Healthy UNH Blogger: Suzanne Hogan , All Entries

How to manage IBS

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

Let’s talk about IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, a  group of symptoms that effect the large intestine. Approximately 20% of US adults have IBS. The symptoms of IBS can be rather uncomfortable such as abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and gassiness. Keep in mind, these symptoms could be caused by other factors, and not necessarily IBS.  Fortunately, there are many things related to your diet that can help manage IBS that are also helpful to general health. Regardless of if you think you may have IBS, these tips can improve your diet for a healthier lifestyle. The first step is to find out which foods cause the most discomfort, then work to eliminate them from your diet. In order to keep track, you may need to keep a food diary. EatRight offers some of these other nutritional tips:

  • Eat at the same time each day to help regulate your system.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently. Large portions can be difficult for your body to process all at once.
  • Slowly increase fiber intake by eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water! 
  • Be cautious of what you drink, caffeine and alcohol can be problematic. 

               It may also be a good idea to seek out a registered dietitian, such as at Health Services. As a professional, she can help you identify which foods and eating habits are causing flare ups. Be aware that stress can also cause IBS symptoms. If you find diet changes aren't working for you, take a step back to look at your stress levels and get the necessary help to decrease them. The Counseling Center is a great place to seek help for stress management. 

Tagged In: abdominal pain, bloating, caffeine, constipation, cramping, fiber, gas, Healthy UNH, IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, Nutrition, Stress, Suzy Hogan, water

Splash into Summer!

Monday, June 2, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

Looking for a cool new workout during the hot summer? Why not try swimming? Swimming is fun and can be a great workout, not to mention it's way better on your joints than pounding the pavement. It's a low impact activity that uses your entire body against the water resistance. Swimming continuously keeps your heart rate up and builds endurance. The activity combines cardio training and muscle strengthening for a total body workout. As you are pushing yourself through the water, you are also improving balance, posture, and coordination. Along with being beneficial to your heart, lungs, and muscles, swimming also provides mental health benefits. It's a soothing and relaxing activity that helps ease your mind and relieve stress.  Ready to get started? Here are some tips:

  • If you are a beginner, start out slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
  • Wear goggles. Opening your eyes under water can be painful without a pair of goggles, your eyes need protection from the harsh chemicals of pools and bacteria of lakes.
  • Bring a friend. For safety reasons, it's best to swim with a buddy, especially if you are just starting out.
  • Warm up and stretch your muscles before jumping in the water.
  • Bring water with you! It may seem silly to need to bring water to a pool, but you can easily get dehydrated from extensive swimming.

For UNH Faculty and Staff, Campus Rec offers free, open swim hours.

For those rainy summer days, check out the Swasey Indoor Pool on campus. The pool's schedule is posted on the CampusRec website.

Start summer with a splash! Jump into swimming this year.

#UNH    @UofNH    @UNHCampusRec    #WorkUNH

Tagged In: active, balance, CampusRec, coordination, Healthy UNH, low impact, Mental Health, posture, Stress, Summer, Summer Fitness, Suzy Hogan, Swasey Indoor Pool

Mental Health Month

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness month? Mental Health America has named May Mental Health Awareness month and chose this year’s theme to be “Mind Your Health”. The goal of Mental Health America is to construct public acknowledgement of the importance of mental health on the body and towards overall health. It’s important to recognize how the body and mind interact with each other. Poor health on one can greatly affect the other.

On the Mental Health America website, there are numerous sources about mental illnesses including a section just for college students. Mental health issues are very likely to occur in college students, whether it be anxiety of living away from home or stress from the intense schoolwork. Within the help resources is a page dedicated to the Top Ten Freshman Year Issues. It lists major problems that almost everyone has to deal with including roommates, sleeping, money, and schoolwork. It also gives pointers on how to deal with these issues.

These resources are great places to start, but if you feel you need more guidance, don’t forget about the Counseling Center here at UNH. It’s a great place to get in touch with your mind and improve your overall wellbeing. 

Tagged In: anxiety, counseling, Counseling Center, Healthy UNH, Mental Health Month, Mind Your Health, Nutrition, Stress, Suzy Hogan, UNH Health Services

Overcoming Procrastination, Stop Putting it Off!

Monday, May 12, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

As finals are here, now is a great time to talk about procrastination. It may seem like you have plenty of time to study and finish all your assignments, but with a full course load, you will probably need all the time you can get. Procrastinating and getting distracted can put you way behind schedule. What may seem like a quick Facebook break, can easily turn into an hour long process of looking through random people's pictures (we all know it happens) or taking countless Buzzfeed quizzes. All this procrastinating can lead to stress and unnecessary anxiety. It can also weaken your immune system and make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. If you feel you easily get distracted and usually put things off until the last minute, try out some of these tips!

