star represents a certain nutritional value with one being designated as “good”, two as “better”, and three stars as “best”. If a food has no stars that means it does not meet the Guiding Star criteria, or it has not been rated yet.

An easy comparison is white rice is given one star, because it provides good nutrition, however brown rice is given two stars because it has increased fiber and is a whole grain. The Guiding Stars are a good way to compare food choices and guide you to the healthy option!

I like that the Guiding Stars is a very passive guide to healthy food options at the Dining Halls. If you are torn between two options it is an easy way to make your food choices. Next time you are looking at the UNH Dining online menu, or in the Dining Halls, look for the Guiding Stars legend to choose the best meal for you! 

Check out the Guiding Stars next time you are in the dining hall! 

Tagged In: Guiding Stars, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Nutrition, online menu, options, UNH dining, Wildcat Plate

“The Anonymous People” MUB movie/discussion

Friday, April 18, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

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

Tagged In: addition, Department of Social Work, disease, Health Services, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, mental wellness, MUB, recovery, S.A.F.E Peer Education, The Anonymous People, UNH programs

How to Begin a Workout Program!

Monday, April 14, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

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! 

Tagged In: active, attitude, Exercise, Fitness, flexibility, goals, group fitness, Healthy, Kelsey McCullough, mental, Physical Activity, plan, positive, routine, schedule, stretch, UNH, workout, Workout Program

National Public Health Week: Get out Ahead

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

“Prevention must become a national obsession”- Richard Carmody, US surgeon general 2003.

 “Get out ahead” focuses on the idea that preventive care keeps people healthy by not having them get sick in the first place. For example from 2000-2004, the United States spent $96 billion dollars on health care expenditures related to smoking. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death. This is just one example of how expensive health care can be. Preventive care can teach people the harmful effects of smoking and highly discourage it so less people will ever start the addictive and costly habit.

Only 3% of our health care dollars are spent towards prevention.This is largely because it can be somewhat difficult to track the success of prevention whereas treating a disease has a more measurable success rate.However by preventing people from starting smoking, or getting diabetes, or getting HIV (just to name a few) it will mean a healthier population and lower health care spending.

How do I start?Some great ways to “get out ahead” are to help by volunteering at community health centers, or encourage your community to take part in prevention screenings or health fairs.Learn more about cancer screenings and diabetes prevention.Health prevention keeps you healthy from the start and even saves you money! 

Get Out Ahead!Don’t wait till you get sick to seek medical attention, by utilizing prevention methods you can prevent sickness in the first place!  

Tagged In: Health Care Consumerism, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, preventable disease, prevention, smoking, volunteer

Compare hospitals to find right one for you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

I often times hear how important it is to be a “smart health care consumer.” As college students it can seem like a topic that is not relevant to us, but within the next four years we will be gradating and eventually looking for jobs. You may end up staying in the area or what if you make a huge move and end up in California? Once you graduate you have many decisions to make include one’s about health care. Who will be your doctor? What hospital will you go to in emergencies? If you are new to an area or starting to make health care decisions a great resource to check out is Hospital Compare.

Hospital Compare is a website published by Medicare that aids people in making health care choices.  You can compare hospitals based on different categories such as surgery, heart attack, and pneumonia outcomes. The service’s hospitals provide are rated based on these categories: patient survey results, timely and effective care, readmissions, complications, death, and more. 

Hospital Compare continues to expand and look at more services provided. It was created through The Hospital Quality Alliance and Medicare, which “was intended to make it easier for consumers to make informed health care decisions”. It is also a great idea to talk to people in the area and their experiences with local doctors and hospitals. Word of mouth can be a great way to find out what facility would suit your medical needs.

Do your research to find the right hospital for you!  

Tagged In: Compare, consumer, Health Care Consumerism, health costs. health care consumer, Hospital Compare, Hospital Quality Alliance and Medicare, hospitals, Kelsey McCullough, students

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

 

Healthy, yummy, and cheap??! Impossible you think, I’ll prove you wrong!

As college students, sometimes food can become a lesser priority when you have tests, assignments, work, and etc. If you live in an apartment on campus I have some tips on how to eat healthy while not breaking your budget!

