HPU seminar stresses healthy habits
Southwest Guilford wrestling and softball coach Jon Chandler knew full well about many of the problems covered in a one-day sports medicine seminar on diet and exercise hosted by High Point University and the Cornerstone Health Foundation on Tuesday for those who work with students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
Among the topics covered at Phillips Hall on the HPU campus were the complications arising from a poor diet such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, female problems related to diet, how to safely get athletes to gain or lose weight with proper nutrition, the effect weighing too much has on the body when playing sports, impact on the physiological development on adolescence on sports conditioning, strength training, what foods to avoid and what foods to eat, and information on dietary supplements and if they are necessary.
“We wanted to pick topics which were the most relevant and we didn’t want to repeat topics,” Chandler said. “These topics are relevant for a number of reasons. A number of people wouldn’t think of athletes as overweight but a number are overweight. So it is relevant from that perspective as well as the increases of chronic disease, obesity, cardiac failure, cardiopulmonary disease, kidney failure and diabetes.”
As a teacher of a weight training class, Chandler came most intrigued about the strength training element. But, he welcomed the information relating to diabetes, including when diabetic athletes should be prevented from training depending on blood-sugar level.
“I’ve had several students in weight training class and athletes who are diabetic,” Chandler said. “I’ve never had an episode where one was going into a coma. I’ve haven’t had a problem but you could have a kid pass out or get disoriented and that could be a big problem if he had a weight above his head.
“I learned a lot of background information. I know the signs when someone is having diabetic problems. To find out the causes and how to prevent them was pretty cool.”
Chandler said he believes obesity is at an all-time high among all students.
“If the kids don’t learn at home how to eat properly, we can’t make them do what they don’t want to,” he said. “We run fairly often in our PE classes. In weight training, we do 1-2 12-minute runs a week. That’s seven laps, or one and three-quarter miles, on our track. Some kids can’t do more than 3 or 4 laps because they are so out of shape.
“We’ve got freshmen and sophomores weighing 240 or 250 pounds. That’s not athletic weight. That’s staying on the couch and playing video games. We can try to teach them how to eat correctly but if they don’t do that at home, they bring it to school. Now if they want to try wrestling, I let them. Some don’t last long. But I’ve had guys stick with it and get down to 220 pounds by the end of the season and feel good about themselves.”