The Hilbert community gathered on March 14 for a prayer service to end gun violence in schools. The prayer took place around 17 pairs of shoes and piles of textbooks, one for each of the victims in Parkland, Florida.
The Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Annual Awards Gala was held on Monday, March 5. A group of Hilbert students, along with professors Dan Roland and Amanda Recio, and Jeff Papia, Hilbert’s director of campus ministry and mission integration, attended the gala held at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.
Watch Your Weight!
Eating Healthfully in the Winter
by Kirsten Falcone, RN
Hilbert College Wellness Center
Have you found a little extra padding around your middle lately? You are not alone!
Many people find that wintertime eating is tricky when it comes to maintaining weight. This is due to many factors, including the types of food available, the need for “comfort food” in the dark winter months, and the availability of traditional wintertime favorites. The holidays, and their fattening menu have just passed, New Year’s resolutions are almost forgotten, and we are back to our old habits.
Here are a few tips that may help you reach the warmer days of spring, with your waistline intact:
Water. Instead of pop or sweetened drinks, substitute water. The dry winter air tends to dehydrate us, and what we mistake for hunger is often just thirst. Drinking a glass of water before you eat will hydrate you, help curb your appetite, and aid digestion. As an alternative, skim milk is mostly water, but also contains a good amount of calcium and vitamin D. (Vitamin D helps with seasonal depression, which many people encounter during the winter.)
Fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to make certain half your plate is fruits and vegetables. Try to pass up anything with fat or sugar added, such as fruit compote or au gratin potatoes. Fresh fruit and steamed vegetables are your best bet. Eat your vegetables and fruit before you eat your main course, so that you acquire the nutrients you need and do not overdo it with the more highly caloric entrée. (No, French fries and potato chips don’t count as vegetables!)
Lean meats. Given a choice between a hot dog, cheeseburger, or a chicken breast, choose the chicken breast more often. It is lower in fat, and fat does tend to end up around your middle during the months you are not exercising as much.
Whole grains. Choose whole wheat or whole grain products instead of white bread. The fiber in a true whole grain product is better for your heart and digestion. In addition, whole grain products have not been stripped of their nutrients. If you read the label on a whole grain product, it should list at least three grams per serving.
Unprocessed food. Try to avoid quick fix solutions, like cereal bars, protein bars, and other foods in prepackaged containers. Whole foods are better and have fewer additives. If you are going shopping at the grocery store, the unprocessed whole foods are usually the ones you will find if you walk around the perimeter of the store. They include dairy, eggs, meat, produce, and more.
Eat just half. It is okay to eat only half of the food on your plate, or just use a smaller plate. Do not let your conscience guilt you into retaining your membership in the Clean Plate Club. Your mom is not looking over your shoulder.
Sample the fattening choices. Yes, it is okay to do this. Just limit it to a spoonful or two, so you don’t feel as if you have deprived yourself.
Junk food. Do not even think about it! Keep away from the bags of chips, cookies, popcorn, and other temptations. This is a good time to “just say no.” If you need something to munch on, go for the carrots, almonds, apples, bananas, and other easily tote-able foods.
Dessert. Save dessert for one day per week. This will take some doing, especially when in certain environments. Alternatively, make fruit your dessert daily. It really just takes a different mindset, and fruit can be a delicious end of the meal.
For more information on eating healthfully in the winter, visit these Web sites:
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
United States Department of Agriculture:
Don’t Take a Break from Good Health!
Staying healthy on Spring Break
By Kirsten Falcone, RN
Hilbert College Wellness Center
Spring Break is quickly approaching, and some college students choose to travel for much-needed warmer weather, sunshine, and relaxation. In order to benefit the most from a spring break away from home, there are some key health items to remember.
Protect yourself from the sun. The shortened daylight associated with the winter months has taken its toll on all of us by this time of year. But that is no reason to forget to protect yourself from sunburn. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 (preferably much higher) and reapply often, wear cover-ups and a hat, avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and wear sunglasses. If (but preferably before) you notice a sunburn, get out of the sun, and keep hydrated. Mild sunburns can be soothed with over-the-counter pain medications and cool compresses. Avoid any more sun exposure until the current burn has resolved.
Checklist for being in the sun:
- Sunscreen >/= SPF 15, reapplied often
- Highest risk between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Avoid sunburns by moving to the shade.
- Keep hydrated.
- OTC pain medications and cool compresses to soothe sunburn
- Stay out of sun until burn has healed.
Be smart when drinking alcohol. The healthiest choice is one glass (five ounces) of red wine per day for women and two glasses per day for men. The liver cannot process more than one ounce of hard liquor, five ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer per hour. In addition, drink one eight-ounce glass of water per alcoholic drink, if at all possible, to prevent the effects of dehydration. Make sure one person is a designated driver, or arrange another mode of transportation. Also, be aware of people who might prey on unsuspecting tourists.
