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.

2.28.2011

SEE (Sleep, Eat Well, Exercise) for Yourself on Monday!

2.28.2011
SEE Tip:  Having trouble remembering things? Maybe you should increase the amount of hours you are sleeping per night. Studies show that in order for the brain to consolidate new information, “sharp wave ripples” are required to transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex, where long-term memories are stored. “Sharp wave ripples,” occur in the hippocampus during stages three and four of sleep. To maximize the amount of information you remember, maximize the hours of sleep you are getting nightly. The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 7 hours a night for college students. Want an A+ on your next exam? Get some SLEEP! Stop by the SEE table today at Levering from 11-1 pm for more info and give-aways.


Quit Tip from HKB: Thinking about quitting? The very first thing you need to do is to believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about some of the most difficult things you have done in your life (like getting into Hopkins) and realize that you have the guts and determination to quit smoking. It's all up to you. You can do it!


Unfortunately there's no 'one size fits all' remedy for stress management since everyone reacts so differently, even to the same exact stressor. Next time you're hit with a lot of stress try using the four A's: Avoid the stressor, Alter it, Adapt to it, or Accept it. If one strategy works better than the rest keep doing it. You are in control after all even if it doesn't feel that way. Another strategy is to get a free back-rub from a Stressbuster. Be one of the first 10 people to get a backrub tonight and receive a FREE "fan" t-shirt. 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:  Americans consume more than a billion bottles of water each week and we spent $15 billion last year alone. Ironically, water is virtually free! So grab your reusable bottle or mug and fill up at the water fountain at work or the tap at home. Buy a water filter and dispenser for your home use to convert tap water to drinking water and save on the long run. You will be doing our planet and your bank account a favor. Click here to check out an interactive environmental site about the diminishing supply of fresh drinking water on Earth.

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2.25.2011

Stop@Buzzed Sip Tip

2.25.2011
Weekend Sip Tip

It may seem odd that the word "buzzed" is associated with a depressant like alcohol. In small amounts (BAC of .02 to .08), alcohol can produce a euphoric, relaxed sensation. After that point is when the depressant effects can start to roll in. To counter this, many people mix alcohol with an actual buzz: caffeine. Combining alcohol and caffeine can have negative consequences on the body and your decisions. In fact, a study found that students who combined alcohol and energy drinks were more likely to be hurt or injured, require medical attention, ride with an intoxicated driver, take advantage of others, or be taken advantage of themselves. The dangers have become so prevalent that the FDA has even begun investigations on caffeinated alcoholic beverages. If you choose to drink, avoid adding caffeine to the equation. It can hide the effects of alcohol, making you feel less intoxicated than you truly are. Remember, even though you may not feel drunk, your BAC can still reach dangerous levels. Instead, focus on keeping a safe buzz with responsible consumption of alcohol. Keep it to one uncaffeinated drink an hour and Stop@Buzzed! Note: under no circumstances should you drink and drive. Even minimal levels can be dangerous.

For more tips and give-aways stop by the Friday Buzz table sponsored by PEEPs in Levering from 11-1 pm today.

2.23.2011

HUMP Day Tip

2.23.2011
  Use Condom Sense
Did you know that two-thirds of all individuals with an STD are under the age of 25? According to a Columbia University study, 20-25% of college students across the country have been infected with an STD or transmitted one to their partner. All too often many sexually active college students don't feel the need to visit a health care professional to get tested for STD's even when signs are present, though most of the time there are none. Most STD’s can be prevented if proper precautions are taken. Other than abstinence, condoms are the most effective and cost efficient way to prevent against STD’s. The Condom Sense program sells name brand condoms to Homewood students for $4 for a pack of 12. Respect yourself, protect yourself. To order click here.


For more information on sexual health and free condoms stop by our HUMP Day table today at Levering from 11:30-1:30 pm.

