Archive for January, 2009

Here is a little interesting tidbit I thought you might find interesting, especially if either you or your child, especially girls, think they can’t play sports. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, I HIGHLY encourage ALL kids to get involved in some type of youth sport program. The benefits are tremendous! I could write an entire blog post, maybe even a book, on why and what the benefits are to exercise, youth sports and healthy eating habits. Maybe I will someday, but for now, I’m going to leave you with a few interesting facts on youth sports and girls, which makes for an extremely healthy combination in so many ways.

Did you know, that for the most part, research has been done that shows that both boys and girls between the ages of 6 & 9 years old are equally interested in playing sports? Maybe you already know this. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re still thinking that youth sports are something primarily for boys and you’re surprised to read this. The simple fact is, sports are for BOTH boys and girls and they both are equally excited in playing sports at an early age. However, it’s all how we as parents go about encouraging our kids, particularly girls, to get involved and play what they show an interest in.

And why is this so important? How ‘bout this for a quick but powerful reason: Not only will girls get the exercise they so sorely need to keep them healthy, but the benefits of youth sports include an array of talents girls need to succeed in life, such as learning teamwork, goal-setting and overcoming challenges. Learning these types of life lessons is just as important to young girls as it is to young boys, and the earlier they get a jump on things, the better prepared they are for LIFE and whatever comes their way. Nurture their spirit now as it will pay HUGE dividends for them later.

Ok, so maybe you’re still a little hesitant to let your little girl play sports or maybe you don’t believe me. ‘Cause who am I anyway, right? I’m just some exercise fitness guy who you think is supposed to say things like this right? No problem, fair enough. Don’t believe me. Believe in the research recently conducted by the prestigious Women’s Sports Foundation, led by Dr. Don Sabo, PhD., Director of Research, ( in a report where they highlight many more reasons, both mental and physical, as to the benefits of girls participating in youth sports. In there report, they provide what I feel are 10 AWESOME REASONS why girls should play sports.

  1. High school girls who play sports are more likely to get good grades and to graduate.
  2. Girls who play sports have higher levels of self-esteem and confidence and lower levels of depression.
  3. High school girls who play sports are less likely to become pregnant and to engage in sex.
  4. Girls and women who play sports or are physically active are less likely to get breast cancer.
  5. Girls and women who play sports may have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis, a brittle bone disease that affects 40% of women age 50 and older.
  6. Girls who play sports have a more positive body image and higher states of psychological well-being.
  7. Girls who play sports are less likely to smoke or use illegal drugs.
  8. Girls who play sports are more likely to engage in healthy activities like fastening seat belts when in a car.
  9. Girls and women who play sports eat and sleep better.
  10. Girls and women who play sports are less likely to be suicidal.

How ‘bout those reasons for some inspiration, as well as staggering facts on the power of youth sports for girls?

Now, if someone says to you, “You’re going to let your daughter play sports? Aren’t you afraid she will get hurt?”, or anything remotely like that, give ‘em some of these reasons! Ask them to refute these facts rationally and logically…I’m willing to bet you won’t get much of an argument, and if you do, it will be either weak or just for the sake of arguments sake. ‘Cause you know, some people just love to argue because that is their nature. In fact, you know what, send me your feedback on this. I’d love to hear what YOU have to say. I DARE YOU.

For more information on this, I encourage you to check out
as they have some wonderful and inspiring information on youth sports for girls and women. The organization was founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King and their whole mission is to “To advance the lives of girls and women through sport and physical activity.” Check it out, seriously.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful, as my whole mission in life is help people, especially kids, adopt a healthy lifestyle and play the game of life like it’s a sport. See ya next time.

Life’s a Game. Press Play!

Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been erected to a critic.”
–Jean Sibelius

In health and happiness,

Todd G. Dattoli, ACE Certified Professional Fitness Expert
IYCA Certified Youth Fitness Specialist

I read an article recently that said that as of September 2008, the U.S. just passed the 300 million mark for total population. Whew! That’s a lot of people!

Ok, so now that the New Year is here, I’m thinking if we exclude babies, kids, young teens and the very old, that leaves approximately 100-125 million Americans who will once again embark on the age old ritual of a New Years Resolution. However, the sad fact is, 4 out of 5 Americans will not achieve the goal they set out to accomplish as their New Year “resolution”.

Ok, before we go any further let’s DEFINE the word “resolution”. In my 14year old daughters dictionary, The American Heritage College Dictionary, “resolution” is defined as, “The state or quality of being resolute; determination. 2. A resolving to do something.”

