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If you neglect your health, you are neglecting a crucial part of your business

fitnessBy Leo Valiquette

Back in March I walked into an Ottawa Chamber of Commerce event and volunteered to be the male half of a 10-week fitness challenge.

It was an impulse buy. It was also great timing. I been watching the gradual inflation of that fellow in the mirror for some time and was ready for an opportunity to do something about it. Like most people, I just needed a little nudge.

That 10-week challenge has turned into an ongoing commitment. After four months of effort, I have dropped 26 pounds (and continue to lose), trimmed at least four inches from my waist and added muscle mass I didn’t even have in my youth. I look better. I sleep better. I feel better. I am more productive and focused throughout the day. And while my doctor will have the final say on this, I believe I have even eliminated the need for the entry-level blood pressure meds I have been on for the past several years.

I regularly engage with entrepreneurs, business owners and busy professionals and it’s often all too easy to see where the toll of too many long hours tied to a desk or on the road eating from a super-sized menu add up. It’s one thing to be a young code jockey trying to write that next killer app, sustained by a regular diet of caffeine, energy drinks and cold pizza, and quite another to be one of us guys past 40 now obligated to get regular prostate checks. But the habits that you develop in your 20s easily entrench themselves for the decades to follow. And the pattern is no different for the ladies out there, for whom cardiovascular disease is now the number one killer in Canada.

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