6 health secrets from Arlene Dickinson

Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson has a penchant for running half-marathons’and taking care of her health. Find out how she does it

6 health secrets from Arlene Dickinson

Source: Best Health Magazine, October 2009

‘You don’t have to be cruel to be honest.’ That’s how Arlene Dickinson sums up her approach as a ‘dragon’ on CBC’s business reality show. The 20-year marketing veteran and CEO of Calgary-based Venture Communications prides herself on being tough but fair with the entrepreneurs pitching their products. ‘Telling someone their idea is bad is like telling them there’s spinach in their teeth’is it nicer to say nothing?’

The mother of four and grandmother of three confesses to having used her constant travel and busy workdays as excuses to avoid exercise. ‘Women tend to put everything else ahead of our own health,’ she says. ‘We start as martyrs, but we end up as burdens as we age.’ She now takes a no-excuses approach to her fitness and health.

1. Take control

‘My work was dictating my life: eating poorly, late dinners, not taking care of myself. It all led to added stress. Now I work with a trainer who crafts workouts I can do while I’m on the road.’

2. Be goal-oriented

‘Training to run my second half-marathon also helps me stay on track with my fitness goals.’

3. Find your motivators

‘I love clothes, and having them fit better inspires me to exercise. Plus, I can’t be a role model to my kids if I’m not looking after myself.’

4. Take your time

‘I don’t make snap decisions. An opportunity won’t go away tomorrow; even if it does, another will be there.’

5. Fine-tune as needed

‘I love investing in the entrepreneurs on Dragons’ Den. But I sometimes give people sound bites instead of deeper feedback. I’m working on that.’

6. Talk positively

‘I’m conscious of my own ‘self-talk.’ When I’m stressed, I’ll ask: What’s the worst that could happen, and how would I cope? Often if you tell yourself you can manage, you can.’

This article was originally titled "My Healthy Life," in the October 2009 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health.