Local magazine OptiMYz is turning words into actions at this weekend’s health exposition.
“It’s a way to bring the magazine pages to life,” says Claire Rogers, the associate publisher at OptiMYz.
The health, fitness and lifestyle show kicks off Saturday, Jan. 21 at Exhibition Park.
According to Statistics Canada, one in six Canadians over 12 was diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2010. For both genders, this rate increased over the last decade.
Rogers said a healthy lifestyle can improve the quality and length of your life.
“Many chronic diseases can be prevented and slowed, allowing us to be active and healthier for a longer period of time. A healthy lifestyle also helps combat stress and increase productivity. It’s important for us to lead by example and teach our children healthy habits as we see childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions,” said Rogers.
The two-day expo boasts three different interactive stages: fitness, lifestyle and nutrition. There will be about 125 exhibitors with different products and services related to health and fitness.
More than 80 different sessions are planned, led by professionals such as Tommy Europe, a TV star and weight-loss instructor, and Fred Connors, a motivational speaker and TV celebrity.
Pete Luckett, most commonly known for the success of his specialty grocery store, Pete’s Frootique, is another guest speaker at the expo. His talk Getting the Most Out of Your Fruits and Vegetables: Tips on Buying, Storing, Preparing and Cooking is about being aware of what you consume.
Luckett says there are so many delicious fruits and vegetables that are overlooked. Take savoy cabbage for example. Luckett says this vegetable gets bypassed by everyone except Europeans, but he believes it makes the best coleslaw and sandwich addition.
“It’s a lovely, crinkly vegetable … What a combination, its very healthy, full of vitamin C and everybody ‘wows’ it,” says Luckett.
His philosophy for grocery shopping is to buy less more frequently. His diet constantly
changes with the season.
Kaitlyn Youldon, a certified personal trainer and kinesiology student at Dalhousie University, will be attending the expo. Tommy Europe is what attracted Youldon to the event.
“I watch his shows on TV, and I just think it’s so cool. I want to get his autograph and meet him,” says Youldon. She is also excited to see what other health gurus have to offer.
Youldon said a healthy lifestyle can be as simple as walking to school or work.
“Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be really intense. Start slow and then build up. You don’t want to start too hard too fast because that’s how you turn someone off.”
The first step to a healthy lifestyle, said Youldon, is to learn about exercise.
“If you’re just going to the gym and you really don’t know what it’s doing to you, you’re not going to stick with it. If you learn the benefits you can get from it, it means a whole lot more to you.”
It is the fourth year OptiMYz is putting on the expo. Rogers, the associate publisher, is expecting 8,000 to 10,000 attendees over the course of the weekend.
“It just keeps going and getting bigger and better,” said Rogers.
OptiMYz is also planning to promote the magazine outside the Atlantic provinces by hosting the Toronto Marathon Expo in May. This will be the first time OptiMYz hosts an expo outside of Atlantic Canada.