Healthy UNH Blogger: Mary Houghton, All Entries

The Power of Yoga

Thursday, February 6, 2014
By: Mary Houghton

Getting our daily dosage of physical activity is extremely important; providing countless health benefits, ranging from disease prevention to positive mental health. Regardless of how important it is, it can be very challenging for people to find a form of physical activity that really works for them. Not everybody enjoys running or cross-fit, and can be discouraged by the gym. Good news! There is a great form of physical activity out there that is good for the soul and doesn’t even require you to leave your bedroom.  Yoga!

Yoga is a great activity to do for many reasons. It is a low impact activity that also provides a great workout. Yoga is a series of body movements ranging in difficulty that require your body to use its own weight. Yoga also focuses on stretching and proper breathing, something that is oftentimes overlooked in other forms of activity. I love yoga because I can get a great workout in while also winding down from my crazy academic and work schedule. It is extremely calming and helps me better cope with the stresses in my life. After every yoga class I feel stretched, relaxed, and overall healthier and happier. The other great thing about yoga is it doesn't require a gym! If you're like me, you enjoy the atmosphere of a yoga studio. If that isn’t something you are into or can easily access, you can purchase yoga videos or easily find yoga routines online. There are endless resources for those seeking yoga instruction and many of them are free! All you need is a yoga mat and some loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Personally, I love going to yoga classes, even if they do cost a little bit more than at home videos. If you are interested in checking out some local yoga classes, look no further than campus! Health Services offers yoga every Wednesday and Friday to students and Campus Rec offers yoga to students and members several times a week.

Tagged In: active, breathing, Campus Rec, Fitness, Healthy UNH, low impact, Mary Houghton, mental wellness, online, Physical Activity, stretch, video, Yoga

Comparative Effectiveness Research: What is it?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
By: Mary Houghton

Doesn’t it seem like we are always hearing about how we can lower health care costs? Do you ever wonder if there are any good things that are being done by medical organizations to help us in the battle of rising health costs? Well here is something that I recently learned about; comparative effectiveness research. 

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) is research conducted on topics like comparing effectiveness of treatments, prevention, management and treatment of preventable disease, as well as prevention, management and treatment of high-volume, high-cost treatments. This type of research is becoming more and more recognized and put into place by the government. For example, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, an independent, non-for-profit organization that supports research on comparative clinical effectiveness. This type of research is important because it will eventually ensure that only the most effective treatments and equipment are used, eliminating needless health care spending on treatments that don’t necessarily work, or don’t work as well. 

Currently, the American Medical Association is supporting and funding comparative effectiveness research. To supplement this type of research, the AMA has started an initiative called the AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, a national physician-led initiative created to improve health care quality by identifying and developing evidence-based clinical performance, promoting the implementation of effective clinical performance, and advancing clinical performance measurement and improvement. This initiative will hopefully lower health costs by ensuring that physicians are working as a team to provide us with the upmost quality care and effective treatments, so that we spend less time in the hospital and doctor’s office, and less money doing just that. 

So, why do we care? It’s very important that we know what our government and health care providers are doing to help us improve our scary health cost situation. We should know that physicians are invested in helping us maintain good health while also keeping more money in our pockets. There are several things that these organizations do, but most of the time we hear about how much spending is being done and other negative factors. Something we can all do is keep ourselves informed and educate ourselves on the research that is being done to help stay healthier and happier by helping health care providers give us the most relevant and cost effective service! 

For more information and currently examples of comparative effectiveness research check out the National Library of Medicine

Tagged In: AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, Comparative Effectiveness Research, disease, Health Care Consumerism, Health Cost, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, prevention, treatments

SPIN: Students Promoting Information About Nutrition

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
By: Mary Houghton

Ever wonder what kind of resources are available on campus for educating students about nutrition? There is a great program that is facilitated by health services that does just that. SPIN, Students Promoting Information About Nutrition consists of students and nutrition educators at health services that provides nutrition education to enhance the well-being of UNH students. SPIN members talk about all types of nutrition, for example how to navigate the grocery store and healthy post and pre workout snacks, as well as other areas of nutrition like body image and eating concerns. Members hold events outside of the campus recreation center and other locations to provide information and educational materials. SPIN members also reach out to residence halls, Greek houses, and other groups to talk to students about various nutrition topics. The members of SPIN are highly educated and extensively trained students here at UNH.