  1. Make your own coffee/tea at home, and bring a travelers mug with you to class.Coffee is often very over priced at college campuses, try making your own!
  2. Try having a “family dinner”, have everyone bring different dishes and eat with a group of friends!(Try assigning everyone a different food group to have a balanced meal!)
  3. Invest in a crock-pot!These are great if you have classes all day, you can come home and have a meal ready!
  4. Left-overs are your friend!Try making more then you need that way you can freeze foods and reheat them when you are pressed for time!
  5. Canned and frozen vegetables and fruit are great options.They are usually cheaper, last longer, and just as nutritious!Don’t believe me?Check out this ABC news article.
  6. Plan your meals.If you know what you are making for the week it will make shopping easier and allow you to plan around your meals.
  7. Compare prices!Always check the unit price and price per pound to make sure you get the best deals!
  8. Try buying in season!Usually getting foods that are currently in season is a great way to save money.Get fruits and vegetables that are fresh from local venders all while supporting local business!
  9. Shop clearance.Grab a flyer when walking into supermarkets and look at what is on sale.Often times produce will have weekly deals!
  10. Try my spaghetti sauce recipe! I use the leftovers for ravioli, eggplant parmesan, and even stuffed peppers.
  • Simmer on low in a crock-pot for 4-6 hours in a crock-pot.
  • Combine: 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 can of crushed tomatoes. Add the vegetables and meat.  Season as desired. 
  •  Brown 1 pound of ground turkey.
  • Sauté: 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, and 1 red onion. 
Tagged In: budget, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Nutrition

Yoga on Campus

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

Yoga is a great way to get exercise, relieve some stress, and have fun! On campus you can participate in free yoga in the MUB and in the Hamel recreation center.

Yoga is an exercise that combines breathing and stretching. It is usually done in a quiet, dimly light room, and with an instructor leading the stretches or poses. Yoga is a great exercise for all ages because there are many forms with varying intensities. Some different types of yoga include:

  • Power Yoga- challenging yoga that focuses on strength and flexibility.
  • Bikram Yoga- body cleansing yoga, and is usually in a high temperature environment.
  • Tibetan Yoga- High repetitions and flowing movements.
  • Hatha Yoga- usually a blend of styles, varying in intensity.

Yoga has many health benefits that go beyond improving flexibility. Yoga has been proven to reduce stress and can actually improve moods. It is a great relief for college students who are feeling stressed. It also helps to improve one’s balance, strength, and can aid in weight loss. Amazingly yoga has been found to be a way to reduce likelihood of chronic diseases. Check out the yoga health foundation for a complete list of benefits!

This year yoga classes are offered at the Hamel Recreation Center several times a week at varying times. And every Friday at the MUB from Health Services (BYOM-Bring Your Own Mat!), so grab some friends and try Yoga!

 

Tagged In: breathing, Fitness, flexibility, free, Hamel Recreation Center, Health Services, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, Stress, stretching, Yoga

Mentally Preparing for the Perfect Interview

Friday, February 28, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

As college students we are in a constant state of stress between assignment deadlines, grades, and finding jobs.Everyone reading this has likely had an interview before, so you can understand the anxiety that comes along with having to talk yourself up to a stranger.These are some tips that I use to help reduce the stresses of interviewing!

As soon as you learn that you have an interview write down the time, date, and location.Place this somewhere that you see everyday (like a wall calendar or on your computer) so that it will not “sneak up” on you.It is important that you do research on the company you have applied for; you may even be able to find information about their interview process online.Brainstorm and write down questions that you will ask after your interview. Companies like to see interviewees take the initiative to ask questions and when you have written questions it makes you look professional and prepared.

Now that you are educated about the company, you should review your own résumé.Refresh yourself on your past experiences and be sure that you will be able to explain in more depth what things mean.This is also a good time to reflect on your accomplishments, remind yourself of how far you have come and why you deserve this opportunity.

Lastly and most importantly mentally prepare for success!Walk through the process in your mind from shaking hands, to answering questions.It is a good idea to practice some common interview questions, review your best traits, experiences, and what you can contribute to the company.If you have willing friends hold a mock interview, where they ask you interview questions.

On the day of the interview I find it helpful after I am dressed and ready to sit and reflect.Remember that you are capable, that you will do your best, and that you deserve this job or internship.Be confident and you will do great!And remember you might not get every job, but each interview is valuable practice!

