Advances In Therapeutic Laser Treatments

Laser technology is a rapidly growing sector of the medical community.  Today lasers are used in vision correction, hair removal, skin treatments, pain relief, and surgery.  Therapeutic lasers utilize lower powers that can non-thermally and nondestructively alter cellular function. This phenomenon, known as laser biostimulation, is the basis for the current use of lasers to treat a variety of articular, neural and soft tissue conditions.  The FDA approved therapeutic laser use in the United States in 2002; however, this technology has been available in Europe for over 30 years.

Lasers  produce their effects by igniting a cascade of reactions in the body similar to the synthesis of Vitamin D made by our skin.  As sunlight is absorbed, the skin darkens due to the production of melanin by melanocytes.  Similarly, lasers produce their biological effects as a result of photochemical reactions (rather than thermal) that occur in various cell types of the body.  These cells possess chromophores, components of molecules which absorb light.  The stimulation of these chromophores on mitochondria membranes (energy producers of the cells), increase the production of ATP.  Research has shown the biological effects of therapeutic lasers to:  (1) stabilize cell membranes (2) increase ATP (energy) production and synthesis (3) decrease C-reactive protein and neopterin levels (4) accelerate leukocyte activity (5) enhance lymphocyte response (6) reduce interleukin 1 (7) increase prostaglandin synthesis (8) enhance levels of super oxide dismutase (9) increase angiogenesis (formation of new blood cells) (10) stimulate vasodilation (11) temperature modulation (12) decrease pain and nociception.

From over 2,500 scientific studies in the National Library of Medicine, some of the benefits from laser therapy and the effects of healing reported include: promotion of tissue repair, improved wound healing, faster recovery from nerve injury, improved reinnervation, improved quality of life in chronic pain, reduced pain in post-herpetic neuralgia, reduced pain in sprains and strains, reduced scar tissue in muscle injury, improved range of motion, and injury healing is faster and of better quality (stronger tissues).

Varying wavelengths of light determine the depth for which the laser can reach.  Currently there are four classes of lasers, each with differing depths of penetration.  Class I, II, and III lasers are made up of CD players, printers, scanners, pointers, and early therapeutic low level lasers.  Newer low level lasers and LEDs (light emitting diodes) are considered class IIIb.  Numerous therapeutic lasers on the market and in abundant physical therapy and chiropractic clinics are included in this category.  Their depth of penetration is very limited thus restricting their effectiveness for deep tissues and joints of the body.  Class IV lasers are the most powerful therapeutic lasers on the market allowing the wavelengths of light to reach structures up to 5 inches in the body.  As such, conditions involving spinal discs, hip joints, shoulder joints, knee joints, and nerves, may be reached.

Sports medicine doctors in particular are turning their attention towards therapeutic lasers due to the improved healing times of musculoskeletal injuries.  The addition of lasers in the sporting arena allows for optimal tissue regeneration and repair with less residual problems, making laser therapy an integral part of an athletes rehabilitation.  The New England Patriots implemented laser technology as part of their treatment just prior to their Super Bowl victory in 2004.  Other professional sports teams include the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Cincinnati Bengals.  Cyclist, Lance Armstrong, has used laser therapy for years to recover from injuries.  Conditions such as tendinopathies, carpal tunnel syndrome, myofascial trigger points, lateral epicondylitis, ligament sprains, muscle strains, repetitive stress injuries, chondromalacia patellae, plantar fasciitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, herpes zoster, post-traumatic injury, trigeminal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, burns, deep edema/congestion, sports injuries, and auto related injuries may benefit from laser therapy.

The rehabilitation team at Fitness Quest 10 utilizes the class IV K-Laser to treat many of the professional athletes and clientele for optimal healing results.  To find out if laser therapy is appropriate for your condition, or to answer additional questions, please contact Water and Sports Physical Therapy at 858-488-3597 or Dr. Jennifer Reiner at Chiro@waterandsportsPT.com.

Dr. Jennifer Reiner is the chiropractor for Water and Sports Physical Therapy and the University of California San Diego.  She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida and went on to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West.  As a member of the Palmer West Sports Council, Dr. Reiner focused her studies on sports injuries and rehabilitation.

Currently, she is the official chiropractor for the University of California San Diego, providing care to a variety of sports including swimming, soccer, volleyball, track and field, tennis, and basketball.  Dr. Reiner utilizes gentle chiropractic adjustments to restore aberrant movement to joints of the spine and extremities when indicated.  She is also a certified Active Release (ART) provider for upper extremity, lower extremity, and spinal conditions.  Active Release is a patented soft tissue, movement based treatment that targets adhesions found in the muscle, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.  Dr. Reiner is a certified K-Laser specialist utilizing Class IV laser therapy to accelerate tissue healing, decrease edema, and provide pain relief.

References

1.  Am J Sports Med  May 2008  vol. 36  no. 5  881-887. Effects of Low-Level Laser Therapy and Eccentric Exercises in the Treatment of Recreational Athletes With Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy.   Apostolos Stergioulas, PT, PhD*, Marianna Stergioula, PT,

Reidar Aarskog, PT, Msc, Rodrigo A. B. Lopes-Martins, MPharm, PhD, and Jan M. Bjordal, PT, PhD

2.  J Am Chiropractic Association, Jan/Feb 2010.  Class IV Laser Therapy Treatment of Multifactorial Lumbar Stenosis with Low-Back and Leg Pain.  Daniel Knapp, DC

3.  J Clin Laser Med Surg. 2000 Apr;18(2):67-73.  Wound healing of animal and human body sport and traffic accident injuries using low-level laser therapy treatment: a randomized clinical study of seventy-four patients with control group. Simunovic Z, Ivankovich AD, Depolo A.

4.  J Endourology/Endourological Society. 2008 Nov;22(11):2447-50. Endoscopic ultrasound facilitates histological diagnosis of renal cell cancer. Artifon EL, Lopes RI, Kumar A, Lucon AM, Dall’oglio M, Hawan B, Sakai P, Srougi M.)

5.   K-Laser USA Case Studies. http://www.klaserusa.com

6.  Lasers Med Sci 1998. 13:293-298.  Muscular Trauma Treated with a Ga-Al-As Diode Laser: In Vivo Experimental Study. G. Morrone, G.A. Guzzardella, L. Orienti, G. Giavaresi, M. Fini, M. Rocca, P. Torricelli, L. Martini and R. Giardino

7.  LiteCure LCT-1000 Deep Tissue Therapy Laser Treats Professional Athletes. www.litecure.com/pages/199.

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How To Get A Stronger Upper Body

Looking for a way to keep your arm strong all season long? Here is a series of shoulder workouts from Todd Durkin of Fitness Quest 10 using the TRX that are ideal for keeping baseball players strong and flexible.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide. He is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit and he is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 30 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.  Todd conducts 3-Day Mentorships several times per year (next one October 14-17, 2010) and ongoing Mastermind Groups for trainers seeking business and personal growth.  Sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, TD TIMES, at http://www.FitnessQuest10.com or http://www.ToddDurkin.com.

Three Shoulder Exercises For Quarterbacks

Having strong shoulders is essential when we are talking about over the head throwing sports such as football and baseball.  Whether you are looking to prevent arm injury or add more speed to your fastball, these 3 exercises need to be implemented in your daily workouts.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TOP SHOULDER EXERCISES RECOMMEND BY TODD DURKIN

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide. He is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit and he is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 30 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.  Todd conducts 3-Day Mentorships several times per year (next one October 14-17, 2010) and ongoing Mastermind Groups for trainers seeking business and personal growth.  Sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, TD TIMES, at http://www.FitnessQuest10.com or http://www.ToddDurkin.com.

