Brain Health

Age-Proofing your body

I came across a TV show called Body & Brain Overhaul and found it full of great information to help you become fitter and healthier. Here is the summary of key points I found from this show. This episode was focused on Age-proofing your body & brain. The 2 main presenters are Dr Roy Sugarman PhD (brain health expert) and Paul Taylor (exercise physiologist and nutritionist).

7 brain and body boosters

  1. Know it (bio age, brain assessment, got to know it before you can change it)
  2. Train it (exercise for both the body and the brain is essential)
  3. Defend it (against lack of sleep, drugs, alcohol and tobacco)
  4. Befriend it (do nice things for the brain)
  5. Feed it
  6. Manage it (resilience)
  7. Change it (self-belief)

According to Dr Roy Sugarman, his best tip for aging and the brain: Befriend it, socialising it. “As you get older if you want to build resilience and you want to age nicely, you’ve got to have close relationships, meaningful relationships, lots of people“. Paul Taylor chooses the Train it option, relating it to how the body responds extremely well to the ‘use it or lose it’ principle, and it applies equally well to the brain.


Systemic inflammation (at the cellular level) is the trigger for all chronic diseases. Triggers include stress, pollution, smoking, too much omega 6 and too little omega 3, too much sugar, wrong types of food, and critically, being overweight – fat produces it’s own chemical molecules that trigger inflammation. Also, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you have much more inflammation in your body. If you adopt an unhealthy lifestyle, unfit and overweight, you’re slowly killing yourself through systemic (cellular) inflammation.

Before they die, cells replicate (make a copy of themselves containing the DNA). One of the key components in this process is the telomere, which gets a little shorter each time the cell divides. If your lifestyle is poor or you’re unhealthy, each time the cell divides it takes more off the telomere – when the telomere is gone, the cell can no longer divide, it dies and we die. We have to stop this process of look after ourselves through lifestyle!

It’s important to look after our cells!


If you ignore your emotions, the toxicity of what’s happening for you in your life, never recovering, always on the treadmill, puts a nice thick band of cortisol-based fat on your stomach, which feeds c-reactor proteins to your brain, all these toxins continuously throughout your life: that’s aging; that’s death.

Formula to be a peak performer

Lastly, there was an interview with the AFL Legendary coach, Tommy Hafey. Here are his 4D’s to becoming a peak performer:

  1. Desire;
  2. Dedication (practicing, working on sills, updating yourself);
  3. Determination (never giving up);
  4. Discipline

= Destiny

My notes

I found this series to be quite straightforward without too much hype, and reinforces many of the reasons why I started MyProactiveLife. The information presented is easy to understand and the show does not come over as being preachy. The aim of the show was to take 4 normal, but different people and give them an overhaul. If you get a chance to watch one or more of the episodes, I recommend you do as I’m sure you can get quite a lot out of it!

Exercise Health Personal Development Ramblings

It's a journey, not a destination!

This is a minor rant, so be warned! 🙂

I’ve had enough of people looking at health & fitness the wrong way.

Fitness (and that dreaded hanger-on “Diet” and his ugly sister “Weight Loss”) are not one-off things you ‘do’!

  • Right now your fitness level is your fitness level. It can be better and it can be worse – it’s not fixed
  • Your diet is your diet – whatever you eat today is your diet. if you eat differently tomorrow that becomes your diet – it’s not fixed
  • Weight Loss is the result of taking other courses of action (such as increasing your exercise and changing your diet)

Many people see fitness/diet/weight loss as a one-off, thinking “once it’s done I’ll be awesome”, and then they can stop. I’m the bearer of a wake-up call to let people know that all of these are part of a journey, not a destination! Here’s the simplest way I can put this: Focus on becoming fitter. Do this through:

  1. More exercise and
  2. Eating better (note I did not say eat less…there’s a difference)

Focus on the act of becoming fitter! With this, you will need to change your diet; weight loss will happen.