2.21.2011

SEE For Yourself on Monday

2.21.2011
SEE Tip: Sure, exercise is great for your heart, lungs, and physique- but did you know that exercise has also been shown to improve brain function? Recent studies such as this one published by Dr. Fred Gage and colleagues at the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute in San Diego report findings that may explain some of the brain benefits of exercise. Stop by the SEE table today at Levering from 11-1 pm for more info and give-aways.



Quit Tip from HKB:  Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be stressful. Some college students turn to cigarettes as a quick get away from their stressful lifestyles, worrying about class schedules, exams, money, relationships, and living situations. The stress levels of students who smoke are reportedly higher than those students who do not smoke. Quit smoking, without the added stress. Pamper yourself. Use relaxation, meditation, exercise, hypnosis, and massage to help you fight your nicotine urge, or join us for FREE 5 minute seated back rubs every Monday night from 8-10 P.M. in the MSE Library, Q-Level.


Are you a fan of Stressbusters? Be one of the first 10 people to get a backrub tonight and receive a FREE "fan" t-shirt. 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 Tip: Inflate Your Tires. You increase your fuel consumption by as much as 6% by driving with underinflated tires. Why? Tires lose about 1 PSI per month on average and 1 PSI for every 10 degree drop in temperature. Once a month, check that your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level, which is printed on the inside of your doorjamb or in the owner’s manual. For safety? Check the pressure when the tires are cold, especially given the recent fluctuations in temperature. And don’t forget about the tire pressure in your bicycles, too!



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2.18.2011

SEX Week Finale

2.18.2011
Friday Night Films Presents: Kinsey


Looking for something to do tonight? Come enjoy an interesting movie on the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer of human sexuality research, tonight at 8 pm in Mudd 26, brought to you by CHEW and The HOP!!

HUNG?


WEEKEND SIP TIP

HUNGOVER that is.
If you've ever had the unpleasant experience of a dealing with a hangover, it's probably not something you'd like to experience again. Yet weekend after weekend, many college students awake at the crack of noon with the all too familiar pounding headache, upset stomach, and a desire to lay around the rest of the day. There are many theories for the perfect hangover cure; some down an aspirin with lots of water, others swear by greasy foods, and some opt for the hair of the dog approach. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for a hangover. The majority of the symptoms of hangovers are due to dehydration so consuming water the morning after may help ease your pain, but it won't cure you. It's also important to replenish lost nutrients. Because alcohol breakdown in the liver produces body toxins, the only way to really 'cure' a hangover is to just give it time to run its course. Taking an aspirin is actually dangerous because acetaminophen (the active ingredient) is broken down in the liver as well. As your liver continues to process the remaining alcohol in your system, the damage is increased. If you must take a pain killer to survive the headache, opt for medicine without acetaminophen such as Aleve. Hangovers are also the result of mild alcohol withdrawal. Yes, drinking more alcohol the morning after will ease your symptoms, but only because you are reintroducing the toxin to your body. This is especially dangerous as it increases the likelihood of dependence and abuse. The best way to stop a hangover is to prevent it from even happening. If you choose to drink, pace to one drink an hour to give your liver ample time to process your drink. Drink plenty of water throughout the night and before you go to bed. Keeping your BAC below 0.07 will allow you all the euphoric effects of alcohol without the pesky morning after. Prevent the hangover, Stop@Buzzed!

2.16.2011

Happy Hump Day

2.16.2011
Hopkins Sex Week Featuring Daniel Packard


Come educate yourself about sex while having fun! Join CHEW and HOP for various events around campus throughout Hopkins first ever SEX week, including:

Wednesday: Hump Day- more safe-sex kits, blow-pops, and condoms on the Breezeway 12-1:30
Thursday: Live Group Sex Therapy with Daniel Packard 8 pm in the Glass Pav
Friday: Kinsey movie at 8 pm in Mudd 26


