Healthy UNH Blogger: Gabby Chesney, All Entries

Frugal Food: Eating Healthy on a Budget

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
By: Gabby Chesney

With obesity and other diet-related illnesses on the rise in the United States, discussion about living a healthy lifestyle is a constant and popular topic of conversation. One of the things many people bring up is whether or not it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. While it is definitely more challenging to follow a healthy diet with a lower income, it is very possible! Here are some tips for college students trying to live on a budget and follow a healthy diet. 

Make a Plan

When trying to save money, planning is key! Instead of going to the grocery store every time you need food, to go once a week with a plan of what you are going to eat for the week. This makes it more likely that you won't over or under purchase. Going less frequently also makes it possible for you to drive a little further to the grocery store in the area that has the lowest prices. 

Use Coupons

Most people have seen the commercials or TV shows about the self-proclaimed "coupon queens" who save thousands of dollars a year by cutting coupons. While you don’t have to go to this extreme, collecting coupons can save you a good amount of money… especially on non-perishables. Stocking up on non-perishable items that you know you will need throughout the year while they are on sale can be a great money saver. So save your coupons to save some cash! 

Eat Seasonal Items

Throughout the year different items are in season. If an item is in season in your local area, it will typically cost less than products that need to be shipped from farther away. Try buying fruits and vegetables that are currently in season to save some money and to have fresher produce. It's also a fun way to try some new fruits and vegetables!

Buy Frozen

Although many people prefer to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, their frozen counterparts still have many health benefits and can save you cash! Try buying some frozen fruits and veggies to include with your meals and save the non-frozen items for things that can’t be kept in the freezer such as apples or lettuce.

For even more help, I have provided a link to a 7-day meal plan that is low-cost and meets nutritional needs! It can be found at, which is a great resource for finding information about eating healthy on a budget. Here is the meal plan: Seven Day Meal Plan

Tagged In: 7-day meal plan, budget, costs, coupons, frozen, Gabby Chesney, grocery, Health, Healthy UNH, low-cost, Nutrition, purchase, Savings, seasonal

Wonderful Winter Workouts

Monday, February 3, 2014
By: Gabby Chesney

Pumpkin spice lattes have left the building and have been replaced by cups covered in snowflakes and filled with peppermint flavors. This can only mean one thing: winter is on the way. Whether you have been keeping active all semester or are just looking to start, winter is a great time to spice up your workout routine and try something new. Living in New England we are lucky enough to experience all four seasons and have access to many winter sports people living in warmer climates aren’t able to participate in. Read on to learn more about winter activities that are both fun and can help you feel the burn! 

Snow Shoeing

Maybe you’re like me and aren’t a huge fan of skiing or snowboarding. That’s ok! There is a winter sport for us too. Snow Shoeing is basically going on winter walks through the snow while wearing specially designed “shoes” to help you stay on top of and pack down snow. Not only is snow shoeing a nice way to get outside and burn some calories. Snow shoes can be rented from Campus Rec, so there is no reason not to give it a try!

Skiing or Snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding is another fun way to get outside, spend time with friends and burn some calories Not only do these two activities provide you some cardio, they are also a great workout for your muscles. So gather some friends, get your lift ticket and hit the slopes!

Cross-Country Skiing

For those who love to ski but aren’t seeking the thrill of downhill, cross-country skiing is another super fun winter activity. Cross-country skiing is a major calorie burner and very hard work. Not only is it an awesome workout, it’s a lot of fun. There are all sorts of great trails in College Woods and other areas near UNH. Best of all, you can rent equipment from Campus Rec!

There are so many fun activities to do in the winter. To learn about more read the article by Heather Levin.

Tagged In: active, Cross-Country Skiing, Fitness, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Physical Activity, skiing, Snow Shoeing, Snowboarding, Winter Workouts

Important Questions to Save You Cash!

Friday, January 31, 2014
By: Gabby Chesney

In this day and age, saving money is at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially when it comes to healthcare. There are all sorts of ways you can try to save money on healthcare and a simple place to start is at the doctor’s office! Health magazine has outlined several questions patients can ask during visits to their primary care provider to try and help save money. Keep reading if you want to hear a few tips!

#1 Ask for the Least Expensive Option

One simple and easy way to save money at the doctor’s office is to always ask if the treatment plan that is being offered to you is the least expensive yet effective option available. While many doctors actively try to find the most cost effective options for their patients, it is still a nice reminder that you are looking to save some cash while still getting excellent care.

#2 Ask About Lifestyle Changes

While many people go to the doctor looking for a quick fix to a problem they are experiencing, asking if there are lifestyle changes you can make before beginning other treatment options can be a big money saver. Obviously there are situations when time is critical and taking action quickly with medicine is key. However, in certain cases changing ones lifestyle can help resolve a medical issue without drugs and without spending money!

#3 Ask if all of the Tests are Necessary

If a doctor recommends you get blood work or other types of tests done, be sure to ask if they are necessary. While some doctors are good about only ordering critical tests, some like to test a lot of things at once to be sure they don’t miss anything. While this is comprehensive, it can be expensive. So speak up!

Asking a few questions can go a long way in terms of saving cash. So speak up and take control of your appointments. Speaking up and asking a question is a great way to play an active role in your own healthcare. To learn more, visit the Health magazine to become a more informed healthcare consumer! 

Tagged In: doctor visit, Gabby Chesney, Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthcare, Healthy UNH

Boost your Brain Power

Friday, January 17, 2014
By: Gabby Chesney

Everyone knows that exercising is important to keep our bodies healthy, but what about our brains? Just like the body, the brain needs to be exercised in order to stay optimally healthy. Here are a few easy tips to exercise your brain so it stays sharp for years to come. 

Physical Activity

Doesn’t it seem like everything health related comes back to physical activity? That’s because it does! Being physically active helps boost brainpower and keeps you more alert. So instead of watching a 30-minute TV program, try going for a walk or a job.


Getting enough sleep is key to keeping your brain alert and healthy. When a person doesn’t get enough sleep the brain becomes sluggish and struggles to keep up with daily tasks. Furthermore, it has been reported that a long-term lack of sleep can lead to a decline in mental ability, as a person gets older. So get that beauty rest! 

Eat Fish

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are important for promoting brain health and fish are full of them! Try incorporating fish into your diet once a week to boost the amount of omega-3’s you get and help to keep your brain healthy.

Do Some Puzzles

Doing fun puzzles like Sudoku and crosswords can help exercise and train your brain. This helps you to have a healthy functioning brain throughout life and helps prevent cognitive decline. 

To learn more tips for keeping your brain healthy and alert, read at Live Science

Tagged In: brain, congnitive, Exercise, fish, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, mental wellness, Omega-3, Physical Activity, puzzles, Sleep

Fight Fat Fear!

Friday, January 10, 2014
By: Gabby Chesney

We live in a fat-fearing world. With all of the non-fat and low-fat products out there, many consumers believe that fat is always unhealthy. There is however a type of fat that everybody can benefit from. Omega-3 Fatty acids have been proven to provide many health benefits. So before you cut the fat do a little research about where you can get Omega-3’s and how they can help you!

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Have the potential to improve depression symptoms
  • Potential to increase bone strength and prevent osteoporosis
  • Help prevent heart disease
  • Help lower blood pressure
  • Improve mental acuity

These are only a few of the many benefits of consuming Omega-3 fatty acids. There are lots of different places you can get Omega-3’s. Although there are supplements, for most people it’s possible to get them simply from adding a few simple things into their diets. Here is a list of foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids!

Dietary Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Nut Oils

Although these aren’t things some people eat every day there are several ways you can incorporate them into your diet! One easy way is to put a little bit of nut-oil on your salad or use it in your cooking. It is also simple to have nuts as a snack or put a little tuna or another type of fish on a salad or a sandwich! So don’t fear fat… simply choose the right ones in order to reap the health benefits they have to offer! For more information about Omega-3’s, their benefits and where to find them check out the University of Maryland’s website. 

Tagged In: benefits, Depression, fat, Gabby Chesney, Health, Healthy UNH, Mental Health, Nutrition, Omega-3 Fatty acids, osteoporosis, triglyceride

Happiness: A How to Guide

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Over the years, I have received all sorts of advice regarding how to be happy. From “do what you love” to “don’t sweat the small stuff” everyone seems to have some idea of how to live a happy and fulfilling life. While I don’t have all of the answers, I have realized some of the qualities necessary to lead a happy life. Read on to hear what they are!  


Sometimes when life consumes us, we forget how many things we have to be thankful for. I know I am guilty of this. Over the past three years I have definitely had those times where I have gotten home from a tough day of classes and in a state of exhaustion and crankiness, sat around thinking about all of the things that was terrible about that day. This brought me no happiness. So how did I overcome this? Whenever I am feeling down and feel like I have all of the reasons in the world to complain, I think of 5 things in my life I have to be thankful for. And guess what? It is never hard to come up with five. They don’t have to be big things. It can be something as simple as being grateful to be alive to experience that cruddy day. Thinking of all of the good things in my life almost always puts in perspective the fact that despite the bad things that happened that day, I have it good.  


