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Ramila's Health Tips
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

With all of the good changes happening here, we may have lost track of some of you but that was temporary. We're back and better than ever at our new location!

1437 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa ON K2G 1W1

(here's a map)

new location
Naturopathic Doctor

We're excited to have Chanele Padiachy, MSc, ND join our clinic. Chanele is a compassionate and dedicated naturopathic doctor who strongly believes in empowering individuals to take control of their health and works with them to help them achieve optimal health and wellness. Click here to find out more about naturopathic medicine.


JULY 2015

Volume 7, Issue 4

Commit to Be Fit: How to Overcome What's Stopping You

CTV Morning LIve: Portion Sizes

read past issues

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)® R.Ac.

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)


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Commit to Be Fit


I'm sure you've heard that being physically active is essential for your good health. You no doubt know that it helps prevent many different diseases. But what you may not have heard is why this is so. Being physically active has really important effects on your body composition, and that, in turn, leads to better health. Let me explain.

How do you know if you have a problem?

BMI table

A commonly used measurement to guide you regarding your weight is called the Body Mass Index. BMI is calculated as follows: weight (kg) / height (metres). There are lots of BMI calculators on the web. You can generally tell if you're a good weight, or not, using the BMI ranges shown here to guide you.

source: The World Health Organization Body Mass Index (BMI) Classification System for Adults

However, scientists say that BMI is not always an ideal measurement because it lumps all body mass together, and doesn't distinguish between bone mass, muscle mass, and beneficial fat vs. the more dangerous abdominal fat. For example, fit, muscular people may be classified as overweight because muscle weighs more than fat.

This is why it's more important to focus on a healthy body composition than on BMI or pounds lost. Measuring the size of a person's waist, or their waist to hip ratio (WHR), is more important than their BMI. Simply measuring waist circumference gives an accurate indication of risk for diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

Scale for Waist Circumference

scale for waist circumference

Increased Risk of Health Problems

risk of health problems

Waist-to-hip Ratio (WHR) and Risk

waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and risk

The WHR is calculated by dividing waist circumference by hip circumference to give you your level of risk (for men and women separately). This measurement overcomes the difficulties in interpreting BMI, and takes the more dangerous abdominal fat into consideration.

It's important to understand that there's more than one reason people gain too much weight; it's not just extra calories and too little exercise. Getting too little sleep can seriously interfere with both eating well and exercising. Unhealthy emotions and too much stress are other important factors. So, if any of these are factors in your life, attending to them will really help you get the results you should from exercising and eating well.

There are many ways to burn calories and some you may not even count as exercise: housework, chasing kids, gardening, walking dogs, and any other activity that involves movement.

Remember the benefits of exercise

You may be familiar with the benefits of exercise, but it's worth keeping them in mind:

  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and some of its precursors, like high blood pressure
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improves mood
  • Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss, and helps keep weight off after weight loss
  • Improves heart-lung and muscles fitness
  • Improves sleep

How many steps do you take each day?


There are many good forms of exercise, but walking is one of the easiest, most effective and available forms. You may have heard it's good to aim to take 10,000 steps each day - that's about 5 miles or 8 km (the distance can vary depending on the length of your stride). A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps per day. A reasonable goal for most people is to add 500 steps per day, each week until they reach 10,000 steps per day.

Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your steps. It's a good idea to start simply by tracking the number of steps you take each day for a week, and to record the number each day. At the end of the week calculate the average number of steps you take per day, and you'll know how much you need to increase the steps you take each day.

There are many ways to increase the daily number of steps you take:

  • Take a walk with your spouse, child, friend or dog
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park farther away from the store
  • Even better, walk to the store
  • Get up to change the channel
  • Window shop
  • Plan a walking meeting
  • Walk to visit a neighbour
  • Walk around the garden, do a little weeding

If you have any health concerns, seek your health care provider's advice prior to starting or changing your exercise routine.

Fitting in 30 to 60 minutes of dedicated walking a day, at least 3 or 4 days per week, is recommended for most people.

source: 10,000 steps a day

Overcoming barriers to physical activity

jumping rope

Finally, we all have excuses for not exercising. Here are some common ones and suggestions for overcoming them.

Lack of time

Identify available time slots. Schedule your exercise, set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely) goals, and monitor your progress.

Social influence

Ask family and friends for support by joining you in exercising. Make new friends who are physically active. Join a group like the YMCA or a hiking club.

Lack of energy

Schedule exercise for times when you feel energetic. Know that getting more fit will give you more energy - give it a chance.

Lack of motivation

Treat exercise like any other scheduled activity - just do it when it's time. Invite a friend to exercise with you. Join an exercise group or class.

Fear of injury

Learn how to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status. Choose activities involving minimum risk.

Lack of skill

Select activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs, or jogging. Take a class to develop new skills.

Lack of resources

Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, or calisthenics. Identify inexpensive, convenient resources available in your community (community education program, part and recreation programs, worksite programs).

Weather conditions

Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of the weather (indoor cycling, aerobic dance, indoor swimming, calisthenics, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, gymnasium games).


Put a rope in your suitcase and jump rope. Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels. Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities. Join the YMCA or YWCA (ask about reciprocal membership agreement). Visit the local shopping mall and walk for half an hour or more. Bring your mp3 player with your favourite aerobic exercise music.

Family obligations

Trade babysitting with a friend or family member who also has small children. Exercise with the kids - go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, get an aerobic dance or exercise tape for kids and exercise together. You can spend time together and still get your exercise. Jump rope, do calisthenics, ride a stationary bicycle, or use other home gymnasium equipment while the kids are busy playing or sleeping. Try to exercise when the kids are not around, such as during school hours or nap time.

Retirement years

Learn a new skill you've always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, square dancing, or swimming. Now that you have the time, make regular physical activity a part of every day. Go for a walk every morning or every evening before dinner. Treat yourself to an exercycle and ride every day while reading a favourite book.

source: Promoting Physical Activity: A Guide for Community Action (USDHHS, 1999)

We really need to make physical activity an integral part of our schedule to live longer, healthier, happier lives. I hope this information has helped you see that this is "doable" and that the pay-off is enormous. If you have a BMI, waist measurement or WHR that is not ideal, I recommend Nature's Sunshine's IN.FORM program that is designed to help you "Burn fat. Be fit. For life." If you'd like to find a class to attend, or for additional information, please contact me at 613.829.0427 or

Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

Watch my latest feature about Portion Sizes

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Featured Service

Weight Loss

Natural weight loss is a proven weight loss technique that will help you shed pounds and keep them off. Extra weight can lead to numerous health problems. Click here to get a natural weight loss action plan.

In 4 months I was 37lbs lighter and 3 sizes smaller. I feel great, I am not hungry, I am getting lots of compliments, and I am much happier. I still have some extra pounds to get rid of, but I am not giving up!

- Inessa


When health begins, dis-ease ends.