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     surreybc@anytimefitness.com

 

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

 

 

 

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

Have a great week,

Derek.

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
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.

Nutrition
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

Advertisements

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.

Relationships

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.

Retirement

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.

Prevention
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

Warning Signs – Time to see the big picture…

I just finished reading the front page article of the Surrey Leader about people who are outraged that seniors are being vacated from their long term care beds at the Newton Regency Care Home.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/news/53731892.html

I understand the political argument by Carold James, and I too believe that it would be great if the government could provide the kind of care that the public would like to see… 

The harsh reality however is that our government cannot afford to operate the services that the public would like to see them provide.

Health care costs are expected to rise significantly in the next 10-15 years, and the situation will not be getting any easier.  As individuals we must start taking our health insurance, retirement planning and financial security into our own hands.  The days of the lifetime retirement pension are quickly fading into the past.  I am not trying to be all doom and gloom, but taking corrective action is easier to do when you have time to do so.  Don’t wait until the ship is about to hit the iceberg before you start trying to steer around it.

The warning signs are everywhere… So take action now.  Talk to your financial planner about what you can do to avoid being stuck in this situation yourself.

  • Start Saving Now – Even a small amount of money set aside each month now will have a large impact on your future
  • Protect your family – There are numerous ways to ensure that your family will be taken care of in the event that something tragic were to happen.
  • Protect yourself – Talk to your planner about Long Term Care and Critical Illness Coverage.  Don’t let a heart attack put financial strain on your family
  • Spend less than you Make – I know people whose sole income earned is by collecting interest on loans that people have taken out.  Stop living on credit.

Your planner can help you with all of the above situations.  If you want any advice on what to do, feel free to contact me. 

We are fortunate to live in the most beautiful place in the world, and are SO lucky to have the resources that we do have, but that doesn’t mean that we should rely on the government to take care of us.  Become accountable for your own future and sucecss.

As always I welcome any comments and feedback.

As a sole proprietor, you are indispensable

When you own and run your own business, you’re responsible for all aspects of the business. What would happen if you became seriously ill or died? Your business would lose its key person and your income source may disappear. There may not be enough income to manage all the business liabilities if you died. Creditors would press for immediate payment, and accounts receivable might become uncollectible.

If you die or become ill, your family would face three alternatives:

  1. They could continue the business, requiring family members to have the ability and experience to run your business, sufficient cash after debts are paid and the ability to retain your customers.
  2. They could liquidate the business. A forced sale attracts bargain-hunters and with “goodwill” gone, the value of the business may be drastically reduced – by as much as 40 to 90 per cent.
  3. They could sell as a going concern. However, finding a qualified buyer may be difficult; the cash for purchase may not be readily available and the agreement on a fair price may be difficult to reach.

Alternatively, you could protect your business and family if you chose business life, disability and critical illness insurance. These products could help you and your family carry out your plans for the business if you were to become critically ill or die – for example, life insurance can provide funds to buy the business under a purchase agreement, and disability insurance can provide income if you become disabled. Critical illness insurance can help you pay off debts, stabilize your credit position, offer cash values or loan options or establish a fund for personal income at retirement, independent of the business.

I can offer you an array of life, disability and critical illness insurance products to suit your needs. Please call me and I can help you develop a solution that best fits your family and business needs.

Heart Disease – How is it different in women?

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.

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to diseases of the blood vessels and heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Canadian women. However, there are many ways to keep your heart healthy and to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Years ago it was thought that heart disease was the same for women and men. Today we know that there are unique factors in women:

  • Symptoms of a heart attack can be different for women. They may include fatigue, nausea, or pain in the shoulder, neck, or stomach, rather than the typical chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • Heart disease more often affects women later in life than men. Nonetheless, younger women who have heart disease often do less well than men because it can be unrecognized by both the woman and her doctor.
  • Women often delay going to the doctor, or fail to seek treatment altogether.
  • Women are often treated less aggressively than men, and women’s symptoms may be dismissed as related to anxiety or emotions.
  • Women are more likely than men to die after a first heart attack.
  • Standard testing (angiogram) may not pick up heart disease in women due to differences in the formation of plaque. In women, plaque may form more smoothly against the artery walls, whereas in men it clumps up and is more apparent with testing. In addition, in some women the plaque buildup may be in the small vessels of the coronary arteries, which cannot be seen by the angiogram.
  • Women have been under-represented in the studies used to set the standards for detection and treatment of heart disease.
  • Women are more affected by stress, which is one of the common risk factors for heart disease. Stress causes the arteries to go into spasm and can trigger a heart attack. Women today have increased responsibilities— managing careers and taking care of the family and the home—and often put the needs of others ahead of their needs.

Taking It to Heart
While heart disease is the greatest health threat that women face, there is much that we can do to prevent it. The majority of the risk factors are under our control, so we can take the necessary steps—eating healthily, exercising regularly, not smoking, and reducing stress—to cut our risk of heart disease and improve our health.

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.

For further information contact me: Derek Strokon 604 649-1185

A Reflection – Why sell life insurance?

What a busy and interesting week it’s been so far… After being in the business of “protecting families”, giving people money when the need it the most” and my fav “paying the bills for problems you think you’ll never have” for a number of years, there are always those weeks in your business that make you sit back and think about why it is that you work 7am to 11pm on some days, and why it feels so good to do so…

This week I have had the opportunity…

To help 2 couples ensure that their spouses (and in one case child on the way) won’t face a financial burden in the event that something tragic happens to either one of them… Putting protection in place for families means that in the event that a family loses their income due to illness or death, that I will be able to step in and help clients make sure that they won’t lose their home because the one remaining income won’t support the mortgage payments along with all the other bills that don’t stop… I will be able to ensure that the baby who is on the way will have the funds to get an education and have a better life even though one of their parents died prematurely leaving the family to survive off of one income.

To work with a newlywed couple who are focused on getting out of debt in order to save up for their first home so that they can take advantage of the benefits of owning their own home, and to put protection in place so that if something did happen, their situation doesn’t get worse.

To work with a client who I have been trying to insure for 2 years, who loves his 2 children dearly and wants to make sure that they are protected and are well set up… After 2 years we are finally going to be able to get a program in place.

The rest of the week so far…

Will be spent helping other couples get out of their “bank issued” mortgage coverage, which will help them save 30-40% off of what they are currently paying…

Working with a couple who is retiring to make sure that we protect their medical and dental benefits and so that their winters spent in warmer climates won’t bankrupt their retirement in the event that there is a medical emergency.

I would have never thought…

that when I started into this business that I would develop such a passion for helping others with their planning.  I initially never thought of the impact that I can have in the financial security of others.

When I started in this business I never thought of why life insurance is important, why I should have critical illness coverage and Long Term Care coverage, and what the long term impact is of doing  a little planning now to protect yourself in the future…

If you’ve never thought insurance is important…

I would love to sit down with you over a coffee or tea and have a discussion about some of the things that I may be able to do to help you and your loved ones.

My time is free, and my advice costs you nothing other than your time… If there is a solution we can put in place to help you achieve your goals, and protect your investments and future income, I would love to have the opportunity to work with you.

I know this post is a little soft and emotion driven, but I am simply having a week that is reminding me of how important it is to do some planning to protect yourself and those you love.

Fell free to contact me at 604 649-1185.

Have a great rest of the week,

Derek