The problem with sitting

This is the last week of passion blogs and I really had a hard time deciding what to talk about this week. Then I decided why not talk about sitting. Lately I have been under the weather and between that and all of the studying I have been doing I have done a large amount of sitting. I have always known that sitting a lot was not that good for me, but I have never really looked into it so I felt like this was the perfect opportunity.

Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

There have been many studies done on the effects of sitting too much but one recent study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV or other screen-based entertainment with those who logged more than four hours a day of recreational screen time.The results from the study showed that those with greater screen time had a nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause. Also they had about a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain or heart attack. The increased risk was separate from other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking or high blood pressure.

Sitting in front of a TV is not the only concern. Any type of extended sitting such as at a desk or behind the wheel of a car can be harmful to individuals. The solution to eliminating this risk seems to be less sitting and more moving overall.

The impact of movement,even leisurely movement, can be significantly high. For starters, you’ll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy. Also the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. When you sit, these processes stall and your health risks increase. When you’re standing or actively moving, you kick the processes back into action.

There are many different ways you can make activities where you usually sit into an activity where you are standing. For example, you can stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.Also if you sit at a desk to do work, like all of us do as college students, try something different and when doing work stand at a high desk or do work on a counter.

Since I have came to college I have done a lot more sitting than I have ever done in my life. The amount of studying and work I have to do has increased which has increased the amount of sitting I do. I know I am not the only person who has experienced this and we all need to realize the negative effects of it. So next time you want to spend hours on studying think about these negative side effects of it and find a good way to change your sitting into standing.

Tuition in other countries

After doing tons of different research I have noticed that many countries have lowered their college tuition over the years, while the United States has significantly increased their tuition prices. For example countries such as Germany have been tuition free since about the beginning of 2014. The tuition rates in Germany have always been low, but now the German government fully funds the tuition of its citizens, and even for foreigners. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator in the northern city of Hamburg in Germany, said tuition fees “discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”

As it was mentioned before, Germany will offer free tuition to foreigners such as Americans who will attend college there. However Germany is not the only country that offers this type free tuition to foreigners or has a system where tuition fees are very small. Germany is about one of seven countries where college students in the United States could travel to attend college.

The 7 countries:

Germany’s higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them “excellent institutions.” Americans who attend these schools can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and still have there experience fully funded. About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered in English, with courses ranging from social science to engineering.

Finland charges no tuition fees and offers a large number of university programs in English. However, the Finnish government amiably reminds interested foreigners that they “are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses.” This means that Finland will fully your education, but not your afternoon lunch break.

In France there are at least 76 English-language undergraduate programs but many are offered in private universities which can be expensive. Many more graduate-level courses, however, are designed for English-speaking students, and one out of every three French doctoral degrees is awarded to a foreign student. Public university programs charge only a small tuition fee of about 200 dollars for most programs. Other, more elite institutions have adopted a model that requires students to pay fees that are based on the income of their parents. Children of unemployed parents can study for free, while more privileged families have to pay more. This rule is only valid for citizens of the European Union, but even the maximum fees, which are about 14,000 a yea, are often much lower than U.S. tuition fees.

Sweden offers some of the most cost efficient college degrees with more than 900 listed programs in 35 different universities are taught in English. However, only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.

Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students. The Norwegian higher education system is similar to the one in the United States: Class sizes are small and professors are easily approachable. Many Norwegian universities offer programs taught in English. However, Norway can have one of the highest costs of living which can be a downfall to being there.

In Slovenia, about 150 English programs are available, and foreign nationals only pay an insignificant registration fee when they enroll. However, Times Higher Education, a weekly magazine based in London, did not list one Slovenian university in its recent World University Ranking.

The final country where college classes are taught in English is Brazil. In Brazil, state universities only charge only minor registration fees. Times Higher Education ranks two Brazilian universities among the world’s top 400: the University of Sao Paulo and the State University of Campinas. However, Brazil might be better suited for exchange students seeking a cultural experience rather than a degree.