Check the University Advising and Career Center website to see sample interview questions! And be sure to head to the Career Fair March 4th at the Whittemore center from 12-4!

 

 

Tagged In: Career Fair, Healthy UNH, interview, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, mock interview, practice, prepare, resume, Sample Questions, Stress, University Advising and Career Center

Positive Imagery and its Effects on Well-Being

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

In college we are surrounded by nay-sayers. Each day passing people on campus I hear “I just know I’m going to fail”, “I will never be able to finish in time”, or “It’s hopeless”. I have found that in my life by focusing on the positive things and the things that are in my own control I am a happier person. Often times when schoolwork becomes completely overwhelming I like to take a step back and look at all the steps I need to do. Usually if I write down my assignments and due dates school work will seem much less daunting. I also find that keeping a positive attitude when stressed greatly helps my performance. Rather then picturing an upcoming exam to be impossible I like to think about how much information I have gained and remind my self that I am prepared and ready to conquer!

               Rather then picturing the worst-case scenario try using positive imagery. “We can turn the tables and use visualization as a creative tool to generate self-confidence, relaxation, and other desired mental states.” Once you see yourself having negative thoughts you can use your own imagination to create a better picture. When I feel stressed, I often imagine myself on a beach being warm, sandy, and happy. It reminds me that whatever I am currently dealing with will pass eventually. Visualization and positive imagery can be used when you are stressed, angry, sad, or even anxious.

                Other situations where I use imagery are before interviews and presentations. By acting out the scene in my head I gain confidence and I believe it enhances my performance. There are many forms of positive imagery and everyone performs them differently. The next time you are feeling stressed try going to a quiet room, and taking your mind off of your stressor, visualize yourself overcoming your challenges and take a few deep breaths. The more you practice imagery the easier it will come to you and should be more effective. 

Tagged In: breath, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, notes, plan, positive attitude, Positive Imagery, quiet, relaxation, self-confidence, visualization

Guide to Balanced Meals-Wildcat Style!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

Many students today will claim that they know what My-Plate, or “The Wildcat Plate” as we like to call it here at UNH, is but do you know how to use it? Wildcat Plate is a passive guide to healthy and most importantly BALANCED eating. What I like about Wildcat Plate is you don’t necessarily need to understand portion sizes, or give up your favorite treats, but learn how make your plate a nutritionally balanced meal. 

The Wildcat Plate is broken up to 4 categories, fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains; also with dairy shown as a glass of milk on the USDA’s My-Plate website.  Each of the categories takes up certain proportions of the plate, like a pie chart. It is recommended that half your plate be fruits and vegetables, while proteins take up a little less then 25%. The rest of the plate should be grains.

  • Fruits: Men and women should be getting about 2 cups of fruit per day. Fruit can be fresh, canned, frozen, or come from 100% juice.
  • Vegetables: there are 5 categories of vegetables dark greens, starchy, red/orange, beans and peas, and others. By getting varying colors you will get a diverse array of nutrients. Aim for 2.5- 3 cups per day.
  • Proteins: it is recommended to get protein from different sources such as poultry, meat, beans, eggs, nuts, and soy products. Aim for lean sources and needs vary from 5.5 ounces to 6.5 ounces.
  • Grains: one of the largest categories on Wildcat Plate and because they are so well liked this category is often over eaten, try to get about 6-8 ounces. Aim to make at least half your grains whole; wheat bread and brown rice are good sources!
  • Dairy: it is recommended that you consume mostly low-fat or fat free dairy products. 3 cups per day is recommended. If don’t like milk (like me) try yogurt or soymilk.

If you can’t find a Wildcat Plate to use in the dining hall, or if you live in an off campus apartment, you can still use the concept by understanding basic proportions.

For example if you have: 1 slice of whole-wheat peperoni pizza that would largely count as your grains, a little bit of dairy, and protein. So you should pair it will a spinach salad, with walnuts, cranberries, feta cheese, and vinegar/oil. For dessert try an apple with peanut butter and a glass of skim milk. Now all of your food groups are covered with this delicious and filling meal!

 

Tagged In: balanced meal, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Nutrition, Wildcat

What Healthcare Plan is Right for You?

