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    January 9th, 2012

    ♬ It would sure do me good, to do you good. Let me help …♬

    Music, Lyrics and recorded by Billy Swan.


    Dave and Lauren hiking in Banff

    Dave and Lauren hiking in Banff

    The Canadian Health Measures Survey, the most comprehensive survey ever conducted in Canada has recently found:

    “That fitness levels of children and youth have declined significantly since 1981, regardless of age or sex. Fitness levels of adults have also declined, particularly among younger adults.”

    A prominent Canadian researcher on obesity has stated that the figures in the CHMS study point to a country in crisis:

    “Well, if you look at those numbers I’d be very surprised to see what actually qualifies as a national crisis if this does not,” said Dr. Arya Sharma, Chair of Obesity Studies at the University of Alberta and scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network.

    Further, the Canadian Press, reporting on this survey, stated:

    “The survey suggests the proportion of Canadians with dangerously large waists went to 21 per cent from five per cent among men, and to 31 per cent from six per cent among women.”

    While it is a common point of pride among Canadians that we are fitter (and less obese) than our American neighbours, the CHMS study has placed a large dent in that myth:

    “The average BMI [Body Mass Index] for Canadian children was similar to that of children in the United States.”

    So the question is, what does all this have to do with practice management? Napoleon Hill once said: “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”

    If we have a crisis of fitness, particularly among our children, then the greatest gift we can give to our children is not a trust and large inheritance, but rather the life skills of fitness and health. This is the start of the New Year (at least when this column was written) and a time to set and follow through on resolutions. We can take our kids out for ski days (downhill and cross-country) together, go out to the pool and do lengths, head out the door and go for a walk, play hoops together, go for runs together and much more. The education system in B.C. has a relatively new initiative:“Daily Physical Activity” (DPA) among children. This initiative needs reinforcement from parents. After all, we all know the lessons of the maxim: “Children Learn What They Live.”

    In an article: “Show, Don’t Tell! Five Ways to Help Your Kid Get Fit”, it is stated:

    “The objective: to show kids how much fun fitness can be. You can – and should – take the same approach at home. ‘Making sure your kids enjoy being active is the key to keeping them healthy for life,’ says FitSchools adviser Jim Liston, C.S.C.S. ‘But you may have to do the opposite of your first instinct.’ How so? See for yourself by following Liston’s five new rules of kids’ fitness.”

    What are the five new rules?

    1. Don’t compare your kids with others
    2. Never reward kids with food
    3. Know when to praise
    4. Instruct by showing, not telling
    5. Remember to keep play fun (you can read more at:

    The leadership that we show daily in our practices and among our clients also needs to be demonstrated to our children, and not just by putting in endless hours at our desks.

    Being the best in B.C. has many facets and meanings. Doing good for others and in the process, doing “good” for ourselves, is rewarding. Besides, “Best Dad or Best Mom” sounds like a pretty good title to me.

    (This post was originally written for the Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia Branch’s newsletter “BarTalk” in the column “PracticeTalk”).

    This entry was posted on Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 2:00 am and is filed under Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Leadership and Strategic Planning, personal focus and renewal, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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