Shake Something More Than the Salt Shaker

Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure as well as your risk of stroke. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to help you control your intake. 

The most effective and simple strategy is to cook food at home as often as possible. If you eat out frequently, you can bet that you are ingesting more sodium than you should. When cooking at home, include fresh vegetables, fruits, fresh meat, poultry, fish, and if grains are in your dietary portrait, include a conservative amount.

If a recipe calls for salt, use it sparingly or better yet, skip it altogether. If you are not into the natural flavor of foods, maximize flavor with spices and other flavor-enhancers such as flavored olive oil or natural herbs instead. If you need extra flavor, using low-sodium and no-salt marinades is a smart way to infuse meats and fish with flavor without loading up on salt. Rinse and drain any canned foods to wash away some of the salty components in the packing juices. When you cook starches and grains, do not salt the water. 

Another way to keep your sodium intake in check is to shop wisely. When in the market, search out sodium-free, low-sodium or no-salt convenience foods. Reading the Nutrition Facts Panel is an easy way to gauge the amount of sodium in the food you are buying. Remember, when you read the label, the most important thing is to consider is the serving size. A label on a can may say 400mg sodium, but the serving size may be 5 servings. That means the whole can actually has 2,000 mg of sodium. 

According to the FDA, if a food item contains more than 20 percent daily value (DV) of a nutrient, then a serving of that food is considered to contain a high amount of that nutrient. Five percent DV is considered low. For sodium, 20 percent DV equals 460 mg of sodium, while 5 percent DV is 115 mg.

A third point to keep in mind regarding sodium intake is to watch out for "low-fat" foods. Lower-fat or fat-free products that are purchased are oftentimes higher in sodium than their full-fat counterparts. When fat, a major flavor-enhancer, is removed, other ingredients such as sodium are often added to compensate. Be aware of this.

You want another way to help yourself? Beware of hidden ingredients. Deli meats, jarred condiments, cake mixes, flavored milks, and snack foods all contain ingredients that add sodium. While some of these foods (and many more) may not taste salty, there are many forms sodium can take which are often found within the nutritional profile of these foods. 

They are: sodium benzoate (preservative), sodium bicarbonate (texture enhancer), sodium citrate (pH influencer), sodium hydroxide (pH influencer), sodium alginate (thickener), disodium inosinate (flavor enhancer), and disodium guanylate (flavor enhancer). 

To conclude, here is an example to chew on showing how the same legume can have vastly different sodium content depending on how it is packaged and prepared. 

1- (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained = 815 mg sodium
1- can organic black beans, rinsed and drained = 420 mg sodium
1- can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained = 90 mg

By Josh Renkens


Healthy Mind and Body: 7 Tips for Exercising During Injury Recovery

Healthy Mind and Body: 7 Tips for Exercising During Injury Recovery

Healthy Mind and Body: 7 Tips for Exercising During Injury Recovery

7 Tips for Exercising During Injury Recovery

Injury recovery can be a long and discouraging road. That's why you need these 7 tips to help you stay positive and work out without making the injury worse!

Keyword(s): injury recovery

An injury of any kind can be a major set back in your fitness goals and mental health.

But if you enjoy exercising or participating in sports, injuries are a constant risk.

Between 2011 and 2014, more than 8.6 million sports-related injuries were sustained by Americans over the age of five. But an injury doesn't have to mean the end of your love for fitness.

With the right injury recovery plan, you can get back on your feet and doing what you love, pain-free. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may have a long recovery ahead of you. But don't let this discourage you!

Instead, check out these seven tips to help you stay positive, healthy, and happy during your recovery!

1. Don't Be Afraid to Seek Help

When you get injured, especially while doing something that you love, it can be tempting to fool yourself into thinking that it's nothing.

But not seeking professional help following an injury is a mistake.

Even if the injury turns out to be minor, you'll need help determining exactly what is injured, and learning what you need to do to help it heal.

If the injury is major, not seeking professional help right away could cause the injury to worsen. It could also cause lasting damage to your body.

Visiting a doctor will at least give you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what is wrong so that you can accept it and begin to move on with your life and your work outs.

2. Build a Injury Recovery Plan

Once you know exactly what is injured, it's time to develop an injury recovery plan.

Having a plan in place for what you'd like to accomplish and when will help make the recovery process more positive. You'll be able to judge your progress and celebrate milestone as you pass them.

For this tip, you may want to consider visiting another professional.

For minor injuries, you could attempt a recover plan on your own. But it will likely be a very slow process.

For major injuries that require surgery, having a solid plan for recovery is even more important. Recovering from an injury like an MCL tear could take six weeks or more to recoverfrom if you have a plan in place and attend physical therapy.

Without a plan in place, it could take even longer.

Instead, visiting a clinic like Resilient Health & Performance gives you access to a range of techniques and methods.

