Dr. Kris BergIn this session of The Functional Freedom Podcast, I’m happy to welcome my college mentor and friend Dr. Kris Berg from the University of Nebraska at Omaha to the show.  Kris Berg is a professor, researcher and the co-director of UNO’s Exercise Physiology Laboratory and Fitness Center.

Dr. Berg has been a professor at UNO for 42 years but is young as ever.   He took up tennis for the first time in his 60s and the day of the interview he was going to be playing a young athlete on the UNO womens tennis team.

All of us can probably remember a teacher or coach that had a significant impact on your career or life.  Dr. Berg has influenced literally thousands of exercise specialists, physicians, teachers and therapists over his career and I count it a priveledge to have been mentored by him.

Dr. Berg has witnessed a tremendous transformation at UNO’s Exercise Physiology Laboratory and educational offerings.  He says in the interview, “When I came here, there wasn’t a lab.  There was a classroom with a broken-down treadmill that you had to handcrank.”  With the support of the university last fall the department introduced its doctoral degree program in exercise science and will open its new biomechanics lab next year adjacent to the brand new student fitness center.

Working with individuals with medical conditions has always been one of Dr. Berg’s interests.  “When I was 12 years old,  I told my mother to check me into the hospital because something was wrong with me.”  It was then that this skinny little kid who loved sports was diagnosed with Type I diabetes.  This episode started Dr. Berg’s lifelong experiment  treating himself  that eventually started him on his career path as a researcher.

Dr. Berg believes “Exercise is medicine and no matter our age we all the potential to overcome our limitations if we make it a priority.”