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.


Kick up the Cardio


SEE Tip:  Cardiovascular fitness, things like running, swimming, biking, or working out on the elliptical, are crucial components to a healthier self.  It is recommended that we get about 30 minutes a day, about 5 times a week, or at least 120 minutes of cardio in to maintain fitness levels.  Doing so can help reduce cholesterol concerns, improve muscle mass, and overall heart health.  Not only does cardio improve the body physically, it can also boost mood, ease anxiety, and help relieve stress.

Get a taste of cardio at the SEE for yourself tabling on the Breezeway from 10:30am-1pm today.  Or if you're ready for a real cardio session, come to Bollywood Zumba tonight at 8:30pm in Charles Commons Ballroom!  Have fun, get your cardio in, and get some freebies!

HKB Tip:  Even social smoking can have effects on health.  There is no determined "safe amount" of smoking, and we also know how addictive smoking is-- likely leading social smokers to become hooked.  If you or someone you know is a social smoker, consider quitting completely to avoid any further chances for addiction.  If quitting becomes difficult, know that there are resources to help.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  Looking for a way to relieve stress?  Cardio exercise has proven to do just that.  Through the release of endorphins, a person's mood is elevated and stress is reduced.  Try going for a brisk walk or run or check out Bollywood Zumba tonight at 8:30 in Charles Commons.  Get your heart rate up and your stress levels down!

Want more stress relief?  Stop by the Stressbusters on Q-level in the MSE for a free back rub tonight starting at 8pm.  Back rubs are 5-7 minutes, free, and fantastic-- so why not stop by?!


Sip Tip: Myth or Fact


Myth or Fact?

Coffee can sober a drunk person up.


A cold shower can sober a drunk person up.


While a cup of coffee or a cold shower might make the person more awake or even seem more alert, the alcohol is already in the body.  These things won't make them any less drunk.  The only way for a person who's been drinking to sober up is to allow the alcohol to metabolize.  The body takes an hour per drink to do that.  Depending on how much a person has had to drink will determine how long they need to sober up.

So the only way a drunk person can sober up is TIME.  The less someone drinks, the less time it will take to sober up.  If you choose to drink, consider staying in the blue zone by drinking about 1 drink an hour.  Allow the body time to metabolize the drinks while avoiding the drunken danger zone.


Dam it


A recent study found that 14-19 year olds are more susceptible to contracting genital herpes than in the past.  This is thought to be due to a decrease in anti-bodies in the system, provided by better hygiene and care.  It is also attributed to an increase in oral sex practices, possibly as a way to have safer sex. However, without protection, oral sex also has it's risks, including the transmission of the herpes virus.

As a doctor in the article says, "I tell patients herpes is like your credit history- whatever you did you can never get rid of".  To avoid contracting or spreading HSV-2 (genital herpes) use protection for sexual activity, including oral sex.  There are flavored condoms and lubricant, dental dams, and other types of condoms to fit the needs of whatever type of sexual pleasure a person is looking to try.


SEE Breakfast Benefits


SEE Tip:  Eat breakfast!  It's a simple tip, but a crucial one.  Eating breakfast provides energy for the day.  It provides the nutrition necessary to keep focused attention and concentration for morning classes.  The body needs energy to run properly-- start with breakfast to get things running smoothly and continue eating well throughout the day.

Want help starting your week off right with a morning breakfast?  Stop by the Mattin Center Courtyard from 8am-10am today for a free breakfast on the go from the PEEPs, while supplies last.

Quit Tip:  For many smokers, a cigarette with breakfast is the only way to start the day.  Though, "breakfast" is often a cup of coffee.  For those who are looking to quit, avoiding triggers like a morning cup of coffee can help get over that hump.  Instead, try a cup of green tea and a hard boiled egg with a side of fruit.  Or some other variation from the old trigger.  Breaking the habit can be tough, but having a healthier breakfast and fresh start to the day can help in the fight against the addiction.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  Do you feel like you just don't have time to eat breakfast or the idea of adding another thing to your day is just too stressful?  What if you knew that it would keep you full longer and give you the energy to power through the morning rather than struggling to stay focused?  Breakfast is a power start for a successful morning- it's not worth missing, even for that extra 10 minutes of sleep.

