Benefits of local fruits and vegetables

tuesmarket1

Penn State is surrounded by farms which provide easy access to local fruits and vegetables.  At this time of year, the harvest is especially plentiful.  There are many reasons to buy local produce.

  • Consuming freshly picked fruits and veggies at their peak provides the best flavor AND nutrition.
  • Meeting the farmer has it’s perks. Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Farmers markets give you the opportunity to greet and shake the hand of the farmer that feeds you.
  • Buying local supports a healthy and vibrant local economy.
  • Trying something new is always fun. Have you ever tried rhubarb or yellow watermelon? Local famers often provide fruits and veggies that aren’t commonplace in the grocery store.

The State College Farmers Market is a short walk from campus.  It’s on Locust Lane (between College Avenue and Calder Way) on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30am-5:30pm.  There are additional farmers markets in the State College area.

To find out what’s in season, check out this seasonal produce guide.

PSU #1 for Active Lifestyles

Take one glance around campus and you’ll see that Penn State students look quite healthy. Recently, that ‘look’ has been confirmed; Penn State students have been recognized for their active lifestyle efforts.  According to the National Collegiate Fitness Index ranking (NCFI), Penn State comes in at number 1!

With the numerous resources at University Park, it may not be any surprise that we are ranked so high. There seems to be something active and fun for almost everyone, from ballroom dance to table tennis and so much more. Check out all there is to do at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/campusrec/

If you haven’t done so already, now might be a good time to make the commitment to be an Active Lion and become part of a Healthy PSU community.  Penn State’s Department of Kinesiology advocates for Exercise is Medicine each fall semester, encouraging students to make the pledge to move more and sit less #activelions (e.g. walk instead of taking the bus).  Show us how you are leading an active lifestyle on campus by using the #healthypsu.

Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival Races

It’s that time of year.  The sun is hot, the smell of kettle corn is in the air, and more than 100,000 visitors are in town for the local arts festivals.  In addition to the 300 artists lining the streets of Penn State and Downtown State College, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts includes a variety of musical performances, various food venders, and the 41st annual arts festival races.

The first arts festival race took place in in 1976 as a ten mile event.  Now named after local running legend and coach Sue Crowe, who died in 2006, the event includes a 5K, 10K, and 10 mile race. Races begin between 8:15am and 8:45am on Sunday, July 17th.  Registration costs $25 and can be completed online or in person on the day of the event.

Learn more about the Arts Festival at http://arts-festival.com/.

 

The Sue Crowe memorial Arts Festival Races are sponsored by Penn State Health; proceeds benefit youth running activities in Centre County and the continuing operations of the Nittany Valley Running Club.

Summer Workouts

A summer well spent

Keeping a consistent workout routine in the summer months isn’t always easy.  Between the vacations, BBQs and weekend get-a-ways, exercise can sometimes take a back seat. Don’t let your busy travel plans get in the way of your workouts.

Body weight exercises are one of the latest trends[i] and you only need yourself! No equipment and minimal time, means no excuses. No extra packing, other than your sneakers, allows for a worry free exercise routine. For examples of body weight exercises, visit the American Council on Exercise website.

[i] Thompson WR. Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2016.  ACSM’s Health Fitness Journal. 19(6):9-18. November/December 2015

 

 

 

Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking helps your stress level and can improve your health. People who engage in positive thinking tend to experience lower rates of depression and better psychological & physical well-being. Positive thinking may even increase your immune system’s ability to resist the common cold. Here are some strategies for thinking in a more positive way:

  • Check yourself. Take time throughout the day to evaluate what you’re thinking. If you notice that your thoughts are mainly negative, find a way to put a positive spin on them or think of something you are grateful for.
  • Be open to humor. Allow yourself to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Finding humor in tough situations can reduce stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Choose to spend time with friends or family who are positive and supportive. Negative people may increase your stress level and lead to self-doubt.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend or family member that you care about. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, respond with positive and encouraging affirmations.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950?pg=2

Adventure Recreation

Do you enjoy adventures in the great outdoors?  Maybe you’ve never been the outdoorsy type, but would like to give it a try.  Penn State’s Adventure Recreation makes outdoor adventure fun and convenient by including transportation, equipment, food, and lodging for their all-inclusive adventure trips.  Adventure Rec instructors provide guidance and teach participants how to use safety gear.   This summer, Adventure Recreation trips include climbing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.  Visit the website for descriptions.  Check the HPS blog for updates about trips during the 2016-2017 academic year.

adventure rec

Tips to prevent dehydration.

Water is one of the most critical components of the human body. Seventy-five percent of our muscle tissue is made up of water.  It regulates body temperature, protects vital organs, and aids the digestive system. Water also transports nutrients and helps remove waste from the body[1]. As you can imagine, being well hydrated is important and dehydration can lead to serious health problems.  The best way to approach dehydration is to prevent it.

Here are some tips to help you prevent dehydration.

  • Keep a refillable water bottle with you all the time. Fill it up before you leave home and familiarize yourself with the water refilling stations on campus.
  • Check the weather forecasts for high heat index days and schedule your outdoor activities in the cooler hours of the day.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases water loss and impairs the ability to recognize early signs of dehydration.[2]
  • Thirst is the first sign of dehydration. If you are thirsty, take the time to drink water without delay.

 

[1] http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/173/healthy-hydration/

[2] Source:  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-adults#0

 

Does ‘dieting’ make you fat?

We all know someone who is trying to figure out the best approach to lose weight or stay trim.  Is there really a best way or an ideal diet? We have all heard friends say that after years of trying diet after diet they actually gained weight. So what’s the deal? Do diets actually make us gain weight?

A neuroscientist, Sandra Aamodt, tackles the question Why Diets Make Us Fat in her new book (with the same title).  Aamodt discusses how the brain influences body weight.  She also writes about how the stress of dieting can contribute to weight gain.  In her analysis, Aamodt shifts the focus from dieting and weight loss to self-care. Like many individuals, she has first-hand experience with dieting. However, nowadays, you won’t find her dieting. Her focus is on mindful eating, creating a positive relationship with food, and nourishing her body.

Lyme Disease Prevention

Hiking is a great outdoor activity; however, it is important, especially during the warmer months, to protect yourself from tick bites.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is spread to humans through tick bites.  If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and nervous system.  Lyme disease is most common in the Northeast and North-central states.  In 2014, 96% of Lyme disease cases occurred in only 14 states, Pennsylvania being one of them.

Here’s what you can do to reduce the chances of getting a tick bite.

  • When possible, where a hat, long sleeves, long pants, and tuck your pants into your socks.
  • Walk in the center of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Use DEET repellent or another repellent recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors.
  • Use a mirror to conduct a full-body tick check.
  • Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat to kill off any remaining ticks.

When caught early, Lyme disease can be cured completely with antibiotics.  Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms of Lyme disease.  Symptoms often include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.  Learn more about how to remove a tick as well as other essential information about Lyme disease at www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html .

Enjoy your time in nature and stay safe!

 

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html