Techniques like Functional Range Conditioning and Dry Needling can be integrated into your recovery plan to help speed your injury recovery, and help you get back to your post-injury level of fitness.

3. Listen to Your Body

Even though having a recovery plan in place is important, listening to your body should always be more important than sticking to that plan.

Everyone's bodies heal differently. Letting a slower injury recovery time get you down isn't going to help speed it any.

Instead, stay positive, and accept any set backs that come your way as being a part of the process.

4. Indulge in Other Hobbies

To keep your mind positive and your body active, take your injury recovery as an opportunity to indulge in other hobbies or activities that you enjoy.

Even if these hobbies are sedentary, like reading, writing, or working with your hands, they are a great way to keep your mind active. They'll help to improve your mood and relax your body, which will go a long way towards helping you during your rehab.

If you other hobbies are active, consult with an expert on whether they are okay to do while you are injured. If they aren't considering ways that you could modify them while you are still recovering, to avoid causing yourself pain or further injury.

An injury can also be an opportunity to try new things. Look for activities that you can do with your injury, and give them a shot. You might just discover a new favorite hobby!

5. Find Ways to Stay Healthy 

Staying healthy and active is important, even when you're injured. But depending on your injury, you may need to find new ways to do so.

Striving to eat healthily is a good start. Not only can it help you to avoid weight gain while injured, but it will also help give you the energy that you'll need while completing your recovery plan.

6. Create a Support System

Between trying to adjust to your injury, completing a recovery program, visiting doctors, and adapting your lifestyle, dealing with an injury can be overwhelming.

Creating a support system of doctors, athletic trainers, friends, family, and gym partners can help.

Having people that you can turn to with questions means less stress of dealing with finding answers on your own. Friends and family can help motivate you or cheer you up when things get tough.

Ask around, and you may be surprised to find people you already know who have dealt with similar injuries. They may be able to share stories of challenges they faced or about their own successful recovery that will help you feel better about your own progress.

7. Make New Goals

If your injury is severe enough, it may mean that you have to abandon an old goal or two. But don't let this discourage you.

Instead, look at it as a chance to make new goals.

Start Your Injury Recovery Today!

If you've been injured, it's important to start your injury recovery right away!

Even if you can't get back on your feet just yet, there are plenty of recovery options that can help to jump start your rehabilitation.

Waiting to start an injury recovery plan will only lengthen the amount of time that it takes you to bounce back after an injury. If you wait too long, you'll begin to lose much of the physical progress that you made prior to your injury, and it will take even longer for you to get back to your post-injury level of fitness.

If you've been injured, contact Resilient Health & Performance today to see how our professionals can help you start your injury recovery process!

The Resilient Book Shelf

The Resilient Book Shelf

I first heard the name Wim Hof from my friend, Dave, as he guided me through Hof’s breathing exercise he had recently learned.  The experience was both profound and positive and Hof’s bold claims intrigued me enough to pick up Carney’s book. In the end, there was much more in it, and the book was even better than I thought it would be.

In What Doesn’t Kill Us, investigative journalist, Scott Carney, seeks out  Dutchman Wim Hof, a.k.a. The Iceman, to see just what he is all about. At first skeptical of this man who habitually pushes his body to the extreme of human limits, he eventually becomes a believer as he, too, pushes his body and mind to the edges of endurance. The breathing strategies he has learned to use in water and on land and in cold temperatures all come together in his culminating 28-hour climb to the top of Mr. Kilimanjaro wearing minimal clothing. Hof, Carney, and now others in the fitness world beg the question, “What if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our forebears?”

In addition to spending time with Hof, Carney also calls on knowledge from other scientific disciplines and individuals who have managed to use environmental conditioning to accomplish truly extraordinary things. He enlists input from an Army scientist, world-famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, the founders of an obstacle course race movement, and ordinary people who have used Hof’s methods and documented how they have cured autoimmune diseases, lost weight, and reversed diabetes.

Carney’s personal account and Hof’s methods inspired me to incorporate daily breathing exercises, cold showers, and occasional trips to the local cryotherapy establishment. I have made cold showers before bed (I have noticed better sleep) a regular habit, and the breath work has improved my ability to sustain anaerobic and aerobic efforts in the gym.

Although I am not yet entirely sold on the benefits of exposure to extreme cold, I do believe there is some merit to exposing ourselves to unordinary conditions. It makes sense to me that the more conditions and various temperatures we expose our bodies to, the more capacity it has to adapt in unforeseen conditions.

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity


In this day and age, we have all probably heard of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The bigger problem, of course, is there is a high probability we have all been exposed to it in a food we have eaten. That is, unless you know to look for it on food labels and avoid it. 

HFCS is a corn derivative that typically has 55-percent fructose, 42-percent glucose, and 3-percent other larger sugars. HFCS replaced sucrose in the early 1970s and the rate of obesity as a population has doubled from 15- to 33 percent since then according, to Center For Disease Control figures. 

