Learning From Our Kids

The primary difference between training adults and youth is that training youth is all about giving them something physically constructive to do with “all that energy.”  For adults, it’s all about giving them some energy by giving them something physically constructive to do.

Youth are little fireballs of energy.  Adults are constantly looking for ways to get energy.  Imagine that if at 40, you had the energy you did when you were 10!  While there are certain neural and physiological factors that create a difference, let’s look at some practical behavioral differences that could help explain the contrast between energy levels in adults and youth.

Kids Sleep:  Young kids go to bed at the same time every night, usually close to when the sun goes   down.  They have a pre bedtime ritual (brush teeth, get in pajamas, read stories, say prayers, other “calm down” activities.)  Adults often go to bed at different times every night with no clear pre-bedtime process of calming down.  Kids don’t go to the playground complaining about the crappy night of sleep they just had.  Poor sleep patterns have been linked to a host of health problems.  Develop a pre- bedtime routine to supercharge your sleep.

Kids Laugh and Giggle:  Kids are always looking for an excuse to laugh or giggle.  When’s the last time you had a real belly-laugh?  When was the last time you got the giggles?  As adults, we have to search for these opportunities to be silly.  There is quite a bit of research on laughing and health.

Kids Move:  It can be somewhat of a “chicken or the egg” phenomenon, but kids are constantly moving.  Some argue it’s because “kids have more energy.”  That is true to a certain degree.  However, creating energy in our bodies is like a perpetual motion machine.  When we move, we create energy.  When we have energy, we want to move.  Our body depends on circulation to create and distribute materials to our cells to create energy.  No movement, no energy.

Kids Don’t Force Toxins Into Their System:  Your car stops running well if you use bad oil, fuel, or other low-grade or downright damaging materials for operation.  Your body works the same way.  While kids can develop poor nutrition habits (facilitated by adults), the amount of downright toxic substances they directly ingest is normally 0.  I’m talking about alcohol, drugs (legal and illegal), smoking, excessive caffeine, and other “adult” vices.  As adults, we know these are not good for our system, but we take them in anyway.  If something isn’t good for your vehicle and you put it in the gas tank anyway, what happens to the car?

Kids Play:  When was the last time you performed a physical activity without an essential, directed outcome?  “Play” is physical creativity.  It helps our body and mind develop the way they should.  Unfortunately, even the amount of play our youth participate in is now limited.  When you watch kids play, what do you see?  Probably a mix of movement, social interaction, and probably some laughing to boot!  Find some play outlets as an adult.  That may mean playing with your kids, joining a sports league, or merely shooting hoops by yourself.

The list could go on.  The point is that as children, we naturally separate ourselves from the things that damage our mind, body, and soul.  As adults we are almost forced to have an affinity for them.  This affects many things, including our daily energy!  I have a saying, “If you want to feel like your 20, act like you’re 7”.   Sleep, move, laugh, and play!

 Brett Klika C.S.C.S. Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. In his 14 year career, Brett has accrued more than 20,000 hours of training with youth, athletes, executives, and every day people.  He uses this knowledge and experience to motivate individuals and audiences around the world through his writing, speaking, DVD’s, an d personal correspondence.

Avoid the “Diet Mentality” and Lose Weight Now!

By: Craig Valency, CSCS

The weekend is upon you and temptation is all around. Parties, barbecues, restaurants, wine and beer are all calling your name. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner you brace for the carb onslaught. This is when you are really tested; you have to balance your reluctance to undo all the hard work you did throughout the week with the realization that weekends and holidays are different for a reason. This is a time to decompress, reconnect with loved ones, or go out on the town; it only makes sense that you would eat differently on weekends and special days. Trying to eat the same way that you do the rest of the week is simply not realistic, nor should it be! Does that mean you should have four slices of pizza, a pitcher of beer and a hot fudge sundae every weekend? No! Nonetheless, you should not beat yourself up over a glass of wine or a slice of apple pie once in a while.

Lifestyle change rather, than a short-term diet, is the key. Naturally, everyone needs to restrict somewhat in order to get their weight under control.  However, these changes should be sustainable. Eat less sugar, more protein, and more fruits and veggies. Your grandparents were right all along! The key is in the compromise. Rather than downing half a bottle of red wine and five slices of sourdough bread with butter, opt for a single glass and one delicious slice of bread (dipped in olive oil of course!). There is no need to throw in the towel just because you ate a little treat, but just don’t order every treat on the menu! The key is balance. Change from a negative “diet mentality” to a positive “healthy lifestyle mentality”. Keep in mind that if you make exceptions and over indulge every weekend, holiday, office birthday, midnight snack and family get together, the exceptions start to become the rule!

One of my most successful weight loss clients, Susan, did not make a change in her lifestyle for the first year we trained together. She was resistant to giving up things that were ingrained in her lifestyle. She loved her Dr. Pepper, ice cream, and beer on the weekends. And there was no way she was going to do any extracurricular cardio! When it came time to renew her training sessions with me I, asked her to think about why she was going to spend more money and not make a change. Susan finally had the epiphany. She made trade-offs without going into an extreme diet. She gave up the diet Dr. Pepper and kept on eating the ice cream, but not as frequently. She still drank some beer, but did an hour interval walk-run by the beach after work. She lost 30 pounds. Four years later, she has not gained back a pound.

