Combating The Daily Zzz’s

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With my new 8-5 schedule at my internship, I have finally come to terms that I am not as young as I used to be. Back then, I would be full of energy and never wanted to take naps, but now that is all I could ever dream of. Despite never being a coffee or energy drink type of person in the morning or in general, I have realized as to why so many people rely on their daily dose of caffeine to kick start their day with energy. With caffeine having the reputation of being known to contribute to negative health effects, I wanted to find alternatives that could help achieve the same end goal of staying awake and energized to finish the day strong!

First, I want to address the negative impacts on caffeine and as to why it was crucial for me to find healthier options to combat tiredness. It is considered as a natural stimulant that targets the central nervous system. Depending on the amount of caffeine, Mayo Clinic suggests that it can lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat and even muscle tremors. Caffeine has the potential to cause withdrawals to those who abruptly stopped consuming it, but were previously reliant on it. Despite the negatives, caffeine does serve its benefits to people who consume it on the daily. Everyone reacts differently to caffeine, so remember that moderation is key!

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Water is an easy fix to sleepiness because dehydration is known to contribute to overall fatigue.

Get MOVING!  Staying sedentary for hours upon end only contributes to tiredness that leads to no productivity. So when you feel the z’s coming in, get up and walk around. Do anything you need to do to get your body active.

Eat to Refuel!  Low blood sugar causes mental fogginess and lethargy. Increase it by eating healthy snacks that will maintain its longevity when it comes to providing energy!

Spark Conversation! The beauty of conversation is that it can be easily done in a workplace where people usually find themselves getting tired. You are surrounded by co-workers who are busy getting their tasks done, but sometimes a chat break, where you are fully engaged, is just what you need to maintain the energy that will last you throughout the day.

TURN UP the Lights! Dim lighting is known to contribute to fatigue. Turning up the brightness within any space increases overall alertness that will shake you back into work mode!

SWITCH it UP! Doing the same task over and over, gets old whether you are tired or not. Rotate the tasks you are working on, if one in specific is burning you out. It is not beneficial to dwell on a project that is wearing you out, when you can be using that time toward something else. It will keep your mind stimulated and encourage full engagement in the projects you are working on.

Remember to stay awake and be engaged in everything you do. Life is too short to be missing out. Despite work having the tendency of draining you mentally and physically, don’t let something like tiredness hold you back from achieving your full potential!

 

Diana Banzon

Watermelon is the Way to GO!

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What fruit is prominent within this scorching summer season, that just so happens to be the best way to cool yourself off and satisfy your hunger? Watermelon of course! As I am here at my job munching on some for breakfast, I wanted to thoroughly investigate in what exactly I am putting into my body, since I know I will be eating it a lot this summer. With all the water and sweetness that comes with every bite of the fruit, I can’t help but think that I am only indulging and not providing any benefits for my body. Fortunately, I was proved very wrong in my assumption!

With the summer heat getting the best of us, our chances of dehydration are more likely. Luckily, watermelon is known to release hydrating properties to the body. I mean are you surprised? It directly states it in the name! In fact, the fruit is made out of 92% water. With having this much water in combination to fiber, it essentially tricks our bodies into thinking we are full, without obtaining a significant amount of calories.

Heart disease is ranked as the number one cause of death worldwide. Anything to reduce the chances of falling under this demographic should be taken into serious consideration. The lycopene found in watermelon can help lower cholesterol and prevent additional damage to it. In regard to blood pressure, the lycopene helps lower it and the citrulline increases the levels of  nitric oxide, which helps your blood vessels expand that results in lower blood pressure.

Aside from solely benefiting internal health, the vitamins watermelon provides benefits hair and skin! Vitamin C found in the fruit make collagen, which contributes to strong hair and supple skin. As for Vitamin A, it assists in the creation and restoration of skin cells that prevent it from looking dry and flaky. Lycopene and beta-carotene helps prevent your skin from sunburn, which is convenient during this sunny summer season when all we want to do is be outside and show off some skin. When people said that beauty started from within, they weren’t lying!

These are only a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t feel guilty in indulging watermelon this summer. Take advantage of it being in season and enjoy it while it is at its most ripe and abundant. Click here for recipes to change up the way you eat watermelon throughout this sunny season.

Happy eating!

Diana Banzon

 

How To Make Your Health Less Ruff

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In honor of the Pup Rally that took place today, June 5, 2018, on Marquette’s very own campus, I felt as though it was most appropriate to post some puppy appreciation. It is no secret that therapy dogs are used heavily around campus, since the college culture has its tendencies of causing a stressful atmosphere. Aside from obviously being cute and cuddly, did you know that there is a science behind why their existence betters our overall health and well being?

