Dr. Lenny Kaminsky thinks we could all use a little more stress in our lives.
Not mental or emotional stress. But physical stress, the kind that comes with walking, running, swimming, cycling, and dancing.
“People have a negative connotation with stress,” Kaminsky said. “But stress can be a positive for the body. When stress is applied as exercise, it can cause the body to adapt and improve.”
At the College of Health’s Fisher Institute for Health and Well-Being, Kaminsky is the John and Janice Fisher Distinguished Professor of Wellness. In 2015, he received Ball State University’s Outstanding Faculty Award honoring excellence in teaching, research or creative endeavors, plus service.
As a professor of clinical exercise physiology in the School of Kinesiology, Kaminsky has been part of a program that’s grown into one of the best of its kind in the world. Since the program began in 1965, exemplary faculty and facilities have attracted top-notch students, according to Kaminsky.
What we try to do with our students is encourage them to take the next step to be leaders in the field. That’s the most gratifying part of my career is to see all the great work that our former students are doing.
Kaminsky himself is recognized as a worldwide authority on how cardiorespiratory fitness can prevent and treat chronic disease. Contributing over 100 research articles to peer-reviewed journals, Kaminsky presents regularly at health symposiums and serves in a leadership role for several health-related professional organizations’ committees and boards.
He is also leader of the College of Health’s Healthy Lifestyle Center, a community-based site run by Ball State faculty and students as well as IU School of Medicine-Muncie medical students. Its goal: to provide Muncie and Delaware County residents resources to make healthy lifestyle choices that will lead to improved health outcomes.
Promoting exercise is a major component of the Healthy Lifestyle Center’s mission and dovetails perfectly with Kaminsky’s expertise in clinical exercise physiology.
Kaminsky grew up an athlete but said he didn’t appreciate exercising as a form of medical treatment until he took a class in exercise physiology as a master’s student at Southern Methodist University. At Southern Illinois University, he earned a PhD in exercise physiology.
“Exercise physiology is a relatively new field, about 100 years old or so,” Kaminsky said. “So, there are a lot of things we haven’t learned yet. And that makes it an attractive area to study and learn.”