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Category: Tips Articles

by Keiara Morris

March 02, 2014

Keiara’s Journey to Fit

This time around, I’m really staying focused and I’m truly committed to being healthy and losing a few extra pounds. I started out with a Dr. Oz detox  plan that lasted two weeks. After the first two weeks, I decided to keep myself on a modified diet. My diet consists of no fast food, lots of fruits and vegetables, no fried foods, monitoring my sugar and carbohydrate intake and if possible eating meat once a day. In observance of #meatlessMonday’s I definitely try my hardest to do so and go meatless. I’ve been using an app called MyFitnessPal to keep track of what I eat and caloric intake. Along with this, I have become extremely conscious of labels and serving sizes. If it has a label, I have read it! Along with eating right, exercising is an essential part of getting healthy and losing weight. Due to my hype of being completely committed, I decided to order Insanity and Black Girls Workout Too as an alternative to just going to the gym. These DVDs also come in handy when I just don’t feel like making moves to the gym or even leaving my apartment, I have zero excuses. To keep myself on schedule or to at least have a plan and to keep track of what I’ve done (or what I haven’t done), I have a workout calendar that denotes what I should do. With every completed workout, I place a check mark on that particular day. By far, my only issue is stepping on the scale every day. I’m addicted. Lol. I’m proud of myself for staying on track and I encourage others to do the same. If you’ve fallen off track, don’t wait until tomorrow, do it today! A huge misconception is that eating one bad thing will knock you off course, it won’t just don’t make it a continuous habit of eating bad things, overeating or skipping workouts (whatever you may struggle with).  I definitely wish everyone the best of luck…you aren’t in this alone!!




by Julian Cobb

February 27, 2014

Condoms Don’t Protect From Everything

Some people think they know everything there is to know about sexually transmitted diseases.  The possibility of catching gonorrhea, syphilis, or even HIV is a scary thought- but some have that perception that they won’t catch anything. Maybe you wear condoms during sexual intercourse so you think that you’re good and have nothing to worry about, right? Well, I must inform you that condoms don’t protect from everything. Even some of the most elite individuals in society are walking around with sexually transmitted diseases. Yes- this is not a joke. 

Did You Know Condoms Have a Fail Rate?

Statistics show that condoms have an annual 11% fail rate. Not so safe as you imagined after all… Even when condoms are used, they do not fully protect from sexually transmitted diseases that are passed by skin-to-skin contact. Just this statement alone opens the door for many diseases to walk in and take residence in your body if you are not careful. 

Here are some tips you can use in order to lower your risk of catching an STD:

1. Get Tested. Use STD Testing to Know Your Status!

This may sound like an obvious answer but there are still so many people who do not know their std status. I will admit that you fear what you do not know. Having a close friend to go get tested with you can help eliminate that fear you have. That “what if” question will continue to linger until you make the decision to know you status for yourself. We have a specific area on the myHealthImpact website where you can type in your zip code and you will be informed of testing locations that are close to you.

2: Know the Safe Sex Facts For Yourself

There are so many resources available that will provide information on safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases. Saying that you were not informed anymore can no longer be an excuse. Sometimes you have to take the initiative to seek out information for yourself. Ultimately, how can you inform someone about STDs if you don’t know about them yourself?

3. Abstinence.

This is something that the younger generation doesn’t hear a lot about anymore. The media is constantly portraying sex in advertisements, song lyrics and online which makes it seem acceptable. Remaining abstinent until marriage is the only way you will be able to know your status for sure. You don’t run the risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease or early parenthood. This may seem challenging but it is possible. Make a promise to yourself that you will honor and protect your body. Anytime you find yourself being tempted, remember that promise you made to yourself. It will be worth the wait for that special someone.


These diseases are REAL people. While all sexually transmitted diseases don’t lead to death, some of them do. Whether you continue to have sex before marriage or wait until marriage is totally up to you. Whatever you decide, I encourage you to be safe. While condoms do protect from some STDs, they don’t protect from everything. Just keep that in mind.


by Keiara Morris

February 05, 2014

Exactly Who Were You Trying to Reach?

The My Health Impact team and I tuned into the “We Are Empowered” discussion and webcast via VH1 hosted by Alicia Keys. This was a really good and informative webcast but I found myself completely disappointed that this was not aired on TV. This discussion would have been the perfect opportunity to open the door to discussion in homes, among friends and in relationships.

