Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

11.29.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday

11.29.2010
SEE Tip: The holiday season has officially begun! As the time for gift giving draws near, think fitness while you shop. Instead of doing the majority of your shopping online, head out to the mall to find your presents. It's an easy way to add some physical fitness to your routine and also check some people off your list. In an hour and a half of shopping, you can burn over 380 calories. In fact, a recent study found that the average woman burns roughly 48,000 calories a year from shopping alone! So while you shop, ditch the laptop and head to the sales rack in person!

Quit Tip from HKB: Why wait until January 1st to make your quit smoking resolution? It may be easier to find someone to smooch at midnight without the stench of cigarettes on your breath. Commit to spending the next month to quitting the habit. You can start 2011 feeling healthier and can work on a different resolution in the upcoming year!

Mellow Out Monday: The holidays can often trigger feelings of stress and depression. As if the winter blues weren't bad enough, piling on exams, papers, and traveling can often bring a heavy load on your shoulders. Check out these tips for ways to cope with the holiday stress! You can also let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: It's easy to reuse or recycle your inkjet cartridges, so get started today! If you've been chucking your inkjet and toner cartridges in the garbage up to this point, you're not alone. Over 13 cartridges are discarded in the U.S. every second, according to CartridgeFundraising.com.  It's actually easy to cut down on this waste. First off, some inkjet cartridges can be used more than once by buying a refill kit. If this seems too messy, take your empties (think copiers and faxes, too) to the nearest drop off center to be reused or recycled by others. (Plug your zip code into Earth911.org for nearby collection places.) You can also save some money by buying recycled cartridges to begin with! For more information on living green, visit The Daily Green.

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11.23.2010

Holiday Weekend Sip Tip

11.23.2010
When it comes to holidays involving alcohol, often termed 'alcoholidays,' your mind probably drifts to St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, or New Years Eve. Surprisingly, a study from the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center found that "Thanksgiving Eve" has taken over all other nights of the year for the most amount of alcohol consumed, particularly by underage drinkers. For many, this may be the first long break from college to return home and reunite with friends. To ease the transition, alcohol may be added to the mix as a bit of social lubricant. Older siblings may be returning to supply the booze to the underage drinkers, or there may just be a ready supply stocked in preparations for the holidays ahead. Regardless of the reasons surrounding it's title, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has earned the nickname of Black(out) Wednesday. You may choose to drink during the weekends at school, so returning home may appear as a chance to show your friends your newly acquired drinking skills/games/tolerance/etc. Remember, people change and so do social situations. Friends that could previously keep up with each others drinking habits may be in drastically different places after three months apart. Keep to your own pace and don't get caught up in the excitement. You have a big day of eating ahead of you. It's not a morning you want to spend feeling sick! Besides, you really want to impress your friends from home? Show them you can still drink, have fun, and wake-up hangover free- Stop@Buzzed! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tip of the Week: Stuff the Turkey, Not Your Tummy!

November 25th will mark a time for giving thanks for what you have. It's also a time where many of us choose to celebrate by piling our plates high with some of our favorite foods. Thanksgiving meals range in styles and selections, but can also range in calorie counts! The average meal can contain up to 4000 calories depending on how much you consume. According to a study by Texas A&M International University, Americans may consume an extra 619 calories per day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That can add up to an additional 7 pounds in a very short time frame. The sweets, fats, and carbohydrates can be very tempting for your taste buds, but not so healthy for your body. Fear not! There are healthy swaps you can make to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without the negative health implications! Check out this clip for more information.


11.22.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday

11.22.2010
SEE Tip: Thanksgiving may be a time to indulge in your favorite treats, but a full plate doesn't mean it has to be full of unhealthy options. You can have your pumpkin pie and eat it too! There are plenty of swaps you can make to cut down on the calories, fat, and sodium often present in the standard Thanksgiving meals. Fill half your plate with veggies to fill up from nutritious foods before you stuff yourself with stuffing. Click here for other healthy options to stay thankful for a healthy mind and body!

Quit Tip from HKB: The temperatures outside are getting colder. Do you really want to stand outside for a smoke break? Quit to keep yourself warm this winter! Not only will you be able to stay inside, but your body will be better able to regulate its temperature. Smoking impacts circulation, particularly to your hands and feet. By quitting, you can help keep your toes (and the rest of your body) nice and toasty!

Mellow Out Monday: Stressed out over upcoming holiday travel plans? Take time to de-stress! Let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: Starting your holiday shopping? Select ground transportation, instead of rush delivery for your mailing needs and cut down on fossil fuel use and pollution. Try to avoid overnight shipping, which burns the most fossil fuels per item. In fact, ground shipping tends to be six times more energy efficient than air.  Also, because airplanes release their greenhouse gases way up in the atmosphere, they tend to do more damage than gases emitted at ground level, at least as far as global warming is concerned.  Avoiding overnight delivery will also save you a bundle of money, since companies add a hefty price for the service. For more information on living green, visit The Daily Green.

