Easy Ways to Squeeze in a Workout

Between work, keeping up with chores, and spending time with friends and family, you may find it difficult to make time in your day for exercise. But as busy as you may feel, you should be able to uncover a few extra minutes hiding in your day. Here are a few ways to fit more fitness into your busy schedule.

  • For two days, keep track of how you spend your time. Writing this down helps you find more downtime that you could use for working out.
  • Pencil it in. Decide on a set time for exercise and enter it in your calendar as a daily event. When you see it every morning, you'll make a mental note that you’re going to exercise and this can help you to stay motivated.
  • Start small. Five-minute walks every day can easily turn into 30-minute walks.
  • Do small exercises while you’re watching TV. You can do crunches, planks, squats, lunges, or pushups while you’re catching up on your favorite shows.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Editing your negative thoughts is a great way to support healthier lifestyle choices.

4 Ways to Squeeze In That Workout [Women’s Health]
25 Ways to Make Time for Fitness [Experience Life]
10 Ways to Sneak In a Workout [Fitness Magazine]

Safety First! Essentials for Your Home First Aid Kit

Safety is a major concern in just about every household across the country, but you might not know exactly what to keep on hand to prevent against illness and injury. From minor cuts to major bumps and bruises, these first aid kit essentials will keep you (and your family) safe against all kinds of ailments.

  • Assorted bandages. Be sure to choose a box with a variety of shapes and sizes for all kinds of cuts.
  • Gauze bandages. To wrap arms and legs in case of a larger cut or burn.
  • Adhesive cloth tape. To securely fasten gauze bandages and wraps.
  • Instant cold pack. For soothing bruises and reducing swelling.
  • Aspirin. To reduce headaches and ease pain from minor injuries.
  • Oral thermometer. All households should have an adult thermometer, but families should also keep a children’s model on hand.
  • Non-latex gloves. For safely cleaning and dressing wounds.
  • Antihistamine. Brands like Benadryl help to reduce allergic reactions, such as bee stings.
  • Antibacterial creams. For disinfecting cuts, burns, and scrapes.
  • Antiseptic wipe packets. To quickly clean cuts and burns as soon as they happen.
  • Tweezers. To remove splinters and other small debris.
  • Rubbing alcohol. To sterilize your tools.
  • Sharp scissors. For cutting bandages, gauze, and other supplies.

First-Aid Kit Essentials [Parents]
First Aid Essentials [Healthy Essentials]
Anatomy of a First Aid Kit [American Red Cross]
First Aid Essentials [Real Simple]

Easy and Effective Ways to Combat Stress

Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, but if it starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, you could be dealing with something a bit more serious. The next time you start to feel those overwhelming feelings creeping on you, try these simple tips for combating stress naturally.

  • Don’t let it go too far. It’s much easier to manage stress when it first begins than when it starts to spiral out of control, so watch out for the warning signs early. If you can tell that it’s going to be a stressful week, prepare in advance so that you can manage your tasks without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Address the physical side effects. While stress itself is mental, its side effects are often physical. When you start to get jittery or your feel your heart racing, do some relaxing stretches, practice breathing exercises, or simply close your eyes and count to 10 to counteract those feelings.
  • Watch your diet. Before you start stress eating or grabbing unhealthy fast food while rushing to work, stop and plan your meals. What you eat can have a big impact on your mental state, so be sure to try to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to stay energized. Try to steer clear of caffeine!
  • Do something silly. Take a break from life (even if it’s just for five minutes) to laugh at a silly video or dance it out. Sometimes that’s all you need!

Top 10 Instant Stress Busters [Lifehacker]
7 Best Ways to Bust Stress [SheKnows]
15 Easy Ways to Bust Work Stress [Men’s Health]

3 Health Benefits of Strength Training Exercises

Even if you don’t plan on bulking up or competing in weight lifting competitions any time soon, strength training is a crucial part of any exercise regimen. Here are three great reasons to incorporate weight training into your workouts.

  1. It promotes strong bones. Weakening bones is a concern that all people have to face as they age. The stress that strength training puts on your bones increases their density and prevents osteoporosis, keeping you strong and healthy as years pass.
  2. It helps to control your weight. While you might relate weight loss with intense cardiovascular workouts, strength training is just as important if you want to lose weight. Gaining muscle increases your metabolism and causes your body to burn calories more efficiently.
  3. It gives you more energy. Like all workouts, strength training increases your stamina and helps you to stay alert and focused. After a few weeks of regular weight lifting or body weight exercises, you’ll notice that you feel more energized throughout the day. Some scientific studies even show that years of regular strength training exercises help to sharpen your focus and keep your mind attentive as you age.

Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier [Mayo Clinic]
7 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Routine [Everyday Health]
Benefits of Strength Training [Body Building]

What You Need to Know About the Couch to 5k Program

If you’ve always wanted to run a 5k but you just don’t know where to begin, you might be interested in the Couch-to-5k Program. This beginner-friendly running plan aims to take first time runners from their very first run all the way to a full 5k, and it’s customizable based on your specific time frame. Here are a few things that you should know about the program.

  • A 5k measures 3.1 miles.
  • The Couch-to-5k Program starts slowly and gradually builds up to a full 5k over the course of two months.
  • Each training session amounts to just 20 to 30 minutes three times per week.
  • The training days should be spaced out throughout the week, leaving at least one day for recovery in between.
  • With the Couch-to-5k, you don’t want to focus on how fast you’re going, but rather on building up your distance with each new session.
  • You can follow the Couch-to-5k Program either by time or by distance of each run. Experts recommend choosing whichever option seems easiest for you to keep track of.
  • It’s important to warm up and cool down before each session. With this program, a five-minute jog is a good warm-up, and it’s equally important to stretch before and after your run.

The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan | C25K Mobile App [Cool Running]
Couch to 5K: Is it Right for You? [Answers]
How to Lose Weight With Couch Potato Running [Livestrong]

How to Select Only the Freshest Veggies in the Produce Aisle

Fresh vegetables have a shorter lifespan than their frozen counterparts, so you likely want to make them last as long as possible when you purchase them. Use these expert tips to help you maintain a healthy diet and maximize the lifespan of your produce.

  1. Choose firm veggies. Vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, and onions should be firm, even colored, and free of bruises or other signs of damage. Be sure to pick these vegetables up in your hands and feel for consistent texture all the way around.
  2. Know your leafy greens. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, and lettuce should be crisp and brightly colored, with no visible signs of wilting or rot. You can also give these leafy vegetables a good whiff before buying to make sure that they don’t smell moldy.
  3. Inspect your root vegetables. The best potatoes, carrots, garlic, and other root vegetables may be a bit trickier to identify, but these simple tips can help: Look for cracking along the surface of the vegetable (an indicator that it's too dry), and be sure to avoid root veggies that smell rotten or moldy.
  4. Know your farmers' market veggies. If you regularly buy your produce at a supermarket, keep in mind that these types of stores use different techniques to make veggies look perfect. While farmers' market vegetables may not look as pretty, they’re still just as tasty.

How to Select Fresh, Ripe Produce [Lifehacker]
How to Pick Fruits & Veggies [Good Housekeeping]
Raw Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely [FDA]
Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables [Family Circle]

How to Prevent Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen

Cross-contamination in the kitchen occurs when you use the same tools and cutting boards to prepare things like raw meat or eggs that you use to prepare fresh produce or cooked foods, contaminating the food you eat with the bacteria from these raw items. To avoid cross-contamination, follow these safety tips.

  1. It starts at the grocery store. Although cross-contamination is usually thought of in the kitchen, it can also happen before you even get your foods home. When shopping at the grocery store, be sure to package raw meats tightly in plastic and put them in a separate bag from other groceries. Also make sure that your carton of eggs doesn’t contain any broken eggs that could leak on other foods.
  2. Use separate cutting boards. One of the most important ways to prevent food poisoning from cross-contamination is by using different cutting boards for meat and other items. Properly label each board, and never cut fresh vegetables, fruits, or breads on the cutting board that you use for meat or eggs. Also, clean your meat cutting board thoroughly and replace it often.
  3. Cook safely. When cooking, never use the same tools to flip raw chicken that you use to stir-fry vegetables, as this can spread bacteria from the raw meat. Throw away any marinades that meat was once soaking in, and always serve cooked foods on a clean, new plate.

Safe Food Handling: What You Need to Know [FDA]
Separate To Keep Food Safe [Home Food Safety]
Cutting Board Safety [Home Food Safety]

What’s In Season? Your Guide to Spring Produce

Spring is a bountiful time of the year when it comes to fresh produce, but it always helps to know exactly what’s in season. If you want to purchase only the freshest, most flavorful fruits and veggies and ensure that they last as long as possible in your fridge, use these helpful tips for understanding spring produce.

