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.

2.29.2012

Hump Day: Condoms for Cars?

2.29.2012


A recent study based in Atlanta from JHU, University of Maryland, and Emory University has found that women ages 15-22 are risking their health when it comes to their relationships.  These women are less likely to use a condom with a partner who is providing spending money for them.  It is believed that living in a consumerist society has left these women to feel that the extra money is more crucial than STI and pregnancy prevention.

What do you think of these findings?  Do you think something like this could be happening on our campus?  What about a different scenario -  for instance, if a one person pays for the evening out- does the other person still feel comfortable asking that they use protection- or no?  Where do you stand?







2.28.2012

How Healthy are JHYOU?

2.28.2012
Tell us!  How healthy are YOU?  


Check your JHU email account for a survey from NCHA asking about your health.  Just for filling it out- you could win a Chipotle Gift card or a $50 Visa Gift Card!!

The NCHA-Web is a survey designed to assess student health behaviors in order to provide better services and support for Johns Hopkins students on the Homewood campus. You may benefit by knowing that you have assisted in providing accurate information regarding health behaviors on your campus. The information will be used to help the JHU Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW) to develop health promotion programs for your campus. 

2.27.2012

NEDAW: The Evolution

2.27.2012
Have you seen the evolution of a model?  When it comes to body image- what is the media's role?

Want to talk about this and more? Come to the screening of "America the Beautiful" tonight in Arellano Theater in Levering Hall.  Film screening begins at 6pm, doors open at 5:30pm.  The film explores the role of the media and cultural ideals of beauty in the development of body dissatisfaction. Join us after the movie for a panel discussion, too.

Look for more Eating Disorders Awareness events throughout the week from the Counseling Center and CHEW.

SEE for Yourself: Sleep Well



SEE Tip: As we head into the tough weeks of the semester, how much sleep are you getting nightly?  Have you pulled any all-nighters?  Ever wonder what that does to your body?  What about to your mind?  Check out this video on why we sleep and how long we, as humans, can really go without...






HKB Quit Tip: If you're a smoker, did you know you may be more prone to those dark circles and bags under your eyes than non-smokers?  The reason is as a smoker, it is harder to get a restful night's sleep with the nicotine withdrawal interrupting your sleep cycle.  Want to quit, but not sure how to deal with the addiction?  Try talking to a cessation counselor on the MD Quit line and ask about cessation products that can make quitting easier than going it alone.




Mellow Out Monday:  Feeling tired, achy, anxious, or depressed?  A 2001 study from the University of Miami found that massages reduce these feelings and can help people improve their sleep and better manage their physical and mental health.  Interested in getting a jump start in one or more of those areas?  Try stopping by the MSE Library tonight for a Stressbusters back rub from 8-10pm on Q-level.  A night of sleeping soundly could be in  your future!



2.26.2012

NEDAW Begins

2.26.2012



Today marks the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a campaign committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment. 

Check out some surprising facts:
  • Research suggests that up to 1 in 5 college students has suffered from an eating disorder.
  • 75%  have never received treatment
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder
  • Recovery from anorexia nervosa can take decades, but the outcome of treatment is better than treatment for obesity or breast cancer

Over this week, there will be activities and events, including a screening and panel discussion of the film “America the Beautiful” and several different campus-wide advocacy campaigns. More information will be included in upcoming Daily Announcements and on the CHEW Facebook page.  Check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/chew.jhu.

2.24.2012

Weekend Sip Tip: Avoiding the Hangover

2.24.2012
Simply put, hangovers suck.  The headache, nausea, fatigue, dehydration, diarrhea and/or vomiting, and body aches feel like they will never end and a whole day or more could pass before normal life returns.  So, want to know the secret to avoiding a hangover?



If you're planning to drink alcohol- plan the number of drinks you'll have ahead of time.  Stick to that number for the night.  If you're having a tough time because people are drinking at a faster pace, try ordering a water or soda/juice without the alcohol every now and then to hold your set maximum.

Before you head out, it's important to start with a substantial meal of proteins and carbs in your belly.  This will help slow the alcohol absorption process.

Be sure you're mind is in a good place. Drinking in a depressed, angry, or stressed out state of mind can be an unhealthy motivator for throwing back drink after drink which can lead to a hangover, and possibly other unintended outcomes.

Choose your drink carefully.  Alcohols produces "cogeners" during the fermentation process.  They are responsible for the taste in alcoholic beverages.  It's been suggested that the more cogeners in a drink, the worse the hangover is likely to be.  Gin and vodka have less cogeners, where as, bourbon and other whiskeys have more cogeners and result in worse hangovers.  