This type of Nutrition Education and Promotion is great because it is coming from your peers. The members of this program are ordinary UNH students who happen to have a passion for health and wellness and want to spread the word. These students are a wealth of knowledge and can relate with difficulty of keeping proper nutrition in college. This program takes a non-diet approach to healthy eating and helps students work on a positive body image and relationship with food. Look for members of SPIN outside of dining halls and campus recreation and ask them about any nutrition related questions you might have and they will guide you in the right direction. If you’d like to get involved with SPIN or to learn more about this program, visit the SPIN website to request a program or to get information about recruitment. Don’t hesitate; educate yourself in the area of nutrition! 

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Nutrition, SPIN, student program, Students Promoting Information About Nutrition

How to be a Good Roommate

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
By: Mary Houghton

Students can encounter all types of stress during their four years at college. Stress can come from all aspects of life, including your living situation. Having problems with your living situation can have a seriously negative effect on your mental health, and in turn your overall health. Although some things are out of your control, a way that you can try to avoid this kind of stress is to be a good roommate. Chances are, if you know how to be a good roommate, the person/people that you are living with you treat you in the same respect, making your home happy and safe. Here are some tips to having a healthy relationship with your roommate/roommates:

Respect. Be respectful towards your roommate. Does he or she have a certain time they go to bed? Do they have any particular concerns about guests? If so, be respectful of these boundaries. Always ask before inviting people into your room that your roommate may or may not know. If your roommate goes to bed at 8:00 and that is when you start to do your homework, be respectful and use a desk lamp rather than the overhead light and use headphones when listening to your music.

Compromise. Chances are you won’t have everything in common with your roommate. If you do study late in the evening, maybe you should think about using the study lounge in your dorm or apartment complex, or take your work to the library. Be willing to make a compromise to avoid your roommate feeling taken advantage of.

Talk it out. If there is something that is bothering you, say it in a non confrontational manner. Don’t be passive aggressive; you and the person you are living with will feel more comfortable if everything is laid out on the table, before conflict happens. Also be sure to remember to listen to their concerns and try to see the situation from their point of view.

Be kind. Finally, use the golden rule. If you want the people you live with to be kind to you, it is your responsibility as an adult to be kind to them. Think about how you would like to be treated and treat those around you that same way. If you don’t want your things used without asking, don’t use your roommates’ things without asking.

These tips will help you have a happy and healthy relationship with the people you live with. College can be a very stressful time and it is essential that you have a safe and positive environment to go back to every day. If these guidelines don’t work for you, reach out to resources on campus, talk to a counselor and your RAs and CAs. Don’t waste time living in a toxic environment. Maintain positive mental health and make the best of your living situation during your time here at UNH!

For more tips on how to have a healthy relationship with your roommate, check out what the University of Wisconsin has to say about roommate etiquette! 

Tagged In: college, dorm, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Mental Health, mental wellness, respect, roommate, Stress

Preventive Care and Minimizing Health Costs

Monday, January 6, 2014
By: Mary Houghton

The world of health costs can be a mind boggling place. I know that personally, as a college student, its hard to care about health costs. I know that when I’m sick, I go to the doctor and get prescribed a medication and the bill gets sent to my mother. Why should we start caring? Because in the very near future, we will all be on our own, paying our own health care costs.As we enter our later years, we will be more and more at risk for disease. A way that you can lower health costs is by taking advantage of health care benefits for preventive care. You may not know this, but under theAffordable Care Act, preventive visits now do not require a copay. For instance, certain vaccinations, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, STI screenings and many others are offered free of copay. This is a great opportunity to make sure that you are perfectly healthy and to avoid future costs! Don’t wait to be sick to go to the doctor’s office, you will have a much friendlier relationship and association with healthcare and healthcare providers if you take preventive measures. Take responsibility for your own health and get screenings done! It is much better to know that you are healthy rather than finding out suddenly that something is wrong and have to pay endless copays and out of pocket fees for treatment. These preventive care resources can be specific for men, women and children!

For some great information about the services covered go to the Affordable Care Act website

Tagged In: Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Preventive Care, saving

The Truth About Carbohydrates!

