Category Archives: Good Health in College

Bed Bugs and College Dorms

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College dorms can be an ideal place for bed bugs. Students coming from all over the place greatly increase the chances of bringing these hitchhikers with them. When getting settled in, be aware and observant of your surroundings. Investigate all areas you plan to lay down on, sit or stand still in, for any extended period of time. This is important; since bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide your body produces.

What to Look for

  • Bed bugs: Adult bed bugs have flat, reddish-brown colored oval bodies about the size of an apple seed.
  • Blood spots that can be left after feeding
  •  Dark fecal stains: After feedings, the bugs will leave fecal spots of digested blood along seams and fabrics.

Inspect Rooms:

  • Use a flashlight to look for bugs or blood spots in corners, cracks and crevices
  • Behind the headboard (lift off brackets on the wall)
  • Along the seams, crevices and piping around the mattress
  • Under the mattress pad and under the sheets
  • Along the edges and underneath the box spring
  • Around joints in bedside tables (including drawers) and pictures above the bed

How to Protect your Belongings

  • Find out if the dormitory can supply a new      mattress. There’s nothing like removing the plastic from a mattress to      give you piece of mind.
  • Use a mattress protector to prevent bed bugs from      finding a comfy home
  • Put any suspect items in sealed plastic bags until you can heat treat them or have them professionally treated with Sulfuryl Flouride.
  • Put everything you can into the dryer at 120 degrees for 40 minutes
  • Freeze what can’t take the heat for 2 weeks

When back at home, follow the tips below to help minimize the chance of bed bugs hitchhiking home.

  • Keep all items outside and thoroughly inspect prior to bringing into the home
  • Don’t wear shoes inside the home. Leave shoes outside, place shoes and clothes in sealed plastic bins or bags and/or heat treat them in the dryer.
  • Keep a designated place where you can keep coats, purses, etc. and do not place belongings on couches, beds, etc.

For free information contact Bed Bugs and Beyond® at 888-410-1333 or www.bedbugsandbeyond.com

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The Successful College Student’s Pyramid

Infographics seem to be the coolest thing since sliced bread. It’s easy to understand why. They provide a lot of information in a easy-to-understand and appealing way. If a picture says a 1,000 words, than infographics must say 1,000,000 words!

To expand on the topic of uncluttering your cluttered life (our last blog post), we thought this Successful College Student Pyramid infographic was perfect for our readers. No matter if you’re starting your first semester this fall or you’re looking forward to graduating soon, this guide will help you organize your priorities.

Successful College Student’s Pyramid
Presented By: Online Colleges

So you should organize your priorities from bottom to top:

  1. Learn as much as you can and get the most out of your college education
  2. Take care of your health
  3. Get social and enjoy the college experience
  4. Gain experience (and money) with jobs and internships
  5. Take a break sometimes and visit home
  6. Party sometimes, just don’t make it a bad habit

Thanks Online Colleges for bringing this infographic to our attention!

How Beginners and Advanced Exercisers Get Great Abs

Summer is here, which means long summer days at the beach and lazy afternoons by the pool (unless you are taking summer classes). But what does that really mean to most of us…? It’s time to work on our beach-body!

Thanks to an article in SHAPE Magazine, here are the best abs exercises for beginners and advanced exercisers.

Best Abs Exercises for Beginners 

1. Plank

Lie facedown on mat. Place forearms on mat, elbows under shoulders. Place legs together with forefeet on floor. Raise body upward by straightening body in straight line (don’t let your hips sag). Hold position.

2. Side Plank

Lie on your side on mat. Place your right forearm on mat under your shoulder, perpendicular to your body . Place your left leg directly on top of your right leg and straighten knees and hips. Raise your body upward by straightening through your waist so your body is ridged. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Pallof (Cable or Band) Press and Hold

Adjust a cable machine so the pulley is at chest height. Grab the handle with both hands and walk out so there is tension on the cable. Now, turn 45 degrees so you face sideways in relation to the cable, and assume a hip-width stance with the handle at your chest. This is the starting position . Press the cable straight out in front of you and hold. Brace your midsection and do not let it pull your arms or trunk to the side; the object of the exercise is to resist rotation.

