Promoting healthy living

Hanover College's Stamford has served
as an advisor for national publications

By Michella Marino
Contributing Writer

HANOVER, Ind. (March 2006) – Perhaps you’ve heard him on the radio show “Health Works” on WFPL 89.3 FM or as a guest host with Terry Meiners on his WHAS AM radio show. Perhaps you’ve seen his picture on a book jacket since he’s written four. Or maybe you’ve noticed his name under “The Body Shop” newspaper column in the Louisville Courier-Journal. Or perhaps you had him in class at the University of Louisville or, more recently, at Hanover College. Regardless, Dr. Bryant Stamford has been and continues to be a busy man.

Bryant Stamford

Photo by Michella Marino

Bryant Stamford of Hanover College shares his knowledge with students and the public on his radio show, “Health Works.”

Stamford graduated with his doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh and taught Exercise Science at U of L for 32 years. Besides his own radio show, newspaper column, books and teaching profession, he has also been an editorial advisor for such famous magazines as Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness.
But teaching is his passion, which has ultimately led him to Hanover College’s campus, where he is currently heading up its new Department of Exercise Science. Stamford said that this is his “fantasy job to work at Hanover College.” As he aged, he realized that he enjoys teaching over the pressure to publish and accumulate tenure, which is often pushed at most big colleges and universities. So when Hanover College contacted him to recruit potential professors for its opening, Stamford figured the opportunity would be good for him. He viewed it as a chance to stay in the area and to finally work on a small sophisticated liberal arts campus.
Stamford said he loved the fact that Hanover College is so “student oriented” and the pressures that big schools apply do not exist on the same level. At Hanover College, “other things are valued.”
The Exercise Science field is only 50 years old, which is considered new compared to the classic college degrees. According to Hanover College’s Exercise Science website, “the major… is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the structure and functioning of the human body and how exercise impacts the body (especially changes and adaptations that happen while the body is under physical stress). This major is the first step for students interested in careers in exercise and sport sciences and all fields dealing with health and fitness.”
Bill Tereshko, assistant professor of physical education and football defensive coordinator, is also a part of the new Exercise Science Department.
“The Exercise Science major differs from Physical Education because it is much more science based,” Tereshko said.
Before a student takes any Exercise Science courses, he must first take biology, human anatomy and physiology. Tereshko said these “courses build on each other which allows (the professors) to go into a lot more detail concerning the subject matter.”
When he taught P.E., he found that many students had no science background whatsoever, so he “would have to back up and go over the science basics before moving on.” Because of this inconvenience, the professors would not “have time to delve into some subjects with a lot of depth.”
Tereshko said he and the other members in the department have worked hard to jumpstart the Exercise Science field at Hanover College, and he believes that Stamford “brings a lot of credibility to the department since he is renowned in his field.” They are currently working on new research projects that will also give credibility to the new department.
Stamford “spearheaded” the modern exercise movement with his first book, “Fitness Without Exercise,” published in 1990. The three biggest publishers in New York fought among themselves for the opportunity to publish his book, which certainly speaks highly of the book. Stamford’s book received a lot of attention, and he found it an interesting first experience. It was translated into six different languages to become what Stamford des-cribed as a “Hallmark piece of work.”
“Fitness With-out Exercise” created much controversy because it provided a counter-culture message about health, fitness and exercise that was actually backed with medical literature.
Asked about his opinion on health, Stamford answered with one word: moderation. He believes that people should not become overzealous with their diets and exercise. People should not concentrate on how many hours a day they work out or count every calorie they take in but should just practice moderation with everything they do. Diet and exercise should not become a religion. People should try to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle They should simply strive to make good choices, he said.
As for the local community and our own health, Stamford said he realizes that today’s society is a busy one and sometimes it’s hard to make those good choices. And although he promotes public health events, they are useless if the person is not poised to change. Change must start with the individual.
Stamford believes it’s a waste of time to work on others who aren’t ready to change. It is important to set an example to hopefully impact others, but working with people who are willing to work with you is where it all begins. His suggestion is to find others who are interested in the same activities and go from there.

• For more information about Bryant Stamford and his books, visit his website: www.drbryantstamford.com.

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