Today's Small Step

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

Healthy Foods

Choose Healthy – ZERO sugar-sweetened drinks

 
 

View Blog

Fall Activity Challenge

Pharmacist

Get free answers to your medication questions. Call 8-1-1 and ask to speak to a Pharmacist

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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Many people do quick stretches, which have little to no benefit. Be sure to hold your stretches for about 30-60 seconds for optimal results.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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).

Live 5210 Badge

Harvest Box logo