Want a reward for a productive day?  How about a free back rub from the trained Stressbusters?  They are 5-7 minutes, free, and happening tonight at the MSE on Q level starting at 8pm.  You deserve the relief-- stop by tonight.


Sip Tip: Hangover Helper


There are many ideas out there on ways to "cure" a hangover.  So let's separate a little fact from fiction.

Can we sweat out the pain?  Not exactly, but some fresh air and a light jog or brisk walk could help to reduce some of the grossness that is being felt. Just be careful not to overdue it, as dehydration is a major factor in hangovers and could feel worse when combined with intense exercise.

Pop a Tylenol and drink lots of water.  Well drinking a lot of water is a good call, but Tylenol isn't the best bet given how it's metabolized by the body.  If the pain is really bad, try Ibuprofen (advil) instead.

"Keep the party going" meaning to drink in the morning to avoid feeling the pains of the hangover.  This really just delays the inevitable... the hangover will come and it will likely be worse.

Greasy breakfast food.  While some claim this to be true, there's no evidence to support it.  The reality is feeding the body a light and healthy breakfast with lots of liquids (alcohol-free) will be more beneficial in the end.

The truest way to cure a hangover is simply giving the body time to recover.  Sleep when possible the following day, particularly since the night after drinking is typically not very restful.  While sleep may come quickly, the actual restfulness for the body is minimal.  Allow the body to recover, rest, and refill on liquids as needed.

The best solution is prevention either by abstaining or if a person chooses to drink they do so in moderation by staying in the blue zone.  This means staying within a .02-.06 level of intoxication or about 1 alcoholic beverage an hour.  Doing things like alternating water after each drink can help to reduce the hangover effects, as alcohol dehydrates the body and causes the hangovers to feel that much worse.  By drinking more water throughout the evening, the body will be that much more hydrated. Moderation is key to a better, less painful morning.


Hump Day: Polishing the Pearl


Question: Is masturbation healthy?  Am I weird for doing it?  What about not doing it?

Answer: Fear not, masturbation is healthy and natural.  Masturbation can provide a bunch of health benefits including stress relief, sexual tension relief, PMS symptom relief (in some females), enhanced states of calm and sleep, and it can be linked to couple sexual satisfaction levels.

As for actually getting down with oneself, it's up to the individual if s/he chooses to do it and how often, or chooses not to do it at all.  A person can choose to do it once a year, once a week, a few times a day, or never- it's about what's right for him/her.  Provided it doesn't interfere with daily activities, like work or class, it's not likely that someone is doing it "too much" so no worries there, either.

Enjoy the stress relieving powers that riding solo can offer!




In a 2012 study of college students across the United States, approximately 13% of the population self-reported taking prescription drugs for non-medical use and/or without a doctor's prescription.  This includes experiences like buying Ritalin from a peer or dealer, or even taking a family member's leftover Oxycontin.  If it wasn't prescribed to the person, it is considered prescription drug abuse.  Simply because others take it medicinally does not mean it is safe for you to take, as well.  Each person responds differently and may need different levels, chemicals, or treatment; therefore, it is best to see a doctor if you or someone you know is interested in prescription drugs.

There are risks to prescription drug abuse, such as addiction, dependence, and even legal implications.  Some of the drugs taken without a prescription can have other dangerous side effects, including suicidal thoughts and depressive symptoms.  Having a doctor know that a person is on these medications and regularly monitoring the person is incredibly important in order to keep these symptoms in check.

If campus life is feeling stressful or overwhelming, consider talking to a counselor at the Counseling Center or talking to a peer from A Place to Talk (APTT).  These people can give you the ear you may need to get you through a difficult moment in your college career.


No More Intimate Partner and Dating Violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  On college campuses, intimate partner violence and dating violence happens to students every year.  We are asking for this to end-- for there to be NO MORE violence.

What Does Dating Violence Look Like?
Teens and young adults experience the same types of abuse in relationships as adults. This can include:

Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.

Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.

Sexual Abuse: Any action that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including rape, coercion or restricting access to birth control.

Digital Abuse: Use of technologies and/or social media networking to intimidate, harass or threaten a current or ex-dating partner. This could include demanding passwords, checking cell phones, cyber bullying, sexting, excessive or threatening texts or stalking on Facebook or other social media.

