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.


How to Stay Healthy in the Winter - Tips from a former JHU intern!


 Hi Johns Hopkins! I am a Penn State student who had the joy of being the Fitness Intern at the Recreation Center during the Fall 2014 semester at this wonderful institution. I was asked to write a few articles for this blog and I thought I would share a few tips on how to maintain your health and fitness throughout the winter.

Exercise is STILL Important
It’s so much easier to give an excuse in the winter to not exercise because of the colder temperatures outside, but you still need to get moving! If you’re a runner, make sure you wear lots of layers, gloves, and a hat to ensure that your entire body is covered. If you’re snowed in from going to the gym, there are plenty of free YouTube channels devoted to uploading complete workouts, most without equipment! A few fan favorites are Tone it Up, Blogilates, Tony Horton Fitness, and Scott Herman Fitness. Jackie Lebeau, Assistant Director of Fitness at the O’Connor Recreation Center, encourages students to go outside and participate in winter activities during the season. Winter brings outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and ice skating. Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous in order to be effective so don't forget about winter recreational activities like sledding, snowball fights and building snowmen! We're only blessed with snow for a few months each year so get outside this winter and take advantage of the outdoor exercise opportunities!”

Enjoy your Comfort Food in Moderation
Most people associate winter with eating lots of mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and sugar-loaded hot cocoa. While all of these foods are absolutely delicious, it is important to remember that while trying to live a healthy lifestyle involves eating these “guilt foods” in moderation. The best tip I can recommend is to allocate one meal per week as your “cheat meal” and eat a moderate (not the entire bowl!) serving of the comfort food of choice. This way you can indulge in your favorite foods without budging the scale. There are also plenty of recipes online that swap out the “evil” ingredients in your favorite foods. I recommend looking up spaghetti squash, cauliflower mac and cheese, and cauliflower mash potatoes. I can promise you that while you are getting in your daily intake of veggies, you will hardly notice the difference!

Take a Multivitamin
It’s hard to get enough of your RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of most nutrients through food alone. Make sure you take your multivitamin during a meal that has a little bit of fat and with a glass of water to help absorb all of the nutrients.


Make sure that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep in order to keep your immune system in check. College students are notorious for being the poster children for sleep deprivation, which makes it easier for illness to spread. For example, the recent meningitis outbreak at University of Maryland. Also make sure that you use hand sanitizer, wash your hands frequently, and keep alert for any outbreaks of any illnesses in the area.  


SEE the boosting power of breakfast


SEE Tip:  You hear it over and over again, "eat breakfast", "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day", and blah blah blah.  And the thing is, it really is important.  Often people skip it because they aren't hungry first thing in the morning, or because they are in a rush to get to class after hitting the snooze button a little too many times.   However, missing breakfast means missing out on some pretty great benefits.

Eating breakfast:

  • improves memory and academic performance
  • improves the ability to maintain weight 
  • improves consumption of nutrients
  • balances hunger levels throughout the day

SEE the PEEPs in Wolman and Charles Commons starting at 8:40am for a healthy breakfast bite 
to start your last week of classes right! 

HKB Quit Tip:  A 2013 study from Columbia found that of cigarette smokers who had their first smoke first thing in the morning (within 30 minutes of waking up), they were more at risk for head, neck, and lung cancer than those who would wait beyond that point.  While both groups were at risk for cancer, it seems that having the cigarette first thing, and likely breathing in more deeply, was greatly correlated with the forms of cancer.  As a way to reduce the risk, try putting off your first cigarette of the day by an hour from when you normally do.  See how that feels for you, and see if you can do it.  If you can do that, see if you can push it back by another hour the next week, and continue to see how late you can wait to have your first cigarette.

Mellow Out Monday: Stressful days can be tackled by something as simple as eating yogurt.  Grab some yogurt for the probiotic benefit which has been linked to lowering depression and anxiety (in mice), and providing a healthier digestive tract.

If you are looking for continued stress relief, check out Mellow Out Monday in the MSE on Q level starting at 8pm tonight.  Get a FREE back rub from a trained stressbuster and feel better fast!