1. Make a to-do list. Put the most important and time sensitive assignments at the top. Put the list somewhere where you will be likely to look at it and be reminded of the things you have to get done. Once you complete an assignment, cross it off the list! As the list gets smaller, you'll feel more motivated to get it all done!

2. Set goals but make them realistic. Setting goals out of your reach will make tasks seem daunting and unachievable.

3. If you have big projects, break them down into smaller parts and do things one at a time.

4. Plan to reward yourself. This will give you more motivation to get things done and something to look forward to!

 

Finals are here, don't procrastinate studying!        

#mentalhealth #healthyUNH #UNHstudents 

Tagged In: anxiety, Healthy UNH, immune system, Mental Health, motivation, Procrastination, schedule, Suzy Hogan

Take a walk

Friday, May 9, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

For my nutrition class freshman year, I had to wear a pedometer everywhere I went for 3 days. I felt a little silly walking around with it attached to my belt loop but at the end of those three days we were able to average our steps and convert it into miles. It was really cool to see how much I was actually walking, on average about 6 miles a day! That 6 miles was just from my daily activities: walking to classes, to the library, to the dining halls. You may not have time to get to the gym everyday but that's okay. You can get a lot of physical activity in just by walking. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day. If you find you don't have to walk very far in your day to day routine, try going for a walk in College Woods or around the outskirts of campus.

               To find out how much you are walking each day, use the UNH Walking Map made by Healthy UNH. This resource has you pinpoint the start and finish on a campus map and calculates the distance for you. You can then add up all the mileage for a day and see if you are on track. The U.S. general surgeon recommends adults walk about 5 miles per day. Try it out today! 

Tagged In: active, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Physical Activity, Suzy Hogan, UNH Walking Map, walk

Don't ditch the dentist!

Monday, May 5, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

The dentist may not be everyone's favorite place to go and it may be tempting to ditch a few visits but skipping on these appointment could cause much more harm than an uncomfortable visit.  Just think about all the things we use our mouth for, talking, singing, eating. It's important to keep our mouth healthy so that we can continue using it without any pain.

                While you may think brushing twice a day will be enough, it's actually not. Dentists are trained to look for warning signs that we may not pick up on. They can prevent and detect diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease before they worsen and cause serious damage. Decaying teeth can be covered with crowns in the early stages but once they progress too far, it can be difficult to reverse.

Along with preventing the pain involved with mouth diseases, regular checkups can also prevent you from spending thousands of dollars. At the early stage, crowns and fillings usually can cost a couple hundred dollars, this may sound like a lot but if you wait until the disease progresses and you have to get a root canal, it could cost upwards of a thousand dollars! The more time you spend putting off going to the dentist, the more money it will cost when you do go. It can be a bit of a viscous cycle for people with low incomes. They can't afford a regular checkup so they skip their appointment, then they assume everything is fine and they skip a few more appointments.  Years go by without going to the dentist and suddenly they have terrible pain in their gums and they finally make an appointment to see a dentist. Once there they are told they have gum disease and need all of their teeth pulled out. It may sound like an extreme situation but it's really not. A survey from the American Dental Association shows that adults making less than $30,000 per year are more than twice as likely than those earning $30,000 or more to have had all their teeth removed. In oral health, prevention is extremely important.

               In order to avoid agonizing pain and dental bills, have your teeth checked every 6 months. Also continue brushing and flossing twice a day. Remember that paying money for the dentist now will ultimately save you hundreds of dollars in the long run and plus who doesn't want a nice clean smile? :) 

Tagged In: brush teeth, checkups, Dentist, disease, floss, gum disease, healthcost, Healthy UNH, oral health, prevention, save, Suzy Hogan, tooth decay

Iron Deficiency

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, especially among young women.Iron is essential to making hemoglobin, a part of red blood cells that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout our body.When our bodies do not receive enough iron, it becomes iron deficient and our red blood cells can no longer properly carry oxygen.Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, pale skin, weakness, headache and dizziness.

               Many people become iron deficient after becoming a vegetarian because the body absorbs more iron from animal sources than from plant sources.However, it is still possible to get enough iron in your diet from plant sources especially if you include Vitamin C, as it helps with absorption.Some of the best plant sources include beans, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, and whole grain and enriched breads.If you are not a vegetarian, the best animal sources for iron include lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and lean pork.

