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Tips for a healthy summer vacation

June 01, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Connie Colbert GCU Director of Health Services As the world is opening back up and many are heading out for the first time in two years, staying healthy on vacation remains a high priority. Here a few tips to think about before making that trip! 1. Sleep You are more likely to get sick when you are run down, so do not cut back on sleep while you’re traveling. Being on the road is also more physically exhausting than being close to home, so be sure to listen to your body and rest when you need to. Also, for a more restful sleep, stop using your smartphone, tablet or laptop before sleeping. 2. Exercise Exercise is good for your body, whether you are at home or traveling. If you are not able to fit in time at a gym when you are away from home, find other ways to move your body, like walking everywhere you can and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Think about downloading an exercise app on your phone or laptop. Then you can pull up a short exercise while traveling, even if you don’t have access to a gym. There are some great ones that are free! […]

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Self-care is a walk in the park with Bentley

June 01, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Warren Terry Field Education Coordinator, Social Work Program College of Humanities and Social Sciences Every morning when I wake up, my mind is bombarded with thoughts of all the things I didn’t do the day before and the ever-growing list of the things that I must do that day. My phone is close by as a reminder of my responsibilities as well as updates on the status of our world, which can be overwhelming and sad. But occasionally when I wake up, there are two huge brown eyes, a wet black nose and a wide mouth with a ball or squeak toy in his teeth, breathing heavily near my face. That gleeful presence is Bentley, my 80-pound golden retriever, pleading with me to focus on what’s most important. His definition of what’s most important is to go to the park, smell for any new dog friends, lean his hefty body on new human friends and carry his leash around in his mouth as a sign of independence. What I am reminded of, by his untimely disruption of my sleep, is what is most important to me – my emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. At its core, the role of […]

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Fitness Facts: Are plant-based diets overhyped or worthwhile?

May 25, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Emily Orvos Campus Registered Dietitian Have you ever walked into the grocery store and noticed how many plant-based alternatives to animal products are available? You can replace meat, milk, cheese, yogurt and even eggs with a plant-based option. With so many alternative options, it’s natural to ask yourself, “Should I be eating plant-based?” This is something I get asked about a lot, and it’s important to consider your taste preferences, lifestyle and values when making this decision. What is a plant-based diet? It’s also important to note that there’s no official definition for a “plant-based diet,” though most registered dietitians agree that it simply means a diet consisting mostly of fruits, veggies, grains, plant-based proteins, beans and legumes. Eating these foods exclusively indicates a vegan diet. Incorporating more plant foods into your diet has countless health benefits since these foods contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support proper bodily functioning. Individuals who eat more plant foods have lower rates of many chronic diseases – hypertension, heart disease and cancer, to name a few. There are also gut health benefits because of increased fiber intake and an enhanced gut microbiome from the micronutrients of all the […]

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Wellness and the truth about dieting

May 25, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

By Dr. Carlton Huff College of Humanities and Social Sciences How can you improve individual and collective health and wellness? Clearly, many people are tussling with this task. It becomes a frequent question of where to begin, whom should I follow and so forth. However, the reality is that it has to start today and with you. Yeah, I said it. You. Wellness isn’t just a catch phase. In fact, it is much more. Wellness encapsulates a meaning that extends from the blood that runs through the veins in your smallest toe, on your left foot, to the tip of the final membrane that hangs from the edge of your brain like a cliff. Wellness lifestyle utilizes a vitalistic philosophy expressed through six aspects: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental and spiritual well-being. I know, seems like a compilation of a lot of big and boring words. But it means that you must acquire as much information to establish a holistic inventory of your own individual health-related needs. However, be advised that if any one of these dimensions is neglected over time, it will adversely affect your health, well-being and quality of life. In “Moral Basis for Vegetarianism,” Mahatma Gandhi was quoted […]

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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 / 1 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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