She thought she was healthy — she certainly looked and felt it, putting in long days as a powerful executive in Orlando, Florida. When she had the chance to try out some cutting-edge new imaging equipment at Florida Hospital, Ann Sonntag thought it would be a fun chance to look at her heart and to bond with friends. Certainly not a life-changing event.
So when doctors told her that that same equipment had identified heart disease, Ann Sonntag was shocked. As publisher of the Orlando Business Journal, Sonntag was active, engaged and very busy. Certainly, she didn’t feel any symptoms of the potentially deadly diagnosis, but she knew she needed to make some immediate changes.
“There is a deadline every single moment in our business, and it does create stress — at times, extreme stress,” says Sonntag. “At times we’re not even aware of the toll it’s taking.”
For Sonntag, that example started with a few small steps. She began walking on the treadmill, carving out time in her daily schedule to log four miles and break a sweat. Sonntag says it’s crucial that other executives show their friends and employees that despite the challenges we all face with limited time and energy, moving just a few minutes a day can make a difference. “I feel like the best thing I can do is lead by example. Exercise not only was a lifesaver for me, it went beyond that and I believe it’s saving the lives of other people now,” Sonntag insists.
Join Ann Sonntag in the Healthy 100 Central Florida Executive Challenge!