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All Entries For motivation

Get Your Daily Dose of Motivation from the DailySpark!


Good afternoon!

At SparkPeople, we are committed to helping our members and readers reach their goals in health and fitness—and in life. We know how hard it can be to stay motivated—especially with so many negative stories spreading around these days.
 
This is why we are particularly excited about launching the new feature that launched today: DailySpark. DailySpark features uplifting, positive and inspiring stories and videos from around the web, curated by our editors and experts. It's something you can look at each day for just a few minutes to reset your outlook and your motivation. Here are a few of my favorite DailySpark videos at the moment:
Posted 1/17/2014  4:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 8 comments   12,042 views
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30 Days to a Happier, Healthier Winter


Happy New Year! Now that the holiday season is behind you, you're probably ready to settle back into a routine and reevaluate your health and fitness priorities (we know we are!). This time of year, there seems to be a new gimmick around every corner that promises to get you into the best shape of your life this time (and fast).

At SparkPeople, we don't believe in quick fixes--we believe in good, old-fashioned hard work, consistency and determination. However, we also believe that a nice boost every once in a while can re-ignite a spark that's been fizzling out. So, don't start 2014 with a gimmick that's sure to fail, or an exercise program that's way too extreme for your lifestyle. Instead, join our 30-day Winter Wellness Challenge; a realistic, sensible plan that will steer you in the right direction for a happier, healthier year ahead—no gimmicks and no fine print. Just honest, doable challenges to make you feel great, inside and out, all winter long. 
Posted 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 14 comments   17,444 views
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A January Challenge You Can Stick With!


We're (finally!) entering the home stretch of the holidays. If you've been following along with our #SparkTheSeason challenge, we hope you've been creating and sticking with goals to keep you motivated throughout the month of December. But January is coming up fast, and if you're anything like us, you're probably starting to think about your goals for 2014. Whether or not you believe in making New Year's resolutions, you can't deny that January is a prime time to kick your routine up a notch after a few months of heavy eating, drinking and general merry-making. And what with the dreary weather and the warmth of the holidays behind us, a little extra boost of motivation after the first of the year can't hurt! That's why we’re introducing a brand new challenge for January, hot on the heels of our #SparkTheSeason challenge: #RockYourResolution!
Posted 12/19/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 46 comments   39,471 views
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The 100 Best Workout Songs of 2013


This is one of my favorite posts to write every year: sharing this epic list of get-your-body-moving workout songs of the year. Unlike all those holiday treats and sweets, this is one thing you can enjoy in December that won't make your pants fit tighter.
 
All year long, I've been compiling a list of the best workout songs that were released (or popular) within the last 12 months. Here, you'll find all the songs that people like you were dancing, running, cycling and lifting to throughout 2013.

But that's not all: This list is the BEST of the best! I asked members of SparkPeople.com, America's #1 weight loss and fitness website, to vote on their favorites. Find out which song took the top spot as best workout jam of the year,  whether any of your own favorites made the list, and how you can download a brand new 60-minute cardio workout mix of the top 15 songs (as voted on by exercisers like you)!
Posted 12/18/2013  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 45 comments   248,404 views
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Why 'Fitspiration' Isn't So Inspirational


Warning: The images and words in this post could be triggering to anyone who has had an eating disorder.

"Strong is the new skinny."
 "When I exercise, I wear all black because it's like a funeral for my fat."
"Skinny is not sexy. Healthy is."

You've probably heard or read the quotes listed above at some point. They're known as "fitspiration" or "fitspo" for short. Fitspo pictures and posters are typically images of extremely fit, lean, and muscular women, with motivational quotes on them like the ones displayed above. 

Fitspo is supposed to be a healthy alternative "thinspo" (short for thinspiration). Thinspiration images typically display extremely thin women with motivational quotes regarding getting and staying thin.  In general, these were first created by online users who wanted to inspire and support women with eating disorders to continue with their disorders and stay as thin as possible.

Yikes.

Good thing fitspo became popular, huh?  At least now we have lots of healthy images floating around the web inspiring women to be healthy and strong instead of skinny, right?