Even though not all of these countries offer tuition free college, majority of them still have costs that are way smaller than here in the United States. I personally think the opportunity to study in a different country would be a remarkable experience which is why I did this research to see the opportunities available. I also find it very interesting how the cost of tuition in these countries is so much different than here in the United States. If this is something that interests you I suggest researching it, because there is so many new things about college tuition you can learn.

Eating Healthy

A struggle that many of us have as young adults is eating healthy foods and not always the junky, fatty foods that seem appealing to most of us. I know personally this can be a struggle for me because something I like to do is snack on junky food. Snacking is not bad because it can help you from eating a large meal for example at dinner, but the problem is teenagers and young adults, like ourselves, tend to snack on items that are not good for our health.

All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but that does not mean humans are eating the right way for the best possible health. Here are some tips for maintaining a good diet and healthy body:

  • Eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); it is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
  • The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars; look at the labels because the first listed items on the labels comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
  • Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
  • Snacks are ok in moderation and should consist of items like fruit, whole grains, or nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
  • Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in the sodas and sugar drinks; diet drinks may not be a good choice as they make some people hungrier and increase food consumption.
  • Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain.
  • Avoid heavy meals in the summer months, especially during hot days.
  • A vegetarian lifestyle has been promoted for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss;
  • People with unusual work schedules (night shifts, college students, military) should try to adhere to a breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine with minimal snacking.
  • When preparing food avoid using grease and frying foods in grease

If you don’t follow all of these tips does not mean you have unhealthy eating habits, these tips are here for promoting a healthier diet especially for people who would like to lose weight and stay in shape. Being at college is a lot harder when it comes to always eating healthy. At home, we would have home cooked meals and less of an option to get pizza, fries, and ice cream for a meal. However if you want to have a healthy diet and remain in good shape those items are something you have to learn  how to avoid. I’m not saying that you have to cut all fattening foods out of your diet, just limiting how often you eat them and the amount can make a real difference. This along with exercising a couple days a week is what will help you keep in shape and get your body ready for the approaching summer.

