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Aerobic exercise in dorm rooms improves student health

Get creative by using your dorm room furniture as part of your workout.

Get creative by using your dorm room furniture as part of your workout.

College life is fraught with the Freshman 15 extra pounds, all-you-can eat cafeteria food and the temptation of holiday candy and cookies. The will to exercise is low. But don’t think you have to schlep out to the gym to get a good workout. There are aerobic and resistance exercises you can do in your own dorm rooms that can build muscle and provide an effective overall workout.

Preparation and cool down

Before starting any exercise, warm up by stretching for about 5-10 minutes. Slowly get the heart rate up. Read more

Student health: How to protect yourself from meningitis

Meningitis is common on college campuses due to crowded dorms and busy cafeteria settings. (Courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Meningitis is common on college campuses due to crowded dorms and busy cafeteria settings. (Courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Since March, Princeton University has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis. What’s notable about the Princeton cases is that they are the rare strain B. Meningitis, which can arise in crowded dorm rooms on college campuses. Living and eating in close proximity, such as in college dorms, help spread the disease. Here is some information on meningitis, the risks for contracting it and tips for prevention. Also ask your student health center for information.

Causes and risks of meningitis

Meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes around your brain and spinal cord, is caused by a viral infection or a bacterial infection, the latter of which is the more serious form. Read more

How to get over the winter blues: Seasonal affective disorder treatment

The transition from Fall to Winter can be difficult, especially with days being shorter.

The transition from Fall to Winter can be difficult, especially with days being shorter.

Are you feeling S.A.D.? Seasonal affective disorder is a condition in which the lack of daylight makes you feel lethargic, moody and anxious. Now that the clocks have changed after Daylight Saving Time (note: it’s Saving not Savings), it’s getting dark earlier in the day. Treatment for S.A.D. includes light therapy, brightening up dorm rooms and getting exercise to make the most out of college life. If you’re experiencing the symptoms described below as the dark hours roll on, visit your student health department for extra help. Read more

Seasonal farmers’ market offers whole foods for student health

Buying fresh produce locally is not only easy on the wallet, but the fresh food is also great for your health.

Buying fresh produce locally is not only easy on the wallet, but the fresh food is also great for your health.

This is the season for apples, homemade breads, pumpkin pie and artisan cheese. Get them all at your local farmers’ markets, which are springing up this fall and winter to feature a bounty of foods. College life doesn’t have to be bland and full of processed foods. Good student health means plenty of fruits, vegetables and fresh whole foods. Buy some fresh veggies, bread and apple cider at the farmers’ market, bring them home to your dorm rooms and have an indoor picnic on the floor. Read more

College life tip: How to de-stress before exams and public speaking

Practicing yoga is one of many ways to relax and unwind when feeling stressed.

Practicing yoga is one of many ways to relax and unwind when feeling stressed.

Many events in college can be stressful and overwhelming, such as taking exams, speaking in public, meeting new friends, learning good study habits and talking with teachers. The more you focus on what’s stressing you, the worse you’ll get. In college as in life, stressful moments are just a necessary part of dealing with hurdles that come your way. For proper student health, here are some tips for de-stressing and relaxing so you can focus on what needs to be done.

Do yoga or meditate. Yoga is effective for promoting relaxation, tension relief and restfulness. “Yoga helps us slow down for a moment and tune into the breath. Simply the focus on one thing which is the very definition of meditation allows us to decompress,” Dr. Terri Kennedy, registered yoga teacher and president of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. told The Huffington Post in “The 10 Best Yoga Poses For Stress Relief,” April 6, 2013, by Carolyn Gregoire. Read more

Improve study habits: How to stay awake healthily

If you find yourself dozing off during a study session, it might be a good time to readjust your sleeping habits.

If you find yourself dozing off during a study session, it might be a good time to readjust your sleeping habits.

Campus life is full of sleepy students. The demanding schedules, the unhealthy food, the fluctuating sleep patterns, the tendency to wait until the last minute to write papers or study for a test. All-nighters and gallons of energy drinks are not the answer. For safe student health, here are some healthy and sustaining ways to stay awake and alert in dorm rooms, study halls and classrooms so you get the most out of your study time. Read more

What you need to know: Green initiative (like Ikea solar panels!) vs. campus carbon footprint

Ikea Solar Panels (USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.)

Ikea Solar Panels (USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.)

The Internet is abuzz with the latest about what’s for sale at world-leading furniture retailer Ikea: solar panels. Yes, the haven for affordable, off-campus furniture shopping is moving into a new realm. Its UK stores are encouraging shoppers to help the environment, making owning solar panels an “affordable reality” for all, according to a spokesperson quoted by Susanna Kim in the ABC News blog article “Ikea to sell solar panels to heat those meatballs,” posted on September 30, 2013. But if you’re renting or living in the dorm, you can’t just add solar panels to offset your campus carbon footprint. What kind of green initiative can you use in the dorms? And what are your schools doing to go green on campus? And honestly, just what is environmental sustainability? Here’s what you need to know! Read more

Obamacare facts: ACA health insurance choices for the young adult

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges will open for business on October 1, 2013. As a young adult, it’s up to you to make the kind of life-altering decisions that your parents made. One of those decisions involves choosing whether to buy health insurance or not. Also known as Obamacare, the plan may have you confused. Here are a few facts and ideas to help you understand and benefit from this new approach to health coverage.

Obamacare insurance requirement

Obamacare requires everyone to buy health insurance unless they are already covered by a plan from their employer or a government plan such as Medicaid or Medicare. Read more

Cooking for college students—quick, healthy recipes you can make

Dorm life cookingWhen it comes to food and college students, what one imagines isn’t cooking at all, but the stereotypical stacks of pizza boxes. Whether or not that imagery is accurate, your dining life on campus doesn’t have to be confined to the local delivery joint and the dining hall. Cooking for college students in not an oxymoron. In fact, there are many quick, healthy recipes that you can make (yes, you!) with just a little creativity and preparation. No, you probably won’t be trying out for Iron Chef any time soon, but cooking in college doesn’t have to be like an episode of Hell’s Kitchen either.

Dorm-based options

Depending on the age of your dorm, you may not have a private kitchen, but most offer some sort of kitchen facility in each hall. Read more

College tips for student health and staying in shape

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh veggies are important components of a healthy diet!

How to be healthy in college? That’s a big question. With the dreaded “Freshman 15” weight gain looming, college may not evoke a place of healthy eating and exercise, what with the pizza, late parties and extensive napping. But some very common sense tips for college life can help you stay in shape and maintain student health while you’re juggling classes, a part-time job and a social life.

Exercise tips

Exercise: make a plan and do it. Map out a fitness schedule each day or a few days a week for some vigorous exercise to give your body and mind a good workout. Read more