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In their lively and entertaining weekly discussion of issues related to higher education, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the topics of higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. Ed and Jennifer practice what they preach, too, by introducing math puzzlers and brain teasers to keep listeners on their toes.

Higher Ed: How Practices For A Healthy Mind Could Promote A Healthy Body, Too

There is more talk in education these days about wellness and more attention to stress, anxiety and other factors that can impede learning. But there is less talk about the ways good learning practices could improve health. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the role of learning and education in wellness.

There are plenty of other subjects we learn to master, so why not health and wellness?

Ed believes health and wellness information could - and should - be offered at a micro level outside school. A lot of that kind of information is certainly available already. The challenge is to make it accessible and impactful.

"It's gotta be bite-sized. You can't have a full lecture or something," he says. "And it's got to be meaningful and thought-provoking ... it has to get you."

For instance, Ed suggests reinforcing a message delivered by a doctor or health care provider with a short video or other educational element; that model is not unlike lessons from a teacher reinforced by text or other materials.

"One two-minute video is not going to do anything," Ed admits. "But if it kind of is a continuation that keeps moving, maybe it stays in your head a little bit, and we become more mindful and maybe we can change."

Listen to the full episode to hear more about how Ed believes learning and mindfulness can be brought to bear on health issues. It is also time for the solution to last episode's sneaky arithmetic puzzler.

This episode was recorded on April 23, 2019.

For all the Higher Ed episodes, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.
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