The Role Model In You – Howard Falco, Spiritual Teacher, Self-Empowerment Expert & Author

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Howard Falco

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Howard Falco, Spiritual Teacher, Self-Empowerment Expert & Author of two books on Self-awareness and the power of the mind (I AM & Time In A Bottle). Age 46

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Fictional character Rocky.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

As a kid watching the character decide he was going to put everything he had deep don in his soul into fighting the fight of his life against the worlds best was inspiring. Watching him workout, eat raw eggs, and push himself to the limit was very motivational. Throw in the amazing musical score and I was “all in” on the fitness craze.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

This was the first time in my life that I realized that I could shape my body and condition it to be fully fit and healthy. I learned that with a strong will anything is possible. Because of this I always maintained a highly fit body through my teens and adult years. The movie inspired me to believe in myself and what I could do if I put my mind to it.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I convey a message to kids about the power of respecting, honoring, and loving who you are. I offer that with an open mind and an open heart anything is possible for them both physically and mentally. You have to work at it, but when you do, the doors of what can happen for you in a positive way open wide.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

You mind is the driver of your life and it runs the smoothest at drives you to the best experiences and destinations when you are the kindest with yourself. Your body is your vehicle for life. You must maintain and take care of the vehicle so it can run smoothly and take you to all the places you want to go. You don’t want to neglect it, have it breakdown, and get stuck. The best way to prevent this is three ways. A healthy mind, a healthy diet, and a healthy state of physical fitness. One of the best ways to demonstrate care about yourself and truly honor yourself is to take the time to take care of yourself physically. It is one of the great pillars of a long, happy and fulfilling life!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

HowardFalco.com

The Role Model In You – Brian Guadagno, CEO/Founder of Raw Elements USA

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Brian Guadagno

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

My name is Brian Guadagno, I am 35 years old and I am the CEO/Founder of Raw Elements USA – Natural Sunscreen. I have been an Ocean Lifeguard since 16 years old. That experience drove me to develop my own line of natural sunscreens, choosing to stay away from chemical products.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Growing up in an Italian family household, meals were always very important happening. My parents always put a great deal of effort into preparing food at home and us eating together as a family. Eating good quality food that was good for us was taught to me at an early age. Being active and involved in many different sports and outdoor activities was just as important as schooling to my parents and they devoted endless amounts of time supporting myself and my sister in this way. Looking at our family all these years later, we are all thankfully very healthy and fit.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

Besides how they raised me as a child, I think what they are currently doing in their lives today is what is truly inspiring. Three years ago, I changed my diet to predominately whole food, plant base. I never thought that it would be something that I could do or would ever do. Initially, I met resistance from my family as we grew up on meats, etc. After some time and some research of their own, my parents have also made this switch in their household today. To see my Italian, Baby Boomer generation parents make and maintain that lifestyle switch is extremely inspiring to me.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Being taught how important quality meals were and to be grateful for such always kept eating and foods very crucial to my well being. While the foods we were raised on 25 years ago may not necessarily be the same foods we are eating today, the value and attention to our meals has not changed.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I believe it’s safe to say that my parents convey the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle to kids considering they have both dedicated their entire lives as educators, school teachers.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

It’s important to be active, to socialize and play activities with other children outdoors. Play sports, learn the activities that you enjoy, discover the activities you do not enjoy. Eat your vegetables! I was told that throughout my entire childhood, though I often didnt listen! Vegetables are good for you, just watch Popeye! Drink a lot of water, not soda and energy drinks, there is too much sugar and other ingredients that are not good for us.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.rawelementsusa.com

The Role Model In You – Margaret Luce. Actress/Model

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Margaret Luce

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Margaret Luce. Actress/model.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My Father. I grew up hearing his mantra everyday-No Excuses! He was a devoted marathon runner that never allowed anything to get in the way of him and his training. He had a high tolerance for pain by building a strong immunity to it from his arduous workout routine. My parents had a garden growing up so junk food was non-existent in our kitchen. As a result, I never craved a bag of Doritos or coca cola because my body wasn’t accustomed to processed food. I grew up doing physical work, whether it was raking the yard, gardening, vacuuming, I was constantly doing things that were physically active. I watched my father train and intake an amount of food that would sustain his weight and not bulk his frame. Portion control was a conscience choice by my father so I learned at an early age to eat moderately and snack healthy in between meals.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My father never saw a reasonable excuse not to train or work out. Whether it was miserably cold, raining or humid outside my father always found a way to train. He would improvise in extreme weather situations. So instead he would jumprope for cardio or push-ups for strength training,etc. If there is a will, there is a way. I learned the art of self discipline and focus through watching my dad train under any circumstances.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

It didn’t change it as much as it enhanced it. My father exposed me to the tools necessary to cope with changes and hurdles that life throws our way. When you look at life’s hurdles through a microscopic lens, you are often inclined to feel as though you have it the worst. But when you take a step back and consider how other people live-without food and or shelter, then it makes those problems not so problematic anymore.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Yes! I teach my kids that manners can take you anywhere in the world. Also, understanding the importance of being kind it’s simple but often overlooked in today’s world.