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11.19.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

11.19.2010
As the semester winds down, you may be looking back to reflect on your notes, your exams, and your year in general. Is your memory of your weekends a bit blurry? It could be because you lost track of just how much you were consuming. Look back on this archived post so if you choose to drink, you know what to expect from your pour. Measure your weekend in memories, not empty drinks! Stop@Buzzed!

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In the News: MIA on the HPV Shot

HPV, along with its vaccine Gardasil, surged in conversations not long ago as women supported the efforts of protecting themselves against cervical cancer and genital warts. While many flocked to their doctor's offices with the best of intentions to receive the shot, they didn't always follow through. A new study found that less than a third of women who begin the series actually complete it.

The vaccine against HPV/cervical cancer is given in a series of three separate shots over a period of about six month's time. In order for the shots to be effective, the patient must comply by getting all three at the correct time. Failure to do so results in women being under protected and may reduce the length of time the vaccine is effective. The study monitored 2,641 women who started on the HPV vaccine and found that 39.1 percent received a single dose, 30.1 percent got two doses, and 30.78 percent completed the three-dose regimen. Barriers to compliance may include scheduling difficulties, unwanted side effects, costs, and failure to follow-up. It is not necessary to restart the series if one shot is missed, but one should be sure to complete the series once it begins. Both males and females are approved for its use to protect against genital warts and/or cancer. The vaccine is available through the Student Health and Wellness Center. Talk to your health care provider to learn more!

11.17.2010

SHWC Spotlight: Get Vaccinated!

11.17.2010
'Tis the season to spread germs! As the winter months arrive, it's important to focus on prevention to keep yourself from getting sick this season. A 2008 study examined the impact of influenza-like-illness on academic performance among college students. Those vaccinated suffered less from both illness and poor grades! The study concluded, "influenza vaccination was associated with substantial reductions in ILI and ILI-associated health care use and impairment of school performance. College and university students can experience substantial benefits from influenza vaccinations".

Fortunately, the Student Health and Wellness Center offers flu vaccinations to students. Take just 15 minutes out of your day to keep from missing up to a week's worth of class! The SHWC has a limited supply of flu vaccine left after two very successful Flu Clinics. Protect yourself today!
Schedule an appointment: 410-516-8270.
COST: $15.00 /$8.00 with school insurance
PAYMENT:  Cash, check, J-card, credit card or bill your student account   

11.15.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday

11.15.2010
SEE Tip: Sleep helps you process all the information you’re learning! See for yourself and go to bed early one night this week. A study at Harvard Medical School demonstrates that sleep within 30 hours of learning new information or a new activity is absolutely required for improved performance. Subjects who were tested only a few hours later and subjects who were sleep deprived the next night did worse on the test than those who slept normally following the activity. Stickgold, R., James, L., Hobson, J.A. Visual discrimination learning requires sleep after training. Nature Neuroscience. Dec2000, Vol. 3 Issue 12, p1237.

Quit Tip from HKB: Keep smoking and your may be exposed to disturbing images along with the unhealthy smoke. The FDA has unveiled some pretty graphic warning labels they intend to start putting on cigarette packs to discourage smoking. The US will join 39 other countries that now require large, graphic depictions of smoking’s effects. You may be aware of the risks and dangers, but soon they could be more in your face than ever! Want to quit? Join HKB for the Great American Smokeout on-campus Wednesday and Thursday!

Mellow Out Monday: If ever you find yourself spacing out in class, take that time to check in with yourself. While in class or waiting for it to begin, notice any tension in your body (jaw, neck, shoulders). Breathe deeply and gently stretch and relax any tense areas. Roll your neck, arch your back- you may snap to it feeling better! You can also let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: Winter is just around the corner, and it’s almost time to turn start turning up your thermostat. While heating a home requires a great deal of energy, you can reduce the amount of energy your home uses by winterizing. One little known way to save energy and to reduce heating costs during the winter is to rotate your ceiling fan blades in the clockwise direction. Using the fan in this manner pushes warm heated air back down into the house where you are. By doing this, you will feel warmer, and eliminate the urge to crank up the heat. For more information on living green, visit The Daily Green.

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11.11.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