Checklist for drinking alcohol:
- Drink only five ounces of red wine,
one ounce of hard liquor,
or 12 ounces of beer per day, to be healthy.
- One drink per hour to avoid liver damage
- One eight-ounce glass of water per hour to combat dehydration
- Designated driver or another mode of transportation
- Watch out for human predators!
Be aware of diseases and health risks. The CDC no longer lists Zika as a travel alert for Florida and Texas on its website. However, if you are traveling anywhere else on the globe that is on the CDC’s high-risk list, (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html), you will need to use mosquito repellent especially during the daylight hours in order to reduce the likelihood of Zika mosquitoes transmitting the virus to you.
Many travelers also come down with “Montezuma’s revenge” (food poisoning), but there are tips on avoiding that, too. The CDC has an app called “Can I Eat This?” For more information, go to this link: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/apps-about. When you go to the link, you can also download other helpful travel apps.
Checklist for disease avoidance:
- Visit the CDC website to familiarize yourself with the region you are visiting.
- Download traveler apps specific to your needs.
- Find out which vaccinations you may need well in advance of your international trip.
Wherever you plan to go, near or far, have a safe, relaxing and healthful Spring Break!
For more information on enjoying a healthful Spring Break, visit these Web sites:
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), handling food safely:
Baylor University, Top 10 Ways to Not Become a Crime Victim (pdf):
What do I do now?
By Kirsten Falcone, RN
Hilbert College Wellness Center
Are you feeling sick, even though you may have followed all the precautions for avoiding illness? You are not alone. Many people are coming down with something this year. In fact, it is one of the worst flu seasons on record. So, here is a list of some actions you can take, now that you may be sick.
Do not assume you are sick, if you have only one symptom.
If you have only one symptom, you might not really be sick, or you may be able to shorten your illness. For example, if you have a sore throat, do not give into the temptation of thinking you are getting sick. Sometimes you will come down with something. However, if you are vigilant about taking care of yourself (e.g. brushing your teeth, drinking plenty of water, sleeping, washing hands, eating healthfully, exercising, etc.), a sore throat may be the only symptom you will experience.
Stay home, and keep your distance from people who live with you.
On the other hand, if you have a fever or cannot contain your coughs and sneezes, just stay home. As you know, there are countless immunocompromised people in the world (the elderly, the very young, pregnant women, and people with certain illnesses), and you would not want to be responsible for passing a deadly virus to them! The CDC recommends staying home for 24 hours or more after your fever “breaks” or ends.
Stay home also to avoid infecting classmates. Professors are usually sympathetic toward students who call or email them beforehand when they will miss because of illness. (If you need an excuse note, come and see me, the Hilbert Wellness Center nurse, on duty Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the back of St. Joseph Hall.)
Keep up with your hygiene.
Proper hygiene will help keep germs from multiplying. Brush your teeth and tongue two to three times per day (when you wake up in the morning, after meals, and before bed). Brushing after vomiting is essential to protect your enamel from stomach acid. Brushing your teeth helps you feel better, but it also helps prevent the spread of your illness into your lower respiratory tract. Floss once per day.
Keep clean. Wash your hands often. It is the best way to avoid getting sick! Do not touch your face, nose, ears, eyes, or mouth, with soiled hands. Conversely, do not touch your face with clean hands and forget to wash your hands afterward. Take a warm bath or shower regularly; the moist air will help to clear your sinuses and lungs, and it will help you feel relaxed enough to try to sleep it off.
Keep hydrated (i.e. drink water!)
Since water is responsible for so many functions in our body, and our bodies are at least 60 to 70 percent water, it is crucial to keep hydrated. Try to drink at least 64 to 96 ounces (or more) per day or the equivalent of four to six 16-ounce bottles of water, or eight to 12 8-ounce glasses of water. Another way to measure is to drink 50 to 100 percent of your weight number in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 to 150 ounces of water every day. Keeping a bottle of water with you throughout the day is a great habit to adopt! Refill it, as needed.
If you are feeling nauseous, I recommend sipping tepid (room temperature) water. If you try to drink cold water, it could shock your stomach, causing more vomiting. Alternatives to water include unsweetened tea, ginger ale, and Gatorade. (Just remember that anything with sugar in it will require you to brush your teeth.)
Go to bed, and sleep!
Sleeping 7 to 9 hours every night is important. Here are some reasons. While you sleep, your brain is forming pathways for learning and storing memories. Your body is building up its immune system and healing damage caused throughout the day. Hormones called cytokines, which are produced during the night, are crucial for your immune system to fight infection and inflammation. During the day, a compound called adenosine is built up, and it is only broken down again by getting enough sleep. If you miss a few nights of sound sleep, the adenosine will build up and cause sleepiness during the day. Another substance, a hormone called melatonin, makes you naturally feel sleepy at night, but that can be reversed to daytime sleepiness, if you do not fulfill your nighttime sleep requirements.
