Naps: Beneficial or Detrimental? (Answer: It Depends)

By: Doa Jamal, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader

It is often joked that college students fall asleep and can take a nap anywhere. In warmer weather you’ll find students lounging on the grass or in  hammocks. Commuters rest in their cars. Have you ever just put your head down in the library and accidentally drifted asleep? And let’s not get started about those who fall asleep in class. Most of the time, these naps are well deserved. 

But what about when there’s an assignment due soon and we procrastinate by taking a nap? What about when we say we’re going to take a short nap but end up sleeping for two hours? Do you recall the feeling when you wake up from a nap and actually feel worse than when you fell asleep? You may feel groggy and disoriented. There’s actually a word for that. 

Sleep inertia refers to a transient state of confusion and a decrease in both cognitive and emotional functioning following the act of waking up from sleep. Individuals may experience delayed reaction times, impaired short-term memory, and a reduced pace in cognitive processes such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, and learning. Typically, sleep inertia only lasts for between 30 to 60 minutes, although its duration may extend for a longer period in instances of sleep deprivation, a condition commonly observed in numerous college students. Research shows that sleep inertia can even last for two hours. So, if you take a nap in the late evening or at night, you may remain groggy and choose to go back to sleep for the rest of the night instead of working on your assignment (I’m sure most of us are guilty of this). Remember when you said you’d go to sleep and wake up earlier in the morning to finish the work, but that didn’t happen because you couldn’t get up in the morning? Two words: Sleep inertia. Just do the assignment the day before and your future self will thank you. 

Additionally, as we all know, naps can interfere with sleep at night. Typically, it is the longer naps that interfere with the nighttime sleep quality. Napping after 3 p.m. is more likely to interfere with nighttime sleep. If you already experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, then napping can actually worsen these problems. 

So how do you take a proper nap? And I’ve mentioned the cons, but what are the benefits? A productive nap is a short nap. It is suggested to aim for 10 to 20 minutes. As mentioned before, it is better to take a nap in the early afternoon before 3:00 p.m. To achieve a high-quality sleep, it is essential to nap in a quiet, dimly lit environment with a moderate room temperature and minimal distractions. And be sure to give yourself time to wake up before doing activities that require a swift, cohesive or important response, such as completing a quiz. 

Benefits of napping (if done properly) include:

  • Relaxation and reducing stress
  • Diminished tiredness
  • Heightened vigilance
  • Enhanced mood
  • Improved overall performance, including faster reaction time and enhanced memory
  • Can be good for the heart (by reducing stress). A study revealed that individuals who took a nap lasting 45 to 60 minutes exhibited reduced blood pressure levels following exposure to mental stress
  • Taking short naps combined with moderate exercise can actually improve nighttime sleep

So next time you’re thinking about taking a nap, I hope you consider why you’re taking a nap, when you’re taking it, and how long you’re taking it for. Really ponder that nap and make an appropriate decision. Be sure to set an alarm to wake you on time. If you’re napping in a public place, especially in the library, make sure your alarm volume is low. 

Happy napping, Riverhawks!

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/napping/art-20048319 
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/work-hour-training-for-nurses/longhours/mod7/03.html#:~:text=Sleep%20inertia%20is%20a%20temporary,reasoning%2C%20remembering%2C%20and%20learning
  3. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-of-napping

Welcoming Winter Wellness

By: Doa Jamal, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader

As winter blankets UMass-Lowell in a layer of snow, it brings with it a unique set of challenges for our physical and mental well-being. The colder temperatures, shorter days, and reduced sunlight can often take a toll on our health. However, with a mindful approach to self-care, we can not only endure but thrive during the winter months. 

Here are some tips to ensure your well-being remains a priority during this cold season:

Nourish Your Body:

  • The winter season often invites cravings for comfort foods, but it’s essential to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Opt for warming, nutrient-rich meals that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, and broths to support your immune system and overall health.

Stay Active Indoors:

  • Colder weather can discourage outdoor activities, but staying active is crucial for both physical and mental health. Consider trying indoor exercises like yoga, pilates, or home workouts. Regular movement boosts circulation, increases energy levels, and helps combat seasonal depression.

