Tips To Improve Sports Performance

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joggerFive Elements of a Successful Sports Training Plan

The football season has brought highlights, Heisman finalists, a National Playoff, power rankings, fantasy match-ups and games of the week. It also included commercials from the leading footwear and sports apparel companies. While the season has been marked with impressive upsets, the athletic commercials have had a similar message, all revolving around a common theme: buy their product and ‘train harder.’

Every athlete recognizes that training and preparation are part of sport. But with the level of competition rising and more athletes interested in making the team, earning more playing time, or taking their game to the next level, athletes recognize they must do more than train with their team. The commercials all show athletes sweating, sprinting, lifting and perfecting their skill, insinuating that training in their products makes you a winner. Their gear may very well make a difference, but it doesn’t replace training and preparation. Over the years, it’s been easy to embrace ‘Just do it’ as a call to action. But from a training perspective, the aspiring athlete is left wondering, ‘Just do what?’

Over the past 25 years, Athletic Republic’s training centers have helped more than one million athletes – get selected for a team, move off the bench and on to the field, earn a college scholarship, stand-out in the draft, make a professional or Olympic team, post a PR, or honor a New Year’s resolution. Throughout the training process, AR has documented each athlete’s progress and is now sharing five elements that will help aspiring athletes improve their training plans or better understand just what to do.

These elements are: increase speed, build power, improve stability, maintain an effective recovery approach, and all in a year-round approach to training.

1. Lead with speed. Speed is a defining attribute of athleticism, and developing it requires a focus on training. No longer considered a genetic gift, speed can be improved by training stride length, stride frequency, power output, symmetry, and stamina. Speed training should improve running mechanics and running economy while developing acceleration, top-end speed and endurance to help players create separation, close a gap, and play as well during the closing minutes as they do when the game started.

2. Power is not strength. Science says Power = Force x Velocity. In other words, being strong is only half the equation. The ability to produce more force more quickly than an opponent is what ultimately separates an athlete from the competition. To jump higher, accelerate quicker, deliver a crushing blow, or move at warp speed…the instant the ball is in play, the athlete needs power. The key is to combine a wide range of movement velocities, with a variety of age-appropriate loads, to safely expose muscles to training that will improve power at game speed.

3. Stability reduces the risk of injury. Agility hinges on an athlete’s ability to control his or her center of gravity in all situations, including making quicker cuts and turns, maneuvering in traffic and maintaining position during a double team. Stability means maintaining control of the body in all directions and in all situations. It’s developed by building strength through a progression of plyometric movements to improve foot-speed and balance while training the core and hip girdle for the safe transfer of power to the turf, dirt, floor, ice or water.

4. Remember recovery. Preparing for the next workout begins when an athlete completes the current workout. Fluid hydration and mobility exercises begin the process as range of motion is increased while the muscles are warm and supple. Compression helps flush lactate and soreness, while protein helps rebuild muscles. Getting enough sleep and sufficient rest are also critical elements on the recovery process.

5. Establish a year-round plan. In addition to training with the team or coach, the athlete needs to make time during the year for a “training season”. Dedicating time prior to the start of a season to build on athletic strengths and concentrate on areas that require improvement will improve game-day or race-day performance. For the teen athlete playing multiple sports, the parents serve as the Athletic Director of the household, managing and balancing practice schedules, transportation, events, meals, academics, and budget, as their athlete’s coaches typically do not work with one another to ensure the athlete’s year-round regiment is conducive to their development. For the Parent/AD the key is to focus on their athlete’s overall development and make sure to establish a big-picture plan that includes the dedicated time to improve speed, power, and stability. For the endurance athlete, establishing objectives for off-season, pre-season, and in-season training will raise their endurance base, build power, improve efficiency, reduce the risk of injury, and increase speed for better race-day performances.

Athletes from pee-wee to pro have incorporated these five elements into their training in order to gain a step on their competition and be in a better position to ‘Just Do It’.

Keep Cool With 8 Heat Safety Tips

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sunWhile summer is a great time for outdoor activities, it can also bring extreme heat and humidity. In fact, nearly a third of weather-related deaths in the U.S. are attributed to excessive natural heat, heat stroke, sun stroke or all three, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s why Amica Insurance is offering tips to help keep everyone safe.

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, so stay cool and use common sense. Amica is sharing the following tips from the CDC:

* Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of activity level.

* Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and always put on sunscreen.