Can we really trust the free condoms?

Something we hear at least once a month is, "Don't the free condoms from CHEW/the health center break more easily than other condoms?"

The short answer: No. They work equally as well as other brand name condoms.

The longer answer:  The free condoms, typically Lifestyles for our campus, are tested rigorously to make sure they do not break, tear, or fail.  If they are used correctly, they are just as effective as the condoms you can choose to pay for.  Of course, you have that option, as well:  JHU Condom Sense.

So why are we giving out free condoms?  I mean, free giveaways usually aren't really free... you usually have to do something, right?  Well, in this case, no.  All we ask is that people use these freebies to have safer sex when they might not have otherwise.  It's a lot better for our community as a whole when people are being safer by reducing their risks for HIV, STI/STDs, and unplanned pregnancies.

One thing to look out for are condoms marked as "novelty" or "for entertainment purposes".  All condoms used for safer sex purposes should be cleared by the FDA to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancy so that bacon flavored condom might not cut it.... but check the packaging to be sure.

If you have had trouble in the past with free condoms, you may want to make sure you have the proper fit, amount of lubricant (more is usually better), and that you are generally putting them on correctly.  For instructions on how to put a condom on, check out the video below.


SEE for Yourself: Sleep More, Stress Less


SEE Tip:  Is stress keeping you from getting a good night's sleep?  Are you kept awake by the mounting number of to do items on your planner, the big exam you have in two days, or a fight you had with a good friend?  You are not alone.  The stress of the day is linked with a lack of sleep in many individuals.  Furthermore, continued restless nights add to the stress by piling on more issues for the next day.  When a person does not get a full night's rest, s/he is more likely to suffer from a lack of focus and energy leading to more mistakes.... and more stress.  What an awful cycle!

The lack of sleep can mess with more than tomorrow's exam result.  Aside from adding on more stress, sleep deprivation and sleep restriction have been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and immune functioning issues.

But don't lose sleep over this!  Practice some stress relieving strategies to feel better during the day, and ease you into a peaceful sleep at night.  Things like organizing your notes before bed, making a to do list, practicing yoga or meditation, or even listening to relaxing music can help to soothe some stress.

You can also stop by the RELAX! Party sponsored by FSI and CHEW where there will be free massages from Stressbusters, Tea Time, a cozy corner, and make your own sleep sachets!  Lots of opportunities to improve your sleep for the night ahead.  Come to Levering's Sherwood Room (near the cafe) from 11-1!

HKB Tip: A survey from the American Lung Association found that 6 out of 10 former smokers were not able to quit successfully on their first quit attempt.  If you or a friend has tried once before, but had trouble staying quit use this Thursday's national Quit Day known as the "Great American SmokeOut" to provide some incentive. On this day, hundreds of other current smokers will be quitting the habit.  You are not alone with your plans to quit the addiction to tobacco, and there is support like 1-800 QUIT NOW which provides a quit coach and a supply of nicotine replacement products, as well!  You can do this!

And join Hopkins Kicks Butts and the O'Connor Recreation Center this Thursday from 5:30pm-6:45 for a FREE (no class card required) KICK the Habit Kickboxing and Zumba fusion fitness class.  There will be free t-shirts for raffle winners!!

Mellow Out Monday Win:  You have two chances to mellow out with Stressbusters today!

RELAX! Party sponsored by FSI and CHEW, Sherwood (Levering), 11am-1pm
Free massages from Stressbusters, Tea Time, a cozy corner, and make your own sleep sachets, and more!

Mellow Out Monday, MSE on Q level, 8pm-10pm

Free backrubs!! Why say anything but YES?! :)


SEE for Yourself: Exercise the body and the brain!


SEE Tip from PEEPs: Combat stress with exercise and other healthy behaviors

What exactly is stress?
Stress is a response to a demand that’s been placed upon you, whether it’s related to school, work, relationships, or anything else going in your life. It can certainly help you accomplish tasks and meet challenges, but when stress doesn't subside, it can harm you both physically and mentally.