Boost Your Immune System:

  • Cold and flu season often peaks during winter, so taking extra measures to support your immune system is crucial. Include immune-boosting foods in your diet, such as citrus fruits, garlic, ginger, and probiotics. Consider taking supplements like vitamin D, which is often deficient during the winter months due to reduced sunlight exposure.

Take Care of Your Skin:

  • Cold and dry air can be harsh on the skin, leading to dryness and irritation. Use a good moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, and don’t forget to protect your lips with a nourishing lip balm. Consider adding a humidifier to your living space to combat the dry indoor air.

Cultivate Coziness:

  • Winter is the perfect time to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your home. Surround yourself with warm blankets, soft lighting, and comforting scents. Engage in indoor activities that bring you joy, such as reading a good book, watching movies, playing board games or spending quality time with loved ones.

Sources: 

https://uwo.ca/se/thrive/blog/2022/wellness_wonderland_tips_for_selfcare_during_the_winter_.html

My Journey Beyond the Barbell

By: Medi Woldemichael, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader
When I first stepped into the weight room, I saw it as a place to get stronger. Little did I know weightlifting would become a realm where strength isn’t just about the muscles, but about resilience and self-discovery.
Here are a few things I’ve gained from this journey:
Self-Confidence
With every lift, every accomplishment in the gym, I’ve found a newfound confidence that extends far beyond the weight room. The belief that I can push through the most challenging moments in lifting has translated into a belief in my capabilities in various aspects of life.
Mental Resilience
The ability to overcome the hurdles in weightlifting has taught me how to navigate and overcome obstacles in other areas. It’s not just about the physical challenge; it’s about training the mind to persist through difficulties and come out stronger.
Goal-Oriented Mindset
Setting and achieving personal bests in lifting has instilled in me a mindset of goal-setting and achievement in all areas of life. It’s not just about the numbers on the weights; it’s about continuous improvement and striving for personal excellence.
Discipline and Consistency
The routine of showing up at the gym, pushing through workouts, and striving for progress has cultivated a discipline that spills over into daily life. Consistency in the gym has translated into consistency in pursuing other personal and professional goals.
Discovering My Potential
Through my journey of lifting weights, I’ve unearthed strengths I didn’t know I had. It’s not just about muscles; it’s about discovering my own resilience, confidence, and capability. The weights became a medium for self-discovery, unveiling the layers of my own potential. Lifting weights has become more than just a physical exercise. It’s an intertwining of mind and muscle, a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. It’s an ongoing narrative, a fusion of strength, discipline, and the unveiling of the self.

The Best Investment You Can Make: A Good Night of Sleep

By: Haiya Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

As  college students, we all know how sleep can often be neglected due to other responsibilities such as academics and social life. Regardless of all the other stress factors, it is crucial to prioritize your sleeping schedule to allow yourself to show up as a well-rested student for the following day.

In general, our cognitive functions are pivotal for our daily functional abilities such as memory retention, and information processing. Showing up with a fresh and well-rested mind allows one to enhance their problem-solving skills and improves attention span in general to stay engaged throughout the class and retain the academic knowledge. In  retrospect, the lack of sleep can further towards cognitive impairment and difficulty making vital decisions.  Sleep also allows for enhanced performance and productivity to be able to succeed in  career, education, and personal projects. 

The importance of sleep can be paralleled to improving health and longevity. Quality sleep allows for longer and higher quality of health throughout one’s lifespan. Your immune system is your body’s defense against  illness, and the quality of your sleep determines the strength of your immune system. Ensuring  good quality   sleep allows your immune system to produce cytokines to regulate your immune responses. On the alternative perspective, lack of sleep is associated with a compromised immune system leading to an increased rate of illness. Illness can further to have a direct effect on your academics and other goals. Lastly,  quality sleep also allows for better physical health, and growth overall. It allows for essential repairs such as tissue repair and growth, hormone balance, and works to prevents chronic illness such as cardiovascular disorders, when combined with a proper diet.