Best Abs Exercises for the Advanced 

1. Half-Kneeling Chop

Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Kneel down so that your outside knee is on the floor but your inside knee is bent 90 degrees, with your inside foot flat on the floor. Your left side should face the weight stack. With both hands, grasp the rope with an over-hand grip at arm’s length, just in front of your left shoulder. Your hands should be about 18 inches apart. Your shoulders should be turned toward the rope, but your belly button should be pointing forward. Your torso should be upright. Allow your torso to rotate as you pull the rope past your outside hip. Don’t round your lower back. Keep your arms straight and core braced. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions to your right side, then do the same number with your right side facing the stack, pulling toward your left.

2. Half-Kneeling Lift (Reverse Chop)

Attach a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable station. This exercise starts in the same position as the half-kneeling chop (above), except you pull the rope up past your outside shoulder. Keep your arms straight and core braced the entire time.

3. TRX Reverse Crunch

Start on your hands and knees and place each foot through the bottom loop of each TRX band. Lift your knees off of the ground and keep your elbows straight similar to a pushup position. Tighten your core muscles and try to keep your back straight. Use your abdominals to pull your knees in towards your chest. Carefully extend the legs to the starting pushup position.

Give us your feedback! What are some more great abs exercises?

The Ugly Truth about Energy Drinks

Before you reach for another energy drink, you should know the facts.

From supermarkets to drug stores, you’ll spot students buying energy drinks to not only quench their thirst but help them survive all-nighters in the library.

Since Red Bull was introduced in 1997, energy drinks have seen a major growth, outpacing nearly every other offering in the beverage market. But do we really know what we are buying? Are these drinks safe?

What is really in energy drinks?

There are so many different kinds of energy drinks now-a-days. From Red Bull to Five Hour to Monster, students have many options when deciding their liquid source for energy. So of course recipes vary, but the common element in energy drinks is caffeine.

A standard cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine, a cup of tea 50 mg and a can of coke cola 35-55 mg. How much caffeine does energy drinks have? Well, definitely more. Try anywhere from 50 to 500 mg of caffeine in a single serving.  And the addition of guarana (a South American plant extract that contains additional caffeine) ups the caffeine dose even more. Although the FDA regulates the amount of caffeine in soft drinks (maximum of 71 mg per 12-oz serving), there is no such limit for energy drinks.

Caffeine is a stimulant. Scientific studies in adults show that caffeine can increase alertness, improve concentration and enhance mood. Modest caffeine intake (less than 400 mg per day) is safe for most adults. But too much caffeine can cause problems, including restlessness, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Massive caffeine overdoses can cause reduced blood flow to the heart and abnormal heart rhythms.

Many energy drinks also contain sugar. Sugar is “real energy.” Your body can use the sugar as fuel to do work. But don’t forget that extra sugar means excess calories. A steady consumption of sugar-filled energy drinks will lead to weight gain.

Other ingredients, including the amino acid taurine, ginseng and assorted vitamins, probably have little to no impact on a person’s perceived energy level. Although manufacturers tout the importance of these additives, their purported benefits are unproven. One note of caution-ginseng can interact with a variety of prescription medicines.

Are energy drinks safe for you?

Energy drinks have not been proven safe. In fact, because they are classified as supplements, they are not even regulated by the FDA. This means that their ingredients are not tightly controlled and their health effects are largely unstudied.

We do think that an adult who consumes an occasional energy drink (one a day) is unlikely to suffer harm. But too much can lead to caffeine overdose and health problems, and mixing energy drinks and alcohol is such a bad idea – Don’t do it for the sake of your health!

Before you reach for that magic bottle that promises enhanced alertness, concentration and physical performance, you need to remember the facts. Instead get a good night’s sleep, exercise regularly and eat well… these are the real energy magic-makers.

Why You Should Eat Like a Turtle

Are you a fast or slow eater? One thing that these two people have in common is being made fun of. Slow eaters get in trouble for taking too long and making their friends wait while fast eaters are consistently being asked questions like, “did you even chew your food?” Studies have proven that one pace is actually better than the other, in terms of your health.

So which is better for you… to eat quickly or slowly?

The answer – it’s better to be a slow eater. Why?

Problems of eating too fast

Eating too much

Most Americans eat too fast, and as a result, they take in too many calories before they realize how much they ate. According to WebMD, it takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. Leisurely eating allows ample time to trigger the signal from your brain that you are full. And feeling full translates into eating less.

Recent research presented at a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity showed that overweight men and women took in fewer calories when they slowed their normal eating pace.

