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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Your Guide to Alcohol and the Law

Getting an alcohol citation can be expensive, embarrassing, and very frustrating.   Many students can minimize their risk of getting a drinking ticket by becoming informed.   So, before you make any decisions about purchasing or drinking alcohol, make sure you know the law; know the consequences; and know your rights.

Know the Law:  

It is ILLEGAL to….

  • Purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under 21.  This includes attempting to order a drink at a bar or purchasing beer at a grocery store
  • Possess alcohol if you are under 21.  This includes alcohol found in your vehicle or in your hands as you walk down the street, even if it is unopened.   An underage person suspected to be under the influence of alcohol (smells like alcohol, holding an empty Solocup that smells like alcohol, visibly intoxicated, etc) can be charged with underage possession.
  • Use a Fake ID to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol or to enter an over 21 drinking establishment.  Using a Fake ID to get into a bar can still result in a citation even if no alcoholic drinks are purchased or consumed.
  • Purchase alcohol for an underage friend.
  • Drink and Drive.  If you are 21 and over, this means having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08. It is also illegal to consume alcohol while driving or to have any alcohol in your system when there is an unsealed alcohol container in the passenger seat.   If you are under 21, you can get a DUI for having any alcohol in your system.
  • Possess an open container of alcohol in any publicly owned area, such as streets, sidewalks, municipal parking lots, public parks, playgrounds, recreational fields, tennis courts, athletic fields, and in any buildings owned by the town.  This law applies to people 21 and over.  If you are under 21, you will be charged with underage possession.  

Know the consequences

Typical consequences for the above offenses include a misdemeanor charge, fines, and court costs.  Additionally, many students are required to complete an 6-week alcohol education class as well as a 1-on-1 alcohol assessment.  A DUI results in a 1-year revocation of your Driver’s License for the first offense.  Depending on the situation, a student may also face imprisonment.   UNC Dean of Students has their own set of consequences for students that may include academic and/or housing probation.

Know your rights

If you are stopped by the police, here’s some helpful advice from UNC Legal Services…..

  1. You are not required to answer questions. You can choose to remain silent. Think “UNC”: “Uh, No Comment.”
  2. If police request to search your person or belongings, and you do not wish to be searched, you may say, “I do not consent to a search.”
  3. If the officer proceeds to search you or your belongings, such as your wallet, backpack, or car, do not resist.  If you do not consent to the search, simply say, “I do not consent to a search.” (If the search is unlawful, it can be suppressed in court.)
  4. If an officer asks for your identification, do not present a fake ID.  If you present proper identification and an officer asks to see your wallet to check if you have a fake ID, you can refuse.  After refusing, you may then ask, “Officer, am I free to go?”
  5. You are not required to submit to a breathalyzer unless you are driving a car.  If you are a passenger in a vehicle, you may refuse a breathalyzer without legal consequences unless you are underage and visibly intoxicated.  If you are approached on the street (e.g. walking home or outside a party), you may refuse a breathalyzer without legal consequences.  After refusing, you may then ask, “Officer, am I free to go?”
  6. NEVER physically resist a police officer.  Simply remain silent and remain calm.
  7. If you are arrested, state clearly for the officer, “I am going to remain silent.” Then remain silent.

Some additional things to keep in mind if you are stopped while driving….

  1. YOU MUST display your driver’s license upon an officer’s request.
  2. YOU MUST write your name (for the purpose of identification) upon an officer’s request and provide your name and address (and the name and address of the auto’s owner).
  3. If the officer pulls you over while driving, you must submit to a breathalyzer test or your license will be revoked. You do have the right to contact an attorney for advice.
  4. You may be asked to perform dexterity tests, but you are not required to do so.  There are no formal legal penalties for refusing to do so.

For more information:

UNC Legal Services

Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE),000005,000272,000274

Healthy Heels Weekend!

After a dreary and drizzle-filled week in Chapel Hill, there are two things that I can’t wait to see. . . the sun and the weekend. Thankfully, both of those are coming tomorrow! So in this edition of Healthy Heels Weekend, let’s look at some outside activities that can help you soak iup some Vitamin D, shake out that midterm stress, and re-charge your batteries for your next adventure!

OCLQ’s Fest-O-Fall, Thursday 7pm

Crash Old Campus Lower Quad’s event and get in the mood for fall with games and apple cider. Here is the link to the Facebook event and here is a video that is pretty epic.

Frozen Yogurt with Friends Friday Night

Round up some of your peeps and get some Sweet Frog (throw some blueberries on it, that’s healthy, right?) for a good cause. Mention Relay for Life and proceeds go their way. That a sweet deal! (couldn’t resist). Facebook link here.

Hike the Bolin Creek Trail

A great walk/jog close to campus that can help relieve the stress of exams. Get a map here and go anytime the weather is nice. Like this Friday and Saturday!

