WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Tips for a Healthy Hike

This blog post was written by Ben Smart and is published as part of our blog exchange with Tar Heel Tone-Up.

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Sedona, Arizona

Fresh air, breathtaking views, and space to explore – these are just a few of the tangible reasons to enjoy an outdoor hike. Engaging your mind and body with a short excursion could also yield health benefits extending beyond physical exercise. Research with nearly 2,000 participants in England found that walking outdoors in a group delivered a significant mood boost as well as lower perceived stress and depression, especially for those experiencing stress from a traumatic life event.

Before lacing up your boots and heading to the trail, take the time to pack and prepare the right way. We’ve compiled a few tips to make your next hike the healthiest to date.

Let’s start with your pack. If your filled backpack weighs more than a few pounds, it’s a good idea to select an ergonomic pack with waist strap capabilities, which will take the bulk of the weight off of your back and distribute it to your torso. When wearing the backpack, adjust the shoulder straps first so that the backpack fits comfortably on your shoulders, and then fasten the waist strap.

Now that your backpack is up to par, let’s examine the contents. Take everything out of your backpack and lay in on a table. Are you bringing any unnecessary items? Think twice before packing the second tube of toothpaste or the heavy binoculars. Ensure that you’ve packed a conservative first aid kit, and one or two plastic bags; these can really come in handy.

The most important part (and my favorite aspect) of hiking is food and hydration. Fill a stainless steel bottle (or two) full of water for the trek. Metal is preferred over plastic, as many plastic bottles can leach small amount of toxic BPA or other chemicals into your water, which means you’ll be drinking those chemicals.

As for snacks, aim for balanced portions. If you’re only hiking 1-3 miles, high protein and low carbohydrate food can be sufficient fuel. Three ideas:

  • Turkey sandwich with spinach and cheese, accompanied with a side of almonds
  • Tuna and high-fiber crackers, completed with an apple and peanut butter
  • Salmon and a whole grain tortilla, topped off with a banana and cheese

Once you’re hiking, remember to make smart choices. Take your trash to go, don’t litter. Watch your step, and adopt a wide stance when scaling steep trails. Finally, look up from the cell phone and enjoy the view! If you keep your eyes peeled, you’re sure to find some wildlife.

Ready to take a weekend hike? Check out UNC Campus Recreation’s outdoor expedition schedule here for events this summer.

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Men’s Sexual Health Mysteries

Here at Campus Health, we are busy preparing for Orgasm? Yes Please! which will be held on September 21 in the Union’s Great Hall from 7-9pm. Free tickets are available at the Union Box Office!

This year, we are making some changes to the program, including adding more information about men’s sexual health.  Please keep in mind that when I say “men’s” health, I mean folks with a male sex organ – a penis, not necessarily those who strictly identify as male.  We strive to be gender inclusive and provide the best information possible for folks of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions.  Be on the lookout for a blog specific to trans sexual health soon!


In this post, we’ll talk about one organ that faces a lot of pressure when it comes to sex: the penis. Specifically—what happens when the penis does not follow orders?


For starters, some men get worried about not being able to get hard in the first place. There are many reasons why it may be difficult for the penis to become erect. Being depressed, stressed, anxious, tired, or drunk can make it difficult for a man to get hard. Sometimes, there may be no identifiable reason. Although we stereotypically think that this works the other way, men can also experience simply not “being in the mood”.

If a male experiences trouble keeping an erection it is important not to panic. More pressure and worry usually only make matters worse. The fact is that most men have at one time or another experienced not being able to maintain an erection.  And partners—try not to get defensive. It usually has nothing to do with you. Instead, be reassuring and try to suggest other bedroom activities that you could do that are still fun, enjoyable, and take away some of the pressure.

If a person faces regular problems with getting hard, it may be important to check in with a doctor to see if there is a medical reason. Some medications and serious medical conditions can change the way men are aroused. A doctor may be able to help identify the culprit and help men identify possible treatments.

Premature Ejaculation

Many men also worry about ejaculating too soon when they are with their partners. There is no exact cut off to determine if ejaculation is premature. It is really up to a male and his partner to determine if ejaculation is happening too soon.

It is estimated that between 30-40% of males have had issues with premature ejaculation. It can be helpful for men to concentrate on sensations they are feeling in other parts of their body and to relax to help prevent premature ejaculation.  For guys with consistent problems with ejaculating too soon, there are some exercises that can help erections last longer.

Remember: the penis is not the only thing that can make a sexual experience enjoyable for male-bodied people or their partners. Switch the focus to your fingers or tongue or whatever else helps get the job done.

What are some other things that men worry about when it comes to sex? Leave your comments below AND check out Orgasm? Yes Please!. on September 21, 2012 to get your questions answered.). Tickets are FREE and available to pick up at the Union Box Office.



Solot, D. & Miller, M. (2007). I Heart Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.

Joannides, P. (2003). Guide to Getting It On! 3rd Edition. Oregon: Goofy Foot Press.

Mayo Clinic. (2011). Premature Ejaculation. Retrieved from: