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Nelson, Rachael




Dr. Rachael Nelson is a professor of Exercise Science in the School of Health Sciences.  She completed her PhD in Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.

Broadly, Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on exercise/physical activity promotion and chronic disease prevention with a particular emphasis on prevention of type 2 diabetes and women’s health.  Her work appears in many peer-reviewed journals including Preventing Chronic Disease, Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, and Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Dr. Nelson teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in the Exercise and Health Sciences Division in The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions.  

More about Rachael Nelson

  • Nelson, R. K., Solomon, R., Hosmer, E., & Zuhl, M. (2023). Cardiac rehabilitation utilization, barriers, and outcomes among patients with heart failure. Heart failure reviews, 10.1007/s10741-023-10309-2. Advance online publication.
  • Hoehing, K.N., Murrell, K.S., Fitzpatrick, R.A., Keteyian, S.J., Zuhl, M.N., Nelson, R.K. (2023). Facemask Use During Graded Exercise Testing in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Minimal Concern. Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, 12 (1): 18–21.
  • Nelson, R. K., Hasanaj, K., Connolly, G., Millen, L., Muench, J., Bidolli, N., Preston, M. A., & Montoye, A. (2022). Comparison of Wrist- and Hip-Worn Activity Monitors When Meeting Step Guidelines. Preventing Chronic Disease, 19, E18.
  • Nelson, R. K., Hafner, S. M., Cook, A. C., Sterner, N. J., Butler, E. L., Jakiemiec, B. E., & Saltarelli, W. A. (2022). Exercise During Pregnancy: What Do OB/GYNs Believe and Practice? A Descriptive Analysis. Women's Health Reports (New Rochelle, N.Y.), 3(1), 274–280.
  • Bluhm, M. L., Hoehing, K. N., Nelson, R. K., & Zuhl, M. N. (2022). Effect of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus on Cardiac Rehabilitation Outcomes: A Meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, S0003-9993(22)00260-X. Advance online publication.
  • Mytinger, M., Nelson, R. K., & Zuhl, M. (2020). Exercise Prescription Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Patients in the Absence of a Baseline Stress Test. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease, 7(2), 15.
  • Haeny, T., Nelson, R., Ducharme, J., & Zuhl, M. (2019). The Influence of Exercise Workload Progression Across 36 Sessions of Cardiac Rehabilitation on Functional Capacity. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease, 6(3), 32.
  • Horowitz, J. F., Ortega, J. F., Hinko, A., Li, M., Nelson, R. K., & Mora-Rodriguez, R. (2018). Changes in markers for cardio-metabolic disease risk after only 1-2 weeks of a high saturated fat diet in overweight adults. PloS One, 13(6), e0198372.
  • O'Neil, S., Thomas, A., Pettit-Mee, R., Pelletier, K., Moore, M., Thompson, J., Barton, C., Nelson, R., and Zuhl, M. (2018). Exercise Prescription Techniques in Cardiac Rehabilitation Centers in Midwest States. Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology Physiology, 7(1): 8-14.
  • Boyd, C.N., Lannan, S.M., Zuhl, M.N., Mora-Rodriquez, R., Nelson, R.K. (2018).  Objective and subjective measures of exercise intensity during thermo-neutral and hot yoga.  Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 43(4): 397-402.
  • Mora-Rodriguez, R., Ramirez-Jimenez, M., Fernandez-Elias, V. E., Guio de Prada, M. V., Morales-Palomo, F., Pallares, J. G., Nelson, R. K., & Ortega, J. F. (2018). Effects of aerobic interval training on arterial stiffness and microvascular function in patients with metabolic syndrome. Journal of Clinical Hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.), 20(1), 11–18.
  • Ortega, J. F., Morales-Palomo, F., Fernandez-Elias, V., Hamouti, N., Bernardo, F. J., Martin-Doimeadios, R. C., Nelson, R. K., Horowitz, J. F., & Mora-Rodriguez, R. (2016). Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and oleate enhances exercise training effects in patients with metabolic syndrome. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 24(8), 1704–1711.
  • Mora-Rodriguez, R., Ortega, J. F., Guio de Prada, V., Fernández-Elías, V. E., Hamouti, N., Morales-Palomo, F., Martinez-Vizcaino, V., & Nelson, R. K. (2016). Effects of Simultaneous or Sequential Weight Loss Diet and Aerobic Interval Training on Metabolic Syndrome. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 37(4), 274–281.
  • Sessions, J., Bourbeau, K., Rosinski, M., Szczygiel, T., Nelson, R., Sharma, N., & Zuhl, M. (2016). Carbohydrate gel ingestion during running in the heat on markers of gastrointestinal distress. European Journal of Sport Science, 16(8), 1064–1072.
  • Fernández-Elías, V. E., Ortega, J. F., Nelson, R. K., & Mora-Rodriguez, R. (2015). Relationship between muscle water and glycogen recovery after prolonged exercise in the heat in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(9), 1919–1926.
  • Nelson, R. K., & Horowitz, J. F. (2014). Acute exercise ameliorates differences in insulin resistance between physically active and sedentary overweight adults. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme, 39(7), 811–818.
  • Cornford, A. S., Hinko, A., Nelson, R. K., Barkan, A. L., & Horowitz, J. F. (2013). Rapid development of systemic insulin resistance with overeating is not accompanied by robust changes in skeletal muscle glucose and lipid metabolism. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme, 38(5), 512–519.
  • Nelson, R. K., Horowitz, J. F., Holleman, R. G., Swartz, A. M., Strath, S. J., Kriska, A. M., & Richardson, C. R. (2013). Daily physical activity predicts degree of insulin resistance: a cross-sectional observational study using the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 10.
  • McGregor, S. J., Weese, R. K., & Ratz, I. K. (2009). Performance modeling in an Olympic 1500-m finalist: a practical approach. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(9), 2515–2523.
  • CMU Excellence in Teaching Award, 2024
  • Student Choice Award, Central Michigan University, 2016
  • Charles M Tipton National Student Research Award, American College of Sports Medicine, 2013
  • Kinesiology Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Michigan, 2011-2012 
  • PhD, Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 2013
  • MS, Exercise Physiology, Eastern Michigan University, 2007
  • BS, Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, 2004
  • Broadly, Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on exercise/physical activity promotion and chronic disease prevention with a particular emphasis on prevention of type 2 diabetes and women’s health.
  • American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Physiological Society
  • Michigan Society for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Courses Taught

  • HSC 220:  Health-related Components of Fitness
  • HSC 503:  Health Implications of Obesity
  • HSC 547:  Health Risk Identification and Management
  • HSC 550:  Stress Test Administration
  • HSC 551:  Stress Testing Interpretation
  • HSC 634:  Experimental Design in Exercise Science

The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure.