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.


Sip Tip: Nuts!

According to a 2012 survey of JHU students, we know that the majority of those who drink, eat before or during their night out.  Our survey showed that over 75% of those who drink do this- either by having a meal with friends, on their own, or snacking while out!  Students are finding ways to stay safer while drinking.

Some ways to eat healthy and stay safer while drinking, include having healthy snacks within easy reach. Before you start drinking, wash some fruit and cut up some veggies and put them on a table near you. A small amount of crackers, nuts and bread may also provide healthier snacks-- who knew "bar nuts" could be a good option?!

If you choose to drink, consider safer ways to do it, like alternating every alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic one (a water works great).  Have a meal beforehand.  Spend time engaging with people, listening and dancing to music, or finding other activities besides drinking.  The focus of being out does not have to be on drinking, but on people, games, and other types of fun interactions.  Enjoy the fun, and sip wisely.


PEEP This: A word on Moving that Body

Here’s the setting: It’s Friday night.  You have just completed a tough week. Your friends are all busy in the library preparing for their upcoming exams and papers. Your roommate is out on a date so you have the place all to yourself.  Your delivery food has just arrived.  Essentially this situation is what many refer to as the perfect night to marathon Netflix.

But before you plop down on your couch to engage in your well-deserved marathon of TV shows, only to move for primal needs like more food or bathroom breaks, be aware of the impacts that this activity can have on the body.  First, there is the obvious; eating in front of the TV is generally a bad idea.  One study published in the Journal Psychological Science says that when an individual’s attention is divided between eating and concentrating on the TV show, the individual will feel less satisfaction from eating thus more food will be required to create a full feeling(1).  One of the immediate and undesired impacts of this behavior is weight gain.  Have you ever wondered about the ultimate, or far-reaching impacts of this type of behavior?

If you still find yourself carrying this type of behavior in 40 years or so, it turns out the consequences will be a lot more severe.  According to a recent research study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, there is a strong correlation between time spent sitting and presence of a physical disability(2). Effectively, each hour of sitting increases the risk of gaining a physical disability.

Keep in mind; these findings about time spent sitting are specifically for an older age group, think 60+.  The point of introducing the long-term impacts of sitting is not to tell you not to binge on Netflix ever, just in moderation.  Also, hopefully this information will encourage you to start building healthy behaviors now, before they become lifetime habits with lifetime impact.

If you’re having a difficult time creating your own healthy behavior program, we can help, try SEEing us next Monday.



SEE a KINDer Self


SEE Tip: Be KIND and feed your body with good for it food.  Nourish your body with foods that make it run well and feel good.  Things like leafy greens, whole foods, fresh fruit, and lean meats can make a body know that you appreciate it.  We are giving out KIND bars as part of SEE for Yourself Monday, along with the kick off to National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  Nourish your body and appreciate all that it does for you.  We'll be giving out bars of KINDness at the Rec Center starting at 3pm until supplies last.

HKB Applause:  It does seem a bit incompatible that a place where a person can pick up his/her Rx could also throw in a pack of cigarettes.  Particularly if the health condition is being provoked, exasperated, caused by, or is somehow correlated to the dangers smoking cigarettes.  CVS/Caremark picked up on this incompatibility and decided that as of October 1, 2014, they will no longer sell tobacco products.  This is a huge step towards prevention- whether it be prevention of new smokers or prevention of continued smokers by limiting access.  Smoking is a terribly difficult addiction to quit, but CVS and others can help with the fight.  If you are looking for a place to start your quit journey, check out MDQuit.org for resources.

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Be KIND to your body with a backrub from Stressbusters!  Look for Stressbusters in the MSE tonight at 8pm for a FREE 5-7 minute back rub.

Want to be a Stressbuster?  Learn skills that will last a lifetime. We're accepting applications now!  Apply here!


Mixing Mistake Part 1: Sex Edition


Alcohol's effects on the body are numerous and wide-ranging.  Sexual activity can also have a range of effects on the body, including positive and negative ones.  When we combine the two-- we have a whole world of things to consider.  So let's dive into a few of them.

Alcohol is a depressant. This means the functioning needed to be sexually active is "turned off" by the alcohol.  Things like feeling a partner's caress can go completely missed by the effects of alcohol.

A known dehydrator, alcohol can reduce the body's natural ability to self-lubricate or produce an erection.

Alcohol impairs motor function and memory-- which could make having sex under the influence more likely to increase the chances of not using protection at all or not using protection properly.  For example, a person may remember to put a condom on a little too late or not at all.

Alcohol also impairs a person's judgment and perception of situations.  This is particularly important when we think about consent.  According to the law, those who have been drinking cannot legally give consent to sexual activity.  If a situation arises and you aren't sure if someone is consenting to what's happening, it's safest to assume they are not consenting and don't engage further.  Sex without consent is not sex, it's rape.


The Chlamydia Challenge

Take the Chlamydia Challenge!

Challenge 1:  Is Chlamydia a:
a. viral Infection
b. bacterial infection

Challenge 2: The highest portion of reported Chlamydia cases are between ages:
a. 45-54
b. 35-44
c. 25-34
d. 15-24

Challenge 3: True or False, chlamydia can only be spread through vaginal and anal sex.