Be aware of the level of importance of the events occurring in your life. A failed test won’t ruin your life nor will not getting that job you have dreamed of, but it can be hard to see this. So how do you gauge the level of importance of a specific event? What I like to do is think of the absolute worst thing that can happen as a result of a situation occurring. For example, if I am anxious about failing a test I think to myself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I fail?” While the answer might not be pretty, typically when I do this I am reminded that although it might throw a wrench in my plans, I will still be left with people who love me, friends and good health. In my opinion, these things are far more important than good grades or a dream job.


Kindness is so important when it comes to happiness. I can’t claim to be kind 24/7, I am human and there are definitely times I look back on and wish I had been nicer. However, I find that the times in my life when I am the happiest are those when I am being kind and radiating love. It sounds corny, but it’s true. I once heard a quote along the lines of  “kindness is always a choice even when fondness is not”. The concept that even if we aren’t necessarily fond of a person we always can choose to be kind really spoke to me. I try to remember this everyday. It can be tough, but each day that I wake up and am kind to everyone, no matter how much or little I enjoy their company, I feel so much better than when I’m not. Everyone needs kindness. And you know what? No matter how much kindness you share with others, there will still be enough for you too. That is the beauty of it. 


If you want to be happy, you have to be open to it! For a long time I struggled with this. I spent so much time focusing on the difficult parts of my life that I didn’t think that being truly happy was something I could do at the time. That would come down the road when I graduated, had a job, was married and settled. This idea that happiness was something for the future was flawed and prevented me from realizing all the great things that were happening in my life at that time. Happiness, to some extent, is a choice. Happiness could be screaming and knocking at your door, but if you don’t let it in you won’t experience it. So open yourself up to happiness. Find happiness in the little things. It’s a rainy day and you have a test? Awesome! You are alive and get to experience it, and that in itself is a reason to be happy.

So there you have it. No matter how great or terrible a day you are having, I hope these tips might help you to make it a little bit better! Happiness is within all of our reach and each and every one of us deserves to feel it.


Tagged In: Awareness, Gabby Chesney, Gratefulness, happiness, Healthy UNH, Kindness, Mental Health, mental wellness

Holiday Skate

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the end of the semester and bring in the holiday season? Then you should check out the annual Holiday skating party! The event will take place on Tuesday December 10th from 3:30-7:00pm at the Whittemore Center Arena. Members of both the Men’s and Women’s hockey team will be there skating and even Wild E. Cat will be there! If skating isn’t your thing there will be other activities available too. There will be a limited number of skates available to be rented from Campus Recreation, but if you have your own skates you should bring them to ensure you have a pair to use!

Aside from the fact that this is a fun way to gather with friends and celebrate the end of the semester, there are more reasons this is a great event to attend. For one, skating provides great exercise. It’s an excellent way to sneak some physical activity and calorie burn into your day all while having fun. Another excellent reason to attend this event is it is serving as a collection point for the Wildcat Santa Toy Drive, which collects toys for children in need. People attending the party are invited to bring an unwrapped toy or gift for a child or teenager to donate to the cause.

For more information check out UNH’s Holiday Skating Party!


Tagged In: Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Holiday Skate, Physical Activity

A Taste of Talent: UNH Gourmet Dinner

Friday, November 8, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Food. We eat it everyday to keep ourselves alive and functioning. For most people however, food serves a much greater purpose. Meals serve as a gathering place for friends; recipes are a way to pass down traditions from generation to generation. Not to mention trying new dishes and foods is satisfying and good for the soul. While the dining hall has a lot of options, it can get boring eating at the same place multiple times a day for the whole year. So why not spice it up a bit, support UNH students and check out the upcoming Gourmet Dinner! 

On Friday November 15th and Saturday November 16th UNH Hospitality Management students will present “Taste of the Twenties: A Gatsby Affair”. Gourmet Dinner is a long- standing tradition on campus where UNH students in various hospitality classes work together to plan and implement a formal, multi-course meal. Each dinner has a different theme and menu. Having attended a Gourmet Dinner myself, I can say it was absolutely amazing and worth every penny. Not only was the food delicious and the atmosphere enjoyable, it was really neat seeing that students from all over campus worked hard and put it all together.

If you are interested in attending the next Gourmet Dinner you can find out more at the Paul College website

Tagged In: Gabby Chesney, Gourmet, Healthy UNH, hospitality classes, Nutrition, Paul College, UNH, UNH Hospitality Management

Fall into Good Health with Seasonal Foods!

Friday, November 1, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

It’s official! Fall has arrived and with it comes a season full of beautiful changing leaves, fun holidays and my personal favorite… delicious foods! Here in New Hampshire there are all sorts of foods that are in season during fall. What’s even better is many of them are packed with nutrients!