Should you find yourself really cheating, resist the urge to have an “all-or-nothing” mindset. All hope is not lost. Remember that the minute you begin eating right again, you are back on track. If you happen to overeat a little do some extra cardio to ease your guilty conscience, and burn a few more calories. Avoid the diet mentality. Do not obsess over restricting yourself; think of adding good things rather than just removing bad things. It is also imperative that if you do cheat, you do it with gusto! Enjoy your sneaky little secret. Don’t hide it. Do not feel guilty and do not avoid the frosting (it’s the best part)! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but this is the only way to avoid that vicious and restrictive dieting cycle. (Besides, after cutting out much of the sugar from your food, you will feel so much better that you won’t even want to eat a lot of the bad stuff—and you won’t feel good when you do) Remember that if you feel too restricted, you will always be susceptible to the “rebound effect” with the ultimate consequence—a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.

Unfortunately, most people do need to alter their eating habits to obtain optimal health. If you really miss something, think about how you can re-create it with similar, healthier alternatives. If you love to eat a chocolate dessert after dinner you don’t have to go for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. You can opt for the ricotta dessert recipes made popular by the South Beach Diet. (Mocha Ricotta Crème: 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 packet sugar substitute {Stevia}, Dash espresso powder and 5 mini chocolate chips. Just mix it, serve it & eat it!)

This will satisfy your cravings and you’ll end up feeling less bloated and guilty. If you love mashed potatoes, try steaming cauliflower and mashing or blending it with a little butter, sour cream, and garlic. You get the same mouth feel and flavors without all those carbs and calories. If you love rice reach for the basmati brown rice, quinoa, or pearl barley—all of which have a lower glycemic load than their white cousin. Another, more novel idea, is to have your salad at the end of your meal. It’s not a dessert, but it can be just as refreshing.

To be in a position to win, you need to have a game plan. Healthy eating is no exception. A useful analogy to illustrate this point is how I learned to win more consistently at tennis. Only when I learned how to develop a game plan in each tennis match did I begin to really win matches more frequently. I picked out my opponents 3-4 weaknesses and made that my plan. For your eating plan, an example would be: eat lean protein, avoid potatoes and bread, eat more veggies with every meal, and add fish oil daily. When I hit a shot into the net or long over the baseline, (having too much wine or a piece of chocolate cake) I did not stress. I knew that I had a game plan and that as long as I went consistently for those shots, I would win. I knew I would miss many shots throughout the match, which is only natural. but in the long run, I was clear about my mission and I was able to finally relax and not worry about losing individual points. I had a smile on my face for the whole match. In your fight for health, your opponents do not stand a chance. You will make more shots than you will miss, and in the end you will prevail.

Lifestyle changes are the key to lasting and satisfying success. The weekend is a time to relax, so don’t stress out over eating a few treats when you’re out to dinner with your friends. Make a healthy lifestyle the goal and you will make better decisions more times than not. Embrace new, healthier foods and activities. Once in a while you can reward yourself with some of your old favorites. If you “cheat,” it is important to avoid the “all-or-nothing” principle. Just enjoy it and go right back to your healthier ways of eating. To minimize cheating, make sure you eat healthy foods that satisfy your craving. Eating chocolate is as much about the creamy texture as the taste, so substitute a food with a similar feel and you will be satisfied. The most important thing is to be clear on how to eat a healthy diet this is your “game plan,” and if you stick to your game plan you can lose a few points along the way and still win the game. So just relax and realize that if you don’t overly obsess over hitting your target, you will likely hit that target more often and with greater ease.

Craig Valency is a Certified Personal Trainer and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (CSCS). He works at Fitness Quest 10, where he specializes in developing holistic training programs that promote lifestyle changes for permanent results in weight loss, athletic performance, & whole body functional strength & fitness. He earned a bachelors degree from UCLA, and has completed coursework in Kinesiology & Exercise Physiology at UC San Diego & Miramar College. He is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Kinesiology at San Diego State University.

Remember To Dream

By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

His name is Dewey Bozella and he just fought his very first professional boxing match on October 15, 2011. He won. Dewey Bozella is 52 years old.

Yes, my friend, that’s correct. At 52 years of age, Dewey Bozella finally had the chance to live his dream – the dream to be a professional boxer – the dream that kept him going for most of his life. You see, for 26 years, Dewey lived behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. Several times he was offered a plea bargain. Freedom, if only he would say he was guilty.

According to Dewey, he would rather “rot in jail” than say he did it. More than once, he made the painful decision to refuse the plea. An innocent man in prison for 26 years. No stranger to pain. His father beat his pregnant mother to death when he was only nine years old, and two of his brothers were murdered on the streets of Brooklyn while he was just a teen. This man’s entire life was filled with pain.

