We chatted with Toronto Maple Leafs legend Darryl Sittler, who played with the Leafs for 12 out of his 15 NHL seasons. Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989, Sittler is the only player in the NHL history to score 10 points in a single game.
As a former professional athlete, what do you think is the key to healthy aging?
Being proactive with your health is everything. When I retired from hockey at a young age, I tried to stay engaged with my health, fitness, and diet. This allowed me to stay active, and motivated, and to push myself to achieve greatness in everyday life. The way I think about it is if you sit on the sidelines and let life pass you by, your mental and physical health starts to
deteriorate. You must live each day to the fullest and as you age, start new benchmarks to achieve your goals. Being proactive in your prime is the key to healthy aging.
To maintain a healthy brain, particularly when getting older, it’s important to keep your mind stimulated and active.
Given your passion for brain health, why is it important to you and what are your brain health tips?
I was selected to be the ambassador for the Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s initiative. There, I work together with fellow NHL alumni to raise awareness about brain health and aging. Our collaborative mission is to help support research, education, care, and innovation in the fields of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. If you have a family history of diseases, be proactive with this information and make sure that you’re taking the appropriate precautions to ensure you’re staying on top of your brain health. To maintain a healthy brain, particularly when getting older, it’s important to keep your mind stimulated and active.
Amidst your busy daily life, how do you stay motivated?
Your life isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s the real thing. When you get up in the morning, you have the choice to walk down the right path. You have the choice to get help if you’re feeling down. You have the choice to engage with a healthy lifestyle. You have the choice to put a smile on your face and stay positive even when life gets you down. I choose this path for my friends and family. It motivates me to have positive relationships with my loved ones and the best gift I can give them in return is my health. Your health should always be a priority. My health ensures that I maintain wonderful relationships with my kids, wife, grandchildren, and friends. I will always
choose a healthy path and I encourage everyone to do the same.