Today's Small Step

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

Healthy Foods

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

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Fall Activity Challenge

Exercise Professional

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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.
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • After physical activity it is important to cool down. Your body needs muscle contraction to return blood to the heart. If you do not move when you finish exercise, you can often feel faint or dizzy. Plan on finishing each bout of physical activity with an easy walking (or equivalent) to let your body gradually return to normal.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Discover the financial cost of smoking – using this online tool you can quickly and easily calculate what smoking costs you each year, the next five years and the next 10 years. Just think about all the things you could do with that extra money! Click here to calculate the cost.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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


  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Get a training partner. For many people exercise is more fun when you are doing it with a friend. Grab a friend and get moving. This will make the time pass faster and help hold you accountable.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

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