I am not writing this to prove sucrose is good for you; rather to prove just how terrible HFCS is for you. Sucrose, glucose, and other larger sugars are bad enough; HFCS should be avoided at all costs. Weight gain from HFCS is far greater than from ordinary sucrose. 

Researchers from Princeton University previously conducted two experiments (Science Daily). One compared male rats eating rat chow and HFCS water to rats eating rat chow and sucrose-flavored water. The weight gain was described as "much more" for the rats eating the HFCS water. The really interesting fact about this study was that the sucrose water was highly concentrated at levels similar to the few sodas still flavored with sucrose in the U.S. marketplace. The HFCS water, on the other hand, was half the concentration of the typical HFCS soda on market shelves today. 

The second study lasted six months and looked at HFCS versus water. In this study, the rats ballooned up with 48-percent weight gains over rats just eating food and unsweetened water. 

The rats did not just get fat. They demonstrated characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides. It is these same characteristics that are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer, and diabetes in humans. 

You may be wondering how our bodies process HFCS and cause so many problems? The fructose present in HFCS is preferentially metabolized in the liver into fat. Sucrose is metabolized by insulin from the pancreas and is more readily used as an energy source. Furthermore, fructose affects hormones like leptin that work with insulin to control satiety, the feeling of being full. The following excerpt from the article abstract says it all. "The combined affects of lowered circulating leptin and insulin from frequent consumption of high dietary fructose increases the likelihood of weight gain and its associated sequelae." 

Food manufacturers and distributors make claims that HFCS is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity. These results and several other studies, however, make it clear that it is not true. HFCS will make you fat. Frequent consumption of HFCS will make you obese. Bottom line: High fructose corn syrup will ruin you.


Josh Renkens

Reap the Benefits of the Kettlebell Swing

This is not the first time I have written about the kettlebell swing, nor am I the first to write about it at all. In fact, there are lots of people who have learned to swing the kettlebell properly and have shared the benefits with others. I hope this reaches a few people who are unaware of this awesome movement and the various benefits it can provide when executed properly. I recently took a trip to the beach, and knowing I would not have access to a gym, I brought a kettlebell with me.  Being there a few days, I incorporated different movements with the kettlebell, including presses, pulls, windmills, row, and Turkish get ups.  I also did one workout consisting primarily of kettlebell swings (lots of them) and because I felt so marvelous afterward, I was inspired to write about it.

In his book, Enter The Kettlebell, Pavel states, "I dare you to find a single exercise, kettebell or not, that delivers more benefits than the kettlebell swing!" Right or not, I know Pavel could make a solid case for his choice of exercise. This movement is so fantastic, and the benefits which can be derived from its proper execution so plentiful, that it is deserved of more attention, including yours -  Lol.

* One becomes stronger, more powerful, leaner, more flexible, and more resistant to injury.

* Swings help develop the often overlooked, but vitally important posterior chain muscles, including the gluteals, hamstrings, and deep stabilizers of the back.

* Swinging a kettlebell correctly strengthens the "core" muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and transverse abdominus. These muscles have no choice but to work synergistically for your benefit when swings are performed correctly.

* Higher reps swing sets help develop back endurance. Several studies have described and proven that low back muscular endurance helps reduce incidence of low back injury.

* Swings also strengthen other muscles which play an important role in protecting your back, including the latissimus dorsi, the mid- and lower traps, and hip flexors.

* Higher rep swing sets or moderate reps for a higher number of sets can provide a huge metabolic boost for those looking to shed fat and improve body composition.

I have also found the kettlebell swing to be a great tool during the warm up of training days as well as a finisher in some form of met con work at the end of other training days. You can't go wrong either way. Do it at the beginning to get the glutes / hip muscles firing and hip hinge pattern going, or finish with it to restore proper motion / muscle recruitment which may have been (hopefully not) lost during the meat of your workout.

Here is a brief video of me describing and demonstrating the kettlebell swing:

If you don't know how to execute the swing properly, learn it. If you are not sure if you are swinging correctly, find out. Call or email us to set up your training appointment or seek out other another RKC instructor. We are best reached at (615) 915-3188 or

Dr. Josh Renkens

#Brentwoodchiropractor, #Joshrenkens, #Brentwoodpersonaltraining, 

Achilles Repetitive Use Injury

A Snapshot of Achilles Tendon Injury

by Dr. Josh Renkens

Achilles tendon problems may be most prevalent in athletes who run or jump, but the truth is, anyone can be afflicted by the often stubborn syndrome. Research shows that injury to the tendon is usually secondary to biomechanical deficits that place excess stress on the tendon, and most will respond favorably to conservative care, including manual therapy and corrective exercise. Please let me explain more.

