ON THE COVER: Marie Clark

      Describe your upbringing....were you always healthy and fit as a child or did you find health through a crisis or epiphany? Did you play sports in school, if so, what?
I'm 47 years of age and consider myself fortunate not to have been raised in the era of personal electronic devices in my early youth. That in itself kept me and others alike fit and healthy. Realizing I'm dating myself here, it might be difficult for the younger generation to comprehend, life without cell phones and online gaming. I have fond memories of skipping, hopscotch, bike riding, all things outdoors and active minus the screens. Really, what better screen could you ever ask for, when you step outside? Nature is breathtakingly beautiful! No screen resolution can match the rewards and benefits you reap from the real thing.

Describe your typical day...what do you do exercise wise, eat...etc.
I typically eat 5 meals a day, starting with a hearty breakfast soon after waking. I drink plenty of water as my choice for beverage, usually with lemon. As for exercise, my main focus is on resistance training although I do incorporate cardio afterwards depending on the day. I also factor in stretching as it's an important component.

Do you have another career and if so, how do you balance two jobs with your life....
At present, I train in the evenings throughout the week. During the day, I am going through renovations on a few properties and am in the process of moving, but plan on returning to the corporate world with a day time office position in the New Year while continuing to train evenings. Organization is the key to balance with an emphasis on family life.
Do you take supplements or follow a certain kind of diet (vegan, clean, whole foods, gluten-free etc,) if so describe exactly....
Quite simply, I eat as close to nature as possible. Mostly vegetables raw or steamed, sometimes baked with spices and herbs, fresh if possible. Healthy fats from natural oils and nuts. Lean protein sources; more plant, less animal. Where fish is concerned, I try to stay away from bottom feeders, as you are what you eat, ate. Pretty much all berries. It's safe to assume the diet is based on a low to moderate glycemic index. I do enjoy grains as well, such as quinoa (although a seed), wild rice, large oats.

What is your fitness philosophy?
My philosophy on life really, is all about helping people. Fitness happens to be an integral part of healthy living and longevity. However, due to lifestyle choices, many people refrain from exercising for various reasons. I wish to help others and share my knowledge and make a vast difference in the world we live in today. Thank you, New Living, for this feature in doing so : ).There are too many people suffering unnecessarily from non-communicable diseases attributed to lifestyle choices namely, lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. Take cancer for instance, way too common. The statistics are alarming. Everyone has been affected in some way, even directly. It's time to do something about this. The good news is, many lifestyle diseases are preventable and reversed with proper nutrition and exercise.

How do you stay mentally/emotionally and spiritually fit?
Spirituality is the most important aspect of my being, it's my core and focus. I habitually get in-touch with my core self through prayer in the morning and the remainder of the day is taken care of.

What is your favorite thing to do (other than fitness)?
Spending time with family and friends, especially outdoors.

How do you keep your family healthy?
My three sons live at home with my husband and me. They are aged 20, 17 and 12. I do my best to instill healthy values by living example while trying not to nag.

Did you meet your husband through a fitness and/or healthy living activity?
Funny enough, I knew Rob, my husband, from high school, we were in the same Grade 9 Geography class, but it wasn't until my second year of college that we started dating and eventually married in 1995, and have been for 21 years now. Another funny coincidence, two of our sons attended the same high school we did, so who knows, they might end up with their soulmate as well.

What/Whom inspires you?
It's difficult to name one person or thing as there are many and ever-changing.

Words of advice to our readers....
No matter what stage you are at in life, you can decide right now, on a "New Living."

Any projects you are working on?
Knowing there is a need for exercise and most people, especially the mass majority of aging baby-boomers, suffer from some sort of sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition, which by the way is the number one leading health risk according to the WHO, I wish to make exercise available to those that can't afford personal training or are perhaps homebound. I have created a YouTube Channel "Marie Clark, CPTN-CPT" where I envision creating exercises doable by all in the convenience of their home.

How can people get in touch with you?
The easiest way to reach me is by email at: clark.marie2468@yahoo.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BILLY ARCHOS