Brandon Baumgartner-Graduate Assistant Student, Intramurals & Recreation

How was my experience as a graduate assistant at the Wellness Center?

From the first day I walked into the Wellness Center, I knew that this experience was going to be different. It all begins with the staff at the Wellness Center. When I began, I didn’t have a clue what to do and naturally I was nervous and hoping to find a few people that were friendly and willing to help, but at the Wellness Center that seemed to be everyone! It became a great experience, learning new things and teaching people things I have learned.

Working with the intramurals and recreation department taught me many things that I will take with me in the future. It has been a very enjoyable experience working with the student staff and I was lucky enough, in my opinion, to receive the opportunity to have the best graduate assistantship at this university. I’ am very happy to have been given a chance to work at this great facility with many awesome people.


Brandon Baumgartner keeps informed with campus news

What recreation means to me?

Recreation is an important part of life. Playing sports all my life, I was always active. Being given a chance to stay active throughout my life is very important to me. Whether it’s shooting hoops, playing racquetball, playing catch or playing one of the many intramural sports that the Wellness Center offers. This facility allowed me to continue playing the recreation sports I love and gave me a place to relax and take my mind off school.


Brandon Baumgartner (right) receives a toast from friends at an appreciation luncheon for student staff on May 7, 2014.

What is the importance of recreation to the NDSU?

Recreation is extremely important at NDSU. The great facility of the Wellness Center makes exercising exciting and enjoyable for all the students here. For some students the Wellness Center is like a second home. It is great place to socialize and meet friends. Our recreation and intramural programs allow our students to continue to stay active and play sports that they have played their entire life. The Wellness Center allows our students the ability to take a break from their busy life of school and activities and lets them distress by getting a workout in. I believe the Wellness Center and our recreation programs are a vital part in the overall success of NDSU.


Know Your Stress Zones


What are your stress triggers?

There is a theory that car drivers are more stressed out than truck drivers and that people who claim to be more attractive than average feel more stressed out than those who categorized themselves as average, according to the Huffington Post study.

The study, “How Stressful Would you Say Your Life is Right Now?” consisted of a focus group of 4,180 adults. It revealed that nearly one third of Americans say that they are “very stressed.” However, 83 percent said their lives were “somewhat stressful”. Most who are stressed are women and people in the higher income category.

Having a little bit of stress is not the end of the world. In fact the Huffington Post says stress provides us with energy and keep us aware of what going on in our lives. However, stress can be dangerous to our health. If left, can lead to heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, obesity, depression, ulcers, anxiety, and the list goes on.

In light of April celebrated as stress awareness month, the Huffington Post has launched a stress app for iPhone users, GPS for the soul. The app helps track stress levels using the variability of your heart rate and also helps you de-stress along with some personalized music, poetry and pictures of your loved ones bringing you back to your center.

Find Ways to De-Stress

One of the myths are that stress is inevitable. No! Stress is not inevitable. You are the boss of your stress. Exercise, sleep and diet is the key to getting rid of or not having stress at all. In fact, the Huffington Post research shows those who never ate fast food were never stressed.

Yoga is another option to help you de-stress. The study also mentions those who used to do yoga and stopped were the most stressed.

Start up a yoga routine or deep breathing exercises, eat some dark chocolate and don’t forget to get enough and the proper sleep.

If you are looking for a way to de-stress, the NDSU Counseling Center and F-M Dog Obedience School will have eight therapy dogs at 5-6:30, May 8, 2014, at the Main Library. Also for another opportunity to de-stress, the NDSU’s Equine Science program will allow students to visit horses 4-6 today in Shepperd Arena.

Photos and article written by: Peta-Gaye Clachar, Social Media Coordinator



Liquids with Calories


What do you reach for to quench your thirst? Is it an ice cold water, a flavored sports drink, a glass of milk, or your favorite soda? Many people do not realize or tend to ignore the fact their beverage of choice may be contributing excess amounts of calories and sugars to their diets. Even though companies continually create new drinks and promote them to be healthier than others, the actual content may not be as hardy as they are said to be.