This one might be obvious, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great! Apples are one of the fruits just coming into season here in NH and they are a great addition to any diet. You’ve heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and it might hold some truth. Apples are filled with Vitamin C, Potassium and fiber all of which can help you keep healthy. Two classic fall recipes that include apples are Apple Pie and Apple Crisp. You can also have them as a snack or treat dipped in Peanut Butter or Caramel. 


Carrots are another delicious option that is now in season in NH. Carrots are packed with all sorts of Vitamins and Minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. They are filled with antioxidants that help prevent against heart disease and cancer. Carrots are also great for keeping your eyes healthy and your vision strong. Carrots can be included in all sorts of fall recipes or eaten on their own.


Pumpkins are another great vegetable that are just coming into season. In addition to being the designated flavor or fall, pumpkins also pack a punch nutritionally. They are rich in carotenoids, which have the potential reduce the risk of various types of cancer. Not only that, pumpkins also are a great source of fiber. There are all sorts of recipes that use pumpkins including pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie or pumpkin muffins. If you are looking for a stand alone option, try substituting pumpkin for one of its cousins like winter or butternut squash. Either of those taste great cooked and used as a vegetable side! 

Tagged In: antioxidants, apples, Autumn, carrots, fiber, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Nutrition, Potassium, Pumpkins, seasonal foods, Vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin K

The Psychology of Eating

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

So often when we think about being “health” in the context of the foods we eat we consider the nutrients, calories and other nutrition-related information. One important area of health that is often overlooked is the Psychology of eating. While many people know what types of foods they should be eating to fuel the body and the mind, most people are unaware of why they eat the way they do. I recently had the opportunity to speak with author and expert on the psychology of eating, Karen R. Koenig LCSW, M. ED. While many people consider Dietitians the experts on the “what” of eating, Karen considers herself an expert on the “how and why” of eating. Karen has written several books about the psychology of eating and also works directly with clients to help change their relationships with food, eating and themselves. 

Karen supports the idea of listening to ones internal cues in order to decide when and what to eat. Examples of this would be eating when you feel hungry, stopping when you feel full and being mindful of the foods your body is craving in order to gain satisfaction while supporting your health. For many people, being “healthy” involves eating “good” foods and avoiding “bad” foods, obsessing over the scale and carefully monitoring calories consumed. While it is wonderful to be in control of your health, these behaviors can often come along with feelings of guilt, shame and can cultivate and un-healthy relationship with food. Before I read Karen’s book, The Rules of Normal Eating I felt like my obsession with food and being “healthy” ruled my life. Learning how to listen to and trust my body helped me to build a healthy and happy relationship not only with food, but with my body as well.

I asked Karen what her advice would be for the college population and she said, “To really develop critical thinking skills. Analyze information and the world in an evidenced-based way so you can think for yourself. Analyze an advertisement, a diet’s long-term affect on your eating, or a friend’s advice and have enough trust in yourself to know it’s okay to be different.” To learn more about Karen and her approach to building a healthy relationship with food, click here. No matter what you do, remember that mental health is an important piece of the wellness puzzle! 

Tagged In: critical thinking skills, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Karen R. Koenig, Mental Health, Nutrition, obsession, Psychology, why eat

Healthcare Cost Blog

Thursday, October 10, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Health care costs are something that most people are concerned about. There are many things a person can do to lower the amount of money they spend on healthcare. For example, leading an active and healthy lifestyle can significantly lower the amount of health problems a person faces in the future, thus lowering healthcare costs. However, sometimes health incidences arise that are unavoidable and healthcare costs accumulate. So what can you do to help you manage if you ever find yourself in that situation? Carefully plan and manage your finances! 

You don’t need to pay a professional financial counselor to help you to build a budget and manage your money effectively. Healthy UNH offers a valuable and helpful resource called “Cash Course”. “Cash Course” is a website available to members of the UNH community to help them to learn more about personal finances and how to better manage their money. Cash Course allows the user to customize the program to their specific interests and needs. Based on the users needs Cash Course recommends specific learning modules. Learning how to better manage your money will ensure that when unexpected healthcare costs arise you will have a plan in place to cover them.

Cash Course helps you manage your finances, but it also teaches you how to understand health insurance. When we graduate from UNH, and hopefully get jobs with health insurance benefits, you need to know what the basics are: what is a deductible, copay, and health savings account? Cash Course helps you navigate the world of insurance, so you can be a better informed individual, and use your health insurance wisely. 

Not only does learning how to manage your money help you to save and plan for medical expenses, it also can help to keep you healthier. Financial insecurity can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. This can have a negative affect on ones health. People who experience high amounts of stress experience more health problems than those who avoid stress. Making a plan and learning to manage money can help a person to reduce the stress levels in their life. So not only are they saving money for unexpected healthcare costs, they are also imporving their health and thus lowering the chances of illness.