Higher risk of diabetes

Healthy experts have long warned that fast eating can lead to weight gain, but what you might not realize is that wolfing down your food can also lead to another health consequence: a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Yeeks! Lithuanian researcher found that speedy eaters were two and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those who eat at a more snail-like pace.

Bloating

According to Live Strong, bloating can occur when you add excess air to your stomach, causing your stomach to feel larger or uncomfortable than it usually does. One of the problems with eating quickly is that it introduces excess air into your digestive tract. Also, you have a tendency not to chew food as thoroughly when you eat quickly. This can cause larger pieces of food to become trapped in your stomach, which might give you the sensation that food is sitting uncomfortably.

Benefits of eating slowly

Eating slowly not only helps you eat less calories, it enhances the pleasure of the dining experience. Here are the benefits of eating slowly:

Eat less calories

No bloating

Savor your food

Enjoy the dining experience

Feel full faster

Solution

To master the art of slow eating, put on some music, light a few candles, turn off the TV and any other distractions, and concentrate on your meal. Perhaps the perfect place to start your turtle-like eating pace is at dessert. Take a bite, eat it slowly, savor it, and do nothing but enjoy the flavor, texture, and experience of the delicious dessert. Try also putting your fork down between bites, this can help to extend the amount of time you eat.

The researchers aren’t sure exactly why this is the case, but it’s worth remembering next time you’re sitting down to a meal. Eat a little slower and savor your food longer.

Are you a fast eater or a slower eater?

Five Vegetables Anyone Can Grow in a Small Spot

There are a lot of benefits to growing your own organic food. You’ll save money, get the nutrition you need, and best of all, enjoy tastier food.

Sounds great, right? Except for one little problem… I don’t know too many college students who live in a house with a large yard. Well here’s a solution – You can grow these five vegetables in a small area, like on a balcony, back porch or fire escape. Perfect for apartment or dorm living!

1. Black cherry tomatoes
They have a different, well… interesting color than other tomatoes. And though they’re small, they have a rich tomato flavor. Perfect for salads and pastas!

2. Genovese basil

This type of basil is really popular for many reasons, but mainly because its broad leaves have such great flavor. It’s perfect for pesto. Plus the plant will keep giving and giving too. All you have to do is just not let it flower.

3. Rainbow Swiss chard
Not only is it tasty, but it grows into so many beautiful different colors. Once you cut it, it keeps coming back. Swiss chard is so versatile too — you can eat it raw in a salad, sauté it as a vegetable side or braise it with cooked meals.

4. Hot peppers

Perfect for when you need to give a dish that extra punch. You can choose any you like, but I happen to be partial to the serrano. Try putting them into sandwiches and salads.

5. Fairy Tale Eggplant
This plant grows pretty compactly — it’s about an 18-by-18-inch bush — and grows pretty quickly. They’re very sweet and you want to pick them when they’re about four inches long. Roast them on the grill or serve them in pasta.

Source: Food Matters

Top 6 Ways to De-Stress From Finals

Some of the schools we serve had finals last week and others have it this week. But… I guess it really doesn’t matter when you have finals. The point is… you do and they are oh-so-stressful! What’s a student to do?

Here are some ways you can de-stress from finals week:

Lay out in the sun
You can really lay out anywhere. Just find the closest beach, pool or lawn and whip out the towel and sun block. To make it extra sweet, read a fun magazine like Cosmopolitan or ESPN. Something that’s the complete opposite of your textbooks!

Movie marathon
Don’t you just love spending a lazy day with your good-ole pal, Redbox? There really isn’t anything better than spending a day (or two) unwinding with a few good movies.

Host a get together
Share your post-final fun with your friends. Host a small get together, like a game or move night.

Organize your desk
Does your desk look like a war aftermath? Well, you and your desk did just survive finals. Clean it up by throwing away stuff from the semester that you don’t need anymore. And try recycling your old folders and binders by re-using them for the next semester.

Exercise
If you’re finals week was pretty crazy, I’m sure the gym didn’t see much of you. Get back into your exercise routine to wind down from finals and prepare for beach weather.

Take a mini road trip
Who doesn’t love a good road trip with friends? Whether it’s a one day trip or weekend get-away, adventure off to a nearby city, beach or theme park with friends.

We totally give you permission – no, you deserve some time to slack off, relax and have some fun. All-nighters can do a number on your body. So have some summer fun before those summer classes begin.

Be sure to tell us how you de-stress from finals by writing a comment below.