The SparkPeople Blog

5 Dance Moves Anyone Can Do

By: , – Kimberly Miguel Mullen
3/3/2015  12:00:00 AM   :  6 comments   :  3,823 views

Dancing is one the most enjoyable exercises you can do to be healthy and ecstatically happy while getting fit and losing weight! Dance is fun and exciting, and you’re always learning something new and interesting. All you need is your two feet and your favorite music. The best part is that there is no prior experience necessary! The more you dance and the longer you do it, the better it feels and the more skillful you become. Not only can dance workouts can burn up to 1,000 calories in one hour, but dance also builds stamina, strength, agility and flexibility. Dance also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, promotes a healthy immune system, and can even help you sleep better and reduce the symptoms of depression. Try it and see for yourself how good you feel after! Here are some simple and fun dance moves for everyone to try at home. 

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The Best New Healthy-Living App You Haven't Tried

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/2/2015  1:00:00 PM   :  10 comments   :  3,493 views

Hi, SparkPeople!

Sometimes, you see something that makes you feel happy, inspired, or strong. It could be a delicious healthy meal you made, or the view from the top of that hill you just ran up. Images are powerful motivators, and we wanted to make a tool that would allow our members to easily capture, save and share their healthiest life snapshots to help them reach their goals alongside a community of like-minded people.

Enter our newest app: pep!

pep lets you record and share the images that make you feel proud and inspired. You can add custom filters, stickers, text and more to your pictures to get just the right look before sharing them within your community right within the app. See what other health-minded people are posting and motivate each other with just one snap of a picture! Best of all, the photos you take within pep will automatically feed over to your SparkPeople account, so your SparkFriends will be able to see them, too.

pep is currently available for iOS devices. If you click on the App Store button below, you can download pep right away and get started finding your friends and building your motivational community.

Try the app and let us know what you think! If you have an idea about how we can make the app better, let us know in the comments; we always love to hear what you think.

SparkCheers!
The SparkPeople Team

The 5-Minute Abs Workout

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/2/2015  12:00:00 PM   :  13 comments   :  33,436 views

Want to work more on your core strength, but aren't sure where to start? We've got you covered! Strengthen your core at home in just 1-5 minutes per day with this quick video series--no gym or equipment required! 

We've created this 5-Minute Abs series for you to use as you see fit. If you're just easing into core work, you can do one video each day for a fun fitness boost, or do all five videos consecutively for a mini core workout that will seriously challenge you. Follow along with each video and post how you did in the comments. We'd also love to hear your feedback about the video series, and are open to hearing ideas about other workouts you'd like to see in this format. Have fun! 

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''Healthy Living Is the Journey, Not the Destination''

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/23/2015  12:00:00 AM   :  10,351 views

Making significant healthy lifestyle changes—and maintaining them for the rest of your life--might seem next to impossible at first. But don't worry! At SparkPeople, we believe in taking small and manageable healthy steps that eventually become lifelong habits. Our sponsors at Meta also believe that small changes can lead to good things, and they even have a name for it: the Meta Effect. When you make a healthy choice like taking the stairs or eating a Meta Health Bar for a snack, you may continue to make good choices to keep the streak going.

We've talked to several people who have changed their lives through this step-by-step approach--and now, they're sharing their secrets with you in this success story series! Learn how Jeremy changed his life one bite, one step, and one motivational mantra at a time. Go, Jeremy! 


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5 Ways to Find Your Perfect Workout Routine

By: , – Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD
2/19/2015  6:00:00 PM   :  0 comments   :  11,467 views

I hate working out! There, I said it. We all have reasons for exercising, but for many of us, it’s not because we genuinely love it. Working out has a slew of health benefits, makes us feel and look better, and can even slow down the aging process and help boost our immune systems. But sometimes, those reasons alone aren't motivating enough to get us up off the couch if exercise isn't already an established part of our routines. So, how do we go from being sedentary to making fitness a regular part of our daily lives? Honestly, the hardest part is getting started—and these five steps will help give you the motivation you need to make that first step (literally and figuratively). 

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5 Veggies You Didn't Know You Could Cook in the Microwave

By: , – Sarah Kellner
2/18/2015  12:00:00 AM   :  12 comments   :  18,180 views

Microwaves are obviously the speediest (and therefore easiest) way to cook. But it turns out that shorter cook times can also help to preserve more of your veggies' natural nutrients. In fact, other cooking methods may deplete the nutritional value so much that your green beans basically lose all their green... metaphorically speaking, of course.

Some people believe microwaving vegetables zaps them of their vitamins and minerals. However, the main culprit of nutrient drain is actually water.

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