Summer, Sunburns, & Sunscreen

That’s right, Blugolds, Finals Week is upon us, which also means that Summer 2016 is just around the corner. Nothing will feel better than the sun’s warm and loving rays on our tired and pale faces after a challenging academic year, but don’t embrace the sun’s glorious gift of Vitamin D without protection. Yes, in the SWAT Office it seems like all we do is talk about protection, so why wouldn’t this conversation carry over to sun+skin care tips?

sun

I’m sure we’ve all heard the dangers of tanning beds and the sunburn we’ll most likely get from spending all day in the sun without sunscreen, but did you know there are other negative effects on the body? Eye problems, a weakened immune system, and sun damage to the skin such as spots, wrinkles, or “leathery” skin can be a nasty result of extended sun exposure without protection. This damage comes from invisible ultraviolet (or UV) radiation from the sun’s rays, and this radiation is known to cause skin cancer. While sunburns are an easy tell-tale sign that you spent too long in the sun, having a tan is a typical and much-desired beauty standard here in the U.S. While getting a nice, even tan over the summer may be #goals, tanning is actually your skin’s reaction to this UV radiation by producing additional pigmentation in an attempt to protection against sunburn, even though this isn’t effective enough to completely protect you… “A” for effort, though.

tanning

You may look cute, but tanning isn’t the healthiest practice.

Regardless of our skin color, we are all at risk for sunburn and the other harmful effects of UV radiation. With this being said, we all need to protect our skin, but people who need to be extra-super careful in the sun are those of us who have:

  • pale skin
  • blond, red, or light brown hair
  • been treated for skin cancer
  • a family member who’s had skin cancer

Sometimes certain medications can affect the way your skin reacts to the sun and UV radiation, especially topical and oral medication for acne. Be sure to ask your health care provider if this pertains to you.

ginger

Sunburns on overcast days truly seem mind boggling, but remember that even though the sun may be hiding behind clouds, up to 80% of these UV rays can get through the cloud cover. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10AM and 2PM, so be sure to reapply that sunscreen every two hours especially during this time frame. Summer days are known for that heat and humidity combo, so dressing in protective clothing isn’t always the most comfortable option. However, hats are a great option for shading your eyes and scalp from those pesky UV rays, and beach umbrellas are good for full-body coverage. Sunglasses will protect your eyes the best, but make sure that the label specifically offers UV protection.

sunburn

When it comes to sunscreen, we’ve seen everything from SPF 4 all the way up to SPF 80. Choosing a sunscreen with a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) will serve as a better protector against UV radiation. Be sure to apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before heading outdoors, and don’t forget to apply to your lips, ears, and even feet! Some lip balms conveniently offer SPF so you don’t have to deal with tasting actual sunscreen all day.

teletubbies

Our love-hate relationship with the sun doesn’t have to be love-hate. When using the tips above, it can be love-love. Which sounds win-win to me. All our information for this blog came straight from the FDA. For more information visit their Sun Safety page here!

Happy summer Blugolds, and stay safe!

 

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It’s Finals Week Again!

Finals are just around the corner and it’s always a stressful time of the year. Many students talk about pulling all nighters, running only on coffee, and cramming for exams. These are all habits that we should try to avoid if we want to do well on our finals and maintain our health. Here are some great tips on how you can crush finals week!

stress

  1. Create a plan for each day and stick to it, it’s always satisfying to make a check list and to cross things off when you’ve completed it
  2. For cumulative exams break the content into sections and just focus on one section at a time rather than all of the content-This can get way too overwhelming!
  3. Go back and review your old exams, notice what you got wrong and identify why you got it wrong, also identify questions that you think would reappear on the cumulative final- if your professor does not let you hold onto your exams many will let you look at your exams in their office.
  4. Instead of cramming for an exam the day of or the night before try to set aside as certain amount of time each day for several days before the exam to study for it. This will make the content stick in your mind more and will promote learning instead of regurgitation.

    cram

    don’t be that guy

  5. Another important key to studying for finals is finding a place that works best for you. The library may become overrun with other students and may no longer be an optimal place to study. Some suggestions I have are going to Racy’s on Water Street, The Cabin in Davies or the Acoustic Café downtown.
  6. Try to avoid overconsuming caffeine, particularly later in the day because it will prevent you from being able to sleep at night

    coffee

    don’t be this guy either

  7. Make sure to get sleep! Many students opt to study for a few extra hours instead of getting some ZZZZ’s. This is a mistake because if you are tired your brain will not be able to focus nearly as well compared to being well rested.
  8. Maintain your normal eating patterns throughout the week. It’s a lot easier to start eating junk food from vending machines in the library or ordering a pizza. However, your body will thank you if you eat healthy foods that you normally eat. Some suggestions for snacks are trail mix, dark chocolate, fruits and vegetables, or pita chips and hummus.

    eating

    Chipotle binges may not be the secret to finals success…

  9. Don’t forget to reward yourself! If you need a break scroll through Facebook, take a walk, or hang out with your friends for a little while. Maybe make plans with your friends to go out to dinner to celebrate after completing a really hard exam.
  10. Have a positive attitude! You know the content you’ve been preparing all semester for these exams! It’s time to show off just how much you’ve actually learned this semester, you may surprise yourself when you sit down to study with how much you already know
SpaceJam

From Michael Jordan and all of us at SWAT, crush those finals and congrats to all those graduating!

Overall find a system that works for you and stick with it. Make your health a priority as well as your grades during the upcoming week. I hope these tips are helpful for you and good luck on your finals!

Meet a New SWAT Member

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Kayla Kranzusch

 

 

Meet Kayla!

Kayla is a junior from Black Creek, Wisconsin studying Kinesiology and Gerontology. She is currently learning the ins-and-outs of SWAT. Her favorite healthy snack is fruit salad and she loves to play intramurals with her friends to stay active. If Kayla were a crayon she would be Jazzberry Jam, and an interesting fact about her is she used to be a powerlifter.

What is S.W.A.T?

The Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) is a group of peer health educators who educate the campus on health and wellness topics such as stress management, sexual health, nutrition, and more.  We are interactive, fun, and can tailor our materials to your group’s needs.  We also do health advocacy work on campus in an effort to make UW-Eau Claire’s campus a healthier place for learning and living.

How did you learn about the job opportunity?

I learned about SWAT through my friend Gracia, who also works for the SWAT Team. I always thought her job sounded really cool. However, I did not know that they were hiring until I looked on the job board and it sounded like the perfect job for me.

What made you want to be apart if the SWAT Team?

I wanted to be a part of the SWAT Team because I have a passion for health promotion. It is also applicable to my future career because I want to work in Cardiac Rehabilitation and that focuses on proper nutrition, increased exercise, and cessation of smoking. All of these topics are included in activities that we do at SWAT through presentations, programs, or campaigns on campus.

What does the SWAT team even do?

The SWAT Team is probably best known for putting on condom bingo in the dorms and teaching alcohol education classes to those found in violation of the judicial code. The SWAT team also does much more such as nutrition, balanced life, and sexual health presentations. We also do Hello Sunday Morning events, Step-Up, and are campaigning for a smoke free campus.

What are the hours like?

The hours are perfect for a college student because you have two office hours a week and an hour long meeting that all are planned around your class schedule. You also have the ability to pick up more hours as it works for you to teach presentations or facilitate an alcohol education class.

What is the work environment like?

The work environment at SWAT is great. The supervisors and other student educators are very inclusive and easy to talk to. Everyone is very supportive and willing to help you with anything.

What is your favorite part about being a part of the SWAT Team?

My favorite part of working for the SWAT team are the people I work with and the fact that I know I am making a difference to make our campus healthier.

 

 

 

Considering applying to be a part of the SWAT Team or just want to learn more? Check out our page:

https://www.uwec.edu/SHS/SWAT/about.htm

 

Like us on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/UWECSHS/

Follow us on Twitter! 

@UWECSHS

Meet a New SWAT Member

Meet Emma!

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Emma Klapper

Emma is a freshman from Montello, Wisconsin studying Health Care Administration. Emma is currently living the dream and learning everything SWAT throws at her! Her favorite healthy snack is yogurt and granola, and her favorite ways to exercise are running and playing sports. If Emma were a crayon she would be Vivid Violent. An interesting fact about her is she was an All-Conference and All-District athlete in high school.

What is S.W.A.T?

The Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) is a group of peer health educators who educate the campus on health and wellness topics such as stress management, sexual health, nutrition, and more.  We are interactive, fun, and can tailor our materials to your group’s needs.  We also do health advocacy work on campus in an effort to make UW-Eau Claire’s campus a healthier place for learning and living.

 

How did you learn about the job opportunity?

 One day I decided to browse the UWEC website and came across the online student job board. I saw there was a position open for a Peer Health Educator. I thought it sounded similar to organizations I participated in during high school and so I clicked on it. I read the description and decided to apply that week.

What made you want to be apart if the SWAT Team?

  I wanted to be apart of the SWAT team because I had some experience in doing similar activities and programs. When I chose to become a member of SWAT, my major was undeclared but I knew I wanted to do something in the health care field. I thought this job would be a great opportunity for more experience and to even educate myself on these topics.

  What does the SWAT team even do?

SWAT’s most popular activity is Condom Bingo that is typically put on in the residence halls. We also teach the alcohol classes, CHOICES and PHD, for students in violation of the code in the residence halls. Our other programs include, Sex Trivia, Balanced Life, Nutrition 101, Relaxation Station and much more!

What are the hours like?

Depending the number of programs we have going on that week, the hours will vary. The hours are wonderful because our bosses are very flexible with our class schedules.

What is the work environment like?

Coming into SWAT, I had little experience of talking in front of audiences. At first I was super shy and nervous presenting in front of people. My bosses and co- workers have been very encouraging and have helped me ease into presenting more programs. The atmosphere in our office is very welcoming and comforting!

  What is your favorite part about being a part of the SWAT Team?

 My favorite part about being part of the SWAT team are my co-workers. They make coming to work, meetings, and programs so much more enjoyable. We all get along very well and everyone always has a smile on their face. I know that I can come to them with anything, even if it is outside of work.

 

 

Considering applying to be a part of the SWAT Team or just want to learn more? Check out our page:

https://www.uwec.edu/SHS/SWAT/about.htm

 

Like us on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/UWECSHS/

Follow us on Twitter! 

@UWECSHS