Fitness focus for Toronto chamber

TORONTO – Fitness and exercise were discussed during the city chamber’s Thursday luncheon meeting at the North River Avenue Christian Church.

Carrie Shaffer, owner of Heavenly Bodies Fitness Club, 215 N. Fourth St., told chamber members fitness includes good eating habits and exercise.

“I teach exercise classes in Toronto,” said Shaffer. “Exercise and nutrition go together. The best result comes from exercising and eating healthy.”

Shaffer said it is a myth that a person can eat anything he or she wants, exercise and still stay in shape. She added the recent fitness and nutrition trends in the country are due to more awareness that staying fit leads to better health.

“Exercise has become more popular in the past 10 years,” she said, adding awareness of obesity also has led to Americans watching their eating habits. “If you start (exercising and eating healthy) now, you can prolong your health. It helps you stay out of the hospital. It doesn’t matter what age. Exercise prolongs your life. It also releases healthy endorphins. Working out can relieve tensions.”

Shaffer said there are “good” carbohydrates and “bad” carbohydrates, and it matters which ones a person chooses to eat. She said the most productive exercise regimen includes periods of intense exercise alternating with periods of “cooling down.” She said exercise also helps mental health as well.

“I had a problem with anxiety” Shaffer said. “(Exercise) is something that’s helped me with that.”

Shaffer also said building up muscles around problem areas can help lessen pain and promote healing.

“A lot of people find they don’t need medication for all their (health issues),” she said. “Exercise is medicine.”

Shaffer gave chamber members charts with a list of healthy foods to eat compared with foods to avoid. She said her fitness club revolves around exercise classes, and the club is open to men and women. She also said women need not be concerned with “bulky” muscles from working out, as her exercise classes are geared toward toning and getting rid of fat. She added her classes are geared toward group exercise.

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