Maybe not.  
Posted 11/29/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 90 comments   29,442 views
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One Easy Way to Stay on Track in December


Thanksgiving is coming up in just a few short days, and you might still be participating in our November #Fit2Feast challenge (WooHoo!). We know that it’s tough to stay motivated leading up to the holiday season, so congratulations for participating and making it this far already!

You might have made some good strides (hah!) with our November challenge, but we recognize that you’re probably going to need some motivation to stay on track through the busy month of December—which can easily be the hardest month of the year to stick with a healthy eating and exercise program. There always seems to be an endless barrage of feasts, family gatherings and work parties to attend! However, we’ve seen time and again how just a little bit of accountability can go a long way, no matter what the time of year (yes, even in December). And that’s why, by popular demand, we’re hosting a challenge to get you through the bulk of the winter holiday season. Welcome to our #SparkTheSeason challenge! 
Posted 11/21/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 65 comments   32,446 views
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A Pro Athlete Shows Off Her Real-Life (Un-Photoshopped) Body


A round-up of the most interesting and thought-provoking stories of the week.

Keeping it Real.
A fitness model and pro athlete shows you what her real body REALLY look like. Spoiler alert: Even she has cellulite. Ask Lauren Fleshman

Crayons Down. Now Dig Into That Healthful Parfait. NYT
This new program is teaching kids to love fruits and veggies even before they can spell the words.

Bust Out of Your Life Rut Fitness magazine
Bored with life? Here are six great ideas to try when you feel stuck in any area of life.

Drinking three litres of water a day took TEN YEARS off my face Mail Online
It's no secret that SparkPeople values water--we recommend you drink at least 8 cups daily. This woman found an added benefit when she started drinking more water: Her face looked 10 years younger.
Posted 11/16/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 11 comments   399,312 views
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6 Reasons Why You'll Love the Spark Activity Tracker


I'm not much of a "gadgets" person, but I am a results person. While I don't go for every trend or spend a lot of money on the latest technology, I will invest in things that have a big benefit to me. If that means a premium iPhone app, an amazingly accurate GPS watch (love my Garmin Forerunner), or a simple activity tracker, I'm generally skeptical at first, but very loyal once I find something that works.
 
Many of you know that I've been a Fitbit fan for many years. I still love the Fitbit and think it's a great device. It happened to be the tracker that really resonated with me, but that's not necessarily because the Fitbit is better or more accurate than anything else. From my perspective, any activity tracker that has the basic features you need and is easy to use can work wonders even if it's not the best or the most impressive. Regardless of the brand or type of device, the biggest benefit you'll get from any activity tracker is that wearing it each day as motivation to set and reach new goals. For me, that's why I love certain gadgets and data.

I'm proud to have been involved in the testing and developing of the Spark Activity Tracker's online features. After years of using an activity tracker, I had more than a few ideas on how to make our tracker great. For people who don't already have an activity tracking device—or for those who simply want a more streamlined experience—the Spark is an affordable gadget worth checking out. I love it for all the reasons I fell in love with my Fitbit years ago—but as loyal as I've been to the Fitbit, I have to admit that The Spark has several more perks that you won't find in other activity trackers.
 
Here are six reasons why I think you'll love the Spark as much as I do.  
Posted 11/6/2013  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 33 comments   13,120 views
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6 Smart Ways to Stay on Track This Season


The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and the couch is looking a whole lot comfier. This time of year, attendance at the gym drops and our desires to exercise and eat right fall lower on our priority list. Between back to school, tailgating, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the year-end frenzy at work, Christmas, New Year's and everything in between, it's no wonder we need to "restart" again on January 1.
 
As fall morphs into the busy holiday season, let's choose to make this year different. Let's commit ourselves to just one simple goal to stay on track. You might not be able to do everything perfectly between Halloween and New Year's Eve, but you can do something.
 
