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Healthier You Expo to feature BodyBreak's Hal and Joanne

Canada's favourite fitness gurus will headline this year's Healthier You Expo.
BodyBreak couple Joanne McLeod, Hal Johnson and daughter Sierra on the trail in Ireland. Hal and Joanne will speak at the Healthier You Expo on Sunday.

Canada's favourite fitness gurus will headline this year's Healthier You Expo.

Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod, known to television viewers nationwide as the BodyBreak duo, will be the keynote speakers when the event is held this Sunday at College of New Caledonia, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

They'll be there to both inform and inspire when they hit the main stage at 1 p.m., just like they did when they were in Prince George five years ago. At that time, they has just finished competing in the inaugural season of The Amazing Race Canada - they were eliminated midway through the reality show's run - and appeared on the premiere of This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Fast forward to today and they remain as busy as ever. He's 62 years old and she's 60, but for both age is just a number.

For his 60th birthday, they traveled to Ireland with daughter Sierra in tow, where they walked 163 kilometres of the Kerry Way, one of the country's iconic and very mountainous trails, in four days.

"We did it certainly just to challenge ourselves," Johnson said in a telephone interview from the couple's cottage in Muskoka, Ontario. "It's like, OK, I'm 60 and I'm not dead and the whole attitude is you don't stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing."

And to celebrate her 60th, Joanne competed in an Ironman triathlon, made up of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run. Johnson said he spent plenty of time paddling his kayak as McLeod swam the local lake to get ready.

The payoff was gaining a newfound resiliency.

"She used to just do marathons and now that she does triathlons she finds that her body doesn't take the same kind of pounding," Johnson said.

Among the messages they will bring is that it's never too late to adopt healthy habits. A good first step is to surround yourself with people of like mind.

"Join a cycling club or a hiking club," he said. "All of those people are going to have that healthy habit and you're going to be able to just fall in line.

As a personal goal, McLeod said he wants to be in better shape next year than he is this year. The two will spend the winter lifting weights and riding their bikes in preparation for a cycling trip in North Carolina.

"At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing you have," he said. "Take care of it and treasure it."

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond will be among those attending. Along with the "household names" that are Hal and Joanne, she said there are many other good reasons to give the event a visit.

"It's a chance to spend some time on a Sunday afternoon taking a look at some of the great organizations in our community," Bond said.

YMCA of Northern B.C. will have a major presence as they lead demos and workouts ranging from seniors and weights to tai chi.

It's also a chance to get a free flu shot, get your vitals checked and check out the Northern Health Connections bus. There will also be door prizes and, for the kids, a scavenger hunt. Upwards of 25 exhibitors are on the list.