It’s Summer Time! — Relax and Unwind

During the school year, most students don’t have any free time to do activities that they enjoy. But in a week or so, it will be time for summer break, which means relaxation! Summer break is the perfect time to take a break from all the stress that school brings.

beach

What are you going to do to unwind after finals? If you don’t have many ideas, here are a couple activities to get you started.

1. Read a book (that’s not a textbook)!
2. Volunteer.
3. Did studying interfere with your workout schedule? Get back on track this summer.
4. Go hiking on a trail you’ve never been to before.
5. Check out concerts playing in your area.
6. Travel- whether it is to another country or another town. Traveling is a rewarding experience that is hard to do during the semester.
7. Spend some time with your family.
8. Catch up on your sleep!
9. Try out your baking skills.
10. Hit the beach.

Summer can be at time to have fun, but don’t forget about a few other things as well: update your LinkedIn page, apply for scholarships, and stay on top of student loan deadlines.

Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator

Stay Safe in the Sun

As the end of the semester approaches, you are probably planning those beach getaways and fun in the sun to get that golden tan. Or, you could be planning your trip to the tanning salon. That’s why it’s important to take sun safety into consideration. Click the link below to see what happens when a bunch of people think they’re getting a free tan.
http://youtu.be/NldzDjMnAF0
Did that shock you? Here are some sun safety tips!
• Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Reapply your sunscreen as directed!
• Exercise in the shade to stay cool.
• Wear protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses to minimize the effect of the sun’s rays.
• Reduce the risk of heat-related illness by knowing the signs of dehydration, and staying hydrated.
• Avoid consuming alcoholic and caffeinated beverages before and during outdoor activities because they increase your risk of becoming dehydrated.
• Look out for any new moles and/or marks on your skin. Be sure to get these checked out by a dermatologist.

Want to learn more? Click here!

Written by Allie Fonseca, Peer Educator

Blue Zones—Living a Longer, Happier Life

The thought of living to be one hundred years old may either terrify or excite you. But how do we live that long? There are millions of products designed to help people live longer, but experts say these products do nothing for longevity. Whatever the secret is, individuals living in blue zones know the answer.

blueyy
There are locations all over the globe, called Blue Zones, where you will find a population of people living longer, healthier and happier lives. Dan Buettner and National Geographic have scoured the world and have discovered five of these zones, located in: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece and Loma Linda, California. They found that people living in these areas reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States.

Each group of people have their own unique set of guidelines that they live by, but Buettner has found some overlapping characteristics, known as the Power 9.

So, what do theses people do to live longer and more enjoyable lives? Watch this short video to learn a little more about the Blue Zones! Or check out the Blue Zones website.

Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator

Everyday Should Be Earth Day

Earth Day will be on April 22nd this year. It was started over 40 years ago as an environmental forum, but has transformed over the years as a day of environmental action across the globe. Global warming and climate change are two of the greatest challenges of our generation, but small lifestyle changes can help the bigger issue. This Earth Day consider how to you can make eco-friendly choices in your life.

earthy

Not sure how you can help? Easy ways to get started include…
-Only using the washing machine/dishwasher with full loads.
-Take shorter showers.
-Turn your refrigerator down to the lowest temperature while still keeping your food cold.
-Look to see if your room or apartment has compact fluorescent bulbs. Not sure what they are? Click here to learn more. If you don’t use CFL bulbs, ask your landlord if they can be changed.
-Be aware of which lights need to be on, and which don’t.
-Walking, biking and mass transit greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
-Use “reusable” products, such as water bottles, and grocery bags.
These may seem like very small changes, but everything you do makes an impact on our planet.

No job is too big.
No action is too small.
For the care of the Earth… is the job of us all.

If you want to make an even greater impact and start a bigger earth day project, look to this resource.

Written by Dave Parsons, Peer Educator

Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate

Disordered eating is considered to be a problem only faced by women, but it is not. Men also suffer from disordered eating habits. In fact, the number of men with disordered eating is estimated to be over 10 million and that number continues to rise.
Males of any age can develop an eating disorder, but they are most likely to begin between the ages of 14 and 25. It is not unusual to develop an eating disorder later in life. This problem can be harder to spot, as many men with eating disorders tend to be overly focused on exercise and muscle definition. Men with eating disorders are also less likely to seek professional help than women.eating

Athletes and performers are especially at risk to acquire an eating disorder because of the pressures of maintaining a certain body type. Many men suffer from Muscular Dysmorphia, which is the belief that their muscular build is undersized and underdeveloped, while in reality their muscle tone is above average.

The belief that these disorders only affect women, along with the stereotypical belief that men should hide their problems and/or insecurities, demonstrate how serious and dangerous eating disorders in men can become.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, consult the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for resources, support, and help.

Written by David Parsons, Peer Educator

West Chester University takes on Green Dot!

green dottWhat is Green Dot? Green Dot is a program that aims to inform people on the issue of power-based personal violence, and how one person can make all the difference. Whether it is on a college campus, in your hometown, or even in a public place, power based personal violence exists everywhere you go. Green Dot aims to give people the tools to recognize and stop a negative situation.