How can you relieve stress?
There are many ways to manage stress!  Here are some suggestions:

Healthy diet: Make sure you’re eating well and getting all the nutrients you need. Eating junk food may help you feel better temporarily, but healthy foods are better for your body and will keep you happier in the long run.

Exercise: Engaging in physical activity can be an immediate stress reliever and help you manage stress in the long run too. Try to aim for 30 minutes a day, but if you can’t get to the gym or go outside, even a few minutes of exercises like lunges, crunches, and push-ups will help you feel more relaxed.

Sleep: Try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a day. In order to be at your best, you need to get adequate amounts of sleep. Even a quick nap during the day can help you feel more rested and better able to concentrate.

Socializing: Having healthy relationships is key to helping with stress. Try to make time to hang out with friends or talk on the phone with family members. They can help take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, or they are there to listen if you need to talk about it.

Relaxation techniques: Last but not least, there are tried and true methods to manage stress. These include meditation, deep breathing, and visualization. This website explains how to do each of the techniques: https://www.uhs.uga.edu/stress/relax.html. You’ll be surprised at how even doing them once a day makes you feel more relaxed!

HKB Quit Tip: The Great American SmokeOut is approaching on November 20th.  If you're a current smoker, join the nation and make next Thursday your quit day for tobacco products.  You can do it!  If you are interested in support for quitting, call 1-800-QUIT NOW for one on one assistance and access to nicotine replacements like the patch or the gum to help fight any intense cravings.  You can KICK the habit!

Join Hopkins Kicks Butts and the Recreation Center on Thursday, November 20th at 5:30pm for a Kickboxing and Zumba fusion workout in honor of the Great American SmokeOut!  Come KICK the habit with us, and win a free HKB shirt!

Mellow Out Monday: Some days the stress we feel can be overwhelming and leave us feeling like we don't know what to do about it.  Try to be prepared for these kind of days (we all have them) and have a list of things you like to do to reduce your stress ready for you to choose from.  One thing that is on most people's lists of stress relievers is exercise, but try and be specific.  Maybe it's zoning out with a new playlist on the treadmill, or meeting up with a friend who you can vent to while you go for a walk around campus.  Find options that work for you, and then have the list ready for those moments when you need it.

Another thing on  your list can always be Stressbusters!  If you're feeling stressed, be sure to stop by Q level in the MSE for a FREE backrub from Stressbusters from 8-10pm tonight.


SEE a healthy snack portion


SEE Tip: Do you struggle with mid-afternoon hunger, but you're stuck in class without options? Avoid this common dilemma with easy to grab and go snacks like an apple, string cheese stick, or a serving of your favorite pretzels. Have trouble with sticking to the actual portion size? Try measuring out the serving size for your desired snack and then using a clip to close the bag or portion out all the servings ahead of time if you have the space and storage abilities.

Stop by the breezeway from 11:30-1:30 today for a chance to win a chip clip for a healthy portion helper!

Don't forget! Tonight at 8pm is your chance for a free back rub from Stressbusters!! Stop by the MSE on Q level for your moment of relaxation today.


Halloween BOOz

Halloween falling on a Friday could mean lots of options for a social life this weekend!  From the Peabody Costume party, to Fells Point, to staying near campus with friends, or going out around campus....there is definitely going to be lots to do.

 If your activities include drinking alcohol, consider some ways to stay in the blue zone. Pace yourself with each drink. No need to rush to the next drink. Sip, savor, and socialize.  Also, BYOW - bring your own water! Or make sure wherever you are going well have some available. You can put some in your cup after each drink to stay hydrated and reduce the nasty effects that can come with dehydration. You can also wear a costume that makes it difficult to drink...something like partial mask or makeup that you may not want to smear or ruin (#forthegram).

Mainly, keep in mind that this weekend can be fun with lots going on. Recovering from a hangover or a regrettable moment (like getting sick all over your super creative Harry Potter costume) may not be the ideal way to spend it. So don't be "that guy" or "that girl". Instead, stay in the blue zone and stop at buzzed.


