Corporate wellness guru

Posted: February 13, 2012 at 2:04 am

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LIFESTYLE-related diseases can be prevented with the right combination of physical fitness and by incorporating a healthy diet, according to wellness guru and founder of HealthPro Solutions Sdn Bhd, Wong Yu Jin.

The 34-year-old, who is also the official wellness coach of Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 and the resident health expert for Esquire magazine as well as the Jam Break on Capital FM (at 6pm on Thursdays), is living proof that with the right mindset and guidance, one can adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Wong actually has a double degree in law and finance. He was propelled into setting up a corporate wellness business after experiencing taxing and late working hours, which did not give him any time for exercising.

�It all started about five years ago when I was in the law and banking sector. The lifestyle was not what I thought it would be. Being stuck in the office for long hours was bad for my health and it made me feel sick. I wanted a lifestyle change but I also wanted to change others to start living healthily. That was when I thought of going into corporate wellness,� said Wong.

He quit his job and spent the next two-and a-half-years becoming a qualified sports and fitness coach under the International Sports Science Association and obtained a degree in nutrition from the Global Institute for Alternative Medicine. Wong is also a certified hypnotherapist under the American Board of Hypnothera-pist, a certified neuro linguistic programming practitioner, a TLT consultant and a masterclass trainer.

The focus of HealthPro Solutions is corporate wellness and helping companies take care of the health of their staff.

�Healthy employees translate into higher productivity in an organisation. Corporate wellness is a relatively new concept in Malaysia.

�Prevention is key because medical inflation in Malaysia is increasing around 15% each year and is expected to double in years to come,� explained Wong.

Due to his background, he said he could easily relate to the problems of busy working people. �I know what it is like working until late at night, which is why I can structure a suitable fitness programme that can save time and improve health.�

The three major myths when it comes to health and fitness, according to Wong, are having no time to exercise, that it is too expensive and it is hard to eat healthily in Malaysia.

�Time constraint is the biggest excuse. I don�t tell people to join gyms but instead incorporate practical exercises into their daily schedule. When it comes to food, it�s about making the correct choices. I eat out most of the time and I can safely say you can make healthy options, even at the mamak eateries,� he said.

Healthier options for protein include tandoori chicken or fish tikka. �The meat is grilled and not fried. For carbohydrates, choose thosai or chappati instead of mee goreng or roti canai. One should eat less white rice, white bread and pasta. Vegetables, too, should not be drenched in oil nor cooked in coconut milk. I also tell my clients to avoid sugary and fizzy drinks as much as possible. Consume more fruits but try to avoid excessive consumption of jackfruit, langsat, durian and mangosteens as these have high sugar contents.� Food portioning and cooking style are also important.

�You get the same satiety when you eat a plate of mee goreng as a bowl of mee soup. The latter has less calories.�

With all the books on fitness and health available in the market, how does one know what sort of fitness regimens is suitable for them?

�Many of my clients get confused with the different regimens and they tend to change their workout techniques. I have a set system on how to do things. My advice is trust me, stick with it and you will see results.�

Wong said there were also specific training styles for women and men.

�The men more often want to achieve bulk and be muscular. For women, they prefer toning and definition. Some just want to be slim and do not care about definition.

�People need to know that the genetic make-up of men and women is different and this needs to be taken into account before embarking on a fitness plan,� he highlighted.

He said it was shocking when people do not realise the danger of being overweight.

�We always encourage companies to measure the body mass index (BMI) of their staff as it is a proven indicator of obesity. It is scary how people don�t see obesity as a threat,� he added.

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Corporate wellness guru

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February 13th, 2012 at 2:04 am

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