Aaacchooo!! Spring allergies return.

Spring Allergies PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

Sneezes, runny noses and itchy eyes. Ah, the symptoms of spring allergies!

Spring allergies are mainly triggered by pollen release from trees, grasses and weeds. Your immune system mistakes pollen as a foreign antibody and attacks the allergens. This attack releases chemicals known as histamines into the blood. Histamines cause runny noses, itchy eyes, etc.

Allergic rhinitis (allergies) affects 10 to 30 percent of adults and almost 40 percent of children. With high percentage like this, there’s a good chance you suffer from allergies of some kind.

So, what can you do to alleviate your symptoms?  Dr. Andy Nish, and allergist in Georgia, recommends changing your environment before going on medication. Nish says to limit your outdoor activity to the times in which pollen levels are the lowest. Such levels can be found by checking local weather reports.

According to Joanna Broder, of, it can also be helpful to keep the windows of your home and car closed at all times. She also suggests running your air conditioning to filter the air.

If simply avoiding the outdoors and fresh air doesn’t work, over-the-counter, non-sedating medications with antihistamine can help rid you of your symptoms, Dr. Paul Enright, allergy specialist, says. Look for “antihistamine” on labels when looking for eye drops, and decongestants. If your nose continues to run, however, saline nose sprays may also provide relief.

While it can help to avoid the outdoors, spring allergies should not throw off your workout routine! Like mentioned before, you can always check pollen counts before heading outside, or you can work out from the indoor comfort of the Weight Room in the Williams Center or University Fitness in the basement of Wells resident hall.

However, asthma triggered by allergies is a whole other story. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in both the small and large airways, which are known as the branches that carry air into the lungs. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. For some sufferers, these symptoms become worsened when exposed to allergens. Asthma can be controlled through the use of inhalers and nebulizer treatments.

It’s hard to say whether it is “safe” or not to work out when asthma symptoms flair, but for the most part it’s best to just listen to your own body.

It’s safe to say that allergies stink, but there are things you can do to combat your symptoms! Most importantly, don’t let them interfere with your normal workout routine. If I missed any information you think is of key importance, please e-mail me at

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]


IRONMAN PhotoBy: Mary Marren

“People who think that an IRONMAN is unattainable – I tell them that it is possible. I can take anyone – a person that does not have an athletic bone in their body and make them into a triathlete if they’re willing to put in the time. I’m the perfect example. I am not a great athlete, just a hard worker.” – John Duke, IRONMAN Legend

Starting off in a small city of Hawaii in 1978, the IRONMAN has grown to become one of the most challenging and well-recognized triathlons there is. Founded by John Collin and his wife, the IRONMAN originally started as a challenge to decipher which athletes were the toughest; the swimmers, the bikers, or the runners.  Today, it has grown into an international event that is open to anyone willing to take part.

The IRONMAN consists of three parts. There is the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 mile bike ride, then the 26.2 mile run.  Seeing that written down on paper can be extremely intimidating, but the IRONMAN website not only has training tips to get you ready, as well as nutritional guidelines to keep you on track.  According the IRONMAN official website, 40% of the people who register for the IRONMAN are first time competitors. So if you’re someone who is hesitant to register because of fear of striking out, don’t be! You’re not alone out there.

Another excellent way to get prepared for the IRONMAN is to try an easier version of it. There is an IRONMAN called IRONMAN 70.3 that is the same events as the original IRONMAN but shorter. The swim is 1.2 miles, the bike ride is 56 miles, and the run is 13.1 miles.  This is still a challenging trek, but it may be the starter triathlon that you are looking for.

If both of those options still seem a bit overwhelming, you could also check out the indoor IRONMAN. Currently, there is an indoor IRONMAN being hosted right here at Whitewater in the William’s Center. All you have to do to register is fill out a short survey monkey.

Web logo

For the Warhawk Fitness Indoor IRONMAN, each person has from March 31st- April 30th to complete the 2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and the 26 mile run. The only catch is that the whole event must be completed indoors in the William Center or University Fitness Center, thus being the Indoor IRONMAN. Even though the challenge is limited to inside, the intrinsic and external rewards are reason enough to sign up!

