When you think of “gamers,” you typically imagine an unhealthy male playing video games and snacking on cheese puffs for hours on end. However, video game developers are now coming up with new ways of getting people moving while playing on their beloved Playstation or Xbox. Here is a video of Joe Reamer, a BGSU senior who is finding that healthy balance of playing Call of Duty and exercising to the latest workout with his Playstation. Check out what he has to say.
College Students and Their Pets
Fighting with friends may place a huge stress in someone’s life, but regardless of life’s battles, Bowling Green State University senior, Derek Miller can always count on his pooch to cheer him up.
Miller rescued his lab-mix dog, Braxton from the Wood County Humane Society last summer. Shortly after Braxton came into his home, Miller experience a series of life hardships including a break-up, job loss, medical issues and preparing himself for the “real world.”
“Somedays I would come home from class and be completely bummed out,” Miller said. “Braxton was always there to put a smile on my face. He actually became my best friend.”
Braxton was constantly by Miller’s side whenever his owner was having a bad day, Miller said.
“Things are changing so much for me right now since I’m graduating college,” Miller said. “But Braxton has been a constant and I know he will stick with me, no matter what I’m going through.”
Miller is not the only college student that relies on their pets to cheer up their day. Beth Golemiewski, also a graduating BGSU senior, said she can’t stand a day without being surrounded by animals.
Golembiewski grew up riding horses and since she cannot bring her two horses with her to college, she decided to settle for a more domestic kind of animal. She rescued her gray kitten, Baby, when she was a sophomore in college.
“I couldn’t stop playing with her,” she said. “It was quality entertainment for hours on end. Kittens are so funny.”
Though Baby is grown into a full adult kitten, Golembiewski won’t forget the college times they’ve experienced.
Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
Several studies are showing that pets have more than just a best-friend benefit. According to the CDC, owning a pet can:
- Decrease blood pressure
- Decrease cholesterol levels
- Decrease triglyceride levels
- Decrease feelings of loneliness
- Increase opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
- Increase opportunities for socialization
For more options, watch this video from Intelligence for Your Life on the John Tesh Radio Show as Tesh discusses some other health benefits pets bring.
Pets Aren’t for Everyone
Though pets provide significant personal health benefits, not everyone is meant to be a pet owner. Pets may become a students’ best friend, but unless students have the energy, money, time, proper living space and other essentials, a pet may not be the right idea for a college student.
Follow this checklist from the Ranchero Coastal Humane Society to see if you’re ready for the responsibilites of a pet.
- Why do you want a pet? – Don’t adopt a pet just because “it’s the thing to do.” Pets live for several years and you will be stuck with the responsibilities.
- Do you have time for a pet? – Dogs, cats and other animals cannot be ignored because you have a test to study for.
- Can you afford a pet? – If you can’t afford to feed yourself, you probably don’t have the cash to feed a pet.
- Are you prepared to deal with special problems that a pet can cause? – Fleas, destroyed furniture, and accidents are only a few options. Also, unexpected medical emergencies are common for any pet owner.
- Can you have a pet where you live? – Many rental communities don’t allow pets, and most of the rest have other restrictions.
- Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet? – Will you be moving or experience a major life change, like graduation soon?
- Are your living arrangement suitable for a pet? – Dogs, espeically, need room to roam when they’re not outside. Placing a large dog in a small apartment just isn’t going to work.
- Who will care for your pet while you’re on vacation? – Before you plan your spring break, make sure you know who will watch over your pet.
- Will you be a responsible pet owner? – Pets need to be neutered/spayed and some pets even require licensing.
- Will you be a best friend? – Though an animal may be your best friend, will you be its? You are committing to an animal for several years of your life.
Heather Teague ran into some of these issues once she graduated from the University of Toledo last year. While she was in school, Teague lived in her parents house. Once she graduated, she could not find a suitable apartment to keep her dog, Riley.
“It was a really hard decision, but I knew Riley wouldn’t be happy and I just couldn’t do that to him,” Teague said. “If you want to get a pet, be sure you can handle the responsibilites.”
People and Their Pets
Here is a slideshow of some responsible college pet owners with their pets.
This may be a time when watching what you eat really is something I should take into consideration. When I was younger, I never experienced acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, etc. However, once I got to college and experience the greasy pizza, cheap meals and alcohol, I learned that heartburn is one of the most uncomfortable experiences. Health.com recently posted an article about the seven foods that cause acid reflux. So before you think about grabbing another package of tums, try to avoid these foods to minimize the indigestion.