11.11.2010
It should come as no surprise that when it comes to beverages, alcohol is not the best option if you want to promote full cognitive function. Few (though, hopefully none) would chug a beer before taking a final in hopes it would improve their performance. Yet come Friday, many student choose to drown their busy week via Solo Cups and cheap beer. Your brain is easily the most useful organ in your body. Before you decide to reach for that extra drink, here are some effects of EtOH it may help to know!
  • The more you drink, the more areas of your brain that are affected. Different areas control different body functions, so as your BAC increases, your brain has more trouble regulating normalcy. Feeling drunk is a result of your brain losing it's ability to regulate your body.
  • It takes a lot to actually kill your brain cells, but alcohol does inhibit them. A 1993 study found no difference between alcoholics and non-alcoholics in density of brain cells. However, alcohol does inhibit the ability of your brain to fire off neurons to send messages to allow you to think, act, and process information properly.
  • An obvious fact, alcohol impairs your decision making. Not only that, it slows down your reaction time and increases your likelihood to make errors. What seems like a good idea at 1am may seem like a terrible decision in hindsight.
  • Think your brain bounces right back the next day? Nope! One night of heavy drinking can impair your ability to think abstractly for up to 30 days, limiting your ability to relate textbook reading to what your professor says.
  • According to JHU Professor Dr. Gorman, your body continues to develop myelin until the age of 25. When you drink, it disrupt normal brain myelination. This process allows for the transmission of signals between the brain and the body. Heavy binge drinking could limit your myelin production.
Your brain is important, especially if you want to excel at Hopkins. Don't damage it by drinking to excess. A small amount of alcohol will offer the euphoric effects without the risks of impairment. If you choose to drink, keep it to one drink an hour for your body and brain, Stop@Buzzed! For other facts on alcohol's impact on the brain and body, click here.

Upcoming Events

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out these healthy and helpful events!

Nolan's Nights and Johns Hopkins Olympic Taekwondo present: 
BASICS OF SELF DEFENSE
Saturday, November 13th
9:00pm - 11:30pm
Nolan's in Charles Commons
Lessons are 30 minutes long and start every half hour

Admissions: $3 and includes FREE food
Come learn some simple but effective defensive techniques (with actual, practical applications) from trained martial artists  and enjoy cheap, delicious food homemade by the Hopkins Foodies Club!

The Office of Multicultural Affairs presents:
CultureShow 2010
Saturday, November 13th
6:00pm
Shriver Hall Auditorium

Come and enjoy an evening of five star performances at this year's CultureShow 2010. There will be 16 cultural vocal and dance performances this year ranging the globe from countries such as Ireland, China and Africa.  This showcase is free and all are welcome to attend. This year marks the 22nd year of this Johns Hopkins tradition. For additional information please call (410) 516-8730 or visit, wwww.jhu.edu/oma.

11.10.2010

In the News: Break-Ups Abound

11.10.2010
In the age of social networking, relationships are more on display than ever. You are less likely to run into PDA than FDA, Facebook Displays of Affection. The hook-ups, make-ups, and break-ups via Facebook interactions have sparked the interest of one British journalist who took this trend to a new level. Journalist David McCandless, also a graphic designer, has analyzed over 10,000 status updates to produce the Facebook Breakup Chart. The graph shows the most likely times of the year for couples to split according to changes in relationship status.

Considering the majority of Facebook users, the trends tend to make sense. The majority of break ups spike just before Spring Break when some may choose to do a little spring cleaning before heading off on wild trips. The other large spike occurs just before the winter holidays. Apparently the threat of gift giving trumps getting into the holiday spirit with a special someone. With just a month to go before a potential break-up boom, it may be time to check in with your sweetie and see how your relationship is working. Don't let the stress of midterms and holidays interrupt your relationships. Make time for each other or you may one of the relationships ending as the new year begins!

11.09.2010

Tip of the Week: Don't Take Your Sunshine Away

11.09.2010
Now that the clocks have fallen back another hour, you may find your days seem to fly by. Yesterday's sunset occurred at just 5:00pm. The shorter sunlight hours can lead to a biochemical imbalance that leave you feeling depressed. Approximately 10-20% of Americans may suffer from mild symptoms associated with the winter blues.

The reasons for the melancholy feelings stem from changes in hormones. Melatonin (the sleep hormone) decreases and serotonin (the hormone for wakefulness and elevated mood) increases when it's light. Sun also helps your body produce vitamin D which helps in the production of mood-boosting serotonin. With less light to regulate the chemicals, you may feel more fatigued earlier in the day. To ward of the winter blues, there are some tips that can help!

When you begin your day, turn on the lights instead of getting ready in a dimly lit room. It will better wake you up and keep you from starting your day feeling sluggish. Take the long way to class. There are only a limited number of sunlight hours in the day so try to soak up as much as you can. Walk across campus for lunch, take walks for study breaks, or wander around the neighborhood when chatting with friends. If you can't brighten up outside, brighten up your inside space. Get a bright throw blanket, pick up some fresh flowers, or just keep your blinds open throughout the day. If you feel you may have more than just the winter blues, contact the Counseling Center for information on Seasonal Affective Disorder. For more information, click here.

11.08.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

11.08.2010
SEE Tip: Afraid of getting sick? Give your immune system a boost by exercising. People who exercise experience fewer and milder colds. Studies have shown that exercise helps improve the immune system. People who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick and tend to have quicker recovery times. For more information, click here.

Quit Tip from HKB: Which came first, the smoking or the brain impulse? A recent study found that a certain area of the cerebral cortex is thinner in smokers than in people who have never smoked. This area of the brain deals with the reward pathway, impulse control, and decision making. While scientist aren't sure of the cause and effect pathway, there certainly does seem to be a brain difference. Smoking causes many negative side effects on your body and brain so protect yourself by quitting today!