GPP and the Year Round Athlete By Brett Klika

Most young athletes in California play sports year-round.  There really isn’t an “off season” when the weather is 70 degrees and sunny all the time.  While playing and competing can develop skills for specific sports, general physical preparation may be neglected.  General physical preparation, (GPP) is the process of developing all of the attributes associated with athleticism.  Overall body strength, coordination, balance, stability, flexibility, aerobic fitness, movement technique, and other skills play a role in every sport.  When a youngster spends all of their time playing one sport, they usually only develop the physical skills needed for that sport.  This contributes to problems such as muscular imbalances that have been found to contribute to injury.  In addition, certain skills may be neglected to a point in which they fall below a threshold level for strength, coordination, etc., negatively effecting performance.   For example, the game of baseball does not require a great degree of aerobic fitness.   However, if you do not have a basic level of aerobic capacity, your ability to recover and maintain your abilities throughout the season may suffer.   Additional research has demonstrated that one of the best ways to prevent injury is to include GPP in every young athletes training regiment.

GPP is also referred to as “cross training.”  It is important both in and out of their sports season.  When the young athlete is out of season, they can train general abilities more days with higher volumes and greater intensities.  When they are practicing and playing games daily, they may only be able to train these abilities a couple of times a week for an abbreviated amount of time.  In either situation, it is important that GPP is included in training. Here are some general guidelines for both in season and out of season GPP for young athletes:

Out of Season:

1. Perform GPP 2-3 times per week prior to puberty.  For pubescent athletes, they can handle 3-5 times per week.

2. Each workout should be about 20-30 minutes prior to puberty, 40 minutes to an hour for pubescent athletes.

  • Both groups can handle longer durations and training frequencies, but for the sake of practicality of schedules, these amounts of time are plenty.  With warm-up, cool down, teaching time, and mobility work, one should allow for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour.

3. Workouts should consist of modalities to challenge of a variety of physical capacities including:

  • Strength (push-ups, lizard crawls, climbing, lunging, etc)
  • Power (jumping, throwing, racing or timed drills)
  • Endurance (sustained constant activity)
  • Coordination (agility ladder, jump rope, boxing, off hand and foot work, proper movement technique)
  • Balance (1-leg work, unstable surface)
  • Flexibility and mobility (stretching, mobility drills)

i.      2-3 exercises for each, 40 seconds to a minute at each circuit

4. Assuming that a pubescent athlete has sufficient development of the above skills, a “circuit” style of training may not allow for enough time of focus on each specific skill.  The program may have to be further regimented into “weight room” and “field” work.

  • This is the case ONLY if they are proficient at all of the general skills in a circuit format.  (Most high-school aged kids are not, yet we push them into more regimented programs.  Thus the ever-increasing rates of injury we see in athletes age 15 and up.)

5. Regardless of the sport, a basic level of aerobic fitness should be a focus.  This, along with basic strength is the foundation from which all athleticism is achieved.  If a youngster can’t do a push-up and is unable to keep their heart rate elevated for a sustained amount of time, they will have problems down the road regardless of their level of sport skill.  Guaranteed.

Below Brett demonstrates an actual in season GPP workout for all young athletes:

In-Season:

1. Perform GPP 2 times a week prior to puberty.  For pubescent athletes, 2-3 times per week.

2. Workouts should be 15-20 minutes prior to puberty, 20-40 after puberty.

3. For both recommendations above, youngsters can handle more, but for the sake of practicality this should suffice.

4. To create an in-season program, consider the skills that may be neglected during practice or game play and create a circuit involving those skills.  For example during practice in soccer, the skills of sprinting, agility, and lower body coordination will be practiced.  Upper body strength, lower body stability, movement technique, and general power development will not.

5. The workout can take place immediately before or after practice for cohesive scheduling.

6. For more mature athletes that need to further regiment their general preparation, the focus of this type of training should be a lower volume of training at moderate to high intensities.

  • This is the opposite of what most idiotic high school coaches implement with their teams, especially football.  They lay off during the off season, ramp-up during pre-season, and then lift every day with bodybuilder-like volumes and intensities during the in-season. Got it backwards, guys.

7. During in-season training, a good coach should run a practice in which activity is sustained the entire time.   This decreases the need for general aerobic work during GPP.  If there are athletes standing around a field, there is a horrible coach nearby.

  • A quality sports practice should have the intensity and sense of urgency of an organized air raid drill.

Whether it’s during the off-season or the regular season, GPP is the key to improving performance and decreasing injury as an athlete ages.  Taking the time to include this in a training regiment for a young athlete will pay dividends in both the short and the long run.  Otherwise, we could keep doing it the way we are and watch injury rates double AGAIN in the next 10 years, not to mention the rates of childhood obesity.  I think we can do better.