Chocolate – Of course this has to be the first one on the list. I’m a chocoholic, but I do realize that sometimes eating this gooey treat doesn’t make me feel so loved. According to the article, chocolate seems to cause more reflux than any other food because it contains caffeine and other stimulants, which cause reflux, it contains fat, which also causes reflux, and it has a high cocoa content. Oh, and did you guess? Cocoa causes reflux. I guess my love-hate relationship with chocolate will only continue. Caffeine was also listed as a separate reflux-causing food, but I think it deserves to be here. Just remember, anything with caffeine can lead to this uncomfortable reflux.
Pop – Some may call it soda, some may call it pop. Regardless, it will cause reflux. According to the article, “The bubbles of carbonation expand inside the stomach, and the increased pressure contributes to reflux. Sodas with caffeine and those that are acidic are even worse.” Not only will this carbonated beverage create an upset in your stomach, but it is also unhealthy for you…and yes, that includes diet soda. Switch to a healthier alternative like plain water, flavored water, a reduced sugar juice.
Fried food – Sometimes after an evening of drinking, all I want is a greasy mound of fried chicken and french fries, and I still haven’t learned that this does not cure my hangover. The stomach medicine commercial ads still hold true, fried food is most often associated with heartburn, caused by esophageal reflux.
Alcohol – Also a love-hate relationship. Alcohol is believed to relax the bottom of the esophagus, which eventually leads to reflux. Just don’t add the fried food the next morning to try and cure yourself.
High-fat Dairy and High-Fat Meat Products – As we have previously learned, all fatty food leads to reflux. Add this with dairy, you get the same results.
Here is an audio clip about positive reasons to support homosexual choices and personal preferences. I know that this is still a controversial issue, but here are some of my opinions about a recent study about support gay teens. Homosexuals have often been a target of being criticized and made fun of. This leads to emotional issues such as depression, anxiety and a general decrease in the quality of life. A new study suggests that the more support homosexual individuals have around them, the less likely they are to commit suicide.
Personally, I think that gay support is an important part of a person’s health. Let me know what you think!
CNN posted an article questioning the quality of U.S. meat. In a recent study, researchers tested 136 packages of chicken, turkey, pork and ground beef from 26 grocery stores in five cities. Of the meat tested, researchers found that 47 percent contained Staphylococcus auerus, a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases as a result of infection of various tissues in the body. Though staph infections are common in people, it is something to be concerned about.
Approximately half of the contaminated samples contained strains of bacteria that were resistant to common antibiotics, such as penicillin, while some strains were resistant to a half a dozen or more.
In my opinion, I believe that this is only a small portion of what is really going around our food supply. Unless we can all eat organically, which is quite expensive for a college student, we will continue to expose ourselves to the products involved in the farming industry. I’m not sure if I’d rather be exposed to a bacteria that may be treatable, or if I would like to continue to drink steroid-infested milk and growth hormone injected meat. Though finding bacteria in nearly half of U.S. meat is a significant number, unfortunately, I think that it’s a price we pay when eating inorganic foods. Is this right? Maybe not. But it’s where we’re at right now in our society and hopefully we can move to a more organic and safe lifestyle.
Will this recent study change the way you eat meat? Share your thoughts and opinions below!
To follow up on my previous post, here is a map of all of the tanning locations in Bowling Green, OH. With a tanning salon on practically every block, no wonder students are becoming more addicted to the ultraviolet rays.
View Tanning Salons in Bowling Green, OH in a larger map
Please be aware of the graphic images.
Apparently peeling, burns and melanoma are the new requirements for beauty.
Tanning has become a new obsession for both women and men in today’s society. College students are feeling the pressure to be tan from a variety of societal outlets, include the hit show Jersey Shore, where the characters tan several times a week.
States are enforcing tanning restrictions
In reaction to the tanning craze, several states, like Rhode Island and Iowa are considering banning tanning for minors.
According to The Brown Daily Herald, “the bill, which would amend the Tanning Facility Safety Standards Act, would prohibit those under the age of 18 from using tanning facilities. Current law stipulates that minors may use the facilities if a parent or guardian signs a consent form in the presence of a facility staff member, according to Department of Health regulations.”
However, this ban usually doesn’t apply to college students since most are 18 or over. And that hasn’t stopped them from catching the artificial rays.
What about college students?
Bowling Green State University student Allie Fennell, a sophomore from Perrysburg, tries to tan everyday. If she cannot make it to the salon every day, she tries to go four to five times a week.
“I tan because it is relaxing,” Fennell said. “Being tan boosts my self esteem.”
Fennell may be seven times more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. According to Dr. Hema Sundaram of Health Central.com, “using a tanning bed more than 10 times a year made people seven more likely to develop malignant melanoma than those who did not use tanning beds as often.”
The FDA estimates that about 38,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year in the U.S. and 7,300 people will die from this skin condition, Sundaram reported.
Even with the documented dangers of tanning, Fennell doesn’t worry too much.
“My grandparents are concerned about me tanning, but my friends and mother aren’t” she said. “I have a few moles here and there, nothing that worries me. I still tan because it’s kind of like an addiction.”
