UNMC, David Epstein to host wellness event


By Jackson Taylor, News Editor

On Oct. 11, the Nebraska Physiological Society will administer a health event in the Durham Research Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. This health and wellness event is free of charge and open to the public. Students interested in science, exercise or sports in general are encouraged to attend.
This event will be held during the 17th annual meeting of the Nebraska Physiological Society from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be informational sessions on exercise training, healthy dietary practices and several fitness activities such as yoga and its impact on the human body.
A highlight to this event and a draw for many is the appearance of David Epstein. Epstein is a former investigative journalist for Sports Illustrated and is the author of New York Times bestselling book “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.”
This book, which will be available for purchase and signing at the event, investigates many sports science questions like whether Major League Baseball players have naturally faster reflexes, some people are born with speed and African-Americans are better athletes than others.
It is Epstein’s belief that science now has answers to all those questions. Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author and staff writer for the New Yorker had nothing but praise for Epstein’s latest book.
“I can’t remember a book that has fascinated, education and provoked me as much as ‘The Sports Gene.’Epstein has changed forever the way we measure elite athletes and their achievements,” Gladwell said.
Epstein made one of his biggest scoops in sports journalism when he released the story of the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez testing positive for steroids in 2003. Another big story Epstein wrote was the investigative piece that exposed a pattern of NCAA violations by Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel, leading to his resignation.
Epstein will be making a keynote talk titled “Athletic Performance, The Human Factor: What you need to know.” He will be speaking on new ways of thinking in the fields of exercise and physiology and their relation to athletic performance, many of the ideas stemming from his book.

The day’s full schedule is as follows:

  • 8:30 to 9 a.m.: Check-in
  • 9 to 10 a.m.: Keynote address by David Epstein
  • 10 to 10:30 a.m.: Exhibitor displays
  • 10:30 a.m.: Book-signing
  • 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Health and wellness breakout sessions and exhibitor displays

The 30-minute breakout sessions are:

  • The Science of Hydration: No Guts, No Glory! – Patrick Lambert, Ph.D., Creighton University;
  • Virtues of play health and fitness – Kris Berg, Ed.D., University of Nebraska at Omaha;
  • Environmental Regulation of the Human Exercise Response – Dusty Slivka, Ph.D., University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • Biomechanics & Clinical Practice: How Analysis of Human Movement Informs Rehabilitation – Jennifer Yentes, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Nutrition and Athletic Performance – Natural Grocers
  • Value of Emotional Wellness – Mind Body Spirit
  • Benefits of Yoga on Athletic Performance – Karma Yoga
  • Exercise and Motivation: Is there a Best Strategy to Encourage Regular Physical Activity? – Support Wellness – Innovative Wellness, LLP

The annual meeting by the Nebraska Physiological Society is typically a normal meeting in which the non-profit organization works on promoting research, education and outreach in physiology with no public involvement. This year will be a big change from the norm as the meeting will become more of a public outreach event, according to Dr. Carol Fassbinder-Orth, president of the society.
“We hope participants will learn how scientific research in physiology and exercise science can impact their lives,” Fassbinder-Orth said.
Although admission is free, registration is required to attend this event. To register, go to www.eventbrite.com and search “Athletic Performance with David Epstein” or contact Cindy Norton, cnorton@unmc.edu, 402 559-4429 or Carol Fassbinder-Orth, carolfassbinder-orth@creighton.edu.