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Fitness Facts: May is Asthma and Allergies Awareness Month

May 18, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Connie Colbert GCU Director of Health Services Since 1984, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has declared May to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. It is a peak season for people with asthma and allergies and a perfect time to educate patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases. According to the AAFA, “More than 65 million Americans overall have asthma and allergies. Some people may have one or both conditions.” How common is asthma? Here are the statistics from the AAFA: About 25 million Americans have asthma (20 million adults and 5 million children). About 32 million Americans have food allergies (26 million adults and 6 million children). About 24 million Americans have rhinitis (hay fever) or nasal allergies (19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children). Asthma rates are highest in Black adults in the United States. Asthma is a leading chronic disease in children. Asthma is more common in male children than female children. Around 8.4% of male children have asthma compared to 5.5% of female children. Differences in asthma rates, ER visits and deaths are highly connected with structural racism, poverty, air quality, housing conditions and poor health care. What is […]

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Wellness: Food for the soul

May 18, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Dr. Anna Edgeston GCU Counseling Program Director May is Mental Health Wellness Month, a time to re-evaluate our own wellness and become more aware of the mental health status of our communities.   The World Health Organization recognizes that COVID-19 complicated an already existing global concern for the mental health well-being of individuals. Hence, it’s important that researchers and mental health experts continue to identify culturally sensitive ways to implement prevention and healing strategies to combat mental health symptoms that have been exacerbated by COVID-19.   As we continue through May and beyond, we can challenge ourselves to reflect on what our soul needs to live and thrive. In the same way we may prioritize attention to our physical, emotional, psychological and social wellness, it is important for us to care for our souls. Our souls are our deepest connection to God. Regular meditation, prayer, songs and nature walks are a few examples of ways we can fill our soul in a healthy manner. COVID-19 has been an exhausting journey full of uncertainties, trials and tribulations. Like any journey we take, it is important to stop, rest and replenish our body so that we have the strength and ability to […]

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Fitness Facts: Hydration best practices

May 11, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Emily Orvos Campus Registered Dietitian Summer is almost here, and you know what that means in Arizona – consistent days of 100-degree temperatures and doing whatever we can to stay cool. Most of us know the importance of staying hydrated during these intense desert summers, but what practical steps can we take to ensure we’re on top of our water intake? Daily recommended water intake A good starting place is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, though active individuals may need more. For a 150-pound individual, this equates to 75 ounces of water per day, or just shy of 2½ liters. To hydrate effectively, spread your water intake throughout the day. Chugging two bottles of water at the end of the day to “catch up” isn’t doing your body any favors since your kidneys will excrete most water taken in large doses. For active individuals, aiming for an additional 24-32 ounces of water per hour during higher intensity exercise (especially if you’re sweating a lot) can ensure you are maintaining important aspects of performance, such as focus, balance, concentration and agility. Dehydration not only impacts exercise performance but also general health. If you […]

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Self-care: Indulgence or preservation?

May 11, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Dr. Cheryl McAuliffe Director of Social Work/Sociology College of Humanities and Social Sciences In a time when our lives tend to be so busy, we seldom pause and ensure we are caring for ourselves. It’s more common that self-care gets pushed to the bottom of the “to do’’ list and becomes less of a priority in our everyday lives. We must stop and think: What does putting yourself last – or, in some cases, never – do to you? In 1988, Audre Lorde said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Lorde’s quote has become famous among the teachings of self-care. In many ways, society has led us to believe that taking care of ourselves is selfish, and this quote pushes back against this idea by affirming the opposite. I am certain you all have experienced a time when you scheduled something to do for yourself and it was questioned. Why is that? Why have we been conditioned to believe that getting enough sleep, eating properly, engaging in stress-relief activities or taking a moment to pause are signs of selfishness?  Lorde’s message gives us permission to recognize self-care as an opportunity to be […]

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Fitness Facts: Stroke awareness

