Olivia Chow Shares Her Health Secrets with University of Ottawa Heart Institute Magazine
OTTAWA – Healthy nutrition and excercise keep powerhouse-MP Olivia Chow going. In the fall edition of “Matters of the Heart”, she shared some insights and secrets with the readers.
How stressful is your life?
Chow: “There are long hours. It’s stressful if you let it be stressful. I usually get up at 6am and if I have a later night, I sleep in.”
How do you de-stress and stay fit?
Chow: “I exercise every day. Swimming is my priority. It’s good for me physically, emotionally and mentally. I swim at the University of Toronto pool, which has a swim team. They make you look so slow, so I have to pace myself with someone faster! I also have a little elliptical and a stationary bike at my house in Toronto, but I’m a yearround cyclist, too. I do upper body weights. I also carry a blue exercise band and a skipping rope. I often encourage my staff and say, ‘Hey! Here’s a skipping rope!’ (laughs) The exercise band means I can do weights while sitting on the plane. On a phone call, I could be doing a bicep curl. There’s no excuse for not getting exercise.”
What’s your diet like?
Chow: “I eat everything, but in balance. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have a big breakfast—a mango, a banana and a pear, yoghurt and cereal. I have a good-sized lunch, slightly less at dinner. Usually, I have five meals. I actually eat a lot.”
How do you influence the health of those around you?
Chow: “I’ve always had a fitness focus—now I’m teaching my granddaughter to swim. Sometimes, though, I’m not really the gatekeeper of my family’s health, since they’re all independent and my mother does all the shopping. She’s more of the gatekeeper! (laughs) But you could say I lead by example.”