These days, people are more aware of the negative impact that soda can have on one’s health due to its high amounts of sugars and carbonation but soda is most definitely not the only beverage contributing to bad health. For example, sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade are meant to help athletes replace water and electrolytes, however, it is suggested that unless someone is exercising for at least 90 minutes, such sport drinks with excessive sugars and electrolytes are not necessary and can potentially cause weight gain. Other beverages that have become more prominent among people in the 21st century are specialty coffees. These types of drinks are usually made with milk, espresso, syrup-flavoring and usually topped off with whipped cream. All of these ingredients turn what may seem like a delicious start to your day into a calorie and sugar-loaded dessert. On the other hand, there are a few beverages that would be exceedingly healthier. Rehydrating with liquids such as water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice provides your body with an excellent balance of appropriate nutrients. Even though 100% fruit juice can often contain some added sugars, it still provides a small serving of fruit. Also, low-fat milk is a great source of calcium, and water is the most essential liquid for our bodies to stay fueled. Drinking enough water is an instruction that often seems to be shoved down our throats but it still remains the most important and beneficial thing we can do for our body. In fact, when our bodies are continually losing fluid through daily activities, food, water and other fluids are essential to keep our bodies going. Having a water bottle handy throughout the day is a great way to ensure adequate water intake.

Sugary drinks are not always bad when consumed in moderation but certainly can be harmful to one’s health if consumed on a regular basis. Our bodies need liquids in order to stay hydrated and beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine and added sugars actually contribute to dehydration and weight gain. Although water does not have any specific effects on losing weight, choosing it over beverages with high sugar and calorie content can certainly help. Monitoring the amount of sugar-filled drinks we fill our bodies with is exceedingly more important than many people realize and with more attention and regulation, could greatly improve one’s health.



Most Americans Have Heart Health Wrong

By: Peta-Gaye Clachar, Social Media Coordinator


Did you know that jaw pain, sleep disturbances and unusual fatigue can be signs of heart disease? According to the Cleveland Clinic at least half of Americans do not know that these are signs of heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in America, yet three-quarter of Americans do not fear dying from it. Out of every five Americans, two have a family history of heart disease. And every two in three persons knows of someone with the disease. The Cleveland Clinic states that younger people, those ages 18-34, are less educated about heart disease and in fact have their heart health facts wrong.

No heart gene

Sixty-five percent believe there is a heart gene that predisposes them to heart disease. While your family health history does play its part in increasing your risk of developing heart disease, there is no such heart gene that determine this.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that one-third of Americans are not taking the necessary steps to prevent heart disease. In fact, 74 percent of Americans in the Northeast are more likely to take steps to prevent developing the disease than those in the Midwest.

Two in five Americans don’t know that smoking cigarettes is responsible for 20 percent of all heart disease related deaths. When informed of this fact, Americans in the Northeast said they were more willing to quit smoking cigarettes to lessen their chances of developing heart disease than those in the South.

Fish oil does not prevent you from heart disease

According the Cleveland Clinic Heart Health Survey Full Findings on “Your Heart,” taking the recommended dose of fish oil does not prevent you from heart disease, despite its health benefits.

Although 59 percent of Americans believe that fish oil prevents them from heart disease, the Cleveland Clinic reports that the amount of fish oil you would need to consume in order to prevent the development of heart disease is enough to leave you smelling like a fish. Although this is so consuming this much fish oil only provides you with the minimal benefits.

Something to chew on is that seafood, which fish oils are made from, can be as high in cholesterol as red meat.

 Vitamins are good but not for everything

More than half of Americans believe that vitamins and supplements promotes heart health when it does not, nor does vitamins lower your cholesterol levels.

A sodium myth

Twenty four percent of Americans did not know that bread is a major source of sodium in their diet, but instead think that cheese is the major source of sodium. Of the one third who think this, women are more likely than men to perceive this misconception.

Help debunk these myths by becoming educated on heart health. Visit the American Heart Association website at to learn about your risks, symptoms and prevention.

