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  • aurecfit 10:08 PM on November 15, 2018 Permalink  

    Happy Fall AU! 

    As Finals Week is quickly approaching, here are some helpful tips to stay healthy, active, and prepared for finals week:

    Staying Healthy

    Finals Week is notoriously one of the most stressful weeks for college students; however continuous stress over an extended Stress-and-Immune-Systemperiod of time can have detrimental effects on your body, and specifically your immune system. If experienced in moderation, stress can be beneficial to your health and help you cope with troubling situations. On the other hand, regular exposure to stress can take a toll on your body and overall health.

    Also, make sure you are getting around 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This will help you retain more information and assure that Turkeysleepyou’re ready and alert for your finals. Chronic sleep deprivation can also contribute to high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, as well as mood changes – so make sure you catch those zzzzzz’s!

     

     

     

    Staying Active

    Stop by Jacob’s and Cassell Fitness Centers and check out our Group Exercise classes! During Finals Week (December 8th-14th), Group Exercise classes are FREE!

    groupex

    Exercise can help relieve some of your Finals Week stress through activating your endorphins (making you feel happy!) as well as improving your focus and concentration.

     

    So come on by and dance off your stress in Zumba, punch out your frustration in Kickboxing, or relax in Yoga!

     

     

     

     

    Be Prepared

    Say this 10 times fast: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

    ChecklistWhile you’re gearing up for finals make sure to plan ahead for the inevitable! You can create your own study guide, organizing a group study session, and quiz yourself with flashcards.

    Also, be sure to prioritize your time efficiently. Take breaks when you need them, and stay well-rested and well-hydrated. You might also realize that some exams will be more difficult than others – so make sure to evaluate the style and rigor of your exams and prioritize your study time accordingly!

     

    -Julia Snegg, Wellness Ambassador

     

     
  • aurecfit 10:21 PM on March 29, 2018 Permalink  

    Going GREEN On Campus 

    5 Easy (& Cheap!) Ways to Go Green at American University

    American University is on track to become a carbon-neutral university by 2020. What is carbon neutrality you may ask? Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent offset. I am here to give you a few tips on how to live more sustainably as a college student, but also in your everyday life!

    Believe it or not, you can be kind to the planet and save money without much effort at all. Adopting a greener lifestyle is easy with five tips:

    1. Use Reusable Bags
    Bring reusable bags with you when going to the grocery store instead of opting for paper or plastic. You save money and reduce waste. If you forget your bags at home or have a spur-of-the-moment grocery shopping trip, make sure you save your bags to reuse them. Using them as trash or recycle bags in your dorm is a great way to reuse them without throwing them out directly.

    2. Buy Less or Borrow
    Only buy what you need. Some of the best advice I have gotten in life is, “Less is more”. If we are on the topic of cheesy inspirational quotes, I am also a big fan of, “If it doesn’t nourish your soul or mind, don’t keep it” and “Collect moments, not things”. We live in a consumer culture and it is very easy to fall into the habit of overbuying unnecessary products. As a college student, we are also often overwhelmed with FREE things all the time! Which are great, but it is important to remind yourself if you truly need the item, or if it will just end up on your bookshelf or desk drawer at home. If you only purchase what is necessary, you will not only be going green, but you will be saving money on much more valuable experiences as well!

    3. Walk or Bike More
    The AU shuttle is great in that it runs on biodiesel, helping the university reduce emissions and save money. Unfortunately, we all miss the shuttle at times and are stuck waiting for another to come 20 or 30 minutes later. Instead of waiting and wasting time, walk into Tenleytown or your destination. With a brisk pace, it can take you as fast as 10 minutes, or on average 15 minutes to get to the Tenleytown metro station. This is a great way to get moving, be outdoors, and arrive at your destination in the same amount of time.

    I highly recommend walking as much as you can in the city as well. I believe the best way to see and learn a city is by foot. You can cover a lot of ground that you have otherwise missed if you only traveled by metro or Uber. The majority of us sit for multiple hours a day, maybe only walking from class to class. It’s important to take time out of your busy day to get fresh air; this will help you be more productive and focused later on.

