It’s Fresh Fruits and Veggies Month 2017!

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It’s already June and summer weather is here! Growing season has kicked off, and soon we will have fresh produce! Whether you grow your own produce or check out the farmers markets, take advantage of the fruits and vegetables that go from the garden, field, or tree straight to you. It’s important to be getting enough fruits and vegetable as they are great sources of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, fiber, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Unfortunately, only about one in ten people are consuming enough fruits and vegetables. Daily recommendations include 2-1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day and 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruits a day. There are many ways to get your fruits and veggies into you diet. Have a salad with a meal and add some extra vegetables to it. You can also make smoothies or add fruit to some yogurt. Reaching our daily intakes seems difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Be creative and find ways that you can incorporate them into your diet.

Take a look around your area and find farmers markets near you. If you live in the Fargo-Moorhead area, check out the following farmers markets:

  • Farmers Market and Beyond
  • Downtown Festival Market
  • Whistle Stop Park Farmers Market
  • Gardener’s Flea Market
  • Great Plains Produce Assn. Community FM Farmers Market
  • Community Farmers Market

Many of these farmers markets do not begin until July, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to get some fruits and vegetables into your diet. Do some research to find recipes you may want to try with your fresh produce. Some produce that are in season during the summer months include radishes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, corn, rhubarb, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, and melons. Try to include a variety of produce into your diet. Your body will thank you!

 

Sources:

http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/whats-in-season-during-the-summer/

https://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/centers-for-disease-control-news-120/only-1-in-10-americans-eats-enough-fruits-and-veggies-cdc-701213.html

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fresh-fruit-veggie-month

Make Every Day World No Tobacco Day!

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Every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors World No Tobacco Day. The purpose is to spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco. Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the United States. Around the world it is the cause of death for almost 7 million people. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD, and lung disease are just a few health conditions that can be a result of tobacco use. Read the following facts to get an idea of how serious tobacco use is.

  • In the United States, 480,000 deaths per year are caused by smoking. 41,000 of those deaths are victims of secondhand smoke.
  • In the world, 890,000 of the 7 million deaths per year caused my tobacco are victims of second hand smoke.
  • Smokers die about 10 years earlier than those who do not smoke.
  • At the current smoking rate for American’s younger than 18, one in thirteen are expected to die prematurely.

Preventing tobacco use in middle school and high school students is an important part of stopping tobacco use. They are more at risk for nicotine addiction and are more likely to smoke into adulthood. Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes are just a few of the tobacco products common in this generation.

What is happening to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco? Ideally, everyone who uses tobacco would quit, but that is a tedious process. One thing that has taken a step toward ending tobacco use is taxes. Higher taxes are used to discourage smokers from buying tobacco as many tobacco users are in low-income communities. Another tactic is the use of anti-smoking commercials. Have you ever seen those commercials where individuals with a stoma are interviewed? How about the ones where tobacco users have to pay for their tobacco products with some of their skin? There are many more, but the intent of these commercials is to encourage people to say no to tobacco. Laws are another tactic used to avoid smoking in public places. These laws are used to prevent harmful effects of secondhand smoking unto those who choose not to smoke.

Do you or someone you know use tobacco? Become educated about all of the health risks associated with tobacco whether you do or do not use it. There are places to go for help to quit smoking. Becoming educated about all of the benefits from quitting tobacco will amaze you. Our bodies start to heal almost immediately after quitting. Tobacco affects everyone and the best way to prevent those affects is to eliminate tobacco use all together. The benefits of quitting can begin to happen in as little as 20 minutes and continue throughout life. Encourage your friends and family to be tobacco free!

 

Sources:

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/world-no-tobacco-day.html

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/

 

Are You Ready to Beat the Heat?

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Summer is finally here! Now you can spend your time at the lake, going camping, attending baseball games, and going swimming! These outdoor activities are exciting and fun. It would be unfortunate if the high heat had to ruin it! Heat illnesses cause more deaths per year than the combination of hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods! Death can be the result of very severe cases of heat illness, but many people are victims of heat illness and are able to recover if proper action is taken. There are several factors that affect the risk of getting heat illness:

  • Climate – those who live in hot and humid environments have a higher risk
  • Exercise and Activity – these can make it even harder for the body to cool off
  • Age – the elderly and young children are more at risk
  • Pre-existing illness and conditions – these may affect how the body responds to heat
  • Drugs and Medications – Some may make a person more susceptible to dehydration

Here is a list of heat illnesses:

  • Heat Cramps: these are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that are a result of strenuous activity in high heat. Loss of fluids and electrolytes are the underlying cause
    • To treat heat cramps, rest then massage and stretch the cramped muscles. Also make sure to drink fluids.
  • Heat Exhaustion: this illness occurs when lost fluid is not replaced. Signs and symptoms include weakness, dizziness, rapid and weak pulse, heavy sweating, nausea, fainting, and more. Heat cramps can also occur.
    • The first thing you should do if you are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion is to remove yourself from the heat. You will then want to cool your body down by removing excess clothing, spraying body with cool water or applying cool, wet cloths to skin, and rehydrating with an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or just drinking milk.
  • Heat Stroke: this is the most serious heat illness. The body is not able to cool itself down. The main signs and symptoms include a body temperature above 104 degrees, flushed skin, decreased level of consciousness, altered mental status, convulsions/seizures, and unconsciousness.
    • To treat a heat stroke, the most important thing to do is to seek medical help immediately. Next you will want to try to cool the body using ice water soaked towels until medical help arrives. Bringing down the body temperature helps to reduce the chance and severity of brain damage, organ failure, and death.