               For better absorption, include Vitamin C sources with iron sources such as:

-fortified cereal with berries

-lean ground meat with tomato

- spinach with lemon juice

-beans in a salad with kale and bell peppers

-lean pork with pineapple

               To avoid iron deficiency, make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and try some of the tips above.To learn more about iron deficiency, visit EatRight.

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, hemoglobin, iron, Iron Deficiency, Nutrition, Suzy Hogan, vegetarian, vitamin C

Hike for better Health

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

As the ground is finally unthawing and the leaves are starting to grow, it's time to start getting outdoors again! Spring is finally (FINALLY) here and what better way to celebrate than to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air while working out? One of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking. It's a really great form of exercise and can also be good for your mental health. Hiking has similar health benefits as walking, such as a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, plus it's a weight-bearing exercise so it increases bone density. Hiking is also a good exercise for building muscle. The steeper the terrain is, the harder your hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus, and lower leg muscles are working. Hiking improves balance and strengthens your core as well.

               Before you run out into the woods, there's a few safety tips to know. First off, if you are a beginner hiker start small. Try looking for a short, local hike in an area you are familiar with. You should also have a hiking partner. Eventually you can hike by yourself, but just starting out it's better to have a friend there just in case you get lost or injured. Make sure to bring water along on your hike and dress appropriately. Stick to the marked trail and don't wander off course.

               If you are already a pro hiker, here's a few tips to increase your health benefits. To increase your cardio workout, look for hills. It's like walking on an incline on a treadmill except so much better because you are outside and enjoying nature! Also try using poles. You might not think you need them but they actually cause your upper body muscles to work harder by pushing them into the ground. To strength your lower back muscles, try adding more weight to your backpack. A 10 to 15lb bag will do the trick.

               To find a trail near you, try looking on Scout Me. They have tons of places all around the area and even show a map of all locations. 

 

Hike your way to better health! Learn the benefits and a few tips! 

Tagged In: active, bone density, cardio, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Hiking, Mental Health, Outdoors, safety, Suzy Hogan

Healthiest Nation in One Generation

Friday, April 11, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

               Happy National Public Health Week!This week, April 7-13th 2014, celebrates the advances and importance of public health.Each day of the week has a different theme related to public health which you can check out in more detail at nphw.org.Today's theme is Healthiest Nation in One Generation.

               Did you know that for the first time in decades, the current generation isn't as healthy as the one prior to it?For generations in the past, health was constantly improving as new science and technology was discovered.It's pretty freighting to think our children's generation could now be at a higher risk for health problems.In order to stop this horrible trend, communities need to stick together to find a solution.Lucky for us, the UNH community is full of bright ideas and a passion for helping others.The majority of our community enjoys being healthy.In fact, Healthy UNH was created to help make this campus the healthiest campus community in the country by 2020.

               Healthy UNH is designed to help faculty, staff, and students improve their health while also cutting health care costs.It has identified a few of the major health concerns that should be addressed.These include chronic disease; resources to promote health; increasing rates of stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues; and health care costs.Healthy UNH has a variety of different resources and events on campus to help promote health and educate the public. Some of these resources include weekly informative blogs on topics such as nutrition, health cost, physical activity, etc., the Wildcat Plate which can be found in the dining halls to help manage nutrition, the UNH campus walking guide to track walking distance, and so much more. You can find all these great resources and more on the Healthy UNH website.  

               Along with Healthy UNH, the UNH community offers a variety of other departments and programs on campus devoted to creating a healthier population. Health Services is obviously a huge contributor to health on campus, along with Campus Rec, Dining Services, and the Counseling Center and many more.Each of these departments provide education and resources to students and faculty in order for them to make the best decisions for their health. 

Tagged In: Campus Rec, Counseling Center, Dining Services, Health care costs, health concerns, health risk, Health Services, healthiest campus community in the country by 2020, Healthiest Nation in One Generation, Healthy UNH, improve, Mental Health, National Public Health Week, Physical Activity, resources, Suzy Hogan, Wildcat Plate

Nutrition for a healthy immune system

Monday, March 3, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

During this time of year, it can become easy to catch a cold or even the flu. Luckily there are many things you can do to keep yourself healthy and lower your risk. Along with proper hygiene and hand washing, you can also use nutrition to keep away viruses. Proper nutrition can boost you immune system as a form of protection. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has listed the five nutrients essential for a healthy immune system.

