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Archive for the ‘Your Daily Apple’ Category

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This week’s cover of Time Out New York caught my eye. “Great Walks, the city’s best strolls,” it boasts.  Inside, the magazine outlines 12 NYC walking routes, that are sure to tickle your calves, your tummy (a lot of them include snack stops), and your cosmopolitan fancy.  Some of the walks include “The Romantic Walk,” “The Dude Walk,” “The Chinatown Eating Walk,” and “The Lesbian Walk.”  My personal favorite is “The Top of the Park Walk,” which begins at Central Park’s beautiful conservatory garden at 5th Avenue and 105th street.  Timeout compares Central Park’s manicured garden to the Garden of Eden.  Personally, it’s always reminded me of The Secret Garden.

conserv-gardenThe walk continues through the north side of the park and out into East Harlem, with stops for some fresh fish, fried chicken, and red velvet cupcakes. The walk ends conveniently in Morningside Heights at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Enjoy, and check out TONY for other springtime strolls in the city.

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On a more serious note than usual, the most common question I’ve asked myself when reading the headlines these past few days is what is swine flu and should I be worried? In order to inform our readers, I’ve checked out the Center for Disease Control website (so you don’t have to), to give you the rundown.

in Chinatown today; Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

in Chinatown today; Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

Basically, swine flu is a strain of influenza in pigs – Type A (H1N1) –  that affects the respiratory system. Until this outbreak, it has only been found in a couple cases in humans. Now, the Mexican government reports that around 150 people have died in cases appearing to be linked to swine flu, and according to the New York Times today, around 2000 Mexicans have been infected. In the United States, as of yesterday, there are 66 confirmed cases of swine flu, 45 of which are in New York City. Teacher’s College confirmed yesterday that one of its students has been diagnosed with Type A influenza, although it is still unknown if it is this particular strand or not. Swine flu can be spread from person to person through the air and through physical contact. The virus can live two hours or longer on surfaces like counters or keyboards so it is important not to touch anything that may be contaminated and to wash your hands regularly (especially after riding the subway). Take care not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, and try to avoid people exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

 

Most people with swine flu are contagious from around one day before they begin exhibiting symptoms to up to seven days after. If you are feeling any flu-like symptoms: cough, fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, head ache. If you exhibit any of these symptoms and are feeling worried about it, go to Health Services and ask to be tested. The lab will have to be sent to the Center for Disease Control for confirmation, so during that time, take care of yourself and warn other people. There are simple and effective antiviral pills/liquids that you can take that act as treatment. Most importantly, it is important not to feel like you’re overreacting – if you’re nervous, get a check- up both to protect yourself and others. Swine flu varies in terms of severity. If you take heed of your symptoms and get vaccinated within the first two days, the vaccine is most effective. Most of the deaths in Mexico result from people not being able to afford treatment for their flu and it thus worsens. 

 

One last thing: you can’t catch swine flu from pork products! 

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After spending all of this past Saturday morning scrambling to rent an apartment, my best friend and I decided to indulge in some home-furnishings window shopping. That’s when we discovered New York’s best-kept stress-relief secret:

Take the train to Lincoln Center’s Bed Bath and Beyond.

Ride the escalator down to the lowest level, and in front of you you’ll find three chairs with Homedic Massaging Cushions.

Air conditioning. Heated massage. FREE.

I recommend the one on the left. Press the demo button. Trust me,  it will be an effort to keep yourself from getting that “oh, oh, oh” face, a la When Harry Met Sally‘s “I’ll have what she’s having” scene.

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You can be all smiles, too.

As the flowers begin to bloom on the trees and the birds seem to chirp once more, students are greeted with nature’s welcome to springtime and Barnard’s onslaught of work. The stress that accompanies my favorite of seasons seems to send students away from the gym and their usual exercise habits and in favor of the library and vending machines. However, the gym may very well be the precise location for the maintenance, or, in my case, the retrieval of one’s sanity.

It has long been argued that exercise offers psychological benefits. The results of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have consistently indicated that aerobic exercise training has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects and protects against harmful consequences of stress (Salmon, 2001). Additionally, about 30 minutes of quality exercise has been found to boost mood and achieve more positive health benefits (Hansen, Stevens, & Coast, 2001).

However, thirty minutes a day wasn’t even required a study by Hassmen, Koivula, & Uutela, when they found that only two to three times of exercise a week could reduce the depression, anger, cynical distrust and stress of those who exercised as compared with those exercising less frequently or not at all (2000).

So, long story short, you should get out of the library and exercise, it will make you healthier and happier, and who couldn’t use a little less ‘cynical distrust’ in their lives?

Good luck with finals, BC!

References

Hansen, C.J., Stevens, L.C., & Coast, J.R..(2001) Exercise Duration and Mood State: How Much is Enough to Feel Better? Health Psychology. Jul, 20(4):267-75.

Hassmen, P., Koivula, N., & Uutela, A.. (2000). Physical Exercise and Psychological Well-Being: A Population Study in Finland. Preventive Medicine. Jan, 30(1):17-25A.

Salmon, P. (2001). Effects of Physical Exercise on Anxiety, Depression, and Sensitivity to Stress: A Unifying Theory. Clinical Psychological Review. Feb 21(1):33-61.

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Tired of seeing the same old apples and potatoes at the farmers market? After a long, cold winter, spring has finally arrived, bringing an array of brightly colored produce to farmers markets. In this post I have enclosed a list of the best spring produce and a link to a recipe for each. By eating seasonally, you can feel good about sustaining both your body and the environment!

 

AsparagusRed Potato, Asparagus, and Artichoke Salad

Artichokes- Stuffed Artichokes with Lemon Zest, Rosemary and Garlic

CarrotsIndian Carrots, Peas, and Potatoes

Chives– My recipe: impress your friends by making dumplings! Simply mix mashed butternut squash with chives and place about 1 teaspoon into a wonton wrapper and use water to seal the edges. Cook dumplings in boiling water until they rise to the surface.

LemonsLemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream ( I also recommend squeezing lemon over fish of your choice and broiling for a quick, healthy dinner)

MangoesMango Lassi

PineapplePineapple Upside-Down Pumpkin Gingerbread (try saying that in one sentence!)

RhubarbRhubarb Rice Pudding

SpinachSpinach and Sundried Tomato Frittata ( Might I note that frittata is a very economical meal and you can purchase fresh eggs at the farmers market)

Turnips– My recipe: for faux mashed potatoes, puree boiled turnips with salt, pepper, and a tad of fat free sour cream (optional).

carrots

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Lately, I have been feeling the stress of school, especialy with finals creeping up on me.  We all know that physical exercise can help us relieve stress…but sometimes exercise just seems to take up a lot of time and money.  Well, I can’t help make exercise not take up time but I can help with the financial aspect.   This month, a yoga studio called Yoga Works is having a promotion where they offer a free introductory class almost every day!  They are also having a promotion where you can go to classes for two weeks for only $30!!!!  The Yoga Works website features a class schedule and descriptions of the classes.  So don’t stress. Just grab your yoga mat and breathe!


Yoga Works is located at 37 W 65th St

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Trying a new class or workout DVD can bump up your motivation and help tone muscles that you might not be focusing on.  Barnard is great about offering unique classes and introducing students to new types of fitness, including yoga, Pilates, weight training, step classes, kickboxing, personal training, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, and cycling.  However, after four years at Barnard, you might have tried most of these.  Here are two other fitness ideas that may pique your interest:

1) Bootcamp

Bootcamp classes boost the intensity of your workout by efficiently working your entire body by bouncing from one exercise to another with no rest, including such exercises as pushups, jumping jacks, crunches and lunges.  In boot camp, you push your limits and torch calories.

Bootcamp classes are offered at gyms throughout the city, including a program called NYC Adventure Boot Camp for Women.  You can also purchase bootcamp dvds, such as Billy Blank’s Cardio Bootcamp, The Firm Bootcamp, and The Biggest Loser Bootcamp Workout.  I enjoy doing bootcamp workouts once a week because they pack an intense workout into a short time period and keep me from getting bored with basic cardio or basic weight training.

2) Krav Maga

Krav Maga was developed as a self-defense system in Israel and emphasizes practical techniques, real-life scenarios, and intense training.  Typical training includes simulating fighting against several or armed opponents, working with a punching bag, and calisthenics.  Krav Maga classes are tailored towards fitness or self-defense (most often not both), so you should know what you are looking for.

Krav Maga classes are offered at the 14th Street Y and at Krav Maga Inc on 58th.  There are also Krav Maga dvds, including Krav Maga Basic Combatives and Krav Maga Personal Protection.

If being cooped up inside in a class or next to a tv doing a dvd workout doesn’t sound appealing, just get outside to go for a run, a hike, a bike ride, a tennis match, a paddleboat ride, a rollerblading trek, or a round of golf.  Enjoy the spring sunshine!

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