The responsibility of owning a dog, comes along with the responsibility of having to take them on frequent walks to let them do their business. Therefore, whether you plan on jogging or walking as your source of a workout for the day, you will always have company and will never have to do it alone. Walking your dog will attract the best kind of attention from others, igniting conversation and bringing joy to anyone you may encounter. The beauty of it all is that you are doing all of this, without even noticing that you are meeting your obligations of staying fit and active for yourself and and your health!

Marquette’s utilization of therapy dogs throughout campus is a great investment to the community surrounding it. With the atmosphere of college always bringing out the worst when it comes to stress, dogs have the ability to lower anxiety and blood pressure, while increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurochemicals that play significant part being in calm and maintaining overall well being. Spending as little as a few minutes, has the capability of causing immediate relief and brightening up your day filled with newfound happiness and motivation.

Despite the popular belief of dog’s being harmful to the well-being of children back then, recent research has proved that it does the exact opposite. Pets are known to help reduce allergies found among children, in addition to strengthening their immune systems when being exposed to a furry friend within the household at a young age.

Dogs’ presence alone has the ability to add more meaning and a purpose to your life, so today appreciate a pup, whether that be through embracing your own, donating to a humane society, or adopting today. The world can use more loving owners to creatures that give the same amount of love back!

Diana Banzon

Eye Health to avoid the Sun’s Stealth

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The sun and its heat have its way of being more prevalent during the summer season. Despite the common misconnection, the sun and its rays take no vacation and have its effects on us year-round, even when the clouds are blocking the direct sunlight itself. Many associate its harmful rays to only damaging the largest organ of our body, our skin, when in reality, its effects go much beyond that.

As a Sunglass Hut associate, I heavily advocate the benefits of investing in quality eyewear to protect the most delicate region of our bodies, our eyes! We tend to disregard the importance of the ability to see and the area that surrounds our source of vision. Here are a couple effects the sun has on eyes along with the area surrounding it, giving us more of reason to protect this area!

Eye diseases are a serious matter. Too much exposure from the UV light emitted by the sun has the potential to cause cataracts, growths on the eye, and forms of cancer. Although these conditions take a while to develop, preventative measures such as unitizing broad brimmed headwear and sunglasses make a world of a difference no matter how old you are.

With the area around the eyes being the most thin and delicate, it also happens to be the most prone to show the first signs of aging. Sun exposure decreases the collagen found in skin that essentially provides its moisture and elasticity. In result is causes eye wrinkles known as “crow’s feet”, eye puffiness, and undereye bags. To help combat this issue, utilizing facial moisturizer that contains SPF helps to counteract this damage.  To really target the situation, utilizing richer eye creams will hydrate the area affected and is also recommended to be applied nightly for those who are 30 and older. Preventative measures are always the best way to help decrease the issue in the first place by avoiding physical trauma such as rubbing the eye or having a heavy hand when applying or removing makeup.

Despite all these scary claims of the damage sun can do, the exposure can actually be beneficial to the eyes when done in moderation or when it doesn’t have direct in contact with its UV rays. Seeing natural sunlight can promote better function in the brain. This brings me back to the point where we shouldn’t be afraid of the sun, just be aware of our limitations when exposed to it.

 

Diana Banzon

 

 

The Royal Treatment

Hello Marquette Employees,

Due to Alicia moving on to the next chapter of her life and finishing up her time with us at Employee Wellness, I am pleased to announce that I will be taking over for this summer season! It was gratifying to see her develop and grow throughout her wellness journey, and I am more than thrilled to continue sharing mine. I will be posting about all aspects of health and wellness motivated by what intrigues me and what I genuinely find useful. I could only hope that my content has the potential to let us all grow in our wellness journey together.

Anyways as promised, today’s blog is an inside look on the diet preparations Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to go through in time for their royal wedding that recently took place on May 19, 2018. Since June is just around the corner, that only means one thing. Wedding season is upon us! Whether you are attending a wedding this coming month or summer as a guest, a part of the entourage, or as the celebrant yourself, there has never been a better excuse to look your best, since the pictures that will be taken that day will remain as a long-lived memory for whoever takes part in it.

