January 2011 Issue

Motivational Message of the Month by John Wooden

If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything.
I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.

Fitness: Big B…BALANCE
By Natalie Heckert

We generally take our balancing skills for granted. Why should you care about balance? Well, for starters, it’s the basic skill needed in practically every sport. From soccer to tennis to rock climbing, changing your center of gravity to match your moves is the key to efficiency in sport. The technical term is agility. Agility is what allows us to move gracefully, wasting little motion. It allows our joints to move through the full range of motion smoothly and confidently. Another reason we should care about balance is that as we age we start to lose balance (the ability to sense where our bodies are positioned and adjust muscle tension to maintain alignment). One of the major reasons you want to start working on your balance is to prevent falls, strains and sprains. Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults. Every year, 30 to 50 percent of people over age 65 sustain a fall; many never completely recover. Balance, it’s not just an age deal, many physically fit older adults are better at controlling their balance than their inactive 20-65 year old friends.

How can you improve your balancing skills?
1. Keep safety in mind as you practice your balancing skills. Make sure walls, chairs or other objects are nearby to use for support. Ask someone to watch you the first few times, in case you lose your balance.
2. Practice Single Leg Standing. Start by standing on a solid floor and then progress to working on thick carpet. To add more challenge, use thick mats or the Mini E Fit gym with resistance. (See sample exercises below)
3. Practice shifting your weight from side to side. If you stand on two digital scales, one under each foot, you will be able to tell how much weight is on each side, you will be able to tell how much weight is on each side.
4. Practice a mix of cardiovascular fitness. Cross country skiing, biking, dancing, walking at different speeds, elevations and stepping over objects. Improvement in cardio fitness will contribute to walking stronger and with more confidence, cardiovascular health, weight control, motor control, and other factors that impact balance.
5. Work on your flexibility. Stretching exercises help increase you range of motion, particularly at the shoulder, torso, hip and ankle. Use a fitness ball to work on your pelvic mobility.
6. Improve your total body strength. Build muscle, build balance. Lower-leg strength is particularly important for walking, maintaining balance and preventing falls. Work with your personal trainer to develop a complete strength and balance routine that will help you both reduce falls and recover quicker from them.

Check out Natalie's website:

Recipe of the Month: Grandma's Authentic Chicken Soup

1 whole chicken breasts on the bone
1 Large Onion Chopped
3 Carrots (Diced)
3 Celery Stalks (Diced)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 Leek (Diced)
2 Medium-Size Zucchini
1/3 cup parsley
2 Tomatoes (Cored & Chopped)
2 cups Organic Chicken Broth

To a large pot add the chicken breast along with enough water to cover the chicken. Let the chicken come to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Allow the chicken to cook till tender (approximately 1 hour). Remove the scum from the water while the chicken is cooking. Once tender, remove the chicken from the water and strain the water to make sure there are no bones in the pot. Add the vegetables along with seasonings (salt & pepper) to the strained water and simmer. Shred the chicken while the vegetables are cooking. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot along the 2 cups of organic chicken broth. Cook till the vegetables are fork tender.
This soup is can be served with noodles & parmesan cheese.

Professional of the Month:
Keli Roberts

(American Council on Exercise (ACE) Los Angeles media spokesperson. She’s also a certified ACSM HFI, ACE Group Exercise, ACE Gold Certified Personal Trainer, and AFAA.

Keli Roberts is a world renowned fitness educator, trainer and the award recipient of the 2003 IDEA International Instructor of the Year. As a continuing education provider, Keli conducts seminars and workshops worldwide. She’s recognized as a fitness authority that’s transformed fitness education with groundbreaking innovations characterized by her expert skill and instruction.

Keli offers workshops and master classes on specific muscle conditioning programs, Indoor Cycling, Rubber Resistance training, stability ball exercise, BOSU and Body Bar integrated training. Her workshops have taken her to Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Australia, France, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom and throughout the United States. Keli is on the board of advisory for Fitness Magazine and is a Nautilus Institute advisory board member.

Keli is originally from Australia, but moved to the United States in 1989 to pursue her passion – Fitness! She quickly became one of the most in demand private trainers in Los Angeles and garnered a huge celebrity clientele that included Cher, Kirstie Alley, Jennifer Grey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Russell Crow and Faye Dunaway, to name a few. Her step classes also attracted many A-list names such as Julia Roberts, Annette Bening and Jennifer Beals.

