June 8, 2016
BE Modern Man: Meet ‘Mr. Optimal Wellness’ Dr. Ivan Hernandez
Profession: Physical Therapist
One Word That Describes You: Resilient
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
Being one of the men chosen to be the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction is a great honor. This is one of the highest distinctions I’ve received, which allows me to share my story and inspire other men around the world. It gives others hope and the understanding of resilience. It challenges men to be better, to be wiser, to live healthier, and to see the silver lining at the end of any tragedy or setback. Black Enterprise has consistently given men of color a voice, and I am honored to serve as one of those voices.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Recently, I suffered a near death experience. I had a heart attack at the age of 38, when I believed I was a pillar of health. Although I was at six percent body fat and a fitness advocate, I was also in an extreme state of stress both professionally and personally. I discovered my wife of 12 years was cheating on me with my son’s coach, and they ultimately had a baby out of wedlock. I was devastated, to say the least. However, I realized my ex-wife did give me the greatest gifts; my sons Ivan Jr. and Henry. For that, I am thankful.
Through quick medical care, I was able to survive the heart attack, start a new fitness regimen, and I learned to take care of my well-being beyond the physical realm. Through counseling, prayer, and truly discovering what “optimal wellness” should be, I was able to turn my physical therapy practice around, start building my brand, and forged new partnerships within entertainment and television. I did not let this heart attack take me out. I fought for my sanity and persevered beyond what others said I could do. I now know, what “optimal wellness” means; it encompasses exercise, stress management, nutrition, sleep, and a positive mindset. My ultimate goal is to be a physical image of empowerment—someone my sons can look up to.
This year, I launched my Health is Wealth campaign, which has about 900+ members in our exclusive Facebook group. I am using social media to spread my message. I provide support, weight loss assistance, weekly conference calls, and valuable information about nutrition, exercise, movement, stress management, and wellness. My agent and I are working on creating a global brand which focuses on helping others globally achieve optimal wellness. In order to build wealth, you have to be well. It’s simple!
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
The Dr. Ivan Talk Show; my first book, Health is Wealth Weight Loss Challenge, and a Move More, Live Longer campaign. I also launch my How to Transform Your Mind, Body, & Business in 30 Days workshop at Berkeley College in NYC and my Move More, Live Longer boot camp at my practice, Executive Park Physical Therapy, in Yonkers, NY.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice comes from my brother: “Accept my fate, knowing that the powers of spirituality are connected to my mind and body.”
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
The body is a manifestation of the harmony that exists among all of the systems that are interdependent of one another. Therefore, as men, we must take care of our mind, body, and spirit.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I meditate and take deep breaths.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
My best vacation story is happening right now. I am currently on vacation! I am in Jamaica for a high school friend’s wedding. I have been working non-stop for the past eight months, so this is a much needed getaway.
As a busy Modern Man, I unwind by working out! As crazy as it seems, exercise is relaxing to me. Physical activity is an endorphin boost that relaxes me.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would take my two sons on a trip. It could be anywhere, as long as we were together.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Optimal wellness is skin deep, because what you see is not always what you are.
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