Tagged In: Gabby Chesney, Health Care Consumerism, healthcare cost, Healthy UNH

Run Your Way to the Homecoming 5K!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

With September coming to an end that means the countdown to all sorts of exciting events can begin. One of my personal favorites is homecoming! There is nothing better than soaking up some Wildcat pride on a beautiful fall weekend in New Hampshire. There are all sorts of events happening the weekend of homecoming but one event is not only fun but also good for your health. Fun AND healthy? Yes, it is possible! The homecoming 5k race is a great way to get a little exercise while enjoying the fall weather and most importantly showing your support for UNH!

The event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday October 12th on Main Street right in front of the field house. The race will be done before the football game starts so you won’t miss any of the action. There will be all sorts of prizes and refreshments at the end of the race. Registration is $15 until October 9th  and the first 300 registrants get a free t-shirt, so sign up soon! If you are looking for a fun way to support UNH, get some exercise and enjoy be a part of Homecoming 2013 then looking no further. For more information about the race or to sign up, visit the Campus Recreation webpage

Tagged In: 2013, Campus Rec, Fitness, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Homecoming 5K, October 12, Physical Activity, road race, UNH Program

Group Exercise… Everyone is Doing it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

The first week of classes are done and the semester is about to kick into full gear. While seeing old friends, making new ones and studying for classes are all key parts of being at school, it is also important to remember to stay active. While gym memberships at home might cost upwards of $50 a month; here at UNH all students have access to the Hamel Rec Center. Aside from the cardio machines, weights, basketball courts, squash courts, and track, students also have the added benefit of full access to group exercise classes!

Group exercise is a great way to stay in shape while having fun. These classes are beneficial to people who might not know exactly what to do in the gym, as well as gym veterans looking to spice up their workout. Going to group exercise classes for the first time can be a little bit daunting... especially if you don't know what to expect. The good news is, you don't have to stress! For the next week, the rec center is running their "promotional schedule" for group classes. This means that students have the opportunity to try all of the different classes offered in order to figure out which ones they enjoy and might want to participate in for the rest of the semester. All you have to do is go to the rec center, sign a waiver and get a sticker on your ID. Once you have this sticker on your ID you will have access to all of the group exercise classes being offered. It's that easy! So head to Rec Center, get your sticker and try out a class today! For more information visit the Campus Rec website.

Tagged In: Fitness, Gabby Chesney, group exercise, Hamel rec center, Healthy UNH, Physical Activity, promotional schedule

Build a Better Breakfast

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Breakfast is one of my favorite parts of each morning. It’s the first meal of the day and there are so many delicious choices available. While I love eating an extravagant breakfast every now and then, I am always on the lookout for healthy breakfast options that taste good and will fuel me through the day. Breakfast is an important meal because not only does it get your metabolism moving, it also is what fuels you through a good portion of the day until lunch! An article released by the Huffington Post shared some tips on how to create a healthier breakfast. I have written about a few of my favorites below:

Eat It

Eat breakfast every day. This first tip may sound simple, but according to an article released by the Huffington Post approximately 56% of Americans skip breakfast. According to Registered Dietitian Kerri Glassman, “When you eat breakfast, you’re literally breaking the fast, which kicks your metabolism into gear”. So wake up a few minutes early, grab a bite and prepare yourself to have a much better day because of it. 

Sneak in Omega 3’s

Omega-3’s are an important part of everybody’s diet and can help improve mood and reduce inflammation. Breakfast is a perfect time to sneak some omega-3’s in! A simple way to get some omega-3’s is to eat eggs that are fortified with DHA. For anybody eating at UNH’s dining halls this is simple since the eggs served at UNH are local, cage-free, omega-3 eggs! If eggs aren’t your cup of tea you can also add certain seeds and nuts to your diet. One great example is flaxseed oil. Try adding it to your yogurt or oatmeal to pack in some extra omega-3’s. 

Keep it Real

It can be tempting to sweeten coffee or tea with artificial sweeteners in order to cut calories. While this might seem like a good idea, it can actually increase your cravings for sweets throughout the day. Try adding a little regular sugar in order to increase the flavor without increasing your cravings!

So tomorrow morning when you wake up, start your day right with a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Your body will thank you!

Tagged In: Breakfast, eggs, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, metabolism, Nutrition, nuts, oatmeal, Omega-3, seeds, UNH dining, Yogurt

Summer Fitness Fun

Monday, June 3, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Summer is rolling around and that means heading home from school and finding a new workout routine. While some people might have membership at a gym at home, many people find working out in the house or outside to be a better option. If you are looking for workout inspiration, look no further! 


Running is a simple but effective way to burn calories as well as improve leg strength and cardiovascular health. Try running through neighborhoods or if you are looking for a bit more adventure try running on trails through the woods. To increase the intensity of your workout try incorporating some High Intensity Interval Training.


Lots of public pools are open in the summer. For a low impact workout try hopping in the pool and swimming some laps. You can also incorporate intervals or different strokes to work different muscles as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness.


Summer is a great season to get into the habit of hiking. There are some beautiful mountains throughout New England. Hiking not only is a fun activity, it also works lots of different muscles and improves your cardiovascular health. Get some fresh air, lace up your sneakers and hit the mountains. 

There are lots of different options to help you stay fit for little to no cost in the summer. These are just a few fun ideas. 

Tagged In: Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Physical Activity

Fun and Fitness

Friday, May 3, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

No matter how dedicated you are to staying physically active, sometimes going to the gym or lacing up your shoes for a run can feel like a chore.  The best way I have found to look forward to every workout and avoid the crowds at the gym is to take advantage of the group fitness classes UNH Campus Recreation has to offer. Here at UNH students and members of the Hamel Recreation Center can take advantage of a variety of different classes ranging from aerobic based activities to strength training. My two favorite classes are Cycle (a one hour class on stationary bikes set to music) and Zumba (a Latin dance inspired workout), but I’ve heard great things about many of the classes offered!

If you have never participated in a group fitness class, don’t be intimidated! The classes are designed to fit the needs of beginners and advanced participants alike. If you are nervous, it might help to go along with a friend. While some of the things you do during group fitness may feel silly, if you bring a friend along you can laugh together and have fun. Aside from having fun, another great benefit of group fitness classes is the calorie burn! While time may creep along while running on the treadmill, in my experience time spent in group fitness classes flies by. Having fun while working out allows you to spend more time physically active before calling it quits due to boredom thus burning more calories! For example, according to, a person can burn upwards of 500 calories in a one-hour cycling class depending on body size and intensity. So if you get bored of your daily workout routine or are looking to try your hand at getting more physically active, check out the UNH Campus Recreation group fitness schedule here and head to the next class. Your body and your mind will thank you!

Tagged In: aerobics, boredom, cycle classes, fitness class, Gabby Chesney, Hamel rec center, Healthy UNH, Physical Activity, physical fitness, strength training, Zumba

Fun in the Sun

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

With spring in the air that can only mean one thing… nice weather! While some people choose to brave it and exercise outdoors in the winter, many of us confine ourselves to the gym until the temperatures begin to increase again. With warmer weather and sunny days what better time than now to find some fun physical activities to do outdoors? Here are some ideas on how to incorporate physical activity into your day while having fun outdoors:

Hit the Trails

One great way to incorporate some outdoor physical activity is go for a walk or run in College Woods. The trails are well kept and provide miles of beautiful views to enjoy while walking or running. If you really want to intensify your workout try doing a High Intensity Interval Training workout while you’re out there! To learn more about HIIT you can read about it here.

Ride a Bike

Another great way to get some exercise and have fun is ride a bike. Riding through the neighborhoods surrounding campus is a great way to get some physical activity and have fun while avoiding the stop and go nature of biking downtown.

Dive In

It may be a bit too early, but once the weather warms up try going for a swim. Here in Durham there are several options. You can hit the Outdoor Pool, check out the indoor pool or even go for a swim in the Lamprey River! Swimming is a great cardiovascular and is easy on your joints!

There are many more opportunities to have some fun and fit in some physical activity all while soaking up the sun. So get outside, do what you love and stay healthy while doing it!


Tagged In: cardiovascular, Cycling, Fitness, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, High Intensity Interval Training, Outdoors, Physical Activity, swim, trails

May Day Carnival

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

The end of the semester is a time of transition. Whether you are graduating or just moving home for the summer it marks the end of one phase and the beginning of something new. Add finals on top of all of that and the end of the year can feel quite overwhelming. However there are lots of fun events to look forward to at the end of the semester. One of these is the May Day Carnival! 

If you are looking for a way to celebrate the end of the year and the warm spring weather check out the May Day Carnival on April 27th. The carnival will begin at 1:00 p.m. in C-Lot and will be filled with all sorts of fun activities. The event will include free food, amusement rides, game booths, live entertainments and all sorts of other fun activities. The best part is it is FREE with your UNH Student ID. The cost will be $5 for all others. The carnival is being hosted by CAB and is a SIC’EM sponsored event paid for by the student activity fee. 

So put down your books, take a quick study break and check out the May Day Carnival! A little laughter and fun can go a long way in reducing your stress and increasing your happiness and overall health!

Tagged In: amusement rides, Gabby Chesney, game booths, Healthy UNH, include free food, live entertainment, May Day Carnival, Physical Activity

Keep Calm and Study On

Monday, April 15, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

The end of the semester is approaching quickly and with that comes a mixture of excitement and dread. While everybody seems ready for the change of pace that summer brings, students don’t seem quite as excited about the end of the year projects, papers and exams looming in the distance. While these things are unavoidable, there are ways to prepare for finals while limiting stress levels. 

Start Early

I know it can be difficult to start studying or preparing a project ahead of time. For a long time I was a chronic procrastinator. At some point I realized that the amount of stress trying to do things at the last minute caused a lot of unnecessary stress in my life. Instead of preparing a few days before the deadline or test, try creating a schedule 3-4 weeks in advance. If you schedule little tasks to be done each day or little bits of studying to complete, by the time you get to the week of the exam you will have a good portion of your studying done and a lot less stress. 

Put it in Perspective

Thinking of an exam or a project as the most important thing in your life can be stressful! While some projects and exams are key components to earning a good grade, try to think of the worst-case scenario. If you don’t get a great grade on the exam what are your options? Usually you can talk to your professor or if you have to re-take the course. The world has never ended because someone didn’t get the grade they wanted on an exam or project, so try not to make yourself feel like it will!

Take Breaks

While you are studying it can be difficult to remember to take some time for yourself. It is always important to incorporate activities in your day that you enjoy, especially when you have a stressful event coming up. Try scheduling at least an hour each day to do something you enjoy. Even better, try to make some of that hour physical activity! Drop-in to a yoga class, go for a run or a walk or play some sports down at the Rec Center. All of these activities are wonderful because not only are they fun but they also help you to relieve stress and regain focus.

Preparing for finals is a challenging time in the semester… I hope you can use some of these tips to help make it a little less stressful. Also, don’t forget to stop in and visit Healthy UNH at Frazzle Free Finals in week! 

Tagged In: activity, finals week, Frazzle Free Finals, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, mental illness, mental wellness, perspective, Stress, study

Wellness at Work

Thursday, April 4, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

The average full-time employee in the United States works 30 hours or more per week. That adds up to a lot of time spent in the workplace each year! While many people take steps to create a healthy living space at home it can be challenging to stay healthy while at work. While it might not be possible to control where you work, there are steps you can take in order to try and stay healthy while on the job.

Keep Moving

Some jobs have moving incorporated into them, but many Americans work desk jobs that don’t require much movement. One way to get more activity while working a desk job is stand up as often as possible. If it’s an option, get a high desk where you can stand. If that isn’t possible, try sitting on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair. Not only does it help improve posture, but engages your core all while getting work done! 

Stay Hydrated

During a stressful workday it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. One simple way to stay healthy at work is to keep a water bottle filled up and carry it with you throughout the day. Not only does staying hydrated keep you healthy, taking time out of your busy day to re-fill it provides you necessary breaks from the craziness of work.

Pack Healthy Snacks and Meals

While hitting up the vending machine or the fast food locations close to work can be convenient, it isn’t always the healthiest option. Try packing your lunch and some healthy snacks to get you through the day. Not only will it help you stay well while at work, it will also save you money!

These are a few tips to get you started in the direction of staying well while at work. There are many more steps you can take in order to improve your experience at work. Visit this website to learn more about creating a healthy workplace.

Tagged In: Gabby Chesney, healthy snacks, Healthy UNH, hydrated, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Public Health Week, Wellness, work

Improve Health to Reduce Healthcare Costs

Friday, March 29, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

In the current economic times, people are looking anywhere they can to cut costs in their life.  According to research conducted by the Milken Institute, more than half of Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, many of which are preventable. According to calculations by the Milken Institute these diseases cost Americans and the government $1.3 trillion annually. This money comes out of the pockets of Americans as well as from the government, affecting every American in one way or another. By adjusting one’s lifestyle people can greatly reduce the risk of chronic diseases thus decreasing the amount of money spent by Americans and the government on healthcare. According to projections done by the Milken Institute, by modestly improving chronic disease prevention and treatment the United States could reduce the economic impact of disease by $1.1 trillion each year. To learn more about the costs of chronic illness and the potential to reduce them, click here. 

Here at the University of New Hampshire there are many services to help members of the community improve their health and reduce their risk of chronic disease. Health Services offers nutrition counseling sessions, stress management classes, help with smoking cessation, yoga classes and even light therapy… all free of charge for students who have paid their health fee! These services can help students change their habits and dramatically reduce their risk of chronic disease, thus reducing their future healthcare costs. To learn about all that Health Services has to offer click here. Visit the website, check out the services they offer and keep yourself happy and healthy. Your body (and your wallet) will thank you. 

Tagged In: disease prevention, Gabby Chesney, Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthy UNH, illness, Light Therapy, mental wellness, nutrition counseling, smoking cessation, Stress Management, UNH Health Services, Yoga

The Key to Vitamin D

Friday, March 15, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

Over the years Vitamin D has not been one of the most commonly talked about vitamins. Despite not being a frequent topic of discussion among the general public, Vitamin D plays a critical role in health. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin D has many health benefits. One of the main roles Vitamin D plays is aiding in calcium absorption and bone health. Without adequate Vitamin D a person runs the risk of developing weak and misshapen bones or even Osteoporosis. In addition to bone health it is thought that Vitamin D has the potential to reduce the risk of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Hypertension and other medical conditions. To put it simply, Vitamin D plays an important role in many areas of health!                       

Although the body can create Vitamin D many people do not get enough. When a person spends time in the sun their body is able to create Vitamin D. Between working indoors and living in cold climates where they don’t spend much time outside, many people don’t create enough Vitamin D on their own. Luckily there are other sources! A few of the best sources of Vitamin D include Eggs (make sure to eat them whole since the Vitamin D is found in the yolk!), tuna, salmon and fortified milks and juices. If none of those foods are appealing, Vitamin D supplements are also available.

During the winter months spent inside it’s tough for the body to create all of the Vitamin D you need, so take the time to choose foods to fuel your body and provide you the vitamins you need! To learn more about Vitamin D’s role in health, read more visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.

Tagged In: bone health, calcium, calcium absorption, cancer, diabetes, eggs, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, heart disease, hypertension, Nutrition, osteoporosis, Outdoors, salmon, tuna, Vitamin D

Choose your own adventure!

Friday, March 1, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

With spring break on the horizon there has been a lot of talk on campus about the various vacations and adventures people will be embarking on. Don’t have a wild adventure planned yet? Don’t worry, there is plenty of time left this semester for a mini-trip and Outdoor Adventures has you covered. Outdoor Adventures offers day and overnight trips throughout the year. Some of the trips still to come this semester include an overnight canoe trip at Squam Lake, a day trip bouldering at Lincoln Woods and a day of Rock Climbing in Rumney!

If you’re worried you can’t go on a trip because you have little or no experience with the outdoors, you don’t have to be! Outdoor Adventures explains on their website that trips are open to people of all levels and that if you don’t know how to do something, they will teach you! With Outdoor Adventures you don’t even have to worry about equipment… the cost of rentals is included in the price of the trip. The trips range in cost based on length, travel and equipment needs. Most of the trips coming up this semester (excluding the lengthier spring break adventures) range in cost from $20 - $35. Not a bad price to pay for a day or two of adventure in beautiful New England!

To see a list of upcoming trips and learn how to register, click here. If you prefer to create your own trip, Outdoor Adventures also rents out equipment for individual use. All you have to do visit the Hamel Recreation Center equipment room to fill out paperwork and pay the rental fee. To learn more about the process and see the availability and rates of equipment click here. Do a little research, pick a trip and have some fun with Outdoor Adventures!

Tagged In: Bouldering, camping, canoe trip, Exercise, Fitness, Gabby Chesney, Healthy UNH, Outdoor Adventures, Physical Activity, rock climbing, UNH clubs, UNH Outdoor Adventures Club

MUB Movies Provide Comic Relief

Monday, February 18, 2013
By: Gabby Chesney

It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine. Although this statement might be a bit of a stretch, laughter does have several proven health benefits. An article was released by explaining the health benefits of laughter. According to the article Laughter is the Best Medicine, laughing relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins and helps protect the heart. Even at the start of the semester, the obligations that come along with school or work can be stressful. Being stressed or busy can also cause a person to become sick more easily. While finding time to get everything done in a day can feel challenging it’s important to make time for laughter and fun in order to stay happy and healthy.

You might be wondering how you are supposed to find laughter in the midst of all the stress. Each week the MUB screens popular movies at a discounted rate to members of the UNH community. Some of the upcoming films include, “This is 40”, “Wreck It Ralph” and “Silver Linings Playbook”. The movies take place in the MUB Theatre and each is screened on several different days and times. Tickets cost $2 with a valid student ID and $4 without an ID. Take a break from studying, work or anything else that may be increasing your stress and come enjoy some comic relief! Checkout the full MUB Movies screening list for a list of upcoming films and their screening times. 

Tagged In: Heathly UNH, Mental Health, mental wellness, MUB, Stress, UNH, UNH Event