Hence, sleep is a crucial investment towards your short term as well as long term well-being. In the world of a busy college student, it can be difficult to factor out enough time to sleep, however, the significance that a good night of sleep can provide for your cognitive, and physical health can often trump the lack of sleep. To aid towards improving your sleeping schedule, you can start by setting a relaxing bedtime routine may it be reading a book, or listening to your favorite music, a few minutes of meditation, or having a relaxing bath or showe or  skin care routine. Whatever it is, it is crucialto take some time out for yourself at the end of your day to ground yourself and prepare your body for rest. To conclude, your sleep plays a powerful role in your daily lifestyle, so do not underestimate the benefits that a good night of sleep can contribute towards your overall well-being.

References

  1. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2021/04/good-sleep-good-health#:~:text=Good%20sleep%20improves%20your%20brain,stroke%20to%20obesity%20and%20dementia
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation/lack-of-sleep-and-cognitive-impairment#:~:text=Getting%20enough%20hours%20of%20high,%2C%20emotional%20processing%2C%20and%20judgment
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757#:~:text=During%20sleep%2C%20your%20immune%20system,production%20of%20these%20protective%20cytokines

Summary of Health Educational Intervention:

Ella Zhu

Office of Student Life and Well-Being

Summary of Health Educational Intervention <You Are Healthy, And Beautiful>

5.30.2023

Project Overview

           <You Can Be Healthy, And Beautiful> is designed to provide all undergraduate and graduate students in the University of Massachusetts Lowell with the behavior change, skills, knowledge, and resources they need to reduce obesity and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Massachusetts is a state that focuses on education and offers many high-quality jobs. In this state with a strong humanistic culture, people are busy with studying and work every day, which shortens the time for exercise and saves time for meals by eating unhealthy fast food. Some people focus on their studies and careers, but they are careless of their health. Obesity rates are rising in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts (County Health Ranking, 2022). This educational-based program will address risk factors and equip our students with healthy behaviors that will reduce their risk of obesity and prevent long-term health complications. 

Project Background

           Obesity is an epidemic that has put strains on American families, affecting overall health, health care costs, productivity, and military readiness. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women (Faruque, S et al, 2019). For adults, the healthy BMI range is from 18.5 to 24.9, regardless of age or gender, and anything over this means you are considered overweight for your height (Zierle, 2021). For adults, overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25, and obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30 (WHO, 2022). In the United States, the average adult man has a BMI of 26.6 and the average adult woman has a BMI of 26.5 (CDC, 2022). Over the five years to 2022, 71.6% of adults aged 20 and over are overweight, including obesity (IBISWorld, 2022). The United States ranks 12th in the world for obesity (World Population Review, 2022). It has become a serious problem in the country. Obesity is defined as a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. (Mayo Clinic, Obesity 2021). It is a serious health complication because it is associated with worse health conditions, poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. It is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States (CDC, Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences 2021).

               At a state level, Massachusetts has more than half of the adults being diagnosed with overweight or obesity. Obesity in Massachusetts is a concern. Both Blacks and Hispanics in the state are more likely than whites and Asian to be both overweight and obese. The obesity rate of Black people in Massachusetts is 34.7%, Hispanic is 32.6%, White is 24.0%. Whereas Asians are the least likely to be overweight or obese, which has a rate of 10.2% (America’s Health Ranking, 2021). The causes for obesity are a combination of individual factors such as genetics, eating habits, physical activity, income and environment, education, and food marketing (Mayo Clinic, Obesity 2021). Eating habits and Insufficient physical activities are the biggest causes of obesity for American college students (NICHD, 2022). Students gain weight when they eat more calories than they burn through activity. This imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain.