    4. B.Y.O _____
    If you are willing to bring your own drinks or snacks to a party, why not bring your own water bottle, shopping bag, travel mug, snacks, etc. around with you for the sake of the Earth? Fortunately, many college students travel with reusable water bottles. I personally am very attached to my water bottle, I love to give it some personality by adding my favorite stickers to show what I care about. It can also be a great conversation starter! Having your own water bottle can save you lots of money and saves plastic from being wasted and not recycled.

    Join the Mug Club at the Davenport Coffee Lounge! Purchase a reusable mug from the Dav for $100 and get UNLIMITED free refills of drip coffee for the entire semester, without waiting in line!

    5. Go to the Farmers Market!
    We are very fortunate to have our own farmers market on campus, every single week of the semester. Get your favorite fruit, bread, sweets, drinks, and more on the quad next to Bender Library every Wednesday from 11am-4pm. Buying local is a great way to support sustainable farms and businesses. By purchasing directly from the farmers, you are reducing your carbon footprint and nourishing your body with the best possible ingredients. Another great farmer’s market to visit is the DuPont Farmer’s Market which runs all year on Sunday’s from 8:30am-1:30pm. Hop on any of the N-busses and you will be there in no time!

    I hope you can take some of these few tips with you throughout your everyday lives here at American University and spread the message about being a more sustainable college student. Remember to be conscious of your environment and choose a more Earth-friendly path whenever possible!

    Green looks great on you,
    Nicole Turner, Wellness Ambassador

     

    Getting Greens into your Diet

    Dark leafy greens have been proven to contain a great deal of nutrients that support a health body and mind. The most common greens found are spinach, kale, broccoli, and arugula. The USDA recommends individuals consume about 2.5 to 3 cups of greens per day, which is easier to achieve than you may think!

    Vitamins and Minerals

    Dark leafy greens are known for their abundance of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, K, and E. These vitamins are essential for growth and maintaining tissues within the body. Dark leafy greens also contain B vitamins, including folate, which help maintain DNA duplication and prevent cancer! Dark leafy greens are a great nutrient dense choice, meaning you can receive a large amount of nutrients for relatively few calories.

    Best ways to include Greens in Meals

    Some of my favorite ways to include dark leafy greens into my diet are in soups and stir-frys! By simply adding a handful of spinach or kale to any canned soup you can make the meal heartier and more nutrient dense! Next time you think about making stir-fry, try using cauliflower rice, some coconut milk, a cup or two of spinach, and a little curry paste for the perfect simply curry stir-fry dish!

    Buying Greens

    When purchasing dark leafy greens, keep in mind lettuces will be a bit more mild and sweet tasting compared to some of the more bitter greens such as swiss chard. Fall is the best time to purchase dark leafy greens because they are in season, which means they may also be sold for cheaper! Buying pre-cut and cleaned dark leafy greens may be easier for prepping, but keep in mind the unprepared greens will likely save you some extra cash!

    Best of luck,

    Zoe Rosner, Wellness Ambassador

     

    Fitness Outside

    As spring is quickly approaching, we want to encourage you all to engage in activities outdoors while the weather is improving! There are so many fun (and free) places to visit all around Washington D.C.! Get off campus for a minute and see what the city has to offer!

    Explore Rock Creek Park

    1. Rent a bike or take a walk through this awesome 4.4-square-mile park!
    2. Explore the various hiking and biking trails and be sure to stop by the nature center!
    3. Grab some friends and explore the picnic areas and tennis courts!

    Walk or run along the C&O Canal Towpath in Georgetown

    Grab your hiking boots and join the bikers trekking their way down the C&O Canal Towpath!

    This path runs along the Potomac River from Georgetown and stretches all the way up to Cumberland, MD.

    Be prepared for some awesome sights along the way!

     

    Take a trip to Great Falls Park

    Great Falls Park is the perfect place to explore nature and is only a 30-minute drive from DC.

    The 800 acres of parkland consists of hiking trails, casca rapids and amazing waterfalls

    Grab your friends, rent a Zipcar, and explore this beautiful site!

    Explore the National Arboretum

    The National Arboretum is a 446-acre park with a plethora of flowers and bonsai trees! It is also home to the original Capitol Columns.

    The park also has designated areas for picnicking and relaxing.

    Enjoy your time outside!