Each individual who completes the Indoor Ironman will receive a FREE long sleeve shirt that has the IRONMAN logo printed on it. If you want to work on a team, you have that option, too! You can sign up for the Indoor IRONMAN as a team of 3 people, and will each receive a Warhawk Fitness water bottle. It’s not too late to sign up! In fact, a lot of our participants finish in well under 30 days.

Social Media tshirt design

Besides the awesome prizes, you get to have the satisfaction of completing an IRONMAN. If at any point while reading this you have thought that maybe it would be fun to give the IRONMAN a try, do it! There’s no harm in trying, but never trying may be selling you short. You can find more info about the official IRONMAN event here or the Warhawk Fitness Indoor Ironman here.

Stay healthy, Stay Strong,
-Mary Marren

Get out and smell the roses: The benefits of fresh air

Fresh Air PhotoBy: Eric Hess

Getting sick of sitting indoors and the terribly cold winter that we’ve had? Me too, but it’s finally getting warm enough to spend some quality time outdoors and reap the benefits of fresh air and the sun light. What are the benefits you ask? Well let me tell you a few!

Fresh air makes you smarter! Well not quite, but the oxygen in fresh air helps brain functions and helps you use more of your brain. Studies have proven that being outside for a certain period of time can help prevent ADHD, too.

Helps clean out your lungs. Inhaling fresh air helps clean out your lungs and allows for you to take deeper breaths. Which also allows for you to consume more oxygen into your body with your deeper breaths.

Better Sleep! Who doesn’t need better sleep? Giving yourself some time outside to relax, soak in the sunlight and breathe outside air can help your body make it through the day without being tired and also help you fall asleep faster at night.

Vitamin D. Fresh air will not give you this, but catching some sunlight rays will help get your daily dose of vitamin D. About 15-30 minutes of sunlight will usually do the trick. Vitamin D can help your bones form properly and can help reduce your risk for multiple bone diseases.

It is hard to find good quality fresh air. If you live in a city or even in a small town around a factory or a lot of cars, the quality of air can be less than if you were in a forest surrounded by oxygen rich trees and plants. In order to really benefit from fresh air, try and get out to a park or somewhere that is clean and full of trees and plants!

Yesterday you said tomorrow.
-Eric Hess

Healthy Living: It Starts with a Good Night of Sleep

Sleep PhotoBy: Kenzi Weidman

Sleepless nights can lead to unhealthy decisions. How many times have you gotten only a few hours of sleep, and then craved a salad or fresh veggies? I can honestly say NEVER.  People always say “you can sleep when you’re dead” but we can’t live by that. If you have trouble sleeping, or are looking for a better night of sleep, here are some tips and tricks.

Don’t just live with a sleep problem…do something about it. Let’s start with napping.

Napping can be a bad habit. A nap can either be helpful or harmful. If you got less than 6 hours of sleep during the night, you are more likely to feel sleepy during the day and want to take a nap. Timing of a nap is very important.  The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep says “unless your safety is in danger and you need the nap to stay awake for the next few hours you are usually better off toughing it out until you get to your regular bedtime.” If you try to stick it out and don’t nap during the day, your night of sleep to come will be deeper and more successful.

Exercise regularly. We know that exercise if good for our health, but it is also beneficial for your sleep as well.  Exercise reduces stress and anxiety allowing you to have a more comfortable night of sleep. Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep believes “that regular exercise and subsequent increase in physical fitness boosts the brain’s production of serotonin, a chemical that promotes sleep.” This has been tested and proven. So there is another GREAT reason to workout!

Maintain a healthy diet. The pros and cons of particular food changes all of the time. There are always new and amazing bars, drinks, and treats that they say “will help you lose weight”. The trouble with this is, how do we believe it? Here is a simple tip…just remember to eat clean! Typically, the fewer the ingredients, the better it is for you. If you can’t pronounce it, then it’s probably not good either. Eating healthy keeps your body on track and allows you to relax and get a better night of sleep. Too much sugar will keep you up at night. I am not saying to NEVER eat candy or anything, because we all need a treat once in a while, but try to avoid eating sweets close to bedtime.