In 1991, Keli choreographed and appeared in the award winning video, Cher Fitness…A New Attitude, which brought her worldwide recognition as a fitness expert. Subsequently, Keli has designed, choreographed and starred in over 40 videos. Keli’s newest DVD, 10 Minute Solution Kickbox Bootcamp was awarded Fitness Magazine top 10, Shape Magazine DVD of the month and Health Magazine Strength DVD of the year. Keli also choreographed Kathy Smith’s kickboxing video and CO-starred with Italian Olympic Gold Medal skier, Alberto Tomba, in two videos on ski conditioning, in Italian. Keli’s latest DVD, Fat Burning Kick Boxing Workout for Dummies and 4 Time Saver workouts will be released later this year.

Keli is also a successful author. Her first book, Fitness Hollywood, which was published in 1994 by Summit, received glowing reviews as a comprehensive guide to training and nutrition and is now in its fifth printing. Stronger Legs and Lower Body, Keli’s new book was co-authored with Linda Shelton is on Human Kinetics best seller list..
Keli has been featured in Shape, Elle, Health, Fitness, Self, Ms Fitness, American Fitness, Allure and many international publications as well. Additionally, Keli is a featured instructor on the award winning TV series, CRUNCH Fitness, on ESPN. She also co-hosted Target Sports Training, a TV series for the Health Network with Carey Bond.. Keli also starred in the reality show Music Farm, shot in Italy, training Italian music celebrities.

Keli is a Tier 3 Trainer at Equinox in Pasadena where she teaches classes. Her training involves working with pre and postnatal clients, post physical rehabilitation, stability training for alignment and posture, weight training and cardiovascular training for weight loss as well as stretching and sports specific training. Keli Roberts is a true fitness visionary with the expertise and experience to continue inspiring others the world over.

Check out Keli Roberts' website for details about her upcoming workshops:

Campus Corner: Workouts Unproductive without Good Posture
By Bette Chamberlin

Posture is defined as” the carriage of the body as a whole”. It is understood that good posture is preferable to bad posture; but what is good posture? And how can it help to build more efficiency in workouts?

Good posture is often wrongly portrayed as a military stance – shoulders back, chest extended, knees locked, head thrown back. The reverse, which is shoulders forward, chest collapsed and head drooping forward is the opposite; also not good posture. Either of these forms of standing, sitting or working out can cause strain, pain, discomfort and injury. The downward pull of the later causes compression of all the joints and ligaments and forces groups of muscles to work too hard to stabilize our core. When stiffening in order to “stand up straight” there is over stabilizing, our breathing is shallow, and our ability to release our muscles in movement is seriously hampered.

So then, what is the starting point for good posture?
Ideally, all of the parts of the body work most efficiently when the spine lengthens and muscles contract and release during movement. The root of the lengthening starts at the top of the spine where the head rests. Given that the head weighs 12-15 pounds, it is key that this heavy, bony structure is balancing and poised on top of the spine and not pressing down, compressing the top of the spine - as well as the rest of the spine. Using ourselves with a lengthened spine supports our body as a whole.

To prevent compression, let the muscles of the neck be free and not engage muscularly during your workouts. Try being aware of your neck muscles the next time you are lifting weights, biking, doing Pilates, yoga or any other activity that requires effort. If you find that you are tightening your neck, pause for a moment to ease, and then proceed letting your free neck allow the head to balance on top of your spine rather than pull down. The muscles needed to move you through your exercises will kick in and not compete with your neck. This may take practice as our habits are deeply ingrained, but awareness of inefficient habits such as neck tightening lets us move towards efficiency and strength. A series of Alexander Technique lessons facilitates this process in a subtle yet profound way.

About Bette Chamberlin: she is a nationally certified Alexander Technique teacher based in Montclair, NJ. She is a former professional ballet dancer who has worked in the movement field for over 25 years. She works with people from all walks of life, helping them to be more easefully upright and to get more out of their workouts.

Kids Health & Fitness: Encouraging the Love of the Sport
By Darrell Morris

Sports are woven into the tapestry of American culture. You name it -- basketball, football, soccer, baseball – whatever your passion—we have embraced it as a society. Not only do millions of Americans love to watch a great game, we also enjoy playing. It is a love affair that we seem to either have consciously or unconsciously pass on to our kids and that is a good thing.