May 04, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Connie Colbert GCU Director of Health Services May is Stroke Awareness Month. Did you know that … Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fifth-highest cause of death in the United States every year. A stroke can happen at any age, at any time. Every 40 seconds, a person in the United States has a stroke. 1 in 3 women has high blood pressure (which is the biggest stroke risk factor) and doesn’t know she has it. Not all women are equally affected by stroke; Black women are more likely to have a stroke than any other racial or ethnic group of women in the U.S. Up to 80% of all strokes are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You are at a greater risk for a stroke if: You eat a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol You do not get enough physical activity  You drink too much alcohol (more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men) You smoke You have high blood pressure You have diabetes You are obese You have high cholesterol What is a stroke? A stroke occurs when the […]

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GCU professor draws connection with people

May 02, 2022 / by / 1 Comment

Michael Feather felt lucky he could work from home during the pandemic. But the GCU online English instructor also felt the shadow of isolation. “I was really struggling – I don’t know if this was true for you,” said Feather. That’s when one of his friends asked him if he ever thought about returning to drawing. Eventually, he picked up some paints just to see what would happen. Now Feather, who originally moved to the Phoenix area to pursue his love of animation, draws and paints just about every day as part of a global community of artists called Urban Sketchers, who are dedicated to the practice of on-location drawing. Feather has churned out ink-and-watercolor street-corner restaurant scenes, the hustle and bustle of sidewalks, people as they gather for lunch, and even scenes of GCU Arena and the men’s basketball games.

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Social media posts: Online graduates celebrate

April 29, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

It was a long journey for many dedicated online students to make it to their final destination: graduation. Thousands of online students earned their degrees and walked the GCU Arena stage this week for Commencement, many with inspirational stories to tell: moms and dads who struggled to do their homework in between taking care of children and full-time jobs, those who lived through hurricanes and illnesses, and those who didn’t let a disability stand in the way of their academic goals. They celebrated with family and friends, and with us, through their social media posts, a few of which we’ve compiled here.

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Fitness Facts: Summer food handling tips

April 27, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Connie Colbert GCU Director of Health Services We often have cookouts and outdoor gatherings surrounding food during the summer. The warm weather can ripen food faster, exposing us to unwanted illness. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, when temperatures rise, bacteria flourishes. Contaminated and unsafe food, especially in summers, causes more infections and diseases, ranging from diarrhea and cramps to severe infections like jaundice and typhoid. More than 200 diseases are spread through contaminated food or water. Most people are unaware that the most dangerous bacteria that causes food poisoning does not affect food’s look, smell or taste. The food may look perfectly all right to eat yet could be contaminated, especially in the hot weather. Did you know? 1 in 6 Americans get food poisoning each year 128,000 hospitalizations are a result of foodborne illness yearly Here are a few tips to avoid food borne illnesses: Clean surfaces, utensils and hands with soap and water. If you are having a picnic, bring moist towelettes to use. Pack away unwanted food. Food that is left out in warm temperatures for more than an hour (especially if the temperature is greater than 90 degrees) are more prone to […]

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Wellness requires action

April 27, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Dr. Kathleen Downey Assistant Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences How do you take action with your wellness? Do you experience yoga, choose healthy eating patterns or actively plan on a rest schedule? These are things we all know we can choose to act on to impact our physical wellness. We recognize it doesn’t just happen. Instead, we need to be intentional about our choices. How do you choose to address your emotional, spiritual or community connection wellness? Being in the driver’s seat of wellness requires us to not just think about it. Rather, we must choose to act. More than 400 students chose to act on their wellness recently by participating in Wellness Week, developed and hosted by CHSS students and faculty. They incorporated a wide variety of activities featuring a different type of wellness each day. Tuesday’s wellness feature was physical wellness. More than 80 students enjoyed making choices about healthy snack options as they filled a free snack bag, spoke to a nutritionist and participated in a yoga class on the lawn near the Student Advising Services Building. Emotional wellness is often at the top of the list when we think of wellness in general […]

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