Problem Statement

           Emerging adulthood is a crucial phase for health, it is frequently paired with a shift towards unhealthy eating behaviors and physical inactivity, which in turn will lead to obesity or some negative health complications. Obesity is generally caused by eating unhealthy food and moving too little, also some social factors such as poverty (Fruh et al, 2017). Lasting unhealth-related behaviors are adopted and is a time when there is an increased risk for unhealthy weight gain, or it could contribute to the development of obesity and other life-threatening health conditions (Cawley et al 2021). College students are more vulnerable to adapting unhealthy behaviors due to the transition of an independent, self-reliant lifestyle (Frush et al, 2017). The phase of  young adulthood may be a critical developmental window for establishing weight gain prevention efforts, especially to increase the prevalence of obesity in the US. Obesity not only harms the body, it also increases anxiety and money consumption in young adults. Understanding healthy eating behavior and appropriate physical behavior during young adulthood will achieve a better life. Understanding of the modifiable factors which lead to obesity in this transitional life stage is important and essential  for the rest of lives. <You Can Be Healthy, and Beautiful > would be a  tailored intervention. 

Population Statement

         <You can be Healthy, and Beautiful> education program will focus on the population of all majors students in the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Lowell is a city alongside Cambridge, it is one of two traditional seats of Middlesex County. This year, the adult obesity rate in Middlesex County is 23%, and the physical inactivity rate is 22% (County Health Ranking, 2022). Compared to the 22% adult obesity rate and 19% physical inactivity rate in 2020, in the same geological area, it has an increase in both rates (County Health Ranking, 2020).  Another reason to focus on the Umass Lowell students is, poverty is a risk factor for obesity. The Income inequality in Middlesex County is 4.9% (County Health Ranking, 2022). Households in Lowell have a median annual income of $62,196, which is much less than the median annual income of $84,385 in the state of Massachusetts (United States Census Bureau, 2020). Lowell is home to two institutions of higher education. UMass Lowell, part of the University of Massachusetts system, has three campuses in the city. Middlesex Community College’s two campuses are in Lowell. This city has a strong humanities vibe and is affected by rich culture. Public Health workers have the responsibility to guide Lowell’s students in a healthy living track, encouraging the young people to stay away from obesity. Therefore, it is necessary to promote an obesity educational intervention that focuses on the population of Umass Lowell students.

Citations:

Faruque, S., Tong, J., Lacmanovic, V., Agbonghae, C., Minaya, D. M., & Czaja, K. (2019). The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States – a Review. Polish journal of food and nutrition sciences, 69(3), 219–233. https://doi.org/10.31883/pjfns/110735

Fruh S. M. (2017). Obesity: Risk factors, complications, and strategies for sustainable long-term weight management. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(S1), S3–S14. https://doi.org/10.1002/2327-6924.12510

Cawley, J., Biener, A., Meyerhoefer, C., Ding, Y., Zvenyach, T., Smolarz, B. G., & Ramasamy, A. (2021). Direct medical costs of obesity in the United States and the most populous states. Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy, 27(3), 354–366. https://doi.org/10.18553/jmcp.2021.20410

Massachusetts. Massachusetts – Place Explorer – Data Commons. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://datacommons.org/place/geoId/25?utm_medium=explore&mprop=income&popt=Person&cpv=age%2CYears15Onwards&hl=en

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/massachusetts/2020/rankings/middlesex/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot

Viral TikTok dessert combinations you might want to try this summer

By: Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

Below are two fun TikTok recipes that you can try if you have a sweet tooth, like me, and like trying food combinations that may seem like they don’t go together. Trust me, these are both surprisingly so good and addicting!

The fruit rollup ice-cream hack:

For this recipe, you need a fruit rollup, a plate, mango/fruity sorbet or vanilla ice-cream, and a spoon. You will unwrap a fruit rollup. The first two steps are to lay it flat on a plate and scoop ice-cream or sorbet onto the center of the fruit rollup, seen in the image below. Then, you should wrap the fruit roll up around it like a burrito to create a crunchy sandwich. I say crunchy because the ice-cream/sorbet should freeze instantly (within seconds!) and there is a satisfying crunch factor as you bite into it. This has become my guilty pleasure and I go through boxes of fruit roll ups just to be able to indulge in this snack. I have experimented with both vanilla and chocolate ice-cream, but personally I would say that it tastes better with fruity ice-cream or even better a sorbet because the coating is sour/fruity. The flavors will just blend more smoothly if you get a fruity flavor. Fair warning: SUPER addictive and EXTREMELY sweet, so try not to be me and eat this every night. I’ve been trying to limit myself to one a week. Rating: 9.5/10 (probably the best invention ever)