Why did I define resolution? Because as the facts showing 4 of 5 people failing to keep their resolution(s), the number one reason this happens is because people fail to properly set their goal (resolution) by writing it down and keeping track of their progress.

Zig Ziglar once said that, “A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle.”

You might want to back up and read that quote again, maybe even write it down or print it out, because this one hits the bull’s-eye!

This truly explains why New Year’s resolutions almost never work, and why so few people can’t keep off the pounds after they get rid of them.

Listen, I’m no different than you. I realize that the New Year gives us a chance for a fresh start on things we’ve been procrastinating on, or to finally achieve those big dreams we’ve always thought about, or at least the chance to get the ball rolling in the right direction, because after all, it’s a New Year right? What better time to get the process started with a ‘new lease on life’, leaving the old, blah, dull, disappointing year behind. When the New Year finally arrives, it’s like we have a video game in front of us and we can finally press the ‘reset’ button, right?

In my experience, it’s not often that we actually come up with a “brand new” goal for the New Year. Most of our big goals tend to revolve around common themes – career, relationships, health and fitness, saving money … and we promise ourselves that this really is the year. Definitely. No excuses. Am I right?

In fact, lists

  • Lose weight
  • Manage debt
  • Save money
  • Get a better job
  • Get fit
  • Eat right
  • Get a better education
  • Reduce stress

as the top 8 annual New Years resolutions. Problem is, at the most basic level, these types of goals or resolutions set us up for failure because they are all so broad in concept and often become overwhelming so we end up making excuses as to why we did not achieve our goals.

Another words, what it boils down to is, all the “buts” you had as your excuse for not following through with your goals. For instance, when I looked in the mirror at why I failed to open my new studio, I saw myself answering with many “buts”. “I would of opened my new studio, ‘but’ I didn’t have enough money”. “I really wanted to open my own studio this year, ‘but’ the economy is very bad right now”. You, see, I’m human too.

So, how big is your ‘but!?’ What will your ‘buts’ be this year as to why you didn’t achieve your new goals?

I would have lost 10lbs and improved my fitness … but I

‘had to go to client lunches too often’…
‘worked so many hours I couldn’t get to the gym more than once each week’…
‘was just too tired’…
‘must just have a slow metabolism’…
‘thought that chocolate in moderation was good for you’…

Sound familiar?

Even if you don’t have a big list of “buts” from last year… your health, your fitness, and your self-belief can ALL benefit from a bit of focused reflection in 2008.

In a recent article by, they state that in a Franklin Covey poll of over 15,000 people surveyed for New Years resolutions, more than 35% had broken their resolution’s by the end of January. More than 35% by the end of January! The top contributors to this failure had everything to do with attitude and commitment — meaning they lost their determination. They were not ‘resolute’, therefore, no determination, no resolving of something, no resolution…

Why? The top excuses, “buts” given, were people said they had too many things to do, or they weren’t really serious or committed to the goals they initially set.

So, if you are going to set yourself some type of health and fitness New Years goal for 2009, don’t set yourself up for failure…please. Take it seriously so you can actually achieve your goals and feel better that you did.

All that being said, here are a few tips on how to help you SET and ACHIEVE your 2009 health and fitness goals:

1. Start by deciding your one BIG goal. What’s the main reason you want to improve your health and fitness? Is it to live longer? To look good on the beach? To feel more powerful in the boardroom? Be more mobile to play with your kids? Lower your cholesterol?

2. When do you want to achieve this by? Next month? Or do you get till the end of the year? Be wary of goals that are too far away as you’re more likely to put off the action process!

3. Work backwards from your target month and set small ‘stepping stone’ goals that will help keep you on track. For example – bring lunch from home, cut down the alcohol, hire a Personal Trainer once each week.

4. Keep in mind that you are allowed to change your goals along the way. The process of meeting your ‘stepping stone’ goals might give you different ideas about the big one.

5. Set a monthly or fortnightly time to re-view your progress. Are your ‘stepping stone’ goals working for you, or do they need to be re-evaluated, or stepped up a notch?

6. Measure your progress. Set monthly targets that revolve around facts and figures – such as lifting a certain amount of weight, running 5k’s under a certain time, or losing ‘x’ many inches around the waist.

Bottom line folks… consistency is key. One ‘good’ week followed by one big ‘but’ is not going to get you anywhere except back where you started come December ’09. Quite possibly with a bigger B.U.T.T!

Make this the year you finally follow through with all your resolutions and can look back with immense satisfaction, not to mention looking and feeling great!

‘Those who say it can’t be done are being passed by those doing it’

To your health and and awesome 2009,

Todd G. Dattoli

“Peak your health, Condition your body!”