I was raised with a sense of fear of the world around me and I’m much more lighthearted with them. I encourage them to be whatever they want to be. I cook most of the food and even taught my nanny how to cook healthy. Everything I prepare is always freshly made without the use of any canned food or sauces. I’m picky about their breakfast in the morning. I like to try to start off their day with steel oats, raspberries, blueberries or strawberries (whatever is in season) with yogurt. As a snack I like to give them yogurt with chia seeds and ad some raspberry jam as a natural sweetener or simple fresh carrots with ranch dressing. I blend all my own sauces-make homemade ranch dressing blending in turmeric, garlic and a scoop of yogurt for creaminess.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Turn off the TV and put down the computer! Instead take a walk and observe nature in your surroundings, discover where things come from and explore. Once you teach a child how things are made and where they come from, you expose them to how the ecosystem works. We recycle and compost at home-the more you explain things to them they will naturally get it. Anytime you can get out of a car and go for a walk, ride the bike to the supermarket, avoid elevators and instead opt for the stairs. Make sure to “break a sweat” everyday.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

https://twitter.com/MargaretLuce

The Role Model In You – Sean M. Jones-Quaidoo M.D., Fellowship-Trained Spine Surgeon

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Sean M. Jones-Quaidoo

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Sean M. Jones-Quaidoo MD, 34 years old, I am a fellowship-trained spine surgeon trained by both neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons. I did residency in orthopaedic surgery.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

I would have to give credit to my mother. She believed in a healthy mind, body, and spirit. I believed in taking care of my body in regards to the foods I eat and the activities I participated in, to maintain stamina to achieve my goals in life.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My mother lived as healthy a lifestyle as she could. When she walked in the evenings, I walked with her. I played sports as a child. I always had fruits in the house and ate a balanced meal. I also learned to listen to my body. When I was full, I stopped eating. When I was hungry, I found healthy and appropriate foods rather than just snacks.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

It allowed me to maintain generally good health. I got over the common cold relatively quickly. I have energy. I feel good!

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I encourage healthy living to all my family, friends, and even my patients. I try to get my children active.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Take great care of your temple, in this case your vehicle for life is your mind, body, and spirit which can take you on a journey in this life. Now go and live it!

The Role Model In You – Blandine Posiadala, Owner, WT Café Of South Broward

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Blandine Posiadala

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

My name is Blandine Posiadala, I am 34 and I own WT Café of South Broward. I used to work in the corporate world in marketing and sales. In 2012, I decided to make a career change and became a French teacher from kindergarten to 12th grade. The primary reason why I have decided to pursue this career is because I feel a strong desire to positively influence and enrich children’s lives.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Since I was a child, my parents always taught me the importance of eating healthy. My mother would always prepare a meal with steamed or roasted vegetables with meat or fish. Growing up, I rarely had sodas or cookies at home or even ate fast food. It was only for special occasions. In addition, my parents always made sure that we would practice a sport during the week. My father would tell my brothers and me that exercising was good for relaxation and would help prevent excess weight gain.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

They always made me try every kind of food and told me to give it a chance. They also made sure that I was eating fresh and nutritious food. In my family, meal time was very important and they really made a point that we all eat together to share what happened during the day. Now, for me, eating became more an experience than a meal.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Now I have become a healthy person and I always make sure to eat a variety of food. I definitely look forward to the experience as much as the meal. And I really avoid processed or fast food!

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Yes, as a teacher I have the opportunity to convey the importance of healthy eating habits. I have around 150 students that I see and interact with every day. As a French teacher, I was able to prepare a project on French food and explain the importance of eating fresh, home cooked meals. My students were very engaged and I know now they will look at food a different way.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

I would tell them to have a balanced diet by eating fruits and veggies, and to be adventurous with the food they eat. Just because food is available, inexpensive or tastes good doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best option for them. I would also advise them to practice a sport to keep an active lifestyle.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.wtcafe.com

The Role Model In You – Valerie Orsoni, Celebrity Coach, Healthy Living Expert

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Valerie Orsoni

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Valerie Orsoni, Celebrity Coach, Healthy Living Expert, and CEO & Founder of the online weight loss sensation, LeBootCamp.com.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My inspiration to get healthy and fit was twofold: the frustration of being an overweight teenager (when all my friends seemed to be able to indulge and still look great), coupled with having an overweight dad who was just as unhappy with his own excess weight – and so we banded together to battle the pounds!