Protein- Your body uses protein in a variety of different ways, including a defense mechanism. Try eating lean proteins such as fish or poultry. If you are vegetarian, try to include more nuts, beans, and seeds.

Vitamin A- This vitamin regulates your immune system and keeps your skin (which is a huge barrier to infection) healthy. You can get Vitamin A from carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes. You can also usually find it in fortified cereals.

Vitamin C- Produces antibodies and boosts your immune system. You can find Vitamin C in many citrus foods like oranges or grapefruit.

Vitamin E- Works as an antioxidant. This neutralizes free radicals which can be extremely dangerous to your immune system. Vitamin E is in almonds, seeds, some oils, peanut butter, and also in fortified cereals.

Zinc- Works to make sure the immune system is working properly. You can find zinc in many meats but also in whole grain products and nuts.

Along with boosting your immune system, eating a well balanced diet will make you feel more energetic and happier! 

Tagged In: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, balance, Diet, energy, Healthy UNH, immune system, immunity, Nutrition, protection, protein, Suzanne Hogan, viruses, Vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc

Eating Concerns Awareness Week

Monday, February 24, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

             

Eating Concerns Awareness Week has arrived!

Put on every year by the Eating Concern Mentors at Health Services, this week is devoted to raising awareness about eating disorders. Almost everyone knows someone who has struggled with an eating disorder or body image issues. Eating disorders are the most common and most deadly forms of mental illness. It’s about so much more than just food and it also affects both men and women. The Eating Concern Mentors have a different theme each day of the week to highlight awareness of eating disorders.

Monday - Mindful Monday

               This day is to stress the importance of enjoying your food and listening to your body.Most people rush through their meals and don’t take the time to relax.There will be a Mindful Eating Lunch Meditation from 12 noon to 1pm in the MUB room 237.It is open for people to bring their own lunch and listen to Maria Caplan, the Nutrition Educator, guide them through a mindful eating meditation.The UNH community is welcome to come and go as they please.

Tuesday – Trash Negative Talk Tuesday

               Stop by an inspiration table at the MUB food court from 11am-2pm to write down negative body talk then trash them.You can also receive a body positive tag to keep and help remind you to stay positive.

Wednesday- Who Inspires You Wednesday

               Our table at the MUB will display woman that have inspired us and if this inspiration had anything to do with their looks.Usually our inspirations are not based on beauty and it is important to recognize what really inspires us.Wednesday night we will be showing Tough Guise 2:Violence, Manhood & American Culture from 8pm-10:30pm in MUB theatre I. It’s a really interesting film and will be followed by a discussion.

Thursday- Heart your Parts Thursday
At our MUB table from 11am-2pm we will be sticking heart tattoos and stickers onto our favorite body parts then having an ECM photo shoot.These pictures will be available on the Health Services Facebook page. 
 
Friday- Fabulous Friday 
At the end of the week, The Vagina Monologues at UNH will be from 7pm-9pm in the Stafford room of the MUB.This show will be performed by UNH students. 

 

Don’t miss out on all the great events of the Eating Concerns Awareness Week!To learn more about the events, visit Health Services

Tagged In: Body Image, Eating Concerns Awareness Week, eating disorder, Fabulous Friday, Health Services, Healthy UNH, Heart Your Parts Thursday, Mental Health, mentors, Mindful Monday, Suzanne Hogan, Trash Negative Talk Tuesday, UNH Event, Who Inspires You Wednesday

Winter Blues got you down?

Thursday, February 20, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), also known as the Winter Blues, is a pattern of seasonal depression usually starting in the fall months and ending in the spring time.Many people experience S.A.D. as there is less sunlight in the winter months and less time spent outdoors.Symptoms of S.A.D. include increased sadness, higher irritability, increased anxiety, increase in weight, lack of energy, and increased sleep.While everyone may feel a bit more sluggish in the colder months, S.A.D. can have serious consequences such as school or work problems and social withdrawal.

               Luckily at UNH, there a variety of resources at Health Services that can help.Students can make appointments to diagnose S.A.D. and to try free light therapy.Light therapy is an effective treatment in which one sits in front of a light box with their eyes open.They can read, do homework, or just relax in front of the light box.It is recommended to try daily sessions, lasting from 15 minutes to 2 hours.Most sessions last about 30 minutes but can be built up over time.Students can make an appointment by calling Health Services, (603)-862-3823.Along with light therapy, it is recommended to eat healthy, exercise daily, manage stress, and take walks outside to help cope with S.A.D.