The women featured shared their own stories. To me their stories shed light on a different side of HIV that is very rarely shown. Who knew that having kids and maintaining a family was possible AFTER contracting HIV? I do, the My Health Impact team does, those that knew to go to to watch know as well. As you can see, the fact that this was not showed on TV bothers me. This deeply bothers me because those that took the time to 

go watch were interested in watching whereas the majority that probably needed to be tuned in, probably did not know about the webcast at all. This makes me question, who was the target audience? Those that already have a pretty good concept of what HIV is or those that are ignorant of the issue? The discussion always come back to education and how the key to ending the stigma surrounding HIV is educating but how well was that accomplished with this? In my honest opinion, not very well.

Please don’t mistake my criticism as not thinking this was a great webcast and discussion via Twitter. I believe that the webcast was so good that it needed to be on TV for all to see.


by Julian Cobb

January 29, 2014

My 2014 Anthem

Whenever a new year comes around, people create new years resolutions. This idea may seem good but it’s important that you stay committed to your goals you’ve set. I heard a quote once that said, “Old ways won’t open new doors”. This quote has truly resonated in my spirit, thus the song that represents the year 2014 for me is New Season by Israel and New Breed. This year I am determined to work towards fulfilling my PURPOSE for being here on this earth. Yes, to find that one thing that I am passionate about- my heart’s desire. With graduation quickly approaching at the end of this semester, I will be entering another new season called “the real world”. The thought can be quite frightening and exciting at the same time. One songwriter said, “Time is filled with swift transition”. I have found this to be true. I’m determined to keep moving forward with the mindset that there’s nothing I can’t do. If I can conceptualize it, certainly it can be done. It may take time but that’s when my faith kicks in. It’s a new season and I’m ready for it!


by Victor Ajewole

January 29, 2014


Happy New Year everyone, as my first blog of 2014, I wanted to choose a song that would depict the rest of the year. Happy by Pharrell Williams has been the smoothest rack to start my year off. Not only is it a great song, but it is also has the world’s first ever twenty four hour music video.  Not saying that listing to it makes me “happy” but it definitely puts me in a mood to groove, which I guess does lighten up my frame of mind. This song helps my drive to complete my work, take initiative, and even make someone else’s day a little bit better. More importantly it lets me know that I can still be innovative. Pharrell has produced and co-produced several classics that my generation enjoys. For him to continue to work and create work that’s original is inspiring. So even in tough times remember stay happy.


by Dr. Fay Cobb Payton

January 23, 2014

10 Ways to Impact Your Health from @myHealthImpact

1) Find a medical doctor who cares and you feel comfortable with sharing your medical history.
2) See your doctor once a year.
3) Get the appropriate medical tests and screenings done (e.g., HIV, blood pressure, bone density).
4) Document your medical history.
5) Know your family medical history; talk to family members about your and their health.
6) Consider using technology to track your health goals (calorie intake, exercise times, types of exercises, weight loss, calories burned, etc.).
7) Get a good night’s sleep.
8) Estimate portion sizes for what you eat.
9) Check condoms for expiration date which is provided on the packaging. 
10) Keep a positive spirit.

Word Cloud by Dr. Payton – @myhealthimpact 2014 New Year’s Health Theme


by Ebony Baldwin

January 16, 2014

5 Ways to Create a Healthy Lifestyle

With the New Year, I wanted to create a healthy lifestyle I could maintain throughout the year. It is important to set yourself up for success with a clear mind and body. With that said, I developed 5 easy ways to create a healthy lifestyle.

1. Exercise Daily
If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Whether it’s going to a gym class on campus or going on a jog at your local park, there are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise in our daily routines. Try walking to class instead of taking the bus, or joining an intramural sport team. Studies show that just 10 minutes of exercise makes a difference—so do something!

2. Be a picky eater!
Set yourself up for success! Think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. 
Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients.

Eat in moderation. Moderation means eating less than we do now.  It doesn’t mean you eliminate the things that you love.  Just try to eat more healthy things than unhealthy ones.  Also think smaller portions. For example, when dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t supersize anything.  When at home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes and start small.

Eat breakfast! Eating fruits and whole grains in the morning can help jumpstart your metabolism and energy for the day.
Avoid eating at night! Try to set a time where don’t eat after. Eating late at during a time when you are less active, can cause weight gain and create unhealthy habits. Studies show that after-dinner snacks tend to be high in fat and calories. So avoid them! 

3. Get a good night’s sleep
Keep a regular sleep schedule. Set a regular bedtime and wake up at the same time every day.  Nap to make up for lost sleep, but make sure to be smart about napping. While napping can help you recharge, it can also create bad habits when it comes to your sleep cycles. Lastly, create a relaxing sleep environment.  Make your room more sleep friendly. Keep the noise down, keep your room cool, and make sure that your bed is comfortable! 

