Today's Small Step

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

Healthy Foods

Try beginning dinner with a salad or raw vegetables

 
 

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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.
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • Don't like getting sore after a workout? Gentle stretching after physical activity can help reduce muscle soreness.

  • Get off the bus a few stops earlier and/or park a distance away.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Eat every two to three hours – eating every 2-3 hours helps to get your metabolism going, your blood sugars stable and reduces cravings.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Exercise helps with depression. Daily physical activity may be just what you need to feel better and improve your mood.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Join a sports team. This can be a fun way to stay active, meet people and add some excitement to your life. Just make sure that you have the fitness level to participate safely in your desired sport.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Look for community events such as walks and mini races. These can be fun and exciting and give you something to work towards.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • While gentle stretching can be great for improving flexibility, it can also be used to relax. Stretching calms tight muscles and helps relieve the effects of stress.

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