SEE: Benefits of Aromatherapy

SEE Tip: Aromatherapy can be a natural way to improve sleep quality.  Researchers at Wesleyan University found that students who smelled lavender before going to bed at night slept more deeply and woke up with more energy than those who did not.[1]  Additional research supports the findings that calming scents, like lavender and vanilla, can aid in better sleep.

Want to try it out for yourself?  Stop by the PEEPs table on your way to the FFC tonight between 5:30-7 to make your own lavender sachet to be placed by your bed for a better night's sleep!

HKB Quit Tip: A study from 2013 found a potential link between aromatherapy and cravings associated with nicotine.  The researchers had 20 participants sniff a drop of black pepper or angelica oil from a tissue when cravings would arise.  They found that both worked, though the cravings appeared to drop more dramatically for the group using the black pepper.  The researchers noted that the study was too small to be statistically significant, but it provided useful information for those who are interested in quitting and may need an aid when cravings creep up. [2]

Mellow Out Monday: Did you know when you're stressed your sense of smell becomes sharper?  That's definitely useful if your stress is caused by being stranded in the woods and you need it to sniff out food and potential attackers.  However, this is Hopkins, and chances are you're dealing with papers and exams, and what you are smelling is that person who hasn't left D-level in 3 days.  Instead of letting the stress and smells over-power you, try aromatherapy to bring you to a calmer place.  With just a few drops of an essential oil like lavender, sandalwood, or chamomile, you can reduce your stress levels and smell something much more pleasant. [3]

If you want some more stress relievers, stop by Stressbusters on Q level tonight starting at 8pm!  Get a free backrub and feel refreshed for the week ahead!

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16298774
2. http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/aromatherapy-curbs-nicotine-cravings
3. http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/how-aromatherapy-soothes-stress


Fat Talk Free Week!

Today marks the official last day of Fat Talk Free Week.  Of course, it doesn't have to stop here-- every day can be a fat talk free day.  Instead of focusing on what's wrong with our bodies, we can focus on what's right with them.  Thank our bodies for allowing us to smell the flowers, feel the wind blowing against our skin, and so many other amazing things.

To celebrate the final official day of Fat Talk Free Week, and all the Love Your Body celebrations of the last two weeks- we are asking you to share the name of someone you aspire to be like, and what is about that person that makes you want to be like them, one that is not based on physical appearance.  Examples include: because of their kindness, aptitude in science, dedication to soccer, their commitment to helping others, social skills, etc. Please consider sharing this on our Facbook page, Twitter, or Instagram!

And Happy FTFW to all!  You are all amazing, talented, and incredible individuals.  Thank you for being you.


SEE a Flash of Fitness

SEE Tip: If you have lag time in between classes, use the time to fit in a quick, but effective workout!  Studies show this can be just as (or more even) than spending an hour at the gym.  It can be anything from interval walking to more high intensity training.  If you have 15 minutes between classes, and you only need 5 minutes to get to class, how about you spend 10 minutes getting in a "flash of fitness"?  If you do that three times, that gets you 30 minutes of a workout-- all effective, and without forcing you to go to the gym or lose other valuable moments of your day.

Stop by the Gilman Quad today starting at 11:15am to jump start your Flash of Fitness with some ideas and win a prize for breaking a sweat with PEEPs.

HKB Tip:   In the last 25 years, we've seen a 47% decrease in cotinine, a measurement taken in non-smokers to study the secondhand-smoke exposure.  This steep decrease shows a high likelihood that laws like the indoor air act, which prohibits smoking within public places, is having a significant impact on improving the health of the population, and reducing the chances of exposure to chemicals found in second-hand smoke; 70 of which are cancer causing.

Want to talk more about second-hand smoke or the benefits of going smoke-free?  Stop by HKB's meeting tonight at 6pm in the AMR I TV room!

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  If you're feeling super stressed, try a Flash of Fitness by going for a walk/run.  The change of environment and body movement can help reduce the stress you may be feeling, and can even help you work through a problem that was getting to you in your previous state.