Beyond the obvious health and fitness benefits of having a child actively involved in sports, other advantages can make parents feel good about encouraging their child to get involved. Outside of the obvious fun factor and opportunity to meet new friends, a child involved in sports is more likely to:
• Be open to new ideas and opportunities
• Exhibit an enhanced level of development and learning abilities
• Enjoy healthy brain development
• Increase physical and social skills
• Learn cooperation, self-discipline and perseverance
• Develop a positive self-image
• Practice effective team building skills
Parents often ask me how they can get their children involved in sports. There are several ways -- most of which require the parent not pushing the child in a direction they may not want to go -- but instead providing them with opportunities to explore and enjoy a variety of sports.

Starting at an early age, you can foster a love of sports by simply playing a variety of games with your child. In addition to the bonus of being able to spend quality time with your child, they will likely associate the fun you are having with the game itself and decide to take it to the next step and join an orgainized team.

As you do in every other aspect of their life, continue to encourage, foster and applaud their accomplishments no matter how seemingly small. Catching a softball, dribbling a basketball or making a goal in soccer are milestones and building blocks. Acknowledge and recognize those accomplishments enthusiastically.

Another great way to spark a child's interest is to take them to locat sporting events and let them see how the various games are played. Semi-professional and professional sports are always great examples showing kids the best of the best, but high schoold and college games allow kids to relate to other kids and young people playing the game and having fun.

If you play a particular sport yourself, take the time to share those skills with your child. They will come to see the excitement and pleasure your take from participating and will likely want to get involved themselves.
Your encouragement and enthusiasm are often the catalyst that will guide your child toward their involvement in a sport. Providing opportunities to watch and play a variety of sports is often enough to spark the interest in a child. Some kids will take to sports like a fish to water. Others may take a little longer and explore a few options before finding their niche. Whichever path they take, knowing they have the unconditional love and support of their parents will make the road to a lifelong commitment to health and fitness more enjoyable and secure.

Darrell's Website:

How to Jumpstart & Maintain Mental Fitness for Peak Performance
B y Brian Alman, Ph.D.

Goodbye to the old – 2010 – you. Happy New Year to the new – 2011 - you!
Mental fitness can expand & improve your abilities faster than perhaps anything else.

Almost everyone is amazed by the sheer physical skill of great athletes who push their bodies so hard for so many hours a day, month after month, year after year. But not everyone knows that just as important as their physical training is the mental fitness training that goes into performing their best under stress.
The truth is, when two athletes or two teams are equally fit physically, the winning edge goes to the one with the better emotional and mental skills. These are skills that everyone can learn, and they include maintaining positive self-support, staying flexible and resilient through mistakes, and perhaps most important, achieving a 100% focus on action-in-the-moment, a focus that goes beyond conscious thought.

• Mental Fitness for Positive Self-Talk
A series of studies (since the early 1990’s) on golfers, wrestlers, hockey players, divers, and tennis players, has shown that positive self-talk correlates with better performance. Affirmative messages allow athletes to focus on events as opportunities, not as obstacles, and as a reward for all of their hard training. Positive self-talk thus turns challenges into resources, and is a mental skill that can become auto¬matic with mental fitness training.

• Mental Fitness for Visualizing Success
Numerous studies have shown that athletes in all sports who visualize themselves performing precisely as they want to perform do better than those who rely only on their physical skills. And the most successful athletes in the world report that they use imagery and visualization as a strategic part of their mental preparation. Fun and effective visualiza¬tion techniques are a specialty of mental fitness training.

• Mental Fitness for Bouncing Back from Mistakes
The teams and individuals who win world championships, gold medals, and first place ribbons are not the ones who make no mistakes, but the ones who are the best at managing their mistakes. For most athletes, either they manage their mistakes or their mistakes manage them. As in all sports training and high stress performances, practice, patience, and perseverance will pay off. But intelligent practice includes mental fitness training that teaches athletes how to handle every possible situation and bounce back quickly from mistakes.

• Mental Fitness for Being 100% in the Present
In high pressure competition, most athletes instinctively focus on the end result. Thus they miss the present moment by focusing too much on the future, and this can cause physical and mental tensions that block winning perform¬ance. All competition is about what’s happening right now in this very moment. That is why our thoughts, feelings, and awareness need to be centered right here, right now, 100% on the task at hand. Mental fitness training offers simple and fast (milliseconds) methods for being totally present.

