hink of Monday as the “January” of every week. Each January, we set new goals and aspirations for ourselves, many of which include ways to improve our health. Some may choose to exercise more, eat healthier or stop smoking. The Monday Campaign builds upon similar “new beginning aspirations,” but instead of waiting for the New Year once a year, the campaign offers 52 Mondays of new beginnings.1 This unique Monday Campaign promotes a year to live a longer, healthier life.
The Healthy Monday Campaign originated during World War I when the U.S. Food administration tried to encourage families to reduce consumption of key staples needed to aid the war effort. Based upon this effort, food restriction was encouraged with campaigns like “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday”.1 Although the program lost a little steam after World War I, World War II ramped up the program once again, and ever since the non-profit health initiative, which aims to end chronic preventable diseases, has been implemented in a growing number of businesses and institutions.
Today’s Monday Campaign only focuses on one day and has created the following important names: Quit and Stay Quit Monday, Kids Cook Monday, Move It Monday, Man Up Monday, Healthy Monday and Caregivers Monday.2 John Hopkins University is one of the institutions that worked extensively with the Monday Campaign, assisting with research and jumpstarting the program. Their research concluded that Monday was the most effective day to start making healthy changes and that most people made the most substantial and important decisions on Monday because it was a start to a brand new week.2 Seeing the benefits of emphasizing Monday as a day of health, John Hopkins University adopted this program with the goals of promoting and building a supportive environment for health improvement.3
The Monday Campaign is free and easy to positively utilize. There are no start up costs or obligations, just the motivation to start making positive health changes in your life. These changes can be made individually, or can be included in other organizations you are involved in such as school, clubs, at home and in a working environment. You can even include a “Healthy Monday Tip” on any of your social networking websites for friends and family to see.
The time is now to step up and plan for a healthier Monday and a healthier life. Visit www.mondaycampaigns.org for more information!
Looking for a simple, new way to improve your health? Try going meatless every Monday! An initiative called “Meatless Monday” aims to help individuals better their diet and their planet at the same time. Studies even show that reducing your meat intake can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also improve your chances of living longer and balance your diet by decreasing your intake of saturated fat. According to the Meatless Monday Initiative website, “both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes.”1 A recent study done by Harvard University also concluded that “replacing saturated fat rich foods (meat, full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.”1
Not only will it benefit your overall health, but it will also benefit the environment as a whole. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated that, “the meat industry generates nearly one fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide.”1 Astonishingly enough, this statistic totals more than the emissions from transportation alone! Cutting down on your meat intake can help conserve water as well. An estimated 1800-2500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef, whereas other meat alternatives such as tofu, only take 220 gallons of water per pound.1
Going completely meatless (vegetarian) may sound unattainable, but eliminating your meat intake at least once a week is more realistic and can make a huge difference. You may think there are not enough tasty meat alternatives, but in fact there are a wide variety of yummy, nutritious options. www.MeatlessMonday.com has a list of recipes (simple to complex) for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert! Here are some easy swaps you can make. Instead of a turkey sandwich, try peanut butter and jelly. Instead of a chicken enchilada, go for a bean burrito. Rather than pasta with meat sauce, try pasta with pesto or cannellini beans.2 It is important to remember that eliminating meat does not automatically make your diet healthier. Remember to still eat the right balance of healthy foods as indicated in the chart below.
USDA Dietary Benchmarks
When this next Monday comes, take the opportunity to go meatless! Even restaurants across the globe are partaking in this initiative. Simple changes can go a long way, so have fun with being healthy!
Do you need motivation to exercise every week? Well there is good news for you. The Move it Monday Campaign gives you the opportunity to begin a new workout regimen 52 times per year! As an incentive to improve individual’s lifestyles, the Move it Monday campaign encourages everyone to live a healthier lifestyle by incorporating exercise into their daily routines. Instead of making exercise part of your New Year’s resolution only once per year, give yourself the push to stay active every Monday and keep up the work throughout the week.
There are several ways to incorporate physical activity into your weekly routine; it’s a simple goal of wanting to get active. A great way for students to increase physical activity would be by making use of the CSULB Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC). Part of your student fees pay for your membership. Therefore, since you are already a paid member, take advantage of the equipment and the classes that are offered throughout the year. Move your body into healthy exercise! It isn’t necessary for you to spend several hours exercising, simply be active for at least twenty minutes per day and you will feel some beneficial results.
According to evidenced based research, students who work out for a continuous 20 minutes per day, seven days a week, had a higher grade point average than those who did not exercise.1 So improve your health, while simultaneously improving your grades! Look at your current schedule and find slots of time in which you can run around a park, go on a treadmill, swim, play tennis, practice yoga and/or dance.
Aside from helping you improve your grades, exercising on a daily basis helps decrease stress levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity helps increase the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.2 Endorphins block pain signals produced by the nervous system, preventing stress.3 Therefore, becoming engaged in vigorous workouts will result in optimism and energy from your regular workout exercises which will help to provide balance in your day.2 Not only will your stress level decrease, but you can feel confident that you will be contributing to your overall health. With regular exercise you can help prevent obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are chronic illnesses and could shorten your lifespan. So feel confident that you are taking the steps to living a longer, healthier life every time you exercise!
Make it your goal to incorporate exercise into your everyday lifestyle. If you plan on doing a minimum twenty minute exercise activity daily from now on, you will greatly improve your quality of life, boost confidence, and feel healthy! So this coming Monday, try out something new in your workout routine. Join the local gym, exercise outdoors, and don’t forget to MOVE IT!
Over 65 million people in the US currently have an incurable sexually transmitted infection (STI), and the majority of all STI cases occur in people under age 25. STIs and HIV usually cause no visible symptoms. For this reason, it is easy to transmit these infections to other people. The most common STIs among college age students are Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), and Chlamydia. HPV is the most common STI in the United States. Young men are especially prone to STIs and HIV because they tend to not get regular health screenings. Some other reasons as to why young men are more susceptible to contract an STI/HIV are because they are more likely to have unprotected sex, use drugs/alcohol before sex, have multiple sex partners, and have less knowledge about STIs.
In response to young men having a high rate of contracting STIs and HIV, The Monday Campaign has created “Man Up Monday”. This campaign specifically promotes that young men choose a Monday and visit their local clinics to get checked for HIV and STIs. “Man Up Monday” is a new health program affording young men opportunities to increase self-awareness and knowledge about their health. All men, but especially young men in general tend to ignore health problems until they become severe. This “Man Up Monday” campaign is not limited only to sexual health. It is important that every week, men take stock of their health and take any necessary actions to improve their well-being.
On campus, you can get general checkups at the Student Health Services for free! All you have to do is schedule an appointment either in person, by phone, or online to be seen by a physician. STI and HIV tests are also done at the Student Health Services (SHS). Confidential HIV tests are done in the Health Resource Center (HRC) and are free for students. The Health Resource Center also has the Gardasil Reimbursement Program, which offers the Gardasil vaccine free for students who qualify. Gardasil protects against the four most common types of HPV, the most prevalent STI in the United States and the world. Drop by the HRC to see if you qualify for the Gardasil Reimbursement Program. All other STI tests are scheduled at the front desk of the SHS. If enrolled in Family PACT, all sexual health services (STI screenings, condoms, etc.) are free. If not, a small fee will be charged. The types of tests offered are blood tests for syphilis and herpes, urine tests/swab tests for Chlamydia and gonorrhea, and oral swab tests for HIV. So this coming Monday, man up and get tested!
Linda Peña, MA, CADC
Heidi Burkey, MPH, CHES
Christina Goldpaint, MPH, CHES
Nop Ratanasiripong, RN, MSN, CCRC
The HEALTH BEAT Newsletter is published by California State University, Long Beach, Division of Student Services, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840. Printed in the USA. Copyright© 2008 by the Student Health Services. All rights reserved. Contact CSULB, Division of Student Services, Health Resource Center for a free subscription at (562) 985-4609.
The Health Resource Center does not accept responsibility for views expressed in articles, reviews and other contributions that appear in its pages. The purpose of the HEALTH BEAT newsletter is to serve college students and related professionals with health-related information, which may help understand a diagnosis or treatment, yet cannot serve as a replacement for the services of a licensed health care practitioner. The information and opinions presented in the HEALTH BEAT newsletter reflect the views of the authors.