Katie Ranker, a Bowling Green TanPro employee, sees this kind of attitude everyday when she works.
“There are several clients that I worry about,” she said. “When I am able to tell you exactly which bed they use and how long they typically go, as well as how much they spend each month on tanning alone, I believe that is a sign that tanning has become part of their daily routine. Several tanners have even told me they tan too much, but they don’t care about the effects because ‘it makes them look and feel good.’”
Even though she works as a tanning salon employee, Ranker says she does not feel pressure to be tan.
“I shouldn’t have to harm my body just because I work there,” she said.
Alternative tanning options
Instead of exposing their skin to ultraviolet rays, Ranker suggested spray tan, a sunless tanning option. She also said she thinks it is becoming more popular among customers.
“I think customers are starting to realize that they are able to get the same effect of a quality tan for less cost and less damage,” Ranker said.
Fennell, however, said she doesn’t prefer spray tanning as an option.
“I don’t spray tan because I don’t like the fact that if you sweat, you’ll become blotchy,” she said. “I work out on a consistent, everyday basis and that just wouldn’t work for me.”
If tanners do have a suspicious-looking mole or scar, Dr.Sundaram recommends seeing a doctor or dermatologist immediately.
Here is your nutrition 101 basics from Young Women’s Health. But this information is not just for women, it applies to men also. This guide is a great way to understand what types of food you are eating throughout the day and how those foods affect you. Going back to basics, the main food groups are:
- dairy/dairy substitutes
Each food group serves a different purpose. Here is what Young Women’s Health says:
- Dairy- builds strong bones. Dairy is essential to young women in order to build strong bones and avoid osteoporosis, but dairy is just as important to men. Make sure to have 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day. Try adding a glass of low fat milk with every meal, snack on cheese or yogurt throughout the day or have pudding for dessert.
- Grains- provide energy for muscles and brains. Most diets fear carbs, but they are an essential part of our diet. Try to include mulit-grain or whole wheat in your diet, instead of the starchy white grain products. Young Women’s Health suggests including grains such as rice, pasta and bread at every meal.
- Fats- you actually need them, but only in moderation. This does not mean to go out and eat a large french fry – instead eat healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts or seeds.
- Fruits and vegetables- Fruits and vegetables are the most essential part of our daily nutrition. They provide vitamins and minerals for healthy skin, hair, nails and immune system. Be sure to have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Proteins- men are not the only one who need these! Proteins maintaining and building muscle. Try fish, beans, eggs, tofu, peanut butter, chicken, beef or other meats at two meals a day.
Here is an article from CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen. I thought it was a well written article, with some great tips!
We forget about our usually healthy choices when we are placed outside of our normal comfort zone. Sure, it’s okay to indulge every now and then, but when you’re on an extended vacation or dealing with a break up, don’t let those actions turn into habits. When we forget what we’re doing, we’re more likely to “let ourselves go,” which results in weight gain. Cohen goes into that particular situations that typically lead to weight gain, watch out!
You’ve been up all night cramming for one of the most important tests for the course. You feel ready, but once you sit in your seat, everything goes blank. That dreaded test anxiety. According to Katherine Scrimshaw, a writer for Suite101.com, an estimated 20 to 40 percent of student experience test anxiety. And in severe cases, it can lead to depression, behavior problems and eventually dropping out of college all together.
Though your symptoms may not be that extreme, here are some signs of test anxiety. They’re usually felt before and during a test:
- sweaty palms
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
- rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- inability to concentrate
- going blank
- feeling of dread
- feelings of panic
- difficulty understanding the questions
Take charge now
You may or may not have done that well on your midterms. If you believe that test anxiety contributed to your midterm scores, try working on your issues now, before final exams. Here are some tips that Scrimshaw recommends:
1. Don’t cram. Studying at the last minute will make you feel completely overwhelmed. Instead, work through material with your instructor, advisor or people in your class NOW.
2. Take the time now. Studying in small time increments instead of cramming 6 hours of studying in the night before an exam. Going over the small details will help your studying habits in the future.
3. Consider the health factors. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before a big exam. Studying up all night to cram won’t help you the next day. Moderate sleep deprivation results in memory loss and makes it more difficult to concentrate and make decisions.
4. Exercise. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 20 minutes of exercise a day can reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
Scrimshaw also recommends:
arriving early to the exam
wear comfortable clothing
read the instructions carefully
scan the exams for questions you can easily answer
For more information, visit Scrimshaw’s site.
Before you reach for that stale bread to make a PB&J, take a look at some of these recipes. You’ll be eating like a king compared to some of the traditional college meals. Here are some inexpensive and easy meals to make. They should fit any appetite, I have included Italian, Mexican, seafood, stir fry and other delicious dishes to try. Ditch the mac and cheese or Ramen and treat yourself to a real meal.
