Promoted by Promoted by Commonwealth Bank.
Exercise and physical fitness is much more than vanity and sculpted bodies. It has the power to regulate your mood, boost your energy levels, improve your mental health and shift your perspective.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is critical for our wellbeing. Humans are designed to move. We’re not built to sit for extended periods gazing into computer screens. Yet the fact remains that most of us live sedentary lives.
According to the Heart Foundation, 65.3 per cent of Australians aged 15 and over are sedentary or have low levels of exercise.
It’s time for us to get moving.
A wake-up call
Real estate and mortgage broking sales trainer Tom Panos received some news one day that changed his life forever. He was told he had lymphatic cancer.
“For me, it was an awakening,” Mr Panos says. “There was a specific day and time in 2006, when I was 38 years old, when I was told that I had an illness called lymphatic cancer and that it was one of the worst categories.
“That was an awakening for me. It was like waking up out of a coma that I had been in for 38 years, thinking that I had all the time in the world. That conversation with an oncologist helped me to understand that time is a non-renewable resource and that I was going to die.”
Given the gravity of his situation, Mr Panos knew he didn’t have much time. Prior to his diagnosis, his lifestyle included too much alcohol, cigarettes, bad food and little exercise.
“I quickly decided that there was no plan B,” the coach says.
“Failure would not be an option and my number one priority was going to be health. I decided to make some radical changes in my life.”
The first major decision Mr Panos made was to wake up early, or “join the 5am Club”, as he puts it.
He said that the early morning was one of the few times he knew he could have time to himself, without the distractions of family commitments, work or clients.
“That was when I began my second habit,” the coach says, “which is exercise.”
A life-changing experience
Keeping fit is proven to be a formidable weapon against a number of ailments and diseases.
A recent study from the Cooper Institute and the University of Texas, which analysed roughly 18,000 people, found that men and women who are more physically fit at midlife have a much lower risk of depression and death from cardiovascular disease later in life.
Compared with those in the lowest fitness category, people in the highest were 16 per cent less likely to have depression, 61 per cent less likely to have cardiovascular illness without depression, and 56 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
Sydney-based mortgage broker John Matthews suffered from fatty liver for much of his adult life, a condition caused by a build-up of fats in the liver that can damage the organ and lead to serious complications. It affects about one in every 10 Australians.
After attending an information evening on weight loss, Mr Matthews realised that he needed to change his mindset and lifestyle.
That night, John heard one line that put the idea in his head that perhaps he, too, could transform into a healthier, happier human being.
“The coach said ‘it’s time for solutions, not excuses’,” Mr Matthews recalls. “That resonated with me because I had been making excuses for years. I decided it was time to put those excuses to one side, get into the solution and get on with life and see if it works. I was told to trust the process for 10 weeks.”
That was on 5 June 2017. Since then, John has lost 37 kilograms by walking, gentle daily exercise and changing his diet.
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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