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


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