Mellow Out Monday: Daylight Savings Time gave you an extra hour this past weekend. Regardless of how you used that time, think of ways to 'reset' your own clock this time of year. Are you feeling stressed, anxious, rundown? Take a moment to yourself to think about all the positive things in your life. Think about how you spend your time throughout the day and think of ways to make it more efficient. Once you settle your mind you may find it easier to settle your schedule. You can also let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: If you have the option, use a toaster oven instead of a conventional oven, and you'll consume far less energy.  Tests have shown that a well-insulated toaster oven, with plenty of room for air to circulate around it, consumes a whopping 50 percent less energy. As an added bonus, using a toaster oven will keep your kitchen cooler. Maybe using a compact toaster with a 10 x 10-inch footprint more often will get you thinking about downsizing your overall carbon footprint, too. For more information on living green, visit The Daily Green.

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11.04.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

11.04.2010
If you've recently browsed through the headlines, you most likely have stumbled upon some mention of the drink Four Loko. The hospitalization of several college students who consumed the drink has led to blanket bans by officials and administrators alike. These incidents may be publicized, but the use is not isolated. The low costs, sweet taste, and high alcohol content make the drink tempting to many college students. Branded as 'liquid cocaine' or 'blackout in a can', you can see how it may draw the attention of drinkers. Four Loko may be taking the heat, but it's not the only beverage of its kind. Roughly 25 companies produce a similar beverage and the FDA is looking for evidence that these drinks are actually safe for consumption. One 23.5oz can contains the equivalent of six alcohol servings and roughly the caffeine equivalent of 4 cups of coffee. Sound like your idea of a quick and cheap pregame? Hold that thought. When consumed quickly (as is usually done), these drinks cause severe side effects. There are many potential dangers associated with alcoholic energy drinks, but the most life-threatening stems from the combination of a depressant (alcohol) and a stimulant (caffeine).

Your brain is only programmed to process so much alcohol in so much time before it engages certain life-saving mechanisms. When you pass out, it's not because you are tired. You pass out because your brain is trying to save you from yourself because it knows if you are sleeping, you aren't drinking. Once caffeine is added to the mix, your brain gets mixed messages. Part of it wants to make you drowsy and go to sleep and another part wants to keep you alert and awake. The caffeine bypasses your brains ability to protect itself. If your 'vomit' mechanism somehow gets bypassed as well, you are looking at a serious life-threatening scenario: alcohol poisoning. Another side-effect, the imminent hangovers. Alcohol and caffeine both act to dehydrate your body so using them in tandem will leave you with one heck of a hangover the next morning. If you choose to drink, opt for drinks with lower alcohol concentrations and avoid mixing them with caffeine. If you can't shake your love of the Loko, don't down them by yourself. Split one with a friend, sip slowly, and rehydrate yourself. Give it time to kick in fully before you reach for another drink. As with all alcohol, the greatest risks occur when it is not consumed responsibly and in moderation. Stick with safety, Stop@Buzzed!

In the News: Sad Times for Happy Meals

If you've ever heard the jingle, Rice-a-Roni lays claim as the San Fransisco treat. Now, one less treat is available to the Golden Gate locals. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently voted to ban the Happy Meal from the city. Well, not just the Happy Meal. It banned restaurants from handing out toys with any meals that fail to meet certain standards for fat, calories, and sodium.

The surge in childhood obesity sparked the debate of whether these child-friendly meals were encouraging unhealthy eating behaviors among youth. The thought process being that the toy entices children to request the meal. The ban, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, requires restaurants to distribute toys with meals only if they contain fewer than 600 calories, less than 640 mg of sodium, and less than 35 percent of calories in the meals could come from fat (less than 10 percent from saturated fat). The Board of Supervisors hopes this act will result in a decline of their already high child obesity rates.

McDonald's executives were none too happy with the decision, and neither is the San Fransisco mayor. Mayor Gavin Newsom already has plans to veto the bill. The Board also plans to re-vote to overrule the veto. It remains to be seen whether this ban will garner the desired results but for now, Ronald McDonald may be avoiding San Fran as his next vacation spot.

11.03.2010

Free Event Today!

11.03.2010
Are you looking for some Quick and Dirty Tips on diet and nutrition? The Public Health Student Forum and CHEW are proud to present the Nutrition Diva tonight!

Come to America’s “Nutrition Diva”: Lessons in Nutrition and Well-Being at 7 p.m. in Charles Commons Ballroom A. Free snacks provided! We’re also raffling off free drop-in fitness class pass next semester and one free personal training session from 2 to 4 p.m. at the rec center and 7 p.m. at Nutrition Diva's event. Come out tonight for information on eating well and feeling fabulous!

