Health Highlight

Your Weekly Wellness Update

Safety Tip

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and working smoke alarms give you an early warning so you can get outside quickly. There are two kinds of alarms: ionization smoke alarms and photoelectric. Ionization alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires and photoelectric are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types inside the home.

Some things to keep in mind with your alarm:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every bedroom and/or sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement.
  • If possible, use interconnected smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Alarms should be placed on a high ceiling or high wall. Keep them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce the risk of false alarms.
  • People who are hard of hearing or deaf should use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms after 10 years.
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Fitness Focus

Endurance refers to your ability to exert yourself or remain active over time, being able to withstand fatigue, stress or pain. Throughout most of your day, your resistance is your body weight. By improving your muscular endurance you improve your muscles' capabilities to contend with daily activities as-well-as limit injuries sustained from physical exertion.

Follow these steps to increase your endurance:

1. Do more than you did last time, even if that means adding another rep, holding a pose for a few more seconds, or reducing your recovery time between sets. Vary your resistance and/or effort. Go heavier on some days and lighter on other days if you are training. And strength matters! Greater strength makes you feel lighter and allows you to control your body with much less effort.

2. Increase your heart rate. Exercises that encourage your heart to get pumping help increase your stamina. Short intervals when performing cardio or adding bursts of intensity like integrating burpees, jumping squats or push-ups can improve endurance. Less resistance, more repetitions and resting for 30 seconds or less between exercises is optimal for building stamina.

3. Stop drinking carbonated drinks, as they decrease your ability to get maximum breathing and make your stomach bloated.

4. Stretch! Your muscles are more likely to use their full potential when you stretch them as-well-as preventing cramps and pulled muscles.

5. Take light weeks. If you are training hard, it is a good idea to take a light week every 4-6 weeks. This will allow you to go hard for a couple weeks to make serious gains. Recovery periods also ensure you don't hit a plateau.

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Money Matters

Hobbies can be fun but they can also be expensive. Here are some very simple, very inexpensive rewarding hobbies brought to you by suggestions from our very own Student Services staff!

  • Reading! Staff recommendations include "The Power of One," "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," and "Reconstructing Amelia."

  • Writing: studies demonstrate that writing improves mood, stress levels and decreases depressive systems. Just 15-20 minutes of expressive writing three to five times over the course of 4 months is enough to make a difference.

  • Podcasts: Justin recommended this really insightful podcast from Dr. Olsen, The Tolkien Professor and his Mythguard academy series. The series discusses Tolkien's elaborate framing of the story and looks at the growth and development of the story from its first chapter through the seriousness and darkness of the story as it progresses. Keeping in mind the development of the Ring and Frodo's changing relationship with it. Some other staff suggestions include Freakonomics, The Moth, Serial, Star Talk, Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, Planet Money, The Gilmore Guys, TED Radio Hour, and We Have Concerns.

  • Best yet - give up a vice.
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DIY Spotlight

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Fear arises from the amygdala, the region in the brain that governs many intense emotional responses. As neurotransmitters carry the impulse to the sympathetic nervous system, the heart and breathing rates increase, muscles tense, and blood flow is diverted from the abdominal organs to the brain. However alarming it may feel, it is important for us to recognize fear. On its most basic level, fear is an anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience. Read that again - by some imagined event or experience. Fear stems from anticipating something that has not happened, misperception and/or something not real (for our purposes, we define real as something that exists independently of ideas/thoughts/and feelings concerning it).

Fear breaks down into 5 basic categories but often circumstances involve a complex mixture of one or more of these types of fears:

1. Extinction: fear of annihilation or ceasing to exist.

2. Mutilation: fear of losing any part of our bodily structure.

3. Loss of Autonomy: fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, smothered, etc. by circumstances

4. Separation: fear of abandonment, rejection, loss of connectedness

5. Ego-death: fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of self.

Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new or different involves a large amount of uncertainty. However, we often learn more about ourselves and our world when we challenge our assumptions or long-held truths. Moreover, fear hinders creativity. Creativity, or using your imagination, invites a lot of uncertainty by allowing you to rethink long-held ideas and/or assumptions. Furthermore, once we are able to name our fear, we can begin to reprogram our thoughts and by extension change our actions.

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