Relating Health to Physical Education

There seems to be a problem in education, especially in health education that what students learn in class is only learned in the class and then forgotten. Educators need to be able to teach the students what they need to know, and not let them forget about it. One solution to this problem is to relate what you learn in health class to what you are learning in physical education. What happens if you teach a topic in health, but the students don't learn it in physical education? Teach a topic in health, and then find space in your school to do what you just learned. Great examples of things you learn in class are fitness concepts and sport related fitness concepts. Some examples of fitness and sport related fitness concepts are muscular strength, flexibility, agility, and balance. There are several others but those are just a couple of examples.

To get the student to learn these concepts you can teach them in a normal health class, but spice it up. Don't be up there lecturing them the whole time. Have a variety of strategies. To use a golf analogy, the rules of golf say that a player can carry up to 14 clubs in his or her bag. How many teachers did you know who only had a driver in their "Golf Bag of Pedagogy?" The lesson could start with a PowerPoint, and then discuss what the PowerPoint is talking about. Whatever you do, get the students involved. Meaning in this case, UP STAND OUT OF THEIR SEATS! Once you have done a non-boring lesson on fitness concepts, then go out and do it. Get in the gym and attempt to make it fun as opposed to work. After all, we want people to want to return to the gym, not avoid it!! One day you teach muscular strength, and in your lesson you explain that muscular strength is the amount of force one can produce in between 1 and 15 repetitions. Great, now is that student going to remember it? Maybe if it is going to be on a test in which they will study it at the last minute and remember it just for the test and then forget about it. After you teach your muscular strength lesson find some room in the gym, or wherever, to do activities that involve muscular strength.

Now that is a full lesson. So using the muscular strength as an example set up stations. Each station works on a different body part. Have one station be chest, a second station arms, a third station legs. Be sure to give directions at each station and only have them do the exercise for less than 15 repetitions. To go even further, have an assessment at the end of your lesson. The assessment could be a question of how does muscular strength relate to you outside of school. By expanding their minds, and reaching a higher level of thinking you will successfully teach the student muscular strength. Furthermore, now that the student was able to connect the health lesson to actual activity, they will remember what you taught them and not forget about it.

We are not in the business of making obese young people less obese! That statement may surprise you. Certainly, we hope that we can improve a person's fitness over the time we have them in our class, but more important is creating a love for things physical so that when our students get older and they make their daily list of things to do, something about personal fitness will have a prominent place on that list!!! It's not just about "working out" because it's good for you, just like spinach, it's because it's so much fun to do the things that are fitness related.

Preventing Systemic Diseases Through Dental Oral Health Education

The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease recently reported the findings of a scientific study which clearly stated that periodontal disease and poor dental health could be an early sign of Alzheimer's.

The researchers examined the brains of 10 deceased Alzheimer's victims, and found that the brains of the dementia patients were found to show signs of the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, which may have triggered an immune response that lead to the condition. This process could trigger the symptoms commonly seen in Alzheimer patients such as memory loss and confusion.

As Dentists, and health care providers, it is our duty to treat our patients with their overall systemic health in mind, and not just their mouths. We all know about the primary risk elements for periodontal disease, including smoking, diabetes, nutrition, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, stress, heredity, and more.

What we see in the mouth has a direct relationship to the rest of the human body, and it is our responsibility to educate that patient as to the benefits of preventive care. Periodontal disease can certainly be a nasty condition to treat, so why not do everything in our power to prevent it from the beginning. But the responsibility is not all ours. We can talk about home hygiene until we are blue in the face, but the ultimate test rests with the patient themselves.

By the time most patients reach the door, they have already forgotten about the valuable recommendations that we give them. They revert to their old habits if we don't educate them well, and convince the patient that if they don't decide to change their ways, serious consequences to their overall health Will result.

The patient needs to be held accountable for their own well being, and we can help them with very simple follow-ups as soon as the next day, the next week, and even months end. A simple call or text to let them know that we are there to support them can be very effective.

The problem in the past is that both the Dental and Medical professions have operated on a model that addresses disease after it has manifested. By becoming more aware of the preventive aspect of care, diseases can be managed prior to their development. In this case your dental examinations, with implementation of a strict periodontal program, can make the difference between enjoyment of the "Golden Years", or being oblivious to them altogether.

Come and join us again to learn more about updates in Digital Dentistry, and also find other ways to make your practice much more efficient.