Kanwal’s Healthy Corner: Working It Out

By Kanwal Ullah

I recently restarted my gym membership at the New York Sports Club (NYSC). I had closed the membership for various reasons. First off, I left my previous company, which took me off the NYSC corporate plan. Secondly, I started getting into workout DVDs, which was completely fine. As long as I was getting my exercise on, I was happy and felt good!

After a few months, I exhausted my workout DVDs and started running. Again, I felt happy and good. Soon after, I stopped running as often and this is where things starting changing. I noticed I was feeling more tired than usual, not my happy self and of course it was harder for me to keep off the pounds! In my head I was thinking, what’s happening here? Why am I feeling this way? What has changed? Then I realized, I was not getting the physical activity that I needed to keep myself going. Not only did my mind notice this… hello fogginess, but also so did my body… hello bigger jeans!

So I decided to rejoin the NYSC because of the large array of classes they have and of course, because of all their free weights and cardio machines. I realized that I need to workout to keep myself going. I need that adrenaline rush that pumps me throughout the day. Then I started thinking… what is it about exercise that makes me feel so much better in so many ways? Turns out, just 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise a day stimulates the production of endorphins (chemicals released from your body that make you feel happy). Of course, there are other great factors in getting a good workout: weight control, improved circulation and it can help control or get rid of depression and anxiety.

The most important thing to making sure you stick to an exercise program is to do something you enjoy. You don’t need to log hours in at the gym to reap the benefits of exercising. If you’re an outdoorsy person, go for a hike or a bike ride an enjoy nature at the same time. If you are like me and love intense challenges take boot camp or total body conditioning classes.

An extra-added boost to any good workout is trying to eat right throughout the day. This means making smart food choices, increasing your intake of fruits and veggies and limiting sugary snacks and drinks. Since getting on a regular exercise schedule, I’ve also been making conscientious decisions of eating right. I’ve gotten back to my old way of planning out my meals and buying a lot of fresh fruit and veggies and making sure I eat them all up through out the week. I’m also big on making quick delicious foods!

So, the moral of this story is, exercise and eat right. Trust me, you will see a difference in your mood and your body!

Below is a super easy and quick healthy dinner that I make often through out the week. The recipe calls for sardines in tomato sauce. Now, please do not get freaked out by sardines. Buy the skinless, boneless kind and you will see they’re not bad at all. If you like fish, I guarantee sardines will be a new favorite! Enjoy the recipe below!


  • One can of boneless, skinless sardines in tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables of your choice
  • ½ cup of whole wheat quinoa or couscous or brown rice
  • Preparation:

    Place the veggies and rice in a bowl and microwave to defrost the veggies. Pour the entire can of sardines in the bowl, break sardines in half with for and mix all together. Add a dash of pepper if needed or enjoy on its own!

    Servings: 1

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