3. What did they do to inspire you?

Because my dad was also overweight, I got lucky in having a partner in the journey to lose weight. The probability of completing a goal shoots up to 65% when you commit to someone else about doing it, so the odds were already in my favor at the get-go. We tried every fad diet possible (40+), always losing a few pounds (and sometimes a lot) in the process, and always regaining it all afterward. Of course, this yo-yo-ing became very frustrating, leaving us feeling doomed to be overweight.

It was then that we decided that all of these fad diets were actually harming us, and we started going to the library to educate ourselves. (This was before the internet era, so the library was the logical place to go.) At that time the Glycemic Index studies were being conducted in Australia and this concept was the springboard to helping me lose a lot of weight with a healthy approach: easy fitness (nothing crazy and dangerous), no forbidden foods, and learning how to love my body no matter what. In the end it was a combination of self love + yummy food in controlled portions + regular exercise that did it for me. I have NEVER regained the weight I lost then, and nor has dad!

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Besides being an amazing support in my teenage journey to a healthier lifestyle, Dad was also a fantastic chef, and I was lucky enough to have been introduced to a truly diverse cuisine that helped shape my taste-buds. All of this inspiration propelled me to bring the dream of healthy living to the masses – and I created an online weight loss coaching program called “LeBootCamp”. And yes, dad is the mind behind the recipes that come through our LeBootCamp kitchen!

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Absolutely. It’s the reason my son is now a fan of wholesome, healthy food, like homemade almond milk and my signature “Eggplant Tarte Tatin” – he knows that staying healthy can be synonymous with pleasure! And the message goes out to kids and adults alike: more than 1 million of my “bootcampers” worldwide are learning how to enjoy good food and stay healthy with LeBootCamp.com. Lots of them are also living my easy approach to daily fitness thanks to my bestseller published by Reader’s Digest: Le Personal Coach, A French Trainer’s Simple Secrets for Getting Fit and Slim without the Gym.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Though I know how tempting and easy it is to grab all those sugary and fatty snacks that our environment throws at us, always stay truly mindful of what goes into your body. If you don’t care about the faraway future because you feel immortal (as we tend to in our youth) and eating poorly does not seem like a bad thing to you, then focus on immediate problems for inspiration: pimples (yes, eating poorly will lead to this terrible condition called acne), lack of sleep, hence poor memory and poor grades at school, plus less energy to have fun with your friends! And exercising to get a toned body should be quite a motivation in itself, because don’t you want to feel great at all your big and little events? Beach day with your friends? Birthday parties? Prom? Your small daily efforts towards healthier food and fitness will pay off very quickly, and before you know it, you’ll be living the change you’ve dreamed of!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.LeBootCamp.com for personalized healthy living coaching!

The Role Model In You – Ann Marie Sochia, Certified And Licensed Hypnotherapist And Mental Health Counselor

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Ann Marie Sochia

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Ann Marie Sochia, LPCA, MS, CHT, NLP age 43. I used to manage an LA Weight Loss Center, Inc. and am now a certified and licensed hypnotherapist and mental health counselor.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My mother was. She cooked the family meals when I was a young child, most of which were from scratch. My father and neighbors grew fruit and vegetable gardens that helped us eat healthier and appreciate gardening.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

They inspired me to be on healthy living plan. I now have my own vegetable and fruit garden and often cook from scratch. The inspired me to teach others about gardening and eating healthy.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Because of the struggles I have seen my mother and siblings go through trying to lose weight, I am determined to get my weight back in control and exercise more. To be frank, I am determined to be healthier because I want to live longer. Also, I should note as a counselor I help people struggling with weight control issues and I want to be a good role model for them.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

A few years back I started a gardening project with a group of children and young adults I was counseling. Most of them had never grown anything and were excited to be able to grow something and then eat it. The program included lessons on eating healthy (sampling foods they may have never had such as blueberries, melons, and cucumbers), writing assignments about what they learned, visiting local farmers markets and meeting the farmers, and most of all learning to grow vegetables.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

If you start good eating habits now it will be easier as an adult to stay healthy. If you don’t like something now, try it again in the future, you may in a few years decide you like it. I would also encourage everyone to learn to grow their own produce. It is very rewarding, and fresh picked produce tastes the best and often has more nutritional value than store bought!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.wavesofchangenc.com

The Role Model In You – Gerry Prince, Member Of The Commons of Evergreen, NuStep Success

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Gerry Prince

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Gerry Prince, age 69, NuStep user and a member of The Commons of Evergreen, a community center for active living in Holland, Michigan. I’m a former sales professional and professional truck driver. More importantly, I’m married and have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

Now, I fill my time working out at the Commons of Evergreen to keep me healthy and active for my family for years to come.

2. What inspired you to make fitness such an important part of your life?

In 2005, I had both knees replaced. And in 2007, a severe staph infection ravaged my body and forced me to have both knees removed. My doctors were surprised that I’d survived at all and told me I’d never walk again. Despite the odds being stacked against me, I told myself I wasn’t going to give up and I was determined to walk away from it stronger.

3. How did you embark on your recovery?

When the doctors told me that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, it was a tough reality to swallow – frankly, I didn’t want to believe them. And now I’m glad I didn’t!

In 2009, I learned to drive a car with hand controls and began to go to The Commons of Evergreen, a fitness and community center in my hometown of Holland, Michigan. With the support of the Evergreen staff, my family and my faith in God, I embarked on my recovery and journey to restore my active life once again.

3. How has exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle helped your recovery?

Following the staph infection, I was confined to a wheelchair and was unable to move my legs. I needed to first build strength in my upper body in order to eventually begin rehabbing my lower body.

At Evergreen, I came across a NuStep recumbent cross-trainer machine that provided an upper-body workout while simultaneously generating low-impact leg movements. This machine enabled me to completely isolate my arms, chest and shoulders and use the strength of my upper body to activate my legs. After working out on the NuStep for 7 months, my upper body was much stronger, and to my surprise, so were my legs.

Shortly thereafter, I went to see my doctor for a check-up and reminded him that he told me I would never walk again. After he looked at my chart, I moved my legs in a bicycle motion. I’ll never forget the look on his face – his mouth dropped completely open and he said, “That doesn’t normally happen!” As a result of the rehabilitation of my legs, in 2010, my doctor recommended that now it was ‘worth it’ to have two new knees again.

Through continued use of the NuStep, the support of my friends and family at the Commons and the power of prayer, I’m now able to walk using a walker.

4. How did exercise change your life?

When I was in a wheelchair, I had limited mobility and I was dependent upon others. Because of exercise, I eventually graduated from the confines of a wheelchair and onto a walker, which restored independence and more importantly, confidence, in my life. I’m inspired to continue my exercise regimen so that one day I can get around without the assistance of a walker.

6. What would be your main message to seniors that face similar limitations?

No matter your age or physical ability level, it’s never too late to make a commitment to exercise. At the age of 63, I was told I would never walk again, but I didn’t let that to stop me. I’m a firm believer that maintaining health and wellness provides the physical and emotional benefits for a long and happy life. Small lifestyle changes can go a long way. You have the power to take control of your life with exercise, and it should start now. And never give up!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

http://www.NuStep.com/

The Role Model In You – Dr. Abigail Allen, Orthopaedic Surgeon

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Dr. Abigail Allen

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Abigail Allen, MD, Director, Pediatric Orthopaedic Clinic Leni & Peter May Department of Orthopaedics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Age 36. I am a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Indirectly speaking though, I would definitely say my dad inspired me to be active.

To be completely honest, no one directly inspired me to ‘eat healthy and stay fit.’ Those were words that just weren’t uttered in the 70s and 80s in central Pennsylvania where I grew up. As children, we just played. All day. Every day. We didn’t have X-Boxes and Nintendo DSs — OK — eventually we had an Atari 2600 — but even when we had the Atari, we weren’t glued in front of it for 7 hours at a time. We played outside for the most part.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My dad would take my friend and I to the local high school basketball games when we were younger. Not only was it great father-daughter bonding, but it also got my friend and I into the game and we both went on to play high school basketball ourselves.

As another example, I also remember him having the “Tour de France” on the television as a young child and I would ride tirelessly around the block over and over again — pretending that I was Greg Lamonde — winning the yellow jersey!

My dad himself was a competitive wrestler when he was young — so I think that competitiveness wore off on me a bit.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

His influence was just the start — I have become more and more active as my life has progressed — no matter how busy it gets, staying active has and will always play a role in my life.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I convey the importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle every day at my job since I work in the field of children’s orthopaedics. I all too often see childhood ailments caused by being overweight. They even need surgery in some cases to help them — but surgery should not be interpreted as a quick fix — they will likely have repercussions stemming from their obesity for the rest of their lives.

