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Investment industry professionals share their health and fitness regimes

By Dwarka Lakhan |

There is an abundance of research that confirms maintaining physical fitness can improve your performance and productivity in business. And many successful members of the financial services sector agree.

"Among the most successful advisors I've seen are those who take care of themselves," says David Andrews, portfolio consultant with Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. in Toronto. "They exercise regularly, eat well and are always on top of their game."

Staying fit can be divided into three main areas: exercise, eating well and getting sufficient sleep.

"By balancing out exercise and nutrition, you get better sleep and can do a better job every day," says Stephen Pollock, regional director with Bridgehouse Asset Managers in Vancouver.

Adds Bhim Asdhir, president and CEO of Excel Funds Management Inc. in Mississauga, Ont: "Staying fit allows your body to be at peak performance, which is necessary to be successful."

> Sufficient sleep
A study published by McKinsey Quarterly in February 2016 entitled "The organizational cost of insufficient sleep" found that executives who manage their sleep are far more productive than their "caffeinated and care worn" counterparts.

Sleep management, the study found, is part of a larger energy management challenge that includes other forms of mental relaxation, such as meditation, nutrition and physical activity.  

> Enhancing performance through exercise
You must make exercise part of your daily routine, says Pollock who stays in shape by playing soccer, skiing and running, among other activities.

Pollock recommends building exercise into your daily schedule of activities. "Exercise helps you maintain energy, strength and mental stamina," he says.

Asdhir says he applies the best strategies from the East and the West in his exercise schedule. He starts his day with yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. He does weightlifting later in the day.

"Meditation centers you and keeps you grounded and focused," Asdhir says. "Deep breathing keeps your organs healthy and vibrant."

Asdhir says staying fit helps him handle working long hours and deal with stress.  He advises that you stay fit by "finding what activities you like."

Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, combat disease and improve your mood.

See: Workout snacks: Doing it right

> Good eating habits
A "balanced regime" includes exercise and nutrition, Pollock says. Asdhir recommends reducing carbohydrates to a bare minimum and sticking to lean meats and vegetables. Avoid drinking alcohol, he says,  "unless socially necessary."

Asdhir supplements his diet with Eastern-based supplements such as aloe vera, turmeric, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper.

To maintain healthy eating habits, Pollock makes eating "a family affair." Planned family meals encourage adherence to a healthy diet.

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