One of the good things to know is that exercising regularly is a step to lower your risks. In fact, those who suffer from heart disease lessens their chances of dying from the disease by 30-50 percent if they exercise.

For more information on this research that was conducted: see “Love Your Heart Results” research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic at


Feb 7 is National Wear Red Day

By: Peta-Gaye Clachar-Social Media Coordinator


The American Heart Association states that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in the United States and that the disease claims more lives than all cancers combined. February 7, 2014, is National Wear Red Day, which is an opportunity to take the pledge to wear red in support of raising awareness about heart disease and to fight against it.

National Wear Red Day has been around for more than a decade put on by the AHA and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to campaign against the disease that claims approximately 500,000 lives every year. The two organizations together help debunk myths, such as, men are more affected by heart disease than women. To this day people still believes so and as a result the AHA and NHLBI promotes Wear Red Day the first Friday in February every year.

Facts About Heart Disease:

  • According to the AHA, one in three women die every year from heart disease, that is approximately one woman every minute.
  • It is estimated that 43 million women in the United State is affected by heart disease.
  • Ninety percent of women have at least one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • More women die from heart disease than men.
  • Sixty four percent of women who died from heart disease had no prior symptoms.

The AHA suggests that people develop plans to keep your heart healthy.

For more information on heart disease and to check your risk factors visit the American Heart Association at or

Photos by: Peta-Gaye Clachar

Cervical Cancer Awareness

By: Peta-Gaye Clachar, Social Media Coordinator



So, it’s cervical cancer awareness month. What does this mean?

According to Merck, every day in the United States at least 30 women find out they have cervical cancer. The human papillomavirus causes cervical cancer. Merck estimates that 80% of all women will have an HPV of some type in their lifetime. HPV infects the skin and mucus membrane of the body.

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Knowing facts about the virus that causes cervical cancer is important in order to prevent it. NDSU Student Health Services nurse practitioner Jean Seltvedt said, there are over 100 types of HPVs, of which 30-40 affect the genital area. You can contract HPV through genital-to-genital contact, sexual intercourse, oral and anal sex. It is possible to have HPV and not know because it often has no signs and symptoms.

Getting the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, can help prevent most cases of cervical cancer. “It does not cure existing HPV infections or disease and is most effective when given before first sexual contact,” Seltvedt said.

Men can’t be screened for HPV, so it is important for males to get vaccinated to lower your risk of HPV. “HPV vaccine (Gardasil) can protect boys and men against the HPV types that cause most genital warts and anal cancer,” Seltvedt said. Seltvedt recommends that persons get the HPV vaccines as early as 11 years old to age 26, which is given in a series of three doses.

HPV Vaccinations Back In Spotlight After Perry Joins Presidential Race

*The Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends girls and women get routine HPV vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer.

So how do you know if you have cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is detected through a pelvic exam or Pap test. Pap tests detect early signs of cervical cancer and changes to the cervix. Some of the symptoms of cervical cancer are:

  • Increased or unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Spotting or light bleeding when you are not menstruating
  • Pain or bleeding during sex
  • Post-menopausal bleeding
  • Long menstrual bleeding and heavier than usual

 Treatment of cervical cancer is usually provided through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women get a pap test every three years. ACS recommends “co-testing,” that is, women, ages 30-65, get both HPV test and Pap test done to decrease their risk of cancer. If both tests are normal, then these tests do not need to be done again until another five years. If only the Pap test is done, ACS recommends getting it every three years.

So who is at risk for cervical cancer?

Women are at risk if they are:

  • infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • users of birth control pills for a long time
  • infected with HPV
  • smokers
  • eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • a part of a family with history of cervical cancer
  • unable to have regular screening

Be well inside and out, get yourself talking, and get yourself tested (GYT). Call the Student Health Services at 701-231-7331 to set up an appointment for a Pap test and to get the HPV vaccine. Include it as part of your New Year’s resolution to be healthy and well.

Reference –; prevent, Merck, NDSU Student Health Services