Jarrett Robertson: 5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Can Dramatically Improve Your Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine
17 min readNov 7, 2021

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Water Helps Energize Muscles — Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer. This goes for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be an athlete of any sort. We all have muscles, just some more than others. Regardless of who you are and how much muscle you have, you want them all to work and all to work at their highest potential. On the days when you’re hydrated properly and everything is “ticking”, guess what, you feel awesome.

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrett Robertson.

Jarrett Robertson is a former pro hockey player and physique competitor who continues to draw upon everything he learned about overall health and wellbeing to inform his approach to life. The Brown University graduate has been a financial adviser for more than a decade and continues to run his firm in Toronto, Ontario. He is also a consultant at Canada Life. With Make It A Great Day, he brings his message to the masses, helping more people achieve greater success through mastering their own human potential. Robertson strives every day to project positivity and aims to help motivate others to do the same by reminding us that, “Life is not too short, but life is extremely valuable. Make it a great day!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

I grew up in Kingston, Ontario where hockey was my ultimate dream. I was extremely fortunate that my talent and hard work earned me a scholarship to the Ivy League where I played hockey for the Brown University Bears. After graduating in 2006, before transitioning into the financial services industry, I spent two and half years playing semi-pro hockey throughout the U.S trying to make the big leagues. Shortly after my career in hockey was over and I “hung up the skates”, I was lucky to connect with an old friend who helped get me involved in the fitness industry. It’s from here where I learned so much about overall health and wellbeing and it’s those things that have been paramount in my success both personally and professionally.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Interesting would certainly be a subjective opinion in this case, so, for me, the most interesting thing that has happened — or I’ll say has unfolded — over the course of my career is that I have become known as the “always positive” person or the “rainbows and butterflies” guy, which has allowed me to be more authentic. Listen, I understand and appreciate that life is not always fair, and I have some dark times in my life as well, but I’ve learned and researched ways to improve my situation so that I can get back to being happy, enjoying the little things, and helping other people.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

When I was recording my book for Audible, I could have sworn to you that I knew how to read. Pronunciation was one hell of a lesson. When we read in our minds or even if we read to ourselves, we glance over words that make sense in our head even though we may not say them properly (but we think we do). We read it, got it, understood and moved on. But, when you are reading to an audience and suddenly the sentence “I really encourage everyone to make themselves laugh in day” becomes “Hi relay courage everyone to make themselves laughing today “, you have a problem. I had to listen and edit my own recordings so many times. It was very humbling. It has made me extremely aware to slow down and make sure that I speak clearly and annunciate.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

What I found is that, like anything in life, you can research more, dig deeper, go further, climb higher, etc., but what I have learned is that it’s the littlest things that we can do every day that will actually help get us started. The prologue, if you will. People do not plan on failing but people do fail to plan. I help motivate people by always looking for a solution on how to achieve success or solve a problem and always being positive. Life is not too short but life is extremely valuable.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This is a loaded question! I feel if I leave anyone out, I’ll never hear the end of it. If I’m being honest, there are many people. From friends, to colleagues, to teammates, to family. Here is what I’ll say. I have a laundry list of people that come to mind who, I feel, have helped in this part of my journey. Those are the people that I call or text on a regular basis, people that make me laugh, who listen, that push me and most of all that I sincerely feel, believe in me.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I’ll give you the number 1 thing without a doubt in mind and that is people think they need to climb a mountain. I’m telling you, all you need to do is take a sip of water. Tie your shoes and take a step forward, don’t worry about finishing the marathon. The challenge is that taking a sip of water and tying your shoes is not celebrated. It is mundane, it’s boring, it’s nothing new or innovative. Do you have any idea why drinking water is so important and what it’s doing for you? Have you learned why sleep is the single most important and most valuable investment in your lifetime? People make outrageous goals, as I did and still do every day (I am a dreamer) but fail to recognize that the smallest victories are incredible and are what will get you to where you want to go (i.e.: the peak of the mountain or completing the marathon)

Social media is the best and it can be the worst. You need to be very strong mentally to understand social media and the effects it has on you. Sure, people want to diet, work out, eat less sugar, and so on. Then they go on social media, realize they are not “as good” as the snapshot-moment-in-time post they are looking at and their motivation plummets. What people are unaware of is that they are being chemically influenced. Cortisol increases, fear of failure sets in, self-doubt, the list goes on. Our mind and body will do everything it can to protect us so when people are comparing themselves to the world by scrolling through snapshots of a moment in time, they will create their own blockages and it will prevent them from ever starting, let alone, continuing.

