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Last week SparkPeople launched a new feature that we're excited to share with you. On select Fridays, we will be hosting live On-Air Hangouts on Google+ called "Take 5 with SparkPeople." (Learn more about Google+ Hangouts here.) Each Hangout (basically a live, interactive video chat) will share five tips related to popular and timely healthy living topics--and we'll answer your questions live on the air as well. "Take 5" will air at noon EST and will last about five minutes. (We picked the time and length so you could easily take a break and join us without disrupting your day too much.) You don't need a G+ page to watch, but you'll need to check out our G+ Page for info on these Hangouts and to watch live.
If you can't watch live, not to worry: Each video is uploaded to SparkPeople's YouTube channel after the Hangout is over, so you can watch at your convenience. We will also be sharing an abbreviated transcript of each "Take 5," then sharing the videos on our blog. We're excited to connect with our members in this new way, and we look forward to answering your questions!
If you missed the first installment, here's your chance to watch. Read More ›
The secret to getting started with exercise is simply doing what you can with what you have, today! There’s no need to join a gym or buy fancy equipment--you can start exercising right now with this full-length workout video that incorporates some simple every day items you probably already have around the house (like a sturdy chair and a broom). Join my mom, Debbie, and me for this get-up-and-go routine that can easily be done at home with little space and zero equipment.
Try this routine up to 3 non-consecutive days per week to spark your fitness habit!
And, if you enjoy this workout, please be sure to check out all of our beginner workouts on our website. Need something even more low-key to start with? Check out our seated chair workout series for more options. Read More ›
Resistance bands are one of my favorite pieces of fitness equipment! Not only are bands super versatile, they easily fit in a carry-on suitcase, making them perfect for travel. Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from fitting in a good workout – join me from your home, hotel room or even your office, for this 30-minute total body sculpting workout that can easily be done in a small space. Read More ›
Short on time but still want to squeeze in a good sweat session? You're not alone. "Lack of time" is the No. 1 reason people cite for not exercising regularly. It's easy to think that if you don't have an hour or more to dedicate to exercise, then what's the point. But quite honestly, short workouts really do have a big impact on your health and your workout—and that is especially true when you do the right types of workouts.
When you need an efficient workout to make the most of your time, that's where smart training techniques like interval training, circuit training and multi-joint exercises come in. All of these approaches help people get better results even when they're short on time.
I've put together a workout that combines all three of those fitness techniques in an 18-minute workout that'll give you a cardio boost and a head-to-toe strength training workout in one. And while that might sound ultra-intense, it's appropriate even for beginners. Read More ›
You've probably been hearing the term 'HIIT' (which stands for high intensity interval training) a lot lately--especially when it comes to describing effective, efficient cardio exercise. And while HIIT offers many benefits, including an increased calorie burn both during and after your workout along with better endurance and improved cardiovascular fitness, it can be very intense, especially if you are new or returning to exercise. Plus, many HIIT routines include challenging moves (like burpees, squat thrusts or mountain climbers) that can be really difficult to execute properly so quickly, especially if you are working with an injury or physical limitations. Read More ›
Looking to have a little more fun with your cardio workouts? Then hop off the treadmill and get ready to mix things up with this routine that uses a small ball to amp up the moves and help you burn more calories in less time.
No ball handy? Try using a small pillow, holding both ends of a light dumbbell (I would recommend a weight under 5 pounds) or simply clasp your hands together to follow along with this full length, 30-minute workout video. Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below! Read More ›
As a trainer, I’m a huge fan of squats and lunges, but I know that joint issues can make these common lower-body exercises pretty painful to do. The good news is that there are plenty of other exercises that can help shape up your lower half!
Whether you need to modify for your knees or simply want to try adding a few new leg moves to your repertoire, join me for this low impact, Pilates-inspired, lower body workout that doesn’t require much space and zero equipment. It's just over 15 minutes, so it's also a great option for when you're short on time! (Oh, and feel free to kick off your shoes to further engage the muscles in your feet and ankles.) Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below! Read More ›
High intensity interval training (aka H.I.I.T.) doesn't always have to be high impact! This workout is perfect for maximizing your cardio time--without pounding your joints. (Oh, and did I mention it’s free of both burpees and squat thrusts? Score!)
Join me for this low-impact, high-intensity cardio routine that can be done easily in a small space with zero equipment. (No jumping means it's perfect for hotel rooms and apartments, too!) Read More ›
You already know some of the amazing benefits of walking: It’s good for your heart, great for your bones and perfect for weight control), but some days the weather outside can be frightful, and the treadmill can be well, less than delightful.
If you are in need of an indoor walking buddy today, join me for this full length, low-impact workout you can follow along with at home! This 30-minute power walk is easy to follow, fun to do, and it doesn’t require much space to move around. Plus, it's appropriate for all fitness levels. Read More ›
Looking for more exercise resources and workouts? YouTube is a great source for fitness--but with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to follow! Of course, I am a huge fan of SparkPeople’s channel, where Coach Nicole has created a wide variety of different workouts for various levels of exercisers. But since I figure you are all already familiar with SparkPeople's videos, here are some more of my favorite YouTube channels (by category) for fitness workouts and why they’re worth checking out. Read More ›
You don't need any fancy equipment to get a good work out. You don't even need a lot of space!
I teamed up with my friend Cassey from Blogilates.com to create this simple cardio workout to help you burn lots of calories in just a few minutes. As an added bonus, it's super quiet! You can do this if you have sleeping kiddos at home or even if you're trying to be quiet for your downstairs neighbors.
Are you ready to try it? Read More ›
A day or so ago, a friends shared a video on Facebook. The preview was a photo of bears. He has kids, and I have cats, so I didn't pay much attention. Then a co-worker sent around an email about the same video. That's when I took notice. Wow!
Have you seen the video about the real bears yet? I don't want to spoil the story, but this is a must-watch video (with over 1/2 million views as of Friday morning!) for anyone who's committed to a healthier lifestyle. Take a few minutes to check out the video and then let's discuss. Read More ›
Posting anything on the internet can bring a lot of comments and feedback -- some positive and some negative. I wonder though, if it weren't for the anonymity of the internet would the same people that leave negative comments and feedback say the same thing in person? I doubt that they would, so when you get brave people to post blogs and videos, they open themselves up to a lot of scrutiny. Our very own Coach Nicole experienced this several years ago with comments made about her on her YouTube workout videos. I don't know if I could've taken those negative comments as well as Coach Nicole, but I didn't believe one word of the negative comments that were posted.
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I've blogged a lot about the downsides of sitting at work (or school) for hours a day. It can be a real pain in the neck—and back! But just because you sit doesn't mean you're doomed to suffer. The keys to combat the effects of sitting are to be aware of how you're sitting and take steps (literally!) to get up and moving as much as possible throughout your day.
For those of you who spend a lot of time in a seated position, there are a few posture-enhancing stretches I recommend that you do several times a day. These simple moves will help you focus on sitting tall and with proper alignment and help prevent pain and stiffness associated with being a desk jockey. Read More ›
It's the pre-season for bathing suit season and that has a lot of people focusing on firming up those trouble areas that are going to get a little more exposure when they're wearing a little less clothing. I'm not immune to the pressures of looking bathing-suit-ready myself! I often tend to ramp up my workout routines if I know I'm going to be hitting the beach or hoping to spend a little more time poolside.
As you know, it's a combination of fat-burning cardio and muscle-toning strengthening that'll help you firm up and slim down (along with a healthy diet of course), but when it comes to those strengthening moves you try, some are definitely better than others.
So if you hope to improve your rear view this summer, do you know which moves are going to do the job best of all? Watch this short video to find out the best exercises you can do for your butt! Read More ›