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Be Orange.

Try This: New Ways to Be Well This Spring

April 6th, 2015

Heading into campus this morning I couldn’t help but notice how brilliantly green and lush Corvallis looks. It seems that over Spring Break plant life in every form got together and decided it was time to make an appearance. In the spirit of new growth and a new term, I want to challenge readers to find a new way to Be Well this term. There are an abundance of resources on campus, and the beautiful spring weather makes it easy to find new activities to do outside. If there is anything you have wanted to try, now is the time! Here are just a few suggestions:

Manage Stress

  • Mindfulness Meditation: CAPS hosts these drop-in meditation sessions for students every Tuesday from 3-4. This is a great stress reducer, and no registration is required! www.counseling.oregonstate.edu

Eat Healthy

  • Nutrition Outreach: UHDS offers tutorials at dining halls on Thursdays highlighting a variety of healthy eating tips. Upcoming classes focus on Quick N’ Easy meals, Snacks, and Protein. For a full list of classes as well as locations, be sure to check out their website at: oregonstate.edu/uhds
  • Spring is an amazing time to start trying new fruits and vegetables as well! Local produce is more widely available each month. Asparagus, lettuce, mushrooms, garlic, onions and potatoes are all in season right now. Challenge yourself to make a new healthy meal with something grown right in this community!

Be Active

  • Intramural sports are an awesome way to try out a new sport and connect with new friends. They have everything from soccer to ultimate Frisbee to pickleball. For more information, visit their website: recsports.oregonstate.edu
  • There are also tons of hiking and biking trails throughout Corvallis. Whether you want to try out a hike in a new spot or even ride your bike on one of the many multi-use paths in town, there is plenty of opportunity for a new adventure. Don’t have any equipment? The Adventure Leadership Institute at Dixon has tons of equipment to rent – it’s even affordable!

Build Community

  • OSU has so many opportunities for students to connect with each other on campus. You can learn something new about another culture by attending an event hosted by one of the seven cultural centers on campus. Here is their website and calendar: oregonstate.edu/oei
  • LaSells Student center hosts a variety of events, lectures and exhibits. This is a great way to learn more about a topic of interest, or even discover something new. Head to their site for a full calendar of events: www.oregonstate.edu/lasells

Have fun, and Be Well!

Stay Fit Tips for the Holiday Season

November 24th, 2014

Most people (myself included) have a very hard time saying ‘no’ to all of the delicious treats that are offered during the Holidays. I know they’re not healthy, but there is something comforting about baking cookies at home with the family, or sipping on egg nog while listening to your favorite Christmas carols. While I realize not everyone is as nostalgic about this season as I am, it still might be helpful to learn some tricks to avoid unnecessary snacking at gatherings over the next 6 weeks.

Eat Smart

o   It’s totally fine to cave into cravings once in a while, and in fact, that may help you avoid bingeing later on. Allow yourself to indulge in a slice of pie, or your other favorite treats from time to time, and you won’t feel deprived later on.

o   If you have already eaten lots of junk, know that’s it is acceptable to pass on seconds. Even if someone offers, they probably won’t be too upset if you turn down that extra helping of buttery mashed potatoes.

o   It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send out signals of fullness from the time you start eating. Eat slowly and mindfully to prevent overeating.

  • Having conversations can be a great way to not only catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while, but will help prevent mindless snacking.

o   Fill up on the right stuff. Protein and fiber will keep you feeling fuller for longer than empty calorie foods.

  • For protein: nuts, hummus (doubles as a fiber source!), eggs, meat and cheese (in moderation)
  • For fiber: legumes, beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, raspberries, avocados, sweet potatoes and whole wheat pasta
  • Try to limit: white potatoes, white pasta or bread, cranberry sauce, spinach and artichoke dip (creaminess comes from mayo, cream cheese and sour cream)

Watch what you drink

o   When you’re at a social gathering, it’s natural to want to hold a drink. That doesn’t mean it has to be eggnog (which packs about 230 calories per cup). Try drinking water or hot herbal tea instead.

o   If you do want to indulge (‘tis the season, right?), make a drink in a tall, skinny glass. Studies show that people drink slower, and fill their glasses up less than in short and stout cups!

