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'Mens sana in corpore sano'

IN Latin, mens sana in corpore sano means "a healthy mind in a healthy body." A certified public accountant (CPA) cannot develop his or her mind without taking adequate care of the body. The development of both must go hand in hand.

During this very busy season, all CPAs are stressed out and burning the midnight oil doing audits, income taxes and meeting tax deadlines. Care and development of the body are more often than not neglected. If health issues crop up, we find ourselves shattered, life's zest is lost and the intellect crippled.

It is imperative that we maintain a balance between the physical and intellectual to live a happy life.

Exercise is encouraged. Engaging in sports develops a healthy body and a sound mind. Participating in sports tempers the ill effects of a stressful culture. Social, spiritual, emotional and psychological issues may also be addressed. Besides helping a CPA have a healthy body, sports teach discipline, obedience and leadership qualities.

During the tax season, many of us often say, "Our work is our priority." Clients demand that reports be submitted on time. Time is of the essence. We are pressured to work beyond 24/7. We spend sleepless nights and there is practically no time for us to exercise. Meals are even forgotten in the rush to meet deadlines.

Finding time to exercise and take healthy nourishment is essential. We have to schedule things and prioritize our life. Take time to take a rest to invigorate our minds and bodies, which will make us perform our best.

I have been a practicing CPA for the past three decades. Year in and year out, this has been my challenge. Working and being healthy at the same time is a difficult task but it must be done. In a few months, I will be 65 years young. I ask myself, "What if I didn't take care of my body? Can I still be practicing at this level at this time?"

The rigors of professional life and bringing up a family as a solo parent has taken its toll at times. However, having time to ponder and reflect on activities to perform better puts life in perspective. Being able to engage in sports has also enhanced other facets of life.

It has been a stressful life. Taking care of the body through a healthy lifestyle and activities has borne fruit. Aging gracefully is of utmost importance. Hopefully, with a healthy lifestyle, I can enjoy my senior years. To the young ones, take good care of yourselves. Remember mens sana in corpore sano.

"Health is wealth," it is said, so therefore, "health in mind and body is wealth." There is no substitute for being healthy. Let's bear in mind that physical activities and exercise are important in the overall mental development of a CPA. Remember that the time spent in sports or exercise will not be spent in vain. We won't be able to work when sick and our decision-making won't be optimal and may become error-prone.

My fellow CPAs, let's live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Christopher U. Ismael is the founding partner and CEO of Ismael and Co., CPAs. He is a member of the Association of CPAs in Public Practice. The opinion of the writer does not reflect in any way the opinions of these organizations.

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