Connections Between the Courses I am in this Semester

Throughout this semester at Plymouth State University, I have l learned a diverse amount of information in all of my courses. Two of my courses that I respected and learned the most from are Human Biology and Physical Activity and Health.

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These courses may seem different at first but after studying both for an entire semester, I can confidently say they are related in many ways. These two disciplines convey such different information, but considering I am part of an Interdisciplinary Program forces me to see the connections in both courses that hopefully will lead to my future. Human Biology is the basis of understanding how the body works.

When it comes to Human Biology this semester, I have learned a lot about how the body actual works on a cellular level. For example, the entire body is made up of cells that are continually throughout the day (Karen Franke). We learned where the energy is released and used in the cells as well as what that energy does. For example; calcium is stored in the endoplasmic reticulum in the cells of the body. Calcium does so much for the body in order to move and stabilize homeostasis. The calcium is released from the endoplasmic reticulum in order for muscle contractions to occur (Human Biology I BIDI: 2010).

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Once the calcium is released it allows the myosin to connect with the actin causing the muscle to contract and shorten. That is how a muscle contraction happens in the skeletal muscle system. How calcium effects homeostasis is keeping levels healthy in the blood stream. When calcium levels are low in the blood, a hormone called PTH (parathormone) is released. Once this is released, it travels to the bone where it activates osteoclasts; a cell that breaks down bone causing the calcium in the bone to enter the blood stream. This action causes the blood to return to a normal level of calcium (Human Biology I, BIDI: 2010). When the levels of calcium are too high in the blood stream, a hormone called calcitonin. This hormone travels through the body until it reaches the bone cells and once it arrives, it activates a cell called osteoblast. This cell creates new bone causing the calcium to be used in the creation of the new bone causing the blood stream to return to normal calcium levels (Karen Franke). Throughout the semester, I have learned a lot about the human body and certain functions that occur on a regular basis in the body. Along with Human Biology, I have learned a lot while being in Physical Activity and Health.

In the course, Physical Activity and Health, I have learned a lot of terminology and the importance of living an active life. One of the biggest parts of this course is acting as a practitioner for most of our labs. The idea behind giving people tests and helping them understand the information that comes with the test is really important to my future (Barbara McCahan). Some of the tests we have conducted throughout the course are VO2 max capacity test and muscle strength and endurance test. These tests are very interesting when it comes to what is occurring on a cellular level. VO2 max capacity is the description of the amount of oxygen that can be transferred into the body and used at that specific time (Barbara McCahan).

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This information is crucial to starting an exercise program for someone because it allows a practitioner to have a basis line for future exercise goals. When it comes to muscular strength and endurance, I also learned valuable information. Muscular strength is measured by the amount of force that can be controlled by a subject in a one maximum repetition (Barbara McCahan). Muscular strength is gained by doing 8-12 repetitions at a 60%-80% of your one rep max. When it comes to muscular endurance, this means the amount of force you can exert over a prolonged period of time (Barbara McCahan). Lowering the weight lifted, but increasing the repetitions to 12- 15 in one set while completing 2-3 sets gains muscle endurance. I have learned so much from this course and truly feel confident to create a work out plan for an individual after calculation their VO2 Max and their one repetition maximum.

Even though these two courses have vast amounts of different information, they relate in so many ways. For example, the energy is controlled in the mitochondrion learned in Human Biology I, but I gathered a further understanding because of the oxygen needed in the mitochondrion’s needed to create that energy for the cells to allows exercise to occur. This is a massive concept that needs to be understood and the fact that I can make the connection to the two courses allows that further understanding in my brain. Another connection I have made is during the muscle contraction chapters. Know that I understand how a muscle contraction happens and what is actually happening on a cellular level, I can make the connections while testing subjects in Physical Activity and Health. Understanding that when someone jumps, runs, breathes, or honestly any movement the body is causing muscles to contract at a cellular level advances my knowledge and allows me to share that information to my patients or subjects. I am really happy that I took these two courses at the same time because Human Biology I is the course needed to understand human functions and Physical Activity and Health is all about carrying out human functions in an active way.

Understanding this knowledge I’ve learned throughout the semester hopefully will lead to a better understanding of future courses and even my future in general. I will be taking Nutrition next semester, and this will relate to Human Biology I as well because of the nutrients and how the body uses it. When it comes to my future, I know I want to live a healthy life and understanding basic information about the body will allow me to do so. Physical Activity and Health will also help me stay away from a sedentary life because of the importance I’ve learned about an active life style as well as the health issues associated with an inactive life. Another area these courses will help my future is the fact that I want to help other people live an active life and being able to convey the functions the body is doing as we speak and actually create programs in order for those functions to run smoother is exactly what I want to do. This information I learned in this semester is extremely beneficial to my future and I am so thankful I have made the connections between the two courses.



Franke, Karen. “Muscle Contraction .” Chapter 16 . Plymouth, New Hampshire , Boyd 001.

Human Biology I. Jones and Bartlett Learning , 2015.

McCahan, Barbara. “VO2 Maximum Capacity and                  Muscles.” Understanding Cells in Muscles                    During Actvity. Understanding Cells in           Muscles During Actvity, Plymouth, New Hampshire , D&M 419.


One thought on “Connections Between the Courses I am in this Semester”

  1. This was a perfectly timed post for me. First of all, I just started taking calcium supplements at the request of my physician, and I really didn’t at all understand the role of calcium in the body, so that was such useful explanation! And second, I tore my rotator cuff (like most old people do– nothing unusual) and just started Physical Therapy, so learning about how muscles gain strength and what the reps should ideally be to help me progress– so helpful! As an aging person, I am going to keep reading your blog for all the stuff I need to know!! 🙂

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