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“Prescription for a Healthy You!” – Medical College of Wisconsin students hold learning sessions for

WAUSAU, WI -- August 2, 2019 Students from the Medical College of Wisconsin stopped by the Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area to teach four sessions to the members. These sessions including tips on healthy eating, body wellness and overall mental health.

In one room, members were able to see and feel (if they wanted to!) real organs. There was a brain, a heart, a kidney and lungs. Members were able to see how lungs look differently when they’re healthy compared to after years of smoking. One member said it was neat to see, but pretty gross at the same time.

Members react to seeing a brain

Another exercise had them jogging in place while holding their nose and breathing through a straw. This is supposed to mimic what it would feel like to exercise if you were an avid smoker. The lungs become less efficient, making it harder to breath.

Members try to breathe through a straw while jogging in place

They were also able to see how important it is to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. The brain is only surrounded by a thin layer called the dura mater underneath the skull. So the Medical College of Wisconsin students taught them the importance of extra layers of protection.

Members learn the importance of wearing a helmet

Then it was onto learning about healthy eating. The students explained nutrition education has shifted from the food pyramid to the balanced healthy plate approach. The members learned about the different types of food (protein, grains, vegetables, etc.)

Each was handed a card with a food type on it and had to identify which category it fell into. Once they did that, they were able to make a taco. As they went down the line with toppings, they continued to learn different facts – like many members didn’t know beans were a protein source!

Then it was onto mindfulness and yoga. The Medical College Students explained the members should be thinking and focusing on their bodies and breathing. A number of pictures were laid out on the gym floor displaying various emotions.

“Think about how your body feels when you’re happy” – prompted the members to choose different photos. They tried this with a number of various emotions before moving onto yoga and mindfulness.

And the last station was health & fitness. The members split up into teams with hula hoops at each corner and had to run and dump plastic unhealthy food items in the opponents’ hoops and pick up the healthy items for their own. It was a race to the finish and the teams with the most unhealthy items had to do five penalty push-ups.

According to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, there is evidence to suggest that “greater workforce diversity may lead to improved public health, primarily through better interactions between patients and health care professionals.” Working with the Boys & Girls Club program allows the Foundation to reach children from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and expose them to some of the career possibilities in health care.

Each member received a water bottle and healthy living tips to share with their families.

The Medical College of Wisconsin has been coming to the Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area for this project for several years.


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