If you're still feeling stressed, try the benefits of touch.  Get a free back rub from a Stressbuster!  Stop by Q level in the MSE starting at 8pm tonight!


SEE Mindfully

SEE Tip: As part of Love Your Body Week, when it comes to eating well, consider practicing the art of mindful eating.  To get started, try some of these tips:

1. Try sitting at a table, rather than on a couch or bed.
2. Before picking up the food to eat, take a few deep breaths to allow your mind and body to settle and relax.
3. Appreciate the food in front of you.  Where is it from?  How did it get to your plate?  How does it look?  What about smell?  What do you like about it?  How does it feel (either in your hands or mouth or both)?

4.  How is your mind responding to the food?  Is it too hot, too cold, bland, or spicy?  Take your time to chew the food and allow your mind to process what you are doing and how you feel about it.
5. If you notice your mind wandering, try to bring your attention back to what you are doing to stay present in the moment.
6.  Once you are done, take a moment to notice if you are satisfied by your meal, and if so, move on with the next part of your day.

Want to practice mindful eating with a snack?  Stop by the Breezeway today starting at 11:30am for a mindful bite with the PEEPs!

HKB Quit Tip: When it comes to practicing mindfulness, it turns out that incorporating this practice into one's daily life can actually help smokers cut down on how much they smoke.  In a recent study, it is believed that the practice of mindful meditation may have helped smokers use more personal control and be better able to cope with their symptoms of the addiction to nicotine.

Mellow Out Monday:  Fall break is upon us, but before we get there, of course, there are about 2 midterms and a paper to get through first.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed and stressed by everything, try taking three deep breaths and repeat this mantra: I will get through this.  Why?  Because you will.  Also, because deep breathing promotes calmness in the body by increasing oxygen to your brain and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.  Yes, simply breathing (but deep breathing in particular) can help reduce stress.

Another way to bust stress?  Try Stressbusters tonight starting at 8pm on Q level in MSE for a FREE back rub!


Avoid the Bubble- a PEEPs suggestion

Real PEEPs Talk:

Hey y’all!

Are you stuck in the bubble yet? “What bubble?” You ask. Well the Hopkins bubble! This term basically refers to never leaving the four corners of the Homewood campus and no, going to the medical campus does not count.

Can you count how many places you have been in Baltimore that is not associated with Hopkins? Are you thinking, “I’m in Baltimore but there’s literally nothing to do around here!” Well think again! There is oh-so-much to do in this amazing city! Did you know that just a few weeks ago, Baltimore celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner with a free festival? Tall ships, Navy ships and the Blue Angels arrived at Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor to celebrate our national anthem. There were fireworks downtown, naval seals at the harbor, and flight demonstrations all around Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. 

Now, you may not even know where those places are and I challenge you to go forth and seek! Personally, I take the JHMI to Penn station and then hop on the Charm City Circulator (the purple line), otherwise known as the “free bus.” Yes, I said free! This bus is geared towards getting visitors around Baltimore, it stops in most if not all of the historical places in Baltimore so not only do you get a free ride, you also learn so much about the city along the way. Here is the link to the circulator times and schedule: http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/content/schedule.

Many times during my freshman year, I gave so many excuses such as, “Oh I have so much work” or “Brody is my new home” and things like that. But to be honest, you only live once! Even if you have so much work and no time at all. You could also join a group that volunteers off campus. There are so many service groups, performance groups, and others that volunteer at schools, jails, hospitals and so on. Here is a link to where you can find many of these groups: http://www.csc.jhu.edu/studentgroups.shtml

Now that you have been provided with all of this knowledge, I cannot wait to see you exploring!  Tell us about what you find here: facebook.com/jhupeeps


SEE Tip from PEEPs: All-Nighters No More!


SEE Tip: All-nighters No More!
A SEE Tip provided by PEEPs, the peer health education group on campus!

