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Snacking and fitness tips for busy lifestyles

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

SNACK SMARTER AND GET MOVING

Being a busy woman is not an excuse to neglect your diet and fitness. Even if you think you could not possibly fit one more thing into your schedule, you can make the time to snack smarter and get a little extra physical activity. Here are a few healthy snacks and nifty tips to burn some calories.

When you are trying to lose weight (or even maintain your weight), snacking can be your biggest downfall — especially if you have kids that like nibbles with sugar, fat and calories that you can do without. Common snack foods such as potato chips, cookies and candy are so convenient and, oftentimes, you might not even realize how much you are eating. Even in small quantities, traditional snack foods can sideline your healthy eating efforts. And just as bad, most snack items are devoid of nutrients.

Mixed berries

HEALTHY SNACKS

When your snack craving hits, give these nutritious and delicious foods a try:

Blueberries

Low in calories and high in nutrients, blueberries are the perfect snack. They are packed with powerful antioxidants and great brain food. Raspberries and other berries are also good choices.

Fat-free Yogurt

Many brands of fat-free yogurt are available for under 100 calories per serving. Fat-free yogurt comes in an assortment of delicious flavors and provides calcium and other essential vitamins.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are great as filler food when you need a snack throughout the day — a whole medium-sized cucumber is just 45 calories. Bring a Ziploc bag of sliced cucumber to work to eat with your lunch, instead of chips. If you do not like cucumber, choose carrot or celery sticks.

Peanuts

While peanuts are high in fat, it is monounsaturated — the good kind of fat. Peanut butter also makes a good snack spread on an apple or a slice of whole grain bread. But with peanuts and peanut butter, watch your portion size!

EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES BURN CALORIES

With your busy schedule, you may not have time to go to the gym to keep in shape. Working outside of the home, taking care of your kids and managing your household can leave little time for fitness. However, you can stay in shape by adding exercise to your daily routine with these everyday activities.

Exercise at the Workplace

Take the stairs instead of the elevator each day. Climbing stairs is a fabulous way to get a lower body workout and get your blood pumping. Instead of driving to a restaurant for lunch, bring your own and take a brisk walk to a park and eat outdoors.

Choose a Distant Parking Space

When you head to the mall or the grocery store, instead of finding the nearest parking place, choose a distant one. Adding the extra walk from your car to the door and back is an easy way to exercise. Of course don't do this in a dark parking lot. Safety first, park as close as your can to the store door at night.

Play with Your Kids

Instead of watching your kids play outdoors, get out there with them. Whether it is playing catch, chasing them in tag or pushing them on a swing, you can exercise with your children. If you don't have kids, take your dog to the park and run with him!

Housework

Housework is great exercise with all the kneeling, reaching, squatting and lifting. Scrubbing the bathtub, mopping the floor, and even vacuuming will get your heart rate going and give your muscles a workout. The essential key to staying fit is to just keep moving!

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