Wannabe sour candy hack:

I’m a fanatic of sour candy, but I always feel guilty after I eat it. With the next recipe, I feel like I’m putting something good into my body, but also having the illusion that I’m eating sour candy. Jell-O coated grapes are one of the best alternatives to my sour candy cravings. When this craving occurs, you can indulge in this delicious treat that is slightly healthier. This recipe requires only two simple ingredients: a box of sugar free Jell-O and 2 cups of green grapes. (You can also kick this recipe up a notch by trying a different variety of grapes). For this recipe, you will pick and wash a serving of green grapes and let them sit for a couple mins. Making sure they are still wet, transfer them into a large Ziploc bag. Pour the dry Jell-O into the bag and give it a good shake to coat the grapes. Remove them from the bag and place them onto a plate or into a bowl and pop them into the freezer. Let them freeze for half an hour and enjoy! Like the fruit roll up ice-cream, this treat is VERY addicting and should be consumed in moderation. RATING: 8.5/10.

https://www.tiktok.com/foryou

https://lifehacker.com/fruit-roll-up-ice-cream-is-a-textural-delight-1850253022

Build a habit this summer

By: Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

Summer is a great time to develop healthy habits or change poor habits. Recently, I learned about the five stages of the transtheoretical model of behavior change that I can accredit for getting me to engage in exercising consistently.

The five stages in the transtheoretical model of behavior change are: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. This model should work for any type of health behavior- inactivity being one of them.

Before I started exercising consistently, I was at the first stage of this model, characterized by a lack of intention to change and unaware that not engaging in exercise was a problem behavior. I moved into the contemplation stage where I acknowledged that my inactivity was a problem and I wanted to stop.

To get the second stage, contemplation, I developed self-efficacy where I would contemplate the changes I wanted to see (desirable appearance, better mental and physical health) and knew that if I took control of this whole process and believe, I would carry through. For me to get past the contemplation stage, I incorporated processes that would increase my low self-efficacy. I learned that people’s cognitions about their health habits are important in producing behavior change. I wanted to feel like I was in control of the process and any associated consequences, and I reconstructed my cognition. I modified my internal monologues to promote physical activity. To be able to accomplish this, I charted down my negative self-thoughts such as the constant belief that “I cannot do it.” and crossed out the “not.” These positive self-talks slowly turned into affirmations that I would recite during and before my workouts. It was important for me to contemplate the desirable changes before I put my intervention plan into effect. I learned that there are positive mental, physical, and physiological outcomes for this behavioral change. Exercise is known to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, enhance cognitive function, and improve academic performance. It also increases metabolism, improves sleep, and reduces the risk factors for chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

The next stage was preparation where I intended to make small modifications to my behavior. I bought running shoes, weights, and gym equipment, and saved workout YouTube videos that allowed me to develop an exercise regime. Furthermore, I learned that 2.5-5 hours of moderate-intensity activity is recommended per week. Moderate-intensity activities are suggested to increase heart rate that includes brisk walking, mowing the lawn, and housework/domestic chores such as mopping and vacuuming. I prepared myself for more vigorous physical activity by engaging in household chores, taking up more chores than usual, and going out for a walk once a day. These were slight modifications in my daily life that allowed me to get to the more intensive activities.

Next was the action stage where I intently modified my behavior and adopted this new habit. In this stage, I developed a workout routine, and established contingency contracting (I had friends and family hold me accountable through rewards or punishments. For example, if I went to a fancy dinner but skipped a workout, I would stay in for the weekend). I also took advantage of the fact that some of my family and friends are into fitness. Having a gym buddy made it more likely for me to adhere to my intervention plan. Whenever I could, I would go for a jog with my dad and grandpa. Cardio is known to strengthen the heart and lungs and reduce fatigue. My friend goes to the UML Campus Rec Center at 7 am every morning. I started by joining her every other day before my morning classes that started at 9 am.  She typically works on different areas of her body every day, which worked in my favor as I got an all-encompassing workout regime. I would write down four or five exercises that I liked the most so that I could create my own workout based on my likes and target areas. I also knew pre/post-workout stretches that I learned from doing track in high school and I knew the importance of stretching in preventing injury and maintaining a wide range of motions, so I incorporated those as well.

