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4 Key Drivers of Health

Health can mean a variety of things, depending on who you're asking. What you view as healthy may be different to what your friends, co-workers, and family members think.

You may think you don't need to exercise anymore once you reach a certain age and you just need to focus solely on your nutrition. Or, you may think the other way around, focusing all your attention on exercising and not considering nutrition as an important role in your health.

However, research has confirmed that any great length of inactivity as well as a diet full of fatty, sugary, processed foods can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many other health issues. You may be interested in knowing your health is based off of four simple principles of health.

What are the four key drivers of health?
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Knowledge
  • "eXercise Factor"

Creator of Get America Moving, Jim Kirwin, joins Dr. Mike to discuss what the four key drivers of health.
4 Key Drivers of Health
Featured Speaker:
Jim KirwanJim Kirwin is the founder and former CEO of TrySports and the creator of Get America Moving.

He came to the United States from Ireland in 2003 to set up TrySports, a specialty retail business focused on the aerobic activities of walking, running, swimming, cycling, fitness and triathlon. He stepped down as CEO of TrySports at the end of 2012; he is so concerned about the many health problems facing America that he is now on a mission to "Get America Moving."

Jim is so passionate about his new mission, that he has been on many television and radio shows including Fox News, Kron 4 and a five-part series on ABC.

His first book The eXercise Factor is now available and it shows you how to "Ease into the best shape of your life regardless of your age, weight or current fitness level."

Jim graduated from University College Dublin with a Business Degree and he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development [UK and Ireland]. He worked for eighteen years with Ireland's leading bank, Bank of Ireland, in a wide range of personnel management roles. After three years in London, he left the bank in 1990 to set up his first business, a successful personnel management consultancy, based in Dublin.

He did this for 12 years before moving to America to set up TrySports. He has completed four marathons, many triathlons and has many years coaching running, cross-country, track and field and triathlon.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Host: Dr. Mike Smith, MD
Guest: Jim Kirwin

Dr. Mike: So what do you think are the 4 key drivers of health and wellness? Well, my guest is Jim Kirwin and he has his 4 key drivers of health and we’re going to talk about that. Jim noticed that many Americans stop exercising after they reach their mid-thirties. I think that’s about right. This inactivity can lead to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. In his effort to get America moving his book The Exercise Factor, he puts and emphasis on the X in exercise, describes 4 key drivers of success to help his readers become fit and healthy. Jim, welcome to Healthy Talk.

Jim: Hi Dr. Mike, how are you?

Dr. Mike: I’m doing great. I always like to start off with my guest giving us a little background. What inspired you to write your book? Why are you focusing on exercise? Give my listeners a little tidbit of who you are Jim.

Jim: There are 2 main reasons really. The first one is, long term, I’m very personable and the second is much more recent, after arriving in America about 11 years ago. Very quickly, to go over the first one: I was 20 when my dad, who was 47 at the time, died very suddenly of a massive heart attack. I never saw that coming, it was a major shock to my system. The one thing I know, for sure, about my dad was that he didn’t exercise. He did retire from playing rugby when he was 32 and for the next 15 years barring the very odd walk and the occasional game of gold, that was it. That’s really, if you like, the primary motivating factor for me.

The second one is that I got involved in the Healthy Charleston Challenge, which is a fantastic program run by the medical university of South Carolina for over-wieght and obese folks. I spoke out and have indeed been speaking for the last 15 challenges. In researching for my talks I was really blown away by the problems, the health issues, facing America. You talked about obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. The list goes on. I believe that it is all underpinned by inactivity. I’m not saying inactivity is the only factor, but it is a major contributory factor to why we have so many health problems. That’s the second reason is that I want to get America moving. I want people to have a much better understanding of the benefits of exercise and the problems of inactivity.

Dr. Mike: So Jim, you noticed your dad stopped exercising at about 32, that’s when he quit rugby. My father quit exercising, probably in the mid 30’s. The most he did was he was our little league baseball coach. He would hit some fly balls to us, or something like that, that’s about it. Why is that? What’s so magic about age 30 , that we stop exercising. What are some of the obstacle that we are facing, maybe, in our 30s that are keeping us from exercising?

