WRITTEN BY DANIELLE ADONE
Professor John McNamara is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with Distinction, Certified Personal Trainer with Distinction and Certified Olympic Weightlifting Coach that has been teaching health and fitness classes at SFC for over eight years.
“My experience has been really great, really positive – the nice thing about the small college is you get to know everybody,” “The real advantage is because there are such few people – the class size is small and it’s a real advantage to the students and the instructor because you get to know the students really well,” said McNamara
He has a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, Curriculum and Instruction. McNamara played hockey, volleyball, basketball, soccer and track and field while in school.
He enjoyed playing just about any sport. McNamara has trained and coached with Olympic Gold Medalist Tara Nott; he also worked with Bronze medalist Lia Neal.
This semester, McNamara is teaching dance, motor learning, history, weight training and biomechanics. Although many of his classes are under the physical education curriculum, many students chose to take dance or weight training as an elective to stray away from the books and let loose for a few hours a week.
Senior Paul Gilhuley said, “McNamara taught me how to lift and how to avoid injury — he gave us useful lessons on staying healthy reminding us to sleep, eat healthy and exercise.”
Since McNamara is not just teaching students with textbooks and smart boards he hopes for his students to obtain the most out of there 16 weeks in his class.
On the first day of class he tells his students, “I really want you guys to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life and I want to give you the tools during this time so that you could help yourself – and know all about nutrition, exercise and sleep.”
McNamara teaches future generation physical education teachers and he wants to ensure that his students will take what they learned in his classroom into their own classrooms.
McNamara instills three main ingredients in his students: healthy eating, regular exercise and 7-9 hours of sleep per night. All of these things must be in balance for a successful healthy life.
“It’s all about learning the basics,” added McNamara.
Many college students complain that they don’t have time to workout or time to eat healthy. Let’s be honest its a lot of work to get a workout in — paying for a gym membership, buying work out clothes, weather, transportation sometimes it seems only natural for students to find an excuse.
McNamara’s classes allow his students to learn how to fit a workout in with a hectic college schedule. McNamara shows his students how to exercise and how to get a workout in with no equipment.
Senior Carmine Giannotto said, “Dr. Mac is not only a great professor but a great person, teacher and a role model and I’m lucky to have been a student in his classes – you know when you have his class its going to be a good day.”
You don’t have to go to the gym – you can go for a walk or a run, bike, garden there are so many other things you could do to get a good workout in without having to swipe into the gym. “The number one thing to make a life long change is to find something fun and stick with it,” said McNamara.
“If you have to go way out of your way to get an exercise in chances are its pretty hard to do that but you can make it easy – like if you love to dance turn on some music at home and dance around for 15 minutes and make that your exercise,” said McNamara.
The Physical Education Department (within the Education Department) currently has about 30-40 students and is growing every year.
Currently, the education department is looking to possibly get a masters degree program for future students.
Until then, McNamara will continue to show his students the ins and outs of healthy living one semester at a time.