How to lead a healthy and happy life in Surrey

Terry Focker, a community service assistant for the City of Surrey, gives tips and suggestions on how to stay fit.

It is a new year and it is always good to reflect on your past goals around your health and well-being and to plan your strategy for accomplishing any new goals you have set for yourself.

Remember to listen to your body and your intuition when planning your new routines. Pay attention to the stress in your life and think of ways to minimize it through more joyful activities like art classes, meditation and music.

Eating better also plays a huge part in your daily fitness and wellness schedule, so watch your blood sugar by combining carbohydrates with protein and make sure you eat some protein in the morning before you begin your day of fitness. Remember the importance of hydration and be sure to drink water before, during and after your exercise. Pack your water bottle and a healthy snack when you are heading to the recreation centre. Try to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet – the fresher the better.

When you are researching your new goals, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Here at South Surrey Recreation Centre, our fitness staff is trained in all areas of fitness, and for all ages and abilities. Our wellness instructors (yoga, meditation and Tai Chi) have spent years training to be the best they can be and are able to assist you with your specific needs. It is important to try a variety of activities, including cardio, strength training, flexibility, Pilates, yoga and integrated activities like Zumba or dance lessons. Regular exercise increases self-esteem, reduces anxiety and stres, and may be the most effective and instant happiness booster of all.

Zumba classes are an excellent form of exercise for both men and women. We offer two types of classes: Drop-in Zumba from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Zumba 55+ on Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. The ever-popular Ballroom Dance lessons happen at Elgin Hall on Saturdays and Sundays and include Jive, Salsa and Cha Cha as some of your choices. For an artistic side, try our Jewelry Making program for four sessions on Saturdays and learn the basics for earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

If you are seeking exercise to accommodate physical inabilities, the 55+ Chair Exercises class will introduce cardio, muscle strengthening, flexibility stretching and relaxation, all from your chair. This will aid those who are less mobile and also individuals that are looking to reintroduce fitness into their lives.

Of course, our ever-popular badminton and pickleball programs run daily as drop-in programs with seasonal lessons offered. There are a number of social opportunities around these 55+ activities that increase the popularity of the sport.

Looking ahead to February, our bus trips with Enjoy Tours will feature a Mystery Tour on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. that takes you on a fun and entertaining magical tour travelling to unknown destinations with clues, prizes and props. The trip includes a great lunch in Vancouver. To register, contact our office at 604-592-6970 with course #4274633 and put a little mystery back into your life.

Stay happy and fit by being active!  See you at the centre.

Terri Focker, a community service assistant for the City of Surrey, writes monthly on seniors activities.