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Our 5 Favorite Spring Foods


I don't know about you, but I'm so over winter. I'm so grateful that spring is officially here. I'm tired of eating heavy comfort foods that our bodies crave all winter.

One of the best things about spring is all the all the fresh, light, delicious produce that starts to appear at farmers markets and in the supermarkets.

Today we're counting down our top five spring foods (in video format!):

Posted 3/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 7 comments   6,484 views
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The New No-Excuses Way to Work Out


There are a lot of excuses—or hurdles if you will—that get in the way of our intentions to work out. Not enough time. Not enough money. Fear of being judged by others. Not having easy or affordable access to equipment or a gym. Not enough options that fit your schedule. Traveling all the time.  Not knowing what to do on your own. Not having childcare. Bad weather.
 
Most of us have dealt with a number of these hurdles more than once in our lifetime. The truth is that working out is hard. All of these things are barriers that make it even more difficult to get and stay fit.
 
But there are a lot of amazing innovations that are bringing fitness to more people in ways that help you jump many of the hurdles above. One of my favorites recently launched. And while it sounds too good to be true that this one solution is affordable, accessible, flexible, easy to follow—and can help you get fit anywhere on your own time—it's true.
Posted 3/24/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 7 comments   22,705 views
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5 Tricks to Boost Your Workout Motivation Instantly


We all have those days where, no matter how much we try, we just can't find the motivation to go work out. Here are our top five tips for motivating yourself to exercise even when you don't want to get moving. Watch the video, or read the tips in the video summary below.



Posted 3/18/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 4 comments   11,593 views
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A Cardio Workout That Anyone Can Do


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. 
Posted 2/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 15 comments   46,378 views
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A 30-Minute Workout You Can't Resist!


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. 
Posted 2/6/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   27,186 views
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Trim & Tone Head-to-Toe in Less Than 20 Minutes!


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.
Posted 1/22/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 3 comments   11,207 views
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A No-Nonsense Walking Workout in 30 Minutes


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. 
Posted 1/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 25 comments   52,479 views
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Have a Ball with This Calorie-Torching Workout!


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! 
Posted 12/30/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 12 comments   23,201 views
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Tone Your Legs in 15 Minutes (without Squats or Lunges!)


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! 
Posted 12/6/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 16 comments   32,377 views
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High-Intensity Cardio That Isn't Hard on Your Joints


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!)
Posted 11/12/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 32 comments   40,909 views
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30-Minute Indoor Walking Workout


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.
Posted 9/27/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 55 comments   71,364 views
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The Best YouTube Fitness Channels


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.
Posted 6/19/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 50 comments   35,635 views
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Video: Simple 6-Minute Cardio Workout


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?
Posted 10/19/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 47 comments   74,989 views
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A Must-Watch Video: The Real Bears


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.
Posted 10/12/2012  1:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 62 comments   11,639 views
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Watch: Blogger Takes on the Haters Who Called Her Fat


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.
Posted 7/26/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 196 comments   25,448 views
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