Let’s help create happy, healthy, pain-free adults!

Brett Klika C.S.C.S., Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a human performance specialist, motivator, and educator.

Beat The Heat

“Beat The Heat” — By Cara Regas, Strength and conditioning coach at Fitness Quest 10.

With summer temperatures rising, the risk of heat illness also increases.  Here are a few tips to so you can enjoy physical activity and exercise as well as to reduce the risk of heat illness:

1. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Drink half of your body weight in water in ounces (i.e. a 160 lb person should drink 80oz) per day.  You need to drink more if you are exercising and even more if you are exercising in heat!

2. Consume plenty of electrolytes to replenish the ones you lose.  Electrolytes can be found in Smart Water, Pedialyte (we love that here at FQ10), or any sports drink (Vitamin Water, Gatorade, PowerAde, etc).  Be aware of how much sugar you are consuming with the sports drinks though; it can sneak up on you.  The key nutrients you want to consume for electrolytes are: sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

3. Gradually increase the of intensity and duration of your workout.  The more you are gradual and methodical about your exercise, the better prepared your body will be for the workout.  Additionally, following this step helps prevent injury and illness.

4. Take adequate amounts of breaks during your activity. Resting and proper sleeping habits decrease your risks of illness and injury.

5. Avoid working out during peak sun hours. If possible, exercise during the early morning or late evening when the sun is not as bright and the weather is cooler.

6. Do not participate in intense exercise if you show signs of illness.  That illness, however small, may decrease your body’s tolerance and prevent you from full recovery. You can exercise if you feel okay, just be aware of your limitations and back off on intensity if needed.

How can you tell if you are dehydrated or at a higher risk for heat illness?  The easiest way is to check your urine.  Darker color urine is a quick indicator of dehydration.  Your urine should look more like lemonade than apple juice and it should become lighter and lighter as the day goes on.  A good goal would be to have almost clear-to-clear urine by the end of the day.  Don’t let the heat keep you from working out!  Beat it with hydration and awareness.  Stay hydrated my friends!

Cara Regas Haughey is an ATC and personal trainer at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA.  She specializes in keeping female athletes injury free, and develops programs and injury free workouts for both athletes and non-athletes.  You can visit Cara’s blog about keeping athletes healthy at injuryfreefemaleathletes.wordpress.com.

Qualities for Success and Happiness in Your Life

On my trip down to Florida, I was reading John Wooden’s book, “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On & Off the Court.” I absolutely love John Wooden and there are several aspects of his book that “spoke” to me. I not only shared them with the boys this week, I want to share two different ones with you. They deal with not only developing success in life, but also how to attain happiness and harmony in your own life.

The first one that spoke to me is Wooden’s “8 Suggestions for Succeeding”:

  1. Fear no opponent. Respect every opponent.
  2. Remember, it’s the perfection of the smallest details that make BIG things happen (Attention to Detail!).
  3. Keep in mind that hustle makes up for many a mistake.
  4. Be more interested in character than reputation.
  5. Be quick, but don’t hurry.
  6. Understand the harder you work, the more luck you will have.
  7. Know that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement.
  8. Remember there is no substitute for hard work and careful planning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

I love these 8 points. Below are my comments to them. Notice they transcend sport and relate to the business world also, regardless of occupation. Here are some of my comments and “tweaks” on each of them:

  1. Don’t fear the competition. Respect them but don’t fear them.
  2. Attention to detail in all that you do. In what areas of your life can you get better?
  3. Keep hustling, networking, mingling, and “showing your face.”
  4. Character is what you really are. Reputation is what other people say you are. Focus on character. Hire character. Develop character. Remember, it often takes 20 years to build a reputation. It takes 1 bad day to lose it. Focus on character! Your solid reputation will be developed if your character is solid.
  5. I often say, “money likes speed”. Make informed decisions after doing your homework. However, if you deliberate too long, your opportunity may pass you by.
  6. The saying goes, “The harder you work, the luckier you get”. Nothing replaces hard-work.
  7. Evaluate yourself as a leader, manager, boss, entrepreneur, employer, or employee. Have other people assess you also. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Being a great listener is a wonderful trait to possess as we lead others to success.
  8. Preparation is the key to success and you MUST be willing to work hard to attain great results. Don’t focus on “success”. Focus your attention on developing the traits and qualities it takes to attain success and great results will happen. Discipline, focus, passion, and mental toughness are all traits that come along with the COMMITMENT that is necessary to get to where you want to go.

