Skip to Main Content



After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Explain how the various body systems contribute to communication between mind and body.

  2. Understand the basic structure and function of the nervous system and describe how the nervous system orchestrates stress and relaxation responses.

  3. Apply information about the endocrine system and its hormones to various health-related issues.

  4. Conceptualize communication among the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems as they coordinate physiological function.

  5. Explain how the digestive system is influenced by the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems and how it is affected by the stress response.

  6. Describe the basic structure of the musculoskeletal system and how it communicates with the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.

  7. Explain the basic structure and function of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

  8. Understand how health behaviors influence the various systems of the body and how these systems in turn influence health.


image Maya has a taken a summer job working on a cruise ship. "Sunshine, vacation, here I come," she thinks. She will be teaching water aerobics, beginning yoga, and a morning "rise and shine" walking class. Maya anticipates that this will be a nice change from the four part-time jobs she has been working for the past several years. In 3 months, she will be starting a full-time job at the local community college, running the fitness center and teaching a variety of exercise classes.

Little does she know that her cruise will offer little free time and that the fitness instructor will turn into the resident authority on every health-related topic in the book! Thankfully, her kinesiology coursework, her years of experience, and her continuing education classes have kept her up to date in the health field, so she can answer the deluge of questions she receives, refer clients appropriately, and make informed decisions about the situations she encounters.

Her first surprise client presents himself in her beginning yoga class on the afternoon of departure. Nick is several years older than the others in the class and stiff as a board, but, with the attitude of a man ready to conquer the world, he muscles his way through the postures, pushing himself to the point of straining, and ignoring Maya's instructions to the class to go slowly and gently. At the beginning of class, he told Maya that he has had back problems for many years but that his doctor told him yoga should be fine. Maya wonders where people get the idea that yoga is always safe for everyone. Nick's breathing is shallow and tense, and Maya is afraid he will hurt himself. Maya's first priority is to keep everyone free of injury. How is she going to connect with Nick and help him work with his body rather than against it?image

Understanding and applying the psychology of health and fitness requires basic knowledge of psychophysiology and health. ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.