• 15th Row to Last Row: The Master Move for Peak Performance
Everyone you are competing against now and for the rest of your athletic career is stuck in what I call the 15th row. That is, if they were watch¬ing a movie of their life, they would be sitting in the 15th row of the theater— where the movie critic usually sits—and they would be looking at their performance with the critic’s eye, the judge’s eye, the negative coach’s eye. Typically, athletes get stuck in the 15th row for their whole lives and their whole careers, and because they see themselves from this self-critical, self-judging, self-doubting perspective, they can never live up to their potential, in a game, practice, or everyday life.
Mental fitness training will teach you how to get unstuck from the 15th row and step all the way back to the last row of the movie theater. From the last row, you can see yourself and your performance with different eyes… from a new, more positive perspective… and you can effortlessly tap into the confidence and creativity of your inner coach. Also, you can learn how to make this new “last row” perspective—the success-focused, calm, and confident you—always available to you in a game or practice.
Going from the 15th row to the last row is the master move to help you reach your personal best, to get more easily into what some people call “the zone,” a place of peak performance in your chosen sport.

Check out the InnerVictory website:

More salt to lower Blood Pressure
Written by Ani Papazyan BS, CN, LMT

New research suggests that excess salt is killing 92,000 people annually via heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Most people have gotten the message about not using the salt shaker, even though most of the salt we get is from processed & restaurant food. A shocking one in 10 ready-made salads on sale contains more salt than a Big Mac, according to the Consensus Action on Salt (Cash) research.
It’s also important to read food labels since salt comes under different names such as: Sodium chloride (table salt), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), disodium phosphate, sodium caseinate, MSG (monosodium glutamate), sodium sulfite, sodium nitrite. It’s especially important to stay away from MSG, since it’s a neurotoxin.

Let’s look at what makes salt so bad for you? The way it’s being processed Regular table salt is refined, it’s been heated over 1,0000 F., to the point of containing only two minerals (three if you count the iodine that is put back in) – sodium and chloride and then added “anti-clump” additives so it will pour easily. Because it’s been heated to such high temperatures our body can’t break that sodium/chloride bond and that is what responsible for raising blood pressure and causing heart problems. On the other hand salt is an essential aspect of a healthy life. It has been used
for thousands of years as medicine or a part of healing remedy. Salt in its unheated, unrefined form contains many minerals, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulfate, phosphate and many other trace minerals a particular ratio that closely resembles the mineral makeup of human blood.

Let’s look at some of the amazing benefits of healthy salt:
- Helps to normalize the water in the body
-Stabilizes irregular heart beat
-Helps normalize blood sugar levels
-Helps remove excess mucus and phlegm
-Restores electrolytes
-Is a natural antihistamine
-Reduces and prevents muscle cramps
-Prevents arthritis and gout
-Prevents spider and varicose veins
-Helps control pH levels and activate enzymes

Here are some of the healthy salts you can purchase: Himalayan salt I believe you can get it at Whole Food stores, Pink salt (also at my office). Just look for a salt that has not been heated or refined.

About the author: Ani Papazyan is a licensed massage therapist, nutritionist, certified lifestyle educator, and certified personal trainer. Ani educates clients regarding nutrition, healthy eating, lifestyle choices, and supplementation. She provides pain relief, stress management, and proper physical movement thereby enhancing their lifestyle.

Question & Answer Section

Answers provided by Frank Rotella (Founder of Rofami Inc.)

I read about your TWIST Workshops in your December Newsletter.
I'm not a competitive athlete and wanted to know if I could benefit from a fitness workshop or if certain fitness workshops would be too much to handle for my athletic ability?

The fitness workshops that Rofami Inc. hosts are designed for individuals of all fitness levels. We must keep in mind that we are all athletes. Each day of our lives we are performing athltic-type movements. Our workshops are educational in nature and are intended to teach attendees the fundamentals. Attendees will not only learn valuable information at our workshops, but more importantly they will have fun. During our workshops, some individuals choose to participate in the demonstrations while others prefer to watch. We make sure that our exercises are athlete appropriate to prevent injury.

If you're looking to attend one of the Rofami Inc. workshops or any other fitness workshop make sure you understand the nature of the workshop and what may or may not be expected of you. Hopefully you can see that the Rofami Inc. workshops are for all individuals and we are always available to answer any questions you might have. Try one of our workshops in January and you'll at least walk away with a better knowledge of building a better core and more functional core routine.

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