SparkPeople Guest Blogger
What is one food that was eaten thousands of years ago, is still eaten today in probably the exact same form, and is just as good for you today as it was then? Honey! Some refer to honey as liquid gold because in the good old days honey was the only opportunity many people had to eat something sweet, so it was considered a great and rare treat.
Posted 7/1/2015 10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments 15,975 views
The family that gets active together, stays together. Bringing the family together for a day or an afternoon of movement is both fun and offers an opportunity to stay connected even when schedules are hectic. Plus, you’ll be instilling great health and fitness values in your children. Make a commitment to unleash your inner child and spend valuable quality time with those you love by trying some of these family-friendly activities.
Posted 6/26/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 0 comments 9,769 views
Whether you have been walking for years or are just getting started with it, making your walking time more enjoyable can help you stay more motivated to stick with it over the long term, which is the key to lasting results!
Try these five simple tips to help you take your walk from good to great:
#1: Step in the right shoes.
This one may sound super obvious, but so many of us are walking around in shoes that are either the wrong size or aren't designed to support our unique needs. If your feet are in pain after you finish a walk, chances are you are in need of a sneaker makeover! The right footwear could be what's missing from your routine and could help turn your walking time into a more pleasurable experience that you'll actually look forward to.
If you regularly experience pain or tenderness in your feet, you may have issues with plantar fasciitis, overpronation (your feet rolling inward as you step), flat feet or even high arches that need to be addressed by either a specific type of shoe and/or orthopedics. Depending on what kind of issues you are experiencing, you may need the expertise of a podiatrist or orthopedist to best advise you on what type of shoe or orthopedics you should be wearing. Please don't wait until the pain is unbearable to make an appointment - do it today!
It's also important to find the right fit. Your sneaker size is typically (though not always) a half to one full size larger than your formal shoe size. If you aren't sure what your specific sneaker size is, take the time to get fitted properly in an athletic store. And don't forget that even the perfect sneakers wear out over time and mileage, so be sure to replace them as needed (like when you start to notice the support or tread wearing out in your shoes) to keep a spring in your step over the long term.
Posted 6/25/2015 10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments 16,893 views
Life is full of ambiguity and challenges. Few challenges in life can be as complex as proper nutrition. Your body is your greatest possession. You owe it to yourself to find out all you can about staying healthy. Most diets imply giving up something. However, the diet we will discuss is about taking advantage of something. You will learn how to take advantage of fats by incorporating healthy fats in your eating habits. By making small changes, lasting results will come.
Posted 6/25/2015 9:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 0 comments 13,067 views
Did you know that simple things like standing taller, engaging your abs and even walking sideways can help you walk further and faster, all while helping you burn more calories?
Here are a few walking posture tips to help you make the most of every step (think of the word P.A.C.E. to help you remember these!)
Posted 6/4/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 1 comments 34,645 views
This one-mile indoor power walking workout will help you stick with your walking routine no matter what time of day or night it is--or what the weather is like outside!
We'll use a mix of moves that can be done easily in a small space to help you prevent joint strain. We're keeping it simple to help you squeeze in some extra steps anytime, anywhere. Just a heads up, we'll be jumping right into this walk to make this mile short and sweet, so please be sure you are warmed up first. And be sure to stick around for the cool-down to find out more about our upcoming #5MileChallenge with SparkPeople and brand new DVD, "Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles".
Posted 5/24/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 16 comments 61,240 views
Running is a fantastic activity to help maintain a healthy heart and weight. But the real magic happens when you refuel after your run! To get the most out of running, it's crucial that you eat healthy foods filled with vitamins, healthy fats, plus carbs and proteins that aid in muscle repair and development. Incorporate the following foods into your diet to reap maximum running rewards.
Posted 5/19/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments 31,904 views
Editor's Note: We are thrilled to be teaming up with Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer and YouTube fitness star, to bring you the #5MileChallenge! Read on for Jessica's explanation of the challenge, and get ready to lace up your walking shoes on June 1st. See you on the road (or track, or trail, or even in your living room with a walking DVD!).
Whether you are just starting to build your fitness habit or are a more advanced exerciser, a regular walking program offers so many incredible health and fitness benefits. That's why I am so excited to be teaming up with SparkPeople to bring you this fun #5MileChallenge!
Our goal is to help you stay more active when you are not already working out, or to get you moving more often to spark up a new exercise habit. Even if you have been exercising routinely for years, it may not be enough to combat the ill effects of hours of sitting, which is why adding more steps to your day is beneficial for everyone (just check out these scary sitting stats!).
