Donald Ardell wrote High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease. This was the first mass-market wellness book (Halbert L. Dunn, a physician, authored a booklet of thirteen lectures in 1961 in a work by Beatty Press of Arlington, VA entitled simply High Level Wellness. While only a small number of Dr. Dunn's books were printed or sold, this was the first use of the phrase "high level wellness" and inspired many wellness promoters for years thereafter, including Don Ardell. Don's book was published by Rodale Press, Bantam Books and Ten-Speed Press. Don would later write a dozen additional wellness books, including Die Healthy (with Grant Donovan) and 14 Days to Wellness.
Don has a bachelor's degree from George Washington University, where he majored in sociology, varsity basketball and Janice Larkins, the prom queen who became his first wife and mother of his children Jeanne and Jon. He then studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, earning a master's degree in urban planning. Years later, Don won a Bush Fellowship in Minnesota, which he used to enroll in the Stanford University Business School's Senior Executive Program. Soon thereafter, he pursued a doctorate in health and public policy, which was awarded in 1979 (Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, OH).
The success of High Level Wellness in 1977 helped spark the wellness movement and propel Don to a career of writing, speaking and teaching ways to apply wellness concepts personally and professionally. He has traveled extensively in the US and Canada, as well as a dozen other countries all over the globe. He has produced 71 editions of the Ardell Wellness Report, a popular newsletter with a worldwide subscription base. He has also written 350 or so weekly electronic newsletters, which are sent out every Friday.
Don has been writing articles for SeekWellness.com for nearly a decade on the physical, mental, and meaning and purpose dimensions of the wellness philosophy, with topics further organized into 16 skill areas.
Dr. Bill Hettler, President of the National Wellness Institute, calls Don "the Arnold Schwartzenegger of wellness," but your host modestly declines the compliment, preferring to be known simply as the "Czar of Free Inquiry and Secular Rationality," the "Well Infidel," the Emperor of Well-Being, the Triumphant Bhagwan of Wonderfulness" or some other similar low-key title, such as "the Elvis of Wellness."
A member of the board of trustees of the National Wellness Institute for over a decade, Don is one of ten Americans given the Healthy America Fitness Leaders Award in 1991 by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Allstate Insurance Company and the U.S. Jaycees.
Don is one of the fastest runners in the world in his age class (you can review Don's race record this year by clicking on Scorecard). He is also an All-American triathlete and duathlete and has won two world championships.