As we talk about success, I would also like to share Wooden’s “9 Promises That Can Bring Happiness”:

  1. Promise yourself that you will talk about health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
  2. Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something special in them and that you value it immensely.
  3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only but the best in yourself and others.
  4. Promise to be enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  5. Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
  7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
  8. Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

I love these 9 promises. See if you can answer the following questions to improve your own life:

  • What areas can you focus on to bring about more peace and happiness in your life?
  • What “promises” do you need to recite on a daily basis to ingrain it in your head that you need to do a better job in this area of your life?
  • What areas can you improve yourself to continue evolving as a person?

ACTION:
A great exercise would be to copy and paste these promises next to your computer or put them on your bathroom mirror. Put them in a conspicuous spot. As we all search for more “success” and happiness in our professional and personal lives, these simple mantras can remind us of the journey it takes to keep peace, harmony, and balance in our lives.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide. He is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit and he is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 30 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.  Todd conducts 3-Day Mentorships several times per year (next one May 20-23, 2010) and ongoing Mastermind Groups for trainers seeking business and personal growth.  Sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, TD TIMES, at www.FitnessQuest10.com or www.ToddDurkin.com.


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb above with it.  If you would like a Word Document of the article sent to you, please email me at durkin@fitnessquest10.com and we will send it to you.

10 Ways To Improve Performance

Are you looking for ways to improve your performance?  In this context, I am talking about your performance at work, at home, and with your health.  If you indeed are trying to improve your energy, productivity, and overall effectiveness, I have provided 10 sure-fire ways to maximize your overall performance.

* Focus, focus, focus—Sometimes it feels like we have a thousand “Things To Do” on the list and we rarely get any of them done.  Sometimes you get so side-tracked with emails, phone calls, customer needs, etc. that by the time the end of the day rolls around, you realize you hardly got anything done.  My encouragement to you is to CHOOSE 1 MUST DO for the day and commit to getting it done.  Do it early in the day before you get side-tracked and commit to following it through until complete.

* Know your strengths—Focus on your strengths and know what you are good at.  If you are not sure, perform a “S.W.O.T.” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and jot down all your strengths.  Concentrate on what you are good at, market your strengths, and continue to build upon your strengths.

* Improve your weaknesses— One of my mentors, pitching guru, Tom House says “you are as strong as your weakest link, and as efficient as your worst movement.”  So it is with business and life.  What are your weaknesses?  What can you do to improve your  “game” and take it to the next level.  Maybe it is character issues that need to be improved.  Maybe it is an improved commitment to something important to you (health, family, business, spiritual health, etc.).  Decide on what you can improve upon and than commit to improving that area of your life.

* Surround yourself with “great” people—One of my coaches, Ali Brown, talks about surrounding yourself with a mindset of people that you want to be like.  If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people.  If you want to be spiritually strong, spend time with spiritually strong people.  If you want to be a great athlete, train with great athletes and great coaches.  Whether you are part of a “Mastermind” Group to help accelerate your success or just surround yourself with motivated, success-driven people on an on-going basis, it is critical that you surround yourself with a “mindset” that is positive for your life.  It will create an energy that is contagious and leads to great results.

* Prioritize your “Blue-Sky” time—One of my closest mentors and friends, Wayne Cotton, has an entire system on time management to help improve productivity and organization.  “Blue Sky” time is going to give you designated time away from your business to work “on” your business and not “in” your business.   This is critical for you to give you direction and focus and strategy.  I recommend getting 3 quality “Blue Sky” days per quarter but the more you get, the better.  It will help drive “Green machine” (making money!) and help free up your time!  Most of us don’t get enough strategic time and end up always just reacting to whatever the day brings.  This is inefficient and will not lead to maximum results.

