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For the past few years, I have been committed to healthy lifestyle habits. I try to make smart food choices, exercise often, drink enough water and get adequate rest at night. When it comes to streamlining my workout routine, there are a number of things I have learned over the years. From mixing up the types of exercises to choosing a protein-rich snack after a workout (I’ve been really loving Harvest Snaps), I’m sharing my best tips today!
1. Be aware of your body!
When it comes to starting a new workout routine, be sure to start slow and increase the intensity/duration gradually over time. Always listen to your body during a workout. For example, if you feel tired or weak or otherwise unwell while working out, discontinue the exercise and seek medical advice. Older individuals and those who haven’t exercised in a long time may benefit from seeking clearance from their physician prior to starting any workout routine.
2. Choose the right types of exercise!Don’t do the same exercise every single day. If you do, your muscles will get used to the motions and won’t be challenged. Consider combining a routine of strength training (to tone the body) and interval training (to build cardiovascular endurance). Also, don’t underestimate the importance of a warm up and cool down every single time you work out. It could just be a few minutes at the beginning and a few minutes at the end – warm ups and cool downs don’t have to be long to be effective.
3. Choose smart snacks!
Having the right snacks to refuel after a workout is incredibly important. I recently picked up a few varieties of Harvest Snaps from Stop & Shop. There are actually nine flavors to choose from and I tried Lightly Salted, Caesar and the NEW White Cheddar. There’s also the NEW Parmesan Roasted Garlic flavor that I can’t wait to try next time.
These deliciously crunchy baked veggie snacks are made from high quality ingredients, including veggies direct from the farm. I love that the first ingredient is always a veggie (green peas, black beans or red lentil). I also appreciate that this snack provides an impressive 4-5 grams of plant-based protein and 3-4 grams of fiber in every serving.
With no artificial flavors or colors, Harvest Snaps is a food I feel good about enjoying. It’s a great anytime-of-day snack, but I really enjoy it after my workouts. Plus, most of the flavors are gluten-free and some are even non-GMO. I leave one bag of Harvest Snaps in the car and one in the office.
These snacks can even pair well with sandwiches or wraps (instead of the usual chips). If you’re looking for another fun way to enjoy them, consider dipping them in some hummus or ranch dip. Just enjoying them plain right out of the bag is fun too!
Have you ever heard of Kids 360? It’s a non-profit developed to make a difference in the lives of kids in need. I love that Harvest Snaps partners with Kids360 to give back to the community. Don’t forget to look for Harvest Snaps at your local Stop & Shop store. This snack is so good you’ll find it in the Produce section of the store!
Enjoy the deliciousness of this better-for-you snack without any guilt.
4. Think about your form!
Don’t underestimate the importance of proper form. Not only will the right form protect you from injury, it will also help to ensure a more efficient workout for the long run. Whether you’re doing weight training, jogging or swimming, the right form can make a big difference. Also, ensure your gear (sneakers, gloves, etc.) fits correctly and provides adequate support throughout your workout.
5. Stay hydrated!
Due to sweat, you can lose over a liter of fluid for every hour of exercise. So drink up before, during and after a session. I like to add a few slices of lemon (or even cucumber) to my water for a little added flavor!
6. Keep track of your progress!
Whether your goal is to lose ten pounds or tone up your arms or something else entirely, write down your goal and the time frame you anticipate it will take to reach that goal. Also, jot down intermediate goals required to achieve the final goal. Every few weeks or so, check your progress chart and report your current status.
7. Don’t neglect your workday!
Many of us spend hours every day in front of a computer. Don’t waste that time. Consider using a stability ball instead of an office chair – the extra work it takes to stay balanced will give your core muscles a workout. Another option is a standing desk or bike desk – both of those options make it easier to get a little workout while being productive!
8. Be consistent!
Whatever result you’re looking for, consistency is key. You can’t work out for a few days and then stop for a few weeks. It’s essential to be consistent in your efforts in order to see results over the long run. If you need to take a few days off, make sure you get back to your exercise routine as soon as possible.
9. Find an exercise buddy!
Like-minded people tend to motivate each other. Find a workout buddy to keep you accountable. You can both go for long walks every day or hit the gym together. In addition to exercise motivation, buddies can also motivate you to establish other healthy lifestyle habits.
Don’t forget to pick up Harvest Snaps from the produce section at Stop & Shop and experience the deliciousness of this baked snack for yourself! Which flavor are you most excited to try? What is your best exercise tip?