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 banbossy.com, 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 banbossy.com or leanin.org.

~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