All Entries For motivation

10 Ways to Socialize Without Food


If you’re someone who likes to go out frequently with family and friends, you know that most outings revolve around food.  It’s easy to say “Hey, let’s meet for lunch!” or “Want to join me for a few drinks after work?”  Whether you’ve just started making improvements to your diet or you’ve stuck to a healthy eating plan for years, you know how tempting these situations can become.  Your friend orders a plate of French fries and you start munching on them without even realizing, or your mom asks if you want to split a dessert you weren’t planning on ordering.  In most cases, it’s best not to avoid these events completely.  Avoidance can help you stick to your plan, but it’s not a long-term solution.  Eventually you’re going to be in situations where food is involved, so you have to learn how to deal with temptations.  This helps change your new habits into permanent lifestyle changes, instead of a “diet” that you are on and off periodically. 
  
Although it’s certainly possible to stay on track with your diet in social situations, sometimes it’s nice to have alternatives that don’t revolve around food.  If it’s your turn to make the plans, choose something fun and different!  You might find that one of the activities below sparks a new way to socialize with those you love.
Posted 12/22/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 2 comments   2,245 views
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The 100 Best Workout Songs of 2014


It's the most wonderful time of the year...the time when we release the best booty-shaking, iron-pumping, fat-burning songs you exercised to during the past year.
For the past 12 months, we compiled a list of new and popular songs worth working out to. Then we asked members of SparkPeople.com, America's #1 weight-loss and fitness website, to vote on their favorites.

Find out which song most people worked out to this past year,  whether any of your own favorites made the list, and how you can download a brand new 60-minute cardio remix of the top 15 songs (as voted on by exercisers like you)! 
Posted 12/19/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 7 comments   11,717 views
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We’re All a Work In Progress


I will never forget the day one of the dads at school came up to me and said ''We’ve been thinking about having a fourth, especially after watching you.  You seem like you really have it together, you’re relaxed about having four kids and you just kind of go with the flow.''  I told him that was the most hilarious thing I’d ever heard in my life, because it couldn’t be further from the truth.  ''Go with the flow'' is not a term anyone who really knows me would use to describe my personality.  It made me realize that appearances are not always what they seem.  I’m the first to admit that most days, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.  I’m busy, I get stressed out easily, and I wish I could find better ways to relax.  At the end of the day, I’m doing my best, and that’s all I can ask of myself. 
Posted 12/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 16 comments   7,446 views
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7 Reasons Parents Should Feel GOOD--Not Guilty--about Exercising


Whether you're a parent who works full time, part time, or stays at home, working out can be a challenge.  Finding the time amid cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, sports, lessons, and bill-paying; finding the energy when you're short on sleep; and finding someone to watch the kids so you can get to the gym or go for a jog is no small feat!  And then there's the guilt.  Maybe you feel guilty because working out means even more time away from your kids, so you choose to skip the gym.  Maybe they're with you all day but they cry when you drop them off at the gym child-care, so you opt to stay home instead.  Whatever the reason, if you're missing your workouts because you're feeling guilty, read on to shake off the guilt and get fit—because as it turns out, your workouts are actually good for your kids, too!
Posted 11/17/2014  5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 1 comments   7,009 views
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The Most Motivating Video You'll See All Week


I never imagined that a Lebron James TV commercial could make me well up with tears...

Non-sports fans: please give me a chance to show how this is relevant for all of us :)

This past Thursday night, my boys and I watched Lebron's first game back with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Just before the game, a commercial started playing. As the concept in the commercial unfolded, I immediately thought, "This is one of the best commercials ever." I'm sure millions of other people had a similar thought at the same time.

By the next morning, I realized I had to scrap the original idea I had for today's blog and instead write about this commercial (my editor doesn't know that yet -- haha).

Even if you have already seen this Nike TV commercial, watch it again from a different perspective.
Posted 11/2/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 9 comments   8,598 views
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The Best Ways to Stay Motivated for Good


You can read hundreds of nutrition articles and talk about getting healthier until you're blue in the face, but all the knowledge in the world won't do you any good unless you've got the motivation to go with it. And even though getting motivated might sound like the easy part, it's actually the trickiest! In our world of instant gratification and convenience, it can be all too easy to plop down on the couch instead of hitting the gym, or to grab takeout in favor of cooking a healthy dinner. To help us answer the million-dollar question of how to get and stay motivated, we asked two Humana Health Coaches to give us their top ten tips for setting—and reaching—any goal you set your mind to. 
Posted 10/27/2014  1:00:00 AM By:   : 23,307 views
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Get Fit before You Feast: A November Challenge!


Halloween is just around the corner, and we all know what that means—the holiday season will be upon us before we know it. Unfortunately, the "most wonderful time of the year" also tends to be the most stressful time of the year for a lot of people; especially for those who are striving to lose weight or get fit. How do you avoid falling off the wagon during such a busy time full of food, friends and family obligations? 
Posted 10/27/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 212 comments   77,134 views
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An Easy Step to Reach Big Breakthroughs


Editor's Note: This blog is part of our "Hello from SparkGuy" series--a weekly post where SparkGuy himself stops by to motivate, inspire and share a bit about what's going on at SparkPeople. 

Hello, SparkPeople Members!

The crisp autumn weather is here (at least where I am in California). I hope everyone had a great week, taking one positive step at a time to reach your goals. As a warning, I'm about to brag about one of my kids, but hopefully you'll agree it's for a good reason :). I love sharing growth they experience with you.

Motivation in a Minute

This quick story about one of my boys demonstrates how taking small steps one at a time can lead to fun breakthroughs in life. 
Posted 10/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 3 comments   8,261 views
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How to Get Back Up When You're Down


Editor's Note: This blog is part of our "Hello from SparkGuy" series--a weekly post where SparkGuy himself stops by to motivate, inspire and share a bit about what's going on at SparkPeople. 

