Friday, November 30, 2012
Students Promoting Information on Nutrition, also known as SPIN, is a great organization on campus to get involved in that is run by UNH Health Services. These mentors are student volunteers that get trained to counsel and educate those who are looking to for more knowledge and assistance in the field of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. These students receive intensive training and education by trained professionals in the field, and are well equipped to help others with questions regarding nutrition.
SPIN promotes campus wide awareness of healthy eating, and you can often find them around campus tabling information and marketing ways to live a healthy lifestyle. They have been known to do food cooking demonstrations on campus, as well as distributing informational handouts
One has to apply to be a part of SPIN and in the fall semester each year, those new members will be trained intensively to aid fellow students. One can even get up to four class credits just for being a part of SPIN!
If you are looking to join SPIN, or even seek help from the student mentors, you can find out more information at the UNH Health Services website.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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.
Monday, November 26, 2012
The poor turkey is having a rough enough day without being
blamed for your sleepiness after the Thanksgiving feast. Many people have heard
the rumor that turkey contains a chemical called tryptophan that causes us to
feel tired. According to
Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine,) turkey does indeed contribute to your fatigue, but it is not the sole participant. L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid which means that you must consume it somehow because your body cannot make it. In your body, it is metabolized to make two hormones called serotonin and melatonin that help your body relax and regulate sleep. This makes it seem as though turkey would be the culprit for the fatigue you experience, but in fact, turkey does not contain any more tryptophan than chicken, pork or most carbohydrates. Plus, in order for you to feel the effects of tryptophan you would have to eat it on an empty stomach or at least with no other protein. As hard as you try, chances are you’ve already been munching on some hors d’oeuvres so your stomach is not completely empty. Turkey contains a bunch of other protein so tryptophan will not have the effect it would if it were consumed alone.
There are more contributing factors than just the turkey though. Thanksgiving is a socially acceptable time to overeat. Overeating causes the blood from other parts of your body to be focused to your digestive system so everything else gets tired. A good portion of the food we eat at this time is high in fat which is harder for your body to digest. It takes more energy and is a much slower process than the digestion of the rest of the food. Let’s not forget the alcohol. Plain and simple: alcohol makes you sleepy. If you mix this with all of these other factors discussed, you have the perfect recipe for a Thanksgiving nap. Or better yet, do something active and help your body digest that giant meal faster so you can feel rested without the nap.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Ever since the term “pink slime” was brought to our attention meat is seemingly less appealing. Red meat in particular over chicken or other poultry. Personally I don’t consider myself to be a vegetarian, but if I am offered a veggie burger or a hamburger I will always chose the non-meat option. Since I do not eat much meat I need to make sure that I am getting protein from other sources!
What are other good sources of protein? Eggs, nuts, and dairy are just a couple! Seeds and nuts are the easiest to eat on the go and are perfect for a snack option. Yes, this includes peanut butter as well. Try to limit the amount of protein you consume through seeds and nut butters because they are often high in fat. Although these fats are considered to be healthy, it is smart to eat them in moderation.
Dairy products, yogurt and cottage cheese especially, are high in protein. Chobani Greek Yogurt has a variety of flavors and packs 14-15g of protein into each serving! There are both non-fat and low-fat options. Cottage cheese can be made into a delicious protein-packed treat by adding fruit to it or even putting in on top of a salad. Pineapple with cottage cheese is filling and can help curb your craving for something sweet.
An expert quoted in the Men’s Health article 8 Foods That Pack On Muscle stated, “Calorie for calorie, you need less protein from eggs than you do from other sources to achieve the same muscle-building benefits." One egg has about 6 grams of protein! Another perk to eating eggs is the Vitamin B12, which is very important for fat breakdown and muscle contractions. Vegetarians and vegans need to make sure they are consuming enough Vitamin B12 because this deficiency overtime can have irreversible effects. To find out more about this essential vitamin check out: The Vegan Society.
to find a list of high protein foods and how many grams of protein there are in a serving!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Did you know you could burn calories by just talking on the phone? Sure! If you pace while you chat instead of sitting down, you burn calories without even thinking about it! This is NEAT! No, really; NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermoneogenesis These are activities that you can do every day to burn calories without going to the gym. Some NEAT activities that are easily incorporated into your day include:
- Choosing the furthest parking spot from your destination
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Pacing while you’re waiting for something or while you’re on the phone
- Fidget while you are sitting down.