Monday, January 13, 2014
By: Kelsey McCullough

Healthcare plans can be a complicated topic that many college students like to avoid, myself included! But when one breaks down healthcare insurance plans they are much less daunting and it is very important for students to be smart healthcare consumers! When you begin looking at a plan for yourself it is important to recognize the differences, to find the best plan to fit your needs!

So what are the different plans?

  • Health maintenance organization (HMO): usually this plan limits coverage to providers who are within their network. If you see a provider outside of the network you will likely pay the full cost of the appointment. This type of plan generally requires you to see your primary doctor to get referrals before going to a specialist.
  • Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO): Same as HMO, in that you have a specific network, however you generally do not need to see your primary care provider before seeing a specialist.
    • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO): This type of plan allows you to use in-network providers, or use out-of-network providers and pay more. One can visit any doctor with no referral.
    • Point-of-Service plans (POS): Same as PPO however, if you wish to see a provider out-of-network provider you need a referral.
    • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): typically these plans will have higher deductibles and lower premiums then traditional insurance plans. As well as offer a health savings account to help you pay for costs.
    • Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan: this type has a very high deducible. They will cover 3 annual primary care visits and preventative services at no costs. This plan is thought as a “safety net” and will cover someone during serious injury or disease.

Which plan is most effective for you?

Visit life happens, or check out Healthy UNH’s webpage to learn more about health insurance. :

 

Tagged In: Health Care Consumerism, Health Cost, Healthy UNH, Insurance, Kelsey McCullough

Foods that help bad moods!

Friday, December 20, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

College is a very stressful time in peoples’ lives and students often don’t know they can actually reduce stress symptoms by what they eat. I am going to go over a few different moods and provide you with some great food fighting tools to get you through midterms! 

Stress: can come from many different sources and effects people in many different ways.  If you are feeling worried you likely have high hormone levels of cortisone, fight back with dark chocolate!  It will reduce your stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and contains antioxidants. Enjoy in moderation! 

Anger: one of the best things to do when your angry is to stop what you are doing and try to relax. One great way to do this is with green tea! Green tea actually contains theanine, which helps to calm, and make you more focused.

Overall bad mood: one of the best things to eat if you are feeling anxious, sad, or irritable is omega 3’s.  Research has actually linked Omega 3’s to lessening depression symptoms. So try some salmon or herring!

Unfocused: try eating berries! Berries are high in antioxidants such as anthocyanin and helps with shaper cognition. They are also high in vitamin C, which can lower blood pressure and helps with stress levels.

Check out the Prevention Magazine for more great foods that help fight off stress and moodiness! 

Tagged In: anthocyanin, antioxidants, green tea, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, mood, Nutrition, omega 3, Stress, theanine, vitamin C

Workout Gear Wish-list!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

With the holidays fast approaching everyone is starting to create their wish lists’. This year on my list is new workout gear! Whenever I get new workout clothes or equipment it can really help to motivate me and help to switch up my same old routine.

I know a lot of students find it harder to workout when they are home for vacation and the gym isn’t a 6 minute walk away. Don’t let that get in your way during this break try doing workouts at home. There are lots of great videos of workouts online, which require little room and equipment. Check out this article to find free online videos that you can try during winter break. 

 One great piece of equipment that should be on everyone’s list is a yoga mat. They are portable, make in-house workouts more comfortable, and are very affordable. These will come in handy when doing yoga, Pilates, stretching, or workouts when having extra grip is helpful like push-ups and lunges. 

Kettle bells are a new workout craze, and are great for workouts in tight places. They come in a variety of weights and have a convenient handle. They are generally used for arm and leg exercises like the ones listed on Body Building.

Jump ropes are a fun and easy to use. They can provide great cardio and increase coordination. Try putting on some tunes and jump roping to the beat, jump slowly for low intensity or quick intervals for sprint-like workouts. 

Tagged In: clothes, equipment, Exercise, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Kettle Bells, motivate, Physical Activity, shopping, Wish list, Workout Gear, yoga mat

Student Nutrition Association Highlight

Monday, December 2, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

With over 250 clubs and organizations on campus, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect group to join. That is why this week I wanted to highlight SNA or the Student Nutrition Association. I joined SNA last year and wish I hade joined earlier!  SNA is a club on campus that “consists of students with an interest in nutrition. SNA organizes activities involved in community service work, fundraising and educational outreach, as well as taking part in group socials and creating a cohesive and knowledgeable group of students.” 

