Finishing Line - November 2009

Health and Success —
Maintain One to Enjoy the Other
By Robert Roman


Last month at a car wash, I read a magazine that contained three articles on prostate cancer, an insidious disease that can sneak up on men past the age of 40.

Doesn’t 40-years-old seem to be a watershed? Arguably, this is when many people begin to slow down a little bit. It seems to take longer to recover from illness or injury — and gone is that certain spring in the legs. Later in life, some people become so absorbed putting in the years and long hours seeking success, making money, and caring for others that they tend to neglect themselves.

Of course, there is that one fateful day when you get up in the morning and look in the mirror and reality smacks you in the face; I’m not 30 years old anymore. This is the day when we actually “see” the cumulative effects of growing older.

I am speaking about those slight wrinkles on arms and face, beginnings of a double chin, love handles, protruding belly, graying or loss of hair, and dark circles under eyes. Not to mention that occasional back pain or soreness in joints.

Quite frankly, there is no magic pill or time machine to turn back Mother Nature’s clock, but there are two things anyone can do to improve their fitness and wellness: diet and exercise.

A good diet isn’t rocket science, it’s mostly common sense.

A good diet doesn’t necessarily mean completely stopping, but rather significantly reducing, the consumption of the “killer” foods. I’m talking about potato chips, ice cream, fast-food, soda pop, fried foods, baked potatoes swimming in sour cream and butter, half & half, candy and other sugars, oversized portions of fatty red meat, etc. A good diet also means eating more of the “right” food like fresh vegetables and fruits, grains, garlic, broiled chicken and fish, having an occasional glass of red wine, etc.

For men and women middle aged and older, fitness and wellness can be a combination of diet and aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercises improve oxygen consumption by the body. This exercise involves a warm up period, followed by at least 20 minutes of moderate to intense movement involving large muscle groups and then a cooling down period at the end. Anaerobic is exercise intense enough to convert sugars into cellular energy. This involves weight training that promotes strength, speed, and power (stamina), and helps turn unwanted fat into muscle mass.

Where is the best place to get help? For many busy professionals, it often makes sense to join a fitness center.

The modern fitness center has extended hours of operation and is an exceptionally clean and well designed facility with state-of-the-art equipment; bathrooms and showers; personal lockers; TV monitors with headphones so you can catch-up on news or sports or listen to music while you work out; and other amenities.

The introduction is free. The membership fee usually includes a “free” jump-start program with three sessions to evaluate your condition, establish goal/objectives, and hands-on training to get started with exercises and the equipment. Personal trainers are available to develop custom programs that fit your schedule. Membership is only about $35 a month. What kind of results can you expect?

In the late ‘90s, I was working a 70- to 80-hour week and living mostly on fast food and coffee. After three years of abuse, I landed in a hospital needing a medical procedure. Procedures do not give people more time to abuse themselves. What it does give us is some additional time to make a life decision.

Thankfully, my wife made this decision for me. She bought me a fitness-center membership as a Christmas present.

I eliminated most of the “killer” foods from my diet and followed the fitness center’s express exercise program — takes about 1.5 hours two or three times a week. In six months, I lost over 30 pounds. By the end of the first year, I reached a plateau with fast weight loss but my blood levels and other vitals became nearly perfect. After another six months, my biceps measured over 21”. By the end of the second year, I’m in the best physical shape in over 20 years.

Does my improved condition “guarantee” longer life? No such animal. However, fitness and wellness can help reduce the likelihood of diabetes, heart attack and stroke, prostate cancer, and other things that can strike us down as we mature.

Take care of yourself, so you can enjoy your hard-earned success.

Bob Roman is president of RJR Enterprises — Consulting Services ( and vice president of Bubble Wash Buildings LLC. You can reach Bob via e-mail at

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