* Stay indoors if possible, and in an air-conditioned place.

* Monitor infants, young children and the elderly.

* Do not leave children or pets in a parked car.

* Eat lightly, and avoid hot foods and alcohol.

* Provide plenty of fresh water for pets.

* Seek medical attention if anyone exhibits warning signs, like extremely high body temperatures, red, hot or dry skin, nausea or a rapid, strong pulse.

About Amica Insurance

Amica Mutual Insurance Co., the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, based in Lincoln, Rhode Island, is a national writer of auto, home, marine and umbrella insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,400 people in 44 offices across the country. For more information, visit Amica.com.

Tips For Success When Seniors Live Alone

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and the Harvard Health Publications, please share your comments below…..

seniorcoupleexercisesmallSeniors who live alone face many risks, such as isolation, depression, and a lack of help in emergencies. Despite the many tools to help reduce those risks, some older adults don’t take advantage of them. “The misconception is that any acceptance of help is somehow the beginning of a slippery slope into dependence and losing control of one’s life,” says Barbara Moscowitz, a geriatric social worker at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But utilizing tools and services to remain independent enhances the ability to live alone, reports the February 2016 Harvard Health Letter.

One of the most important tools is a safety alert button, a waterproof device that alerts 911 with a single touch. “This device must stay on the body 24 hours a day,” says Moscowitz. “It won’t do any good on a nightstand if the person has fallen in the shower.” Prices range from $25 to $50 per month, depending on the system.

Moscowitz also recommends an emergency supply kit for electricity outages or times when older adults can’t get to the store. The kit should include three days’ worth of supplies, such as food and water. And to avoid running out of medications, it’s best to refill prescriptions when there’s a one-week supply remaining.

Convenience services are also a must for older adults who live alone, such as ride services; pharmacies, restaurants, and grocery stores that deliver; and errand services. And if the activities of daily living — such as bathing, dressing, taking medication, and cooking — become too difficult, private-duty care can keep seniors independent and at home longer, and help them avoid moving to a retirement home. These services can be expensive, but moving to assisted living can also be costly.

Read the full-length article: “Steps to stay independent when you live alone”

Also in the February 2016 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:

* Why more doctors are prescribing mindfulness

* Easy exercise breaks for “keyboard athletes”

* The health benefits of intimacy in the older years

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Having Plastic Surgery Done? Tips To Keep In Mind Before And After The Procedure

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By Dr. Michael J. Brown, MD

didyouknow?Getting a plastic surgery procedure done is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking time. You are excited for the changes about to take place, but may be nervous about the surgery. However, it is important that you take the time to keep some tips in mind. These tips will help the procedure and recovery go more smoothly. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are having plastic surgery.

Follow All Pre-Op and Post-Op Instructions From Your Plastic Surgeon

When you are preparing for, or have just undergone a plastic surgery procedure, the most important tip to keep in mind is to follow all instructions from the doctor who is or has performed your surgery. You will be given a pre-op and post-op instruction sheet. These sheets will tell you what you should and should not do following the surgery. The pre-op sheet may advise you to stop eating or drinking at a certain time prior to your operation and ask you to remove all jewelry prior to surgery. The post-op instructions may explain what medications to take, what foods to eat, and how to care for any wounds after the surgery. Failing to follow these instructions can jeopardize your heath both during and after the procedure.

Get Your Affairs in Order

After undergoing a surgical procedure, you are going to want time to rest and recover. You are not going to want to have to run around and pay bills or go grocery shopping. As such, you should get all of your affairs in order prior to the surgical procedure. If possible, pay all your bills early so you don’t have to worry about them immediately following the surgery. Take the time to stock your pantry with non-perishable food, so you will have plenty to eat. Or arrange for a grocery service to deliver groceries to your home. And since you may feel like lying around for a few days, pick up a book, magazines or movies so you have something to do without becoming bored. This will help you get the rest you need without feeling like you have other things that need to be done.

Stay Hydrated Following Your Surgery

waterbottleAnother important tip to keep in mind as you recover from plastic surgery is to stay hydrated. After surgery, you may not feel like eating or drinking much, but once you get the all clear to consume liquids, you should. Make sure you drink plenty of water. This helps blood flow through your body and assists in the recovery process. It also keeps you from becoming dehydrated, which can lead to headaches and nausea.