SNA is open to all students, there are nutrition majors and non-nutrition majors; anyone that is interested in making UNH and our community a healthier place, then this is a great club for you! Meetings are once a week, currently Tuesday evenings at 7pm. Each month we do about two community service projects such as working with Wildcat Friends, or with children about healthy snacking and drinks in the Durham area. We promote healthy choices all while having fun and often times eating great food!

On top of reaching out to the community, our other mission is to raise money and help support the Haitian Health foundation. On December 3rd we will be having a Fro-Yo event to help raise money, so please go to Fro-Yo World on December 3rd and mention “Haitian Health Foundation” to have 15% of your purchase help a great cause!

So if you are interested in nutrition, helping the community, and love food check out the Student Nutrition Association! And don’t forget to grab some Fro-Yo December 3rd!  @SNA_UNH #UNH16 #UNHhealthservices

Check out the SNA facebook page to learn more!

Tagged In: campus, clubs, educational outreach, fundraising, group socials, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Nutrition, service work, Student Nutrition Association, UNH

The Price of Smoking

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

November 21st was the Great American Smoke Out. Here at UNH, students are encouraged to kick the habit by being educated of the harmful effects of smoking and offered resources to help them quit. The Center of Disease Control reports that smoking is the leading preventative cause of disease in the U.S. Smoking causes approximately 443,000 deaths from cancer, lung disease and heart attacks each year. One factor many do not think about is that by quitting smoking you can significantly reduce your own health care costs, as well as the health care costs of everyone!  “Each year smoking results in $96 billion dollars in health care costs”, that’s a lot of money! Some is directly because of smoking’s detrimental effects to the user and it is also estimated that 10 billion is spent on secondhand smoke exposure.  

By smoking one packet of cigarettes per day in a year, that will add up to about $5,000 dollars, in ten years that could be $50,000. This is money that could be spent on school, spring break, or even a car.  Save your money and your health! By quitting smoking you will reduce damage to the people around you, improve your health, and save money!

Health Services offers counseling and education, as well as light therapy, meditation and other services to help you to quit! Save years on your life as well as dollars in your pocket.

Tagged In: cancer, Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthy UNH, heart attacks, Kelsey McCullough, lung disease, preventative, Price, smoking

Eating disorders and weight concerns-Lets talk about it.

Monday, November 25, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

A study conducted in 2008 found that 65% of women between the ages of 25-45 have disordered eating habits, and another 10% actually have an eating disorder. That means that about 75% of women struggle to maintain positive attitudes and healthy practices when it comes to food. These percentages are WAY too high, it is time to rethink our relationship with food and begin enjoying food in a healthy manner. 

Extreme dieting, anorexia, bulimia, skipping meals, these are all extremely unhealthy ways to lose weight, yet they are still practiced by many women and men today.If you are concerned with how much you weigh, it is important to first visit your primary care doctor.They can show you what a healthy weight range would be for you, and possibly refer you to a registered dietitian or exercise consultant. 

There is a big difference from healthy eating/dieting and an eating disorder.Often times an eating disorder will occur alongside other disorders such as depression, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eating disorderedly is usually a method of coping from high stress, anxiety, or traumatic events. It is important to recognize the symptoms early on and talk to a professional about your eating concerns. This is a very common issue in America; you should never feel like you are alone. There are people even here on campus to help anyone with eating concerns get back to having a positive outlook on health, food, and life! 

Health Services has lots of resources to help individuals with eating concerns. Check out their online resources, talk with an eating concerns mentor, or a counselor on staff. The UNH Counseling Center also encourages students to talk with them about eating concerns, anxiety and other related issues. You’re not alone, there is assistance all around campus.

Tagged In: anorexia, bulimia, Diet, eating disorder, Extreme dieting, Healthy, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, UNH Counseling Center, weight, weight concern

Fats Make You Fat, right?!

Monday, November 4, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

If there was one thing that I learned in Italy this summer, it is that all fats should NOT be treated equally. It is important to be able to recognize healthier fats and try to minimize certain less healthy fats in your diet. 

For a general rule of thumb, saturated fats are solid at room temperature. They can be found in many animal products such as cheese, meat, milk, etc. Foods that have lots of butter and shortening are also high in saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends getting less then 7% of total calories from saturated fats. 

