She’s training for an Ironman. He plays hockey three nights a week and 100 or so rounds of golf a year. Thirty years after starting BodyBreak, fitness duo (and yes, they’re married) Hal Johnson, 62, and Joanne McLeod, 60, seem just as fit – and appear to be having just as much fun.
“I look at life and think, ‘What am I going to play?’ I’m just going to play stuff,” Johnson says. As for McLeod, her motivation is a little more pragmatic. “My biggest fear is not being able to do things. I don’t want anything to do with a hospital or people taking care of me … that fire keeps me going!”
We caught up with the pair at the Toronto Central YMCA where they presented their latest initiative, WellnessQ. Rather than IQ, they’ve got tips to improve your wellness quotient.
1. Practise positivity
“I just get up every day and think, ‘I’m going to be healthier than I was yesterday.’ And when I have a birthday, it’s ‘Okay, by my next birthday, I’m going to be healthier,’” Johnson proclaims. If you can’t muster quite that much optimism, simply focus on “I can” rather than “I can’t,” says McLeod. “Yes, you may not be able to do whatever you like the same as you did when you were younger but you just do it in another way.” With rheumatoid arthritis in her hands, McLeod’s solution was to supplement her daily routine to remain as active. “With a tennis ball or a smaller ball, you just squeeze to exercise the muscles. If your hands are muscularly strong, it will allow you to keep doing things.”
2. Give tech a try
What gets measured gets done. Both McLeod and Johnson use MyFitnessPal, an app by which users can log and monitor both what they eat and how much they exercise. “Technology can help you to stay motivated, it can make you accountable and it can challenge you,” McLeod says of apps and activity trackers. Even a simple pedometer can be the wagging finger you need to get up and get in those 10,000 steps each day.
3. Seek out the “right” triggers and motivators