               The UNH Health Services website is a great place to learn more about S.A.D. and light therapy treatments. 

Tagged In: anxiety, cold weather, cope, Depression, energy, Health Services, Healthy UNH, irritability, Light Therapy, manage, Mental Health, S.A.D., sadness, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Sleep, Suzanne Hogan, weight gain, Winter Blues

Grab your skates!

Friday, February 14, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

              This past Christmas I received a pair of ice skates as a gift.I had never been skating but I'm always up for new winter activities.When it is cold out, it's easy to want to stay inside all day watching movies on the couch.While I'll admit I love doing this from time to time, I also love to get active and stay moving.Ice skating is a relatively cheap and easy way to stay active in the winter time.It's also very fun.After falling a few times, I finally got the hang of it and was able to get a great workout in.According to Health Status, moderate skating burns about 300 calories per hour. Plus it's fun!

               At UNH, Open Skate & Puck is offered at the Whittemore Center. It costs only $3 to rent skates if you don't have your own pair. They even have themed nights for special occasions such as a Valentine's night and Hawaiian night. There are open skate about five times a week; check out Campus Rec’s website for the most current schedule. Don’t forget to bring your ID, because Open Skate is only offered to UNH Students, Employees and Rec pass holders. 

Tagged In: active, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Skate, Suzanne Hogan, UNH programs, Valentine, Whittemore Center

One step at a time

Monday, February 10, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

As you may have heard before, taking the stairs is a great way to get a little extra exercise into your daily routine. Every step you take adds up throughout the day. Stair climbing is even now considered a "vigorous exercise". In a recent article in BBC, medical correspondent, Fergus Walsh explains why he takes the stairs, stating his impatience for the elevator and his knowledge of the health benefits. Walsh also mentions StepJockey, a new app in the world of health and fitness. StepJockey can track how many steps you take a day and calculate the amount of calories burned. The article claims that you burn 1.5 calories for every 10 steps upward and 1 calorie for every 20 steps downward. StepJockey can locate where your stairs are and rate their intensity (based on how steep they are). You may even start to see the StepJockey signs in stairwells, indicating their intensity and calorie amount, in which you can scan to log your steps for the day. So next time you are heading towards the elevator, try the stairs instead! Read the full article at BBC

Tagged In: Exercise, Fitness, Healthy UNH, stairs, Suzanne Hogan

Veg Out!

Thursday, January 30, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

          Thinking about switching to a vegetarian diet? I personally have been a vegetarian for almost 13 years. When I was younger, I stopped eating meat for the purpose of animal rights but I have continued not eating meat for the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Many people assume they will not consume enough protein if they cut out meat all together; however, there are a variety of other sources of protein that can be incorporated into a vegetarian diet.

               Beans and lentils are great sources of protein and also contain numerous other health benefits with little fat. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and can be thrown into salads, soups, or even just eaten alone. Tofu is also one of my favorite meat substitutes. A lot of people don’t give tofu a chance but it’s delicious! It just needs to be cooked the right way. Undercooked tofu can have an odd texture. Another great thing about tofu is you can pretty much make it taste any way you want depending on the seasoning. It doesn’t have too much taste alone, so it can work in almost any situation including desserts.

Aside from meat substitutes, you can also get protein from grains, nuts, and veggies. Dairy products are also a great source of protein, unless you are trying to eat a vegan diet which cuts out all products from animals. Look for low-fat options of milk and yogurt in order to get the protein without all the fat. Peanut butter has about 8 grams in two tablespoons. A cup of spinach has about 5 grams. As long as you eat a wide range of foods, you can consume enough protein throughout the day.

To learn more tips and tricks about eating vegetarian, check out a few of the articles on Vegetarianism at Eat Right.

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, meat substitutes, Nutrition, plant-based diet, protein, Suzanne Hogan, vegetarian, Vegetarianism

Medical Technology, Increasing or Decreasing Health Care Costs?

Friday, January 24, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan
 

The increase in health care costs can be attributed to a variety of different factors such as the aging population, defensive medicine, hospital costs increases, changes in insurance and much more. A big contributing factor to the increase in cost is medical technology.

Medical technology includes new practices such as robotic surgery, telemedicine, electronic medical records, and a variety of new drugs on the market. In many cases these new technologies increase the costs of health care, however, they can also help lower the costs of health care. The development of new vaccines may be pricey up front, but in the long run they will help stop the spread of viruses and disease and therefore lower treatment costs. New technology could also include better screening for disease which would then lead to better treatment.