Issue Brief Draft- Mandating the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Mandating the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection that most sexually active men and women will get at some point in their lifetime. In recent years there has been two vaccines produced to prevent this disease, Gardasil and Cervarix. As of right now, in our country, there is no nationwide laws mandating children to receive this vaccine but that needs to change. The HPV vaccine should be required for boys and girls ages 11 and 12. This is an appropriate age for the vaccine because teenagers need to be treated for the disease before they have a chance of exposure to it. Along with the help of different hospital networks such as UPMC and Allegheny Health Network located in southwestern Pennsylvania the hope is that the spread for this want to mandate will occur and eventually become aware and significant to higher up officials both in Pennsylvania and nationally.
Human Papillomavirus
The human papillomavirus is transmitted through intimate skin to skin contact between individuals but can also enter the body through cuts, abrasions, or small tears of the skin. According to the Center for Disease and Control Prevention, there are 6 million new cases of genital HPV infections in the United States each year. This accounts for 74 percent of 15 to 24 year olds. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV and it is so common that 80 percent of people who has had sex before will get it at some point throughout their life. HPV can be spread by vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. HPV can even be passed when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. Getting HPV does not mean that a person is engaging in high levels of promiscuity. A person can receive HPV even if they had only one sexual partner in their lifetime.
The symptoms of HPV can start to appear weeks or even years after an individual has had sex with an infected person. In most cases, your body’s immune system will detect and defeat the HPV infection without producing any symptoms. For people who are infected, there are over 100 different strands of HPV that can affect the genital area. The strand number and level of risk determines the symptoms that could be produced from the infection. Low risks types such as strands 6 and 11 produce about 90 percent of genital warts on individuals. High risk types of HPV can develop cancer such as cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penial, anal, head or neck, and oropharyngeal cancer. HPV high risk type strands 16 and 18 are what are responsible for 75 percent of cervical cancer in women. In women, the HPV virus most commonly cause cervical cancer and in men, throat cancer.
Out of all the effects of the Human papillomavirus one of the most common is cervical cancer in women. Cervical cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the cervix which is the organ that connects the vagina and uterus. There are five different stages of cervical cancer starting with Stage 0 called carcinoma in situ. This stage is where abnormal cells are found in the innermost lining of the cervix. These cells can become cancerous and spread to nearby tissue. Stage 1 is cancer only in the cervix. Stage 2 is when the cancer spreads beyond the cervix but not to the pelvic wall or lower third of the vagina. Stage 3 is the spread to the lower third of the vagina and the pelvic wall. This is when kidney problems may start to occur. Stage 4, the final stage, is the spread of the cancer to the bladder, rectum, and other parts of the body such as the liver, lungs, bones, or distant lymph nodes. The five year survival rate is the percent of women who survived at least five years after their diagnosis of cervical cancer. This percent varies by stage: Stage 0 is 93 percent, Stage 1 is 80-93 percent, Stage 2 is 58-63 percent, Stage 3 is 32-35 percent, and Stage 4 is 15-16 percent. According to the American Cancer Society in 2015 an estimated 12,400 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be reported in women and 4,100 women will die.
HPV Vaccines
To help prevent from getting HPV there are some precautions you can take. First you can use condoms every time you have sex. This does not prevent the virus completely but it can help lower the risk of you getting it. For women, you can also get yearly pelvic exams and pap tests done by your gynecologist. The final precaution and most effective is to get vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.
For the prevention of HPV two different vaccines were produced, Gardasil and Cervarix. Produced by GlaxoSmithKline, Cervarix is an inactivated bivalent vaccine (HPV2) that protects females against HPV types 16 and 18. These are the types that most commonly cause cervical cancer. Gardasil, produced by Merck & Co, is an inactivated quadrivalent vaccine (HPV4) that protects males and females against HPV types 16, 18, 6, and 11. The recommended age for males and females to get the vaccine is between 11 and 12 years old because this is an age before they are actually exposed to the infection. However you can get the vaccine as early as age nine and as late as twenty-six years old. The vaccine comes in three dosages at 0, 1-2, and 6 months. Both vaccines are highly effective in preventing the infection types they target. Gardasil and Cervarix can prevent HPV types 16 and 18 up to eight years and can prevent nearly 100 percent of precancerous cells caused by types 16 and 18. Researchers have found that since the introduction of the HPV vaccine, infection rates have dropped nearly 50 percent.
Neither vaccine has been proven to have serious side effects but their side effects can range from mild to moderate. Cervarix can have side effects such as pain/swelling at the injection site of the shot, fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and muscle or joint pain. Gardasil has side effects such as pain/swelling at the injection site of the shot, headache, and mild/moderate fever. Both vaccines also can cause fainting after injection that is why it is required to sit for fifteen minutes after the shot is given to you.