Nutrition Diva host Monica Reinagel is a board-certified Licensed Nutritionist and a professionally-trained chef. She has authored three books on health and nutrition, developed recipes and diet plans for websites and other publications, and currently works as blogger-in-chief and nutrition guru for NutritionData.com. She is also a regular contributor to the popular foodie site, Epicurious.com. Monica is also a professional opera singer who regularly dresses up in outlandish costumes, steps onto a stage, and rips off an aria or two.

11.01.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday

11.01.2010
SEE Tip: Do your part to improve your personal health AND the health of the planet: eat less meat. Today marks the launch of Meatless Monday through Dining. Meatless Monday is part of the National Healthy Monday campaign to cut out meat one day a week. The campaign ties in with JHU's larger SEE for Yourself on Monday Campaign, which promotes healthy habits one week at a time, showing students that they can positively impact their health and the environment with simple changes. To join the movement, click here!

Quit Tip from HKB: Feeling sad? Reaching for that cigarette may not bring the soothing comfort you expect. In fact, smoking increases the chance of developing depression by a whopping 41% according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health. Often people turn to tobacco to relieve stress or anxiety. Find a new healthy hobby to make your mind happier!

Mellow Out Monday: Students can get run down with so much going on, especially this time of year. Follow this tip to help you beat the stress: Put limits on work and study hours. You can't work and/or study all the time- fun and relaxation have to be part of your routine as well. Limit the times when you will work to give yourself time to sleep and rest up so you won't get sick. You can also let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: Your leaf blower may be really modern and fun, but the following information may convince you to be old fashioned about moving the leaves in your yard. One Leaf blower can emit as much smog-forming pollution as 80 cars! Yikes! Manufacturers are working to make leaf blowers less filthy for your health and the health of the environment. In the meantime, pull up your sleeves, take out your rake and protect the environment. For more information on leaf blowers, visit The Daily Green.

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10.28.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

10.28.2010
Halloween is not just a time for ghosts and goblins to come out of hiding. Weary college students who have been holed up in dark rooms, tortured by hours of studying and paper writing, will at last come out in droves to make their way to Downtown Baltimore, particularly to Fells Point. Over the years it has become a hot spot for college students across Baltimore City and County. Literally, thousands of eager students crowd the streets to eat, drink, and be merry. While the sights and costumes are certainly something to admire, it may help to know a few of these tricks before you head out for treats.

First of all, the crowds will make cab use a difficult task. Many will drop you off blocks from the square and be prepared to walk just as far back to find an open cab back home. Also be aware that the bars that may have previously glanced past your fake ID are more aware this weekend that underage drinkers will attempt to sneak in. Plus, there will be plenty of officers present. There are punishments for possessing or providing fake IDs! If you dare to try yours, be prepared to be denied and ensure you have another way home. It's very easy to get separated from friends and the loud bars and crowds will make it difficult to hear any phone calls. Keep an emergency cash stash of at least $20 on you so you can grab a cab home solo if need be. Another casualty of the crowds- long lines. You will walk to the square, wait in lines to get into bars, wait in lines to get drinks at bars, and definitely wait to get into bathrooms as a results of those drinks at the bar. Wear comfy shoes, you will be on your feet a lot! Regardless of which area of the city you choose to venture (Fells, Fed, Canton, or PowerPlant), you will experience a similar scene regardless. Your best option may be to stick at home and have a Halloween party all your own! No matter where you celebrate, if you choose to drink, do so responsibly. There's nothing scarier than getting lost, arrested, or hospitalized as a result of Halloween fun. Don't be THAT guy or ghoul- Stop@Buzzed!

Want real Fells Point testimonials? Click to expand for real words of wisdom from real Hopkins students!

Tip of the Week: Divide and Conquer

Depending on your schedule, these past and upcoming weeks may demand you to utilize your multitasking skills. Juggling your commitments, studies, papers, and social life can prove difficult for even the most organized student. While it may seem time efficient to accomplish two (or more) things at once, the product could suffer as a result.

Turns out, your brain's prefrontal cortex is designed to optimally do one thing at a time, according to Adam Gazzaley, M.D. of the University of California at San Francisco. This area of your brain processes information. If you throw too many things at it at once, it gets overloaded. This results in a lower quality of work. If you have a long list of things to do, prioritize them and focus on doing each thing individually with the most important or first due task at the top. Designate a time to focus on the specific task at hand and push out other distractions (people, electronics, Facebook). It may seem like you aren't accomplishing much, but in reality, you will be more focused and it will show in your work. Instead of rereading, editing, or going back in your notes, you may breeze through your work and realize your to-do list is done!

10.27.2010

In the News: Four Loko, No Bueno

10.27.2010
Forget the Red Bull Vodkas. There's another crop of alcoholic energy drinks taking center stage recently. Nine students from Central Washington University found themselves hospitalized following an off campus party where a large quantity of the beverage Four Loko was consumed. The drink ranges in alcohol concentration from 6% to 12% alone. Despite this, many partying students added additional alcohol to the mix which resulted in students carrying a BAC of 0.12 up to 0.35 that night. While the hospitalized students have since recovered, the drama continues.