Crossfit Workout Thursday Night

Go checkout Crossfit UNC, and the crazy fun workouts they do! It’s open to all experience and fitness levels. Go here to learn more!

Carolina Football Game

Bring a water bottle and some sunscreen and cheer on the Tarheels as we take on Virginia Tech. Game time is 12:30 on Saturday.

As always, have fun and stay safe this weekend in Chapel Hill!

Healthy Heels Weekend

It’s time for another Healthy Heels weekend, and the beautiful weather came just in time.  It’s going to be a dream weekend for any music or drama buffs out there.  Also, there will be plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Tarheels.  Details below:



Music on the Street – Tubby Ridge Band (FREE)

Friday, September 28, 6 PM, Modern Fossil Parking Lot, Weaver Street


“Tubby Ridge’s catchy gypsy folk tunes have delighted audiences at venues such as the Festival for the Eno, Pinecone’s Summer Music Concert at Bond Park, and Durham Art Walk. Featured on NPR’s Car Talk, American Songwriter Magazine, and Celtic Roots Radio. The band includes award-winning guitarist Justin Johnson and noted blues singer Lise Uyanik.”



Carrboro Music Festival (FREE)

Sunday, September 30, 1 PM, throughout Carrboro


“The day long, free festival features all styles of music at numerous indoor and outdoor venues around downtown Carrboro. In the space of a few hours (and within a few blocks) a listener can hear Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz, Country, Rock & Roll, Classical, and World Music. There remains a consistent effort to showcase Triangle area performers and the varied musical styles they represent. All of the performers donate their talents to foster a strong sense of community and as a way to reveal their talents to a wider audience.”

There will be over 180 acts in 25 venues.  Checkout for the schedule.



CUAB movies @ The Union


Seeking a Friend at the End of the World
Friday, September 28, 7pm
Saturday, September 29, 9:30pm


Being Flynn
Friday, September 28, 10:30pm
Saturday, September 29, 7pm



Playmakers @ Center for Dramatic Art – RED

Friday, September 28, 7:30 PM

Saturday, September 29, 7:30 PM

Sunday, September 30, 2:00 PM


PlayMakers Mainstage Season opens with the 2010 Tony Award-winner for Best Play. “Red” takes you into the studio of Mark Rothko, pioneer of abstract expressionism, and into the mind of an artist wrestling with the eternal struggle between art and commerce. Seen through the eyes of his young, increasingly challenging assistant, Rothko agonizes over a lucrative project painting murals for the new Four Seasons Restaurant. Has he sold out to fame and fortune or is he still a real artist?

Tickets start at $15



UNC Sports


Women’s Soccer vs. #1 Florida State

Thursday, September 27, 7:00 PM, Fetzer Field


Football vs. Idaho

Friday, September 29, 3:30 PM, Kenan Stadium


Volleyball vs. Georgia Tech

Sunday, September 30, 1:00 PM, Carmicheal Arena

Smart Ways to Keep Tabs on Drinking

Happy Monday Morning! How did you spend your weekend? Did you participate in any of our Healthy Heels recommendations? If you were out drinking, do you remember how many drinks you had? Do you know what your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was?

Keeping an eye on how many drinks you have can help you manage your budget and help you make sure you are keeping your BAC at manageable levels. Keeping your BAC below certain levels can help you avoid the nastier side of drinking – the hangovers, the missed classes, and days spent recovering when you should be studying – while still allowing you to go out, have fun, and enjoy drinks with friends.

With this approach in mind, here are some online tools and phone apps we’ve found that could be useful to someone who wants to take the first steps towards monitoring their drinking on-the-go. If you know of another good way you keep track of how many drinks you’ve had in a night, feel free to share in the comment section!

For starters, there is a very cool iPhone app called DrinkTracker available in the App Store for $1.99. It uses an algorithm to calculate your real-time BAC as you are drinking, taking into account how quickly your body processes the alcohol based on your weight, height, gender, and how long you have been drinking. It’s also has some cool integration with Google maps to help you find the next bar or get home safely by contacting a local taxi service, or even emailing a friend your location. Click here to check it out.

For Android users, we recommend the free AlcoDroid app.  Like DrinkTracker, AlcoDroid uses sex, weight, and type of drink to give you a current BAC estimate. In addition, AlcoDroid plots your BAC over time, giving you an idea of when you’ll be below the legal driving limit or back to zero.  It can also track the cost of your drinks and graphically chart your daily, weekly, and monthly alcohol consumption statistics. Click here to learn more about Alcodroid and its many features.

While these apps are great tools for monitoring your drinking, we want to remind everyone that any information provided should be taken with a grain of salt.  They can’t take into account other things that affect BAC levels, such as whether you have eaten a balanced meal beforehand, or things that are specific to you, such as genetic factors.  It’s very important to stay within your comfort zone.  If you normally wouldn’t drive after having 4 beers in 2 hours, don’t change things up just because DrinkTracker says you’re good to go.  These apps are meant to keep you informed, not to push your limits.