As for my own daughter, she is not yet old enough to dribble a basketball or ride a bike — but in the meantime, we get outside: we make daily trips to the park and this summer, we plan on swimming on the weekends!

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

I focused a lot of my previous answers on being active, because the questions were asking about my own childhood and diet never really came into the equation then. Being active and maintaining a healthy diet usually go hand in hand, but not always. To be truthful, now that I have more knowledge than I did when I was in grade school, diet is is probably 5 times as important as exercise. So I make sure parents and children know that when they come into my office.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

http://www.mountsinai.org/profiles/abigail-k-lynn

The Role Model In You – Rashad Jennings, Running Back, NFL Oakland Raiders

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Rashad Jennings

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

My name is Rashad Jennings. I am 28-years-old and this is my 5th year in the National Football League (NFL). I am currently a Running Back for the Oakland Raiders (#27).

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child or adult to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Many people have inspired me to stay fit and healthy along the way. My family, and my dreams as a kid are two factors that served, and still serve, as my main motivation in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I was an overweight, short, dorky kid with glasses and asthma that wanted to be a Running Back in the NFL. Given the situation I was in, it was clear that I would HAVE to change some habits to achieve my childhood goals and make my dreams a reality. After one of my breakout games my junior year in high school, a scout approached me and told me I had a good chance to play college football. That was the catalyst to my taking charge and stepping up my game in regards to my health. I lost weight, transferred schools, and adapted a lifestyle that would enable me to be in the position that I am today and play in the NFL. Once a professional athlete, I was fortunate to meet two people who have helped provide direction and inspiration for me to keep up my healthy habits. The two people I’ve had the privilege to work with are my trainer from Miami, Pete Bammarito, and a Doctor from Ponte Vedra, Dr. Julie Buckley.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

Both, Pete and Julie, have invested quality time educating me on everything I need to know to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sustain my dream of playing in the NFL. Pete, my trainer, customized an entire workout program tailored only for me. Through proper screening, and training 2-3 times a day, he really helped reconstruct the way I consciously train my body. Doctor Julie Buckley also serves as one of the greatest inspirations in my life – so much so that I see her as a second mom. I’ve watched her single-handily beat cancer the natural and holistic way, raised a child with autism, and manage a home. That alone speaks for itself. Her dedication and passion for the human body and its chemical responses to medical consumption while researching and developing nutritional diet plans for her family and all her patients is highly admirable.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

rj-nflThrough working with Peter, I learned about Muscle Activation Therapy (MAT), the importance of a quality massage therapist, and chiropractic work. I eventually explored yoga, acupuncture and Pilates. I consider them vital to keeping my health at the optimal level and staying competitively ready. Through Pete’s motivation and help, I’ve also become faster through fine-tuning my speed mechanics, and have had a huge increase in my explosiveness and endurance. Doctor Buckley’s influence in my life has been incredible. Her understanding of the human body and the knowledge she has shared with me regarding nutrition has enabled me to develop and establish a relationship with my body, my most important and valuable tool as a professional athlete. Doctor Buckley, my family and Pete have inspired me to continue in my healthy lifestyle, stay strong in my faith, and have given me wisdom and the knowledge I will need to stay on top of my health every day.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Yes, of course. Every Tuesday is a day off in the NFL so I always dedicate 1 to 2 hours of my time in the local community. I visit schools, hospitals, youth programs, charities, events etc. I always use those opportunities to tell the kids my testimony, primarily so they can understand and see that I’ve been exactly where they are. I have been in their shoes. One of my greatest passions is speaking life into people, and highlighting characteristics and traits that they have not yet recognized on their own. With the kids, they always ask me about how I got into the NFL, and one avenue and important factor that I always highlight is my health. It’s amazing what kids soak in. If I can encourage and motivate just one kid or one person, if I can plant one seed with words through this humbling platform I’m blessed with, I can redirect a life just like that college scout changed mine.

6. What would your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyle

Stay actively involved in outdoor activities. Laugh, pick up a sport, walk, ride your bike, smile, play tag, or duck duck goose … ANYTHING! People think exercise has to be this brutal, difficult, “you can only do it in the gym” kind of thing. The truth is, it’s not. Kids can just go outside to play. The technology developments are great, but unfortunately it’s making things like playing outdoors, and catching a game of football a rare thing. The greatest piece of advice I can give to children is to be active and go against the grain.

I always leave this thought with male teens. I’m 28 years old. I’ve never had an alcoholic drink a day in my life; I’ve never smoked or done any drugs. I’ve never been arrested, nor do I have kids out of wedlock. I play in the NFL. You ‘can’ do things the right way and still be successful.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

Twitter: @RashadJennings, or find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rashadjennings23