Meghan Markle is a firm believer in the concept of balance and moderation. Although she supports a more plant-based diet and limits her meat intake, she allows herself to a little more flexible in the weekends. In correspondence to her plant-based diet, she relies on fresh food to keep her fueled throughout the day such as smoothies, mixing it with beneficial ingredients such as almond milk, chia seeds, to really boost its nutrients. She likes to resort to green juice as alternative source instead of coffee to kickstart her day. Diet aside, she couldn’t have gotten into the shape she is today without sweating. The fitness routine she swears by is Lagree Fitness Method on the Megaformer machine. The regimen gives you a full body workout with quick and effective results that incorporates cardio, strength-training, and flexibility. To change her routine up a bit, she likes to alternate with yoga. Her consistency is responsible for how she was able to maintain the shape she has today, without feeling the need do much work in preparation for the big day.

As for Prince Harry, his preparation did not vary too much from Meghan, since she has been cracking down on staying within a routine. His diet involved a lower carb and meat intake and cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking. Meghan’s influence has led to his new smoothie obsession. He has been supplementing his diet by working out every day to stay toned and fit for the wedding.

Diet is not a one size fits all. You don’t need to be royal to have access to a life of health and wellness. Although Meghan has influenced Harry to make some improvements when it comes to eating habits, she encourages that “It’s not a diet; it’s lifestyle eating.”

Long live the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

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Diana Banzon

 

So long Marquette

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It is so hard to believe that I am writing my last blog to all of you right now. I remember writing my first blog almost two years ago when I started at Marquette as a transfer student. And now, it’s already all coming to an end. It is time for me to graduate!

Looking back over the time I have spent blogging for MU Employee Wellness, I realize how much I have grown myself. I knew right from the start that being well is more of a journey than anything else. It is not something you can just do overnight, but it is something we all have to work at. And although that can be hard sometimes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Being well means everything from physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and more. Basically, wellness is anything that you want it to be. To me, wellness is anything that gives you life, not just simply surviving. My wellness is eating healthy, exercising regularly, creating a balance in life, making time for friends and family, spending time with animals, making art, enjoying the outdoors, and yes, relaxing too. Sometimes my relaxation includes binge watching Netflix, don’t tell anyone. But the point is, wellness is not quite what it first seems to be. It is not just about eating healthy and exercising, wellness is anything that makes you a better you.

My wellness journey has been anything but smooth, but I always manage to somehow motivate myself to get back on track. Wellness has played such an important role in my life, especially when trying to deal with health issues. And I am so thankful for everything in life that lead me towards always trying to better myself and to be well. I am especially thankful for having had the experience of sharing my journey and everything I have learned along the way with all of you. I am looking forward to continuing my wellness journey after I leave Marquette.

It is so bittersweet to be leaving campus and this blog, but I am beyond excited at the opportunity to grow myself and my wellness even further. I will be staying in Milwaukee (at least for a little while yet), so I hope to see you all out being well and enjoying Milwaukee’s summer.

I am off to accomplish some great things in life, I leave you all in the very capable hands of Diana. So long Marquette, it has been a great, although very short, two years with you.

Alicia Diedrich

Sun Fun

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With warmer weather gracing Marquette’s campus recently, it is temping to want to bathe in the sun all day. From being trapped in Wisconsin’s winter tundra for so long, who could blame you? Sometimes being more aware of the sun’s capabilities is the best way to get the most out of every summer, while staying safe. Here are some facts to keep in mind when you are enjoying your time in the sun!

The most notorious negative that is always linked to sun exposure is skin cancer. On the contrary though, the sun and its rays can reduce the chances of other cancers such as pancreatic and breast, in specific. For both pancreatic and breast cancer, those who live in places with more cloud cover are more susceptible to it due to the lack of vitamin d.

Have you been feeling your mood change lately in accordance to the nicer weather and the sunny skies? That is no coincidence! Sunlight itself releases serotonin chemicals that reduces your stress and altering your mood for the better.

Your body makes vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun. Despite the benefits it offers to having healthy bones and brain, it is important to remember that there are safer ways to obtain it through your diets or supplements. It doesn’t take much to get the recommended amount of vitamin D through sun exposure, so don’t risk it if you know that you are tempted to overdo it. Vitamin D has the potential to protect the heart. Research shows that those who have been diagnosed with skin cancer are surprisingly less likely to have a heart attack. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to cardiovascular disease, so having a proficient amount of it in your system can only help benefit the heart.

When you think of lung health, you typically don’t associate its connection with the sun. But sunshine surprisingly has the potential to make the air we breathe dirtier. The UV rays trigger the release of chemicals that form smog that ultimately contributes to air pollution.

The sun has the potential to provide both good and bad results when it comes to our health. So I encourage you to go outside and catch some rays, but to also remember that everything is best in moderation.

Diana Banzon


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