Today's Small Step

Ever notice that some people can eat all they want and never put on weight? Chances are these people have a high metabolism. Adding resistance training to your exercise regime builds lean muscle which raises your metabolism.

Healthy Foods

Get your calories from healthy foods and your liquids from water
 
 

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Health Tips

  • Top your favourite whole grain cereal with fruit and yogurt.
  • Know your portions – not sure how many grains to eat in a day or how much dairy you really need? Click here for a copy of the Canada Food Guide and get your portions back on track.
  • Eat slower to consume fewer calories – when you feel physically full your stomach was probably truly full several bites before. Eat more slowly, give your brain a chance to know you are full.
  • Eat every two to three hours – eating every 2-3 hours helps to get your metabolism going, your blood sugars stable and reduces cravings.
  • Don’t drink your calories – be careful with calorie rich drinks like pop, sweetened teas, juice and specialty drinks. It is really easy to consume large amounts of calories and still feel hungry.
  • Choose foods that are lower in the glycemic index more often – lower GI foods are absorbed into your blood more slowly which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Click here for more information.
  • Choose healthier fats - canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame), unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.
  • Have fish twice per week – healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements.
  • Try different types of protein – beans (black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans), soy products (tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers).
  • Stick to the edges of the grocery store - In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products.
  • Make your own frozen yogurt – instead of ice cream treats try freezing your favourite yogurt in a popsicle tray.
  • De-butter your popcorn – instead lightly spray your popcorn with olive oil and add a small amount of your favourite seasoning.
  • Make healthy french fries – cut up potato or sweet potatoes and place in your oven with a small amount of oil and herbs and spices.
  • Drink water first – feel hungry? You might be thirsty. When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first, wait 10-15 minutes and if you are still hungry then have something healthy to eat.
  • Read the list of ingredients – did you know that the ingredients are listed in order of weight, from most to least? This means that the food contains more of the ingredients at the beginning of the list and less of the ingredients at the end of the list. Make sure the healthy ingredients are near the start of the list.
  • Add some color to your plate – eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.
  • Create your own, personal food guide - By entering personal information, such as age and sex, selecting various items from the four food groups and choosing different types of physical activities, you can create a tool that is customized just for you. Click here to get started.
  • Take your coffee/tea black – each teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories and one tablespoon of cream has 20 calories. If you take one of each per cup of coffee that is an extra 36 calories per cup. Over the course of a week that could be more than 1000 extra calories!
  • Start your day with cooked oats – oats are an inexpensive, filling, breakfast option. Whole oats can result in a reduction in cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Try quinoa - quinoa is an excellent source of protein. It is low in fat and high in fibre. It also contains iron, potassium, riboflavin, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.
  • Limit foods that won't rot – foods that won’t rot when left on your counter likely have large amounts of chemicals and preservatives. Consume these foods in moderation and focus more on fresh, preservative free foods.
  • Structured exercise is great for improving fitness, but just moving is essential for health. Look for a combination of structured and non-structured activity to make up your daily physical activity plan.

  • Learn how you can help someone else quit, click here for more information.

  • Top your favourite whole grain cereal with fruit and yogurt.

  • Plan for physical activity – Brown bag it, keep runners at work and walk at lunch, schedule your physical activity.


  • Check out your local community recreation center. You will be amazed at how many different ways it offers to keep you in motion.

  • Roller blades offer a fun way to get physical activity. They also provide a low impact workout done with different movements and muscles than are commonly used in jogging and walking.

  • Learn about nicotine withdrawal symptoms and how to cope with them. Click here to learn more.

  • Listen to music while you exercise. Find songs that are energizing and you'll be surprise at how much longer you can go and how much harder you can exercise.

  • It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked. You become healthier and stronger each day you are tobacco free.

  • Try quinoa - quinoa is an excellent source of protein. It is low in fat and high in fibre. It also contains iron, potassium, riboflavin, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.

  • Change your shoes regularly. Mileage adds up on your shoes and well-cushioned, supportive shoes can become sloppy and hard before you know it.

  • By making your car and home smoke-free, you are taking an important step in protecting you and others from secondhand smoke.

  • Exercising on an empty stomach can lead to hypoglycemia. This is where your blood sugar drops and you feel weak, dizzy and lightheaded. To prevent this, eat a light meal about 1-3 hours before exercise.

  • Set a quit date and a quit method – people who actually plan out how they are going to quit are more successful than those who don’t. For information on deciding on a date and a method click here.

  • The ideal: stop smoking altogether. If nothing else cut down and reduce the risk to others.

  • Tired of waiting for the elevator? Make a plan to use the stairs instead of taking the elevator and you’ll be surprised at how much more activity you get.