Photo of Hopkins Sex Week Featuring Daniel Packard

2.15.2011

Parting Words

2.15.2011
Dear Hopkins Students,

As the developer and writer for the CHEW on this! Blog, it's been my pleasure to bring you news, tips, and events to help make your life a little healither. Now that the time has come for me to move on from Hopkins, I leave you my own short parting words of healthy wisdom.
  • Close your book and get some sleep. Around finals time, this place can look like ZombieLand. If you don't understand the material at 1am, you won't understand it any better at 5am. Your brain works better when it has some sleep, so be sure to get some shut eye.
  • Take advantage of what you have. After college, a gym membership can cost around $80. Utilize the FREE Rec Center while you still have it! Get into healthy habits now and you can carry them with you past graduation.
  • There's more to life than your GPA. You go to Hopkins. That gives you a leg up on the competition already. Don't stress so much over the difference between a 3.5 and a 4.0. GPAs lose their importance over time. The memories and friendships you make in college can last forever.
  • Smile! Not only does smiling release endorphins that boosts your mood, it also makes the world around you a little happier. Just because Hopkins students are competitive doesn't mean they can't be friendly! You may just brighten someone else's day.
Be sure to keep following the blog. New posts will still continue! Best of luck as you complete your time here at Hopkins. Study hard and have fun, but most importantly, stay healthy!

--Brooke--

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

SEE Tip: Who says all Valentine’s Day sweets have to be bad for you? There are many foods that can boost your health, and your libido! Treat your heart and your health by putting salmon, asparagus, strawberries, or dark chocolate on your romantic menu. Not only are these foods aphrodisiacs, they are high in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Happy Valentine's Day!

Quit Tip from HKB: Think smoking makes you look cool or more attractive? A collegiete survey found that 91% of people would rather kiss a nonsmoker. Let's face it, the taste of ash and smoke isn't likely to turn most people on. Want to get a little closer this Valentine's Day? Quit the tobacco, and pop in some gum instead!
Mellow Out Monday: Feeling stressed? You don't have to go at it alone. Talk to a friend, a family member, or a significant other. Dating someone? Let them rub your shoulders and back while you vent about your frustrations. Not only will it help you feel better, it can also bring you two closer! Need more? 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: Is your heater on super high to combat the freezing winter winds? Why not accomplish two things at once.  Hang your clothes up to dry on racks at least once a month, and you will save energy and money. American Clothes Dryers account for 6% of our national energy consumption, so try drying clothes inside this week. For more information, click here.

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2.11.2011

Get Yourself Tested!

2.11.2011
Self-Test STI Testing Kits are still available! Pick one up from three convenient locations and update your STI status!
Visit the CHEW Office (Levering 115),
The Health Center vestibule,
or any three of the Res Life Offices.
Only $28, plus a free Chipotle gift card with your results!

2.10.2011

Upcoming Events

2.10.2011
Hopkins is starting out 2011 with a bang! Take note of these upcoming events and campaigns that are sure to boost your health, and provide some fun and entertainment.

HOPKINS SEX WEEK: 2/14-2/18
Sex is fun. Why can't sexual health be fun as well!? Enjoy a week full of sexual health awareness events with Hopkins' first ever Sex Week.
Monday: Swing by CHEW (Levering 115) for FREE Condoms
Tuesday: Stop by the Breezeway 11-2 for Safe Sex Kits, BlowPops, and More!
Wednesday: Stop by the Breezeway 12-1:30 for more giveaways and games.
Thursday: SEXpert Daniel Packard Show. Glass Pav. 8:00pm
Friday: HOP's Friday Night Movie: Kinsey. Mudd Hall. 8:00pm
All events co-sponsored by The HOP and CHEW




THE SOUND BODY CHALLENGE
The purpose of the Sound Body Challenge is to help participants build healthy lifestyle habits with a competitive, fitness-oriented program, designed to improve overall well-being through diet and physical activity. The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity promotes a balanced lifestyle- practicing sound body and sound mind in every aspect of life. In cooperation with this mission, the Sound Body Challenge aims to permanently improve the lives of those involved and help the community at large by raising money from this event to benefit an organization that embodies its values and promotes physical fitness and healthy living habits to others. To learn more, or to register, visit the SBC Facebook page.

