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From the desk of Coach James

How beating the wake-up call could save your life.

In a recent article I was reading on a train, a lady who had overcome cancer said that getting cancer was the best thing to happened to her. It made her reevaluate her life and mend some of her bad habits, leading to her taking better care of herself.

From my own experience I know I would not have gotten interested, to the extent I am now, in health and wellbeing, had my life not been destroyed first – and then searching for ways to put it back together again, which has now become a lifelong passion and career for me.

Why is it people often don't start embracing life, or looking after their health, until catastrophe strikes? Prevention is certainly better than cure; let the simple example of going to the dentist reiterate that point for you: if you'd cleaned your teeth better, that filling may not have been necessary – the trauma of the drill, and the cost of the torture.

In today's world, and in tomorrow's, things are speeding up, costing more, resources are being drained, and man is being expected to work longer hours to keep up with production. Living longer sounds lovely, and it's a sign that we are progressing as a species, that life expectancy has increased over the years, but has the quality of life in those extra years also gone up?

Do you really want to live longer if you don't have good health to enable you to enjoy and live life as you'd like? If you take care of yourself now, rather than later you'll thank yourself in the long run. Being 80 but not able to spend time with your grandchildren because you're hooked up to a machine in hospital, how will that feel; the thought of, if only I had taken better care of myself when I was younger.

The aim of life should really be about living in peak condition, yet everybody is so consumed by trying to keep up with the Jones, and live in a nice house and drive an expensive car. What is that pretense costing you; if you are more concerned about taking better care of your materialistic gain, rather than yourself?

Not everyone is going to get a wake-up call, and that's okay if living mediocre is okay to you. Not everyone wants to be a fitness magazine cover star – and not everyone will – but everyone should want to feel their best and live their greatness. If you wait for a wake-up call, it may be too late for you, it's far easier to take care of what you've got, rather than try and fix something that cannot be fixed once it's worn out.

Society has become so dependent on running to the doctor, to make them better that the doctor doesn't really know what to do because she's so overwhelmed by sick people. What's wrong with taking personal responsibility these days; it's not that hard to take better care of yourself – sometimes you just need someone to show you how.

Over the years of putting my life back together, I've learnt a lot about health and wellbeing. I want to show people, just like you, how to be the best version of yourself, how to maintain good health, in mind and body. You don't need to wait for a catastrophic wake-up call before you decide to take better care of yourself, now is the perfect time to start. It's like what they say on an aircraft, "Please fit your own oxygen mask before helping others". If you're suffering ill health, you aren't in the best state to help others.

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