Thinking about pulling an all-nighter before your first midterm of this semester? While you may take this time to go over all the materials covered in the lectures, you may not be getting the best results.
Sleep deprivation (total or partial) has a negative impact on cognitive functions, including attention and working memory. As we sleep, our brains are consolidating the memories encoded and stored during the day, incorporating the new information into the pre-existing memory structure. While the waking brain encodes information, it is during the sleeping stage that the brain really works for memory retention.[1] Also, even a short nap would help to recall information. A study done at Harvard University shows that even naps shorter than 90 minutes can boost memory. 33 students were asked to memorize 60 pairs of unrelated words, solve a maze puzzle, and copy an intricate figure, and a 45-minute nap boosted the performance of students with good initial learning of the information. [2]
So the night before a big test, some restful sleep is probably more helpful than an all-nighter!
Have you ever pulled an all-nighter for a test? Do you think sleeping well help your academic performance?

HKB Quit Tip: How much money do you think a smoker might save by quitting?  A pretty good amount, depending on how much the person smokes.  The lowest cost for a pack of cigarettes in the U.S. is in Virginia and Missouri at $5.25 a pack.  The cost in Maryland is $7.75, while the highest cost is $12.85 in New York. [3]  Try using this calculator from Quit Now to see how much a person could end up spending on cigarettes in a week, a month, a year, etc.

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Getting enough sleep each night keeps stress levels balanced.  Avoid trying to cram everything into one night and pulling all-nighters.  They leave you exhausted, stressed out, and vulnerable for other health problems.  Sleep more for lowered stress!

If you feel the stress levels creeping up, stop by Q level tonight in the MSE. Stressbusters will be there giving FREE back rubs from 8-10pm!  Don't let your stress control your life-- take control by taking a seat with a Stressbuster!

[1] Alhola P, Polo-Kantola P. Sleep Deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. Oct 2007; 3(5): 553–567.
[2] Simon H. Learning while you sleep: Dream or reality? Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Feb 2012.
[3] http://www.theawl.com/2014/08/how-much-a-pack-of-cigarettes-costs-state-by-state


Weeding out the facts

Earlier this week, marijuana was decriminalized in the state of Maryland.  The bill reduces the penalty for small amounts of marijuana possession from a 90-day prison term and $1000 fine to a civil fine starting at $100.  In other words, possessing 10 grams or less of the substance will now be considered a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, and the punishment will be less severe (no jail time and increasing monetary fines, as necessary for multiple offenses).

For anyone wondering, this does not mean that the use of marijuana is legal.  Recreational marijuana  use continues to be illegal in Maryland.

So, what does it really do to our bodies?

Marijuana over-activates the part of the brain that influences memory, pleasure, perception, and coordination, causing the “high” and other effects that users experience. These effects include altered perceptions and mood, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory.  Some users may feel more relaxed, while others may feel anxious.  The effects can vary for each person, which can make it difficult to predict how one's body might react to the drug.

"Smoking marijuana can also cause many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers, such as increased daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses such as bronchitis, and a greater instance of lung infections, according to NIDA."  However, there does not appear to be a connection between lung cancer, specifically, and marijuana use, according to some recent studies.

There is a lot to still learn about marijuana, and likely more will come out as studies become more abundant.

We also know that most JHU students have never used marijuana, according to a recent survey of undergraduates.  Through that survey we learned that a students think more people are using than really are; in fact, they think nearly 82% of our campus had used in the last 30 days.  However, the reality is less than 18% had used marijuana in that time frame.  Talk about overestimating the amount of drug use that is happening on campus.  So if you're not using marijuana, know that you are in the majority at Hopkins.  And with the potential for slower brain functions and all, should we really be surprised that Hopkins students are avoiding the memory shrinker?

Sources: drugabuse.gov 
NCHA JHU Survey, 2014


Health Fest!!

SEE Tip: Come to the Healthy Jays Health Fest today in the Rec Center from 5-7pm!!  Free Zumba, fitness assessments, food, and much more!!  SEE for yourself how you can get exercise in your day with plenty of activities, and lots of other ways to get healthy in the semester ahead.


SEE Tip: Fuel up with Breakfast!