Challenge 4: True or False, asking a sexual partner if they are on birth control will stop transmission of Chlamydia.

Challenge 5: True or False, JHU students can come to SHAGfest tomorrow and get tested for Chlamydia for free, as part of SHAG week.

1. b; 2. d; 
3. F oral sex should be included.  
4. F - birth control only prevents birth, not STI transmission.  Condoms, dental dams, contraceptive gloves, and similar barriers can help reduce the chances of STIs being spread from person to person.  
5. True- come to the Glass Pav tomorrow, 2/20 between 11:30am-1:30pm for a free and confidential STI test.


SEE a Sleep Environment


SEE Tip:  A better sleep environment can lead to a better night's sleep.  Putting up darker blinds and curtains, keeping a calm space, and making it clear that the room is a space for sleep can help in promoting better sleep.

Don't know where to start with making a better sleep space?  Stop by the SEE table tonight in Nolan's from 5:30-7pm to create a door sign.  Let this be the entry way to better sleep tonight!

HKB Myth Tip:  Myth: Smoking tobacco through a hookah is safe due to the water cooling the smoke and removing the toxins.    Fact: While the water may cool the smoke, it does not remove any toxins or dangers from smoking tobacco.  In fact, for the average hookah smoker, one hookah session averages about the same as 100 cigarettes.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  Not sure if Stressbusters are for you?  Did you know that even a 5-7 minute back rub can help decrease blood pressure, relieve muscle stiffness and tension headaches, as well as reduce stress?  Try Stressbusters out tonight (for free) in Q-level at 8pm and decide if they are for you!


SHAG week with the Sexologist!

Don't miss tonight's SHAG week speaker, Dr. Jill McDevitt!  
Get sex questions answered and learn about the sex norms of your peers!


SEE gets Sexified

In honor of SHAG week, SEE is putting a little sexy spin on our usual weekly reminder.  SEE how exercise can improve sex lives.  From increased flexibility to more endurance-- exercise can go a long way, beyond the typical benefits that are talked about.  

For SHAG week there are a few fitness offerings to take advantage of:

Today, Monday, 2/10, you can join JHU Masti, SASH, and CHEW for Bollywood Zumba in Charles Commons at 5:30pm.  There will be bollywood dancing, zumba love, and fun giveaways.  Join the party!

Friday, Friday, 2/14, the Rec Center is offering Partner Yoga for you and a friend to try at 4:30pm.  After, have fun learning the salsa at 6pm.

Move well, feel good.

HKB Update:  Want to get the updates from Hopkins Kicks Butts?  Join the first meeting of the semester tonight at 6pm in the AMR TV room.  Ask questions, learn about what's happening this Spring, and join the group's efforts for a healthier campus.

Mellow Out Monday:  Join CHEW in the Sherwood Room from 11:30am-1:30pm for a stress reducing moment, and kick off to SHAG week.  Relax by decorating your own cookie, making a valentine day card, and sending a condom-gram.

Tend to feel more stressed at night?  Don't fret- Stressbusters will be in the MSE on Q-level starting at 8pm to help.  Get a FREE backrub from a Stressbuster tonight- only 5-7 minutes and you'll feel good as new.  

For more about SHAG week, click here. 


Get Tested!

Ten reasons to get tested for STDs and STIs.

1. You'll know your status.
2. Your partner (or future partner) can know your status, if you share it with this person.
3. Relieve stress from worrying about if you do or don't have a specific STI.
4. HIV testing is free.
5. Next Thursday, during SHAGfest, there will be FREE Chlamydia testing. (11:30am-1:30pm, Glass Pav).
6. All STIs are treatable.
7. Most are curable.
8. Having an STI and not doing anything about it actually increases your risk of getting HIV.
9. 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by age 25...
10. Knowledge is power.  Get tested.  Know your status.

And don't forget about SHAG week next week!  Get details: SHAG Week on Facebook


SEE gets Nutty


SEE Tip: A sweet PB&J can be a great source of comfort, especially on a winter day.  A way to add some healthy benefits to it could be something as simple as changing your nut butter.  There are a wide variety of nut butters available, including almond butter, sunflower butter, and so much more.  Nut butters are heart healthy, as good sources of healthy fats.  These fats can help regulate energy and mood- so don't fear the fat!

You can even stop by CharMar to make your own nut butters by grinding almonds or peanuts for yourself.  If you try it, take a picture and let us know how you like it! Tweet or Instagram us at @chewatjhu.

HKB Question: More advertisements have been popping up for electronic cigarettes, including celebrities using them during the Golden Globes.  Have you or anyone you know tried them?  Why or why not?

Mellow Out Monday: Eating healthy fats, like nut butters, can help regulate mood, helping to better handle stress.  Try some with an apple as a healthy snack between classes to stay satisfied throughout the day.

Guess who's back?  Stressbusters!  Find Stressbusters in the Library on Q-level starting at 8pm tonight. Get a free 5-7 minute back rub.  Stressbusters- we've got your back!