It's tough to say if advances in technology are better for the economy. Medical technology is increasing prices for current procedures but at the same time, it is decreasing prices for the future. Medical technology is important for the long run of health care costs, even if it means paying more up front today. To learn more about medical technology and its affects, check out the Kaiser Family Foundations’ article about health costs.
Tagged In: aging population, Health care, health costs, Healthy UNH, hospital, Insurance, Medical Technology, Suzanne Hogan

MUB Movies

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
By: Suzanne Hogan

The Memorial Union Building (aka the MUB) is a great place for entertainment with many activities being held every weekend. My personal favorite events of the MUB are the movies they offer. It's a great little date idea for a college budget. MUB movies play on large screen projectors in theaters 1 and 2 every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. They offer two showings of each movie a night, one around 7pm and the other around 9pm. The movies are fairly recent and usually include one comedy and one action. This is a great alternative to going to the theaters in Newington, which charges about $12 per ticket. Tickets are only $4 with your UNH ID and $6 for nonstudents. They also have a concession stand known as The Notch. Here you can buy water, soda, candy, popcorn and other various snacks for your movie. Popcorn is only a dollar, so much cheaper than the same popcorn you might purchase at a regular theater. The movies are sometimes offered in 3D as well, which does cost $2 extra. The entire semester schedule is posted on the MUB website so you can mark your calendars with which movies you really want to see. Check out the listings here on the MUB website

Tagged In: entertainment, Healthy UNH, Memorial Union Building, Mental Health, movies, MUB, Suzanne Hogan

Just keep laughing

Monday, December 16, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

Mid-semester is often a stressful time for everyone. Midterms, exams, papers, and projects all seem to pile up at once and you are suddenly left with no free time at all. Everyone is tense and worried about their own workload. This can often lead to harsh attitudes and bitter tones even between your closest friends. The best way to avoid this unnecessary drama is laughter. Laughing immediately puts you in a better mood and lightens your spirits. Just think about it, have you ever felt mad or annoyed while laughing? Laughing with other people also helps you feel closer and can help strengthen relationships.

Along with the mental and emotional health benefits, laughter can also improve your physical health. Laughing eases your muscles and relaxes your entire body, relieving physical tension and stress. It also boosts your immune system by increasing immune cells and antibodies and protects your heart by increasing blood flow and improving blood vessel function.

So next time you are feeling stressed or even just sad, try finding things to make you laugh. Talk to someone funny or look up funny videos on YouTube (the animal voice overs always work for me). Once you find something, share it with your friends or family. Not only will you feel less stressed and enlightened, but you will also make a stronger connection and improve a relationship in your life.

To learn more about the benefits of laughter and how to improve your sense of humor, check out Help Guide

Tagged In: emotional health, Health, Healthy UNH, laughing, Mental Health, muscles, Physical, relaxe, Stress, Suzy Hogan, tension, YouTube

Time Management

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

As the semester nears an end, it can seem like there is still an enormous amount of assignments with very little time to complete them. If you haven’t already adapted to a time management strategy, now is the time to do it. Managing your time is essentially vital to doing well in college. While it may seem like you have more free time than ever before, the amount of time that needs to be devoted to studying and working on assignments is a huge portion.

               The first step to managing your time is to make a to-do list. This way you will be sure you aren’t forgetting anything and it feels good to check off completed items. You will want to prioritize this list. Try putting the most important items at the top. Getting these things out of the way first will make you feel a lot better about the rest of the list.

               Once you have your to-do list, look at your schedule and start blocking out times. Estimate how long it will take to complete each item on the list and plan accordingly. Be sure to also block out time for sleeping and relaxing. If you don’t give yourself the time you need to relax a little bit, you’ll end up overwhelming yourself. Another thing to keep in mind while making your schedule is when you are most productive. If you are a night owl and get more work done later in the day, make your schedule accordingly.

               Once you have your to-do list and set schedule, be sure to make the most of your studying time. Limit distractions such as checking your phone or Facebook, Twitter, etc. Stay focused on your task at hand and don’t stress! Winter break is almost here so end the semester with great grades to bring home!

