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Running is Fun!

By Piper Haney

Tired of getting super sweaty running around the same old reservoir? Have you gotten chased by the scary geese one too many times? If you are looking for tips to spice up your run you have come to the right blog post.

I enjoy a beautiful and iconic trip around the res as much as the next Boston College running, jogging, or speed walking enthusiast but sometimes I get tired of running around in scenic circles. Follow these 4 easy steps to transform your boring old run.

My first suggestion is creating a new route; running through Boston is one of the best ways to get some exercise and exploring done all at the same time. To make exploring easier I like to use mapmyrun.com’s “create a route” feature to determine the distance and direction my run will take. At the bottom of this blog you will find pictures of a few of my favorite runs including the scenic and somewhat hilly run to Walnut Street and the exciting run to the Res’s pretty sister, the Brookline Reservoir—word on the street is it’s only a mile around and the home to adorable baby ducklings.

If your sneakers are still not calling your name I suggest recruiting a friend to join you on your sweaty adventures up and down Comm Ave (pictured above is my favorite running pal and I taking on the Red Bandana Run in matching Super Fan shirts). An updated music playlist can also do wonders for your run if all your friends are “too busy” watching Netflix to catch some fresh air. If a new running route, a trusty friend, or a new playlist of jams is not your cup of tea you have one last resort, THE DESTINATION RUN.

The only thing more fun than running into Boston and back to BC is running into Boston and taking some sort of transportation besides your feet home. Try running to Fenway, the Boston Public Garden, or the North End if you are a pizza connoisseur like myself. The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder so don’t forget to head outside and appreciate running around Boston when there isn’t 10 feet of snow.

For more information about fitness, schedule an Individual Health Plan (iHP) here, bc.edu/healthpro.

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A Warm Welcome to Spring

OHP’s top 5 destinations for outdoor adventures!

by Abby Whelan

With growing anticipation for warmer weather and the slightest hint of longer days, there is no better time to get up, get outdoors, and go explore Boston!

As the final stretch of the academic year commences, often times, student’s motivation will start to wane. Our suggestion is to find some new, seasonal inspiration by stepping out of Bapst or O’Neill and saying goodbye to stress-build up and cabin fever! Seek a change in location for a change of heart/mood. Explore some new outdoor sites will help you to clear your head and take a productive study break. Detailed below are OHP’s top 5 locations to spend some quality time outside catching up on some dearly missed vitamin D 🙂

THIS WEEK’S TOP FIVE

  1. Blue Hills Hiking

 

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-south/blue-hills-reservation.html

Reservation Headquarters

695 Hillside Street, Milton, MA 02186

617-698-1802

Gorgeous, peaceful hiking and biking trails that are only about a half hour drive from campus! Additionally, from certain trails, there are fantastic views of the Boston skyline on a clear day. Check out the website for more information on the trails, for a map, and for lists of other outdoors activities that are possible at this location!

blue hills

2. The Esplanade

http://www.esplanadeassociation.org/

B/C/D Line to Park Street, transfer and take the Red Line to Charles/MGH

Stretching from Charles Bank Park to Harvard University, the esplanade is a great place to exercise outdoors. Spend some time running or walking or biking to release some endorphins and boost your mood! Additionally,  check online to find out more about bike and kayak rentals.

esplanade

  1. Memorial Drive

http://www.bostoncentral.com/activities/Biking/p907.php

B/C/D Line to Park Street, transfer and take the Red Line to Charles/MGH

Parallel to the Charles River in Cambridge, this is yet another great place for cyclists, runners, and rollerbladers. Memorial Drive is typically closed by the city on Sundays for recreational purposes, so be sure to check it out!

memorial drive

  1. Arboretum (Harvard University)

http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/visit/

617-524-1718

D Line to Copley, then walk to Back Bay and take Orange Line to Forest Hills

Stroll through the beautiful gardens and exhibits on your own or sign up for  one of their many weekend/weekday tours!

arboretum.jpg

  1. The Lawn on D

https://signatureboston.com/lawn-on-d/about-us

D Line to Park Street, transfer/take Red Line to South Station

Venture out to see interactive art exhibits, live music, play ping pong or other fun games in this outdoor space by the waterfront!

lawn d.jpg

#RealHealthatBC featuring Kellie O’Leary and Yoga

Kellie O’Leary & Andie Babusik

I highlight BC students for #RealHealthatBC features on all of BC Health’s social media platforms. These features showcase how regular BC students incorporate health and wellness into their (busy) everyday lives. A recent feature was of Kellie O’Leary, a Boston College senior.