Lacking sleep undoubtedly compromises college students’ immune systems. When you are sick, it is important to listen to your body, and sleep as much as possible—even during the day.
Track your temperature.
An elevated temperature is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a fever will actually kill off many of the invading microorganisms. The problem comes in when your body overcompensates and starts killing brain cells. It is helpful to know that letting your fever rise is usually okay. According to Mayo Clinic, adults can withstand temperatures up to 103 degrees. (It is a good idea to obtain an oral thermometer as part of your personal first aid kit, but the Wellness Center nurse can also take your temperature, if needed.)
For a fever higher than 103 degrees, call your doctor. He or she may guide you through steps to reduce your fever, such as using cold compresses, taking a tepid bath or shower, or taking an antipyretic medication (one that helps lower your temperature). (Common antipyretics include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen.) If none of these measures works, the doctor may direct you to visit a local emergency room. However, remember that many illnesses thrive in emergency rooms, and you should use that as a last resort!
Remember to stay in bed, or away from people, for an additional 24 hours after your fever has subsided. A normal temperature is around 98.6 degrees.
Medicines to take
Guidelines for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines vary according to the symptoms you are having and whether you have any problems tolerating them. Some should be taken with food (such as ibuprofen). Others (such as acetaminophen) can easily be overdosed because they are contained within many different products. Always read the label before taking any medication.
If you have just contracted the flu within the last couple of days, you could be a good candidate for some antiviral medication. However, these medications are less effective after three days or more.
(Note: Antibiotics will not work with the flu virus, since they kill bacteria, not viruses. Never accept a prescription for an antibiotic unless you have been diagnosed with a bacterial-related illness.)
When to call the doctor
Chances are your illness will run its course in a few days to a week or two. According to the Mayo Clinic, call the doctor when your fever climbs higher than 103, and is accompanied by:
- Severe headache
- Unusual skin rash that is rapidly worsening
- Unusual sensitivity to bright light
- Stiff neck and pain when turning your neck
- Mental confusion
- Vomiting more than a couple of times
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Abdominal pain or pain during urination
- Convulsions or seizures
As previously stated, sip tepid water. Do not force yourself to eat full meals, especially on the first day. Instead, eat as much as you are comfortable eating. Do not stuff yourself. It is even okay to skip a meal or two to let your stomach settle down. Once you are able to handle food again, go easy. Avoid spicy, fatty foods, and opt for the “BRAT” diet. The BRAT diet is an acronym that stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These are all bland-tasting foods, and that is the idea. Stick to foods that have little or no flavor.
Clean and disinfect.
When you are finally out of the woods, a good idea is to clean and disinfect, so others do not catch what you are sharing!
- Clean. First, wash surfaces with an appropriate cleaner and warm water, to remove dirt and grime. Use paper towels or washable rags. Always disinfect rags or sponges before reusing them, or toss them out. Dust, open windows to ventilate, and open the window coverings to let in the daylight.
- Disinfect. After cleaning, use a germ-killing solution, such as a bleach or vinegar solution, to sanitize surfaces, such as doorknobs and handles, countertops where food is prepared, faucets, and anything that is handled frequently. Remember to also disinfect your bathroom.
- Do not share personal care tools (e.g. toothbrush, nail clipper, comb, towels, glasses, cups, utensils).
- Trash: To reduce odors and discourage the spread of germs, take out the trash.
For more information, follow these links:
Hilbert College Wellness Center:
“Steps for Avoiding the Flu,” (https://community.hilbert.edu/2018/01/22/steps-for-avoiding-the-flu/
Mayo Clinic, Information on Fevers:
Don’t be a Couch Potato!
How to Keep Active During the Winter Months
by Kirsten Falcone, RN
Hilbert College Wellness Center
If you are like me, I keep active during the warmer months, but when the cold hits, it’s difficult to resist cocooning in my space and waiting it out until spring. But, did you know that lack of exercise is one of the biggest causes of mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and physical health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and much more?
On the flip side, regular exercise can actually improve your immune system, lift your mood, keep all your bodily systems in order, decrease the incidence of disease, and increase your life expectancy. Physically fit people do not need as many prescription or over-the-counter drugs, and they have far fewer doctor visits. You are not in college to not do well, so it is a benefit to you to take care of yourself, because proper exercise can help you in every area of your life, including your grades!
There are three main categories of exercise. They are aerobic, strength training, and stretching. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate. Some of the common ways you can achieve this are by walking briskly, jogging and swimming. (During the winter, though, it is difficult to safely go for a walk or jog, and it is challenging to find a swimming pool.) Strength training is usually done by lifting weights or performing “body-weight” exercises, such as push-ups. Stretching is important to increase flexibility and range of motion, as well as increase the blood circulation to your muscles and joints, thus reducing injury.