    Julia Snegg, Wellness Ambassador

     
  • aurecfit 8:00 PM on February 22, 2018 Permalink  

    Healthy Living On Campus 

    You’re half of the way through the school year (almost halfway through this semester in fact!) and you may be wondering, “how can I make a healthy lifestyle work in this new environment?”.  The Wellness Ambassadors are here to help answer the questions of how to stay well through mindfulness on campus, healthy eating on campus, and working out in the living space you have!

    How to Incorporate Mindfulness into the Day

    With course work and exams starting to come up, mental health and well-being often gets put on the back burner. Incorporating mindful moments into the day is a great way to stay grounded and in tune with your emotions and thoughts. Here are a few simple mindfulness practices to do anywhere on campus.

    Breathing techniques

    One of the best ways to keep grounded is to focus on the breath. A simple breathing technique is the 4-7-8 exercise. In this exercise, you exhale completely, then breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. By counting the inhale, hold, and exhale, the body can calm the nervous system and you can better focus on how you feel in the moment! Also, this technique works great right before an in class presentation!

    Find a Spot on Campus to Decompress

    Campus can be a very busy place with students and faculty always in a hurry. It’s important to know of a spot or two on campus that is quiet and comfortable. Maybe you find peace in Battelle Atrium or on a comfy seat in Katzen. Wherever it may be, just know you can always go there when you need a mindful moment.

    Mindfulness Apps

    Technology is so prominent in daily life, so why not use it to help with mindfulness! A few apps available to smart phones and computers that help ground and relax users are The Mindfulness App, Headspace, Calm, and many more. If you find that you could use a guided meditation or even just need to use your phone more productively, go ahead and give these apps a shot!

    Best of luck,

    Zoe Rosner, Wellness Ambassador

     

    Fitness Anywhere

    With everyone leading incredibly busy lives in today’s day and age, it can be challenging to find time for fitness. You don’t have time to drive to and from the gym each day, along with getting in an hour-long workout. Does this mean you should give up on achieving a higher level of fitness? Certainly not.

    With a short, but intense workout that you can do anywhere, you can achieve the same results of an hour-long gym workout on your own terms. To achieve a holistic workout, you want to include both cardio and strength-building elements. Here is an example of a holistic workout that you can do anywhere, that only takes 30 minutes!

    Additionally, you can perform these tasks on a variety of surfaces or mediums. For example: chair squats or desk push-ups. Use whatever materials you have at your disposal to achieve your workout goals!

     

     

     

    Here are some other exercises that you can do practically anywhere!

    These sets of exercises are a great way to get a full body workout in no matter where you are! Living a healthy and fit lifestyle is based on time management and organization, so it’s up to you to prioritize your health, even when you’re on the go.

    Julia Snegg, Wellness Ambassador

     

    Eating Healthy on Campus

    For those of us who live on campus, finding ways to eat healthy can be difficult. However, there are many ways to eat healthy all around campus.

    The Tavern

    Pi and Fry serves large portions. A key to eating healthy is only eating as much as you need. Try to eat slowly to notice the feeling of fullness. Pi and Fry also has salads (Greek and Caesar) if you are looking for a healthier alternative to the chicken tenders and curly fries.

    Elevation Burger has chicken now! Elevation Burger has begun serving both grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches under the meal exchange program. This is a great way to get your lean protein in with a delicious meal.

    Global Fresh has the option to add sautéed vegetables to any meal. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your greens in.

    MGC

    Freshii is a great option for healthy eating on campus. Their meals are packed with vegetables and protein. However, opt for chicken or falafel as an alternative to steak or tofu if you can.

    Einstein’s Bagels egg sandwiches are a great way to add protein to your breakfast. Grab a honey oat or whole wheat bagel for more productive carbs.

    TDR

    TDR’s salad bar is a great way to get your vegetables in. They typically have three different types of lettuce. This is a great area for you to get creative with how you eat. They have so many different types of toppings, the possible combinations are endless. The grill station has lots of potential for lean protein, as they frequently have grilled chicken and veggie burgers. The menu on a day to day basis is more of a mixed bag, but there are always options. Try to get a full serving of vegetables and stay away from fried foods as much as possible.

    Eating healthy is always more difficult when you’re not in control of your own food options, but AU dining has a plethora of ways that you can eat healthy, even if they may not seem obvious. Utilize these tips and work your way towards a healthier lifestyle!

    Stacey Friedman, Wellness Ambassador

     
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