Kellie does yoga at least four times a week. Through high school she casually did yoga, but she started taking yoga more seriously after an injury that left her unable to do her normal work out. Kellie says, “Yoga made me feel strong when I thought my body was weak and broken.” Now, whenever she feels sore or gets injured, she knows she has yoga to turn too. Kellie feels empowered by her body’s ability to do yoga and wants everyone else to feel just as empowered! Kellie details how yoga is a freeing experience for her, “There is no judgement in yoga. There are so many levels and variations, you can do it alone or in a class. Yoga can be molded to fit anyone’s life.”

Kellie loves that yoga can be modified for anyone interested. Most yoga moves have three variations, an easy, medium, and hard style. The variations are a great way to work in your comfort zone but still have room to advance. Not to mention, you can choose the moves that work for you. For example, if you broke your foot and can’t put any weight on it Kellie suggests doing sitting poses or one-leg standing poses. Kellie affirms, “Yoga is about listening to your body. Then you can give your body what it wants and needs.”

Yoga transformed Kellie’s life, maybe it can benefit yours too! Check out more of what Kellie had to say about yoga:

“When I got injured, I started practicing yoga more seriously, and it was life changing. Now I do yoga about four days a week. I love that you can make yoga whatever you want or need it to be for you. Yoga makes me feel strong and helps me de-stress. Exercising is about pushing yourself, but yoga is about giving your body what it needs. Everyone can do yoga and everyone should do yoga!”

For more information about healthy choices, schedule an iHP (Individual Health Plan) through the Office of Health Promotion at bc.edu/healthpro or visit BC Campus Rec’s website at http://www.bc.edu/offices/rec.html.

 

Sweet Treats and Study Breaks

 

Our top 5 places to visit in and around Boston where you can drink some coffee, eat some dessert, and de-stress from midterms!

coffee shop.jpg

By Abigail Whelan

Usually at this point in spring semester many of us are both exhausted from midterms and permanently chilled from the cold and dreary weather. Instead of continuing in the same routine, take some time to combat your stress and balance out your responsibilities by treating yourself! This list details some deliciously inviting places in and around the city of Boston where you can seek refuge from the cold, succumb to your inner sweet tooth, and grab an energizing (and totally instagram worthy) cup-o-joe. Happy eating!

  1. The Thinking Cup

(617) 247-3333

http://www.thinkingcup.com

85 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

Stop in for some pastries, macaroons, and coffee while shopping and strolling on one of Boston’s most beautiful streets. A wide variety of food and open from 7 to 10 pm, this location is one that cannot be beat!

 

2. Paris Creperie 617-232-1770

http://pariscreperie.com/

278 Harvard Street, Brookline

C Line to Coolidge Corner

If you love crepes, this is the place for you! Paris Creperie offers a wide variety of sweet and savory crepes, in addition to a create your own option and delicious breakfast crepes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Morano Gelato

http://www.moranogelato.com/home

Shops at Chestnut Hill, 199 Bolyston Street, Chestnut Hill

Located in the Chestnut Hill Mall, accessible via BC Chestnut Hill Mall Shuttle

Have a craving for authentic gelato that tastes just like the creamy treat you’ll find in Italy? Morano Gelato is a premium gelato shop right in the Chestnut Hill mall that features a plethora of unique flavors with a rotating menu that changes every day! Word around the street is that Morano has the best gelato around- come see for yourself!

4. Fuel America

617-782-0999

http://fuelamerica.us

152 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton

BC Commonwealth Ave Shuttle to South Street, walk up South Street to Chestnut Hill Avenue

Come to Fuel if you’re in the mood for a warm latte on cold day or if you’re just in the mood for snack on the healthier side. With a variety of sandwiches, salads, and drinks, you can’t go wrong here!

 

5.Pavement Coffeehouse

617-789-4000

http://pavementcoffeehouse.com/content/allston

1243 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

B Line to Harvard Street

Check out this hip coffeehouse in Allston if you’re in the mood for great coffee, handcrafted breakfast sandwiches, and yummy baked goods in a cool neighborhood. Try the cider latte sometime in the fall for a really tasty treat!