Dr. Mike: It looks like I might have lost him. We’re going to try to pick up Jim. I was asking Jim about what some of those obstacles for not exercising might be. While I’m waiting for Jim to come on, I think I might have some of my own thoughts on some of these obstacles. What happens in our 30s? For most of us, our careers start to take off. We’re putting in a lot of time in our 30’s. We’re moving up that corporate ladder. Maybe our careers are in the way. I understand that we’ve got Jim back now. Jim, since we lost you I was just giving my own little ideas about some of the obstacles people might face. What are some of your thoughts on some of these obstacles for why we don’t exercise?

Jim: There are a number and I list 13 in the back of the book. I think the biggest one for many people is that we’re too busy. We just have great difficulty finding the time to exercise. From my way of thinking, what needs to happen is that exercise has to become a high priority in life. You have to understand why it’s so important and if you do, then you’re much more likely to give it the time. If it’s a low priority, it gets put at the end of the list like all the other low priorities. It has to be a high priority.

Dr. Mike: It’s interesting that you say that. I like that answer because often when somebody tells you that they don’t exercise because they don’t have time, the answer they get is: “You need to make time.” It’s almost kind of a snippy remark. But that’s a true statement, though. Many people, especially in America, when you’re in your 30s and 40s you’re building your career. You’re working 10-12 hours a day. We are running out of time. What are some of the things that you like to teach people? How do I make it a priority? Do I need to exercise in the morning? Does that help people? How do I make it a priority?

Jim: What I would say is, people who have a good knowledge or a good understanding of this and who really enjoy their exercise have no trouble finding the time. So there’s an element of that. If you understand that exercise is good for you, what all the benefits are, and how it’s going to help you at work, how it’s going to help you be creative, be more productive, and improve your performance, we could co go and on about it. Then, all of a sudden, people will go: “Gosh, maybe I should be exercising.” It becomes a high priority. There are a lot of people who do exercise that don’t have the problem finding the time. I think it’s trying to move over into the group of people who have the more positive mindset, if you like.

Dr. Mike: You know what helps me, Jim? This is my own story. I hate gyms. Not people Jim’s, but gyms. I just can’t do that. I’ve never been somebody to go into a gym. It just seems like another job to me. For me, this is just what works for me; I make exercise more like play. I mentioned before, in another segment that I have a dog. She’s a border collie mix, she needs to run. I just go to the park and I play with her. That’s what works for me

Jim: Awesome. Exercise should be fun. You need to enjoy your time exercising. I’m with you on the gyms. I don’t particularly like them either. They have a place and sometimes, especially when the weather isn’t good they can fit in to your regiment. I like to get out. I like the outdoors, so I’m with you. Go for a walk with your dog. I like running, so I go for a run with the dog. There are lots of things that we can do: be with other people, build relationships that make our exercise fun and enjoyable rather than the chore that I think most people see it as.

Dr. Mike: Why don’t we do this? I think we’re on a couple of minutes left on the show. Let’s do this, Jim: Tell us what you think the 4 key drivers of health are. Just kind of state them 1, 2, 3, 4. Once we do that, once you get those four out, we’ll get your website branding. I know you have a special offer with your book. Then when we come back in the next segment, we can go a little more into the details of those 4 key drivers. What are Jim Kirwin’s, author of The Exercise Factor, what are your 4 key drivers?

Jim: Number 1, surprise, surprise, is exercise. Number 2 is nutrition. Number 3 is knowledge. Number 4 is what I call the X-factor, like the title of the book, the exercise factor.

Dr. Mike: Okay, we’ll go into those 4. Why don’t you go ahead and give us your website and tell us about your book a little bit and if there is any offer for the listeners.

Jim: The website is, very simply. The title of the book as I mentioned is The Exercise Factor and the tagline is very important. It’s: Ease into the best shape of your life, regardless of your age, your weight, or your current fitness level. I’m basically saying that this is for you, if you’re in one of those categories. If you’re feeling that you’re getting older, feeling you’re overweight, or maybe you’re currently out of shape. This is the solution. This is how you can do it. The book offer is, very simply, They can get the book, I will ship it to them, sign it immediately, free shipping, and there’s a free gift actually attached to it as well.

Dr. Mike: Jim, I went to your website and when we come back I’m going to ask you about this 30 day exercise challenge, we’ll go in to the details of your 4 key drivers, and then we’ll talk more specifically about the X-factor. This Healthy Talk on RadioMD, I’m Dr. Mike, and stay well.