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At the age of 70, Bill is a truly inspiring force of nature. With an active lifestyle that includes skiing, cycling, open water swimming, walking, and golf, he remains unstoppable. In 2023, he even conquered Everest Base Camp, proving that age is just a number. With the unwavering support of a highly skilled preventive healthcare team, Bill embraces this phase of life to ensure both his mind and body are well cared for.

Medical experts wholeheartedly endorse Bill’s highly active lifestyle as a key strategy for longevity. Staying active not only reduces the risks of many debilitating diseases, but it also slows down their progression if we do fall ill. Regular exercise is powerful medicine. It is a very protective lifestyle factor that helps offset the impact of aging for many diseases.  Exercise not only extends lifespan, but also “health span” – the number of years we can fully enjoy life without the burden of disease or compromised mobility. Harrison Healthcare fully understands the importance of exercise for longevity and overall wellness, which is why exercise physiology is a fundamental component of its programming.

So, what’s Bill’s secret to staying motivated? He attributes it to three key factors: the influence of his parents; the power of community; and the unwavering support of prevention-focused healthcare providers that have been there for him since he began annual executive health assessments back in the 1990s.

“Diabetes runs in my family, including two immediate relatives, so I knew keeping my weight and blood sugar in check needed to be a top priority,” says Bill.

Having a detailed health history is vital information that the team at Harrison uses in their care model.

“Knowing your health history and that of your family provides us with incredible information that can help us zero in on where we need to focus. It tells us what tests we should run, what requires additional monitoring, and what nuanced changes in a client’s health we should be on the lookout for. It’s a key factor in precision medicine,” says Bill’s physician, Dr. Beth Donaldson.

As an engineer, Bill values having access to health data and a dedicated care team that helps him track important factors in preventing diabetes, achieve his health and wellness goals, and assist him in maintaining an active lifestyle.

Bill will be the first to admit that while very active, he does enjoy food in generous portions. In other words, he works to find the right balance that allows him to live a life he enjoys without sacrificing his health.

“When you’re in Rome, you eat the pizza and get extra dessert. The important thing is to always get back on track.”

Bill starts fresh again and gets advice and additional motivation from his Harrison Registered Dietitian, Dayna Zarn.

“Bill enjoys good food but is also conscious of what he consumes to maintain a healthy body weight. We’ve worked on lowering red meat intake to reduce LDL cholesterol while keeping protein intake high. We’ve also focused on being mindful of when to consume carbs for performance and not weight gain. He takes this information and implements it, and then we meet again to optimize further,” says Dayna.

He carries that same attitude and perseverance into his sports, especially in the face of injuries. In recent years, Bill has had at least two serious ski accidents that landed him in the hospital.

“I fractured my vertebrae while skiing. To my amazement, shortly after arriving at the hospital, I got a call from Dr. Beth (Donaldson). What doctor does that? She is always on top of things!”

Dr. Donaldson was there every step of the way as he recovered. He acknowledged and valued her enthusiasm for partnering with healthcare providers outside of the Harrison Team, which included Bill’s physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, and trainer, who all worked together to restore Bill to his former self. Dr. Donaldson strives to maintain an open dialogue with outside professionals, ensuring each discipline is complementing the others, and that no aspect of care or recovery is overlooked.

With the care and support from his Harrison team, along with a network of expert providers and his own commitment to well-being, his 2023 recovery progressed rapidly. He went from being unable to walk, to conquering Everest Base Camp in just 4 weeks.

While others may have let that accident be the end of a trip like that, Bill didn’t give up. For this mindset, he credits his parents who instilled in him a joy for life, an energy for challenge, and unwavering perseverance in the face of obstacles. When he thinks of what his parent’s faced in their generation, he can’t imagine feeling anything but gratitude for the life he has and that helps fuel his perseverance when times are tough.

“It’s in my DNA. My mother used to tell me that as a baby I would wake up laughing. I still feel that way now. I wake up happy and make a conscious choice every day to be that way.”

There’s no doubt his attitude has served him well. He’s passed this same outlook onto his three sons who are in their 30s and who strive to take care of their health the way their parents do. Without a doubt, this is a valuable model of health to pass along to your children.

The final factor for Bill’s motivation is community and friendships. He finds that exercising is much more enjoyable when he does it with friends and cherishes the communities he has built while doing it. Whether it be Ironman triathlons, bike touring, or open water swimming he always finds exercise easier to do with a group. His wife is also a great partner in fitness. They have been on several international biking adventures through Vietnam, Europe, and many parts of Canada. This support from family and community has made a big difference for him.

When asked what he would tell others to help motivate them to get active, Bill says:

“Find like-minded people who want to stay active and challenge each other. Build a community. Grab a coffee after your swim, bike, run, whatever it is and get to know them. It makes it all so much more enjoyable.”

Bill has discovered a great recipe for longevity and overall wellness. The key ingredients are a positive outlook, friendships, community, an active lifestyle, and a knowledgeable team providing prevention-focused healthcare. Bill is an inspiring man, and Harrison Healthcare feels privileged to be part of his adventurous life experience.

Bill at Everest Base Camp 2023


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