January 22, 2014 by Nicole
As I’ve shared before, nutrition is an important part of dancing. Contrary to popular myth, you can’t not eat and dance your best. You have to fuel your body to enable it to perform at the level you want….this is true for all athletes.
Nutrition can also be a tricky subject. Googling nutrition suggestions or plans will net you thousands of results, some probably completely contradictory. Which is why I was really excited to find this Coursera course on Nutrition, Health & Lifestyle: Issues and Insights.
Coursera is an awesome site I came across – it’s a learning site, supported by US & international universities. Courses are offered throughout the year in all kinds of subjects (from physics to songwriting). They’re free and all online, so you can take them at your own pace. There’s even an iPhone app, so you can take it on the go…literally.
This course on Nutrition just started this week – so there’s still time to get in on the learning action! The course’s stated objective is to “explore current nutrition concepts and controversies to assist the student in building a foundation of knowledge that may be used to evaluate nutrition information from varied sources and apply that knowledge to personal lifestyle and dietary choices”. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify foods and dietary patterns that meet current dietary recommendations and are associated with reduced risk of chronic disease.
- Analyze controversies surrounding one or more contemporary nutrition issues and/or dietary supplements.
- Evaluate nutrition research and theories based upon an evidence based medicine (EBM) approach.
- Better understand and evaluate nutrition information, advertising, and news in the mass media.
- Apply nutrition knowledge to personal food choice and dietary patterns.
The course consists of video lectures between 5 and 20 minutes in length. There are also weekly assignments and short quizzes that can be completed any time during the week or before the course concludes. The site also has a discussion forum for students to communicate with one another about the course.
You can choose your level of involvement, from watching the videos or choosing to complete some or all of the assignments and quizzes. Once enrolled, you have full access to all of the course content and you can participate as your schedule allows.
Here’s the schedule for Nutrition, Health & Lifestyle: Issues and Insights:
Week One: Just What is a Healthy Diet? A Balancing Act
Week Two: Nutrition Labeling: Facts, Claims, and Challenges
Week Three: Dietary Supplements: Evaluating the Evidence
Week Four: Functional and “Super” Foods: Their Role in Optimal Nutrition
Week Five: Plant-based Nutrition: Controversies and Considerations
Week Six: Nutrition and Fitness: Facts, Food, and Fuel
Week Seven: Food Allergies and Intolerances: Separating Fact from Fiction
I think this is a fantastic resource for dancers (and dance moms/dads!), especially if you have questions about nutrition or find the current landscape confusing. I’m really looking forward to learning more.
What do you think? Sound like something you would be interested in? Who’s joining me? Any other learning sources you can share?