HPV Vaccine Statistics
About one-third (37.6%) of adolescent girls between the ages of 13 to 17 received all three vaccines in 2013. This percentage was only slightly higher than the percentages in 2012. Hispanics, Asians, and girls whose families live below the poverty line were more likely to receive all three doses compared to whites, African Americans, and girls whose families are above the poverty time
In between 2012-2013 there was a significant increase of HPV vaccination rates in four states: Illinois, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Mississippi. There are presently twenty-one states and D.C. that have laws that either require HPV vaccination for school entry, provide funding to cover the costs of the vaccines, or support public education about HPV and the vaccine. D.C. and Virginia require for the vaccination of girls entering into 6th grade, but parents have the option to opt out of the requirement due to medical, religious, or moral opposition. Over the years different states have also proposed different act and laws to either require the vaccination, educate it to the public, and fund the vaccine. For example in 2009-2010 Pennsylvania proposed an act that would require health insurance policies to provide coverage for the vaccination of the human papillomavirus.
Arguments for HPV Vaccination
• Importance of the HPV vaccine is one argument for it. As explained throughout this proposal, the vaccine prevents against the human papillomavirus strands that can cause cervical cancer for women and genital warts for both men and women. It also gives future protection to those who have not engaged in sexual activity yet in their life.
• Mandating the immunization for children of school age has been associated with a significant decrease in morbidity and mortality. The argument for adding the HPV vaccine to an immunization schedule for school children notes that such mandatory school vaccinations are optimal for rapid and widespread disease protection that is distributed among children regardless of race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status. Also many different professional groups have found that this is the most appropriate time to give the HPV vaccine and other vaccines such as meningitis.
• The vaccine has proven to be cost effective by protecting you from the economic burden of the infection.
• The Center for Disease Protection and Control reports that it is unlikely that sexual activity will increase among teens because of the vaccine. Fear of STI infection is not a primary reason for adolescents not to engage in sexual activity. National data from a study done on adolescent sexual behaviors (grades 9-12) shows that sexual activity decreased in a decade prior to 2002, as well as the decrease in the number of girls sexually active, and a decrease in their number of partners.
• The HPV vaccine issue motivates parents to be proactive in health decisions for their child. They must decide what will be better for their child in the long run because more than likely a parent will not know when there child will become sexually active in the future. By vaccinating them earlier, they are protecting their child’s future and taking the precautionary measures.
Opposing Arguments to the Vaccination
• Adolescents may not fully comprehend the purpose of the vaccine and may think it is a “protection” against other sexually transmitted diseases. This will promote premarital sex and give children tacit permission to engage in risky sexual behaviors.
• The target audience for this vaccination is one that should be taught consistent messages about abstinence being only 100 percent effective method for preventing STIs and unintended pregnancies. This vaccination could pressure children to engage in premarital sex. Some politicians worry that the HPV vaccine will convey misguided and erroneous messages when we should be sending a clear one. Previous representative of Virginia Jo Ann Davis stated: “We need to yell it to the top of the rooftops that these condoms we’re sending down to you don’t protect you …. [You] have a false sense of security. So I think we’re sending the wrong message when we use taxpayer dollars to give condoms out to these kids and we don’t tell them, ‘By the way, you’ll probably be dead at age 24 by cervical cancer. But we’re giving you condoms, so go do your thing.’ To me, abstinence is the only way.”
• Mandating this vaccine infringes on the decision making powers of parents and also may violate some families’ religious beliefs. This is oppositional to parental rights and religious choices regarding what is acceptable medical and sexual behavior for their own child.
• Circumstances of vaccine would contribute to existing health disparities rather than enhance overcoming them because there are still many unanswered questions regarding the vaccine such as all possible side effects of it.
Even though many individuals have opposing arguments about the HPV vaccine, one thing everyone can agree on is the seriousness of the human papillomavirus. The vaccine was made to protect both men and women from the serious effects of the illness such as cervical and throat cancer but also the easily treatable effects such as genital warts. The vaccine should be mandated for children ages 11-12 across the country as a source of protection to these individuals. Many believe that this will promote sexual activity in teenagers and take away the right of parents to make choices for their child but that is not what this vaccine is trying to do. It is trying to protect the people in our country from a virus that has been heavily spread throughout the years. Mandating this vaccine will help towards the cause of preventing this nationwide virus and towards protecting the people of our nation from a disease such as this one.