4. Keep Healthy Relationships
The healthiest people are those who have relationships with other healthy people. Healthy relationships reduce stress, unhealthy habits, and help motivate you to succeed and do better. Surround yourself with people who are going to uplift you and make you feel better about yourself.  Having a strong foundation is essential to life.

5. Give yourself a break!
Find fun activities for you to do to relieve stress! Go to the movies or go shopping. Create new hobbies.  Hang out with your friends. Do anything that makes you feel happy. It’s important for you to take a break from life’s stresses and create awesome memories.

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by Victor Ajewole

December 19, 2013

Black Innovators

Ory Okolloh, Steve Stoute, and Navarrow Wright, what do these names mean to you?  Probably nothing for the moment, but below shows what they’ve done and hopefully you’ll be able to see how bright their futures still are. When we speak about African Americans in technology it shouldn’t sound like a black history month elementary project. Have we as African American not been paving the way for our own people to succeed? Looking through some recent technology advancements there aren’t many of “us” in those magazines. Let’s change that; Progression.

Ory Okolloh, Policy Manager, Africa for Google and co-founder of and  

With an increasing number of top Fortune 500 companies originating from emerging markets, many analysts believe that the next tech leader will come from Africa. Harvard educated Ory Okolloh has created both the watchdog site Mzalendo and the crime reporting site Ushahidi, and now serves as Google’s Policy Manager in Africa. Recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology , she is set to become the new face of entrepreneurship on the continent.

Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation

After conquering music, and now advertising, could the tech sector be next for Steve Stoute? As an admirer of Steve Jobs, a person who isn’t shy about entering new and emerging markets, the seasoned entrepreneur and executive would be a natural fit to fill Jobs’ shoes.

Navarrow Wright, co-founder of Global Grind and CTO of Interactive One 
With Black buying power set to reach $1.1 trillion dollars by 2015, the African-American market remains a hot commodity. Navarrow Wright is making strides with this demographic as chief technology officer of Interactive One, the largest Black online community, as well as co-founder of Global Grind with Russell Simmons.


by Keiara Morris

December 12, 2013

The Key to Getting Tested.. HIV/Aids Awareness

I never knew that I had an interest in HIV/AIDS awareness and informing my community until my friend, Julian, and I went to get tested. If I could briefly remind and reminisce on that moment, we went to get tested on a Friday afternoon, most of the time campus is pretty deserted on Fridays, as it was on this day. We went into the room where the testing was being provided, and I could literally count on one and a half hands how many people I saw coming to get tested. Though I was still caught up in my own nerves, I was saddened and actually amazed that that room was not overflowing of people. To this day, I am still unable to fully understand why it wasn’t full of people. From that day, I decided that it is my goal to encourage people to get tested and to care about their sexual health.

I decided to go with one of my close friends here on campus but it’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking someone you don’t know that well; your suitemate, a co-worker, or even a study buddy.  Take who makes you feel comfortable and if that’s someone you just know in passing, do it. It isn’t so much about whom you take with you but actually going and having that moral support. In my opinion, taking someone with you to go get tested alleviates the stress that comes with the whole situation. You have someone with you that shares some of the exact same feelings, from excited to scared and from nervous to even anxious.  It’s ok to be scared momentarily together but in the end you’ll be aware of your status together.

Going with someone helps combat the stigma behind going to get tested for HIV and other STDs. You’re showing yourself and your testing buddy that it’s perfectly fine and normal to get tested.  Go get tested. Break the walls of this stigma with a testing buddy.


by Julian Cobb

November 25, 2013

Black Community


Just listen to these lyrics… These songs not only disrespect women and even men, they put the African American community to shame. Some of the lyrics in these songs refer to women as “property” and “treating women like dogs”. I don’t understand how people can stand to listen to these lyrics. After a while, what you listen to will eventually get down inside of you and it becomes a part of you.  People can’t expect others to respect them when they willingly jam in the car to music such as this. Yea, the beat may be “attractive” but are people really listening to the words that these artists are saying. It’s totally unacceptable.

This month, the focus is Sexual Health for myHealthImpact. Though these songs degrade both men and women, they also have sexual references as well. It’s important that each person takes responsibility for their health, body and the decision of having sex at a certain age. Songs such as those listed above make it seem as if having sex early is cool, but there are consequences for every action. Being knowledgeable about sex and its repercussions is very important for your health. Take some time and learn about the topic before you immediately enter into something that you have no idea about. This could save your life. Think about it.



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In Partnership with: Poole College of Management, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Science Foundation, Penn State

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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