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From College to Retirement—Staying Safe and Healthy

September is National Campus Safety Awareness and Healthy Aging Month.  This year’s theme for National Campus Safety Awareness Month is  “Coming Together to Strengthen Campus Communities”.  The vision is that administration and students will work together to raise awareness and create change, that universities will partner with national and local organizations to support and educate students and staff, and that all parties will come to the table to share knowledge and resources to build strong, aware, and safer campuses.  Healthy Aging Month is an annual observance month designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older.


  1. Be aware of your surroundings, including people, visualize potential exit routes from an event or location in case of emergency. Know safe and direct routes to campus destinations.
  2. Try not to walk alone after dark. If you do, try to utilize well-lit and populated routes on campus.
  3. Keep emergency numbers in cell phone or by your landline phone, including that of your RA, campus safety, and health services.
  4. Trust your instincts, especially when you feel that something is “not right.”
  5. Be aware of what you post on the internet, especially online social networks like Facebook and Myspace. You can never be sure of who is viewing your personal information or pictures, stalkers, employers, recruiters, family.
  6. Do not prop open campus building doors, especially residential buildings. Remove props and report the problem to an RA or campus safety.
  7. Do not accept drinks from strangers as they could be easily contaminated with a drug.
  8. Try to avoid being alone in areas of campus that can often be empty or isolated such as basement laundry rooms, study lounges, etc.
  9. If you notice another person in danger follow your school’s safety and security procedures and call 911. Do not engage another person who has a weapon or involve yourself in a fight.


1. Be physically active

  • Some physical activity is always better than none. Try to work up to at least 30 minutes per day, 10 minutes at a time, 5 days per week of moderate activity.
  • Walk alone or with a friend or family member!
  • Do something you enjoy that raises your heart rate, such as biking, dancing, swimming, or tennis, or join a local softball team or an exercise class.  Remember to stretch!
  • Do something to strengthen your muscles twice a week, such as yard work (without power tools!) or lifting weights.
  • Some exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, can be especially good for maintaining balance and flexibility.
  • If you have any medical conditions or you are 65 or older, talk to your health care provider before starting something new.

2. Avoid tobacco.

  • It’s never too late to quit smoking!  No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking, by quitting you can significantly lessen your risk of smoking-related illness and death.
  • Avoid second-hand smoke.

3. Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in saturated fats.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Get at least 5 servings a day of brightly colored fruits and vegetables; choose whole grains and low-fat dairy products. If you eat meat, have fish, poultry, and lean meats.
  • Eat amounts that are right for you and your level of physical activity, and drink plenty of water.
  • Visit www.5aday.org for information on fruit and vegetable servings.
  • Eat with other people make your meals enjoyable!

4. Get enough calcium.

  • For strong bones, we all need calcium every day.
  • Some foods rich in calcium:  low-fat dairy foods (milk, yogurt, natural cheeses), canned fish with soft bones (sardines, salmon), foods with calcium added (such as breakfast cereals, fruit juice, soy-based drinks), dried beans, corn tortillas made with lime, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and dark-green leafy vegetables.
  • Talk to your doctor about how much calcium is right for you, and whether you should take a calcium supplement in addition to eating calcium-rich foods.
  • Read food labels for amounts of calcium and other nutrients in foods!

5. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.

  • Have no more than 2 drinks in one day if you’re a man, 1 drink per day if you’re a woman.
  • One drink = 1 bottle (12 oz.) of beer, 1 glass (5 oz.) of wine, or 1 shot (1.5 oz) of hard liquor.

6. See a health care provider regularly.

  • Get regular check-ups, and ask when you need your next appointment.
  • Find out about immunizations and screening tests you might need, such as flu or pneumonia shots, and tests for blood pressure, bone density, cholesterol, cancer, or diabetes.

7. Be socially active with friends and family. Be involved with your community.

  • Your mental health and well-being are as important as your physical health!
  • Being socially isolated is a major cause of depression in older adults. Stay involved your community needs you!
  • If you feel stressed or depressed, seek help.
  • Make sure to have fun and do things that make you feel useful.

8 Take care of your teeth.

  • Visit your dentist regularly. Stick to the schedule he or she recommends for you.
  • Tooth loss is not a natural part of aging, but is caused by untreated mouth and gum disease

9. If you take any medications, supplements, or traditional home remedies, make sure you are taking them properly.

  • Tell your doctor, pharmacist and dentist what medications, supplements or remedies you take. Ask questions about side effects and contradictions.
  • Make sure all your care providers know about health conditions you may have.


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