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Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.

There is a new trend gathering steam in the health and fitness world that encourages you to keep it simple. This trend delights me because the easier, convenient and economical you make healthy eating and fitness, the more likely you will stick to it for life.

I’d like to share these tips I’ve learned through the years from health and fitness experts that have kept me on track for years!

1. Shop from the perimeter of your grocery store, only going into the center to purchase non-food items. The wisdom here is that you buy fresh foods that are natural and healthier for you. Eating right might cost you a bit more upfront but you will save money by avoiding costly health issues down the road.

2. Move your body. Exercise doesn’t have to take place in a gym. For the cost of a pair of running shoes you can hit the road and walk or run. If you prefer to stay indoors, many shopping malls open their doors early for walkers. Or you can visit your local library and get free DVDs or books on exercises you can do at home.

3. Breathe and drink lots of water. These two items are my anti-depressants and stress relieving drugs. While going through Lamaze some 20 years ago, I learned the magic of breathing. It focuses you, allows you to redirect your attention so you can regain control, and is extremely important to your overall physical health. Breathing is not just for staying alive, it’s a wonderful tool that will serve you both on and off the road!

Finally there is hydrating. We all know the importance of drinking water and now we’ve learned that our bodies burns off calories from processing water, making it yet another way it promotes weight loss. For me, water is my go-to drink when I’m feeling stressed, helping me avoid stress eating. It fills me up and gives my body and mind time to decide if I need more food, or just to take a deep breath, hydrate and hit the road!

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