Wednesday, February 28, 2007


This week hasn't been fun for most Northeastern students due to mid-terms. Not quite as terrible as finals week, mid-terms cause stress levels to increase greatly. I had a mid-term on Monday and Tuesday. I have a philosophy paper due tomorrow, which I will be spending the entire night writing. Then, I am home free. I think most people will need spring break to re-cooperate and charge their battery in order to fight through the remaining six weeks of the semester. I am certain I will. You have to ask yourself: What affect does minimal sleep and staring at a computer screen for six consecutive hours, busting out that last paper have on your physical and mental health? As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't do much good. I hate being in front of the computer all the time. In today's world, you can't function without a computer. Alot of your schoolwork is done on here, especially because of the internet.

Furthermore, email, talking online, myspace, and facebook have all stolen the attention of young people. How many hours a day do you spend in front of the computer? How does this influence your posture and eye sight? I don't think there is a simple solution to spending a minimal amount of time on the computer and honestly I don't believe most people mind. I am not personally a computer nerd, although I don't go a day without checking my email. Computers have developed into a powerful social and academic tool.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Are you tired of eating the same old frozen vegetables or is the only "vegetable" you've had lately a french fry? I encourage you to buy some fresh vegetables next time you go food shopping at Shaw's. Asparagus, broccoli rob, and string beans are great to buy fresh. To make the string beans you have to snap off the ends and then wash them. You can make them on the stove or in the microwave with spices and bread crumbs. Never heard of asparagus?! I used to hate them when I was a kid. My mom insisted I eat them and eventually I developed a liking for them.
Today, I eat most vegetables because my parents encouraged me to eat them at a young age and I developed a taste for them. You make asparagus in the microwave with water, lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Cook them for about 3 minutes. They're really good for you! In the food store, broccoli rob looks like lettuce. It's big and leafy, but it shrinks down when you cook it. It's cooked on the stove with garlic and olive oil. My favorite! A good dish to make is broccoli rob and sausage.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I was perusing the internet for some blogs related to the topics of health and fitness. The website promoted some good discussions. Although the blog isn't devoted to college students, it talks about important issues for a range of audiences. One post on the presence of fitness magazines in print and online says they encourage people to get in shape. According to the article, "Indeed, there could be no better way to acquire the right information and facts about health and fitness like what fitness magazines can provide. It is definitely your one-stop health journal in a snap."

I agree the information in fitness magazines is probably very accurate and could steer a clueless individual in the right direction. At the same time, the covers of these magazines are very misleading. Women on the cover of Shape and Fitness have flawless bodies, hair, skin, and are absolutely beautiful. For the average person, this image is unattainable. This issue relates to many problems within American society and our obsession with weight, beauty, and overall physical appearance. Being a healthy person doesn't mean looking like the girls on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Survey News

I mentioned in my previous post that you may be interested in taking the survey yourself or reading more information about it. I didn't realize that there is a fee of $500 for taking the 300 question survey. I was going to do it myself and comment on the experience. Once I realized that the cost was ridiculous, I changed my mind. Apparently, you receive feedback about your health status in return for filling out and paying for the lengthy questionnaire. I don't think it's necessarily worth $500. The ACHA should pay us to do it.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

College Health Survey

The National College Health Assessment, organized by the ACHA, provides information about college students through surveys in the following areas: alcohol use, tobacco use, drug use, sexual health, weight, nutrition, exercise, mental health, injury prevention, personal safety, and violence. The first question on the survey asks "Considering your age, how would you describe your general health?" The responses range from excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, and I don't know. The questions are very specific and in depth. They don't simply ask "Do you consume alcohol?" The survey asks how many hours you drank for, how many drinks you had over a specific period of time, how many times you have had 5 or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting, and a range of others. The survey goes into great detail regarding alcohol use, drug use, and sexual health. The purpose of this information is to map results over a period of time and recognize patterns. It can benefit your college campus in order to:

"-identify the most common risks to academic performance and retention
-better understand students' health trends and determine the health areas of highest priority
-report on campus behavioral norms
-allocate monetary and staffing resources
-design new health programs and evaluate current strategies
-compare your specific campus data with national, aggregate ACHA-NCHA data"

The survey raises siginificant questions and speculation about the lifestyles of college students. By fall 2005, 261,035 students from 424 colleges nationwide participated in this survey. If you're interested in filling out the survey or learning more go to

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Healthy Eating Tips

An article from discusses 8 ways to cut calories from your diet and ultimately eat healthier. Some of the suggestions are pretty clever and they aren't hard to incorporate into your everyday routine. Alot of times dieting advice is impossible to integrate into daily exercising and eating habits unless you have a personal trainer and a cook. Here are the tips from the article "Smart Ways to Slash 100 (or More) Calories":

"1 Leave behind three or four bites of your meal. Research shows that people usually polish off everything they're served, even if they're not hungry.
2 Skin your chicken after cooking it. You'll retain moisture yet still strip away 148 calories and 13 grams of fat.
3 Blend your smoothie for at least five minutes. According to a Pennsylvania State University study, people who drank a breakfast smoothie mixed to twice its initial volume ate about 100 fewer calories at lunch than when they drank the same smoothie at the original volume. The extra air makes you feel fuller, say researchers.
4 Eat your sandwiches and burgers open-faced, with one slice of bread instead of two.
5 Order a cup of soup as an appetizer. People who fill up on soup (that's broth- or tomato-based, not cream-based) consume about 100 fewer calories during the rest of the meal, says a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
6 swap your chocolate bar (235 calories) for a glass of light chocolate soy milk (120 calories).
7 use butter-flavored nonstick spray, not a tablespoon of margarine or butter, to make grilled-cheese sandwiches and eggs.
8 Order a white-wine spritzer (80 calories) instead of a mixed drink (about 180 calories)."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Finding the Right Doctor