None of this should be new to you. Be healthy, and be happy.  Sleep well, and go conquer the world! If you are looking for more tips on sleep, check out The Harvard Medical School Guide to A Good Night’s Sleep. A great read!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman

Spring break alternatives: Making the most of your week at home

Spring Break PhotoBy: Eric Hess

A good amount of our friends will be heading somewhere warm for spring break, and while you may be regretting passing up the opportunity to go on vacation, I have some pretty great ideas to help fill your time.  I’m not talking about working or doing homework…save that for the semester!! Here are some ideas you may not have thought of:

Workout. While everyone will be enjoying themselves on the beach in PCB, you will be working hard and looking great in the gym. Just because it’s spring break doesn’t mean that you should sit around and do nothing for a week. Start your days off right by getting a workout in and be productive for the rest of your day while you’re at it.

Volunteer. Here at UWW, many degrees require volunteer hours, and why not get it all done in one week, rather than piling yet another thing on your to-do list during the semester. Even if you don’t have to for your major, doing some good for your community is always greatly appreciated.

Visit Family. Most of us have that loving, but nagging, aunt, little sibling, or maybe even older sibling who you haven’t seen in weeks. Perhaps you should pay them a visit, and what better time than a week of nothing better to do. It will give you something to do, and they will love seeing your face!

Movie Night. Give yourself a break from the stressful semester you’ve been having, and just relax. If you don’t like movies, do something else that you do enjoy, like ice-skating for example. Get in touch with some friends from home that you haven’t seen in a while. Basically, what I’m saying here is do something you have been wanting or meaning to do, but just haven’t had the time or resources. Now is the time!! Have some fun; you deserve it!!

What else will you be doing over spring break if you are not going on vaca? We love hearing from our readers!

-Yesterday you said tomorrow.
Eric Hess

Ban “Bossy”

Ban BossyBy: Abbey Bowen

Hello, everyone! This week I’m taking a break from blogging about health and fitness to address an important topic brought to my attention recently.

Some of the most powerful women in the world, including Beyonce, Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Michelle Obama, have come together to spread a simple message, to ban the word “bossy.”

When I first heard of, it took me about five seconds to fall in love with it. The main premise of the campaign is to ban the usage of the word bossy to describe young girls who are assertive and demonstrate leadership. Bossy, as argued by the founders and partners of the website, carries a negative connotation that discourages girls from participating in school.

This concept was derived from, the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In.” The book was a response to the overwhelming feedback she received after giving a TED talk in 2010 titled “Why we have too few women leaders.”  In this talk, Sandberg argued the ways women are held back by society and held back by themselves. Sandberg’s ideas have been credited for rebooting a recent wave of the feminist movement, and she can also be thanked for raising awareness to the harm done by the word “bossy.”

Now, this campaign is so near and dear to my heart because I, too, was called bossy as a child. To be honest, it did feel like an insult whenever someone slapped that label on me.  I loved school, liked to answer the teachers’ questions and had no problem telling the other students when they were wrong. Somehow, all of this led others to believe I was bossy. However, I have been fortunate enough to grow up with parents who praised my assertiveness and drive. I can’t recall a time when my Mom or Dad ever called me bossy.  Thanks to them, I have carried the empowerment bred in me from childhood into adulthood.

In the fall of 2014, I will enter my first semester as a law student at Marquette University. As I sit here now, I can promise you I wouldn’t have made the bold decision to become a lawyer if my parents had suppressed my desire to learn and lead.

I am also passionate about this campaign because I have two little nieces, one is 11 and the other is only one. They are both strong-willed and intelligent. I took the pledge to #banbossy because I don’t want anyone to ever make them feel like those characteristics are a bad thing.

Please join me and take the pledge to #banbossy so we can continue to raise young girls up to be strong, determined and confident. Think about it, if a young girl is raised to feel strong, powerful and confident, she will strive to be the best she can be for the rest of her life. She will strive to be mentally, emotionally and physically happy and healthy. More information on the Ban Bossy campaign, can be found on or

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

Sun, Sand, & Safety – A guide for Spring Break Survival

Spring Break Safety PhotoBy: Kenzi Weidman

Who is excited for some sunshine, beaches, good beverages, and good company? I sure am. Spending a week with new people, new surroundings, and new experiences is exactly what Spring Break is about! But don’t forget one thing…. SAFETY! Here are some things to remember in order to survive Spring Break and come home in one piece!