For more information on drink tracking and other cool apps, check-out this page.

Healthy Heels Weekend

Summer’s slow carefree days are winding down: sunsets are earlier, nights are nippier.  More time spent pecking at a keyboard and highlighting journal articles, less time reading a juicy novel in the sun or playing Frisbee on the lawn.  Yep, fall semester is officially underway.  And as I stare down those first assignment deadlines and try to kickstart my brain back into school mode, I must remember that even the most diligent student needs a break, especially on the weekend…

Top picks for this weekend:

Bluegrass Band Town Mountain at Merritt’s Store and Grill

Friday at 6:00pm

Listen to live bluegrass and enjoy a delicious sandwich hot off the grill—what a perfect way to celebrate North Carolina livin’


Free movies at the Union

Friday, September 14, 10pm
Saturday, September 15, 7pm

Happens Friday and Saturday nights throughout the semester.  This week, it’s “The Avengers”



ImageNina Simone…What More Can I Say? One-Act, One-Woman Play.  

Saturday at 7pm

This tribute to the legendary singer takes place at the Sonja Hanes Center and it’s FREE. 

Healthy Heels Weekend

Even though this weekend is shorter than last weekend, you still have plenty of time to enjoy some fun events! Here are just a few things that are happening:

Free Movies at the Union
Friday and Saturday – Bring your One Card for free admission!

The Five-Year Engagement
Friday, September 7, 7pm
Saturday, September 8, 9pm

Wrath of the Titans
Friday, September 7, 9:30pm
Saturday, September 8, 7pm

Men’s Soccer vs. Virginia Tech
Saturday  7:00 PM
Fetzer Field

Fiesta del Pueblo
Sunday  12 – 8 PM
Moore Square in Downtown Raleigh
Come celebrate Latino Culture and Community while enjoying popular music and artists, traditional dance performances, folk musicians, and Latino food like pupusas, paletas, churros, tortillas, tacos al carbón, empanadas  and much more.


Healthy Heels Weekend

Hello, fellow weekend-lovers!  If you’re up for a road trip like me, it’s a great time of year to take a weekend trip east to the coast or west to the mountains.  I’ll be out in Asheville this weekend to check out the Festival of Flowers at the Biltmore.   If you’re sticking around the Triangle, here’s what’s happening:

Top Picks:

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Thursday through Sunday
Durham, various locations

Political Satirist Lizz Winstead
Former Daily Show writer
Friday at 8pm
Cat’s Cradle

The War on Drugs, A War on People
Come hear Robert Childs of the NC Harm Reduction Coalition (and friend of CWS!)
Friday, 7-8pm
Internationalist Books

We’ll also be checking out…

Second Friday Art Walk in Carrboro/Chapel Hill on Friday evening * Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s at 506 on Saturday at 8:30 * Free Yoga at Franklin Street Yoga on Saturday at 12:30 pm

Healthy Heels Weekend

Oh fun! A three day weekend! What will you do with your extra day? Here are a few things that we have our eyes on. If you know of something cool happening this weekend, comment & share!  To promote future weekend events, send us a tip.

Top Picks:

No Women, No Cry
Hosted by the Graduate and Professional Student Association comes this award winning documentary.
Thursday, April 5th 5pm- 7pm

A Downtown Chapel Hill & Carrboro Walking Food Tour- Triangle Food Tour
Walk, Talk, Taste, Sip.
Friday, October 14th 6pm- 9pm

We’ll also be checking out…
*Historic Gardens Color Walk, spring has sprung at Duke Gardens!*

Healthy Heels Weekend

In my job at Counseling & Wellness, I spend a lot of time talking to students about having healthy, happy social lives.  One thing that comes up all the time is feeling shy around strangers – so I really liked this article:  “They’re Just Not That Into You!  And Other Facts to Help You Beat Social Anxiety.”  Try out the tips while you’re making new friends this weekend!

Top Picks:

Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon & 5K
Springtime is the best time for running!
Sunday at 7:30 am
RBC Center, Raleigh

Carrboro CD and Record Show
New & used CDs, vinyl records and music memorabilia
Sunday, 12-6 pm
Carrboro Century Center

Singer/Songwriter Darrell Scott
It’s a great day to be alive…
Saturday at 8 pm
The ArtsCenter Carrboro

We’ll also be checking out…

Farmworker Awareness Panel on Thursday at 6:30 pm in Dey Hall Room 307 * Jazz music Matthew Shipp Trio at Hill Hall on Thursday night at 7:30 pm* Heels for Healing 5K on campus on Saturday at 9:00 am * Three Stooges Madcap Marathon at the Varsity on Saturday at 1:00 pm *