Massage Your Scars

When the dressing and bandages come off of your body, you may want to begin to rub vitamin E oil or other scar reducing products, into your surgical scar. Massage helps to increase the flow of blood to this area of the body, while vitamin E, or similar products, help to moisturize the skin. Both of these items together can minimize the darkened color of the scar and it’s length. No one wants an obvious scar in the area they had plastic surgery, so doing this can help decrease your chances of having an unsightly scar.

Undergoing plastic surgery can be a life-changing decision. You get to improve something about your appearance that you dislike and instead, get something you have always dreamed about. This may be larger breasts, a smaller nose, or a curvier figure. However, plastic surgery can take a toll on your body. Luckily, there are certain things you can do before and after surgery to make things easier on yourself. Following these tips will help make the procedure go more smoothly and assist in your recovery.

Author: Dr. Michael J. Brown, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, Dr. Brown has paid particular attention to all facets for safety and personal experience.

Contact details:

mjbrown1@hotmail.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmichaeljbrown

https://plus.google.com/108238646977899871571/about

https://www.facebook.com/theloudouncenter/

4 Actionable Tips For Healthy Diabetes Management

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diabeteswordFrequently, diabetic patients complain how challenging it is to manage diabetes. Even though you take measures to keep your blood glucose in check, the numbers may disappoint you.

But don’t beat yourself up. Doing something new is a great way to have a fresh start. Here are some ideas for healthy diabetes management in 2016:

Watch your glucose levels throughout the day

It’s important to monitor your blood glucose levels to determine the level of insulin intake. The ideal time to check blood sugar levels is before meals and before sleeping. Keeping tabs on your glucose level will help you determine if you need to readjust your diet or medications in order to keep the level in the safe range.

Glucose monitoring is also important to know your hemoglobin A1c, which gives an overview of your average blood glucose levels over a period of time. The pattern helps you adjust on a month-by-month basis, and indicate how well you’re managing diabetes overall.

With Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitor and similar systems, you can get an assessment of your health with five of the most important insights of glucose levels: lows, highs, best day, nighttime and daytime. With the help of summary patterns you can place frequency, intensity and duration of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia risks into context. Overall, the data will help you prioritize diabetic management decisions.

Eat small meals and avoid alcohol on empty stomach

It’s important to break down your daily meals into small portions, and spread it out into six different meals. Consuming a large quantity of food in a meal or two will cause greater spikes in your blood sugar levels. To maintain a stable blood glucose level, consider eating three healthy meals (medium portion) and two nutritious snacks in a day.

Also, if you didn’t eat throughout the day, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will cause a drop in your blood sugar level 24 hours later. This is because the body has to work intensely to get rid of alcohol.

Before having a drink, check your blood sugar, and eat something. Sometimes symptoms of low blood glucose levels can be taken as drunkenness; these symptoms could be dizziness and slurred speech.

Incorporate raw & green foods in your diet

Add raw foods into your diet; tomatoes, eggplant and onions are some delicious options. Almost all fruits can be eaten raw, while plenty of vegetables can be eaten in a raw or roasted state. You can try raw vegetables with dips such as salsa, guacamole, and Thousand Island dressing to enhance taste. Vegetables can be roasted with seasonings like garlic, rosemary, and cayenne pepper.

When it comes to adding greens, think beyond the regular salad and try spinach, broccoli, and chard. These are low-carb veggies that can be mixed with olive oil and roasted in the oven for a quick, crunchy snack. You can also mix roasted veggies with nuts to add a different flavor and texture.

Lose some pounds for better health

Diabetics who are overweight can easily stabilize blood sugar levels effectively by losing a few pounds. Just losing five pounds can make a significant difference in the need for medication and diabetes control.

Taking a varied approach to working out can help you drop those few pounds. Try engaging in resistance, strength and aerobic training two or three times a week for optimal results.

– Submitted by Katherine Smith

Five Essential Tips For Healthy Long-Haul Flights

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By Sarah Smith

healthywordsWith over 37.4 million flights scheduled each year, it comes as no surprise that travelers are interested in finding ways to stay healthy during their flights. Maintaining one’s health while air-bound is even more important during longer flights due to the extended exposure to low air pressure, cramped seating, and jet lag. These health concerns may be somewhat alarming, but with so many flights taking off each day, experts have compiled several tips to help your extended flight experience be as healthy and comfortable as possible.

Keep Your Body Moving and Hydrated

Long periods of flying go hand in hand with prolonged periods of stillness. Unfortunately, staying in the same position for too long can bring on some major health concerns. Muscles need frequent contraction in order for your blood to flow properly. Sitting in the same position for a lengthy period without contracting your muscles can lead to blood clots, or a condition called deep vein thrombosis. In order to avoid deep vein thrombosis and clotting read this, it is important to stay active during your flight. This can be done by simply contracting your calf muscles, or tapping your foot while sitting in your seat. Dehydration also increases the risk for blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids before and during your flight.

Ensure That You Are Well Rested

Many travelers are under the assumption that they can catch up on any missed sleep during their long trips. It is entirely possible that you may find yourself able to sleep the entire time, but it is also quite common for people to become too stimulated to sleep once they board. It is best to embark on your flight well-rested just in case you are unable to sleep during your travels. You may already be facing jet lag when crossing timezones, so you want to make sure that when you disembark from your flight that you are not at all sleep-deprived.

Create a Plan to Handle Anxiety

Aviophobia, (the fear of flying), is the third most common phobia. In fact, over 20 million Americans report that flying makes them nervous. Airlines have excelled greatly in the past years and are generally a very safe method of transportation, but you want to have a plan in place to tackle any anxiety in case it decides to hit. Some airlines offer practice courses that help people become prepared for major flights so that they know what to expect once it’s time to officially board. It is also important to have a support system that you can reach out to during your flight in case you start to feel anxious. Some even find comfort in talking to the cabin crew beforehand.

Be Aware of How to Handle Low Air Pressure

Planes typically travel up to 35,000 feet in the air where the air is much less habitable for human beings. The low air pressure has a tendency to decrease oxygen levels, which makes cardiac and respiratory patients even more vulnerable. In order to preserve healthy oxygen levels, try to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages during your flight. It is also wise to consult with your primary care physician in order to acquire any equipment or other accommodations that you may need to ensure safe travels.

Save Your Ears from Popping

The low air pressure associated with long flights can also cause your ears to pop from contracting Eustachian tubes. To avoid this painful experience, be sure to carry chewing gum or hard candies with you on board. Taking a prescribed decongestant has also been proven to help alleviate ear-popping symptoms, especially when the user has a cold.

Extended flights may come with some increased health risks, but the end destination is always worth it. Being able to properly prepare for any potential health concerns will give you the ability to have a much more relaxing travel experience. Whether you decide to nap, eat, or watch an interesting film during your travels, you will be able to do so at ease knowing that you are in for a safe and healthy trip.

Vocal Health Tips For Teachers

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

schoolbusSchool isn’t just for the students, teachers need to prepare, as well, by performing vocal warm-ups to keep their voice healthy during the school year, according to experts at Baylor College of Medicine.

“It is helpful to warm up the voice box prior to prolonged voice use,” said Dr. Julina Ongkasuwan, assistant professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Baylor. “Make sure to be well hydrated before and during warm-up exercises.”

Diaphragmatic breathing, exercises to reduce muscle tension, articulation flexibility and tongue twisters are all part of vocal warm-ups.

“Diaphragmatic breathing provides full breath support, which results in greater air flow into the lungs to better support your voice,” said Felicia Carter, speech-language pathologist for the Institute for Voice and Swallowing at Baylor. “Good posture is essential for muscle range of motion.”

Articulation exercises will help improve diction, and incorporating tongue twisters into the exercises will help the individual recite the phrases without extra tension in the tongue, lips or jaw, she said.

“Less strain on the larynx while speaking means less vocal fatigue and decreased incidence of vocal lesions,” Ongkasuwan said.

Nodules, polyps and other lesions can appear from vocal overuse. If someone has polyps on their vocal folds, their voice may sound rough or raspy.

Ongkasuwan suggested that teachers build in time for voice rest while with students to prevent lesions and other voice problems. Her suggested classroom modifications include:

* Maintain good hydration

* Use visual outlines and handouts to decrease verbal repetition

* Use nonverbal cues, like ringing a bell or turning lights on and off, to gain attention

* Incorporate quiet reading, student projects and question/answer sessions into teaching style

* Run a humidifier

* Do not talk through a cold or laryngitis

Even without the presence of lesions, it can become painful to speak when using the incorrect musculature. Speech pathologists can massage these areas to loosen the muscles and provide voice therapy.

