Today's Small Step

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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Click here to get clear - make sure you know the facts about tobacco.

  • Watch less TV. Research shows that a high correlation between TV watching and obesity. Also, cutting down on television watching gives you more time to get active.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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 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.

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

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Make your own frozen yogurt – instead of ice cream treats try freezing your favourite yogurt in a popsicle tray.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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