 

 

READ MORE ON OUR WEBSITE

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BC Office of Health Promotion

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Yoga to Nama(stay) Healthy!

by Olivia Sutton

While some prefer to go to the gym and lift weights or run on the treadmill, I like to take a gentler approach. This approach has been my method for not only strengthening my body, but also realigning muscle parts that once felt disconnected. This method is also convenient because it can be done anytime, anywhere with little to no equipment necessary. This gentler approach is called yoga, perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Yoga is an Indian holistic discipline that’s been around for 5,000 years. It has numerous benefits, including an increased flexibility, improved posture, increased muscle strength, increased blood flow and boosted immunity. Yoga also helps to relax the body and set the foundation for a healthier lifestyle. Not to mention, yoga is inspiring; it can prompt you to be the best version of yourself. Whenever I practice yoga, I feel motivated to eat a healthier dish at the dining hall or make more time for self-care. In yoga class, I feel at ease and have a sense of community because I know that everyone else in the room is there for the same purpose. I appreciate the fact that I can go at my own pace and do what feels good to me in yoga, whether I am in my room or in a yoga class.

Yoga has been a significant part of my life since 2015 because of how it makes me feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. It has provided an outlet for me to push myself, but at the same time, teaches me to anchor myself through my breath and move with purpose. What I love most about yoga is that it allows me to become present in the moment. I’m reminded to be patient with myself and always seek ways to improve where I am weakest. Overall, yoga has helped me be the best version of myself. College life is hard, and it’s so important to find something that takes you to your happy place. When I come off my yoga mat, I know I’m in my happy place.

For more information on yoga classes or other ways to exercise, visit BC Rec at the Plex or bc.edu/offices/rec. To schedule an iHP (individual health plan) appointment, visit http://www.bc.edu/offices/healthpro/

 

The Micronutrient for our Favorite Macronutrient

by Maria Meyer

It does not take much more than a quick walk through any of the Boston College dining halls to realize that BC students love their protein. Grilled chicken breast, beans and legumes, and eggs are ambiguous on campus. But how much is too much? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, you only need .36 grams of protein per pound per day to meet your dietary recommendations. This equates to about 54 grams for a 150 pound person. Even if that sounds like a lot, to put it in perspective, a 3.5 ounce chicken breast (a typical serving) already provides you with 30 grams of protein. But, we students will most likely keep over consuming protein to build muscle at the Plex and because we generally enjoy and benefit from our high protein diets.

While there is no protein deficiency, college students here on the Heights could definitely benefit from more calcium. The relationship between calcium and protein may not be evident. However, our bodies actually use calcium to break down protein. So the more protein we eat, the more calcium we need to actually facilitate the use of that chicken or omelet in our body. If we do not get that calcium in our daily diet, we end up taking calcium from our bones. Over time, this results in a higher susceptibility to breaks and fractures. So while one may think eating protein helps you build muscle while you are lifting at the Plex or running the Res, it is not very useful and may actually be harmful long term if you don’t get in your calcium as well!

As you take a glance around Lower or Mac, you most likely will not see enough calcium rich foods. It may seem difficult to sneak in the recommended 1,000 mg of calcium every day, but it is so important to ensure your body is able to stay strong! Making conscious decisions to increase your calcium intake can be easy and delicious. A cup of skim or soy milk can easily give you 200-300 mg depending on the brand. Adding in some yogurt to your fruit from the salad bar is a simple 150-200 mg of calcium. A slice of cheese on your garden or beef burger runs you approximately 100 calories and 200 mg of calcium. For vegans, soy milk is a great calcium source as well as tofu, which has an astonishing 400 mg of calcium per half cup.

Our 20s really is our prime time- not just because we get to have the times of our lives at BC, but also because we are at the best age to strengthen our bones. So next time you find yourself making dinner for your roommates or find yourself in a dining hall, grab a glass of milk or some tofu on top of your salad- your bones will thank you!

For more information about healthy eating schedule an Individual Health Plan (iHP) or iNourish group program here, bc.edu/healthpro.

Off-Campus Meal Prep 101

by Kim Chook and Andie Babusik

I have been featuring BC students for #RealHealthatBC features on all of BC Health’s social media platforms. I wanted these features to showcase how regular BC students incorporate health and wellness into their (busy) everyday lives. A recent feature was of Kim Chook, a Boston College junior.

Kim has a health and wellness instagram account called @balance_beaming where she posts about finding her balance, making healthy foods, and her fitness routine. It’s a beautiful and inspiring account that you should definitely give a follow, if you haven’t already!

A lot of Kim’s posts are healthy recipes that she used to make delicious looking meals and snacks. There have been a plethora of nights when my friends and I didn’t feel looking cooking and ended up at a local fast food restaurant. With the off-campus life comes new responsibilities, like cooking and feeding yourself!

