I remember reading “Body and Soul” in the Herald Sun one weekend and was pleasantly reading a great article called “Life Lessons from Women Who have lived a century.”

Here are three Australian centenarians Bet Holmes (103 at the time of print), Dot De Low (101) and Ruth Frith (102), talking about the secrets to their longevity. It was a fascinating read.

Of all the things that I could find in common among the three ladies, what do you think it was? Was it good diet? Was it a happy marriage? Was it job satisfaction? No, it was exercise!

Bet Holmes

Bet is a keen Yogi in the Blue Mountains, Dot De Low has a magnificent obsession for table tennis, and Ruth STILL competes in athletics. In a world of research, statistics, and “medical breakthroughs”, ladies like this I think teach us that all we need is right in front of us.

Exercise is free. You don’t need a special social class, budget, or body shape to do it. You don’t even need to be, as these ladies exemplify, a certain age. All you need is time. And time is the ONLY thing we ALL have equal amounts of.

Now I know (as the research suggests), that many people don’t exercise BECAUSE of time. They say they don’t have the time, because work or family life gets in the way (27% of Aussie men say work gets in the way, whilst 14% of women say family gets in the way). Whilst there is no doubt that work and family life complicate the issue, at the end of the day they are still an excuse. And as some world authority whose name escapes me said, you can choose results or excuses, but you can’t have both.

Choose your health destiny


Your health destiny is nothing more than the DESTINATION of your health journey. What path are you on at the moment with your health? Let’s focus on exercise here. The “train tracks” of no exercise leads to stations such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain cancers, depression, dementia, the list goes on. There is bucketloads of research to back all of this up (just read the metro papers!). If you are one of the 2 in 3 Aussies who exercises less than twice a week, you are HIGHLY likely to be on this path. It’s simply a matter of time. It’s unlikely that you will reach this destination at age 30, but it’s highly likely that youwill reach Blood Pressure Station between the age of 50-70 and Dementia station between the age of 65-80. Think about it, really think about it. What would dementia cost you in your life? Would it cost you your job? Or precious time with family? Or travelling around the world or Australia? What is the cost of poor health for YOU?

Not sure what exercise to do?


The ABS reports that 19% of Aussie women simply aren’t interested in exercising. Well ladies, my retort to that is – if you knew that by exercising just 2 hours per week was going to give you better quality time with your kids, spouse, siblings, friends, grandchildren, etc. would you do it? I believe most women would. But then the question is, “what kind of exercise do I choose?”

There are number of mini questions that need answering here – solo sport or team sport? Contact or no contact? Short games or long games (table tennis or hiking)? Indoor or outdoor? It’s really important to find exercise that you LOVE to do, that you look forward to. Personally, in winter I love going to the gym and doing indoor sports like yoga, boxing, swimming and weight-training. As much as I love cycling, you couldn’t pay me enough to get outside right now. I just don’t love it that much! The same goes with running. I love to run, but I don’t love it so much as to go outside at 6 in the morning and possibly break an ankle in the dark on the Bass Highway. You get my drift. Think about what you love!

I know women who get up at 5 in the morning for a “social” walk whilst the kids are asleep. I know others who gather at 9 at night. Choose what YOU want to do. Forget about what every other media agency is purporting to be the latest and greatest.

Need a buddy?

Having someone to exercise with is a great way to stay accountable. It is highly unlikely you will stand up a friend or a personal trainer. I love PT sessions because I couldn’t possibly call my PT and say, “Kal I really don’t want to get out of bed, it’s cold outside!” That will not fly well with Kal!

In health,



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Body and Soul Article on the 3 Centenarians

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