- Sit on an exercise ball if you work at a desk all day
- Take a lap: If you often find yourself sitting around a lot try to stand up and walk around for a few minutes. For example if you are studying at the library it is a good idea to take a 20 minute break every so often to give your mind a rest; so take a couple laps around the library. Go up or down to other floors.
Some activities you may not need to do every day but are still considered NEAT activities include shopping, cleaning the house, doing yard work and countless others. A good rule of thumb to use is minimizing the amount of sitting you do each day. If you can incorporate these little tidbits of exercise into your daily life you can shed a few pounds or maintain your weight loss. Keep in mind though, that there is a cumulative effect with NEAT activities. You cannot simply add one NEAT activity to your day and expect to drop ten pounds in a week. This is just a helpful means of promoting physical activity for promoting and maintaining weight loss and preventing weight gain. NEAT activities also increase your metabolic rate. This means that it will become easier for you to lose weight because you will be able to burn more calories when you do work out or participate in more NEAT activities. There are so many things you can do to increase the amount of calories burned in a day, so get off your bum and no more excuses!
Friday, November 16, 2012
Yogurt is delicious. You can find it in many different flavors. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be used as a lower-calorie substitute for sour cream. It can be used to make smoothies. Yogurt is a versatile, tasty, and also healthful food. Other than its deliciousness and usefulness in different dishes, it exhibits some serious health benefits. Every year, more studies are released on the benefits of yogurt. Let’s examine the nutritional science behind these health benefits.
When you buy yogurt, look for the little words on the label saying it contains “live and active cultures”. Yogurt is a special food made from milk, and can be grouped with alcohol and pickles in that it is fermented. Milk contains a sugar called lactose. When certain bacterial cultures are added to milk, the bacteria will break down the lactose to produce lactic acid. The acid then causes the texture we associate with yogurt. Since these bacteria have been added to produce the yogurt, they can still be in yogurt when we eat it. They travel into our intestines, and aid in the digestion of food- this is what people mean when they talk about “probiotics”. Probiotic yogurts have also been shown in recent years to reduce the incidence of depression in yogurt-eaters. It also is a milk product, so it contains protein to keep you feeling full, calcium for strong bones, and B-vitamins.
If you didn’t already have enough reasons to love yogurt, here are some more. I know I will be frequenting the dairy aisle much more knowing these facts. To learn more about yogurt, check out these articles in Today and WebMD.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
We all are aware that eating right and exercising regularly contribute to a healthier body and mind. But did you know that the better you eat and the more you exercise, the lower health care costs may become? If you eat healthier and exercise more, you will be a healthier individual, and therefore needing to use medical services less.
1. Lower premiums.
If you are healthier, you get sick and hurt less often. This means you go to the hospital/doctor/pharmacy less often and use insurance money less. You don’t need to see your doctor if, due to your healthy diet and strengthened immune system, you’re not sick. And since you’re not sick, you don’t need a prescription for antibiotics. If you’re a low-liability customer who takes care of him or herself, an insurance company may lower your premium for good behavior and less investment.
Some insurance companies are so desperate for you to practice healthy habits that they will actually pay for you to do healthy things. The new trend is for insurance companies to reimburse for gym memberships. Their reasoning is that the more you work out, the stronger you’ll be. That way, when you fall down, instead of snapping your humerus, your strong muscles will support you, and suddenly a mere $300 a year for a gym membership is less money out of their pockets than $3,000 in one month for medical treatment of a broken arm.
