Today's Small Step

You don't have to have fancy equipment to build strength. Just a simple pair of adjustable dumbbells and a bit of instruction can give you endless options to build strength and improve the quality of your life.

Healthy Foods

Involve children in household chores such as washing the car, walking the dog or vacuuming

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Fall Activity Challenge

Registered Dietitian

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

  • 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.

  • Make your car, home and/or office completely smoke free.

  • Talk about it! Sit down with everyone living in your home and discuss ways to make or keep your home and car smoke-free.
    Get ready! Set up a smoking area outside. Remove any ashtrays from your home and close your car’s ashtray. Think about smokers who will visit and consider how you will ask them to smoke outside.
    Go! Be polite but firm – Kids NEED breathing space! Say thank you to friends for helping keep you and your family healthy.

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

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

  • Try something new. In our society, there are countless ways to be physically active. Find something you have never done before and give it a try.

  • 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.

  • Keep an activity log. Each day, write down what you did and how long you did it. This will help keep you motivated to continue with your physical activity.

  • Check out ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). They have a wealth of health and fitness information and are one of the top organizations in the world for fitness information.

  • 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.

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

  • Click here to learn why it is so hard to quit.

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

  • Start a money jar with the money you save from not smoking and invest for a rainy day or buy yourself a gift or go for a nice dinner.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Go 8 hours without smoking – the oxygen levels in your blood will go back to normal and carbon monoxide levels in your body drop.

  • Put home exercise equipment in front of the TV. This will help pass the time faster and you can get the exercise you need while not missing your favorite show.

  • Visit the washroom one floor up or at the other end of the building.

  • Dumbbells and barbells are not the only way to do resistance training exercises. Simple household objects like soup cans, milk jugs and suit cases can be used to strengthen and tone your muscles.

  • 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.

  • Getting in a pattern or schedule can help increase exercise adherence. Plan a specific part of your day for exercise. It could be in the morning, at lunch time or in the evening. The main thing is to find a time that works for you and get it done.

  • Start a craving journal - If you know when you are tempted to smoke, you can plan for how to deal with the urge before it hits. A free template is available here.

  • When it comes to physical activity, it is never too late to start and late is better than never.

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

  • Don’t be a victim to tobacco marketing tactics – to become aware of the marketing schemes click here.

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

  • If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. For best results with your physical activity, drink water before exercise, sip on water during exercise and then drink more after exercise.

  • Going from not moving to intense physical activity is very hard on the body and can lead to injury. Take a few minutes for some gentle movements such as controlled arm circles and leg swings to warm-up the body. Start light and gradually increase the intensity of your exercise sessions.

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

  • 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.

  • Family fitness. Many people lack time for exercise and quality time with the family. Why not combine the two? Take your family out and do something physical and fun.

  • Set short-term goals, not just long term goals. For example, if you have a long term goal to run the Sun Run and you are currently not doing anything, set a short goal of running 1 mile.

  • Fraser Health Authority’s Tobacco Reduction Coordinators are here to help you find the best free quit resources and direct you to local programs available for every age group.

  • What are your personal benefits and costs of smoking? Click here to find out.

  • Many people hold their breath as they lift. While this may be necessary when lifting extremely heavy objects, it can be dangerous. Breathe out as you lift.

  • 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).

  • Balance technology – Walk to your co-worker instead of sending an e-mail, five minutes per hour, chat face to face, trashcan basketball, stretch. Work in a standing position when possible, sit on a stability ball.

  • Family fitness. Many people lack time for exercise and quality time with the family. Why not combine the two? Take your family out and do something physical and fun.

  • Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

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

  • 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!

  • Go two days without smoking - Your sense of smell and taste improves. You start to enjoy your food more. Your risk of heart attack begins to decrease.

  • Check out www.humankinetics.com for great books and resources to learn more about your favorite physical activities.

  • When it comes to physical activity, it is never too late to start and late is better than never. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, and then get some guidance from a qualified fitness professional and start enjoying the benefits of physical activity.

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

  • Talk to certified fitness trainers. They can give you practical ideas on how to improve your fitness level in a safe and effective way.

  • 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.

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