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Staying hydrated is key when traveling by plane for the holidays.
Just say no to holiday-meal leftovers. Donate them or bring them to work.
Taking time for yourself is essential amid holiday stress.
Watch ASU video of yoga poses that can help you make it through holiday season.
November 18, 2016

School of Nutrition and Health Promotion professors Huberty and Berger suggest ways to eat well, stay active and de-stress

Even health nuts overdo it on pumpkin pie, after-dinner couch naps and “It’s a Wonderful Life” marathons this time of year, but a pair of ASU professors say a bit of planning and opportunism can help anyone have a healthier holiday season.

School of Nutrition and Health Promotion professors Jennifer Huberty and Christopher Berger share some tips with ASU Now from their areas of expertise to help you eat well, stay active and de-stress. Huberty specializes in yoga and mindfulness, and Berger’s focus is healthy air travel.

Here are their suggestions: 

Eating healthy

At the airport:

“Always bring food,” Berger said, noting that although airports have healthy options, it’s often easier for travelers who are in a rush and looking for something cheap to grab a snack that’s high in saturated fat and sugar.

He suggests durable foods, like citrus fruits and granola bars, and items that won’t get smashed in your suitcase or create a lot of weight.

Also, a little water goes a long way.

“It goes without saying, but stay hydrated,” Berger said. “When you get up to the altitude modern airliners fly at, the air is really dry. And there’s clearly a connection between perceptions of fatigue and being hydrated. You’re not just jet-lagged, you’re probably dehydrated.”

At home:

An easy way to feel like you’re still indulging without paying for it later?

“Make an effort to think about healthier alternatives to traditional recipes,” said Huberty, “especially in terms of fillings. There are lots of options for substitutions, and a good resource for that is Pinterest.”

And when it comes to leftovers, just say no.

“If you want to splurge on a traditional meal, don’t eat the leftovers. Eating that way for one day is not a big deal,” she said. “It’s the leftovers where the weight gain comes in.”

Huberty suggests cooking smaller quantities or donating leftovers.

Staying active

At the airport:

In terms of a climate-controlled environment for moderate exercise, an airport is great, Berger said. Pack a pair of walking shoes and spend that layover burning calories. Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, and many like it, even have designated walking trails.

“And you can always find room to stretch,” he added. 

At home: 

“When you have family at your house, or even if you don’t, stress can throw off your routine,” Huberty said.

But maintaining a healthy level of physical activity is key. She suggests making it a habit to take three, 10-minute walks every day when you have spare time. If you can’t seem to find any, encourage group walks after meals, or just get up a little bit earlier in the morning for a solo stroll. 

Huberty is also a big proponent of yoga, which requires only enough space to move comfortably. (See the video below, in which she demonstrates some basic yoga poses that can be done anywhere, even by beginners.) 

Being mindful

At the airport:

One thing there’s a lot of at airports: space. So if what you need is a couple minutes to yourself to maintain your sanity, Berger says to just “go find a gate that’s not being used.” 

“It’s a great place to do yoga or meditate so you can be more relaxed for your flight,” he said. 

At home:

Back at the ranch, Huberty says it’s important to take time out for yourself.

“Find a quiet room, spend some time alone and decompress,” she said.

Also, breathing exercises can help with relaxation and calming anxiety, and they can be done anywhere. There’s even a handful of apps for that.

Huberty also says yoga is as good for the mind as it is the body. 

For those interested in accessing more yoga instructional videos, Huberty is a research partner with Udaya.com, which offers a library of more than 400 classes, fitness programs and health and wellness challenges. Use the coupon code ASUxUDAYA for a discount.

 
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To bridge gap between East and West, ASU researchers create “Asia Mediated.”
Courses offered through “Asia Mediated” project to be available to all majors.
November 22, 2016

ASU professors Juliane Schober and Pauline Cheong receive DOE grant to develop curriculum focused on Asian digital media

As digital media use has exploded in Western nations, transforming communications, news sharing and business practices, it has done the same across Asia — but a pair of ASU researchers say there’s a knowledge gap in the U.S. about how that growth has looked in the East.

To bridge the void, Juliane SchoberSchober is a professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and director of the Center for Asian Research. and Pauline CheongCheong is an associate professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and chair of the Center for Asian Research’s Southeast Asia Council. have helped lead the development of a suite of courses, faculty workshops and research opportunities that they say will help students interact with people from a vast and complex region that includes half of the world’s population and economic production.

“What I really like about this project is that it uses digital media tools to address a digital media need,” Cheong said. “So we’re using this open-source, collaborative platform to bridge the knowledge gap about this growing, dynamic part of the world.”

Schober and Cheong have received a U.S. Department of Education UISFLUndergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program grant to fund “Asia Mediated: Interdisciplinary research and teaching innovation.” Pulling together about 20 faculty collaborators at the Center for Asian Research, the project will focus on the political, cultural and social shifts and how they relate to digital media across Asia.

Although digital media plays a huge role in Western and Eastern societies, there are big differences in both types of applications and the ways in which they’re used, Schober and Cheong said.

In the West, they said, people take lots of “selfies.” In the East, people take more “wefies” (a selfie with two or more people). Here, people use Facebook. There, it’s Weibo.

The similarities and differences in the applications for and use of digital media — any information shared online, including news sites, blogs and social media — are important to understand because “their design and use may reflect key cultural values and distinct communication processes, which in turn enact cultural identities, community and notions of authority, leadership and influence,” Cheong said.

ASU professors Juliane Schober and Pauline Cheong
ASU professors Juliane Schober and Pauline Cheong snap a wefie.

 

The project’s application goes beyond communications. Cheong said it’s likely — given Asia’s size and importance — that students from any major will need the skills necessary to engage with that part of the world.

“I teach a class on intercultural communication, and there are several engineering students in it,” Cheong said, as an example. “They take my class because they need to know how they can better engage with cross-cultural teams.”

For Cheong, the time of the project is fitting as ASU diversifies its student population and as more international students come from Asia.

“Asia is a critical hub of online activity, and this has implications for understanding new communication practices that support changes in identity, community and authority practices in Asia and beyond,” she said.

The ubiquity of digital media elevates the project’s importance.

“Digital media has become a part of literacy,” Schober said. “It’s a part of technology that we need to know how to use when we communicate with people from other parts of the world.”

Courses offered through the “Asia Mediated” project are available to all majors and will be searchable in an online, open-source platform that will be collaboratively authored and tagged to enable cross-referencing across key topics for interdisciplinary research and learning. The open-source platform also makes the course curriculum available online for anyone to use, from high school teachers to armchair researchers.

“It’s a very dynamic platform that allows you to find linkages [between subjects] that you can then tailor to your own needs,” said Cheong, who is working on developing a gateway course for the new curriculum.

In addition, “Asia Mediated” will support the creation of a hybrid curriculum for the first two years of Vietnamese language instruction, as well as the creation of an internship program for ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College students to train in research skills about Asian digital media literacies.