April 2012

Fight Stress with Physical Activity!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Author: 
Ann Steeves
Friday, April 27, 2012

It’s the final stretch—seasonal jobs and internships are lined up, summer courses are registered for, perhaps a road trip is planned… Summer is right around the corner, and there’s just one maybe-not-so-little thing standing in your way: final papers, exams, and projects to complete. You’ve worked so hard all semester and this is it! It is apparent that everyone on campus is in the same boat, as the library is packed with so many students, it can be hard to find a seat.

This time of year, it is hard to not get caught up in the stress of it all. Between managing classes, jobs, and summer plans, it is common for students to feel overwhelmed with their growing to-do lists. However, stress can be managed, often simply with 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. Don’t start groaning yet. Exercise truly can be enjoyable and a great way to get rid of excess stress.

Consider different options around campus besides the Whittemore Center. College Woods provides the community acres of trails to enjoy walks or jogs. The serenity of the river, and peacefulness of the surrounding woods allows individuals to forget about stress for a moment and indulge in nature. There are many trails to explore, and a sense of adventure comes with finding your way back from each new path.

Take the time out for yourself to breathe and release stress, while you generate endorphins to rejuvenate yourself. You will be more efficient, and have a better attitude about your responsibilities. Physical activity also contributes to better sleep, another important factor to reduce stress. According to fitness.gov, exercise also increases self-esteem. Who couldn’t use a bit more of that? Exercise has many benefits, and there are plenty of opportunities around campus to stay active. Think twice before the next time you lock yourself into the library—physical activity may prove to be what your body needs to feel ready for that upcoming exam!

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Have a Sex-Ed Question?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Author: 
Katrina Heisler
Monday, April 23, 2012

UNH Health Services does a great job spreading sexual health and awareness across campus. Starting March 20th until May 15th sexual health and information tables can be found in the MUB Food Court from 11:45-1:15 every Tuesday. This information table also provides free male and female condoms, personal lubricant and dental dams. This weekly informational table will be a helpful resource on campus and serve as a student reminder of the importance of safe sexual health. The informational table will provide you with the contacts and information you need for further guidance on sexual health such as STD/HIV testing, pregnancy and counseling. Don't forget, students can also visit Health Services website to learn about a variety of topics regarding sexuality such as relationships, communication skills, sexual pleasure, contraceptive choices and gender identity.  If you have more serious question regarding your sexual health feel free to call (603) 862-3823 or visit Health Online to make an appointment. Don’t miss out on these amazing opportunities to learn more about your health and ask the questions you’ve always wanted!  No need for feeling embarrassed or timid, all are encouraged to stop by the information tables and sessions, judgment free!  

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Physical Activity Affects the Mind

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

The physical benefits of exercise are commonly known, such as weight control, cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance.  However, studies show that although exercise is a physical activity, it has an effect on our mental state as well.  A study conducted at the University of Haifa International School found that exercise reduces depression and burnout rates.  The study analyzed 1,632 Israeli workers through questionnaires and follow up appointments over the course of nine years.  The workers were divided into four groups who did varying amounts of exercise, which was defined as any activity that increased heart rate and induced sweating.  The first group did not participate in any physical activity, the second group did between 1.25 hours and 2.5 hours of exercise per week, the third group between 2.5 hours and 4 hours per week, and finally, a fourth group that was physically active for more than 4 hours per week. 

The results showed that depression and burn out rates were the highest among the workers who did not participate in physical activity at all during the week.  Depression is defined as a clinical disorder in which one feels sadness, loss, anger or frustration for an extended period of time.  Burnout is defined as physical, cognitive and emotional exhaustion.  In the groups who participated in physical activity, depression and burnout rates were decreased during the next 3 years.  Mental health benefits were observed after a minimum of 2.5 hours of exercise each week and over 4 hours of exercise per week was the most effective.

We all know that exercise is good for you, and good mental health is just one more benefit.  But if working out for an hour on the treadmill isn’t your thing, not to worry.  There are plenty of non-traditional, creative ways to stay active without even going to the gym.  Here are some suggestions for staying active at UNH:

1. If competition excites you, there are a variety of intramural teams at UNH to be a part of.

2. Many people don’t know that the indoor pool at the field house has free swim hours for students.  Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout.

3.  Go hiking and walking in college woods.

4.  Dancing is a fun way to get your heart rate up.  Campus rec offers zumba classes, along with other fitness classes.  You can check out the schedule.  The key is to do something that you enjoy.  You’re much more likely to consistently do an activity if you’re having fun.

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