The incident resulted in the CWU president banning Four Loko on campus and the State Attorney General Rob McKenna to call for a ban on caffeinated malt liquors. The FDA has already brought the alcoholic energy drink industry under close scrutiny, questioning whether these drinks are actually safe for consumption. Over 25 companies have been notified by the FDA to provide evidence that their products are safe. To date, no definite conclusions or decisions have been made. Many questions swirl about the effects of caffeine and alcohol combinations, but studies have found that those who do choose to mix the two often find themselves in riskier situations. To protect your health, stick to one or other, and always remember to drink in moderation!

SEE for Yourself on Monday

SEE Tip: Turn those ZZZ's into A's! According to the National Institute of Health’s Guide to Healthy Sleep, short naps can improve alertness and focus, but naps that last longer than an hour can make you groggy and disrupt sleeping patterns. For more, visit http://tiny.cc/ktkiv 

Quit Tip from HKB: Quit smoking to save your heart, lungs, and brain! A recent study found that your Alzheimer's risk spikes 157% with heavy smoking. Heavy smoking in mid-life has been linked to dramatic increases in dementia and Alzheimer's disease, most likely associated with inflammation caused by tobacco use. Save your health now and your brain later. Stop smoking now!

Mellow Out Monday: Coffee raises levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, while green tea offers numerous health benefits including stress reduction.  Try some chamomile tea which is good for calming the mind and lowering stress. Not a big fan of green tea? According to researchers black tea may be a stress-fighter too. Study participants who drank regular black tea displayed lower levels of cortisol, and reported feeling calmer during six weeks of stressful situations than those who drank a placebo with the same amount of caffeine. So instead of reaching for a big cup of Joe you may want to consider a cup of tea in its place.   You can also let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: A serious advocate for a sustainable world should be concerned about their water usage and work to reduce it. This task is not always easy especially when it comes to forcing yourself out of a nice hot shower. The good news is you can start with a small change. For every minute and a half you cut from your average daily shower time, you will save 150 gallons of water a month. Try cutting a minute and a half from your shower time every day this week; you may wind up adopting a sustainable habit! For more information on this tip and other water saving tips, visit The Daily Green.

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10.21.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

10.21.2010
Many typical scenes play out at college parties when alcohol is involved. There's the one where there's a dance off. There's another where someone spills a drink on so-and-so. And hopefully there's the one where a group of friends went out, drank responsibly, and got home safely. But there is another scene that can be found at parties that is extremely dangerous. Perhaps you've seen it. The one where a young girl is drunk, separated from her friends, and made extremely vulnerable. Enter the overeager male who uses this situation to his advantage. He feeds her drinks, convinces her he's a nice guy, and takes her home. She wakes up with little memory but a whole lot of regret. This scene- is sexual assault. One in four college aged women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape. And 90% of college rapes involve alcohol by the victim, assailant, or both.

It's sad when bad decisions result in this scenario, but fortunately as bystanders, there is something everyone can do to help- stand up and step up. It's easy to get caught up in our own lives and our own situations, but if you ever spot a situation that doesn't look right or feel right to you- it probably isn't right. It just takes one person to ask, "Are you ok? Do you know how to get home? Where are your friends?" and potentially stop that girl from becoming a victim. Statistics can change and you can help by becoming an empowered bystander. What would you do?


video
 For more information on bystanders, or to check out the full article and extended clip, click here.

In the News: Craving Candy

Halloween- an American past-time for parties, costumes, and a whole lot of delicious candy! While finding the sweets comes easily, resisting them can prove to be quite difficult. Before you vilify the trick-or-treats, remember that there's nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, just keep it in control!

It wouldn't be fair to say that one type of candy is 'better' for you than another. Really, an overload of sugar wouldn't be healthy for anyone. But there are some options out there with a bit more nutritional value than others. Dark chocolate offers antioxidants and contains more mood boosting serotonin over it's milk chocolate counterpart. Candies that take a longer time to eat (think caramels, lollypops, etc) give you the sugar rush and sweet flavor, but you are less likely to gorge yourself on an entire handful. If torn between two candies, check the nutritional label. The ingredient lists are labeled by weight. If your label reads: Milk Chocolate, Peanuts, Cocoa- that means those three ingredients are there in the highest quantities. If the first few ingredients are impossible to pronounce, you may want to choose something more natural. Some find it impossible to resist certain treats, so to ensure you don't wipe out an entire bag of Snickers, portion yourself. Get a small bowl or bag and limit yourself to what you have. It's find to treat yourself, but don't get tricked into unhealthy eating habits! For more tips, check out this article!

10.20.2010

Tip of the Week: Stress Less!