  1. Artichokes. Whether you use them on pizzas or add them to your salads, artichokes are a great way to add flavor and nutrients to your meals. Their main harvest takes place during the springtime, so look for artichokes with close, compact leaves and clean-cut stems.
  2. Asparagus. This popular veggie is found in a number of high-end restaurants, but you can easily prepare it at home if you purchase it fresh in the springtime. The thickness doesn’t necessarily indicate tenderness, so don’t overlook thinner or thicker spears at your grocery store.
  3. Carrots. While carrots are commonly found in grocery stores year-round, they taste best during the spring season. Only purchase bundles that are firm to the touch for maximum freshness.
  4. Leafy greens. Nutrient-rich veggies like chard, kale, and other cooking greens tend to turn bitter during hot summer months, so purchase them in the spring for the best taste.
  5. Fennel. If you’ve never cooked with fennel, experiment with this green (a relative of celery) when it comes into season during the warmer springtime.
  6. Grapefruit. Create a nutritious breakfast by adding grapefruit, which starts to become plump and juicy in January.

Spring Produce: Your Guide to Picking the Best [Greatist]
What’s in Season? Spring [Fruits and Veggies More Matters]
Fresh Spring Fruits and Vegetables [About Food]

What Are Your Tips for Cooking the Perfect Omelet?

Omelets are seemingly simple breakfast foods that are deceptively difficult to make. If you’re all too accustomed to overcooked, broken omelets, these seven expert tips will help show you how to flip one like a pro. And if you have your own omelet cooking tips, be sure to share them!

  1. Use the proper tools. For best results, use a skillet that’s 8 or 9 inches in diameter, plus a heatproof spatula and an egg whisk.
  2. Assemble the ingredients. A standard omelet uses two or three eggs per person, as well as whichever veggies, meats, or cheeses that you prefer. Be sure to chop and prepare your toppings in advance!
  3. Add a splash of water to your eggs. Before adding the other ingredients, whisk a splash of water into the eggs. This will help ensure a light, fluffy omelet.
  4. Heat the skillet. Heat your skillet to medium-high heat and coat the bottom with unsalted butter.
  5. Add the eggs. Add just the eggs to the pan first and let the edges set for about 10 seconds. Pull the now-set edges in toward the center and rotate the pan to disperse the raw egg.
  6. Add toppings. Gently sprinkle the toppings on the surface of the eggs.
  7. Fold. Fold only one side of the omelet in toward the center. Once it’s done cooking, fold the other side by tilting the skillet. Flip the whole thing face down onto your plate to complete the perfect omelet.

How to Make the Perfect Omelet [Food Network]
How to Make the 'Perfect' French Omelet [Instructables]
How to Make an Omelet [Organic Valley]

How to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

You really never know how a meal is prepared when you’re eating out, and even the healthiest seeming salad can be packed with fattening cheeses, heavy oils, and excessive amounts of sodium. Instead of boycotting restaurants, use these smart tips for eating healthy while eating out.

  1. Know the lingo. When navigating the menu, recognize that words like “crispy,” “au gratin,” “creamed,” or “battered” are just as bad as “deep-fried.” Instead, look for dishes that are “grilled,” “poached,” or “roasted.”
  2. Choose restaurants with healthy or light menus. If you want to make navigating the menu even easier, research which restaurant chains offer separate menus of healthier dishes.
  3. Avoid appetizers. Instead of ordering extra food before your meal even arrives, eat your healthy entree and then reevaluate to see if you’re still hungry.
  4. Ask for sauces on the side. If you order a salad with dressing or a sandwich with a creamy sauce, ask for it on the side and only use as much as you need.
  5. Ask for a to-go box with your order. If your biggest challenge is overindulging, there’s no shame in packaging a portion of your meal up before you begin eating. This will ensure that you don’t go overboard.
  6. Don’t skip dessert. No, you don’t have to pass on dessert; just opt for healthier treats like fresh fruit, sherbet, or flourless cakes.

Deciphering the Menu [American Heart Association]
Ordering Your Meal [American Heart Association]
Tips for Eating Healthy When Eating Out [USDA]
It's About Eating Right [Eat Right]

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