Stay active!

o   I know it’s cold outside, but there are still plenty of ways to stay active! Get a group together to take a walk after a large meal to avoid getting so sleepy.

o   Go ice skating, snow shoeing, or tubing. Check your local area for places to do so, but this is a fun way to get people together that doesn’t involve zoning out in front of the TV for hours on end.

  • You can rent TONS of equipment from Dixon Rec Center for practically nothing: http://oregonstate.edu/recsports/ALI/equipment-rental-bike-shop

o   If you MUST watch football (or the 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story) all day, try these workout tips during commercial breaks:

  • 50 crunches
  • 30 squats
  • 20 push-ups
  • 20 lunges
  • Add any other workout moves you like!

 

Happy Holidays, and Be Well!

Why Are You So Tired On Monday Mornings

November 17th, 2014

If you normally sleep 11pm to 7 am on weekdays but 1 am to 11 am on weekends, you are essentially putting your brain through jetlag. It is the equivalent of shuttling back and forth between New York and California. And it’s one reason why so many people end up feeling terrible on Monday mornings.

Sleep researchers refer to this phenomenon as “social jetlag”-when work, school, or social obligations force your body away from its normal sleep patterns. Not only can it explain why so many people feel awful on Monday mornings, but social jetlag seems to also have real health consequences.

Recently, researchers have been discovered that when you sleep can be as important as how much you sleep. Even if you get your recommended eight hours a night, you can still feel terrible if you are going to sleep and waking up at different times over the course of a week.

Everyone is wired to sleep at very specific times

There are a few things that determine when your body should go to sleep. One is exposure to light, which reduces your body’s production of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy). But the other major factor is determined by your own particular biology. Some people are naturally early risers, and some people are night owls; and unfortunately you can’t really choose to be one or the other-your body chooses this.

But social norms often clash with your body’s sleep needs

Of course, not everyone gets to go to sleep and wake up whenever their body tells them to. Night owls often have to wake up early to go to school or work. And early risers often have to stay up at night if they want to hang out with their night owl friends. And this can create real problems. Not only is being groggy on Monday mornings a pain, but researchers have been beginning to compile evidence that shifts in when people are sleeping affects their overall health.

In 2012, German research Till Roenneberg found that even the modest social jetlag that occurs between weekdays and weekends was correlated with increases body-mass index for overweight people. A lag of just one hour increases the likelihood of obesity by about a third.

People who are naturally night owls seem to be particularly affected, perhaps because their natural need are at odds with our 9-5 workdays, which is geared towards early risers’ needs. Some studies have concluded that night owls are more prone to depression and that obese night owls are more likely to have sleep apnea.

So how can we defeat social jetlag and wake up feeling great come Monday morning?

  1. Get more sleep during the week. If you are under sleeping during the week, you are probably trying to catch up on weekends. However, that catch-up sleeping in on weekends just sets you up for terrible Monday mornings.
  2. Wake up earlier on the weekends. Yes we are aware how painful this sounds, but just try it out for a weekend and see how you do on Monday.
  3. Take smart weekend naps. If you need a nap, do it between noon and 4pm for 30 minutes or less, to avoid interfering with your sleep pattern at night.
  4. Get sunlight on Monday. If you are tired on Monday morning, get outside and get some sunlight. Remember, your circadian rhythm is set by your eyes’ exposure to light, which directly sends signals to your brain to wake up. Before all you Oregonians shoot down this idea just remember that even a cloudy day outdoors can be several times brighter than the average lighted room.
  5. If all else fails, get some blue light. If you absolutely can’t get outside or have been plagued with school that requires you to get up before the sun rises, then crank up those light bulbs indoors. Because the circadian rhythm is specifically responsive to blue light. CAPS (which is located on the fifth floor of Snell) offers two different styles of bright lights that are available to OSU students for a two week loan. Please call CAPS at 541-737-2131 for more information.
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