10.20.2010
If midterms have you feeling stressed, you are not alone. You can walk through campus and see the stress on many faces. One of the worst things you can do when you're stressed is fail to give yourself a break. Spending endless hours studying without sleep, food, or exercise is only going to put your body even further under negative stress. If you really want to excel, take a break! In fact, take a break today:

DE-STRESS FEST
Today, October 20th
1:00-4:00pm
Levering Lounge
*No books allowed*

There will be FREE food, drinks, massages, an acupuncturist, herbalist, games, music and more! Take an hour to unwind and socialize. You may find it gives you the boost you need to get back to the books!

10.18.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

10.18.2010
SEE Tip: Go for a jog! A study of college students showed that a short aerobic activity enhanced information processing speed, even if it’s not a regular thing. Source: Short-term effects of aerobic exercise on executive processing, memory, and emotion. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 2-5, 2004. Tomporowski, P. D., Stueck, M. G., University of Georgia, Athens.

Quit Tip from HKB: Get involved in the fight against tobacco! HKB is holding a meeting tonight in the AMR-I TV Lounge. Stop by from 6-7 to learn more about HKB, discuss upcoming events, and join in!

Mellow Out Monday: Therapeutic massage has been used to improve health and increase a feeling of well-being for centuries. A new study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that "light touch massage" produced more feel-good hormones than deeper massage sessions. Volunteers were randomly assigned to either receive a  45-minute session Swedish massage or a session of light massage. Subjects who received the light touch experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone that is connected to contentment than those who received the deep tissue massage. In addition the researchers found that both subjects had biological benefits from just one session. So whether you get a massage through the Health Center or a free five minute back rub from a Stressbuster you are sure to gain positive benefits.

Minimize Monday: Anyone who pays for heat and electricity in their home knows energy costs are rising. Reducing your energy consumption will not only save you money, but also reduce your carbon footprint. The first things you need to know to reduce your energy consumption are how much you energy you consume and what consumes energy in your home. You can learn everything you need to know by conducting your own home energy audit. Visit The Daily Green for more information on doing a home energy audit yourself.

Want more? Sign up to receive a weekly health tip by clicking here!

10.15.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

10.15.2010
We've already talked about how to take care of a drunk friend and what to watch for in case of alcohol poisoning. Need a refresher? Remember your ABC's. A = Airway. Check to make sure that the airway is clear and not blocked by vomit. B = Breathing. Watch their breathing and decide if it is slower than 8 breaths a minute or if it is erratic. C = Circulation. Touch your friends wrist. Can you feel their pulse? Is it strong and steady? Also check that their skin is warm and dry to the touch. D = Don't leave them alone. Keep an eye on them and check the ABC's every 15 minutes to ensure they are constant. If anything changes, then E = Emergency assistance. Even one warning sign is enough to call for help. As said, it's always better to be safe than sorry! While watching out for your friend, use the Bacchus Maneuver (click right) to position them. It keeps a clear airway in case they do happen to vomit. Once the morning comes and they awake, greet them with a big glass of water, but steer clear of the aspirin. The active ingredient (acetaminophen) can cause liver damage and the night before has already done plenty of that! While watching your drunk friend sleep it off may not sound like your idea of a fun night, know that you helped to potentially save a life. Good friends look out for each other. Be a good friend yourself and be sure not to overdo it, Stop@Buzzed!

10.13.2010

In the News: Study Abroad or Party Abroad?

10.13.2010
A study abroad experience offers students a great opportunity to get cultured, educated, and according to a new study, drunk. A study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that students studying abroad consumed double the amount abroad as they would at home- roughly 8 drinks per week!

The study surveyed 177 University of Washington students about their drinking habits before, during and after their time spent abroad (3-5 months). The amount consumed did depend on the countries of travel. The top drinking locations were Europe, New Zealand, and Australia while Middle Eastern countries had lower rates. While most students returned to their pre-travel amount of drinking, those that drank heavily abroad tended to bring the behavior back home with them. For more on the study, click here.
 
While lower drinking ages and a sense of curiosity of a new land may contribute to the increase in drinking, it's important to note the dangers that accompany such behavior. Without familiarity of the area and language, students may find it easier to be separated, lost, and vulnerable. If you choose to drink abroad, play is safe. Stick with your group, stay in well lit and well trafficked areas, and always know your route back to safety. Remember you're there to learn, not to nurse a hangover! Enjoy the trip, but Stop@Buzzed!

SEE for Yourself... this week!

SEE Tip: It's rare at Hopkins to get a day off from classes, so why spend your day cramped up inside your room pouring over notes and readings? Instead, use today to make time for the things you may have pushed aside throughout your hectic schedule. Sleep in, sit down for a nice healthy meal, and get out and get active with some exercise! A healthy body boosts a healthy mind. You may find that by focusing your energy on healthy habits, you have more energy to use throughout the week. Don't believe us, get out there and SEE for Yourself!