The Achilles is the combined tendon of two muscles on the back of your lower leg - the gastrocnemius and the soleus - and is surrounded by a paratendon. The tendon, paratendon, and muscles are connected to the heel bone via the fascia. That's a lot, right? I know. Just know, it is all connected.


If you have ever experienced Achilles tendonitis, you know there is usually a focal spot about 1-2 inches above the heel bone that is most painful (and also the most common site for a rupture). This is due to the stress and decreased vascularization to the tissue. By now you are probably asking, "What typically causes the stress and how do you get rid of it?"

There is a lot of evidence of excessive pronation being the fault. Stiff and tight tissue, weakness, and imbalances, including poor mid-foot stability and poor eccentric control from the hip cause conflicting rotational forces at the tibia, which can cause a wringing out of the tendon.

If this is allowed to occur over time and / or occurs repetitiously (think running / walking), mini-trauma occurs. The body can no longer repair fast enough, so the tendon begins to fail, becomes deranged, receives less blood flow and oxygen, and becomes painful.

Of course, as with most repetitive strain injuries, the sooner the insulted tissue is treated, the better.

As stated above, it may be working to better balance the quads, hamstrings, and adductors; it may be waking up those inactive gluteal muscles; or it may be utilizing an insert in your shoe to give you more medial support. For some, it may be all of the above. The key is to identify the faults involved, release and lengthen tight tissue and employ the proper exercises to get strong and stable., #joshrenkens, #renkenscenter, #resiienthealthandperformance, #brentwoodtnchiropractor, #brentwoodtnchiropractic

The Resilient Book Shelf


This is a life book; one that describes Greatness! The Author, Don Yaeger intentionally capitalizes the word greatness throughout his book to indicate that Greatness is way of being versus a one-time achievement, winning a championship, or setting a record. Don Yaeger is a prolific writer who speaks from his heart & writes as if he is carrying on a conversation with you in your own home.

"What Is Greatness?"

As the title suggests, the book is comprised of 16 chapters, each chapter consists of detailed stories illustrating aspects of Greatness with examples from all the sports greats that Yaeger has interviewed over the years. Being a sports fan, I really enjoyed reading his firsthand accounts of how various athletes and business professionals achieved Greatness in their lives. Yaeger also challenged me to look for areas in my professional and personal life that can be improved by embracing these lessons. 

I get a sense that Yaeger is a really good guy and he likely walks his talk. If I ever have an opportunity to meet Don Yaeger or hear him speak, I will jump at the opportunity.

Dr. Josh

Apologies for the long hiatus...

I have not posted in a long time.  My apologies.  I have sent out the monthly newsletter.  You can find past editions at: The Renkens Center. Click on the page entitled 'Newsletter'.  Recently, a curious patient asked me what I thought was the most important muscle to rehab when it comes to low back pain. Contrary to what is typically written about and talked about in the literature, my answer is the latissimus dorsi. Why? Because it covers almost the entire back (T5 - L5 and the pelvis) and has a large cross-sectional area, its angle of orientation (it can stabilize the low back, and it networks itself with the thoracolumbar and lumbodorsal fascia.  All this and if it works properly, it can effectively extend the spine.  All of this means the lats have more potential to produce extension and rotation and to generate torque and compression than the smaller (and more often cited) muscles of the low back, including the multifidi, rotatores, and erector spinae.  When trained and used properly, the lats do much more to stabilize and protect our low back than the smaller muscles with lower thresholds for activation and minimal ability to both produce and resist spinal movement.

Train Hard - Eat Right - Get Strong - Expect Excellence - Be Great!

There is a very good article in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated about nutrition and the role it plays in an athlete's performance and ability to recover from training and competition. It is finally becoming more and more obvious to those with the power and money to implement the necessary changes at the university level. Of course included in the article are tidbits about eating to combat the effects of inflammation and some of the positive experiences athletes have had with eliminating gluten and dairy from their diets. Check it out. It is worth reading.

Malate Magnesium vs. Glycinate Magnesium

I was recently asked by a patient what the difference was between the Malate and Glycinate versions of Magnesium (Mg). This is a fairly common question so I thought I would address it in a blog. When determining what type of Mg you supplement with, consider the following: The malate form is derived from malic acid, which plays a key role in energy production. This type of Mg will benefit athletes who are very active, sweat a lot, and require maximal energy production. There is also evidence that this form of Mg is best used for musculoskeletal issues such as fibromyalgia. Magnesium glycinate is the form of Mg that is best used for individuals malabsorption or gut issues, such as Crohn's or Celiac disease. The glycinate form of Mg tends to be less disruptive on the bowels. This form of the mineral also tends to work more favorably with older individuals who are prone to Mg deficiency. An easy way for you to remember the type you need: Gut begins with G, so glycinate; Muscle begins with M , so malate.