Friday, January 3, 2014
By: Mary Houghton

With several trending diets out there such as Atkins, South Beach, etc; people nowadays are lead to believe that eating carbohydrates is bad for us or is what makes us gain weight. Well believe it or not, this is the farthest thing from the truth! Carbohydrates are what our body uses to make glucose, which fuels our body and all of its processes. In fact, not eating enough carbohydrates can hurt you. If your body doesn’t have enough glycogen (stored form of glucose), it well start to use protein and fat as your energy source. This is not healthy because we need protein and fat for other processes in our body, like growth, repair, structure, and protection. Another harmful thing that can result from a no carb diet is the state of Ketosis, which occurs when glycogen in the liver has been depleted. Ketosis can lead to serious health problems.

Having said all of that, there are certain types of carbs that are more healthful for you than others. There are two types of carbohydrates; simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates refer to simple sugars that are easily digested in the body and give us quick energy. These are the types of sugars that we want to avoid, i.e. white refined breads, donuts, and sugary packaged cereals. Complex carbohydrates are slowly digesting carbohydrates that also provide several minerals and vitamins. Three important types of complex carbohydrates are fiber and whole grains, and starchy vegetables and beans. Examples of these types of foods are spinach, broccoli, whole wheat and multi grain breads, black beans, lentils, nuts, oats, rice, etc.

The moral of the story is that carbohydrates are our friend! They are what fuel us and enable us to do our activities of daily living. Not to mention, they are delicious! So stop fearing carbs and gaining weight, because all of these carb free diets are non-sustainable and just not enjoyable. Remember, less sugar and more whole grains and fiber for a healthier diet! Now go enjoy a bowl of whole grain pasta. 

For more examples of more healthful carbs, click this link for some great recipe ideas! 

Tagged In: beans, Carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, fiber, fuel, glucose, Healthy UNH, Ketosis, Mary Houghton, no carb diet, Nutrition, simple carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, weight, whole grains

Dance your Way to Fitness

Friday, December 13, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

If you are anything like me, you’re always looking for different ways to get in physical fitness without hitting the gym. I love to find ways to exercise while having fun. One way that I have always known how to get fit and have fun is by dancing! Dancing is a great way to stay in shape by improving cardiovascular endurance, strength, coordination, and flexibility. It is also a great way to express yourself artistically and to just have a good time! Another great thing about dance is that there are so many different types; ballet, jazz, tap, zumba, salsa, and tango are just a few to list. There are also so many ways to get involved in dancing. UNH offers dance classes for credit as well as opportunities to participate in the dance company and dance team. Campus Rec offers classes like zumba that combines dancing with cardio moves. If you are looking for other options, there are plenty of local dance studios in Portsmouth, Dover, Barrington, and Greenland that allow you to participate in drop-in classes for as cheap as $12. If you don’t feel like leaving the house, there are great dance based workout videos online and on DVD that you can use to get your workout in. If none of these options work for you, grab a few friends and go out dancing for the night! Combining a social outing with your daily physical activity sounds perfect to me! There is no wrong way to dance so go ahead and give it a try, you never know, it might become your new favorite form of exercise!

For more information on the health benefits and tips on dancing click this website.

Tagged In: cardiovascular, coordination, dance, endurance, express, Fitness, flexibility, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Physical, Physical Activity, strength

Frazzle Free Finals!

Monday, December 9, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

Many students are feeling a lot of anxiety about the end of the semester that is fast approaching. With exams, papers, and final projects, the work seems endless. It is important that we all stay in good mental health so that we can finish out the semester strong! The best way to combat your end of semester work is to manage your time wisely and keep a positive and clear mind. It is also important that you take study breaks; take a walk, have a snack, do something that isn’t school related to give your brain a break. Pushing yourself too far will only result in mental blocks and high levels of anxiety. Be kind to yourself, approach finals with a calm, open mind and you will succeed. UNH has many resources available for students in preparation for finals week including Frazzle Free Finals! Frazzle Free Finals is a series of stress relieving activities held in the diamond library during the week of finals. Healthy UNH, Dining Services and a few other groups on campus put together the event to provide students with health promoting stress relievers. Some activities that are included in Frazzle Free Finals are free chair massages, cookie and coffee breaks, and puppies are brought in for therapeutic playtime! Each activity is a great way to take a break from studying and let your brain process all of the information that you are loading it with. Frazzle Free Finals starts Monday, December 9th and ends Wednesday, December 11th, so don’t miss your chance, be sure to stop by and grab a snack or pet a puppy! Remember, to focus, work hard, and most importantly, breathe! Good luck and let’s finish this semester with a bang!