Eating healthy off-campus is tough, but Kim has mastered the clean-eating off-campus lifestyle. How? I asked! Her secret is meal prepping. Listen to what Kim had to say about meal prepping:

“The biggest advice that I have for students trying to eat more healthily, is to prepare your food in advance. I tend to choose processed foods or unhealthy options when I am short on time, or too tired from a long day to cook. Meal prepping can seem daunting at first, but it can be easy as roasting all your vegetables (which can be added into salads or eaten as a side dish), cooking all your carbs (pasta, rice, or quinoa can be stored in the fridge for several days), and pre-portioning little containers of snacks (my favorite lately has been a mix of raw cashews, dark chocolate, and medjool dates). Even breakfast can be pre-portioned (overnight oats!) and ready to grab and go in the morning.”

For more information about healthy eating choices, schedule an iNourish program or an iHP (Individual Health Plan) through the Office of Health Promotion at  bc.edu/healthpro.

4 Things That Help Me Manage Time

by Genna Martin

Time management is a skill that has taken me a lot of practice to get good at. As I head into the middle of my third year at BC, I am increasingly familiar with how long different types of tasks take me, and what I should prioritize to set me up for success. For me, managing my time well is the number one step I take to keep my stress levels within a manageable zone. This is a big incentive for me. If I know that the coming week could be super stressful, having a plan for attacking the work ahead allows me to stay calm enough to be productive.

This is why I use a planner with everything written down in it so that I am aware of what lies ahead of me and can plan my time accordingly. In this planner, I write down everything from assignments, to club meetings, to planned lunches with friends. In terms of using my time effectively, I like to use small sections of time to break up bigger tasks. For example, while my laundry is in the washer I like to try to do a reading assignment, and after I switch it to the dryer, I will try to do another assignment. I like that this sectioning of time is structured, and by the time the laundry is finished drying, I will have been doubly productive by doing laundry and some homework at the same time. Then, while folding laundry, I can take a break and put on some Friends or something in the background! These kinds of breaks are really important for me to stay on track in my work schedules. Although it can be a slippery slope, I like to take frequent study breaks to watch one well-chosen YouTube video of Jimmy Fallon or Ellen DeGeneres, or something that lets my brain take a break!

Keeping a planner, making a study plan, breaking down the big tasks into smaller ones, and taking breaks throughout studying are my main ways that I like to make sure I am using my time as well as I can.

For more information on time management schedule an iPlan appointment here, bc.edu/healthpro.

Sweet (Sleep) Surrender

by Abby Whelan

Ever since I was little, one of the best pieces of advice my mom has given me has been “go to sleep, it is ALWAYS better in the morning.”

In high school, I had a pretty naturally regulated sleep schedule, going to bed around the same time every night and waking up at same time every morning. Coming into college, however, my sleep schedule was something that completely shifted, and therefore became something that was so hard for me to adjust. In order to compensate for my minimized sleep hours, I did what so many college kids do without thinking twice: drank coffee, slept in late, and became an expert nap taker. Unfortunately these habits caught up to me, and without sufficient sleep, I started to get sick more often. My body was literally feeling jet-lagged because I would go to bed at such varying times during both the weekends and the weekdays, even though I was justifying my later bedtimes by saying to myself that I would “catch up on sleep” in the morning.

Realizing that I needed to improve my sleep habits to get back on track, and figuring out how much sleep my body needed was so important improving my health. Making sure that I was getting a good 8 hours of sleep (almost) every night, and even more than that when I was not feeling well or when I had to get up for a test the next day, became one of my top priorities.

More recently, I have been so interested in seeing what suggestions other people have for trying to maintain healthy sleep schedules on a daily basis. With night classes, club meetings, weekend events, and late night library sessions, it is almost impossible for students to maintain such a regular routine like it was before college. Reading the sleep revolution by Arianna Huffington was so interesting for me, as Huffington put into perspective and reiterated to me how important sleep really is. I have recently started using a sleep mask at night, and have been paying better attention to eating a couple hours before I go to bed instead of right before, along with not having caffeine after 3 pm. Additionally, I have been trying to put away my technology about a half hour before I go to bed, as it has been proven that looking at a phone or computer screen will affect the time that it takes you to fall asleep. There are always more things that we can do to adapt and to better our own sleep schedules.

Maybe one method might not be right for you, but there are so many different things you can try to improve your health by focusing on sleep! Explore OHP’s website for some more research and some suggestions as to what you can do to try and regulate your own sleep and become a healthier you. You can also schedule an individual iSleep appointment or an iHP (Individual Health Plan) here: bc.edu/healthpro.