Northeastern's Health Center is a convenient place to go when you're sick. But, I don't think you get the same level of care as you do from your personal physician at home or the doctor you have been seeing since you were a child. Sometimes going to the Health Center isn't enough to cure your sickness. Although I am in my third year of school at Northeastern, I don't have a doctor here in Boston I can go to and I wish I did. When I don't have an ordinary sore throat or cold, I feel like I need to see a regular doctor. I think it's something important every freshmen should look into upon arriving in Boston. Even if you're older, I think it's a smart thing to take care of. Most students attend Northeastern for a period of five years, moving back and forth depending on their co-op. You don't have to search for a physician the moment you have a problem or serious illness.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Best Times to Work Out

What are the worst times to work out at the Marino Center? This is a tough question because it always seems to be bustling with energetic students and the occasional professor. Between the hours of 5 pm and 8 pm during the week, the gym is packed. I wouldn't advise you to go at these times if you usually go on the elliptical or treadmill. You'll end up waiting a long time!! I have found the best times to go are Saturdays and Sundays. It starts to get a little crowded by early evening on a Saturday, but it's empty for the most part all day Sunday. I went last Sunday night around 7 pm and no one was there. I guess Sunday is a day of rest for most people. It is even busy during the day from Monday to Friday. So, weekends are good anytime. As far as weekdays go, before 5 pm and after 8 pm are your best bet.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Energy Drinks: a Devil in Disguise

The Boston Globe published an article about energy drinks today. Sometimes energy drinks can be a quick fix during mid-terms and finals. How many times have you seen companies giving away free samples on Northeastern's campus?? The few times I have had an energy drink, I wasn't impressed. I couldn't sit still and it definitely didn't help me focus. You have a crazy sugar high and then your body just crashes. The aim of the story was that caffeine and energy drinks aren't healthy. The amount of caffeine in most drinks is more than the FDA limit. I'm not a big fan of Red Bull, but if it gets you through finals week that's great. Don't make a habit out of drinking them. If you're drinking three or four Red Bulls to get through the day then I think you need help!!!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Cure Your Headache!

We all know having a terrible headache or waking up with a headache is a bummer. The simple answer is to take several Tylenol or Advil. The following blog offers an aromatherapy solution: According to the blog, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, neroli, and marjoram are an excellent natural cure for headaches. I don't expect anyone to have these herbs laying around their dorm room, but for someone who constantly suffers from stress headaches, this could be an answer.

According to a post about reading nutrition labels: "In order to plan a healthy diet, we must know how to read a food label. They show us if a food has a little or a lot of certain nutrients. Just look on the side of a product to find the Nutrition Facts title." I know I don't typically read food labels before I buy everything, but I guess it's a good idea. You don't have to make-over your life with all the suggestions this blog discusses, but it can't hurt to become a smarter consumer.

Another Blog to Check Out

The following blog discusses many important topics related to health and fitness:

The blog includes alot of specifics about studies and surveys done in health-related areas. The latest posting talks about American eating habits and how to beat the system. The site is for a company called GetFitSource, which sells fitness equipment as well as supplies fitness information and news. Their sources appear to be reliable experts, knowledgeable about fitness topics. According to GetFitSource, Michael Pollan recommends to cook your own food, pay more to eat less, shop at "farmer's markets" rather than chain grocery stores, and practice calorie restriction.

The blog also addresses many tabu topics not often talked about. A post from November is titled "Study: Exercise Cuts Snoring." The posting is based on a study, proving snoring leads to poor sleep habits, which in turn causes obesity. I didn't know any of this prior to reading the blog. This is just one example of links studies have to particular health benefits or harmful habits to avoid. I think everyone could read something that will have a positive influence on their overall well-being.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Breakfast is Good!

When you were little, your parents would always tell you to eat breakfast, at least my mom did. I was never hungry enough to eat at 6:30 in the morning and I didn't believe it would make a difference, either way. This semester my earliest class is 9:50. I make an effort to wake-up a little earlier, so I can eat in the morning. I have been sick the last month and still am not 100% better. Basically, I need all the energy I can get to make it through the day. Eating a breakfast, which consists of more than a Nutri-Grain bar or a donut, can have a positive impact on your daily life. If you're lacking energy, maybe coffee isn't the best decision!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Laugh Often

According to an article in Glamour Magazine, people who have a sense of humor about life have lower rates of heart disease and an overall happier life. You don't have to be laughing out loud hysterically for it to count, either. Just laughing to yourself, while watching t.v. or a movie has an impact on the quality of your life. I'm one of those people, who takes everything seriously. Sometimes you need to laugh off the confusion or stress you're under. It really makes you feel better.

It is also a wise idea to forgive and forget because holding onto negative emotions hurts your health over time. "Constant bad feelings are like pollutants in your body, triggering inflammation, just like cigarette smoke does," says study author Rosalind Wright, M.D."