College Funding Advisors


This week while coming up with a topic for my civics blog I was having some issues. So far while doing my blogs I have covered the basics of college funding news with Obama’s tuition plan and the different funding plans used by different states across the country. So as I was doing some research I came across college funding advisors. This topic may not be recent news concerning college funding but I felt like it is something that is interesting for all of us to know a little more about as college students. Also it relates completely to college funding.

When it comes to saving and paying for college, a National Association of College Funding Advisors advisor can help make a college student’s dream education an affordable reality. Knowing that every student comes from different families that are unique and comes from different pathways of life, a National Association of College Funding Advisors advisor has the expertise to help students develop the ideal plan for their family’s specific financial situation.Most financial advisors and CPA’s have not been thoroughly trained in the coveted niche of college financial planning. Therefore, they’re extremely limited in the assistance they can provide. This is why when you are faced with the costly burden of saving and paying for a six-figure college education, a NACFA advisor can deliver the highest degree of knowledge and expertise.

By being realistic and working within your existing financial resources, a NACFA Advisor can help you design a plan that can make college more easily affordable. These advisors understand that college is not the only cost individuals are responsible for and they take that into consideration. By using specially-designed cash flow and college funding strategies, a NACFA advisor can help you reduce your net out-of-pocket college costs and provide a working plan so that you have the resources available to pay whatever the schools don’t give you in the form of financial aid.

Before researching this today I did not even know this was an available thing to me. After reading into this some, I feel that getting on of these advisors could be very beneficial. For my family the whole college funding and FASFA parts were all new since I am the oldest child in my family. My parents did research to make sure we were going about this the most appropriate and effective way. If I had an advisor like this available to me the whole process would have been much simpler. These advisors are trained to help students make the financial aid process as simple as possible for them and there family.

In this post I did go into great detail about college funding advisors, but if this is something that anyone is interested in I would suggest looking into it. This could be something that is both beneficial to you and your family.


Zumba/Power Remix

Recently I have been attending a fitness class with my friends called Power Remix. Power Remix is a dance class just like the popular class Zumba. Even though I have never went to a Zumba class, I have done Zumba on my Wii at home many times. I have always wanted to attend a class so I figured I would research it more and talk about it in this blog.

Zumba is a fitness class that is not like your typical workout. Instead of just basic workouts it is one giant dance party.One of the largest draws of Zumba and what makes it such a huge success is how fun and exciting it is to do. When you’re participating in a Zumba group class, it doesn’t really feel like you’re exercising. Instead, it feels more like you’re movin’ and groovin’ at a dance party or club. Zumba, along with other dance-style workouts, was ranked 9th in the top 20 fitness trends for 2012, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

You can participate in a Zumba dance workout in a variety of ways, including doing Zumba at home with a workout video or interactive Zumba video game. This is the type of Zumba I have It may not seem effective, but as long as you push yourself the same you will see results. You can also take one of the broad range of Zumba classes offered. Zumba Fitness is a high-energy dance party. Aqua Zumba incorporates toning and cardio-conditioning in a low-impact water dance class. Zumba toning uses toning sticks or small free weights to tone your abs, thighs and arms. Kids can even get in on the Zumba action, with a Zumba Kids class, filled with age-appropriate music and dancing. These various types of specific Zumba classes are not offered here at Penn State, but it’s nice to know the different classes you can try sometime throughout your life.

Even though Zumba is lively and exciting, it can still give you a beneficial and effective workout. It’s a whole-body aerobic exercise that uses up a lot of energy and burns calories through dancing. Zumba can improve your flexibility, since there’s so much movement involved, and it can help to strengthen your core. Since you’ll burn an average of 369 calories in one class, it’s also an ideal way of aiding in weight loss or maintenance.

Both Zumba and Power Remix are offered here on campus at the White Building and IM Building. To see when these classes are offered you can go to Penn State’s fitness website and check fitness class schedules. I can not say much for Zumba because I have never taken the class, but I will say that Power Remix is quit the workout. Not to mention that the class is a lot of fun especially when you go with a bunch of friends. Also every instructor teaches the class differently so you never have to worry about the class being the same dances. So if you ever get the chance try a class like Zumba or Power Remix because I bet you will enjoy it.

Indoor Cycling

There is many different classes you can participate in at one of the fitness centers on campus. There are over 20 different classes ranging from Zumba, different types of yoga, and full body workout. One class that I participated in multiple times since the begin of the year was indoor cycling and I have found it to be a great workout.

Indoor cycling is a group exercise done on stationary bikes where the instructor simulates a bike ride. This class is perfect for all fitness levels a like and allows you to get the workout that you came to get. During cycling, you get to cycle to music that will push you through the hard hills and motivate you to go just a little bit faster. Each fitness center on campus has a different schedule for when they offer indoor cycling. If you attend one of these classes at a fitness center on campus make sure you bring a towel otherwise you will not be allowed to participate in the class.

