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All in a Day's Workout

Despite busy schedules, some business people still find time to exercise. Six of them share their secrets.

(page 3 of 4)

Jay Morford,
50 vice president,
Hawaiian Memorial Life Plan

Jay Morford, who stopped drinking alcohol 17 years ago and hasn’t touched fast food in 10 years, rarely eats red meat, cheese or bread.

“My body is so in tune with what I eat that if I go off for a week, I will put on weight,” says the 5-foot-11 Morford, whose waist measured 46 inches when he weighed 270 pounds. He now wears a size-31 pants and is about 185 pounds.

Morford is just as focused when it comes to exercise. At 5 a.m. every day, he goes to 24 Hour Fitness for more than an hour of cardio, weightlifting, 1,500 stomach crunches and 50 push-ups. On business trips, he chooses hotels based on fitness amenities or proximity to 24 Hour Fitness locations.

“I’m in better shape now than I was at 25,” says Morford, who recently turned 50. Millions of people believe that their bodies inevitably weaken with age, he says. Morford wants to dispel that myth.

“Become the best that you can be, and believe in yourself,” he says. “You become what you think. If you are focused on good health and shape, you become that if you apply yourself.”

Ryan Yamauchi, 37
area manager, Evergreen Home Loans
“If I apply universally the lessons I learn at
the gym to my work, it’s a good model.”

Ryan Yamauchi nearly became a casualty of the nation’s credit crisis after two separate companies he managed – First Magnus Financial Corp. and IndyMac – closed their Hawaii branches in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

“I felt lost,” he recalls of the high-profile failures. “I was put in a position where I wasn’t in control of my destiny. There was so much chaos in my professional life that I needed to focus on somewhere else.”

That focus became his health, his wife, Jessica, and their two children. On weekends, Yamauchi coached his children’s soccer and basketball teams. He also spent many hours at the YWCA in downtown Honolulu, pushing physical limits to where he “couldn’t run or lift anymore.”

“Those became my highs,” he says.

Today, Yamauchi is the area manager of Evergreen Home Loans, a Seattle-based mortgage firm that opened in Hawaii in March. He plans to double employee numbers to 10 by the first quarter of 2010.

As he reflects on the past two years, Yamauchi compares physical fitness to business. Both require discipline, hard work and accountability. “If I apply universally the lessons I learn at the gym to my work, it’s a good model,” he says.

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