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Faculty Profiles

Peter Walters, Ph.D.

Professor of Applied Health Science

On Faculty since 1996
630.752.5744



Dr. Walters' professional interests within the field of Applied Health Science include training elite strength athletes, sport and fitness motivation, and successful behavioral change. He has been interviewed on topics such as sleep hygiene, functional fitness (such as CrossFit), and the connection between physical and spiritual health. He has presented more than 200 lectures at national conferences, professional and civic organizations, including the National Wellness Conference, the National Strength and Conditioning Conference, and the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.

Texas A&M University
Ph.D., Kinesiology, 1992

Texas A&M University
M.A., Physical Education, 1989

Western Kentucky University
B.A., Recreation & Religion, 1981

  • Sleep and Human Performance
  • Elite Strength Training
  • Bone Mineral Density
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Functional Fitness
  • CrossFit
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Behavioral Change
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association : Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Alliance of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance

The Fitness-Driven Church
Christianity Today magazine

"A lot of this is part of the health and wealth gospel," says Peter Walters, professor of applied health science at Wheaton College in Illinois. "I feel like we're doing a disservice to the kingdom by representing Christianity in that fashion."
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Your hour-by-hour guide to better sleep
TODAY Health and Wellness

Good news for you gym rats: Working out is one of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep. "Exercise reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and helps you sleep more soundly for longer periods," says Peter Walters, PhD, professor of applied health science at Wheaton College and the author of multiple studies about the link between sleep and exercise.

Your New Workout Success Secret: Sleep!
Self Magazine

A full night's rest can end those I'm-too-sore gripes that make you skip Spin class. "Sleep is the most important part of physical recovery," says Peter Walters, Ph.D., professor of applied health science at Wheaton College, who has studied sleep patterns in athletes. One reason: While you snooze, your body releases 80 percent of its total production of human growth hormone, the fuel created in your brain's pituitary gland that repairs and strengthens muscles. Fewer aches mean you'll enjoy exercise more and want to do it more often.
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No snooze? You lose!
ESPN W

No matter how hard you work out, that 5 a.m. alarm may be stunting your strength. Why? Because your body pumps out 80 percent of your human growth hormone (HGH) during deep sleep. This muscle-building elixir is released during the deepest levels of sleep -- specifically, the ones you nix when you stay up too late, get up too early, or do both, said sleep researcher Peter Walters, Ph.D., a professor at Wheaton College.
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The Best Exercise for your Lifestyle
ABC News

With those who are new to working out, there's always a high risk of falling back onto their sedentary ways, says Peter Walters, associate professor in the Applied Health Science Department, Wheaton College. "Half of people who begin an exercise program aren't continuing after two months. My thought is, 'What is an activity that someone cannot just do, but enjoy?'," he says. "For the elderly that's often walking, for younger people that tends to be some kind of group exercise class or activity."
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For weight-loss help, faithfuls turn to God
CNN

"There's a part of me that cringes a little bit when I sense that there's this idea or concept that all you need to do for [a] weight loss program is [have] a little prayer or Bible study and all becomes easier," said Peter Walters, an associate professor in the applied health science department at Wheaton College in Illinois. But faith-based programs tend to address the entire person, rather than isolating nutrition and exercise, he said.

Nap Your Way to Better Performance (You Snooze, You Win!)
ACE Certified News

Dr. Peter Walters, associate professor in the applied health science department at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., says that there is conclusive evidence of a correlation between sufficient sleep and mental acuity, especially logical and critical thinking.
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Peter Walters Photo 1

  • AHS 101 - Wellness -- (Coordinator)
  • AHS 273 - Behavioral Medicine
  • AHS 494 - Integrative Seminar
  • AHS 496 - Internship (Coordinator)

Case Study: Bone Mineral Density of Two Elite Senior Powerlifters, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Walters, Peter, Joel Jezequel, and Mary Beth Grove, 2012

Personal Relationships and Wellness, Christian Paths to Health and Wellness
Walters, P.H., 2013

Sleep Habits and Wellness, Christian Paths to Health and Wellness
Walters, P.H., 2013

Emotional Health and Wellness, Christian Paths to Health and Wellness
Walters, P.H., Needham D., and Williams B., 2013

Nutritional Health and Wellness, Christian Paths to Health and Wellness
Walters, P.H., 2013

Flexibility Assessment and Training, Christian Paths to Health and Wellness
Walters, P.H., 2013

Muscular Strength Assessment and Training, Christian Paths to Health and Wellness
Walters, P.H., 2013

The Effect of Intermittent Head Cooling on Aerobic Performance in the Heat, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Walters, P., Thom, N., Libby, K., Edgen, S., Azadian, A., Tannous, D., Sorenson, E. and Hunt, B. Walters, 2017