There is both mental and physical benefits to indoor cycling. Some of the physical benefits of this class are weight loss, stronger heart and lungs, better sleeping patterns, and increased energy levels. Some of the mental benefits of cycling are relief from stress and anxiety, increased confidence about appearance, and improved ability to visualize and focus on a goal. All of these aspects can help you to achieve your fitness goals and also help you focus on all of your school work.

To get the maximum benefits out of indoor cycling, you need to make sure you are working in the right “zone”. This is determined by how hard your body is working during your workout and can be measured in two ways. The first way is by your heart rate. To find the correct zone, take the number 220 and subtract your age then multiply this by 70 percent. The number you will get will be your targeted zone. Next to find your heart rate simply find your pulse and count for 6 seconds then add a zero. The second method you can do is the talk test. This method is a lot simpler than the heart rate method. During your workout, say a full sentence. If you can’t finish the sentence, you are working to hard but if the sentence is easy to say you are not working hard enough. This means you should pick up the pace on your workout.

From personal experience, I can say that indoor cycling is not an easy class at first. The first time I took the class I even had trouble keeping up with the instructor. After the first couple of times taking the class, your body starts to adapt to the workout but the first few times you attend the class can be rough. However, if you push yourself to the fullest during the class you will feel nice and refreshed after it is all over. Oh and don’t forget sore. Your legs will definitely feel extremely sore the next day.

Deliberation on Dealing with Heroin in PA

Last Friday I attended a deliberation that talked about the growing heroin we have in Pennsylvania today. With heroin easy to find and cheap to buy, over 3,000 people have died in Pennsylvania alone from overdosing in the past few years. This number is just continuing to increase steadily. Before I went to this deliberation, I knew very little about the heroin problem in Pennsylvania. I personally do not know anyone with a heroin addiction so all of this information was new to me. By talking about this deliberation, I hope I can share with you the information that I learned.

The group that presented this deliberation had three approaches to fixing this problem: cracking down on heroin, an economic approach,and an education and rehabilitation approach. The approach on cracking down on heroin brought up some very good ideas such as solidifying a prescription monitoring system by which doctors can know how many painkiller prescriptions a patient has received from other doctors. Another idea that was mentioned was stricter drug laws that would lock up these offenders and prevent them from abusing these drugs.

Approach two was based more on an economic approach to this issue. One of the ideas for this approach that I found very interesting was drug take back programs. Drug Take Back programs provide individuals with a secure and convenient way to properly dispose of unneeded, unused, or expired medications. This program will decrease the number of painkillers available for drug use and this is very important because many users or addicts of heroin start with pain killer medications. Pennsylvania has started its own drug take back program about a year ago using “Medboxes” for people to properly dispose of their old medications. As effective as this program could be, it also could increase drug use because the areas where the pain killers are disposed of could potentially be new targets for criminals. Another idea presented by this approach was to use drug courts. Drug courts are used specifically for people with drug related crimes to more effectively treat them and not necessarily just punish them. This could be ineffective though because drug users might feel more comfortable using knowing that if they get in trouble with the law the risk of jail is less likely.

Approach three focuses on education programs about heroin, proper rehabilitation, and treatment. Increasing the funding of treatment programs would be one idea for this approach. Increasing this funding would hopefully decrease the number of addicts who spend time in jail. Another idea was to urge the FDA to approve the use of Naltrexone. Natrexone is an implant used for treating drug addiction. It is a pure narcotic antagonist that attaches to the endorphin or opiate receptors in the brain and completely blocks them. This means that if someone tries to use any kind of opiate while they are on Naltrexone, they feel  no effect because all of the receptors are completely blocked.

Throughout the deliberation, I heard many different opinions about the approaches and the issue itself. However, the majority agreed that approach three would be the best option. I agree with this because I feel that addicts need to be treated for addiction not punished. If they are punished, they will never recover and could just relapse after their punishment.