  • Volunteer at your local school. There are opportunities for people to help with coaching sports teams or doing recreation with kids. This can be a great way to give back to the community and stay active at the same time.

  • Put your goals in writing. In our society, people seem to not take things seriously until they are put in writing. Write out your goal of 30 minutes of daily physical activity and out it in visible places around your home and work to remind you of your commitment to better health through daily physical activity.

  • Drink at least 6 - 8 glasses of water per day. Cold water helps flush the nicotine out of your system.

  • When setting goals, use the "SMART goals" acronym. Goals should be specific, measurable, action-orientated, realistic and time sensitive.

  • Dress for success. Don't worry about the latest fashion, but make sure you are dressed appropriately for exercise. If the weather is colder, start with layers, then you can take off the outer layers as you get warmer. Look for loose, non-restrictive clothing that is comfortable. Cotton is a good option.

  • By giving up smoking you, will be helping those you care about avoid the dangers of secondhand smoke.

  • How addicted are you? Knowing how addicted you are can help you decide if you need extra support or whether you need stop smoking medications to help you quit. To have the best chance of successfully quitting, you need to know what you are up against. Take this online quiz.

  • Have fish twice per week – healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements.

  • Delay. Delay the urge to smoke for at least five minutes, the urge will pass.
    Deep breathe. Breathe slowly and deeply.
    Do something else. Keep your hands busy.
    Drink water. Take “time-out”, sip slowly.

  • If you are walking on sidewalks, be aware that they can be on a slant. Prolonged walking on a slant can cause hip and low back problems. Try to walk on level ground as much as possible. When not possible, try to spend equal time slanted each way.

  • Meet a real quitter - The following British Columbians agreed to share their personal stories to help others quit smoking. Watch their videos and read their stories to see how they have successfully quit smoking. Their real-life experiences may inspire you to quit or remain tobacco-free. Click here to meet real people who have kicked their addiction.

  • Try different types of protein – beans (black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans), soy products (tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers).

  • Many people pull too hard when they stretch. Stretching should be gentle and comfortable.

  • Choose healthier fats - canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame), unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.

  • Cross training means doing different things in your training. This breaks up the monotony of doing the same thing again and again and helps prevent overuse injuries. Make a list of as many different ways you can do physical activity and then enjoy the variety. After all, it is the spice of life.

  • Hard to find time to exercise? Try exercising in the morning. This gets it done before the rest of the day's responsibilities arise.

  • Accountability is a great way to keep on track with your fitness program. Tell as many people as you can that you are committed to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day and you will be amazed at how much better you stick with it.

  • Move more often. Look for practical ways to get you moving. Take the stairs, park a little further away, walk to the mail box, walk your dog. These are just a few of many ways to move more often.

  • Read the list of ingredients – did you know that the ingredients are listed in order of weight, from most to least? This means that the food contains more of the ingredients at the beginning of the list and less of the ingredients at the end of the list. Make sure the healthy ingredients are near the start of the list.

  • There is lots of variety with physical activity. Check out your local community recreation programs for lots of fun ways that you can get physically active.

  • Get a pedometer. For most North Americans, just moving more will improve their health. Set a goal to take 10, 000 steps per day.

  • Aqua fit is exercise classes done in a pool. It is a great way to get active without putting excessive stress on your joints. Also, don’t worry if you cannot swim, most classes are done in the shallow end of the pool.

  • Create your own, personal food guide - By entering personal information, such as age and sex, selecting various items from the four food groups and choosing different types of physical activities, you can create a tool that is customized just for you. Click here to get started.

  • Don’t drink your calories – be careful with calorie rich drinks like pop, sweetened teas, juice and specialty drinks. It is really easy to consume large amounts of calories and still feel hungry.

  • Find ways to manage your cravings – here are some tips to get you started.

  • Why not be a nice person and get fit at the same time? Instead of driving around for 5 minutes to find the closest parking spot, park farther away and enjoy a brisk walk.

  • Take your coffee/tea black – each teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories and one tablespoon of cream has 20 calories. If you take one of each per cup of coffee that is an extra 36 calories per cup. Over the course of a week that could be more than 1000 extra calories!

  • Discover what is really in cigarettes - click here to learn what is really going into your body.

  • Get support – you don’t have to quit alone. Find a smoking cessation support group in your community by clicking here.

  • Dynamic stretching is a great way to warm-up before exercise. Start at your feet move up your body by moving each joint through a full, pain-free range of motion. Do this in a slow controlled manner.

  • Add some color to your plate – eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

  • De-butter your popcorn – instead lightly spray your popcorn with olive oil and add a small amount of your favourite seasoning.

  • Today, shoe manufactures design footwear specifically for physical activity. Make sure that you have shoes that fit your chosen activity.

  • Stick to the edges of the grocery store - In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products.

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