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Fall is notorious for comfort foods like pumpkin spice lattes and game day nachos. Combine these tempting seasonal staples with darker, shorter days and it can be hard to maintain an active mindset. Despite the enticement to indulge, you can keep your active lifestyle going or even kick off a new fitness regime.

This year, take advantage of the winds of change when the seasons switch and commit to smart habits for a healthy fall.

Dress for success. As the temperatures drop, you may be tempted to bundle up before heading outdoors to exercise, and for your warm-up and cool-down period, that’s not a bad idea. However, while you’re in the midst of your workout, it’s easy to get overheated. Wear layers that you can shed as you begin to sweat and consider moisture-wicking materials that can prevent sweaty clothes from getting cold in the breeze.

Stay hydrated. You may not feel as thirsty when you exercise in cooler weather, but it’s just as important to keep your body well hydrated. When you sweat, you lose more than just water. An option like Propel Electrolyte Water helps you replace what’s lost in sweat through its key electrolyte – sodium – and supports hydration by stimulating thirst and aiding in fluid balance. With the same level of electrolytes as Gatorade, zero calories and no sugar, it can be a perfect choice to support your active lifestyle. Learn more at

Opt for early workouts. When dark comes early, it can trick your mind into thinking it’s time to wind down for the night. Avoid that motivation pitfall by planning your workout earlier in the day, such as first thing in the morning or during your lunch break. If early mornings are daunting, remember that it won’t take long to shift your sleep schedule and early exercise is a caffeine-free way to put some energy into your day.

Find exercises you enjoy. Forcing yourself through exercises you despise will only backfire in the long run. If you’re not a runner, look for other ways to get your cardio pumping. Interval walking with varied paces and elevation can be an effective alternative or look at ideas like kickboxing or aerobics that you can have fun with while working up a sweat.

Indulge in moderation. Virtually every expert agrees that an occasional indulgence is perfectly acceptable, but use caution when the fall goodies start tempting. Those warm, rich desserts and drinks are filled with empty calories that can make all your hard work go to waste.

Set realistic goals. Having a long-term goal is a good idea, but be sure to set attainable expectations for yourself, including some milestones you can celebrate along the way to keep your motivation strong. Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to fitness with your other life demands so you can set your goals accordingly.

Don’t skimp on skin care. The sun may not be as hot, but if you’re exercising outdoors, you’re still at risk for sunburn. Protect any exposed skin with sunscreen before working out.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are many products available to help make

Women walking and smiling

the process easier. There is no time like the present to make your body a priority and it’s no secret that good health can have an undeniably positive impact on quality of life.

Whether you are looking for the perfect workout outfit, accessories or equipment, or revamping your kitchen appliances to accommodate a new diet, JCPenney has everything you need to refresh your diet and exercise regimen no matter your budget.

Find more products like these to aid you in your quest to live a healthier lifestyle at JCPenney and

Find Comfort in Every Situation

Snuggle up in softness whether you’re on the move or just relaxing with this Xersion Long Sleeve Cowlneck Hooded Fleece Pullover. Perfect for those trips to the gym or a jog around the block or neighborhood, the anti-pilling finish helps keep fleece smooth and comfortable, and thumbholes help keep the sleeves in place while you’re on the go. Available for $30 in three colors, the pullover also features a kangaroo pocket to warm your hands and protect your belongings.

Unlock Hidden Nutrition in Food

Now you can have the power to unlock food’s hidden nutrition in the comfort of your own home. The NutriBullet Blender, which retails for $135, is ideal for milling grains, grinding fresh herbs and chopping nuts with a flat stainless steel blade that never needs sharpening. Complete with a power base, both tall and short cups, an extractor blade and pocket nutritionist, the blender makes it easy to keep your healthy eating goals on track.

Add Personality to Your Workouts

An allover print adds a pop of personality to workout wear, such as these performance-ready Xersion Print Capris. The tight compression fit provides added comfort during workouts while Quick-Dri moisture-wicking fabric helps keep you dry and won’t irritate your skin. Retailing for $44, the capris come in five vibrant color patterns and feature a credit card pocket in the waistband so you can easily take everything you need with you.