On the road - Make sure you buckle up! Wearing a seat belt can be uncomfortable if you’re in a car for a very long drive, but it’s better than what would happen to you if you get in an accident. Make sure you are also switching off drivers every couple of hours. The front seat passenger should also stay awake to keep the driver company and to also help with directions.

Booking your hotel room – Try choosing a room that is above the 1st floor but below the 6th. According to the article Fight Back on Spring Break, First floor rooms are easier to break into, and rooms above the sixth floor are sometimes too high for fire ladders to reach. Take advantage of the safes the rooms might include. You never know what the cleaning person might take, or if someone does break in, your stuff is locked up.

Laying on the beach – Pack your sunscreen and use it! Many people like to tan before they head somewhere warm so they do not have to wear sunscreen. This is a no-no! Any tan or darkened skin pigmentation due to light–fake or real–is a sign of damaged skin. Don’t use “vacation” as an excuse to tan beforehand. You can avoid sunburn on vacation by applying the necessary amount of sunblock regularly.

When drinking – Do yourself and everyone around you a favor, and at least “try” to be responsible. Pace yourself and avoid hard liquor all day. Also, make sure you are drinking LOTS and LOTS of water.

Going out – Remember to party smart. If you go out with your friends, then go home with your friends. Take the phrase “no man–or woman–gets left behind” seriously. This means your friends shouldn’t leave you no matter what the situation is, and vice versa. Also, keep your drink in your hand and don’t accept open drinks from strangers. Moral of the story–don’t become a statistic.

So many bad things can happen if you “switch off” the good ole noggin as soon as spring break starts. Here are some statistics that will hopefully scare some sense int you:

  1. At least 1 college student dies every Spring Break from falling off of a balcony. 11 Great and Terrifying Facts About Spring Break
  2. In 2013, authorities confiscated over 20,000 fake ID’s and arrested over 2,000 people ages 15-21 in Panama City Beach and Daytona, FL.  Teens and Spring Break: A Dangerous Mix!
  3. If caught drinking underage, you can charged with a misdemeanor which means you MUST appear in court. Teens and Spring Break: A Dangerous Mix!

The moral of the story here is to have fun, but be safe! If you use your head and make some good decisions, your trip will be not only successful, but also an absolute blast!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman

The Chew on Eating Disorders

I am enoughBy: Abbey Bowen

Eating disorders…two words we hear in passing on a constant basis. “He’s anorexic,” or “So and so used to have bulimia when she was in college.”

Even though we constantly hear about our colleagues and friends who may suffer from eating disorders, do we actually process the profound affect such behavior has on an individual and our society as a whole?

With the slogan, “I Had No Idea,” is raising awareness for eating disorders from Feb. 23 to March 1. UW-Whitewater’s campus has been and will continue to participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week with full force. University Health & Counseling Services has set up several events including the “I AM Enough” selfie campgain, workshops on Art & Media and Media & Body Image and a presentation by UHCS’ own Gwen Hering.

I AM Enough” Selfie Campaign
UHCS challenged students and staff members to take selfies holding a message that reads why and how they are “enough”. These images were then uploaded directly to the UHCS Facebook page. Examples of messages include “I am strong enough,” “I am pretty enough,” etc. Booths were also set up in the University Center on Feb. 17 and 18 for students to drop by and have their pictures taken. All selfies will be displayed on the “I AM Enough” wall throughout NEDAW.

Media & Body Image
This workshop aims to “train the trainer” of young girls. It will take place at noon on Feb. 25 on the Fern Young Terrace. Artist, activist and co-founder of Project Girl, Kelly Parks Snider will lead participants through a cultural landscape that investigates how advertisements and media affect young girls today. The goal of the workshop is to learn how to proactively engage young girls in conversation and teach them how to employ media literacy skills.

