New class highlights a holistic approach to wellness

Mia Huang, Staff Reporter

On Nov. 15 and 18, Lynn Kam, assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition and teacher of Nutrition Strategies and Wellness Programming, a class offered here at Case Western Reserve University, will take seven students to deliver a presentation at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) at Warrensville Heights about health issues that apply to everyone’s life.

The course itself covers topics such as wellness beyond smart dietary choices, cultural differences in interpretation of personal wellness and strategies on how to provide customized health care to individuals. The goal of the class is to provide students with practical ideas of wellness. The course is also beneficial to those who major in nutrition, as it exposes them to real wellness problems and encourages students to solve these problems, rather than just teaching them scientific concepts.  

“It is really important for students to learn that they need to actually do things and get involved in the learning process,” said Kam. “And now they have the chance to get out of there, apply what we have learned and communicate with people.”

People usually associate wellness with a healthy diet and physical exercise. However, what Kam and her students want to emphasize is that wellness is more than just physical health. According to Kam, wellness also includes mental, social, spiritual and intellectual wellness. To achieve real wellness, one has to focus on each aspect of wellness.

At the wellness fair at the YMCA on Nov. 15 and 18, Kam and her students will provide handouts, customizable food recipes and suggestions, an overall explanation of wellness and free healthy food samples. Kam will also talk about healthy ingredients for cooking, healthy ways to store food, the locations of farmers’ markets in Cleveland and dietary requirements.

By doing this presentation, Kam and her students want to raise awareness about the real meaning of wellness. Additionally, they expect to motivate their audiences to think about their own wellness and to be aware of the resources available to help them live healthily.

“We want them to get motivated and get interested in personal wellness. We want them to take the resources we have and be open to trying new things”, said Noelle Short, a third-year nutrition major.

For the students taking Kam’s nutrition class, the wellness fair is also an opportunity for them to get out in the field and know what people really need, what people are interested in and what they can do accordingly. Most importantly, students can learn how to practically apply their knowledge.