And, remember to pace yourself.  Try sipping your drink and keeping to about 1 alcoholic beverage an hour.  Finished your drink too quickly? Try a cup of water for the hydration your body needs to help avoid a nasty hangover in the morning.



If you choose not to drink, you are ahead of the game without an alcohol induced hangover to be concerned about.  If your friends choose to drink, try and provide them with some helpful tips to help them avoid a wicked hangover, as well.  They'll thank you in the morning!





2.22.2012

Hump Day!

2.22.2012
Sex is no accident!  If you're sexually active use some sense- Condom Sense.  Use protection and get it at a discounted rate from JHU Condom Sense Program.




2.21.2012

Peace of Mind

2.21.2012

2.20.2012

SEE for Yourself: Exercise Well, Stretch Well

2.20.2012

SEE for Yourself: Exercise Well, Stretch Well - Although studies on stretching pre- and post workouts are mixed, there are some proven benefits for those who do choose to stretch.  An increase in flexibility from stretching can lead to better athletic performance and reduced chances of injury.  Stretching can also act as a stress reliever, especially for those hard pressed moments in the Library.  If you're there on today from 1-3, come by the SEE table on Q-level for some stretching tips from PEEPs!



HKB Quit Tip: An ex-smoker can feel like stress is all around them at times, especially without an old crutch of a cigarette to help manage those feelings.  If the stress if making the body really tight, try a good stretch for parts of the body.  A simple neck stretch can feel incredible and really loosen  up the tension and stress.   Check out this video for some stretches you can do at  your desk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsQIpiKx2f8&feature=related.



Mellow Out Monday Tip: As we've learned, stretching can be a useful stress reliever while also providing other health benefits to your body.  If you are looking for another form of stress relief today- come check out Stressbusters from 8-10pm in the MSE Library tonight for a 5-7 minute back rub.


2.17.2012

Weekend Sip Tip: Sex + Alcohol

2.17.2012


The social lubricant that alcohol can be at times can also be a huge downer when it comes to the bedroom.  While alcohol may lower some inhibitions and heighten feelings of sexual arousal, it has the "bang your head against the wall" affect of impairing sexual function.  Fun, huh?  Didn't think so.



So what exactly is impaired at the time?  For men, they have a difficult time staying erect and may not reach orgasm.  For women, natural lubrication is blocked, sensitivity is dulled, and orgasms are inhibited.

Beyond the climax issues, there are also the basics of the "get down" which can be affected.  Due to the lowered fine motor skills and issues with balance, two inebriated partners may have a tough time maneuvering together, staying on the surface they are using to support themselves, and other issues which can lead to unintentional and possibly embarrassing injury.  And a sex injury just may not be worth it...



Having sex while under the influence is not guaranteed to be a bad time.  Alcohol just adds more obstacles to the equation, including a reduced ability to use contraception properly, a lack of understanding communication clearly, and the issues above.  If you choose to drink and would consider engaging in sexual activity, consider what is best for you and your partner.


2.15.2012

Hump Day: Start with a Kiss

2.15.2012

No matter how you like to kiss, you'll still enjoy the benefits that come from the act.  Research has found many health benefits to kissing, like boosting one's immunity, relieving stress, exercising and burning calories, and even increasing overall happiness.

Of course, getting carried away and kissing every person that walks by could have some health implications, too.  There are risks from sharing over 500 types of bacteria with someone to spreading infections like mono or herpes unintentionally.

So be mindful of kissing and enjoy it when you do!   And if you choose to do more than kiss, remember sex is no accident.  Show some Condom Sense and use protection.


2.13.2012

SEE for Yourself Monday!

2.13.2012

SEE for Yourself Tip: Perhaps you've heard about the USDA's MyPlate, a replacement to the age-old Food Pyramid.  While the shapes are different, the themes remain the same.  A healthy diet should contain mostly fruits and vegetables, with grains, proteins, and dairy to fulfill the other vitamin and mineral needs.  If you were to create your own "My Plate" or "My Pyramid", what would it look like?  Come tell the PEEPs in Levering (outside of the Levering Dining Hall) from 1-3pm today!



HKB Quit Tip: Want to quit smoking, but love the taste too much?  Try tricking your taste buds by eating better!  A Duke University study found that foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy make cigarettes taste gross to smokers.  If you're an ex-smoker and want to stay that way, try having a glass of milk in the morning instead of coffee to reduce the cigarette craving.  Your body will thank you for the health boost!