               Check out these time management tips, as well as other study strategies at the UNH CONNECT Program

Tagged In: distractions, Healthy UNH, list, Mental Health, schedule, Stress, Suzy Hogan, Time Management, UNH CONNECT Program

The Great American Smokeout

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

The Great American Smokeout is a national event held on the third Thursday of November each year. It is an event to raise awareness of the negative health consequences of smoking. People can use this day as a day to quit smoking. The UNH Campus has celebrated this day for more than 15 years. This year it will fall on November 21st. The event is put on by Health Services and S.A.F.E. (Substance Awareness through Functional Education) peer educators. These peer educators will be tabling at the MUB to provide more information and quit kits to students. These quit kits will also be available at Health Services.  They include information on how to quit and items to help with cravings. S.A.F.E. will also be chalking 20 feet around buildings to indicate how far smokers need to be from these buildings, according to the UNH policy.  In addition, an online petition is being circulated in effort to make UNH a smoke-free campus.

For students that have decided to quit smoking, Health Services provides many different support services. Some of these services include counseling, meditation therapy, acupuncture, and hypnosis. There are also support groups of students trying to quit smoking. The Health Services website is a great resource for information all about tobacco use and how to quit. 

Tagged In: cravings, GASO, Great American Smokeout, Healthy UNH, peer educators, quit kits, S.A.F.E., Substance Awareness through Functional Education, support groups., Suzy Hogan, tobacco

Emergency Room or Urgent Care

Friday, November 15, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

With the costs of health care increasing in all aspects, it is important to understand the difference between emergency rooms and urgent care centers. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, don't hesitate to go to the emergency department of a hospital but if you have a less threatening condition, consider an urgent care facility.

Emergency rooms are extremely expensive not only due to the procedures, services, and equipment offered there, but also because much of the care they deliver is uncompensated for.Emergency rooms are required to provide care for every patient that walks through the door, regardless of if they can pay for it.Therefore, many patients without health insurance rely on ERs as their primary health care provider.  It is estimated more than 18 billion dollars could be saved annually if patients with non-urgent problems did not rely on ERs.

Urgent care facilities are a less expensive alternative to the ER.They are walk-in facilities that are often open extended hours like nights and weekends.They can provide basic laboratory and x-ray services and can also prescribe medication.

Say for example, you contract conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, over the weekend and cannot wait until Monday to see your primary physician.You may consider going to the emergency room to receive a diagnosis and prescribed medication.One study found that this choice would cost you an estimated $500. Or, you could go to an urgent care center where the same care would cost you an estimated $150. If you are nervous your condition may require more attention than an urgent care facility can provide, go to the ER, but keep in mind even if you do go to the urgent care facility first, they can assess the situation and call an ambulance if needed.

One way to avoid going to the ER unnecessary is by planning ahead.Know where the nearest urgent care centers, and ERs are located near your home, work, and places you frequently travel.Have hours of operation and phone numbers readily accessible.That way, when you do have an urgent medical issue, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which facility will best fit your needs.

Watch this movie to check out a doctor talking about the ER and Urgent Care.

Tagged In: emergency room, health costs, Healthy UNH, laboratory, prescription, Suzy Hogan, Urgent Care, x-ray

Heart Rate

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

Heart rate is a great tool to have when it comes to being physically active.Monitoring your heart rate can tell you how hard your heart is working.A target heart rate is an ideal range for working out.It is about 50-85% of your maximum heart rate.Below this range and you may not be working hard enough to see health benefits.Above this range can be dangerous as it is straining your heart.Target heart rates can be different for everyone.As you age, your target heart rate decreases. 

A shorthand for finding your maximum heart rate is to minus your age from 220.If you then find the 50-85% of this number, you can figure out your exact range.To check to see if you are hitting you target heart rate, check your pulse periodically when working out.Press lightly on the inside of your wrists with two fingertips.Count your pulse for ten seconds then multiply by 6 to get beats per minute.              

To learn more about your heart rate, check out The American Heart Association website. 

Get the most out of your workout!Know your ultimate range for working out with heart rate. 

Tagged In: active, American Heart Association, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Heart, Suzy Hogan, target heart rate

Eating Concern Mentors and Fat Talk Free Week!

Monday, October 14, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

Eating Concerns Mentors (ECM) is a group based out of Health Services that provide support and mentor students who are struggling with body image issues and eating disorders. The mentors are trained and educated on eating concerns and helping peers regarding these issues. Mentors may often act as a bridge to the professional help students need. Mentors believe that eating disorders can happen to anyone and that there is no one universal cause. They also believe in health at every size and the non-diet approach. To learn more about this program or to request a mentor, check out the ECM page via Health Services.