Cycling does something great for me, and when I miss out, I feel bad (not for missing the cycling, BUT for missing out on the benefits – It relieves stress and makes me clearer in my thoughts and more resilient when things go wrong). It’s winter time here and getting out on the bike is hard(er) to do. I know I need the exercise in my week to keep me balanced! Make Fitness your focus through exercise and changing your diet and your journey will be more successful (I know, because this is what I have done!) 🙂

What are your thoughts on Fitness, Diet and Weight Loss?



For those that don’t know, I am very passionate about donating blood, simply because I know the benefits it provides and know that it’s a very small imposition on me to donate something which I have plenty to give. I recently received a medal for passing 50 donations (of whole blood – Apheresis donors can donate many more times per year) and recently made donation #57.

I believe that anyone who can donate blood, should donate blood.

However, I do understand there are many reasons why people don’t: some are medical, some are pathological. Consider the rise of cancers in the world today – more than a third of donated blood is used to help cancer patients. Do you know of anyone who has or has beaten cancer? I have heard many stories where people donate blood to help out a family member undergoing surgery, however your blood can also be used to help other people along the way. I like to look at people as I walk down the street and wonder if I’ve helped them in some small way. You can read the stories of many people who rely on blood donations, such as Georgio, Jai, Marnie or Sophia (in their own way these people have their own Inner Story)

Where does my donated blood go?

My Special Blood.
However, I have something special in my blood that I’d like to tell you about. I make regular donations 4 times a year like most others, but my blood is not used for transfusions. I am a member of the Red Panel cell donors, and in order to understand what this means, I refer you to an explanation from the Manager of the Red Cell Reference Laboratory:

The Panel is a project that has been in operation for over 20 years and continues with the support of special donors like Andrew. We currently provide three types of panels – Abtectcell II, Abtectcell III and the Phenocell A panel. Andrew is a part of the Phenocell A panel. The project involves the collection of donations which are sent to the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Melbourne, where they are bottled and packaged. The product is then sent to hospital laboratories all over Australia and used to identify irregular red cell antibodies found in pregnant women and in patients requiring transfusion. By identifying such antibodies, we are able to give a patient blood which is compatible for transfusion.
Donors are selected to join this program based on their extended red cell phenotype. The blood groups of all of the donors in this program need to complement each other, and together they must cover all the blood groups that can cause transfusion problems.

Andrew’s extended red cell phenotype is:Group O; cDe, C-, E-, CW-; K-, k+, Kp(a-b+); Fy(a-b+); Jk(a+b-); M+, N+, S+, s+; P1-; Le(a-b+); Lu(a-b+); Co(a+b-)

Andrew’s Rhesus phenotype is found in just 2% of the population. When combined with his antigen negative status of some of the other blood groups, this makes him an especially valuable member of our program.

Why am I telling you this? In some small way it makes me feel special to know my blood is used in a way to ensure other units of blood are compatible before donation. You could say with the special bits in it (in no way am I going to use the language from the above text as I am not an expert and don’t claim to be) my blood is an enabler – in a way, similar to my view on life – to be an enabler to help others achieve their goals.

Perhaps you have something special in your blood and don’t yet know it? Let me know if you have any questions about donating blood by leaving comments below! (Please Note: I am passionate about donating blood but am not affiliated with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service)


Mid-week exercises to keep me healthy

I signed up for a Soccerfit exercise session in that went for 1 hour a weeknight for 8 weeks through Feb & March. I really enjoyed it, and it prevented me from sitting ‘idle’ at least one night per week! Since it ended, I’ve lapsed into a non-exercise routine…and with the temperature dropping, exercise at night seems to be a silly thing to do…in the cold.

Well, in order to keep up the momentum, I’ve signed up for another nightly session of exercise…but this time 2 nights a week! (Because I must enjoy it – others will think otherwise! 🙂

The session is called “Aerobic Kickboxing Fitness” and is run through the St George & Sutherland Community College. It reads: “Join our unique and motivating classes using Martial Arts techniques. Overall body shaping and fat burning, great cardiovascular workout. Non-contact Kickboxing moves with the energy and vigour of an aerobic class. Great motivating music. For all ages and fitness levels.” (taken from:

Bring it on! 🙂