I have been a Strength and Conditioning Coach for 10 years and a Cystic Fibrosis Exercise Specialist for five years. I received my B.A. and M.A in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University. I hold certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS), Certified Massage Therapist and am Postural Restoration Trained (PRI-PRT).
Before I decided to pursue a degree in exercise science, I had a passion to play baseball. That passion took me to Northern California to play for Sonoma State University. It is amazing how the world works because during my college baseball career I found an interest in biomechanics and movement through tri-planar sequencing. I left college a year before graduating because I had to explore exercise science from a different perspective, a more application driven approach. It doesn’t make sense on paper, but I just thought knew was more and “jumped ship” for a few years. I set up shop in Fresno, California, where I am originally from, and started reading and traveling. A big influencer in my work is Dan John who has been my mentor and very close friend for the past seven years. If you don’t know him, I highly recommend checking into his content. He has a unique approach that just makes sense. He is also an, all-around, great guy.
Five years ago I was back at Sonoma State as the Head Baseball Strength Coach and was pursing my Master’s degree. During my program I shifted my interest and started working with patients with Cystic Fibrosis. It was a big jump from working with baseball players, but Dan John always inspired me to, “Make a Difference”.
Over the past 4 years I spent countless hours doing observational work at Stanford Medical’s Pediatric and Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic in Palo Alto, California. I have spoken at Stanford’s CF Day and written for their news letters. I have had the opportunity to present research at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference on the impact exercise has on lung function and quality of life in patients with CF.
I am pursing a Ph.D. in Health and Human Performance from Concordia university to increase my ability to help patients with Cystic Fibrosis and other pulmonary diseases. My passion is to help improve their quality of life and help my fellow colleagues bridge the gap on the impact exercise has on patients with pulmonary diseases. The better I am able to understand the human system, the better prepared I can be to apply it in a more specific manner.
I am really excited to be apart of the Health Industry and look forward to talking with anyone and everyone about exercise and the impact it has on pulmonary disease.
1009 2nd Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
Intrinsic motivation is something that develops over time. Kids don’t yet have the cognitive abilities to grasp the concept that, “exercising is good for physical and mental health.” The understanding that by “doing something good for your body now, your future self will thank you,” is far too abstract. Kids don’t live for the future, they live for the here and now.
By the time children are in high school and/or go through puberty, those high order thinking cognitive processes begin to develop. However, social obligations and a sense of figuring out one’s own identify often trump the desire to be consistently active for one’s own physical and/or mental health purposes.
Sports certainly help, as they play a role in encouraging healthy competitiveness within oneself and others, as well as promotes team building and social opportunities that child and young adults actively seek out. However, not every kid plays a sport or has the health opportunities to actively participate in one. So, how do we encourage motivating?
There are two types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Some will say, intrinsic motivation is ideal because it creates long lasting effects on one’s drive and purpose to reach a goal. The definition of intrinsic motivation is, “behavior that is driven by internal rewards.” Extrinsic motivation is the opposite. Extrinsic motivation is defined as, “behavior that is motivated to perform an activity to receive an award or avoid punishment.”
When starting to increase your child’s motivation to exercise, extrinsic motivation is the “easiest” way to go. When young, a child/teen is beginning to develop his/her own sense of motivation and enjoyment from exercising, something that is not going to happen overnight. Fortunately, exercising regularly will naturally contribute to developing intrinsic motivation, as it increases the feel-good happy chemicals in your brain (serotonin, dopamine, endorphins). But, habits do take time, so here are three tips to increase your child’s motivation to exercise!
- Reward System
There are often mixed reactions to implementing a reward system. However, a reward system is not something to frown about when working on establishing a foundation for positive behaviors. Research has shown that children respond better to positive reinforcements than they do to negative reinforcements.
How to begin a behavior reinforcement plan:
- For children ages 7-12: Make a personalized goal tracker with your child. For example, if want your kid to do something physically active 3x a week, create a page with three boxes per week to check off after each workout (e.g., can use stickers, a drawing, a penny, etc.)
- For children 13 and older: they can often keep rack on their own, and independence is key for teenagers and young adults.
- Each workout = 1 point.
- It is up to you to decide how often a reward occurs and what the reward will be.
- Reward types: with your child’s help, create a list of 5 items/things that might be motivating to earn. For example, 30 minutes of a favorite show, a new toy or “surprise box,” staying up later one night a week, choice of a favorite meal for dinner, a new book, etc. The possibilities are endless!
- Each workout = 1 point.
- Social Opportunity
As an adult, performing 15 reps, 4x on one exercise is manageable. Our attention is longer. We enjoy isolation more. We have intrinsic motivation or tangible goals set for ourselves, like losing weight. However, children and young adults are heavily socially dependent with shorter attention spans. Their worlds thrive around social opportunities, So, make physical exercise a social experience. Workout with your child, put on a YouTube video and together and complete 30 minutes. Put on your child’s favorite music on in the background and encourage your child to work out for 20 minutes (set a timer). One time a week (or more) invite a friend or sibling, make it an event that can be done inside or outside, and make it fun.
- Bring back Play
Which brings us to our third tip: Bring back play! Even if you have a teenager or young adult, play is important to developing a positive attitude towards physical exercise. Play can consist of hiking with friends or family, trying a new activity in your community, and generally, reducing the strict structure around exercise that children and young adults often try to escape as they build independence and autonomy. A majority of the time, exercising can consist of structured exercises catered around a specific goal, however, a few times a month it’s important to switch it up and encourage exploring of physical exercise through unstructured (play) opportunities.