SparkPeople has a lot of fun, simple and effective challenges that are the perfect pick-me-up for your program. I would recommend choosing ONE program listed below to focus your efforts. These are all great ways to re-commit this fall and hit the ground running this holiday season!
Posted 10/25/2013  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 14 comments   22,371 views
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Get Fit before You Feast: A November Challenge!


Halloween is just one week from today, 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 10/24/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 164 comments   34,948 views
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15 Halloween Workout Songs to Burn Off Candy Calories


A few years ago, the night I taught Spinning happened to land on Halloween—not once, but two years in a row. I figured that anyone willing to show up on Halloween night to work out is pretty dedicated (or childless?), but either way, I wanted to make the workout festive and fun. I created a healthy Halloween workout mix for the class, dimmed the lights, and handed out my homemade granola bar treats when the ride was over.

It may be silly to some, but creating your own Halloween-themed workout playlist could motivate you to work out on Halloween (a must if you're going to be dipping into the candy jar that day), and it's one of few ways to have fun that doesn't involve eating candy!

So here is my healthy Halloween playlist: 15 spooky songs to help you to burn off those candy calories—and have fun doing it.
Posted 10/14/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 127 comments   49,479 views
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Say Hello to Our Little Friend: The SPARK Activity Tracker


It's an exciting time here at SparkPeople.com! After 12 years of helping people reach health, fitness and weight-loss goals with our free online programs and trackers, we have a new innovation that's been many months in the making. (Do you know how hard it is to keep something like that a secret for so long?)
 
Today, we are thrilled to announce the release of the Spark Activity Tracker, a tiny (and fun!) little reminder to fit more fitness into your day. About the size of a quarter, it's the first—and only—activity tracker that fully integrates with your SparkPeople.com experience.
 
If you need a little extra motivation to be active each day (and really, who doesn't?), then keep reading to find out what it is and how it can help you achieve your goals.
Posted 9/30/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 76 comments   23,574 views
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Get Back on the Wagon: 5 Tips to Start Fresh this Fall


Summer is winding down and now my favorite season of the year is here: fall. I have always felt nostalgic and dreamy this time of year. I think it's because I enjoyed school as a kid and still associate the autumn season with the start of a new school year that promised good times, good friends and even better memories that still live with me today, like the smell of bonfires, Friday night football games, donning my favorite new back-to-school clothes, and my feet crunching on leaves in the crisp weather. Fall even smells better, if you ask me.

Why not harness the magical power of this new season (which begins officially on September 23) to recommit to your healthy living goals and weight-loss program? You may not be heading back to school like you did in years past, but that doesn’t mean that you can't reinvent yourself all the same.
Posted 9/21/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 109 comments   42,394 views
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7 Signs You'll Fail at Weight Loss


That headline got your attention, didn't it? Not to worry, SparkPeople hasn't changed our attitude about healthy living and weight loss. But what we have done, for the first time ever, is compile and publish the very best advice, tips and tricks from our "Success Stories"--more than 100 members who've lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com to accomplish their goals. These members know that how you start to lose weight is the most important indicator of long-term weight loss. They shared their struggles and successes so that you can learn from their experiences and remove the guesswork from weight loss.

We compared their success against people who gave up on weight loss within the first two weeks. And you know what? We found quite a few red flags that determined--from Day 1--whether someone would succeed or fail.

Here are our top 7 signs that you'll give up on weight loss--and how to reverse your fate if you have any of these demotivating habits.
Posted 9/16/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 32 comments   26,507 views
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6 Races So Fun, You'll Forget You're Exercising!


Perhaps you’ve considered training for a 5K, but the idea of running or walking a traditional race just isn’t motivating enough to get you off the couch and out the door.  These days, there are a wide variety of races to participate in, from the local run through your neighborhood to some of the more entertaining (and crazy!) runs popping up across the country.  Have you ever thought about running from zombies, crawling through mud or sprinting through glowing trees and tunnels? 

Fun runs like these can break up the monotony of traditional races, and can also be motivation to pick up the running habit even if you’re not that into it.  Here’s a guide to some of the races gaining popularity as people look for fun ways to get up and moving. 
Posted 9/6/2013  10:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 32 comments   25,613 views
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