The SparkPeople Blog

10 of the Most Inspiring Plus-Size Athletes You're Not Following

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/21/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  10 comments   :  667 views

We’ve all heard the tagline “strong is the new skinny,” and we couldn’t agree more. Although we definitely support weight loss for the sake of health and wellness, the days of struggling to live up to magazine-cover standards and take up the smallest possible space in the world seem to be behind us (thank goodness).
 
The latest generation of fitness enthusiasts are all about making the most of their bodies, not the least of them. Instead of starving and step-counting themselves toward some impossible ideal, they’re enjoying plenty of healthy food, doing their fitness thang and embracing their unique combination of curves, muscles and, yes, cushion.
 
Inspiration doesn’t have to be a size 2, or 6 or even a 10. In fact, inspiration doesn’t have to have any size. After spending some time on these inspiring athletes’ Instagram pages, you’ll be motivated to start or continue your own journey. Hopefully, you’ll learn to appreciate the perfect imperfections and resilient strength of the beautiful body you’ve been given.

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Spark Spotlight: Jackie (JSTETSER)

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/19/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  36 comments   :  3,596 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

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A Sports Doctor's Secrets to Warming Up for Cold-Weather Workouts

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/15/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  29 comments   :  3,089 views

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a tropical climate, you’ll most likely find yourself faced with the prospect of exercising in the cold at some point. Maybe you don’t have access to an indoor gym, or you prefer getting your fitness on in the fresh (albeit frosty) air. Either way, there’s no reason to let frigid temperatures freeze your progress toward your goals. Whether your activity of choice is running, walking, biking or hiking, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the great outdoors all year round—with some modifications, of course.

Dr. Tim Miller, director of the endurance medicine program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, works with Olympians and other elite athletes who train and compete in sub-zero weather. Using his smart strategy recommendations, you’ll learn how to properly warm up and stay safe no matter how low the temperatures dip outside.


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20 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Recipes

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/13/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  58 comments   :  13,177 views

People have been going round and round about the great breakfast debate for decades. Some say it’s essential to start every morning with a meal, and that it could even help to boost weight loss. Others swear by intermittent fasting, skipping breakfast altogether. Then there’s the age-old question of whether to eat before or after exercising (spoiler alert: there’s no one right answer).
 
Wherever you fall in the great breakfast divide, most experts agree on one thing: A healthy breakfast is even more important for those who have Type 2 diabetes. A 2014 study published in the journal Chronobiology International found that it was more difficult for participants to keep their blood sugar levels under control when they skipped breakfast.
 
“Eating breakfast helps to regulate blood sugar levels for the rest of the day. It [also] helps to prevent overeating at meals and snacks (which can help prevent consuming too many carbohydrates at one sitting) and it has been found to be beneficial in promoting healthy weight maintenance,” registered dietitian and author Erin Palinski-Wade told Everyday Health.
 
That said, not all breakfasts are equally beneficial, especially if diabetes is a factor. Registered dietitian Toby Amidor recommends limiting morning meals to a maximum of 30 grams of sugar, and says it’s important to balance the amount of carbs with the person’s height and weight.
 
“Many folks think if you have diabetes, you shouldn’t have any carbs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she says. “Your body needs carbs for energy, but it has to be balanced with the amount of insulin and should be eaten in small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day.”
 
Stuck in a breakfast rut? Try adding some of these diabetes-friendly day starters to your morning rotation.

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Spark Spotlight: Diane (DIANEDOESSMILES)

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/12/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  50 comments   :  4,963 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

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How Helene Stopped Drinking & Started Living Her Best Life

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/9/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  77 comments   :  9,753 views

For most people, losing weight and embracing a healthier lifestyle is all about the right combination of food and fitness: more leans and greens, fewer chips and cookies; more sweating, less sitting. But for others, getting healthy means more than mastering the right calories in/calories out equation. For Hélène, it meant breaking a dependence on a substance she had come to rely on emotionally but wasn’t doing her any favors physically.

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