Quit Tip from HKB: It's pretty hard to smoke without a cigarette, so avoid carrying them around! Consider how often you are off-campus. If you don't keep a pack of cigarettes on you, you may not be tempted to smoke. If you do get the craving, you would be forced to bum one off someone else which can be uncomfortable. Instead, keep gum or lollypops in your bag. If you start to crave a cigarette, focus your attention elsewhere!

Mellow Out Monday: Let Stressbusters melt your stress away. FREE 5-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday: Halloween is only a few weeks away. If you don’t have a costume yet, why not try creating your own. You could reduce your environmental footprint this Halloween by reusing one your old costumes. You could also reuse odds and ends around the house to come up with an original, cost-free, waste-free costume. For some homemade costume ideas, visit The Daily Green.

Want more? Sign up to receive a weekly health tip by clicking here!

10.07.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

10.07.2010
Let's say you decide to go out with some friends this weekend and make the healthy choice to Stop@Buzzed. You pace your drinks to one an hour, alternate drinks with water, and you ate a full meal before heading out. You find yourself having a great time at the party and know you'll be feeling fine in the morning. Unfortunately, your roommate is not in the same situation. They did not Stop@Buzzed. In fact, they have still not stopped at wasted. Suddenly your fun is over because your friend is in need of some assistance. What can you do when a friend's drinking becomes your problem? It's never fun to take care of a drunken friend, but hey, that's what good friends do. There are a few things you can do to help them out and make the night easier.  Steer them clear of any more alcohol, help them avoid anyone they may have issues with (i.e. avoid fights or arguments), get them drinking water as soon as you can, don’t let them out of your sight, and help get them home and safely into bed. If you are unsure of how much they drank, DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE! The majority of deaths from alcohol poisoning occur from persons choking on their own vomit when left alone. Keep an eye on them and check them for steady breathing, a strong pulse, normal skin coloration, and that they are not vomiting. If you notice any changes, get help immediately. Remember that it's better to be safe than sorry. If you choose to drink, don't ruin your friend's night because you lose control of yours. Keep yourself in check, Stop@Buzzed!

PS: Several of our alcohol awareness signs were stolen from the upper quad yesterday! We are very glad that they are so well liked people wanted to steal them, but unfortunately, they are ours and we do not have an unlimited supply or budget to replace them. If you took them, or know of anyone who took them, please return them home. We miss them. Plus, it's really not that funny to steal signs...

In the News: National Survey of Sex

Extra, extra! Read all about It! The Journal of Sexual Medicine just released the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior this week. This 118-page document includes research on the sexual activity and behaviors of nearly 6,000 adults and adolescents ages 14 to 94. The questions range from sexual preference to preferred sexual position. This survey not only offers an inside look into the sexual lives of Americans, but also features editorials and commentaries from many sexual-health experts. Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University explains,“This survey is one of the most expansive nationally representative studies of sexual behavior and condom use ever conducted, given the 80-year span of ages.”

While the research is extensive, some notable findings include:
  • About 85% of men report that their partner had an orgasm at the most recent sexual event; this compares to the 64% of women who report having had an orgasm at their most recent sexual event.
  • While about 7% of adult women and 8% of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the proportion of individuals in the U.S. who have had same-gender sexual interactions at some point in their lives is higher.
  • 1 of 4 acts of vaginal intercourse are condom protected in the U.S. (1 in 3 among singles)- both a rate that could use improvement!
  • Adults using a condom for intercourse were just as likely to rate the sexual extent positively in terms of arousal, pleasure and orgasm than when having intercourse without one.
To read more on the National Survey, click here. The scientists found a need for greater use of condoms within the sexually active population. Protect yourself and your partners. Use Condom Sense!

10.06.2010

SHWC Flu Shot Clinic Today!

10.06.2010
Flu Season is almost upon us! Get your flu shot TODAY!

Wednesday, 10/6
MSE Library, C-Level
2:00-6:00pm
JHU Students Only
$15 non-SHWC Insured Students
$8 SHWC Insured Students

Protect your health and your GPA by preventing the flu from infecting you!

10.05.2010

Tip of the Week: Feel Your Boobies!

10.05.2010
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 2010 alone, over 200,000 women and 1,900 men were diagnosed and over 39,000 women and nearly 400 men will die as a result of this disease. Despite millions of dollars and hours spent in research, this disease continues to be one of the leading killers among US women.

Despite the mortality rates of breast cancer, early detection vastly improves one's chance of survival. While few cases are diagnosed in college-aged women and men, it is never too early to get into good habits. A simple self-breast exam once a month can get you feeling comfortable with your breast tissue's normal feel. By feeling confident in the knowledge of your body, you are better prepared to notice any subtle changes. Use this BSA (Breast Self Awareness) card for prevention and exam information. Remember, this disease can effect both women and men, so males should check their breast tissues as often as their testicles for any abnormalities or changes. Early detection can save lives, so take a few minutes once a month to protect your health.

For more information on breast cancer, or ways to make a donation to support the cause, visit the Susan G. Koman Foundation or the American Cancer Society. Save the TaTas!!