A varied and interesting array of activities plus a sensible diet equals a healthy lifestyle for Diana Caparulo.
While many people are coming to grips with the reality of New Year’s resolutions after a couple of weeks, there’s no need for the Cowichan Valley resident to worry about that because she maintains a manageable routine throughout the year.
And if 70 is the new 60 or even 55, Caparulo is a poster woman for how age is only a number if you eat right and make sure to do any kind of workout on a regular basis.
Caparulo was born in Kadoma, formerly known as Gatooma, Zimbabwe, Africa and grew up on a farm there. While attending boarding school, she developed many healthy habits as a member of the diving, swimming, tennis, squash teams and more.
“I played every sport imaginable, everything from a very early age,” said Caparulo. “We were very lucky.”
Life later took her to Europe, upstate New York – where she ran a retail store for 25 years – and California, where she managed a winery, before coming to the Cowichan Valley about seven years ago with her husband Andrzej, who’s still a rather active senior himself riding horses at the age of 75.
Riding and sailing are two other passions for Caparulo.
“Riding horses is something I have been involved in for the last 10 years, however, I have been sailing for the last 50 years,” she noted.
Owning a horse was always a childhood dream for Caparulo and the couple has two, Sox and Indie.
In addition to working out on her treadmill, she also rides a bike. Caparulo had a bike in California, but it wasn’t until last year “I’m doing it on a regular basis,” she noted.
Perhaps the biggest change for Caparulo since moving here has been to enlist a personal trainer. She looked up personal trainers in Duncan online and connected with Amanda McArthur of FitStop.
“I read her bio and I thought ‘perfect, I want a body like that,’” marvelled Caparulo. “I can aspire to that.
“I absolutely love it. I go a couple of times a week. What I like about it, you have to work with what you’ve got.”
Of course, COVID has disrupted the gym schedules recently, but the Province announced reopenings could take place this week with safety precautions in place.
“I do miss the gym,” said Caparulo. “I think it holds you accountable. It’s good to have the interaction with Amanda. She holds me to task, not in a dictatorial way but as a matter of fact. I appreciate the guidance.”
That absence has definitely been felt and Caparulo noted the safety precautions taken when the gym was open went above and beyond.
“After touching anything, it’s always wiped down,” she indicated. “With COVID, we always work out with our masks on.”
She simply likes the environment there for workouts.
“They all take care of one another, which I appreciate, and with joy,” said Caparulo. “It’s very sweet.
“The minute I walk in the door my time starts. The minute I’m done, I’m done. There’s nothing wasted. Very efficient.”
McArthur and Nicole Morgan, who’s also a personal trainer, both have bodybuilding experience and also offer a unique perspective on nutrition that’s an important component of her lifestyle for Caparulo.
“The first thing that’s a priority for me is diet in terms of food, good quality food and good quality vegetables,” she said.
Caparulo grows some of her own food such as kale and garlic and different herbs and eats all the grains, the hemp, the flax – “everything that’s important,” she indicated. Snacks are taken between meals, even if it’s a protein shake.
It’s all part of a routine that works for Caparulo long-term, something that’s hard for many people to maintain. She’s up at 6:30 or 6:45 every morning.
“I’m just so regimented with it,” she said.
Caparulo keeps her exercise varied, whether it’s riding up the mountain on the horses three or four hours at a time or just working out at home.
“If I’m riding on one day, I will not do the treadmill,” she pointed out.
Variety is indeed the spice of life for Caparulo.