For a full list of Frazzle Free Finals events and times, visit the Healthy UNH website!

Tagged In: activity, anxiety, chair massages, Cookie and Coffee Break, exams, Frazzle Free Finals!, Mary Houghton, Meditation, Mental Health, mental wellness, Primal Scream, Sanity Central, Stress, stress relievers, Study Buddies, YoNola Bar

Get Involved: Best Buddies UNH

Friday, December 6, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

With winter break fast approaching, we will have plenty of time on our hands to eat, sleep, relax, and finally, think about what kinds of things we will want to be involved in for the Spring semester. One thing that you might want to consider is community service! Community service is a great way to spend free time you might have; it is oftentimes very rewarding and can look great on your resume as an added bonus! One program here at UNH that is a very rewarding experience and requires little time commitment is UNH’s chapter of Best Buddies. Best Buddies is an international non-profit organization dedicated to giving opportunities for one on one friendship and inclusion for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Each UNH member of Best Buddies is matched with a “buddy” and is required to meet with them face to face once a month as well as be in contact with them once a week. Forms of contact can include Facebook, email, phone calls, etc. Additionally, there is a monthly meeting for all members of UNH Best Buddies to engage in a group event. The goal of this organization is to include and encourage social participation from intellectually and developmentally disabled students in the community. This organization is a great way to get involved and make a difference in somebody’s life by becoming their buddy. I have heard from many that this program is fun and a great learning experience for those who are looking for opportunities to be involved with the community. Best Buddies UNH is holding a “Eat Away the Stress of Finals Bake Sale” in Union Court Monday, December 9th from 11:00am to 7:00pm, so be sure to stop by and grab a baked good as well as talk to a member of Best Buddies to learn more about the program. Give it some thought and check it out! 

For more information about UNH’s chapter of Best Buddies, visit their homepage

Tagged In: bake sale, community service, developmental disabilities, Get involved, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, mental wellness, social, volunteer, “Eat Away the Stress of Finals Bake Sale”

Dance your Way to Fitness

Monday, November 18, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

If you are anything like me, you’re always looking for different ways to get in physical fitness without hitting the gym. I love to find ways to exercise while having fun. One way that I have always known how to get fit and have fun is by dancing! Dancing is a great way to stay in shape by improving cardiovascular endurance, strength, coordination, and flexibility. It is also a great way to express yourself artistically and to just have a good time! Another great thing about dance is that there are so many different types; ballet, jazz, tap, zumba, salsa, and tango are just a few to list. There are also so many ways to get involved in dancing. UNH offers dance classes for credit as well as opportunities to participate in the dance company and dance team. Campus Rec offers classes like zumba that combines dancing with cardio moves. If you are looking for other options, there are plenty of local dance studios in Portsmouth, Dover, Barrington, and Greenland that allow you to participate in drop-in classes for as cheap as $12. If you don’t feel like leaving the house, there are great dance based workout videos online and on DVD that you can use to get your workout in. If none of these options work for you, grab a few friends and go out dancing for the night! Combining a social outing with your daily physical activity sounds perfect to me! There is no wrong way to dance so go ahead and give it a try, you never know, it might become your new favorite form of exercise! 

For more information on the health benefits and tips on dancing click this website.

Tagged In: cardiovascular, coordination, dance, endurance, Fitness, flexibility, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Physical Activity, strength, Zumba

The Inside Scoop on Dessert

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

Do you ever find yourself craving a little something sweet after dinner? Or lunch? Or even just because? If you answered yes, know that you are certainly not alone! In honor of national dessert month, its time to celebrate and appreciate our sweet tooth. People talk about how “bad” or “forbidden” dessert is when the reality is, dessert can be your friend, not your enemy. Yes, eating a brownie sundae with hot fudge and whipped cream every day may not be the most nutritious habit, but once in a while? Go right ahead! Everything is good in moderation! Dessert also doesn’t have to be a “cheat” or a “guilty pleasure”, you can incorporate it into your daily eating habits. The key is picking the kinds of desserts that are also nutritious! Fruit is sweet and delicious and is packed with nutrients that you need in your diet. Mix some blueberries and strawberries with a little bit of low-fat yogurt for a nice parfait! Try a smoothie! Frozen yogurt (especially greek frozen yogurt) is another great option. Mix some fruit with a half cup of frozen yogurt for a cool and refreshing treat. Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on your dessert, cinnamon can have positive effects on your blood glucose levels and insulin resistance levels. For chocoholics like me, enjoy some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate can have positive effects on your blood pressure and cholesterol, so dig in chocolate lovers! Something I’ve tried recently is freezing bananas that are covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with crushed nuts. I can enjoy the sweetness and the knowledge that I am eating something nutritious as well. Have fun and be creative with making your desserts, your sweet tooth and your stomach will thank you later! 

For some great ideas for healthful desserts, visit the Eating Well website

Tagged In: cinnamon, dark chocolate, Dessert, Eating Well, fruit, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, moderation, National Dessert Month, Nutrition, Yogurt

It’s That Time Again... Get Your FREE Flu Shot in the MUB!

Friday, October 4, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

It’s That Time Again... Get Your FREE Flu Shot in the MUB!

Flu season is among us and it’s time to get your vaccination! With busy academic schedules and long nights of studying, it’s hard for us college students to fight off illness. Coming down with the flu can make you miss classes and potentially put you behind, something we all want to avoid! Save yourself the worry and pay a visit to the Granite State Room in the MUB for your flu shot free of charge! The clinic will take place on October 9th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shot will be free as long as you’ve paid your mandatory fees required for students enrolled in at least 5 credits. If not, you can still get the shot for $25. If for some reason you cannot make it to the clinic, you can make an appointment with health services to get your shot. So mark the date in your calendar and set aside at least 20 minutes as there will probably be a wait! Don’t miss out on this opportunity, take precautionary measures and get vaccinated!

Remember that in addition to the vaccination, it is very important to take care of ourselves to avoid illness and to maintain wellness. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and be sure to get plenty of sleep! Following these guidelines in combination with your flu shot will help you have a happy and healthy year! For more information on the flu shot clinic and how to avoid getting sick, check out the Health Services flu website

Tagged In: flu, Flu shot, free, Health Care Consumerism, Healthy UNH, illness, Mary Houghton, UNH Program, Wellness

Maintaining Mental Health During a Breakup

Monday, September 30, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

In college, students are continuously meeting new people and engaging in relationships. Most college students at some point experience a breakup and it can be emotionally devastating. Dealing with a breakup can be very stressful and harmful for your mental health. The most important thing to avoid in the coping process is letting your emotions affect your wellbeing and having your academics suffer. Don’t let a breakup get in the way of a happy and healthy life! There are many ways of dealing with a breakup and here are some health promoting coping mechanisms: 

Positive thinking is key in maintaining good mental health. Remind yourself that many others have dealt with this and many more after you will. Think about what makes you happy and about all the things that have a positive influence in your life. 

Engage in activities that help distract you. Exercise, be outdoors, maybe even volunteer! A great thing you can do to keep your mind off of the negative emotions associated with a breakup is to pick up a new hobby like reading or hiking, or maybe restart an old hobby that you once enjoyed. 

Surround yourself with positive relationships. Remember that you have friends and family that love you. These people will be your support system throughout this obstacle. Fill your schedule with activities that you can do with people who make you happy. 

Seek professional guidance. Seeing a counselor or a therapist will guide you in the coping process and will offer an outside support that can really help. UNH has great resources here on campus, like the Counseling Center and Health Services for students, check it out! 

Avoid contact with the person that you are ending the relationship with. Immediately following a breakup, maintaining distance from that person with prevent a relapse in healthy progress and will make moving on and starting over easier. It is possible that in the future you can be friends, but for coping purposes, stay away! 

Finally, remember that recovering from a heartbreak is never easy and it can take quite some time to fully heal. There is no perfect way of coping with emotional stress, so find what works best for you!

 

Tagged In: counselor, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, Mental Health, mental wellness, positive thinking, relationships, Stress

Lowering Health Costs: Take Care of Your Back!

