The SparkPeople Blog

Rise and Shine: 8 Stretches You Should Do Each Morning

By: , – Suzanne Bowen, Creator of BarreAmped
4/11/2014  5:00:00 AM   :  15 comments   :  26,775 views

One of the best ways to start your day in a healthy way is to take a moment to ground your thoughts by stretching and intentionally breathing.  It's amazing what you can accomplish in less than seven minutes to set your day on the right path.  
When you stretch deeply, you should always be warm.  So performing this series after a morning workout or after a hot shower is optimal. If you do it right out of bed, make sure you stretch more gently.  

Here are eight stretches to add to your morning routine to feel strong, flexible and grounded. These exercises cover all your major muscle groups and can be followed any time of day, including after your workouts.

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6 Ways to Try New Recipes for Less

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/11/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  13,232 views

Travel around the world in just one bite--without spending a fortune! Here's how to go global and try new recipes for less at dinnertime tonight.

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13 Smart Snacks to Keep at Your Desk

By: , – SparkPeople Staff
4/10/2014  6:00:00 AM   :  6 comments   :  10,163 views

Hunger doesn't always stick to a schedule, especially during the workday. Your lunch break might be scheduled for noon, but your appetite doesn't always get that memo! Hunger can interfere with your ability to focus on important tasks, and it can make you cranky (or worse, hangry!), which can certainly affect your relationships with your co-workers. That means you gotta get that hunger in check even when you can't leave your desk. So keep healthy snacks on hand to stay on track with your diet and on task at the office!  

Here are 13 nutritious and filling (yet low-calorie) foods that travel well. Some can be stored in your desk, while others need to be stored in the fridge or an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack until you're ready to eat.

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Getting Started with Strength Training in 5 Easy Steps

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/8/2014  5:00:00 AM   :  0 comments   :  2,977 views

You know that strength training (also called resistance training) is good for your body. It can help you maintain and build muscle mass, rev your metabolism, make you a better recreational athlete, strengthen your bones and reshape your body. But unlike cardio, where you usually just pick an activity you enjoy and get out there and do it, strength training can be a lot more complicated to a novice. Most people don't just walk into a weight room, stare at the sea of weights, and know how to begin.

If you've never lifted weights before (or it's been a long time since you have), it can be intimidating to know how to start. There are so many weights, machines, classes and options. Which ones are right for you and your goals?
While the idea of strength training can be complex, hopefully these basics will point you in the right direction so you feel comfortable starting a training program.

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Exclusive HSN Deal: Save $15 on a SparkPeople Fitness Bundle!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/7/2014  11:00:00 AM   :  13 comments   :  10,560 views

Update 4/16/14
We are happy to extend this exclusive HSN deal with our members while supplies last! Even if you weren't able to tune in to the live shows, you can still take advantage of this special limited time offer. You'll get the Spark Activity Tracker plus Coach Nicole's 'Total Body Sculpting' DVD together for one low price--a savings of $15! Get this deal online at HSN's website while inventory lasts!

Update (4/10/14, 12:45 p.m.)
Thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch me on HSN! Because live TV programming is subject to change, we wanted to let you know right away about a scheduling change. The planned 4 p.m. segment will not be airing today. We apologize for the inconvenience. (P.S. If you missed the special on-air announcement I alluded to in this original blog post, click here for the news!)

Original Story
Hey everyone!

I'm very excited to announce that I will be appearing on HSN this Thursday, April 10! This is going to be a big milestone for SparkPeople—a chance for us to get in front of many new potential members. And it's also a great opportunity for you, as we are offering an exclusive deal on a fitness bundle that you won't want to miss!

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How to Keep Your House Clean in 15 Minutes a Day!

By: , – Erin Whitehead, SparkPeople Contributor
4/7/2014  6:00:00 AM   :  23 comments   :  11,251 views

If you hate having a designated cleaning day, but love having a clean house, it can seem that the only solution is to hire a cleaning service. But that can be expensive, and many people who hire others to do the dirty work for them often end up cleaning before the cleaning staff arrives anyway! You can avoid spending an entire day cleaning the house if you break the housekeeping chores up into about 20-minute segments each day of the week. This will let you maintain a pretty clean house much of the time without having to spend your entire Saturday scrubbing.
Here we've broken up most of the cleaning necessities into shorter sessions you can fit into each day of the week—with one cleaning-free day off to enjoy your spic and span house!

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