* Get your “Mellow Yellow” time—God knows we all need more rest.  Why do you feel so guilty when you actually get down time?  It is actually recommended that you take at least one day off per week and that you partake in enjoyable activities and hobbies.  How about scheduling some OFF time in your calendar or marking yourself out for 30 minutes in the day for doing something enjoyable (exercising, eating, taking a walk, etc.).  Mellow Yellow time allows your mind to relax and recover and will re-energize and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

* Improve Organization—It is that time of year for a good ole-fashioned spring cleaning.  You can call it a Purge Party, spring cleaning, or whatever you want.  But there is nothing better than the feeling of getting your life organized and cleaned out.  Clean out your closets of all the junk you have been accumulating; clean out your files at work and at the home office; a clear mind produces clarity and allows you to think clearly.  If you are not great at organizing, hire an expert that will come into your home or office and help you organize.  It will be well worth the investment and your productivity will soar.  I have personally committed myself to clean my home office one hour every month.  For some reason, my home office accumulates a lot of paper, piles, and junk.  I have committed to making sure that I take this “red-tape” time to get increased organization in this area of my life.  You can’t think big if you are surrounded in clutter.  Commit to increasing your organization and there will be a direct correlation to your improved performance.

* Have a Direction—There is nothing like having a purpose.  Everyone needs a plan.  It is said that you must “plan your work and than work your plan.”  What is your plan?  What is your purpose in life?  What are you going to accomplish in 25 years?  How about 5 years?  Search for your purpose and direction and keep surrounding yourself with people that will help you realize your full potential.

* Improve your own Health—There is nothing more important than your health.  What is the best thing you have done for your health recently?  Have you been eating the way you should?  Are you supplementing your nutrition with Omega 3’s and fish oils, liquid vitamins, flaxseed, and greens?  Have you been exercising consistently?  Are you doing everything you can to reduce your stress levels?  Have you received a massage lately or taken a yoga class?   There is nothing more vital than your health and fitness.  Commit to your success and you will experience more gratification in every area of your life.

* Hard-work & Enthusiasm—John Wooden talks about “hard work” and “enthusiasm” as cornerstones for success in his book, “Wooden:  A Lifetime of Achievements On & Off the Court”.   There are no “secrets” to success.  Hard-work is one of the most important aspects of achieving your goals.  Couple that with enthusiasm and it creates an energy that becomes contagious.  People like positive energy and are attracted to positive energy.  Are you creating positive energy?  Are you working hard?  Listen to the legendary Coach Wooden and combine the cornerstones of success:  hard-work & enthusiasm.

* Persistence—Most of us are facing some adversity in our life right now.  Whether it be financial burden, debt, relationships failing, family stress, business ventures gone bad, employee or employer tension, worry about a failing market, or ill-health that is bringing you down, many of us have at least one thing in our life that we need to focus on overcoming.  It is called toughness…mental toughness.  We were never promised life was going to be easy and a piece of cake.  Persistence is a key quality for success.  Have a direction, set your goals and strategy and go for it.  When adversity strikes, overcome it and conquer.  Commit to your health in times of stress…commit to dealing with the issue at hand…and commit to working to get resolve in whatever issue is plaguing you…Just don’t let it rule your life.

All of these points are about trying to improve the balance in your life: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  If we stress ourselves more physically through exercise and spiritually through prayer, meditation, or quiet time AND we reduce our stresses both mentally and emotionally, your energy and productivity will soar.  Your ability to connect with your family, colleagues, teammates, and others will improve drastically.  Your happiness will increase and you will feel better with where you are at today.  Live in the moment and do the best you can today with whatever it is you are dealing with.  Be positive, be compassionate, and always do your best.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide. He is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit and he is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 30 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.  Todd conducts 3-Day Mentorships several times per year (next one May 20-23, 2010) and ongoing Mastermind Groups for trainers seeking business and personal growth.  Sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, TD TIMES, at www.FitnessQuest10.com or www.ToddDurkin.com.


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb above with it.  If you would like a Word Document of the article sent to you, please email me at durkin@fitnessquest10.com and we will send it to you.