All Entries For motivation

'How the Spark Activity Tracker Changed My Life'


Now that thousands of people have had the chance to use the Spark Activity Tracker, we decided to find out how SparkPeople members were enjoying the Spark. We were wowed by some of the reactions we received from everyday people who used the Spark to reach goals and stay motivated. Here are three stories of our favorite "success stories" so far.
Posted 2/27/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 29 comments   21,443 views
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5 Motivating Goals That Result in Weight Loss (without Trying)


It’s no secret that the majority of people who start a new exercise program do so because they want to lose weight, which is a great reason (and motivator) to get fit.
That being said, if your only motivation to exercise is fat loss, you can easily find yourself frustrated and wanting to quit when progress temporarily hits a plateau (which it will).  That’s why setting goals beyond weight loss alone is essential if you're going to stick with a fitness or weight-loss program for the long haul. 

And consider this: Setting goals that don't focus on fat loss can actually help you reach your desired weight-loss goal. It's true! (Check out this SparkPeople success story of a woman who lost weight by resolving NOT to lose weight!)  For example, if you focus on getting stronger, you will likely gain lean muscle mass, which will speed up your metabolism and help you lose more weight.  Or maybe you choose to set a goal like walking with a friend several days a week, or taking your dog hiking every weekend. Those goals will keep you active and moving (which is the whole point) and don't hinge on what a scale says to keep you motivated. Over time, you'll be more consistent with exercise, burn even more calories and, of course, lose more unwanted fat. 

See?  You don’t have to be laser-focused on the scale to be successful in changing the scale.  Setting other goals can be even more motivating—and just as effective!
Here are five of my favorite types of goals that often lead to weight loss and better health (without focusing on the scale). 
Posted 2/12/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 25 comments   46,301 views
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50 Love Songs You'll Love Working Out To


I know many people think of Valentine's Day as a silly non-holiday, something card and marketing companies conjured up so we'll buy more stuff. I don't consider myself a materialistic person, and I really can't explain it, but Valentine's Day has been my favorite holiday since I was a kid. I guess I just always thought it was sweet and fun. My parents always made us their valentines, so it was always special. In fact, now in my 30s, I still get a valentine in the mail from my parents every February 14. To me, a day that celebrates love of all kinds (family love, romantic love, friendship love, etc.) is a happy thing!
 
For others like me who are feeling the spirit of St. Valentine, I put together a fun workout playlist to inspire your next fitness session. We've collected 50 songs from a variety of genres and eras that celebrate love—and still have a beat that you'll want to exercise to. Whether you listen to them only in February or all year long, these are some love songs that you'll love working out to!
Posted 2/5/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 10 comments   26,098 views
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Sweat It Out: 50 Fast & Empowering Break-Up Songs


When you're newly single or going through a tough break-up, it's common to channel that emotional energy into unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking and even overeating. This is especially true around Valentine's Day (and other holidays) when messages and images of happy couples are in your face at every turn (grrr).

But there is a better—and healthier way—to deal. You can use this time to focus on you—your goals, your desires, and your unique life vision. When you need an emotional release, let exercise be your friend (just channel your inner Bridget Jones and hit that Spin bike!). Use it as a focus or a distraction, a natural way to build your endorphins back up.

The following workout songs will help you get in the right spirit for your fitness session and empower you to be your best, happy self! Some are angry, some are celebratory, and some are affirmation that you are stronger than ever—right now.
Posted 2/5/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 4 comments   38,761 views
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5 No-Fail Motivational Quotes


Bookmark or "Pin" the graphic below so that the next time you need a little motivation, you'll have 5 great quotes handy. Find even more words of wisdom on our Healthy Inspiration page!
Posted 1/31/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 33 comments   32,509 views
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The 100 Most Motivating Workout Songs of All Time


When it comes to workout music, everyone likes something different. I know people who love to run to instrumental music, seemingly innocent friends who exercise to hardcore gangster rap, and people whose musical tastes in "real" life don't match up with the songs that inspire them to work out.

I like a huge mix. For me, almost anything that's catchy and has a good beat will work. But sometimes, you need something better than that. Sometimes you need the motivation to get off the couch, or go the extra mile, or push through that heavier lift, or muscle through your first marathon. When you really need a boost, what you need is an inspirational work out song.

Our editors and fitness experts compiled a list—130 songs to be exact—of songs that have fast beats worthy of exercising to, but also have motivational messages and lyrics.
Posted 1/28/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 55 comments   605,439 views
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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   12,788 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   18,087 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   39,899 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   262,200 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 : 94 comments   32,212 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   33,058 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   399,989 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   13,910 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   23,331 views
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