Then & Now: I Had No Idea
Gwen Hering, a counselor for UHCS, will speak about her own journey of recovery from an eating disorder at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 in Hyland Hall 2101. The presentation will be followed by a “Q & A” with a panel of experts from UHCS.

Art & Media: A Hands-on Workshop
At 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 on the Fern Young Terrace, UHCS will sponsor a workshop that targets students interested in creating “a symbolic piece of art” while learning about the impact media has on peoples’ self esteem. The workshop will also be led by Snider. Students who participate will create a piece of artwork using images from popular magazines.

Visit this link for more information about NEDAW and the events UHCS is holding. Heading into this week of awareness, please remember the struggles people go through every day and keep reminding yourself that you ARE ENOUGH!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

Juicing vs. Blending

Juicing vs Blending PhotoBy: Mary Marren

Juicing and Blending have both become extremely popular in the past few years. People are always on the lookout for ways to eat healthy and quickly, so it is so surprise that these two methods are trending. The question on everyone’s mind is, which one is better? Some people insist on juicing their fruits and veggies, while others are passionate about blending. After looking further into the topic, you’ll be pleased to know that BOTH may be beneficial to your health!

Juicing is the fastest way to get nutrients into your body. When you juice fruits and vegetables it gives you a direct intake of nutrients that your body needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Also, by juicing you can drink a lot more fruits and veggies in one sitting verses with a smoothie. A component to look out for when juicing is to make sure you are mixing fruits with vegetables, otherwise your blood sugar levels could drastically spike.

Blending on the other hand releases the nutrients into your body at a much slower pace. The benefits of blending fruits and vegetables come from fiber. Since you are using the whole fruit the fiber does not get separated, but is broken down so that you body can easily digest it.  Blending will also keep you fuller longer because of the density of the drink verses juicing.

With both juicing and blending, you want to make sure that you drink right away. If you wait a while you will be losing a lot of nutrients because of light and air destroying them.

So whichever path you choose to take, I hope that this clears up some questions about the differences in juicing verses blending. Both sides have plenty of benefits, and by giving your body fruits and veggies it is already happy!

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong,
Mary Marren

Freezin’ for a Reason

Polar Plunge PhotoBy: Kenzi Weidman

This has been a cold, dark, long winter and considering the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, we have many more weeks to go. All I think about is swimming in a pool and being outside, and then I remember that I have to wait awhile yet for that. Then I heard about the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge. Swimming in 90° weather sounds a lot more appealing than jumping into a freezing cold pool when it is expected to be in the low 20’s, but I’ll take what I can get. A pool is a pool right? I can’t be picky.

Every year participants take the plunge into the ice-cold water, whether it is a pool, ocean, lake, or river, to show their support for the Special Olympics. When talking to some of the jumpers from last year, many replied with “Raising money for the Special Olympics in order to jump into a freezing cold pool is like a winter tradition.” It is so exciting to see everyone be supportive and brave.

The event is schedule for February 15, 2014, and the jumper’s take the dive throughout the morning and early afternoon. Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics has created a team of about 17 workers that are brave enough jump and most importantly caring enough to raise enough money for the Special Olympics. Each jumper needs to raise a minimum of $75, and with the help of EVERYONE (yes you reading this blog) we hope to reach our team goal and raise grand total of $1,300.00.

Wondering how you can help? Here are some options:

  • Stop by Room 100 of the Williams Center, and they will gladly take your donation.
  • Do you workout at the Weight Room, University Fitness, Group Fitness classes, or maybe take advantage of the Williams Center pool? All those locations you can donate your money to the supervisor and they will put it in the designated envelope.
  • Don’t like to carry cash? Are you from out of town? You can donate online! Choose one of the listed jumpers to donate to at the Warhawk Fitness and Aquatics Donation Site!
Pat Fogarty
Tyler Filipiak
Kenzi Weidman
Callie Carlin
Mary A Marren
Christine Panella
Eric Schuerman
Kate Marty
All proceeds benefit the Special Olympics directly and our team needs your help to reach our goal so we can all be Freezin’ for a Reason! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at I am so excited for this event; I would love to discuss anything you have questions about!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman