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Promoting Fitness & Health Opportunities

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
In this lesson, you'll learn about health promotion, what professional services may be available to students to promote health, and how students can help one another to become healthier.

Health Promotion

What you do with your body today will impact you years down the line. This is why health promotion, enabling people to control and improve their health, is so important for students. Young people are setting the stage for a lifestyle of decisions that will either positively or negatively impact their health. This lesson takes a look at some ways health promotion can be employed with students. The whole point is that everyone can do it! It's just a question of what resources are available.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

The two most famous concepts in regards to health and fitness are physical activity and nutrition. Let's take a look at two students: One is Jack, and the other is Susan. Jack is the captain of the soccer team, physically fit as a result, and eats right. This means a diet containing a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and little junk food. Susan, on the other hand, doesn't exercise at all, eats a lot of a junk food, and is obese. She is setting herself up for everything from diabetes to heart disease to arthritis later in life.

Who Can Help?

How can we ensure a student like Susan is able to turn their life around, beyond regular health class teaching? Perhaps the school can employ someone like a health coach. This is a person who is knowledgeable about what kinds of physical activity should be undertaken to achieve weight loss or maintain a healthy lifestyle. A health coach also knows about healthy eating. They may even be able to identify the root causes of someone's unhealthy habits, such as stress, in which case they can advise the student on how to handle that.

Occasionally, a health coach will partner with a doctor to offer more advanced care and management. Additionally, a registered dietician can help students like Susan improve her eating habits, understand how to shop for food, and set nutritional goals so that she's not overwhelmed all at once with too much information.

Student Support

When it comes to health promotion, access to professionals is critical to a student's health and fitness levels. In addition, student health services may provide group support. Meaning, students who have gone through or are going through similar challenges can gather together to share stories and support one another.

For example, when it comes to exercise, Susan may find an exercise buddy to be her personal cheerleader. Perhaps Jack could be that cheerleader. When it comes to diet, Susan may find that she has had similar life experiences as another student. Perhaps both students turned to comfort food to ease their emotional problems, which led to a lot of weight gain. Susan and this student can advise and support each other as they share their personal feelings, stories, and experiences.

Get Into Gear

Here are a few things that you can do with your friends or fellow students to promote fitness and health:

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