Since most students will probably be too intoxicated to worry about their exercise regiment on St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve decide to post an unhealthy traditional Irish dish. Though this is a health blog, I do believe everything is fine in moderation, just please don’t eat this type of meal every day! Sometimes it is good to reward yourself with a large meal, without worrying about it. So take the day off and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!
I found a shepherd’s pie recipe from littleshamrocks.com. Here is the original recipe
1 lb. cooked lean ground beef
1 lg. potato, cubed and cooked
1 c. cooked whole kernel corn
1 c. cooked peas
1 c. diced cooked carrots
3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. black pepper
2 c. prepared brown gravy
3 c. cooked and mashed potatoes
1/2 c. finely shredded Irish cheddar cheese
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, potatoes, peas, carrots, green onions, garlic, black pepper and brown gravy.
Spray 9-inch deep dish pie plate or casserole dish; fill with mixture. Spoon mashed potatoes around outside edge of pie, leaving an opening in the center for steam to escape. Sprinkle potatoes with shredded cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350F or until cheese is golden brown and meat mixture is bubbly.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Charlie Sheen has been ever so popular these last few weeks with his outrageous online rages. Every time I turn on the news, reporters are examining his behavior and crude comments. Though these outbursts may be entertaining, it’s not something to encourage. Charlie Sheen is obviously showing signs of mania, a serious mental condition.
Details about this disease
According to WebMD, the dramatic mood swings of bipolar disorder do not follow a set pattern. Symptoms of mania include, excessive happiness, hopefulness or excitement, sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable or angry. The person with this condition is also restless, has increased energy and doesn’t feel the need to sleep. Other signs include: talkativeness, distractibility, racing thoughts, increased reckless behavior, a tendency to make grand and unattainable plans and a tendency to show poor judgment.
Real life – this is not okay.
Though Sheen’s outrages have been publicized, we need to take these actions as a learning experience. If you or one of your friends display these types of behaviors, it is important to take action to get you or that person help. If you are concerned about a friend, talk to them, but plan your procedure. Be sure to talk to them in a relaxed location, somewhere where they are comfortable. When you confront them about specific actions about their behavior, don’t come at them in an attacking way. Explain your concerns and give specific examples of the behaviors that concern you. Obviously, you are not an expert in the mental health field, but you are a friend, and friends are supposed to be there through thick and thin. You cannot force your friend to get help, but just encourage them that you are there for them. Of course, if your friend is placing themself or others in danger, it is your responsibility to get the authorities involved. As hard as it is, mania is a huge cry for help.
This may be one of the toughest weeks to get through for college students – the week right before spring break 2011. As many students finish their last minute details of packing, getting that base tan in a tanning bed and scrambling to find any extra cash, the last thing on their mind is, “how am I going to stay safe on my trip?” Spring break is definitely the time for students to let loose and enjoy themselves, but there are limits. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind while you’re on spring break:
1. Limit alcohol intake. Obviously, the norm for college students on spring break is to be belligerently drunk 24/7….but that’s dangerous. I’m definitely not saying you can’t have anything, but watch what you’re doing in a foreign city. Plan at least one day without an alcohol related activity so you can actually remember your trip.
2. Get active. Sure it’s fun to lie out in the sun all day, but make sure you get up and play football on the beach or go for a walk around the city. Lounging around all day, for a week straight is somewhat disgusting.
3. Don’t sleep with random people. I don’t know if I even have a description for this one, just don’t do it.
4. Eat somewhat healthy. Try to watch what you’re eating. You should indulge more than you normally would – you’re on vacation! But don’t let a burger and fries be every meal. Try foods that the city is “known” for.
5. Keep your emergency outlets. Know where you can get help in the city. Always be prepared!
Cardio is a great way to relieve stress and turn into a calorie-burning machine. I like doing cardio because of the amount of calories I burn, but I don’t always enjoy the time it takes. You’re sure to get a quick fat, burning workout with this video, and it only takes 10 minutes. After a quick warmup, my heart rate was quickly up to where it needed to be to burn fat. I even found myself out of breath around 5 minutes. The workout really targets moves that require energy, strength and agility to keep moving.Try this 10-minute cardio workout from Sparkpeople.com to get the blood pumping in a series of easy and concise exercises.
Hello! My name is Allison Dunn and I’m studying journalism at Bowling Green State University. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the healthiest college student, or person for that matter, but I try. I try to watch what I eat, make time for exercise, limit alcohol consumption and make sure I have time just for myself. I may not have the answers to everything, but I will give some of the tips and tricks that work for me. I’ll focus on dietary and food tips, exercise, beauty, mental health and other issues that college students deal with on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy reading and thanks for visiting!
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