Along with helping students one on one, ECMs also work to promote positive body image all around campus. One of their biggest events is Fat Talk Free Week, held every year in October. This year it will be from October 21st to the 25th. All week long ECMs will be promoting Fat Talk Free with different events and activities on campus. "Fat Talk" includes saying things like "These pants make my legs look fat" or "I wish I could be skinnier." It is basically all negative comments in regards to the way we look or feel. ECM is dedicated to erasing all fat talk, not just to our campus, but to everyone. Be sure to look for the life sized Barbie that will be at the library all week, visit event tables in the MUB, and see the awesome shows that will playing at the MUB theaters. Mark your calendars! 

Tagged In: Healthy UNH

Sleep your way to better health

Monday, September 23, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

Allowing your body to rest and get a good night's sleep is vital to your mental and physical health.Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep per night.If you are having difficulties getting a good night's sleep, Help Guide has numerous tips on how to sleep better so you can wake up feeling your best. Below are just a few of the many tips.

1.Regulate your sleeping cycle.

It is important to keep your body on the same sleeping cycle.This means waking up and going to bed around the same time each day, even on the weekends.This will help you sleep better because your body will already know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up.Try not to take a nap too late in the day, as it will make it harder to fall asleep later.

2.Induce natural melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone in your body which helps regulate your sleep cycle.It is induced by light exposure.This means laying in bed on your phone, scrolling through Facebook or checking Instagram, is not going to help you fall asleep.Turn off bright lights and electronics before going to bed and try reading a book to relax instead.

3.Stop worrying.

Many of us may find falling asleep difficult when we cannot seem to stop thinking or worrying.Try to focus instead on relaxing with a breathing technique.If you still cannot stop your thoughts, try jotting them down on paper by your bed.This way, you know you will not forget them and you can review them in the morning.

To learn all of the tips for getting a better night's sleep, check out the Help Guide's website

Tagged In: Health, Healthy UNH, melatonin, Mental Health, physical health, Sleep, sleep cycle, Suzy

Road Races, Running for a Good Cause

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

Whether you were a track star in high school or just like to jog from time to time, road races are a great way to get physically active while also supporting a good cause. Road races almost always include a wide variety of people, young and old, with faster and slower paces. Even if running is not your favorite activity, most road races also include walkers. Being in a large group of people makes a timed course much less intimidating. The energy of a road race is always so much fun. Everyone is excited and happy to be part of a great event. There is also usually food, drinks, and an award ceremony at the end. If you register early, some races will even offer a free event t-shirt.

Running In the USA is a great website with a full listing of upcoming road races around New Hampshire. Most of the listings have a link to the race's page where you can learn more about the cause, registration fee, and running course. Find a cause that you are interested in such as breast cancer or autism. Knowing that you are making a difference is great motivation to the finish line.

Road race distances can range from just a few miles to a full marathon. If you are a beginner, start with a shorter distance and slowly work your way up. It is fun to see if you can beat your last time or go a little bit farther in distance. Do not forget to save your running bibs to show off all your hard work! Running with friends and family make a road race even more fun, so try to get as much people as you can involved. Chances are they will be glad you asked, after all, who does not love free food and a t-shirt?  At the end of the race, you will walk away not only feeling great physically, but you will also have a great sense of pride and accomplishment. 

Tagged In: benefit race, Fitness, free food, Healthy UNH, road race, social, Suzy Hogan

Protect yourself and your wallet

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
By: Suzanne Hogan

It is almost that time of year again. As the summer wraps up and the air starts to chill, it is important to keep in mind what is right around the corner, the flu season. While you may feel queasy with just the thought, now is the time to start thinking about getting this year's flu vaccine. Protecting yourself against the virus now, will help lower your health costs in the future. And by health costs, I do not mean just paying to see a doctor if you do catch the flu. The cost of the flu goes beyond just the monetary value. 

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), every year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu, including an average of 20,000 children younger than 5 years of age. By getting vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself but also young children who are more susceptible to the flu. Among the healthy adults, vaccines are about 70-90% effective for reducing the influenza infection rate. On a personal level, you are also saving yourself a lot of time and hassle with getting the vaccine. Imagine being out of work or not being able to go classes, if you came down with the flu. It would most likely hurt your paycheck and grades to be out sick for even a few days, never mind if you were to be hospitalized. 

From an economic standpoint, The World Health Organization estimates that the flu virus costs the United States between $71-167 billion each year. This is from hospital admissions, other health care provider costs, and lost productivity in the work force. By getting vaccinated, you can help cut these costs with less hospital visits for yourself and also the others you may have protected by getting vaccinated. To learn more about the virus, vaccine, and the costs associated, check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization's websites. 

Tagged In: flu vaccine, Health Cost, Healthy UNH, prevention, Suzy Hogan