The last stage is centered around maintenance. It stresses the importance of continuity in healthy habits and the prevention of relapse. I developed a set of coping mechanisms for other risk factors that could potentially bring me back into inactivity. Personally, when I have too many exams and homework, I don’t have the motivation to engage in physical activity and use that time to study instead. I helped myself gain time management skills so I could have time for my workout routine. I needed to block off one-two hours every morning for physical activity and would not budge around that. I reminded myself of the importance of being consistent in working out every day or every other day because it’s hard to get back into it once you take a little break. I would also constantly remind myself of the long-term goals of working out (abs, muscles, endurance, and strength) because results are not instant but rather take months or even years to achieve. It brings me back to the idea of self-efficacy and being in control of the entire process from start to finish. For me to declare it as a healthy habit, I needed to be consistent for at least 6 months. Once I make it past six months, I still need to maintain this habit, so I don’t go back to square one. Currently, I have been working out for 5 months and I am already seeing changes and notice I have so much more energy throughout the day!

I hope this model can help you develop your own healthy habits this summer!

Benefits of physical activity. Benefits of Physical Activity | Health Promotion | Michigan State University. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://healthpromotion.msu.edu/fitness/benefitsofphysicalactivity.html 

Examples of moderate and vigorous physical activity. Obesity Prevention Source. (2017, May 8). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/moderate-and-vigorous-physical-activity/ 

https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/sb/behavioralchangetheories/behavioralchangetheories6.html

Watermelon as a Summer Staple

By: Haiya Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

What is the first memory that comes to mind when someone says the word watermelon? Did you ever have watermelon by the beach or poolside as a child? When someone says watermelon, I usually imagine a warm sunny day on the beach. I have a very distinct memory of enjoying watermelon on the beach with my family. Because of that, watermelon is a nostalgic fruit for me.

Watermelon is one of the fruits that correlates closely to the warm weather of summer as it brings a vibrant color accompanied by fresh flavors, in addition to immaculate hydration. However, eating watermelon alone can be boring, so pairing it in dishes can allow for a variation in the summer. One of my personal favorites is watermelon and feta salad. The fresh flavor of watermelon cubes can be paired perfectly with the salty crumbled feta cheese, some finely chopped mint leaves, and a drizzle of lemon. The watermelon and feta salad can be consumed as a snack or appetizer as it is light in volume, but also is dense with fresh flavors from the mint and watermelon, with hints of sourness and saltiness from lemon and feta cheese. The watermelon cubes and feta crumbles can also be enjoyed by simply drizzling some balsamic glaze, or some honey on the skewers.

Another variation of watermelon that really tops the summer recipes is watermelon as a dessert. My personal favorite is watermelon sorbet. Scooping the watermelon sorbet out of a cone shaped container often brings back nostalgic emotions from my childhood. For me, enjoying watermelon sorbet is a fun summer treat that makes me feel like a child all over again. The recipe for the watermelon sorbet is simple, but versatile, as it can be customized based on preferences. I enjoy sweet and sour combinations for my sorbet, so I use watermelon, sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries. The volume of each ingredient can be curated based on your taste preferences. Then, you blend it all together and freeze it for a few hours. Honey or other sugar substitutes can also be used as a healthier alternative for sugar.

For times that I am in rush, my favorite way to utilize watermelon is to make a watermelon drink. Personally, I enjoy the combination of lemonade and watermelon together, so I often lean towards watermelon lemonade. The recipe for the watermelon lemonade calls for watermelon and lemon juice blended with few mint leaves and about a spoon full of sugar or any other sugar substitutes.

Regardless of how you consume it, watermelon is packed with hydration, versatile, and its flavor often brings back nostalgic memories. I hope these recipes help you enjoy more watermelon this summer!