Twenty-six years is nearly 10,000 days. All that time Dewey dreamt and worked for one thing: the day he would walk away from prison a free man, and have the chance to fight as a professional boxer. In 2009, justice was served and he did walk away free. He was exonerated of the crime after a quarter of a century spent trying to prove his innocence.

What a path to travel to achieve your dream! Just last month, Dewey Bozella fought Larry Hopkins on the undercard of a Bernard Hopkins (no relation to Larry Hopkins) fight. Dewey won by a unanimous decision and immediately afterward said, “I used to lay in my cell and dream about this day happening. It was all worth it. It is my dream come true. This is my first and last fight…I did what I wanted to do and I’m happy.” He fought. He won. And then he retired when his dream was realized.

My friend, what about you and your dreams? Likely, you aren’t in prison. Likely, you haven’t faced the battles Dewey faced. But each of us has walked a unique path to arrive where we are today. We’ve faced challenges and struggled through adversity. And now, more than ever, our dreams are so important because dreams do keep us alive. They empower and motivate us. They give us purpose and put meaning in every day and every action. Dewey Bozella got up each day for 26 years and lived with purpose. He never gave up and neither should you.

Let your dreams do their magic. Allow them to fuel your day, give you energy, and keep you focused. They’ll do all this and more. It doesn’t matter if it takes 6 months, 6 years, or 26 years to achieve, never give up. You’ve got to make your dreams come true.

Dewey Bozella is an amazing example of someone who very easily could have given up many times. Can you imagine nearly 10,000 days of wrongful imprisonment? He could have lived with rage. He could have lived with anger. He could have lived with hatred. He could have given up on any one of those 10,000 days. But that’s the thing that makes Dewey Bozella so special. He didn’t. Instead, he CHOSE to live with PURPOSE. He chose to DREAM.

What a great lesson this man is for all of us. Regardless of circumstance, hardships, turmoil, adversity, or situation, choose to keep fighting. Choose to keep persisting. Choose to keep believing. And always choose to keep DREAMING.

After all, dreams can come true.

Dream Big!


Who’s On Your Team?

By: Dr. Jenifer Reiner

Who’s on your team?

Athletes whether they are professional football players or collegiate volleyball players are surrounded by a team of medical providers, team coaches, and strength and conditioning staff all focused on providing a comprehensive program to achieve optimal health and performance.  Outside these settings, however, a coordinated effort between one’s medical doctor, personal trainer, chiropractor, or physical therapist is more of a dream rather than a reality.  Clients are becoming more aware of this “team” approach and are seeking out the one-stop-shop for their training and rehabilitation needs.

Following chiropractic school I was fortunate to experience the “team” approach to rehabilitation while working in the athletic department at the University of California San Diego.   The road to recovery is a collective effort that includes medical doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, acupuncturists, strength coaches, and chiropractors.  While many of our skills overlapped, the combined efforts in diagnosis, treatment, and sport specific training provided appropriate checks and balances to ensure we were on the right track for success.  Outside the university setting, however, I worked in a private practice that included two other chiropractors.  Challenging cases with atypical presentations or limitations in my own treatment skills often left me frustrated due to a lack of resources.  It was time to make a change in my personal practice and recreate the university setting I had grown to love.  Around that time, Todd Durkin was in search of a sports-based chiropractor to complete his team of rehabilitation and training staff at Fitness Quest 10.  The opportunity included a team of physical therapists (Water and Sports Physical Therapy), massage therapists, a world class group of strength and conditioning coaches, Pilates instructors, and yoga teachers.  Christmas had come early.

After 2 short years since joining the “team,” it’s safe to say I have experienced the most growth professionally, educationally, and personally, than in college and post graduate work combined.  I believe the key to this success lies in the motivation of those around you, your “teammates” dedication to mastering their craft, and pure enjoyment of learning from those constantly seeking the best information available.  No one settles for mediocrity in this establishment and failure is not an option.

I write this in hopes of encouraging other industry professionals to put aside the egos, if you haven’t already done so, and seek out your “team.”  Finding a core group of individuals with varied backgrounds, who speak the same language, and work together to improve your client’s/patient’s health and physical performance, is unprecedented.  Maybe I speak for myself, but this profession is not about us.  It’s not about how much money you make, how smart you are, how great your skills are, or how many people follow you on Twitter.  We are a profession of service and I would venture to say that 99% of us feel the most satisfied when we meet our client’s goals and exceed their expectations.  Therefore, whether you are a chiropractor, physical therapist, medical doctor, strength coach, sports coach, message therapist, etc., a team of masterminds is critical to your personal and professional success.  Research your local professionals, connect with like-minded individuals in the industry, combine services under one roof, and pick the brains of your teammates.  In the words of Martin Rooney, “Success and mediocrity are both contagious.  If you want to be great, surround yourself with great people and get infected.” Most importantly, your clients will appreciate your “team” effort in their quest for health and wellness.

Dr. Jennifer Reiner is the chiropractor for Water and Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, California.  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.  She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

She spent five years as 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 is certified in Graston Technique as well as Active Release Technique (ART).  She also holds certifications in FMS (Functional Movement Screen), SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment), TRX suspension training, and K-laser therapy.