Preventing Illness

I just got back from the gym and am feeling great (a little stinky, but great).  I have been back at the gym for the past few weeks and I wanted to include some tips on how to get back into the swing of things, get yourself healthy and reduce your risk of illness.

If you need a new gym in Surrey/Langley, I go to Anytime Fitness and love it there.  John (the owner who lives in the area) is a great guy.  For more info about the gym, call John directly at:

Anytime Fitness – 101-18655 Fraser Hwy. Surrey, British Columbia

(604) 574-4777


Here is another excerpt from Sherry Torko’s book Live Well,




 published by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd., Copyright 2007.

Have a great week,


Regular exercise and proper nutrition is essential for good health and must be part of your daily life. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise cuts your risk of chronic, debilitating diseases such as heart disease (by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure), osteoporosis (by strengthening bones), cancer (by supporting immune function), and diabetes (by improving blood sugar control). Exercise is essential for developing and maintaining a healthy body weight, flexibility, and muscular strength. Plus, it offers emotional benefits. Exercise reduces stress and anxiety and improves sleep and overall emotional well-being. Regardless of your health status, age, or current fitness level, there are activities that you can do to improve your health.

Cardiovascular (Aerobic) Exercise
Cardiovascular activities are those that involve large muscle groups and increase our heart rate, such as brisk walking, swimming, biking, aerobics, and dancing. These activities burn calories and improve heart and lung function. If you are currently not exercising, then start slowly. Try exercising for five minutes on your first day, and increase gradually. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour, five times per week.

Resistance Exercise
Activities that use resistance to challenge your muscles increase strength, endurance, and muscle mass. They also strengthen bones. Examples include weightlifting, using exercise machines or bands/tubes, or using your own body weight to do exercises such as lunges, squats, and push-ups. These activities are particularly important for older adults because they help prevent the muscle and bone loss that occurs with aging. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of resistance activities three to four times per week. Vary your activities and routine to continually challenge your muscles.

Stretching helps to improve flexibility and joint health and to prevent soreness after a workout. Spend about five to 10 minutes stretching all of your muscles. Stretch slowly and gently, breathe deeply, and hold each position for at least 10 seconds.

How Much Exercise Do I Need?
The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults and children spend a total of at least one hour daily in moderately intense physical activity. There are plenty of ways to build more activity into your daily life, whether it is short walks in the morning, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing housework with vigour. Every little bit helps.

Creating Your Fitness Program
If you have been sedentary all your life, the prospect of getting active may be intimidating, so take it slowly.

  • Consult with your doctor before you start an exercise program, especially if you have any health conditions or are taking medication.
  • Set reasonable goals and be consistent with your exercise program.
  • Don’t expect overnight results. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workout; you will see (and feel) the benefits.
  • Be sure to drink lots of water during and after your workout.
  • Make time to stretch your muscles after you workout.
  • For guidance on proper exercise technique and help in designing a workout, see a certified personal trainer.
  • Keep your motivation high: get a workout partner, vary your activities, and have fun.

The food choices we make on a daily basis have an impact on both our physical and emotional health. Here are 10 dietary principles for optimal health, energy and well-being:

  • Make quality food choices
  • Enjoy variety
  • Practice moderation
  • Eat smart, frequent meals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Boost fibre intake
  • Cut down on salt, boost potassium
  • Minimize sugar
  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Limit alcohol

Good health includes good financial health
Now that you have your physical fitness plan in place – it’s also a good idea to take a look at your financial fitness plan. Not only can being financially fit help reduce stress and help improve your state of mind, a financial plan can also help you prepare for the financial realities of living a long life. By following a few simple steps, you can create a plan that will help you achieve your goals and protect your dreams.

More information about women’s health issues is available in Sherry Torkos’ book Live Well: A Woman’s Guide to Optimum Health, available free of charge from www.toLiveWell.caLink to an external website. On the website you can also learn more about the importance of good financial health and creating a financial recovery plan should you become critically ill.

Sherry Torkos, Bsc Pharm (www.sherrytorkos.comLink to an external website) is a pharmacist, author, and certified fitness instructor. The website www.toLiveWell.caLink to an external website and Sherry Torkos’ Live Well Tips are brought to you by Sun Life Financial


What kind of Insurance do I need???

I came across an interesting article today about the kinds of coverage needed at different stages of life.  As teh Insurance industry is so large and products vary so much, it’s hard to sometimes decide what kind of coverage you should have, and where to begin.
Please feel free to call me or contact me with any questions that you might have.  I’m here to help….
Keep on top of your changing needs

Your priorities and needs change as you move through different stages in your adult life. Throughout these stages, your advisor can help you choose the right products and services that meet your evolving needs.