Say Goodbye to Calorie Counting

Say goodbye to exercise journals and calorie counting with the iFit Vue Fitness Tracker. The rechargeable active band is an all-day fitness tracker that takes the stress out of keeping up with your goals while motivating your climb toward fitness. Retailing for $140, the SmartSense technology automatically detects every movement, step and calorie burned. An easy-to-read touchscreen display with onscreen notifications allows you to track your progress and easily scroll through goals and activities.

Pick Portable Training Tools

Built for durability and comfort, this Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus is the ultimate training tool to strengthen and develop your shoulders, back and arms with five grip positions to help you build and tone upper body muscles with pull-ups, triceps dips, push-ups and sit-ups. The trainer, which retails for $85 and holds up to 250 pounds, fits most sturdy, standard doorways with trim and attaches and removes easily from the doorframe so you can take your workout with you.

Don’t Forget About Your Feet

Whether running errands or working out at the gym, the right shoe can make all the difference. The Nike Flex Experience Run 4 Women’s Running Shoe offers lightweight flexibility, mid-foot support and plush comfort that can help make even the most mundane of tasks less stressful on your feet. Flex grooves provide a smooth, efficient ride and a mesh collar and tongue enhance breathability. Available for $75, these running shoes are the ideal trainer for everyday use.

Keep Your Mind and Body Focused

A favorite of yoga studio owners because of its length and thickness, this Deluxe Yoga Mat features a gripping design to keep it in place while allowing you to keep your mind focused on the physical task at hand. Available in 18 colors and retailing for $24, the durable, one-quarter-inch foam provides added joint comfort and support and absorbs moisture, making it easy for you to take advantage of the physical benefits associated with yoga.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (women walking)

(Family Features) Most parents know the first few weeks of school season and new daily routines can be hectic. From stocking up on school supplies to finishing up homework, there’s few unused minutes in the day.

One thing that’s particularly easy to forget in the mad dash to catch the bus or make it to morning drop-off is a well-balanced, protein-packed breakfast. According to a No Kid Hungry study, when students have a balanced breakfast in the morning, they are more likely to attend school and perform better on standardized tests.

Start the school year off right by giving your kids a breakfast they’ll love that also provides the protein they need to kick-start their day. Recipes like Simple Ham and Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches or Baked Eggs in Avocado can be ready in minutes and provide fuel long past the first morning school bell.

As a simple time-saver, Smithfield offers pre-diced, cubed and sliced ham that can make breakfast a breeze any day of the week. Incorporate it into a simple breakfast sandwich for a protein boost you can enjoy on-the-go. Served crispy or chewy depending on your preference, Thick Cut Bacon also puts a savory spin on nearly any breakfast plate, whether paired with eggs and avocado or a simple side of toast.

For more information and breakfast ideas, visit

Simple Ham and Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches

Waffle breakfast sandwich

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

8 frozen prepared waffles, toasted

8 ounces Sliced Ham, any flavor

4 large eggs

4 slices cheddar or American cheese

maple syrup (optional)

Prepare waffles according to package directions; keep warm.

In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook ham slices until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side; keep warm. In same skillet over medium heat, fry eggs until desired doneness.

Lay out four waffles and top each with sliced cheese, ham and fried egg, topping with remaining waffles to finish. Serve warm with maple syrup, if desired.

Tip: Try spreading fruit jam on your sandwich for a change of pace.

Baked Eggs in Avacado

Baked Eggs in Avocado

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Nonstick cooking spray

3 large avocados

6 eggs

4 strips Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon, diced and cooked until crispy

1 cup blue cheese

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 450 F. Spray baking sheet or glass baking pan with cooking spray. Cut avocados in half. Scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of avocado to create well for eggs. Place avocados flesh-side up on prepared baking sheet or glass pan.

Gently crack one egg in each avocado well, making sure to keep yolk intact. Bake 10 minutes, or until eggs reach desired temperature. Remove.

Top with bacon pieces, blue cheese and cilantro.

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