SEE Tip:  Start your day with a full tank-- eat breakfast!  Sure, having a cup of coffee may give you a jolt, but if you want lasting energy, take a minute for breakfast.  For the best results, try a breakfast with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs-- something like whole wheat toast with a thin layer of peanut butter (or the nut butter of your choice) and sliced banana- yum!!  It doesn't take long to prepare and will keep you energized and full much longer than skipping breakfast or trying to subsist on coffee alone.

Get started with the PEEPs today for a healthy breakfast on the go.  Find them in Mattin Courtyard from 8am-10am (or until supplies run out)!

HKB Myth busting: If a smoker quits tobacco, are they inevitably going to gain weight?  Truth: Not necessarily.  While a former smoker may have a normalized appetite and metablism to re-adjust to, and a better ability to taste and smell food, that doesn't mean the person is guaranteed to gain weight.  The person has it within their control to choose wisely in regards to their meals and snacks, as well as, include exercise in their day- things that can help regulate their weight.

Are you passionate about tobacco issues?  Consider joining Hopkins Kicks Butts and meet other passionate students-- meet tonight at 6pm in AMR I TV Room!

Mellow Out Monday Tip: In a 2012 study, researchers found that those who ate breakfast after waking were able to face challenging situations with nearly 90% less anxiety than on days when they did not have breakfast at all.  So, eating breakfast --> less stress!

Another way to have less stress... stopping by the MSE on Q level for a FREE back rub from Stressbusters!  Stop by starting at 8pm tonight!


But everybody's doing it

College can mean different things to people-- from a chance to make new friends, live away from home, taking the next step towards a career dream, or trying new things.

Some of us come in with the idea that everyone at college drinks-- that it's what college is here for (aside from the other academic reasons, of course).  In a recent study on our campus, students reported thinking that 97% of their classmates were drinking alcohol within the past 30 days.  However, through that same survey, it was found that actually 66% of students had used alcohol within that time frame.  

NCHA 2014

As you can see, many people thought that nearly the whole campus was drinking within that month, but in reality, it was around 30% less than that.  Often, our perceptions of what everyone else is doing may be skewed by a variety of things, including the media, our social circle, and even myths or rumors.  

What about you?  Were your perceptions different than the reality of what happens on our campus? 


This room is made for Sleep!


SEE Tip: Sleep is crucial for functioning throughout the day.  So why not do everything we can do to create the best space for a restful night?  Whether you are sleeping in a residence hall, an apartment, a row house, or even a tent-- there is a way to make your sleep space ideal for quality ZZZ's.

  • Noise - It's best to keep most noise at a minimum.  That means, falling asleep while your roommate practices the trumpet is probably not going to work out well.  If the trumpeter HAS to practice (and can't get to the practice room), consider trying ear plugs to help you drown out the music.
  • Tempature - If you're freezing or sweating- you're likely too busy trying to regulate your body tempature to even get to sleep.  Instead, try creating a tempature that works for you.  Whether that's using a fan or using an extra blanket on the bed.  Find your cool place for a comfortable night's sleep.
  • Light - Keeping light to a minimum can help your body's natural circadian rhythms know that it's time to sleep (and time to wake when the sun peaks through the windows).  Start setting the darker tone by reducing light in the room at least 1 hour before you're attempting to be asleep; turn the main light off (use a small bedside lamp if needed), or try darker curtains on the windows to keep out street light.
  • Technology - Turn off the TV, Laptop, and any other tech about an hour before bed.  Consider reading a book (for pleasure or for class) instead of refreshing your Facebook feed.  Trust, the FB updates will be there in the morning-- perfect to read while eating your breakfast before class, right?
  • The S's- Sleep & Sex.  Keep the use of your bed limited to sleep and/or sex.  The bed should be associated with stress relief, not stressful things--  in other words, don't bring your books to bed, only yourself or a bed buddy.
Do you already do any of these?  Or think you might try one?  Stop by the Breezeway today from 10:45-12:30 to tell us about your sleep space, and you could win a sleep kit from PEEPs!