Is walking beneficial?


Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life which should not be hard as a student at Penn State.

There are many different benefits to taking a regular walk. One benefit is it helps you maintain a healthy weight. If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. However the more you walk and the quicker you pace yourself, the more calories you will burn. It can also prevent or manage various conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

Walking also can strengthen your bones, lift your mood, and improve your balance and coordination. Walking can lift your mood because it brings you a sense of peace. When walking you usually admire the scenery around you and just relax, this allows the brain to relax and enter a state of contemplation, which helps restore cognitive capacities.

Taking a normal walk is beneficial but if you turn your walk into a fitness stride the benefits are even greater. You can do this by thinking about your walking technique. The best way to walk is with your head up looking forward, stomach muscles tightened, back straight, and your arms swinging freely with a slight bend in your elbows. Also your neck, shoulders, and back should be relaxed and not stiffly upright.

Remember when going on a walk make sure you are wearing shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet. Proper footwear can help you from preventing injury. Also it is beneficial to stretch and do a warm up walk then after, do a cool down walk to relax your body.

As Penn State students we do a ton of walking each day all over campus so if you think about it you actually are exercising every day. I know that I do well over an hour of walking each day to and from classes and I have seen some definite benefits from it. When I got a concussion at the beginning of the year I was not cleared to workout for a couple months so the walking I did to class everyday was my form of exercise. To me its not as fulfilling as going to the gym, running on the treadmill, or using the elliptical, but it kept me some what active during that period of time. Also walking around campus takes my mind off of things. If I am stressed over a huge test or feeling over whelmed about all of my work, taking a walking, even if it is just to class, helps me relieve some stress and gets me to just relax.

So if some day you don’t have time to go to the gym, are feeling kind of overwhelmed, or just want to get more of a workout in, don’t take the bus to class. Enjoy a nice walk through campus and take in all the benefits it has to offer.

Winter Fitness

winter fitness

I know that winter is coming to an end, but I thought that talking about working out in the winter would be a great way to finish out the season and give us tips for next winter.

Throughout the winter months, staying motivated to exercise and maintain a once outdoor routine slowly comes to an end. However there are many different ways to stay positive and be creative now that the snow has fallen.

Most important of all is to approach your winter exercise routine with a positive mindset. After all, there are some excellent advantages to exercising in winter. Winter is an ideal time to lose weight as your metabolism naturally speeds up to help keep you warm. Keep moving through winter and you’ll be a step ahead when the warm weather arrives.Remember that after winter follows the spring and summer seasons where wearing a bikini and tighter clothing is an everyday occurrence. So use that as your motivation to work out. Constantly staying in shape and working up a sweat will take the pressure off of losing the winter weight most people usually gain by sitting around during the winter. Try to remember why you worked so hard in previous months to stay in shape and realize that a healthier, happier, and fitter you is something that takes around the year work.

If you are a person who loves to exercise outdoors, take the winter months to try something new and change up your workout routine. Try getting a gym membership or even personal training sessions at a gym. Also try changing the time of day in which you work out. If you usually work out in the evening, trying giving working out in the morning a try. However if you love running outside that much stick to it. Be prepared for the winter weather by layering up and make sure to just be careful.

Something else new you can try is a winter sport. There is many different sports to try from such as snowboarding, skiing, and ice skating. If you are someone who likes to participate in sports than this might be for you. Personally I know I have always wanted to try skiing or snowboarding. The only reason I have not is because I am accident prone and I am afraid of getting hurt.

Even though they may not be the most hard core of workouts fun activities such as sled riding and having a snowball fight can be forms of exercise. They get you moving instead of you sitting inside on your couch like a couch potato. Also  these activities are something  fun for you to do with your friends on a cold, winters day.

The winter months can put people in a slump especially when it comes to staying in shape and working out but it does not have to be that way. Remember no matter what time of year it is there is always some type of exercising you can do to stay in shape.

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