Hello, SparkPeople Members!

I hope last week went well and you are ready for another good week ahead! With the holidays quickly approaching, life can get very busy. Let's all keep taking small steps one at a time to reach our goals for the last 70 days (or so) left this year. Don't give up on reaching goals this year. Instead, make every day count!

Motivation in a Minute

I read this great quote on Quora yesterday:

"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to our greatest change." (From the TV show Avatar.)

This is a brilliant quote that illustrates a major point I make in the free 10+ Fitness Minutes Mini-Book: all it takes is a few small positive steps when we are down (which happens to all of us) to start building a virtuous cycle back up. It also clearly demonstrates how mistakes can be great learning experiences. (This is coming from someone with a history of anxiety who doesn't like making mistakes, but now values the process when it inevitably happens :)). Any time you are down for any reason, make a mistake, or somehow stray from your goals, just keep this quote in mind and immediately start thinking about one positive step you can take. Examples would be: eating one healthy food, doing 10 or more fitness minutes at home, calling a friend, or even posting in the SparkPeople Community to receive support. 
Posted 10/19/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 3 comments   10,167 views
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Michael Strahan's Top 5 Motivational Tips


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, ''A Minute with Michael.'' 

Getting and staying motivated to reach goals, whether health-focused or otherwise, is a struggle for almost everyone. It can be all too easy to choose instant gratification and immediate comfort (like relaxing on the couch) over the choice that will make us happier in the long run (like hitting the gym). But guess what? You're not alone! Even the people who seem to have it all figured out have difficulty mustering up the motivation to stick to their long-term goals. The only difference is that they've found a system that works for them—and they make it a priority to stick to their own rules. Michael Strahan, television star and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, knows all about keeping the eye on the prize in the face of temptation. Read on for Michael's advice on how to stay motivated when life has every intention of getting in the way. 
Posted 10/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 17,782 views
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20 Ways to Eat Better On the Go


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, "A Minute with Michael." 

At SparkPeople, we believe that it's important to keep healthy eating a priority, especially if you're constantly on the go. Healthy food helps give you the boost of energy you need to help you feel your best and get through a demanding day. You might think you're too busy to consistently eat well, but it really is possible to fit in positive, impactful habits in minimal time. Take it from Michael Strahan, who always tries to make nutrition a priority--even in between endless travel and television appearances. When it comes to eating right, Michael says, "Preparation is key. Don’t let yourself get caught without a healthy snack on hand. You never know when you might be stuck in traffic or held up at a meeting. When you’re hungry, your mind is not in the mood to make good decisions. It wants to make the easy decision—and a lot of times, it ends up being something that’s not great for you."

So, how do you avoid making that "easy" decision? Simple: Make eating healthy the easy decision! When you arm yourself with good-for-you snacks at all times, there's never an excuse to hit the drive-thru or office vending machine. 
Posted 9/25/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 56,933 views
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5 Ways Health Insurance Companies Can Reward Your Healthy Habits


You know how health insurance works: You pay a premium, you pay a deductible and sometimes you also pay a copay. It can feel like a lot of paying, all told. But health insurance doesn’t just have to cost you money. Health insurance companies have an interest in you staying healthy and preventing chronic illness, too. After all, someone who is healthy will end up living a longer, happier life--and spending much less on medical expenses.
 
While yesterday’s insurers took a here-and-now approach, today’s companies are offering a host of health-promoting incentive programs to help their members prevent and manage health conditions. These programs are painless and powerful motivators to keep up healthy habits. Every insurance company is different, but most of the time, all it takes is a quick, baseline assessment in which you create personal, measurable goals (like getting a check-up or tracking workouts), and you’ll soon be earning rewards. These rewards most often consist of discounts or points toward the purchase of items or services (like exercise equipment, movie tickets, hotel stays and more) simply for doing basic health-related tasks. Here are some of the ways you could reap rewards from your insurance company (many of which you would probably do anyway!). 
Posted 9/22/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 20,404 views
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The Best Health & Motivation Resources You Aren't Using


Getting motivated is tough, and staying motivated is health’s million dollar question. You might be able to muster up the will to get to the gym a few times a week for a few weeks and then… nothing. Working out starts to feel like a slog. You fall back into your old TV habit and the next thing you know, you’re back on the couch instead of taking that after-dinner walk or meeting a friend for tennis. Inspiration can be especially sparse if you’re balancing a crazy work schedule, kids, aging parents, and everyday chores. But the good news is, there are now more motivational tools out there than ever to help you get (and stay) inspired to live a healthier life. One of the following helpful resources is bound to help you stick with your goals for the long haul! 
Posted 9/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 21,428 views
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10 Ways to Fit in Fitness When There's No Time


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, "A Minute with Michael."

Between television appearances, media events, constant travel and time with his kids, Michael Strahan has a lot going on (to put it lightly!). But despite a jam-packed daily schedule, Michael knows that it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep up with it all. When we asked Michael how he manages to fit exercise into his full days, he had some great advice for us. 
Posted 9/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 44,373 views
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Back On Track: A Consistency Challenge for August!


It's almost August, and whether we like it or not, the days of summer are dwindling. Bathing suit season may be mostly behind you, but that doesn't mean it's time to abandon your healthy efforts now that autumn is in sight! Plus, maybe all those barbecues you've attended this summer are starting to show on the scale. Maybe your vacations and kids' activity schedules have taken precedence over your exercise routine. Maybe, now that the wild ride of the season is coming to an end, it's time to get back on track and consciously recommit to your healthy lifestyle. And we're here to help you do it with a brand new challenge!  
Posted 7/29/2014  6:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 449 comments   105,517 views
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