Trans fats are found in highly processed foods. They are unsaturated fats that have been altered by hydrogenation to make them more solid.  Both trans and saturated fats should be consumed in minimal amounts because of their tendency to raise LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”). 

Unsaturated fats dominate the Mediterranean diet. They are consumed in much higher amounts then saturated fats. During the 7 Countries Study performed by Ancel Keys, Cretans were consuming around 40% of daily calories (that’s a lot of olive oil!) from unsaturated fats, yet they were living longer and healthier lives than Americans consuming saturated fats.  An unsaturated fat contains at least one double bond in its conformation.  Monounsatured fats are often times noted as being “good fats,” and come from vegetable oils such as olive oil. These fats will actually lower LDL cholesterol. 

Another type of unsaturated fat is called polyunsatured (meaning multiple double bonds).  Polyunsaturated fats get broken down further into Omega 3’s or Omega 6’s. Omega 3’s come from sources such as fatty fish, walnuts, or flax seed, while Omega 6’s are from things like soybean or corn oils. Omega 3’s and 6’s competitively compete in the body and ingesting more Omega 3’s is considerably better to reduce inflammation.

Fat intake should always be monitored mainly because of its high choleric density, effects on cholesterol, and heart health. Be a smart consumer by checking nutrition labels for fat content, and try the Mediterranean style of using vegetable fats rather then butter while cooking or baking. 

Tagged In: bad cholesterol, fats, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, LDL cholesterol, Mediterranean, Monounsatured fat, Nutrition, nutrition labels, Obesity, omega 3, Omega 6, polyunsatured, processed food, saturated fats, trans fats

Test Anxiety

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

College can be stressful; being away from home, surrounded by new people, and having difficult courses. Many students can find college to be overwhelming, especially their first year. A great way to reduce stress is reducing test anxiety. Minnesota State University defines test anxiety as “when your anxiety prevents you from showing the professor what you have learned and know. It is not the same as being anxious during a test because you are unprepared or do not understand the material.” Many students will study for countless hours and “blank out” once they receive a test.

               Test anxiety can be reduced greatly by creating better study and testing skills. Not everyone has the same study habits, so do whatever you find works for you. I personally enjoy using flashcards to memorize terms, while I like group studying for complex concepts. Figure out what ways of studying you enjoy and that keep you engaged. Cramming is never the solution. Try to have planned study sessions and begin reviewing material two weeks before the test.

               Eating habits, sleep, and relaxation techniques will have a huge impact on test anxiety.  Often, students will feel the need to stay up late, drinking energy drinks, skipping workouts and meals, all to get an A. However every source on test anxiety claims, “do not cram!” 

Here are some tips!

  • Study in sessions. Always take breaks.
  • Plan ahead in your studying. Take extra time to go over the hard stuff.
  • Try not to simply memorize, but think about the big picture and how the information relates to the class.
  • Always ask for help when you need it. Try going to your professor’s office hours or try Center for Academic Resources.
  • If you start to feel stressed: take a walk, talk to friends, have a snack. Take your mind off of the exam for a while.
  • Get good night’s sleep before the test.
  • Eat a good meal before the test.
  • Arrive prepared and early to the exam.
  • Look over the test and answer easy questions first. Take extra time with difficult questions, but do not second-guess yourself.
  • If you begin to feel panicked, try some deep breathing techniques.

For more ideas on reducing test anxiety visit the UNH CONNECT Program!

@CFARUNH #UNH17 #CollegeHealth

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Mental Health, mental wellness, Test Anxiety

Intramurals at UNH

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

A great way to have fun and stay in shape at UNH is by getting involved in intermurals! There are tons of great activities that range from flag football to dodge ball. Everyone can find something they enjoy!

Intermurals are available all throughout the year. There are male, female, and co-ed leagues. Games are on weeknights, and are scheduled around class times. Intermurals are actually refereed by trained students, who take the games very seriously. One of the best parts about intermurals is you get an awesome t-shirt if you are champions of one of the leagues! (And bragging rights of course!)