Mellow Out Monday: Trying to figure out a good way to start off your Valentine's Day?  Single or taken, why not check out Mellow Out Monday with Stressbusters on Q-level in the Library for a stress-free start to your V-day?  Bring your partner to show you care or go solo and perhaps you'll meet someone in line!  Stressbusters will be there to melt the stress away with a 5-7 minute back rub from 8pm-10pm tonight!

2.10.2012

Weekend Sip Tip: Myth or fact?

2.10.2012

When it comes to drinking alcohol, it's often said "beer before liquor, never been sicker".  And people are always curious to know if this is true.  The answer is...not really.  It's more complicated than the phrase of caution would have many of us believe.

The route of the phrase is concerned with the dangers of mixing alcohol types and in what order.  The concern here being is if someone drinks liquor after consuming beer they are doomed for a night of bonding with the toilet.  Research has found that while carbonated drinks, such as beer, can irritate the stomach lining it does not have a noticeable impact on drinkers and their likeliness to feel sicker if consuming liquor post-carbonated drink.

The real driving force behind the "never been sicker" feeling is the actual amount of alcohol being consumed in the given time frame.  Simply put, the more alcohol consumed, the worse a person is likely to feel.  To avoid this worry, try sticking to one type of drink instead of mixing beverages and keep track of the number of drinks consumed to avoid the sick feeling and stay in the blue zone.  Approximately 1 drink an hour should keep someone in the Blue zone and still produce that buzzed sensation.  Once there, remember to stop@buzzed.



2.08.2012

Hump day: Show you care through the mail

2.08.2012
Show you care through the mail by sending a Condom Gram!  Encourage a friend to keep things sexually safe.  Tell a love interest that you're ready to take things up a notch.  Use the condom grams to reconnect and rekindle a romance just in time for Valentine's day!

Fill out this form to send a condom gram today! http://chew.wufoo.com/forms/buy-a-condom-gram-for-valentines-day/  Last day to submit for this year is Friday, Feb. 10.  *Condom grams will only be sent to on campus addresses.*

If you choose to engage in sexual activity, be sure to keep it sexually safe.  Sex is no accident- use protection.


2.06.2012

SEE for Yourself Tip- Sleep Well!

2.06.2012

Sleep well, Nap well Tip: Napping isn't just for kids.  Research has proven the benefits of naps for both children and adults to improve memory functioning.  At the University of Haifa, study participants were asked to learn a task.  One group was allowed to take a nap after learning the task, while the other group was not.  The napping group showed significant improvement at the activity by the evening, proving the usefulness of naps. Brains love naps, especially to help process and retain new information.

Want to know more about napping?  Stop by the SEE table in the MSE Library from 1-3 today for a chance to WIN a free nap kit!



Hopkins Kicks Butts Quit Tip: Feeling stressed and thinking about smoking as a quick release?  How about taking a 20-30 minute nap instead?  A nap can reduce stress, refocus energy, and provide the cool down time needed to face the stressor head on without the aid of chemicals.



Mellow Out Monday Tip: Got stress? Try taking a 20-30 minute power nap. Research shows that you can make yourself more alert reduce stress and improve cognitive functioning with a nap. Mid-day sleep, or a ‘power nap’, means more patience, less stress, better reaction time, increased learning, more efficiency and better health. Another option is getting a 5-7 minute back rub from Stressbusters. Mellow Out Monday returns tonight at the MSE Library, Q-level, from 8-10 pm. 

2.03.2012

Weekend Sip Tip: Emotion Check

2.03.2012
Coming back to campus after being away for intersession can be a mix of emotions.  While you get to see roommates, close friends, and classmates after weeks of being apart, you also have to transition back to the Hopkins life- and do so quickly.  The quick turn-around can sometimes be difficult to deal with, and for some, they may choose to drink as a coping mechanism.  Perhaps to help them forget about what's bothering them or stressing them out, but doing so may lead to a few set backs for them.



In a number of longitudinal studies from the University of Texas, researchers found that alcohol use as a coping strategy for stress was a precursor to long-term alcohol use and abuse.  It was also found that those who were more inclined to cope by drinking were more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms and drinking problems.  If alcohol is a coping method for you or a friend, consider talking to someone at the Counseling Center about it.


If you are thinking about drinking this weekend, keep in mind some safer drinking tips such as, eating before, during, and after drinking, alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and keep track of how much you're consuming.  And remember, if you choose to drink to stop@buzzed.  You can still feel the euphoric effects you may be looking for without turning into "That Guy" or "That Girl" for the night.


2.01.2012

Hump Day: Quiz Yourself

2.01.2012



Think you know everything about college sexual health?  Try taking the Health Guru Quiz and put your sex knowledge to the test.  Let us know how you did and if you learned anything new by adding a comment below.