Fit ‘n’ Healthy: Feeling Good Outside and In

I have one question for you today. Is what you are currently doing to improve your lifestyle working for you? No? Then maybe you should try something a little different.

OK, two questions. Do you actually know that what you are doing is healthy and good for you, or are you just trusting someone who says it’s good for you?

Here are some things that I know work for me inside and out: eating whole foods (as organic as possible), staying away from processed packaged foods, moving and sweating every day, getting outside for some fresh Yukon air, and laughing at least once a day are all good for me.

On the other side, things I know are not good for me include: Sugar. Sedentary behaviour. Packaged foods. Being stuck in a box for hours at a time. Buying items because it says on the box or on the commercial that it’s good for you.

Let’s start with sugar. It’s in everything, from ketchup to your favourite weight loss bars.

It comes in different forms with fancy terms, but in the end your body deals with it the same way: by increasing your insulin response to the sweetness, decreasing the uptake of use by the muscles and storing the rest in your system as fat.

New studies are now showing that your body responds to artificial sweeteners in the same manner.

So you may not be taking in the calories by eating artificial sweetener, but your body has the same insulin response to the taste of sweet and insulin sensitivity may still occur.

So then how do you get that sweet taste? From natural sources in normal servings.

Having a piece of fruit a day or a homemade dessert once a week is not going to create insulin sensitivity; it’s when you also pile on the other high glycemic foods all day on top of that.

This includes breakfast cereal, rice, pasta, bread, chips, pop, energy drinks, juice and packaged foods.

Have a look at your daily eating plan. If you are consuming over 200 grams of carbohydrates in a day, you may want to consider backing off.

Sedentary behaviour. Did you know that the reason Health Canada reduced the amount of time recommended for daily activity to 20 minutes a day was not because being active is not important, but because moving for an hour a day was “impossible” for so many people that they weren’t doing any activity at all!

Seriously, you can’t walk for 15 minutes four times a day?

It doesn’t mean work out until you throw up every day, it means get out and move your body. Enough said.

Get out of the office. Especially living in the North, be sure to get outside and see the sun daily. This will help you ward off depression, catch a little vitamin D, and breathe some fresh air.

It will make you feel more alive, more awake, and it’ll make you even more productive at work. So take your allowed break and spend it outside your cubicle.

In the end, the question is simple. Do your health strategies make sense to you, or are you being sold a bill off goods?

Ask questions. Think for yourself. Don’t look for a quick fix. Live your life by being actively involved in it each day.

Waking up each day feeling better than the last one feels good, not only on the outside, but also on the inside.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at

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