- Stretched out
While most of your time spent working out probably involves aerobic activities like walking or jogging, and conditioning exercises that boost your strength, you might not pay much attention to flexibility training. But limbering up provides a host of benefits including injury prevention, stress release, improved mobility, enhanced athletic performance, and even better posture.
- Consider taking a class — such as yoga, Pilates, or tai chi. Having an instructor to model technique can help ensure you’re doing moves properly and hold you accountable.
- Always warm up with at least 5-10 minutes of walking to help naturally loosen the muscles first. Focus on large muscles groups (hamstrings, quadriceps, shoulders, calves, and back), and don’t forget to stretch both sides evenly.
- Breathe as you stretch, holding each position; never bounce. You should feel some tension, but not pain.
Spend five minutes in the morning doing a few basic stretches— while showering, before bed, or after every workout
- Convenience close to home
Grab-and-go convenience foods are easy — but many packaged foods contain unhealthy sodium levels and artificial ingredients. Keep the convenience and raise the health factor by prepping these homemade energy boosters:
- Snack packs. Portable 100-calorie portions are easy to make yourself. Try a cup of air-popped popcorn with a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips or pistachios, or pair a handful of raw veggies with a 50-calorie dollop of hummus.
- Quick breakfasts. Granola bars and flavored yogurt are often overloaded with sugar. A small pack of flavored instant oatmeal can have about three teaspoons of sugar, while rolled oats sweetened with fruit puree and cinnamon can cut that in half. Plain, low-fat yogurt topped with fresh fruit is another healthy option.
- Ready lunches. These prepared meals are typically high in sodium. Instead, pack your own salad in a jar, make and freeze roasted vegetable wraps, or brown bag hearty soup in a microwaveable container.
Take time today to plan healthy to-go foods for the week — your body will thank you.