Tips to Improve Your Health
This fact sheet provides basic information only. It must not take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to a
healthcare professional about any health concerns you have, and before you make any changes to your diet, lifestyle or treatment.
We all want to lead a long, healthy life and 2. Eat well to stay well
to take the best possible care of ourselves
and those close to us. While some risk Healthy eating helps you feel great, stay well
factors can't be changed, all of us can and control your weight. A healthy diet also
make choices that will promote our health offers protection against heart disease, stroke,
and greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer and other serious diseases. Follow
chronic diseases such as heart disease, these tips adapted from Canada's Guidelines
many cancers, and type II diabetes. for Healthy Eating :
Five steps to a healthier you • Enjoy smaller portions of lean meat,
fish or poultry, trimming away any
1. Stay smoke-free visible fat;
• Plan your meals with the main focus
Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke on vegetables, fruit, and grain
are major causes of premature death from products such as rice, pasta, bread,
heart and lung diseases, stroke, and cancer - and cereals. Choose more whole-grain
Canada's number one killers. foods like whole-wheat bread, brown
rice, and cereals. Include some
If you smoke, think about quitting now. It's servings of dark-green and orange
never too late to stop - no matter how long fruit and vegetables every day;
you've smoked, or how often you've tried to • Reach for lower fat milk, yogurt, and
quit. When you stop smoking, your risk of cottage cheese in the dairy case (1 per
heart disease drops rapidly. After a few years, cent or 2 per cent butter fat, or skim);
it's almost as low as if you had never smoked. • Cut back on fats like butter, oil and
You can join the five million Canadians who margarine. Prepare food using as little
have quit. Ask your doctor about ways to quit extra fat as possible;
smoking, or contact the organizations listed • Limit salt, alcohol and caffeine.
below. Prepared foods are high in salt. More
than two alcoholic drinks a day raises
If you don't smoke, don't start. And blood pressure - a serious risk factor
everyone should avoid exposure to second- for both heart disease and stroke.
hand smoke - a serious hazard with the same Alcohol should be limited to a
health risks as smoking. It's especially maximum of two drinks per day and
important for children and people with coffee to four regular-size cups.
asthma and respiratory problems to be in a
3. Make physical activity a part of your life High blood pressure is a serious health
problem that can lead to heart disease and
Want to protect your health, achieve or stroke. But it's controllable. If your blood
maintain a healthy body weight, have more pressure is high, follow your doctor's advice
energy and relieve stress ? Regular physical faithfully.
activity does all that and more. It helps your
heart, lungs and blood vessels work better, Here are some tips on keeping your blood
and controls your cholesterol and blood pressure healthy :
• Have your blood pressure checked
It's easy to get more active. Take the stairs regularly;
instead of the elevator. Get off the bus a few • Stop smoking;
stops early and walk the rest of the way. • Get regular physical activity;
Walk to the neighborhood store instead of • Drink less alcohol or stop completely;
driving. Use a manual mower to cut the lawn. • Maintain a healthy body weight;
• Use less salt.
Do something physical that you enjoy. Brisk
walking is a good start. Swimming, skating, 5. Relax and enjoy life
bicycling, and dancing are great activities.
Anything that gets you moving and raises Take time for pleasurable activities and to
your heart rate counts. enjoy the company of friends and family.
Begin slowly and work up to a more vigorous Do you often feel tense, driven or irritable ?
level. Try to include at least 30 minutes a day It's time to identify the sources of negative
of moderate activity on most days of the stress in your life, and to take steps to reduce
week. or manage them. Find out about relaxation
and stress management techniques from your
If you have a heart condition or other medical family doctor or the organizations listed
problems, take medications, or have been below.
inactive for a long time, talk to your doctor
before changing your level of activity. Ask Want to know more ? Contact your local
about special exercise programs. public health unit for more information about
the above topics or other health concerns.
4. Know your blood pressure The following organizations are also
excellent information sources.
You've never felt better. How could high
blood pressure be a problem ? Unfortunately, The Consumer Health Information Service
you could have high blood pressure and offers information on a wide range of health
never know it because there are no obvious topics. Toronto Reference Library
symptoms. It hits men and women of all ages Telephone: 416-393-7168 or 1-800-667-
and occupations. Tense people can have 1999.
normal blood pressure; calm people can have
high blood pressure. The only way to know The Hospital for Sick Children offers
for sure is to have your blood pressure information about child safety, child growth
checked by a health professional.
and development, parenting, and general
medical topics. Contact the Resource Centre
for Health Information and Disease
Prevention. Telephone : 416-813-5819.
Hours : Monday to Thursday, 9:30 am to
3:30 pm. Closed Friday.
You can get information on Cancer from the
Cancer Information Service, a partnership of
Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian
Cancer Society. Call them at : 1-888-939-
3333 or visit their website at www.cancer.ca
Government of Ontario
For information about health services and
For consumer-friendly health tips and
1-866-797-0000; TTY 1-866-797-0007
INFOline is open during business hours
and can provide general information on
Telehealth Ontario is a 24/7 service which
uses nurse practitioners to answer your
immediate health concerns.