Imagine a map with red dots all over it. Those red dots represent an act of power-based personal violence, such as sexual assault, physical violence, or stalking. A green dot would represent a time when a bystander intervened and stopped a red dot from happening, or helped someone in need. A green dot would also be letting those around you know that 1. Violence is not okay, and 2. Everyone is expected to do their part. The goal is to replace those red dots with green dots to positively change a community setting like our college campus. You can be an advocate of prevention against power based personal violence by signing up for and/or requesting a training for your organization, spreading the word about this campaign, or performing your own “green dot”. Remember, “no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.”

Interested in becoming a Green Dot? Email greendot@wcupa.edu to get on our mailing list for information on training dates and how you can get involved.

Written by Morgan Harkness, Volunteer

Not So Fast!

burger 2

Who doesn’t enjoy heading to McDonald’s or Burger King to get their favorite meal on the menu once in a while? Maybe you go for a “number three” with a chocolate milkshake. Whatever your go-to fast food meal is, here are some things to keep in mind next time you find yourself in the drive-through line!

1. Pay attention to portion sizes. One of the best things you can do is avoid super-sizing. Ask yourself, “Do I really need large fry, or can I settle for medium fries, or maybe even small fries?” Portions in fast food restaurants tend to be pretty big, and many times can actually be shared between two people! You can also try the strategy or eating slower, chewing more, and drinking in between bites. This can help you avoid over-eating.

2. Be on the lookout for healthy options. Fast food doesn’t always have to consist of a burger, fries and a soda. If you need a meal on-the-go, how about ordering a salad with chicken, and bottled water? A lot of fast food restaurants now offer grilled chicken, low-fat milk, fruit, oatmeal, and fat- free salad dressing!

3. Be aware of nutrition information. Most fast food restaurants now have accessible nutrition information posted in the restaurant, online, or both. Be on the lookout for saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar. These ingredients can raise blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Access amounts of these ingredients can also lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

4. Be wise about condiments. Salad dressings contain a lot of fat and oil, and cheese is very high in saturated fat. Ketchup contains a lot of high fructose corn syrup, and mayonnaise has a high calorie count. Try to substitute these for healthier condiments, or limit your use of them.

burgerHere’s the bottom line: as much as you may enjoy fast food, it is important to have boundaries and limits so that you can avoid negative health effects. On the bright side, fast food restaurants are getting better at providing healthier options. The amount of fast food that you consume is all a personal decision and it starts with self-control. Remember, too much of something is never good!

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Take A Breath: We’ve Got Asthma Under Control

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What is Asthma?
Asthma can be described as a chronic condition that makes breathing extremely difficult. This disorder affects the airway of the lungs and results in inflammation due to a variety of external causes.
This information is especially important since allergy season has just begun, which can make asthma worse. Check out this link to learn more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EDo9pUYvPE

How to Treat It.
Depending on the type of asthma it can be treated by rescue inhalers, prescription medications, or allergy shots to name a few. This video will give you a little more information on how you can not only treat, but also prevent an asthma attack from happening.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGDi5tI5vTk

Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack so you can help yourself or a friend if necessary.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma-attack/basics/symptoms/con-20034148

Written by DeVonna Smith, Peer Educator

Benefits without the Bulking

Gym woman weightliftingWhy does it seem like the gym is always split in half? Women are at cardio machines, while the men dominate the weight lifting floor. Why aren’t more women lifting weights? There are tons of reasons why women should add weights to their fitness routine including:

1. Getting Toned
• Weightlifting helps tone and build muscle
• According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, women’s high levels of estrogen make it difficult for women to become overly muscular
• Weight lifting burns more fat than cardio

2. Strong Bones
• Weight training reduces the risk of Osteoporosis
• Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density and enhance bone modeling by 13 percent in 6 months
3. Heart Healthy
• Strength training decreases levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and increases levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood
• It also helps reduce blood pressure

3 Easy Lifting Work Outsworkout 1
1. Planks and Rotate: 10-15 reps, 3 sets
• Begin in a plank position holding a five-pound dumbbell in each hand, keeping your wrists stiff to protect the joints. Open your feet a little wider than hip distance.
• Lift your left hand to the ceiling, twisting through your entire torso. Your pelvis will rotate, but keep it level.
• Bring your left hand back to the floor, and repeat this action on the other side to complete one rep.
• Complete between 10 to 15 reps, take a rest, and then do another set!

workout 2

2. Squats, Curl, and Press: 10-15 reps, 3 sets
• Stand with your feet directly under your hips holding a dumbbell in each hand. Sit back into your squat, keeping the weight in your heels, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor without letting your knees go beyond your toes.
• Push through your heels to return to standing while bringing the weights to your shoulders, performing a bicep curl.
• Keep your arms moving upward, performing an overhead press, with the palms facing outward. Lower your arms back to your side to complete one rep.

3. Reverse Lunge and Press: Do 15 reps, than switch leg
• Stand with your feet together, holding the weights at your shoulders
• Step your left foot back coming into a lunge, making 90-degree angles with your front and back knee.workout 3
• Push off your left foot, bringing your left knee forward so it is even with your left hip while raising your arms above your head.
• Without touching the floor with your left foot, step back into the lunge to start your second rep.
Want a little extra information and/or help?

Try the Student Recreation Center’s personal training:
• All Personal Trainers are certified
• Can help you design work out plans based on your needs
• Provide motivation
• Proper weight training instructions
Written by Steph Caporizzo, Volunteer