Friday, September 27, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

Health costs is a significant problem in today’s economy. It is very important for college students to be aware of health care costs even if they are not yet accountable for their own health care yet. Because health care costs is not an easy problem to fix, it is our responsibility to limit our own costs. One way that we as college students can lower our personal costs right now and for the future is to protect our backs! A study conducted by the Sheps Center for Health Services Research found that about 80% of our population is affected by lower back pain and another study by the Oregon Health and Science University found that back pain is the fifth common reason for physician visits in the U.S. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that Americans spend about $50 billion dollars each year on back pain treatment. Physician visits, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and MRI’s are just some of the things that contribute to the costs. The majority of health care expenditure associated with back pain is medication, both prescription and non prescription The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study in 2008 to compare yearly health costs between those who experienced chronic back pain and those who did not. They found that in 2005, people with spine problems spent $6096 in medical expenditures, while people who did not experience spine problems spent $3516 in the same year. That’s a huge difference!

So why should we care? Back pain affects the majority of America’s population and preventing this kind of ailment could potentially cut our annual health care costs in half! There are several ways to prevent back pain and they can all be worked into your lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight and activity level are crucial to maintaining back health. Stretching daily and wearing proper footwear with low heels and proper arch support are also great ways to prevent back pain. Finally, remembering to maintain proper poster, especially while sitting for prolonged amounts of time and properly lifting heavy objects, (lift with your knees!) are ways to prevent lower back pain. Following these guidelines could potentially help you in lowering personal health costs and will also improve your overall quality of life. Your back is very important for our daily health, so please, be kind to it!

For detailed tips on how to prevent back pain, click this link!

Tagged In: back pain, guidelines, Health Care Consumerism, health costs, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, prevent back pain, prevention

Intimidated by Exercise? Walk it Out!

Friday, September 20, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

Physical activity is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle.Physical activity reduces cardiovascular disease risk, helps in maintaining a healthy weight, helps keep blood pressure and blood lipid profiles in a healthy range, and also helps reduce risk for other diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The World Health Organization recommends that all adults between the ages of 18 and 64 participate in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. That means about 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week of activity that keeps your heart rate elevated.          

For some people this can be a very challenging task!Do you ever have a hard time getting yourself motivated enough to do a workout?Or do you avoid the gym for fear of not knowing what to do?An easy solution to these types of concerns is walking!You don’t have to do sprints or run 6 miles to get a good work out in, believe it or not walking can be very beneficial for your health.Walking at a moderately fast pace gets your heart rate up and your muscles working Walking is a great form of exercise because you can do it anywhere, its low impact, and it leaves little room for excuses.This form of exercise can be done by people of all ages and requires no equipment!Another great benefit of walking is that you don’t have to have a gym membership, you could go for a brisk walk around the UNH campus with a friend for 30 minutes a day and that counts as a workout! At the gym, you could walk around the indoor track or on the treadmill; and if you’re looking for an extra challenge, bump up the incline level! Other great activities would be to go for a nature walk or hike a mountain. Walking is a fool proof way of ensuring that you get your 30 minutes of daily exercise in, even with the busiest schedule.So go ahead and get walking!

 

For some ideas on walking workouts visit the Fitness Magazine website and Healthy UNH's Walking Guide to count your steps across campus. 

Tagged In: cardiovascular, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Mary Houghton, motivation, Physical Activity, UNH Walking Guide, walk to fit, walking

Chia: More than just a pet

Friday, September 6, 2013
By: Mary Houghton

What exactly are chia seeds? They come from a desert plant called salvia hispanica, originated from Central America. Research finds that Chia seeds are a great source of omega - 3 fatty acid and also contains a surprising amount of fiber. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 1 ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber. That's almost half of your suggested daily amount! Chia seeds also provide a good amount of easily digestible protein and minerals such as iron and calcium.

So now that you know what chia seeds are about, how do we consume them? Chia seeds can be found in several supermarkets and health food stores, as well as stores like GNC. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons where ever you'd like. I've heard of people sprinkling it into their oatmeal, breads, yogurt, smoothies etc. Be creative!

Visit the Shape website for a few healthy and easy chia seed recipes!

Tagged In: calcium, Chai, fatty acid, fiber, Healthy UNH, iron, Mary Hougton, Nutrition, omega 3, recipes