As if you didn’t have enough incentive to be healthy already. So go, be healthy, and pay less insurance dollars. Learn more about lowering health costs by staying healthy here.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Autumn can be a wonderfully relaxing time of the year, with the weather cooling off, and new festive activities becoming more and more abundant. Although for many college students, when the foliage starts to change, so does the pace of schoolwork. And fall is always a time for exams, which can be taxing on your mental health. It is also a time of increased risk of sickness as cold and flu season encroaches.
However, one great way to distress, unwind, and protect your mental health is to pick up a good book and read it for leisure. According to Crystal Welch from Livestrong, “Leisure provides many benefits, both physically and mentally, and plays a crucial role in living a balanced life.
Reading for fun can be a great way to distress and unwind from a hectic day. It also can help inspire creativity, which is a great way to exercise your mind in a fun and carefree way. Reading before bed may also help you fall asleep faster, which can lead to longer and deeper sleeps which is also great for your mental and physical health.
Amazon Kindles are a great purchase to make for the frugal college student, as ebooks are much less expensive than paperback and hardcover book sold in stores. E-readers are also much lighter and easier to travel with.
In these stressful times, always remember- a great way to escape for a little while is to enter the world of a great novel. Make sure you schedule in time for leisure in your life and protect your mental health.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Autumn is a lovely time of the year to start or maintain your workout routine. The days are cooling off, and the scenery is very appealing. Starting a physical activity routine in the autumn months are also helpful when the holiday season comes around to help curb any potential over-indulgence.
Many people choose to wait until New Years to start their workout routine, but the fall is an even better time to start because there are so many opportunities to exercise outside in the crisp fall air; it is a great opportunity to explore new trails in the woods, especially with the beautiful foliage. Many chores around the house such as raking leaves, and cleaning out the garage are also great ways to fit in exercise too.
The fall is also a time where a lot of TV shows start up again, so this is a great chance to incorporate physical activity into your routine. Running on a treadmill while watching TV, or doing lunges between commercial breaks are just a few ideas on how to add physical activity to your life.
It also is very important to rejuvenate while you start your fitness routine. Getting massages, painting, crafting, sleeping and having a support system are all very important to promoting your overall wellness and set you on the right tract to keep up your routine.
Motivation is one of the biggest factors in keeping up a workout routine, and WebMD has a list of 10 tips on how to stay active during fall. Don’t wait until January to start your work out routine, lace up your sneakers and go out and enjoy the fresh fall air!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
New Hampshire was extremely fortunate not to receive the full force of Hurricane Sandy; however, students here come from all over the country. If you happen to be from one of the hard hit areas, such as New Jersey or New York, do not hesitate to talk to a friend or a support system about it. Keeping one’s mental health as high as possible during a time of devastation can be very difficult, but reaching out to a friend or to family members back home can help your emotions stay elevated. Although you may not have been directly affected since you are away from home, take the opportunity to be someone’s support system that has to deal with wreckage.
According to Simon Rego, director, of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, "Sandy, like all natural disasters, is considered a criterion 'A1' stressor in the diagnoses of Acute Stress Disorder in the first month after the event and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), at least a month after the event."
Acute Stress Disorder can result in an individual losing emotional responsiveness and/or may have difficulty concentrating. To learn more about this disorder click out this article on PsychCentral. If you have noticed a friend displaying some of these symptoms try to talk to them about it if you feel comfortable or suggest that they get professional help. Not only is the stress of the storm detrimental to some students on campus, but this is also the time of the semester where work starts to pick up again.
It is possible to be distressed by this situation even if you didn’t experience the storm personally, but seeing images and hearing victims’ stories can be disturbing. It is important to make note that storms like Hurricane Sandy are rare and that not every storm will produce the same upset. To help distract yourself, try to get back into a regular schedule and do your best to stay busy. If you are away from home try to remain available to your family and see if there is anything you can do from a distance.
The UNH community is very supporting and would love to reach out a helping hand to anyone who needs it. During this time of recovery be sure to take care of your own mental and physical wellbeing. Yoga, meditation and other relaxation methods may be very beneficial!
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