It is so important to understand and know how to take care of heat illnesses. Although staying out of the heat is encouraged, at least try to limit your time exposed to the heat and take frequent breaks in the shade. Limit your time outside between 11am and 6pm which is when the heat is highest. It is also important to stay hydrated. Remember to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Don’t let the heat put a damper on your summer fun!

 

Sources:

https://toolkit.climate.gov/nihhis/

http://www.weather.gov/rah/heat

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/social_media/spring_heat.html

American Red Cross emergency medical response. Yardley, PA: StayWell Health & Safety Solutions, 2011. Print.

 

 

 

What’s Your Risk? Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

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May is Mental Health Month and this year’s theme is Risky Business. Mental Health America wants to educate people about how certain behaviors and habits can affect mental health. These include risky sex, drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, and problematic exercise routines. Mental illnesses affect almost everybody whether it is short term, long term, severe, or mild. According to a study, after following people ages 11-38, only 17% were able to avoid some sort of mental illness! Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse were the top three findings in the study.

College is a huge life transition. It is an exciting experience, but it is also full of stress and pressure to do well academically and socially. Did you know that 75% of all mental illnesses begin to show up by age 24? That makes college a critical time to become aware of the signs and symptoms of a mental illness. It is important for students to get help as soon as possible. Fortunately, the rates of students getting help has been increasing over the years, although it is difficult to determine how effective their help and treatment is.

The following link is a guide to common mental illnesses in college students. It provides coping strategies and advice to those who may be struggling with a mental illness, or those whose friends may be struggling. This link is also a great source to learn more about each mental illness.

http://www.learnpsychology.org/mental-health/

Mental illness is serious, and it is not something to be embarrassed about. There are people available who want to help. Here at MSUM, Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center is a place to go for help! Evaluate your behaviors. Are they risky? If you or a friend are showing signs of a mental illness, don’t be afraid to utilize your available resources!

 

Sources:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201705/mental-health-awareness-month

http://time.com/4473575/college-mental-health-guidebook/

https://namiwilmington.org/mental-health-month-2017/

Grad Interview- Zach

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Are you interested in working in a healthcare setting, but are unsure of what is available? MSUM’s School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership offers a Health Services Administration Degree for students such as you. This program is aimed at exposing students to a wide variety of healthcare settings and giving them the experience they may need in later careers. It is a great program for students that are interested in leadership or administrative careers.

Our program is approved by the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators, which means it meets the requirements for BENHA licensure, and a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

Zach Schmidts is a soon-to-be graduate from our Healthcare Services Administration Degree. Watch below to learn more about one career option you have after graduation.

Hear what SNHL’s Students have to Say!

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Are you interested in the areas of nursing or healthcare? MSUM’s School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership may have a program for you! Here is a list of SNHL’s programs:

  • B.S. Degree in Health Services Administration (major and minor)
  • RN to BSN (major)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (masters)
  • Master of Healthcare Administration (masters)
  • Nursing Educator (certificate)
  • Nursing Administration and Organizational Systems in Leadership (certificate)

It can be difficult finding a program and school that fits you. Fortunately, the SNHL faculty members here at MSUM strive to fulfill the goals of their students. There are several opportunities offered to enhance students’ learning experiences. Some of those opportunities include scholarships, study abroad, and academic conferences! The SNHL is a great fit for many! Here is what one of our own students has to say about her experience at SNHL:

“When I started at the MSUM I did not know about the HSAD program and I was a chemistry major. After the first semester I notice that there is something related to healthcare and I met with one of the professors, I was very interested in the HSAD and its classes because this was the thing that I want to do in the future. Being in the HSAD program needs passion in order to add to the healthcare field and find new ideas to improve it. The HSAD classes helped me a lot in knowing more about the healthcare and what are the things we should be aware of, because this is a place where you help others and provide care for them. I’m very happy that I graduated from this program and now doing my Master’s in health administration too!” – Marah Omar

Check out the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership’s programs today and learn about the many opportunities we offer!

 

Just Breathe! It’s National Clean Air Month 2017!

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We can all agree that air is an important part in our everyday lives. Without it, there is no life. What do we do when it starts to cause more harm than good? Education is a start! May is National Clean Air Month and the purpose is to educate people about the affects air quality can have on our lives. Clean air has been a hot topic for years as pollution increases and air quality decreases. Certain amounts of oxygen, carbon dioxide,  and nitrogen come together to create clean air. It does not include pollutants or allergens.

It’s important that we understand what clean air is and what is not clean air. Poor quality air causes harm to all living things. It affects plants, bodies of water, and animals. It also causes cancer and serious respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and worsens symptoms of those with asthma. Other health conditions caused by air pollution include nausea, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, birth defects, developmental delays, compromised immune systems, and the list could go on. Low quality air affects the entire body!

Currently, about 39% of people living in the United States are living in poor air quality areas. Do you think that percentage is high? It is, but good news! This percentage is lower than last year! Our country has been working hard to improve air quality thanks to many factors including carpooling, walking, biking, or taking the bus to work; decreasing the output of pollutants from factories; recycling; and so many more. The Clean Air Act was established in 1970 and has created the base to our efforts towards clean air. Many decisions in the government that involve air quality are influenced by the Clean Air Act. Since 1970, there has been an increase in energy use, economy, and miles driven. You would think that air quality would get worse due to these factors, but thanks to the Clean Air Act, air has actually improved in quality!

Having clean air to breathe is vital for good health. Some places in our country need more work, but our efforts to improve the quality of the air that we breathe is working! Let’s continue to work toward a clean environment! Check out the following link to look at the rankings for cleanest and most polluted cities in the United States and see if you can find where Fargo-Moorhead area ranks!

City Rankings

Interactive Map of Quality

 

Sources:

http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/

http://www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/cleanairmonth.html

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749107002849

http://breatheproject.org/news/clean-air-dirty-air/