Today's Small Step

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.

Healthy Foods

Set an example and live an active lifestyle. Children of active parents are more likely to be active themselves

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Fall Activity Challenge

Registered Nurse

Get free answers to your health questions. Call 8-1-1 and ask to speak to a nurse.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Put your goals in writing. In our North American 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 put it in visible places around your home and work to remind you of your commitment to better health through daily physical activity.

  • 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.

  • To quit smoking takes hard work and a lot of effort, but you can quit smoking. It will be one of the most important things you will ever do.

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

  • 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.

  • Bike, rollerblade, walk, run, or take transit to work.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • If you have ever been to a walking track or a skating rink, you will note that people tend to favor the counter-clockwise direction. Over time this can lead to imbalances in the body. To prevent this, walk/run both ways on a track.

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

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

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

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

  • Group fitness classes can be a fun way to get physical activity, meet new people and have a lot of fun at the same time. Check out your local fitness or recreation center for a class schedule.

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Often times when people think of physical activity, they think of jogging or other structured forms of fitness. Simple household chores like gardening or yard work is a great way to stay active, and get things done around the house.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Most people think of personal training as a luxury for the rich and famous. However, today, more and more people are getting into personal training. This offers the chance to get a program specifically tailored to your goals and specific needs.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

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