- Text taken from Love Is Respect

Dating violence happens at nearly 3x the national average for females ages 16-24.  There is more we can do to prevent this.  Talk about what's happening.  If you see an opportunity as a bystander to intervene or say something (that is safe for you), consider doing something.  Whether it's calling security, telling an RA, intervening in a safe manner, or simply being supportive and caring-- that is doing more than you realize.  Being an active and supportive bystander can save a life.  To learn more about what to do in these situations, read on at Love is Respect.



SEE Tip: Being a college student and getting good sleep often don't go hand in hand. In fact, when things start to heat up with exams and papers and other activities sleep is the one of the first things to get sacrificed. Recent research on college students and sleep indicates that insufficient sleep impacts your health, your moods, your GPA, and your safety  creating a sleep debt. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep because of a noisy roommate or hall try using earplugs. They're cheap, they're easy to find at any drugstore and they can block out the noise from your residence hall -- and your noisy, snoring roommate. Also avoid caffeine including energy drinks in the afternoon. That cup of coffee or Red Bull you had at 4:00 p.m. or later could very well be keeping you up way past your bedtime. Try water, juice, or any other caffeine-free option such as herbal tea instead. Be on the lookout today for members of PEEPs giving out FREE Sleep Well kits.

HKB Quit Tip: Skip the Smoke.Need another reason to quit smoking? Nicotine is a stimulant, just like caffeine. Smoking can keep you from falling asleep and worsen insomnia. While you're planning your quit strategy, try smoking fewer cigarettes four hours before bedtime to sleep better. Interested in quitting but don't know how? Call 1-800-QUIT NOW for support and tools.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  Managing your sleep = managing your stress. When you have too much to do — and too much to think about — your sleep is likely to suffer. To help restore peace to your life, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Share a good laugh with a friend. Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Want another quick stress-reliever to help you catch better zzzzzzzzzz's tonight?  Head to Q-level at the MSE at 8pm for a free back rub from Stressbusters.  Just 5-7 minutes will leave you feeling relaxed and ready for getting a good night's sleep.


Sip Tip: HOPtoberfest


HOPtoberfest has lots of things planned for today and this weekend.  Tonight will you be heading to the free fall-themed shabbat dinner, the haunted house with laser tag and photo show, the haunted carnival, witness theater, or levering live?  There's so much- why choose just one?

Plus, tomorrow there are things like hiking in the morning and of course the COLOR RUN!! So awesome.  

With all this greatness, we caution that if you choose to drink, do so responsibly.  Stay in the blue zone, meaning in the .01-.06 BAC level.  This will help to reduce the negative side effects of drinking, like an awful hangover which could prevent you from participating in the color run or going on a hike.  

There is too much to do and you don't want to miss it.  Instead, enjoy the time with friends, meet new people, and check out all the stuff happening this weekend.


Consent Contract


Last Thursday, the Office of Student Life and SVPA hosted the "It's All About Consent" event in the Glass Pav.  There were discussions on consent, bystander intervention, and Title IX.  We learned a lot and wanted to share a small piece of that today.

Consent-- what is it and why does it seem so awkward?!

Consent is a voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, wanted, mutual, clear, and verbal agreement between parties to engage in sexual activity.  Consent must be asked for at each step of the way and not coerced, implied, or assumed.

The thought of asking for consent can make people squirm and feel uncomfortable.  The reality of it isn't so intense.  No lawyers or contracts are needed.. though the video above might make you think otherwise.

Asking for consent is much simpler than that.  Someone can ask their partner things like, "Do you like this?", "Do you want to keep going?', "Are you okay with this?", or even "Do you want to make out?".  The more clear, direct, honest, and enthusiastic a person is, the better for establishing consent... not to mention a better time in the heat of the moment.


Mocktoberfest at Nolan's!

Stop by Nolan's tonight for Mocktoberfest!  
There will be games, mocktails and prizes starting as early as 6:30pm!

Can't make it?  We'll have other programs throughout the month of October!  And our annual Mocktoberfest, co-sponsored by CHEW and RAB, in AMR 1 multi-purpose room on October 15th at 7pm.  Look for details as early as next week on Facebook.