Here are some ideas to help you pull through the winter months:
- Find an accountability partner. On days when you just have no ambition to burn some calories, an accountability partner can help you resist the urge to wait until tomorrow. Conversely, you can help your accountability partner in the same area. Pick someone who has the same goals as you do, such as losing 10 lbs. by Easter, or simply because it makes you feel healthier.
- Visit the gym. On Hilbert Campus, that is located at the Hafner Recreation Center. http://www.hilberthawks.com/sports/2013/9/9/Facilities_0909135001.aspx?tab=weightroom.
- Do calisthenics in your dorm room. Youtube has many exercise videos available, but you can start out with one like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHyGqsPOUHs.
- Run up and down your dorm stairs for 20 minutes, 3 times per week.
- Park on the far side of the parking lot, and walk the extra distance (provided your footwear has good treads to tackle icy conditions).
- Take up a winter sport, such as cross-country or downhill skiing, snowshoeing or sledding.
- When the conditions are good, you can still go for a brisk walk. 20-30 minutes, three times per week is a good start.
- Extend the warm-weather sports you enjoy, but wear a couple extra layers of clothes.
- If you can’t make it to the gym, invest in some dumbbells, and use them in your dorm room. Or you can use ordinary everyday objects, such as water bottles.
- Jumping rope is a great aerobic activity. Here is a good beginner video you can try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NIvRAaOdlQ
- Use an exercise ball. An exercise ball is large enough to be used in place of a desk chair, so sitting on it will improve posture. Plus, there are many great strength-training exercises you can learn. Many people swear by these for keeping their core strong.
- Perform crunches, lunges, chair dips, push-ups and more in the privacy of your dorm room.
- Take a yoga class. Yoga combines strength and stretching exercises, and many swear by it for its calming effects.
- Use an exercise app. Most smart phones come with one of these. Find out how to use it, and it will help you set and meet your goals.
- Finally, don’t overdo it. If you feel pain, just stop! Pain is a warning sign that you will injure yourself, and an injury is counterproductive to further fitness.
What does the nurse do for fitness? With smart phone in pocket (so I can track how far I went), I take my dog for a walk around the neighborhood for half an hour when the weather cooperates, and I use an elliptical for the days when I cannot face the elements. Every morning I stretch before I do anything else. Strength training will be the next adventure for me. I did not develop these habits overnight, but they have become part of my healthy “couch-potato-less” lifestyle. If I can do this (at my age!), then you certainly can, too!
For more information on keeping active during the winter months, click on these links:
Everyday Health, Exercises you can do anywhere anytime:
WebMD, Lack of Exercise is More Deadly than Obesity:
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Benefits of Physical Activity:
Money Crashers, Strength Training without Equipment:
Mayo Clinic, How to Stretch:
WebMD, Exercise Ball Moves:
Hilbert Res Halls Recognized as the 7th Best in NYS
Niche generates annual rankings of different categories to determine the best colleges in the United States. In 2018, Hilbert was ranked seventh in New York State for best college dorms. Niche has a system to average in all the factors that they believe are the most important when determining the rankings. The factors they incorporated are, student surveys (70%), average housing cost (10%), housing capacity (10%), and student crime rate (10%). For students, these rankings could be very beneficial in deciding what college fits them the best. Niche provides student reviews for the public to view so students could read from a first-hand source to gain knowledge about a certain college campus.
Learn more on Hilbert’s Residence Life
The Hilbert College Leadership Scholarship Program is helping to raise money for the Buffalo Stand Down. The Buffalo Stand Down is an event that serves as kickstart for at-risk veterans and homeless veterans to get back on their feet and live a fulfilling life. Throughout the duration of the event, veterans will receive a number of services that include immediate housing availability, free haircuts, free food, on site health care and medical referrals, legal services, education and employment opportunities and more. This event is phenomenal opportunity for veterans to receive the help and care they need in order to live a better life.
The group is raising money through fundraising, donations and sponsorships as well as gathering volunteers to help work the event. Click here for information on the fundraiser.
For more information on how you can help contact Ryan Perrin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilbert Lands in Top 20 in America for Criminal Justice
Hilbert is ranked the 20th in Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America for 2018. Niche inspects the academic admissions, financial, and student life data given by the U.S. Department of Education to complete the rankings. They also factor in student reviews and also reviews from alumni as well.
Hilbert also came in 75th in Best Test Optional Colleges in America and also 91st in Best Catholic Colleges in America.
For Hilbert’s full report card from Niche click Hilbert College Rankings
On Friday, January 26th, Hilbert College students, faculty and staff participated in Unity with Our Community, a service day devoted to carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in our community. It served as an opportunity for us at Hilbert to connect with the work Dr. King advocated for and to understand the impact and importance of taking action to promote equality, justice, respect and compassion.