“Voice therapy is designed to directly address disorders of pitch, loudness, resonance and respiration,” Carter said. “The goal of voice therapy is to reduce or prevent a voice disorder by balancing the three subsystems of voice, which are respiration, phonation and resonance.”

Voice therapy includes vocal health and hygiene, techniques to reduce laryngeal area muscle tension, respiratory retraining, techniques to modify pitch and vocal function exercises.

Implementing these strategies may help improve overall vocal quality and health:

* Increase water intake

* Avoid mint or menthol throat lozenges

* Decrease caffeine intake

* Avoid shouting, talking over loud noise, screaming

* Eliminate smoking

* Adhere to acid reflux precautions

5 Tips To Help Your Lawn Prepare For Next Season

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

grassCool temperatures, light rainfalls and beautiful autumn leaves signal that fall is nearly here. These same signs tell lawns that fall has come and winter is on the way, too. End the season with a bang by rejuvenating the lawn and prepping for the cooler season ahead.

Early autumn is the best time to repair damage, browning or dead spots, fertilize and improve the yard. Follow these five tips from experts at The Espoma Organic Company to have a greener, lusher and healthier than ever yard next spring.

Help The Lawn Hang On All Winter Long

1. Know How to Mow. Continue mowing as needed throughout the fall months. Keep the mower blades high (3” or higher) to encourage healthy roots.

2. Rake it up. Remove fallen leaves as soon as possible. Leaves that haven’t been cleaned up tend to become a soggy mess that can suffocate grass and breed diseases. Either rake or use a lawnmower with a collection bag to keep on top of the leaves. Compost leaves to use as mulch in the spring.

3. Agree to Reseed. If the entire lawn looks dry and brown, overseed the whole thing. If only certain areas look bare, reseed only those spots. First, perform a soil test and improve if needed. Then cut grass lower than normal and remove clippings. Level, rake soil smooth and spread Espoma Organic Lawn Starter. With a broadcast spreader, apply a seed that best suits your region and weather. Finally, water.

4. Prepare with Care. Get the lawn ready for the cooler weather ahead by fortifying it with nutrients. Fertilize now with Espoma’s organic fall winterizer. A fall feeding will promote growth, increase winter hardiness and helps lawns recover from drought. Apply organic fall winterizer to a dry lawn after seeding and mowing. Use a drop or broadcast spreader and be certain to overlap slightly to prevent striping. For best results, water lightly after the application if rain is not expected within 24 hours.

5. Fido First. Always use organic products. Harsher, chemical lawn products can be eaten, ingested or passed on to pets (and brought into the home). This exposure has been linked with a higher risk of canine cancer. Keep pets alive longer by making sure their paws are safe by using organic lawn products.

The Espoma Company has been the pioneer in natural gardening solutions since 1929. Espoma provides an extensive selection of natural products that work in harmony with nature and are safe for people, pets and the planet. The company produces more than 100 products to cover the nutritional needs of plants and to grow beautiful lawns and gardens. Visit espoma.com for more information and tips about organic lawn care.

5 Weight Loss Tips

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

Fit Body Boot Camp releases Spring fat loss tips to help get bodies ready for Summer.

scaleGenuine fat loss results can seem virtually impossible for many who have tried diets and gym memberships in the past. But what failed dieters and gym-goers don’t realize is that weight loss results can be guaranteed by adhering to five simple principles.

1. Nutrition

No one can out-train a bad diet. No matter how many hours one spends working at the gym, a poor diet can undermine nearly all efforts to lose weight.

But a nutritional mean plan does not mean starvation, calorie counting or tasteless foods. There are plenty of delicious and healthy diet plans that make weight loss possible.

Fit Body Boot Camp offers just such plans to its clients. With a meal plan and cookbook in-hand, in addition to a personalized nutritional consultation, Fit Body Boot Camp clients are more than prepared to start making healthy meal choices.

2. The Afterburn Effect

Faster and more dramatic results can be guaranteed by initiating what’s called the Afterburn Effect.

Otherwise known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, the Afterburn Effect burns additional calories for hours after finishing a workout.

Fit Body Boot Camp workouts are expertly designed, combining just the right amount of high intensity aerobic and resistance training, to trigger the Afterburn Effect.

3. Professional Guidance

For those unfamiliar with a gym environment or uncomfortable using weights and exercise machines, professional assistance is a great way to guarantee weight loss.

There is a lot to know when it comes to using certain equipment and targeting certain body parts. A lack of knowledge or guidance can result in disappointing results and even injury.

While one-on-one training is often prohibitively expensive, Fit Body Boot Camp workouts come at a much lower price and are always guided by a licensed personal trainer. This individualized attention ensures proper exercise technique and variety, guaranteeing results and minimizing risk of injury.

4. Workout Variety

Regularly changing how and when one exercises can greatly increase weight loss results while avoiding the dreaded plateau.

Many individuals, after losing some weight, experience a plateau that prevents any further weight loss. This can be avoided by time differentiation and workout variety.

This is why Fit Body Boot Camp offers an entirely different workout each day along with multiple different class times. This variety helps keep clients’ bodies from acclimating to any one time or exercise.

5. Accountability Systems

Perhaps the most important method for guaranteeing weight and fat loss results is an accountability system. Complete life and body transformations are extremely difficult, yet this difficulty is compounding when attempting the process entirely alone.

To combat this difficulty and guarantee results, Fit Body Boot Camp employs total accountability systems. The group atmosphere of any Fit Body workout class, along with the personalized attention from personal trainers, keeps individuals accountable for their results.

To find the nearest Fit Body Boot Camp location and try their results guaranteeing system, visit FitBodyBootCamp.com.

About Fit Body Boot Camp:

Fit Body Boot Camp is a family of indoor fitness boot camps with the global goal of engaging 20% of the world’s population in a healthy and fit lifestyle by the year 2020. Fit Body Boot Camp was founded and is operated by Bedros Keuilian, fitness business and marketing expert.

Visit http://www.fitbodybootcamp.com/ to find the nearest boot camp.

Visit http://www.myfitbodybootcamp.com/ to learn more about owning a Fit Body Boot Camp Franchise.

Baylor Expert Offers Tips For Successful College Transition

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Thank you to the Baylor College of Medicine for submitting this article…..

teensBack-to-school takes on new meaning for students heading off to college, with the focus shifting from new school supplies and clothes to developing time management and study skills and living on their own for the first time. A Baylor College of Medicine expert in family psychology offers some helpful tips.

“There are a number of issues that teens heading off to college for the first time may face,” said Dr. James Bray, professor of family and community medicine at Baylor. “It’s their first time away from home and living independently, and they don’t have the usual support system. For some, it’s the first time they’ve had to buckle down and study hard. It’s important for students to be prepared to develop new habits and seek out help if needed.”

Develop new routines and habits

Creating new habits and routine is key, Bray said. He suggests setting up regular study times and sticking to them. Students who struggle with getting to class on time or studying effectively may be able to find campus assistance. Many colleges and universities offer courses or workshops on these topics. Students also can seek out advice and help from a dormitory resident assistant, or RA.

Eating healthy and finding time for exercise also should be part of the new routine, Bray said. It will help students deal with stress, and keep off the so-called ‘Freshman 15.’ Many colleges have gym facilities and group exercises classes included as part of their fees, so students should take advantage of those programs. On the other hand, watch out for the unlimited food available in school dining halls.

Recognize feelings

Bray acknowledges that some students will start to feel anxious and homesick, or even depressed.

“It’s important to recognize these feelings and not just suffer in silence,” he said.

If needed, college students should head home for a weekend visit. Again, they should take advantage of campus resources such as counseling centers and RAs. Without seeking help, grades may begin to fall, Bray said.

Be aware of alcohol abuse

Another issue for college students to be mindful of is binge drinking, Bray said. This is more common among college freshmen and sophomores. By junior year, there is a decline in alcohol abuse; however, if it persists after this point, students may have trouble finishing school and moving on with successful careers.

He points out that underclassmen are typically underage, and drinking can have legal consequences with lifelong implications on their careers.

There also are serious potential health effects of binge drinking. “Anytime you drink five or more drinks on one occasion, it has implications for your health, including putting you at risk for injury and increasing your risk of sexually transmitted diseases and, for women, being victims of sexual assault.” What’s more, alcohol abuse can affect brain development, which continues until about age 22 or 23.

“College students need to be aware of the situations they are in, such as at parties or other college events where there is alcohol,” he said. Stick with friends, have a cell phone charged, limit alcohol intake and trust instincts.

Finally, Bray said to remember that students living in dorms are in close quarters and illnesses can spread quickly. Students should stay up to date on vaccinations and seek out healthcare if they aren’t feeling well, before it leads to missed class time.