HKB Tip:  Creating an environment for better sleep can also mean reducing unhealthy distractions or addictions.  Some cigarette smokers may choose to fall asleep and/or wake up with a smoke.  However, we know this is not helpful for better sleep, as the smokers may feel an intense craving for the nicotine, possibly waking them from slumber and creating interruptions in their night of sleep.  Additionally, it can be extremely dangerous as the leading cause of home fire deaths is from smoking.  If you are a smoker, consider only smoking outside in a safe area, and avoid smoking in bed to reduce the chances of becoming a statistic.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  We're BAAAAAACK!  Stressbusters is back in the MSE tonight and throughout the rest of the semester from 8-10pm with free back rubs for all!  Stop by for a 5-7 minute back rub from a trained Stressbuster tonight.  Let us reduce your stress for a better night sleep and week ahead!


Staying in the Blue Zone

If you choose to drink, remember to stay in the blue zone. 

What's the blue zone?  It's a safer BAC level for people who choose to consume alcohol.  Somewhere between .02-.06 is the level people are looking for that buzzed feeling, the increased socialability, and general euphoria that can be what they are hoping to get out of the night.  However, a drink over that amount could lead to some risky territory.  

How do you stay in the blue zone?  Try having dinner with friends before drinking alcohol, and remember to drink water before, during, and after.

And be on the lookout for the PEEPs outside of CharMar tonight around 9:45pm for a free way to stay in the blue zone! #PartySafer


SEE what it's all about

SEE for yourself on Monday is a derived from the national Healthy Monday campaign.  SEE is specific to Hopkins, and was based on focus groups of undergraduates who noted the need for a focus on these three areas of health: Sleeping, Eating, and Exercising.

Each week, CHEW will send out reminders, tidbits, and provide activities related to one of these health areas.  Come find us for your Monday motivation to start your week off healthy!  And be sure to "Like" the CHEW facebook page and follow us on Twitter for healthy tips, articles, and info about where the peer health educators will be each Monday!

Hopkins Kicks Butts is a student group dedicated to educating and advocating about the dangers of tobacco use.  Looking to the near future, this group hopes to make Homewood a smoke-free campus to promote healthier outcomes for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

If you are interested in joining HKB to help with the smoke-free campus, providing information and resources to the campus, or doing other activities related to reducing tobacco use, please contact HKB's co-presidents at hopkinskicksbutts@gmail.com.   Or if you just want to know what's happening, "Like" the HKB Facebook page!

Got Stress? Get it busted with Stressbusters!  Stressbusters are JHU students that have been trained to give 5-7 minute back rubs.  You can find them in the in the library and other places around campus, or request them for your student group!  Follow them on Facebook for announcements, Stressbusters events, and stress relieving tips!


First Fall Semester Hump Day

Welcome to the first official Hump Day of the semester!  Each hump day we'll discuss sexual health on the blog.  Feel free to send in questions using the comments section below each post or reach out through Facebook, Twitter, or IG!

Facebook: facebook.com/chew.jhu
Twitter: twitter.com/chewatjhu
Instagram: instagram.com/chewatjhu

For today's first Hump Day, we want to highlight a few of the women's health offerings available at the Student Health and Wellness Center.  
  • Well-women exams!
    • You can make an appointment for an annual well-woman exam by calling the center at 410-516-8270.
    • Click here for more info on what to expect during a typical well-woman exam.
  • Birth control pills!
    • If you are a JHU student, you can get birth control pills from the SHWC, if you are receiving gynecological care there, as well. You can also register for birth control refills by going to the Pyramed Health portal on the SHWC website.  Once registered with the portal, go to "My forms" and select the Online Contraceptive Refill form.   
  • Condoms!
    • FREE condoms are available to all students in the SHWC waiting rooms, CHEW office, Library bathrooms, and at other CHEW programs.  
    • CHEW offers free FC2 condoms, which are internal condoms for females.  
    • CHEW provides dental dams for added protection for sexual activity.  These come in different flavors and are free.
    • We also offer a discounted brand name condom program, which includes discounted costs for Trojan and Durex condoms.  For more, check out the web request form here.