People network. People are very uncomfortable going outside of the “norm”. If none of your friends, colleagues, peers, etc. exercised, went to the gym, ate healthy, or trained, chances are you’re not going to either. Think about what you might miss while you’re at the gym or sleeping (taking care of yourself) when everyone else around you is doing the opposite. Even if it’s small (and mundane), you must be the change.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

  1. Take a walk to see green

Research shows that by walking outdoors, in nature, you can de-activate the default mode network (DMN) in your brain. This allows you to be in the moment. The DMN is responsible for what I call scatter brain. If we don’t give our mind direction, by default it will think about problems from the past (things that are over), think about the future (things that haven’t even happened yet) or focus on you (i.e.: I’m not good enough, what do they think about me, etc). After reading this, I’m willing to bet people will catch themselves “thinking” a lot and hopefully will remember this little tidbit on the DMN. It’s your brain doing what it does best…working (and looking for some direction). Take 15 minutes to go for a stroll outside and you’ll find yourself (and your mind) in a much better state.

2. Make yourself laugh

Next time you’re in the car or somewhere by yourself, try laughing. You don’t have to think of anything funny just start laughing. If you do it a few times, you will actually start laughing at yourself and by getting to this point, you will release feel-good brain chemicals. Until now, scientists hadn’t proven that — like exercise and other activities — laughing causes a release of so-called endorphins. If making yourself laugh is tough, find a video on Youtube or carry a picture with you that make you laugh. By laughing before you start your day, workout, a meeting, an activity, or whatever it may be, you’re setting yourself up to feel awesome (proven by science).

Short-term benefits:

  • Stimulate organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. When a child hurts himself, what does every parent try to do? Make him laugh!
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.

3. Drink water

This is not groundbreaking news. You do not need a physician, nutritionist or even Dr. Oz to tell you that your body and system need water. Do you know that, as humans, we are the only mammals to drink milk from another animal? Plus, we are the only ones that drink it as a fluid source after nursing from the mother. In the wild, as soon as a calf, cub, fawn, colt, even a puppy or kitten, are strong enough to be on their own and no longer need their mother’s milk for food; they only drink water.

In a large study of adults of all ages and both sexes, the adult human body averaged ~65% water

Three reasons WHY it’s important to drink more water (I hope you are already drinking some)

  • Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids

The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. This is everything our bodies need to do in a day. Good Lord, if this is the only reason you drink more water, you’re making it a great day!

  • Water Helps Energize Muscles

Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer. This goes for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be an athlete of any sort. We all have muscles, just some more than others. Regardless of who you are and how much muscle you have, you want them all to work and all to work at their highest potential. On the days when you’re hydrated properly and everything is “ticking”, guess what, you feel awesome.

  • Water Helps Your Kidneys

Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate. Toxins can lead to myriad health problems. The quicker I can help process the elimination of toxins and waste, the happier (and healthier) I am and you will be too.

4. No elevators and park far away

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trekking up and down 30 flights of stairs on any given day (my coach more than ensures I hit my recommended “floor” count in the vast majority of my programs so I’m all good in that department). Also, I’m not just trying to hit the daily recommended step count of 10,000. For me, the whole idea of parking a little farther away and taking the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator is for the simple fact that I can. How many people in your life or people do you see, in general, that need the extra help; whether it is old age, an injury or simple laziness? Trust me, one day that will be me (and it’ll be you too). I will need help, I will need to park a little closer and I’ll 100% need to rely on elevators (for the record, I don’t ever plan on being lazy), but today I choose to walk those stairs and take an extra 15–30 seconds (literally) to park a little farther away because I can. How many times have you heard “don’t take the little things for granted?” from someone who has been struck with a disability (short or long term), an illness or even worse, a tragedy? Listen, I’m not here to preach about how wonderful life is and that our world is made up of rainbows and butterflies; the purpose of my book and my messages is to give you a few small suggestions on the littlest things you can do that, in my opinion, will make you feel awesome. Do the things you can do because you can! One of my favorite quotes:

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. You must be the change you want to see in the world” ~ Gandhi

5. 20 minutes as hard as you can go

If you have never heard or read about endorphins, you’re missing out. We have all seen those infomercials on how to get fit in three minutes a day or something ridiculous like that ,and I don’t intend to challenge those theories (although you can well imagine what I think about them). When I say 20 minutes, I quite literally mean 20 minutes. From the time you sit on the bike, go for a walk/jog, step up on the stepmill or sit down in the rower, 20 minutes later, you’re all done. The catch here is “as hard as you can go” and, no, not for the entire 20 minutes. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a widely adopted method of training for high level athletes, extreme weight loss and overall health and well being. I’m not going to get into the science of HIIT and I’m not here for a debate; once again, this is me sharing with you another way that you can feel awesome. You’re probably familiar with the term “runner’s high,” which refers to the euphoric feeling one sometimes gets when exercising. Researchers have found that light-to-moderate weight training or cardiovascular exercise doesn’t produce endorphins, only heavy weights or training that incorporates sprinting or other anaerobic exertion. When your body crosses over from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, it’s suddenly operating without enough oxygen to satisfy the muscles and cells screaming out for it. This is when the “runner’s high” occurs. I love it! Work your ass off and not only look incredible, which is why the vast majority of people work out, but also feel incredible because of the rush you’ll get from your very own stash of feel good drugs hidden deep inside your body and at your disposal. You just have to go and get them! So what you are waiting for!? Don’t hope for a great day, take control of your own mood, general well being and make it a great day. Crush yourself for 20 minutes (HIIT) and I promise you, you will feel awesome!

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

To be honest, I always looked at weight loss and the “vanity” appearance as a side effect. If you train or exercise, you’ll feel great and people who feel great, look great! There are a plethora of benefits to exercise and they can all be researched so I’ll give you three that might not be at the top of the algorithms.

  1. I have a higher tolerance for myself, my wife and my kids. On the days I don’t train or exercise, I find those are the days I get the most irritated. You know those days when the smallest things just feel like nails on a chalkboard? Well, guess what, you’re human and it happens to everyone. Exercise helps with that!
  2. I love deeper. This piggy backs off #1. If I’m in a better state both mentally and physically, I can focus on the love I have for not only my wife, my kids, and myself, but also for my business, my clients, society, my friends and family.
  3. Lower stress. Throughout the day, stress naturally builds up. Good or fun stress (rushing to catch a plane to go on vacation — tough to call that one bad) and perhaps not so good or fun (loosing a client/deal or the biggie, money stress). Stress releases cortisol in the body and can be harmful if you’re not aware. The goal is for cortisol to be in and out of your body as quickly as possible. Exercise is one way to help and will result in lower stress. You and I both know that on the days you have lower stress, you are a better human.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

  1. The one you like. Clearly this is vague and I appreciate that. If I give you an exercise or idea that I feel is critical but you don’t like, there is absolutely no chance you stick to it. You know what exercise is because it’s as simple as going for a walk. It’s critical that you find something you enjoy. Do that!
  2. Any. Again, vague but critical. If you want to do jumping jacks all day long, super! If you want to lift the heaviest weights and crush cardio, amazing! If you always wanted to learn how to skate or shoot hoops, do it! Any exercise is better than the exercise you’re not doing. What I will promise you is that once you find Any exercise that You Like, it will lead to more and ultimately a better overall you!
  3. Consistency. I want people to exercise consistently. I talk about this in more detail in my book. Once a day, once a week, I don’t care. Achieve consistency with any exercise that you enjoy and then add from there. Achieve consistency again with your new regime and add from there. Psychoanalysts say that only 8% of people follow through on their New Year’s resolutions; and that, by far, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to get in better shape, lose weight, get healthier, and live a better life. How about this? How about I give you an alternative goal that will allow you guaranteed success. It is quite literally the very first goal my coach and trainer gave to me: consistency.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

I’ve read all of his books but the one that has had the biggest impact (so far) is The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. I always wanted to win (and still do). This book opened my mind to understanding that winning is impossible in the most important areas of my life. I cannot win at being a Father. I cannot win at marriage or win at business. I can perpetuate the game as these things will continue forever (ie: parenting, marriage, business). The most important thing is that I continue to evolve, adapt and improve as a business owner, father, spouse, colleague, friend, etc., and ultimately pass on that legacy.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

You would have to agree that within the last 20 months we, somehow, collectively as a society started wearing masks. Many opinions have stemmed from this movement but none-the-less, masks are being worn more than they ever have in the past. So, how do we as a society “make” everyone exercise for 20 minutes a day? A walk, a run, some body weight movements, it does not have to be a life altering event. It’s free and accessible to everyone. How about you have you to help a stranger once a day. Maybe it’s holding the door (and saying hello) or paying someone a compliment, but you have to make an effort once a day. Again, easy, free to do, and accessible to everyone. The health benefits (scientifically and chemically proven) that come from such small acts of kindness and/or moving your body in a day are monumental. There is nothing controversial about being nice or helping others and there is nothing controversial about spending 20 minutes a day taking care of your physical health. How do we do that?

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Life is not too short but life is extremely valuable”

I felt the old adage of “Life is too short” was deflating, is deflating. I certainly don’t want life to be short, do you?

What if I asked you to go walk for two days straight? You would think I’m crazy, that’s “forever”. Life is supposed to last 80–90 years (actuarily speaking). How is that short? However, what we do see is that life is not always fair and things happen hence why “life is extremely valuable”.

One other quote I would love to share that I came across while I was completing this interview for Authority, and that I absolutely love:

“My goal in life is to die young…as late as possible”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

Keanu Reeves. I keep coming across his story and I’m so curious to learn more from him and about him. I’m confident the stories are true, but we all know there is always more. Clearly, he has nothing to prove to anyone and I’m not looking to “interview” him. I love being around and meeting people who want to help others and make this world a better place.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

@_makeitagreatday

www.makeitagreatday.ca

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.