Incorporating Exercise into a Busy College Schedule

By: Medi Woldemichael, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader

College life can be incredibly busy and stressful, leaving little time for exercise. However, regular exercise is crucial for both our physical and mental well-being, so it’s important to find ways to incorporate it into your busy schedule. Here are some tips to help you make time for exercise and staying healthy in college.

Make a Schedule

The first step to incorporating exercise into your college schedule is to make a plan. Look at your class schedule and other commitments and find times when you can fit in a workout. It could be early in the morning before class, during a break between classes, or in the evening after your classes are finished

Find a Workout Buddy

Working out with a friend can be motivating and help keep you accountable. Find a workout buddy with similar fitness goals and schedule and plan regular workouts together. It can be a great way to stay motivated and have fun while exercising

Use the Campus Rec Center

The Campus Recreation Center here at UMass Lowell is free for students. Take advantage of this resource and make use of the gym equipment and fitness classes offered. It can be convenient to fit in a workout between classes, or even during a study break.

Join an Intramural or Club Sports Team

The campus recreation center offers intramural sports leagues for students, which can be a fun way to exercise and socialize with friends. You don’t have to be a skilled athlete to participate, and there are often a variety of sports to choose from.

Make Use of Outdoor Spaces

If you’re not a fan of the gym, there are plenty of ways to exercise outdoors. Take a jog or bike ride around campus by using the free wheelers resource or explore nearby parks and trails. Doing so can be a great way to clear your mind and get some fresh air.

Keep It Simple

Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming to be effective. Incorporate simple exercises like push-ups, squats, or planks into your daily routine. These exercises can be done anywhere and require minimal equipment.

Exercise should be a priority in your college schedule for both physical and mental health. It’s important to find ways to incorporate exercise into your busy life, whether it’s through a gym membership, intramural sports, or simple exercises done at home or outside. Making time for exercise will help you feel better, perform better in your classes, and ultimately lead a healthier, happier life.

http://studentcaffe.com/thrive/health-and-wellness/getting-enough-exercise

https://healthyheels.org/2013/09/03/busy-college-students-you-

The Significance of Fitness

By: Pre’Yelle Grinkley, Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Well-being Leader 

Fitness is an important part of overall well-being. Integrating regular physical activity and exercise into your daily routine may have a wide range of positive effects on your health and well-being, as well as help you live a better life. Whether it’s going for a daily walk, taking a fitness class, or engaging in a team sport, finding ways to be physically active every day can have a positive impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health. When we talk about wellness, we refer to the state of being in good health, both physically and mentally. Fitness, on the other hand, refers to the ability to perform physical activity or exercise. Regular exercise and physical activity have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including:  

1. Improved cardiovascular health: Exercise helps to strengthen the heart and improve blood flow throughout the body.  

2. Better respiratory function: Regular physical activity can increase lung capacity and improve respiratory function.  

3. Increased strength and endurance: Exercise can improve muscle strength and endurance, making it easier to perform daily activities.  

4. Improved mental health: Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost cognitive function.  

5. Better sleep: Regular physical activity can help to improve the quality and duration of sleep.  

Incorporating fitness into your daily routine can help you to maintain and improve your overall wellness. By staying physically active, you can reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and improve your overall quality of life.  

Beginners should start with low-impact, non-strengthening activities before progressing to more rigorous workouts. Walking and yoga are two low-impact activities that may be done anywhere. Both burn calories, decrease stress, and enhance cardiovascular health. Additional forms of exercise include cycling, swimming, and bodyweight workouts such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. If you don’t think you can do it alone, you can always join forces with a supportive buddy or consult with a skilled personal trainer or exercise specialist who can help build a program that is safe and effective for your specific goals and fitness level. The idea is to pick an activity that you love and that fits into your schedule so that it becomes a habit that you can stick with. If you are new to exercising or have any health problems, it is important to begin carefully and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your physical activity for a better experience at life. Whether you are on campus or not, you can take advantage of the activities and services offered at the Campus Recreation Center for physical health.  

Sources:  

Benefits of Physical Activity | Physical Activity | CDC  

Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity – Mayo Clinic