My favorite intermural teams is broomball. I am on a female league and my team is all roommates and friends. Broomball is game, where your team is actually on the hockey rink (in sneakers), and virtually playing floor hockey. You can have up to ten people on a team, but only 5 on the ice at a time. There are bound to be lots of slips and falls, but also lots of sweat and smiles! It is hard work running around the ice but everyone has a great attitude so its tons of fun! 

Tagged In: Fitness, Healthy UNH, Intramurals, Kelsey McCullough, Physical Activity, UNH Program

Generic Drugs: A safe, money saving option.

Friday, October 11, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

These days everyone is looking to save some money. One cost that people often overlook is health care costs, even though the average family pays over $400 per month on health insurance. One simple way to reduce medical spending is to look into using generic drugs, rather then using big brand name drugs. 

Most people tend to think that if something is being highly marketed, (for instance, featured in television commercials, such as Lipitor or Nexium) that the product is of high quality. This is not the case when it comes to medications. The fact is, the FDA requires that all generic drugs work just as well as the brand name. Not only do generic drugs need to work just as well, but they “are required to have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand name. 

Web MD has a very interesting article titled: “The Ten Most Prescribed Drugs.”   Surprisingly, this article explains that none of the top ten most prescribed drugs are the ones making the most money. Generic drugs are widely used however; the brand name companies make much more money selling much less quantity. It is important to remember that the pharmaceutical companies are looking to make money. Which is why they will get celebrities to endorse their products, or pay lots of money to run ads on television.  Just because brand name drugs are more expensive and widely endorsed does not mean it is of better quality then a generic drug. 

Note that making a generic drug takes time, after a new brand name drug is developed, pharmacies need to develop the generic version and have it approved.  So during a certain period of time the brand name version may be the only option.

If you are currently using any brand name drugs consider talking to your doctor about switching to generic alternatives. The FDA reported, “In 2010 the use of FDA-approved generics saved $158 billion dollars.” Lets see how much you can save!

 

Tagged In: brand name, FDA approved, generic drugs, Health Care Consumerism, Health Cost, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, prescribed drugs, prescriptions

Weight training- A great way (for anyone) to stay in shape!

Monday, October 7, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

Have you been getting tired of the same old cardio routine at the gym?That happened to me Junior year of High school, I ran track and cross country and suddenly running got well kind of boring.That’s why I took a weight training class.10 pounds of muscle later I still love pumping iron to this day! 

One of my favorite benefits of weight training is that it is a great stress reliever!After studying for hours I love to go to the gym and sweat out my stress.Lifting weights also helps increase bone density.Weight training is a great way to get toned, and believe me you will not bulk up!Here are more reasons to try strength training!

How to get started:

  • First things first, never be intimidated to use the weights area in the gym.I know it can be a little awkward at first while you learn some basic moves.  But in no time you will be a natural!
  • Start slow.Never go straight for the big weight.Form is much more important then how much weight you use.Also start with a day or two per week, for an hour, and slowly increase.Always have a spotter when increasing weights.
  • Go to the gym with a plan.I enjoy having designated leg days, biceps/back day, etc. Figure out what works for you!
  • Listen to your body.Always be paying attention to how you are feeling.Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.  Be aware of soreness and never over work your muscles.
  • Try a strength training class at the Hamel Rec center!

I also wanted to highlight some of my favorite moves that give you the most bang for your buck:

The Squat.  Feet planted, little more then hip width apart, and heels stay on ground the entire time. Bend down as if sitting in a chair, going to 90 degrees, and come back up.

Kelsey bench pressing photo

Bench. Have bar directly over eye level to start, place hands equally apart, while lying flat on the bench. Bring bar down to chest and straight back up (exhale on the raise, inhale when lowering).

Kelsey bench pressing photo

Hang cleans.  This exercise is a little harder to explain, but hits many muscles.

Try strength-training exercise today!
#UNH @UNHStudentHealth101 @UNHCampusRec 

 

Tagged In: Fitness, Hamel Rec, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Physical Activity, StudentHealth101, toning, UNHCampusRec, weight training

Fun, Free, Fitness

Friday, September 13, 2013
By: Kelsey McCullough

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!

 

Tagged In: belly dancing, bootcamp, classes, Fitness, free, fun, Hamel rec center, Healthy UNH, Kelsey McCullough, Physical Activity, punkrope, strength training, total body resistance, trainers, TRX, Yoga