Off to work

In the first stage of adult life, you leave high school, college or university and enter the workforce. Your career is just getting underway. You may want to add to any group insurance coverage you have through your employer with personal insurance, such as disability, life and health insurance. Personal insurance is even more important if you’re starting your own business, or working in a contract position that doesn’t offer a benefit package. Retirement is generally the last thing on your mind. However, the sooner you start planning for your financial future, the better it will be. That head start can translate into thousands and thousands of dollars.


A partnership, such as marriage, means your financial planning now includes two. You need to develop a financial plan to help make sure you and your partner are provided for today and in the future. You can investigate money management and investment strategies, as well as protection solutions such as long term care and critical illness insurance. You’ll want to review your life insurance needs, for you and your partner. If you’re buying a home, think about the advantages of purchasing life insurance, rather than mortgage insurance. Since you’re just starting on your journey through life together, it’s important that you head in the right financial direction from the start.

Raising a family

If and when children enter the picture, your financial priorities change again. It’s more important than ever to maintain a strong financial plan through these formative years to help keep your financial future bright. You’ll need to ensure your life insurance plan continues to meet the needs of you and your family, and that your beneficiary information is up-to-date. If you haven’t yet investigated long term care and critical illness insurance, you should do so now. Products can be adjusted to help ensure the success of your plan while at the same time allowing you to save adequate funds for your children’s education, perhaps through RESPs.

Empty nesters

At this stage, your children have left home and gone out on their own. Your career is beginning to peak and retirement is just around the corner. Your discretionary income has grown now that the expenses of raising your children have all but disappeared. You’ll have the capital to pursue financial investments that can further enhance your retirement plans. You may have questions about your and your partner’s RRSPs, or if you should make adjustments to the investments in your portfolio. You can protect your retirement funds with long term care insurance.


Finally, it’s time to turn your retirement plans into reality. You’ll move into new financial products that will provide you with a comfortable living, in a tax effective manner. You’ll look at income options such as annuities, Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs), and the Flexible Income Plan (FIP). It’s important that you develop and maintain a specific financial plan so you can enjoy your new life of leisure. It’s also time to get your estate in order to ensure that after all of your hard work your wishes will be carried out as you planned.

© Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2007.

Tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer

The following excerpt is from Sherry Torkos’ book Live Well: A Woman’s Guide to Optimum Health, published by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd., Copyright  2007.

Breast cancer is the most feared disease that Canadian women face. One in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. One in 27 will die of it. In 2006, an estimated 22,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 5,300 will die of it. While these figures are startling, the good news is that since 1993 the incidence of breast cancer has stabilized and death rates have declined steadily. With early detection, improved treatments, and knowledge of prevention, women today are doing much better in the battle against breast cancer.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, at least 50 percent of cancers can be prevented through healthy living. Below are some lifestyle choices that can
help reduce the risk of breast cancer:

  1. Eat a diet high in fibre. Flaxseeds, oat bran, fruits, and vegetables are all great sources of fibre. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts contain cancer-fighting nutrients.
  2. Minimize your intake of saturated fat and avoid trans fats.
  3. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  4. Be physically active. Studies show that even moderate physical activity may reduce your risk by 30 to 40 percent. Spend at least 30 minutes on five or more days of the week doing aerobic activities such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
  5. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day, or cut it out altogether.
  6. Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding seems to offer protection against breast cancer, plus it’s good for the baby.
  7. Don’t smoke. Smoking and breathing second-hand smoke can increase the risk of breast cancer, along with many other health problems.
  8. Only use hormone replacement therapy if absolutely necessary and for a short period of time (less than five years).
  9. Minimize your exposure to chemicals that have been linked to increased cancer risk such as dioxins, phthalates, pesticides, and herbicides. Some of these chemicals are referred to as xenoestrogens because they have estrogen-like activity in the body. Dioxins are found most abundantly in farmed fish and in the fumes from incinerated waste. Phthalates are found in plastics, particularly when they are heated or reused, and pesticides and herbicides are concentrated in non-organic produce. For information on chemicals and disease, refer to the CHE Toxicant and Disease Database, http://database.healthandenvironment.orgLink to an external website

Good health includes good financial health.
Along with making healthy lifestyle choices, a financial plan is also important for your future. Part of that financial plan can include being prepared in case of a critical illness. This part of your plan can help you recover financially and move past an illness. Critical illness insurance is one way to help you recover without financial pressures and without tapping into savings.

More information about women’s health issues is available in Sherry Torkos’ book Live Well: A Woman’s Guide to Optimum Health, available free of charge from www.toLiveWell.caLink to an external website. On the website you can also learn more about the importance of good financial health and creating a financial recovery plan should you become critically ill.

Sherry Torkos, Bsc Pharm (www.sherrytorkos.comLink to an external website) is a pharmacist, author, and certified fitness instructor. The website www.toLiveWell.caLink to an external website and Sherry Torkos’ Live Well Tips are brought to you by Sun Life Financial