Physiology presents unique teaching and learning opportunities in Nutrition courses.

Published May 9, 2019

By Jim Connely, McGraw-Hill

Jim Connely

Most students struggle with physiology at some point during their academic journey. It’s a challenging, yet fun aspect in any course. Materials used to learn physiology range from simulations, simulators, animations, and interactives.

The reason why students struggle with physiology is twofold. First, the cellular nature of physiology makes it difficult to visualize what’s happening. Second, parts are moving. This creates complexity for any student. They need to see it, visualize what’s happening, and then come to understand the “moving parts.” At McGraw-Hill, we have thousands of electronic resources to help your students learn the nuances of this science.

I want to share something I was able to experience firsthand earlier this Spring 2019. I was attending a workshop hosted by Denise Russo (Cabrillo College) where she talked about the physiology of squats. The most fascinating aspect of this experience for me was twofold. The process got me moving, which I LOVED! Second, Denise was able to talk about the physiology while I was doing the activity. This helped me better conceptualize and “own” my learning.

Denise explains the mechanics of squats first. Hip flexion, knee flexion, and the proper mechanics of performing a squat. Awesome!

Next, she talked through ATP (eight seconds into the squat), the role of glucose, pyruvate and breathing, aerobic, anaerobic metabolism, cytosol, acetyl CoA, fat, mitochondria building energy and the burning of lactic acid. I had just read these passages in one of our nutrition books a week before. I watched videos in SmartBook®. As I was conducting the squat, I realized that physically doing the work really helped cement my learning. Here is a video Denise created while teaching the metabolism of squats. I hope you enjoy!

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