2.08.2011

Happy Hump Day!

2.08.2011
Looking for something a little more out of the box this Valentine's Day?

Check out Sex at the Zoo! According to their website, "Enjoy a VIP presentation that divulges all of the secrets, scandals, and shocking facts of jungle love!  This adult-oriented evening includes musical entertainment from Jazz Caravan, an open bar, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, decadent desserts, and appearances from some of the Zoo’s most popular Animal Ambassadors." It certainly will make for a wild- and memorable- Valentine's Day adventure!

The Maryland Zoo
Mansion House Porch
Thursday, February 10th  6 – 9 p.m

2.07.2011

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

2.07.2011
SEE Tip: With dorm rooms being your bedroom, living room, dining room, and social lounge, it's easy to use your bed for a range of activities. When you begin using your bed for wakeful activities (eating, surfing the internet, studying), your brain stops recognizing it as a place to rest or relax. Reserve your bed for two things: sleep and sex. Not only will it help you fall asleep faster, it will reduce daytime sleepiness as well. So the next time you're about to hop into bed with your Chem book, pull up a chair instead!

Quit Tip from HKB: Flu season may be winding down, but there are still plenty of germs out there to get you sick and interfere with your schedule. Research suggests that cigarettes are crawling with germs! You're doing enough harm to your lungs with the tobacco smoke. The germs on cigarettes could lead to more respiratory problems. Unless you want to disinfect each cigarette before smoking, maybe you should just kick the habit all together.

Mellow Out Monday: Is school stress back in your life? Have no fear, Stressbusters are here! Mellow Out Mondays are back in the library beginning today. 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: The Federal Highway Administration recommends trip chaining as a simple way to reduce air pollution from cars during the winter months. Trip chaining involves planning your errands ahead of time, so you can complete at least three errands in the same vicinity with one car ride. For more information and tips on trip chaining, visit Drive Less Save More.

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2.03.2011

Weekend Sip Tip

2.03.2011
Ah, spring semester. There's a chill in the air, snow on the ground, and books back in your hands. The first week of classes is generally the least stressful as you ease back into your daily grind of class, study, read, repeat. While you may not need to blow off some steam this weekend, the thrill of being reunited with friends may spark a weekend of drinking. But before you reach for that Natty, keep in mind that you're going to need your brain back in shape as classes begin to pick up the pace. Waking up with a hangover is not the only longer term effect of alcohol. One night of drinking high-risk quantities of alcohol (binge drinking) impacts your ability to think abstractly for up to 30 days! That means you may have trouble relating all those notes you scribbled down in class to practical applications. Have an exam? Those essay responses may be a bit harder to pull together. If you choose to drink this weekend, don't overdo it. Pace yourself to one drink an hour. You can see your friends, socialize, and feel a buzz- all without making the back to school blues all the more difficult. This weekend, Stop@Buzzed!

In the News: Guys Get 'Gard'-ed

The Gardasil vaccine has garnered a lot of attention for its protection against the HPV virus and cervical cancer in women. What some may not know, is that the vaccine has also been approved for use in males. While they may not have a cervix, it does protect males against the HPV virus (warts) and also anal cancers. Since men can spread the virus onto women, it's important that both males and females act to protect themselves.

Although knowledge of the effectiveness on women has been known for years, the New England Journal of Medicine has just released their report on the effectiveness of the vaccine on males. The results found that the vaccine was 97.5% effective against the 4 targeted types of the virus (HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18). Just like with females, males have to be sure to follow up with all three doses to ensure the most protection. Less than a third of women complete the series. Males, do you part to protect... your parts. Talk to your health care provider about the Gardasil vaccine. Protect yourself and your partners!

Gardasil is available through the Student Health and Wellness Center and is covered by most insurance companies. Call 410-516-8270 or stop in SHWC to find out more!

2.02.2011

Happy Hump Day!

2.02.2011
February marks Sexual Health Awareness Month!
Each Wednesday (aka Hump Day) we will provide you will a helpful tip to keep you sexy and safe!