What's your definition of "well being"?
Toomey: "WELL BEING is the physiological and psychological
state of being centered. This is not euphoria or anxiety,
but a blending of energies that provides an individual with
appropriate ability to be pensive or physically active. It
is a wonderful state of balance and awareness that comes with
good habits. Nutrition and exercise are important tools to
gain WELL BEING."
What's your approach to maintaining a healthy body?
Toomey: "As I mentioned previously, the tools that allow
for optimum health are diet and exercise. Exercise seems to
be a lost art in America today."
How important is physical exercise?
Toomey: "People are now realizing that our genes can
be better expressed through exercise. We have to know that
our genes have been in development for millions of years.
During the last 10,000 years, our genetic make-up has remained
99.9% the same as our ancestors. To quote my friend, Boyd
Eaton, M.D.: 'Our genetic adaptation has been unable to keep
pace with cultural change so that our genetically determined
biology and the circumstances of our lives are out of alignment.
A logical extension -- that the resulting mismatch fosters
chronic degenerative afflictions of affluence -- could serve
as the unifying hypothesis for prevention research in multiple
disciplines, including those related to diet and exercise.'
"A long period of inactivity can lead to weakness, stiffness,
fatigue, poor appetite, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis,
constipation, increased sensitivity to pain, anxiety, and
Is there a type of exercise you advocate in particular?
Toomey: "How many reasons do we need to start an exercise
program? One of my favorite forms of exercise is found in
a swimming pool. I can do all types of exercise in the water,
including resistance, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises.
What about diet and nutritional supplements? How have your
views and practices changed?
Toomey: "I was a victim of the 'fat free' fad. I literally
ripped out all foods containing fat. I now realize the importance
of fats and the fact that some of them are essential. Balance
is critical when deciding a diet for life. A good source for
this type of information can be found in THE SCHWARZBEIN PRINCIPLE,
by Diana Schwarzbein, M.D.
also believe in nutritional supplements for a variety of reasons.
A good book to have in your household is the PDR FOR NUTRITIONAL
SUPPLEMENTS. All of the most current science informs the public
just what can be achieved through nutritional supplementation,
and also what is pure hype. I highly recommend this book by
Sheldon Hendler, M.D."
Q. Do you alter your diet or sleep patterns
when you begin a new exercise program?
Toomey: "I think that if you begin exercise moderately,
you should not need too much additional sleep. One has to
be careful when assessing stress. Too often certain activities
and events take their toll and add stress, but we don't factor
them in the equation. Stress comes in many forms and we must
adjust our rest to accommodate heavy and unusual stress."
Q. Do you see a relationship between mind, body, and spirit
and overall well-being?
Toomey: "There is no doubt that the integration of these
areas is important. If there is any deficiency within the
circle of these influences, the imbalance can alter the status
of the remaining. It is sound philosophically and physically
to pay attention to those areas that comprise our body and
soul. Philosophers from the beginning have recognized the
powers that inhabit the mind. Mystical insight or spiritual
capacity allows for a higher and more enlightened state."
How do you prefer to neutralize the effects of stress on your
Toomey: "I have found that exercise or training can alleviate
or even expunge stress and its deadly effects. There are moments
of pure perfection that are found subsequent to thoughtful
exercise. It is a state of relaxation that is accompanied
by physical and mental well-being. Music may do this for some.
The important aspect of well-being is that it is a biochemically-derived
state. The body has an amazing chemistry set that produces
neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that can alter
the anxiety and stress that is prevalent in our lives."
How do you see the basics of well-being change as people age?
Toomey: "As we age, it is important to understand that
we do have the ability to slow the aging process. It is clear
that there are two ages. There is a chronological and a physical
age. The important age is the physical age. Many bad habits
or practices seem to have no deleterious effect when we are
young. Aging changes the way we react to bad habits. Our recovery
from excess drinking and smoking begin to manifest in later
years and before we know it, the bottom drops out. It is wise
to eliminate bad habits and substitute positive and healthy
What's your advice to mature people interested in adopting
an anti-aging regimen?
Toomey: "My advice would include exercise and diet. Begin
exercise slowly. You got out of shape slowly, and you should
stage your comeback with thought and resolution. Until you
understand the principle of adaptation, it might be difficult
for you. Too many people are impatient and rush their exercise
program. Begin slowly and learn about diet. Don't concentrate
on losing weight, rather get informed about your food choices
and begin to stop the clock!"
What's your advice to people who simply want to lose weight?
Toomey: "My advice is to not begin your program of healthy
living by cutting valuable calories. We have been suffering
from decades of weight loss preoccupation. Its time to learn
about the real value food has to your future. If you hear
someone talking about diet, they just haven't got it!"
Toomey's hydrotherapy helped rebuild muscles
and strength following back surgery.
Toomey advocates water-based exercises
with proper resistence equipment.
"Every move you make gives you some