Posted 5/15/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 630 comments 53,711 views
When it comes to healthy, glowing skin, what you put into your body can be even more important than what you put on it. "Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York. While there are many nutritious foods available, the following list will give you the maximum skin benefits for your bite.
Posted 5/13/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 1 comments 20,030 views
It happens to the best of us…perhaps you set a goal to run a 5K, resolved to get back to running, or were coerced into signing up for some crazy race by your adventurous best friend (it sounded like a good idea at the time!). Feeling motivated, you do what most people do--just get out there and start pounding the pavement--and that's when it happens… your body begins to complain. It usually starts as a quiet whisper, some lingering stiffness or low-grade soreness, and before you know it, the whispers become screams.
As you curse your body in a fit of frustration, you recall running pain-free for hours as a child. What changed? We grew up and got desk jobs with long commutes, that’s what. Sadly, our bodies have become tight, hunched, and ill-equipped to handle the motion of running due, in large part, to our lifestyles. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Luckily, there's a workout that can help you become a more efficient runner. Designed by Coach Alison Heilig, Fit Blogger for AcaciaTV and RRCA-Certified Running Coach at Miles To Go Athletics, the following routine is designed to help you start running longer and stronger in no time. Add it to your running regimen three days per week to up your running game!
Posted 5/12/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 4 comments 11,214 views
Most Americans will try to lose weight four to five times every year, according to ABC News. It’s only April, and I’ve already tried twice. How about you?
Every time we fail at losing weight, we decide that we’re not good enough and begin the negative self-talk. I call this my inner critic, and she’s a witch. We all have one, and for some reason we listen to them—no matter how mean they are. It’s time to silence that inner critic and love ourselves. Let’s tell that inner critic to get lost, and we’re going to use a mirror to do it.
If you’re unhappy with your looks, you might go to extremes to avoid mirrors. But the truth is, your mirror can be your best friend, helping you gain self-confidence whether you need to shed some pounds or just want to work on loving your inner self.
Read on for five ways to use your mirror to your advantage.
Posted 5/4/2015 12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 8 comments 17,211 views
AMwhat? You might have heard the term "AMRAP" floating around on fitness blogs in recent years as CrossFit has surged in popularity. AMRAP is an acronym for "as many rounds as possible" and is a component of many CrossFit workouts in gyms (or "boxes") around the world. In an AMRAP, you are given a circuit of exercises to do, and you must complete as many rounds of those exercises within a given time frame. It's a time-efficient way to work up a sweat, and it can be done virtually anywhere with minimal equipment!
Posted 4/21/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 13 comments 73,695 views
You wake up feeling a bit less than your best: Achy, fatigued, sniffly nose--the works. Yep, seems like you're getting sick (ugh!). But you've got a workout already planned for today, and you took a rest day yesterday. Should you push through your planned workout or take it easy?
When you're sick and are debating a workout, the first general rule of thumb is simple. When you're deciding whether to head to the gym or stay home and cozy up to that bottle of DayQuil, consider "the neck rule" first. If your symptoms are exhibited above the neck (i.e. runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, scratchy throat), then it is safe for you to head to the gym (but bring some tissues!). If your symptoms fall below your neck (i.e. chest congestion, coughing, or if you have a fever and are taking medications to control your symptoms), you might want to use that gym bag as a pillow instead. Having to press pause on your weekly workout routine can be a motivation killer, but a fully functioning body is your best weapon to stay healthy and fit.
Posted 4/17/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments 19,933 views
The muscles of your core work together to support posture, protect the spine and improve agility, balance and power, making core strength training an important part of any fitness routine. Unfortunately, for many people, core strength training and back pain or discomfort go hand in hand. Often resulting from weak muscles and poor form, back pain is no reason to avoid core strength training, though. In fact, properly performed core exercises can simultaneously help protect your back and strengthen the abs at the same time.
Decrease the probability of injury with these back-friendly core strength exercises.
Posted 4/8/2015 12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 14 comments 119,574 views
Strength training is an important part of any good exercise regimen. Not only do you build muscle (which burns fat), but strength training also helps to speed up the metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories for longer periods of time. Looking for new ways to strength train without having to move around too much? Here are six static positions that require very little movement while still building muscular endurance and strength.
Posted 4/4/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 15 comments 111,861 views