SparkPeople 1 Day Challenge Team Messageboard Come join us in 1 challenge a day, everyday. It's fun and a great way to meet new team members while we reach our goals together. WE CAN DO IT!!! SparkPeople 1 Day Challenge Team Messageboard 10/21/16 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Hey Hey! It's Friday! Celebrate by taking good care of yourself. Today is your day to make up your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I think I'm going to do some yoga now that I can move my head around without the sinus pain and pressure of the week! I have not moved much this week, need to work out the kinks! <BR> <BR> By the way, October 21 is Mammography Day. Ladies???? And gents out there, talk to your female friends and family members. <BR> <BR> It's also C... Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:50:50 EST 10/19/16 - Wednesday Wellness Give yourself a soothing hand massage (from POPSUGAR.COM). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>Hand-Massage-3533815?stream_view=1#ope<BR>ning-slide </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Slather on three to four drops of your favorite hand lotion. It'll soften your hands and make it easier for you to massage them, too. <BR> <BR> The heels of your hands do a lot of hard work and don't get nearly as much attention as your fingers do. Rub them in gentle circular motions, beginning o... Tue, 18 Oct 2016 22:58:30 EST 10/18/16 - Two For Tuesday Double up your cardio by doing two different types of cardio. Check the link for short Spark videos you can try... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get two servings of fruits/veggies with at least two meals or snacks. Check out this link of ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1795 </link> <BR> <BR> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 21:51:25 EST 10/16/16 - Clean up Oct 17 is Clean Your Virtual Desktop day... created by The Personal Computer Museum located in Brantford, Ontario Canada and celebrated on the third Monday of October. How great would it be for our desktops to look clean and organized the beginning of the week?! That could set the right tone for the week. <BR> <BR> Delete what is not necessary and file documents in folders. <BR> <BR> Not on a computer much... tidy up your most cluttered space or take down all old notes, invitations etc fro... Sun, 16 Oct 2016 21:41:33 EST 10/15/16 - 10-minute Mind Shift Make the most of ten minutes for your health and wellness. We live in a very busy, multi-tasking world. Take ten minutes to take care of yourself. How many of these tips can you fit into your day (no extra credit for the most, remember it's a self-care Sunday, be good to yourself). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_ten_minute_mindshift </link> <BR> <BR> Happy Sweetest Day to you and your sweets! <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 08:03:22 EST 10/15/16 - Saturday Steps Aim for an hour of activity by breaking it up into six ten-minute increments..... six ten-minute walks or a mix of a gym workout/video and walking breaks afterward. <BR> <BR> Find some stairs! Stair climbing can be an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease. <BR> <BR> Make it more challenging taking wide steps (hold on for stability) or lift your knees up before taking... Fri, 14 Oct 2016 06:27:02 EST 10/14/16 - Free Form Friday Hey hey Hey! Friday baby! <BR> <BR> Today is your day to run the show. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I haven't been to an Orange Theory Fitness session in over a month when I used to go once a week. I have the day off work to head out for a girls weekend so I signed up for the 7:15. Plenty of time to get home, get showered and hit the road! <BR> <BR> Let's keep moving forward! Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:29:46 EST 10/13/16 - Tip Toe Thursday Take a few steps here and there on your tip toes. If you are unsteady, do calf raises while holding on to a chair or the sink. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=123 </link> <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Tip toe walking is a functional exercise, meaning it trains your muscles to work together to perform sport-specific or everyday tasks. <BR> <BR> Tiptoe walking can improve your proprioception, or your sense of where particular body... Wed, 12 Oct 2016 22:10:07 EST 10/12/16 - Wednesday Wellness/Empty Shelf "for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command." This is taken from Gretchen Ruben's A little Happier blog. <BR> <BR> Most of us feel a little more stressed when there is clutter. I know I do. <BR> <BR> Gretchen talks about a friend suggesting that it’s also important to have time for serendipity, for the unexpected — to make room for a little messiness in our lives. <BR> <BR> So some place we need an empty shelf and some place we need a junk drawer. Some t... Tue, 11 Oct 2016 22:23:39 EST 10/11/16 - Take a lap After dinner, after the dishes, after the kids' homework, after your evening workout, after whatever the last thing you do in the evening.... walk two laps around the house. One last bit of movement in the day. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Make it a Two For Tuesday by performing exercises that work opposing muscle groups.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Work chest/shoulders... biceps/triceps... quadriceps/hamstrings... abs... Mon, 10 Oct 2016 22:57:29 EST 10/10/16 - Mindful Monday So you ever feel like the day went by and missed some of it due to the multitasking necessary these days? <BR> <BR> Aim to really tune in to at least two moments/tasks in your day. <BR> <BR> Turn off the other channels playing in your head during a work meeting <BR> Close your email during work/conference calls <BR> Make meals technology-free time. Focus on the taste and texture of your food, the company around you <BR> If your family/friends are telling you about their day, tune in and a... Sun, 9 Oct 2016 22:02:13 EST 10/9/16 - Bootcamp day 7/Sunday Self Care We're here... the last day of bootcamp. All that is on the plan for day 7 is a 9-minute Core workout. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> The workout is on the floor which I know does not work for some people, so feel free to substitute the seated core workout (or any other ab workout). <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I do this one when I'm alone in the office once in a while. <BR> <BR> SUNDAY SELF CARE CHAL... Sat, 8 Oct 2016 21:43:24 EST 10/8/16 - Bootcamp Day Six/Portions Okay six days of bootcamp, we're almost at the end. As usual, pick 30 minutes of cardio and then (or before, or during, mix it up if you want) we are back to arm work. Fit muscles are not built one day a week. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Remember if a move doesn't work for you, repeat any other move she does that is okay for you to do. For example, she does pushups against a chair. If that is tough for you, grab a wall and do wall pushups. <BR> ... Fri, 7 Oct 2016 22:54:28 EST 10/7/16 - Bootcamp Day 5/Free Form Friday If you'd like to continue following the Seven Day Bootcamp plan with me, get your 30 minutes of cardio and then do the Lean Legs video or lower body video of your choice.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Remember if you want to make it interesting, do a cardio move in between each move in the lean legs workout. <BR> <BR> OR, it's FRIDAY! Make up your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Thu, 6 Oct 2016 22:01:06 EST 10/6/16 - Bootcamp Day 4/Throw Back Thursday Bootcamp day four calls for 30 minutes of cardio, your choice and the 7-minute Belly Blast Workout with Dumbbells. You can leave out the dumbbells if you need to. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Most of it can be done without getting on the floor if that doesn't work for you. When she gets on the floor, simply repeat other moves. <BR> <BR> For those not following the Spark Bootcamp, do a Throw Back Thursday workout... something you haven't done in ... Wed, 5 Oct 2016 21:38:24 EST 10/5/16 - Bootcamp Day 3/Wednesday Wellness I will not forget about our Wednesday Wellness exercise. From Bring energy into the room instead of taking it away. <BR> <BR> "No matter what we have going on in our lives, one of the most important things we can all do is bring energy, not steal it. This means maintaining a positive outlook and energy, even if our lives are not as they should be or we wish they were. <BR> <BR> This is important for our health, along with the health of others around us. People who hav... Tue, 4 Oct 2016 22:22:56 EST 10/4/16 - Bootcamp Day 2 Hopefully all of the videos do not skip. Feel free to substitute if you have any problems. <BR> <BR> Day two of SparkPeople Seven-Day bootcamp calls for 30 minutes of cardio. Remember you can always break up your cardio to ten minute increments through the day if you need to. <BR> <BR> Check out some Spark videos if you need ideas... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Then do the Bootcamp 10-minute Lower Body Blast with Dumbbells... <BR> <BR> <link>www.... Mon, 3 Oct 2016 21:58:01 EST 10/3/16 - Bootcamp Week Anyone want to join me for Spark Bootcamp this week? <BR> <BR> Day one is a 10-minute Cardio Kick Workout video. If you need to, you can keep this low-impact. Follow Coach Nicole's cues. Add this video to your planned activity. Walk in place if you need to. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Some of you may remember following this plan as a team in the past. There will be strength videos but feel free to adjust to what you need. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTE... Sun, 2 Oct 2016 20:48:01 EST 10/2/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a Me Day. Spend time in quiet, take a nap, go for a walk, meditate... whatever resets and rejuvenates you. <BR> <BR> A happy Rosh Hashanah to our Jewish friends. Sun, 2 Oct 2016 00:14:13 EST 10/1/16 - Saturday steps Julie (KITTY20) will be walking 18 miles Saturday. Let's all get out there and get moving with her. <BR> <BR> You don't have to walk 18 miles but get some extra steps in.... <BR> <BR> October 1 is National Walk Your Dog day so if you have a dog, there's a perfect reason <BR> <BR> Stuck inside? Walk laps around the house listening to your favorite music. <BR> <BR> Try a Leslie Sasone walking video: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> or Jessica Sm... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:14:37 EST 9/30/16 - Free Form Friday Hey boys and girls, what time is it? No, not Howdy Doodey time.... it's free form Friday. Time for you to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What small step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I need some ab work! <BR> <BR> By the way, start thinking about your goal(s) for October.Make s.m.a.r.t goals... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=1794 </link> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:56:05 EST 9/29/16 - World Heart Day September 29 is World Heart Day, founded in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year. <BR> <BR> Check out this slideshow for healthy heart-healthy foods. How many can you add to your day or to your shopping list. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=51 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking (or any other ... Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:00:28 EST 9/28/16 - Wednesday Wellness Spend 5 - 10 minutes in quiet in the morning. According to 30 Days to a Healthier You: A Daily Checklist of Wellness Tips... spending time in quiet first thing in the morning can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which peaks first thing in the morning. <BR> <BR> It also gives you some time to think to yourself before the busyness of the day begins. You might like to write out your thoughts, to-do’s, prayers, concerns, or whatever else comes to your mind first thing in the... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:13:24 EST 9/27/16 - Triceps Tuesday From "The triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase." <BR> <BR> Check out the Jessica Smith Tricep exercises. Do what you are able... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_exercises_that_target_the_triceps </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to scroll down past the photos to the detai... Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:54:28 EST 9/26/16 - Eat Your Vitamins Check out this Spark article regarding different vitamins, what they do, good food sources of the vitamin and how much you need. Remember, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Consult with your doctor for specific needs... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=116 </link> <BR> <BR> Start a shopping list if you do not have some of these sources on hand. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add an additional 15 minutes of activity to your regularl... Sun, 25 Sep 2016 22:35:24 EST 9/25/16 - Sunday Self Care As I write this, it is Saturday morning. I am leaving for the train station shortly to ride into the city for an overnight hotel stay before my first half marathon. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> So I'm posting Sunday's challenge early. I just read this story on line and I think it should be a part of our daily routine. I will be doing this Sunday morning before the race. Join me won't you.... <BR> <BR> <link>/<BR>g-mantra-father-taught-163505174.html </link... Sat, 24 Sep 2016 10:40:19 EST 9/24/16 - Day of Play September 24 is Worldwide Day of Play. Worldwide Day of Play is an annual event designed to encourage children and parents to turn off the television and play, especially outdoors. <BR> <BR> Why is getting outdoors good for you.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Try to go for a 5-10 minute walk before and after at least one meal. After your meal though, waiting at least 30 minutes to walk in or... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:26:42 EST 9/23/16 - Free Form Friday Happy Innergize Day. Innergize day is celebrated the day after the Autumnal Equinox, a day to relax and rejuvenate. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or create your own challenge and then take some time to focus on your personal well being. Thu, 22 Sep 2016 21:29:47 EST 9/22/16 - Throwback Thursday Go back to grade school gym class.... <BR> <BR> Jacks (no jumping required) Do a few full-on jumping jacks or modified jumping jacks: <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Pushups.. get down on the floor on your knees or toes for a few pushups. But if getting on the floor is not possible for you, do wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Try a few with you... Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:35:45 EST 9/21/16 - Wednesday Wellness From <BR> <BR> Any activity that you perform where you stay fully present, completely and non-judgmentally rooted "in the now" can count as a mindfulness meditation technique and when practiced regularly can bring the benefits of meditation to your life... <BR> <BR> quick fix to relieve stress <BR> when practiced as part of your daily routine, it can help build resilience to stress <BR> may help with healthier eating <BR> <BR> Many of us have a hard time quieting our mind so ... Tue, 20 Sep 2016 22:25:07 EST 9/20/16 - Triple Tuesday Pick three upper body weight exercises to increase your upper body strength. Pick your favorite moves or try at least one new move. <BR> <BR> There is a nice mix of exercises with weights, without weights at machines at the gym..... <BR> <BR> <link> ex ercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;exerciR><BR>se_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp;bod<BR>ypart= up per%20body </link> <BR> <BR> Upper body strength is important to have because the upper body controls... Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:38:11 EST 9/19/16 - 4,3,2,1 Try exercise physiologist Sean Foy's 4,3,2,1 exercise model: <BR> <BR> 4 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity (this can be as intense as you can handle, a brisk walk, some dancing or a short run.) <BR> 3 minutes of resistance training (pick any strength exercises you need) <BR> 2 minutes of core work (crunches, planks etc) <BR> 1 minute of breathing and stretching (I usually do this for about five minutes. Go ahead and STRETCH out the time here) <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHA... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:39:08 EST 9/18/16 - Sunday Self Care Show your feet some love! We walk, dance, run, bike ride, sometimes where the wrong shoes. So take a few minutes to make your feet strong and flexible to help them help you continue to move the way you want. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> If you like yoga, there is a yoga for feet routine... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=yoga_stretches_for_the_feet_and_ankles </l... Sat, 17 Sep 2016 18:36:45 EST 9/17/16 - Saturday Slow Down Hopefully your Saturday isn't too hectic and you can focus on eating your meals slowly. "The saliva that coats your food as you chew actually contains digestive enzymes that begin to digest your food before you even swallow it." This helps prevent digestive issues -bacterial overgrowth, gas, and bloating. <BR> <BR> Read this Spark article to educate yourself on the benefits of eating slowly. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=963 </link> <BR> <BR... Fri, 16 Sep 2016 21:09:19 EST 9/16/16 - Free Form Friday Sliding into the weekend! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Decide on your own challenge today or repeat a previous day's challenge. Decide what step you need to take to move toward your health and wellness goals. <BR> <BR> Remember, rest days count if you've been overdoing it. A light walk is always a good thing! <BR> <BR> I need some yoga so I'm aiming for an hour of yoga after work. <BR> <BR> September 16 is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer..commemorating the date of ... Thu, 15 Sep 2016 21:51:24 EST 9/15/16 - Be ABsolutely fABulous! A strong core is important for a healthy back, good posture, balance and stability, doing housework etc. <BR> <BR> Sneak in some ab work throughout your day... <BR> <BR> Do you have a swivel chair in your home or office? Lift your feet, pull in your abs and twist. <BR> <BR> Wherever you are, contract your abs for two seconds and release. Don't hold your breath. <BR> <BR> Get your obliques in on the action. Get a slight bend in the knees, pull in your abs and without moving any part of yo... Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:05:22 EST 9/14/16 - Wednesday Wellness From a blog... <BR> <BR> So often we wait to feel happy first, then smile and exude joy. What if you were to try it the other way around? <BR> <BR> I know it may sound ridiculous but right now I want you to: <BR> <BR> Curl your lips up at the corners, and start a little smile. It’s okay if it feels forced and awkward at first. <BR> <BR> Okay, now a little more . . . YES actually do this please . . . <BR> <BR> And now . . . let me see those pearly whites!!! <BR> <BR> Next, cl... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 21:20:40 EST 9/13/16 - Two For Tuesday Choose exercises that work at least two muscle groups... amp up your calorie burn in less time. <BR> <BR> Some examples (or choose your own)... <BR> <BR> Dumbbell lunges with a step (feel free to leave out the weights or use soup cans and leave out the step if you need to. Just watch your form) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=135 </link> <BR> <BR> Wall sit with a medicine ball (hold anything between your knees or nothing). To add another muscle ... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 21:18:46 EST 9/12/16 - Energize Your Monday Start the week by eating for energy. See how many foods in the article below you can add to your meals on a regular basis: <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=65 </link> <BR> <BR> "concentrating on low-fat, high-fiber foods and complex carbs – these are broken down slowly and steadily, giving you regular energy throughout the day.' <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE... <BR> <BR> Aim for 3 - 6 ten-minute walks... as slow or as brisk as you need. ... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 20:53:47 EST 9/11/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a moment of silence on the 15th anniversary of the 911 tragedy. Today is Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. We responded to unthinkable tragedy with an outpouring of service and goodwill. Keep that spirit alive! <BR> <BR> Nurture yourself today. Pick one or two tips to nourish your soul... <BR> <BR> Dance to your favorite music. <BR> Take a dance class. <BR> Write down your blessings in your journal. <BR> Take out your favorite pens, and doodling. <BR> Go to the ... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 22:48:31 EST 9/10/16 - Pick Your Level If you have not worked your upper body in the last 24 hours, let's do this! <BR> <BR> Pushups help improve our upper body strength as well as our core strength, making every day activities and chores easier with less chance of injury. <BR> <BR> Pushups help increase bone mass, reducing bone loss and promote stronger, more dense bones. <BR> <BR> So let's get to it. Pick the version of pushups that match your fitness level or mix and match. Make sure to watch your form, no sagging: <BR> <... Fri, 9 Sep 2016 21:49:04 EST Hi Everyone! My name is Fran and I'm 63 year old. Just getting over foot surgery and am overjoyed that I can walk again. I am not really computer literate so if I do this wrong please let me know. Thanks Fri, 9 Sep 2016 08:39:44 EST 9/9/16 Free Form Friday We are arriving at Friday! WHOOOHOO! Today is your day, make you own challenge, what step do you need to take toward your health and wellness. It doesn't have to be a giant step. Baby steps every day lead to great things! <BR> <BR> I am in desperate need of some yoga. I'm no longer able to attend the free class I used to so I haven't made time for yoga as much as I used to. I'm working on that weekly habit again. I felt better and handled stress better when I in the yoga habit. <BR> <BR> So... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 20:05:20 EST 9/8/16 - Try It Thursday Okay, time to pick a new activity or go back to something you haven't done in a long time., strength or cardio or both. Keep those muscles and your metabolism fired up by changing it up. <BR> <BR> Use the workout finder on <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or search youtube for an activity you'd like to try. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: How's your Fiber intake? Educate yourself or refresh your memory..... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople... Wed, 7 Sep 2016 21:52:04 EST 9/7/16 - Wednesday Wellness I saved this a while ago, I think I got it from, can't remember..... <BR> <BR> Align Your Spine: Sit up Straight <BR> <BR> Freeze! Before you move, notice how you are sitting: are your shoulders slumped over? Is your back curled? Are your shoulders hiked up toward your ears? <BR> <BR> Take a minute right now to straighten up your spine. Here are all the little details to pay attention to (who knew sitting up straight could be so complicated interesting?): <BR> <BR> Feel yo... Tue, 6 Sep 2016 22:19:18 EST 9/6/16 - Cardio and Strength combo Rev up your calorie burn by combining cardio and strength in one workout. Check out the Saprk exercise demos and pick you moves to alternate..... <BR> <BR><BR>cise_demos.asp <BR> <BR> Or try a Spark Bootcamp video... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Hopefully the video plays for you. I've done these many times with no problem but tonight, it's not playing. Hopefully just a fluke. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS ... Mon, 5 Sep 2016 21:29:53 EST 9/5/16 - Motivational Monday Happy Labor Day to those of us that have a day off of work. <BR> <BR> On Sept. 5, 1882 ,10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in a parade from City Hall to Union Square in New York City as a tribute to American workers. <BR> <BR> Thanks to those early protests, we no longer work under bleak conditions such as 12 or more hour workdays; hazardous work environments; meager pay. Children, some as young as 5, were often fixtures at plants and factories. <BR> <BR> Make this a motivation... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 21:48:05 EST 9/4/16 - Enjoy Nature Hopefully the weather is nice by you. Go outside and play or at least go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors. <BR> <BR> Read about the many health benefits... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> September 4 is National Wildlife Day... in memory of conservationist Steve Irwin. <BR> <BR> This day encourages everyone to stand up and fight for animals that need a voice, visit their local zoo and donate ... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 22:09:24 EST September 3 - Move a little longer Try for an extra 10 minutes of activity ..... cardio or strength. Check out Spark TV for new videos. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> September 3 is Writing Date Day..... plan some time to write.... <BR> <BR> write a blog, <BR> write a thank you note to your old self for deciding to join Spark and get healthy, <BR> write a family member or friend a short note in a card just because <BR> or simply jot down words and half thoughts going through your head about your ... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 00:16:16 EST 9/2/16 - Free Form Friday Here we are, another Friday where you make the call. How will you challenge yourself? Take a small step towards those September goals you made... which by the way, kudos all around. We will take September by storm!! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> Remember rest days count too. Take it easy if you need to let muscles repair and strengthen. <BR> No burning the candle at both ends allowed! <BR> <BR> My goal is to not back out of a 5:30 run with a running buddy and to destress. Work proj... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 20:45:39 EST 9/1/16 - Goals Okay, September 1st... 30 blank pages ahead of us. Are you going to keep working on your August goals, make new goals or focus on one goal? It's all good. <BR> <BR> I did pretty well on my August goals..... positive self talk during long runs, no snacking after 8 pm and nightly stretches. The first two went well, not so much on the third so I'm going to focus on stretching for at least five minutes every night. <BR> <BR> Okay so who hasn't worked their lower body in the last 24 hours? Pic... Wed, 31 Aug 2016 22:03:17 EST 8/31/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take 5 - 10 minutes out of the day to practice proper breathing... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> "Proper breathing is an underestimated, but critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> Now that is worth 5 - 10 minutes out of our day! <BR> <BR> Well, here we are at the end of August. Do you r... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 21:21:01 EST 8/30/16 - Two For Tuesday Which muscle group have you not worked in the last 24 hours? Let's get to work on that, pick two opposing muscle groups. Remember it's important not to only work muscles you see in the mirror... <BR> <BR><BR>cise_demos.asp <BR> <BR> abs/lower back <BR> biceps/triceps <BR> back/chest <BR> hamstrings/quadriceps <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Track all of your food and drinks for the day. I you see this later in the day, start tracking tomorrow w... Mon, 29 Aug 2016 23:01:21 EST 8/29/16 - More Herbs Less Salt Day August 29 is More Herbs Less Salt Day. <BR> <BR> Add flavor and reduce sodium by using more herbs and spices instead of salt when cooking. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=297 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: shoot for an hour of activity by doing short bursts of activity. I need a rest day but I'm going to try to get six 10-minute walks in for an easy breezy active day. Sun, 28 Aug 2016 19:24:53 EST 8/28/16 - Sunday Self Care As much as I'm in denial, cold and flu season is around the corner. Start now to make steps to strengthen your immune system a daily habit so that you may avoid the bug that always goes around. <BR> <BR> Put this list of six tips where you will see it every day as a reminder..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1216 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Improve flexibility and balance with the Spark Qi Gong video. <BR> <BR> <BR> <lin... Sat, 27 Aug 2016 21:08:36 EST 8.27.16 - Just Because Saturday August 27 is National Just Because day, created by Joseph J. Goodwin of Los Gatos, CA, in the late 1950s. It began as a family holiday and has grown into an annual celebration across the United States. <BR> <BR> So go for a drive just because <BR> Sing loudly in the car or in the shower just because <BR> Surprise someone with flowers just because <BR> Dance like nobody's watching just because <BR> <BR> Find something you want to do just because. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Drink a cup of w... Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:29:41 EST 8.26.16 - Free Form Friday It's time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Take a small step towards your health and wellness and start the weekend off on a positive note! <BR> <BR> August 26th is Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of US women getting the right to vote. Try to spend some time thoroughly researching candidates in your city, state or country. Decide to be an educated voter. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> And here's to a successful Daffodil Days to our New Zealand fr... Thu, 25 Aug 2016 22:29:28 EST 8/25/16 - Throwback Thursday Let's go old school... back to grade school gym class. <BR> <BR> Jacks (no jumping required) Do a few full-on jumping jacks or modified jumping jacks: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Pushups.. get down on the floor on your knees or toes for a few pushups. But if getting on the floor is not possible for you, do wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR>... Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:03:45 EST 8/24/16 - Wednesday Wellness Look in the mirror three times today and repeat a quote by Marilyn Monroe.... “We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” <BR> <BR> Everywhere you walk today... forget stresses, forget about not wearing the right outfit or if it's a bad hair day.... pull your abs in, roll your shoulders back and down and walk with confidence. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Eat or plan to buy a fruit or vegetable that's new to you or that you have not had in a long time. <BR> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:49:00 EST 8/23/16 - Two For Tuesday Double up your cardio! Pick two Spark cardio exercises to do as a warmup to your regularly scheduled cardio activity. Or pick more than two moves to string together for a quick cardio burst. <BR> <BR> You decide the intensity! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ATLERNATE CHALLENGE: August 23rd is Ride the Wind Day. You can catch a ride with the breeze, or float along slowly like a gentle, late summer cloud. <BR> <BR> For most of us, summer is winding down. Try to carve out a few minutes to enjoy something ex... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 22:02:15 EST 8/21/16 - Mindful Monday Focus today on really thinking about everything you put in your mouth today. I mean really think about it. The spark article on mindful eating on Thanksgiving is a good read for any day. <BR> <BR> Try these tips today as best you can before anything you eat or drink...... <BR> <BR> Prior to eating, turn off the distractions: television, radio, phone and computer. Quiet your mind as you prepare to eat. <BR> <BR> Give attention to your hunger. What messages are you receiving that your body... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 21:31:06 EST 8/21/16 - Sunday Stretches Rise and shine stretches or lunch stretch break or after-dinner cool-down stretches.... <BR> <BR> Whatever time you see this... get mobile and warmed up then get loose and long. I have a 10-mile training run so I will need these stretches and then some... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Plan your week. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Run to the store (o... Sat, 20 Aug 2016 22:09:50 EST 8/20/16 - Posture Check Focus on good posture. Proper posture... <BR> <BR> reduces abnormal wear and tear on joint surfaces <BR> reduces stress on ligaments that connect spinal joints <BR> helps you avoid developing an abnormal permanent position, which can cause spinal disk problems and constricted blood vessels and nerves. <BR> Good posture also protects spinal joints from injury and deformity. <BR> <BR> So give the posture workout a try... <BR> <BR> <link> st =the_12m... Fri, 19 Aug 2016 20:44:43 EST 8/19/16 - Free Form Friday Step up to the plate and declare your own challenge. What do you need to do to achieve health and wellness. <BR> <BR> I need serious stretching and resting. I am so sore from the past couple workouts. I'll be doing some Yoga With Adrienne. <BR> <BR> By the way, August 19 is World Humanitarian Day... a day created by the United Nations to recognize humanitarian workers on the front lines of war and disaster and also stand in solidarity with millions of people around the world that depend on ... Thu, 18 Aug 2016 22:07:37 EST 8/18/16 - Burner Sets As seen on make your last set of a strength training move slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> For example, on the up of a bicep curl or tricep extension or coming up in a pushup (or pushing away from the wall on a wall pushup) go slooooooooowwwwwww. <BR> <BR> Pick a muscle group you haven't worked in at least 24 hours, do two sets of the move as you normally do, then perform your third set slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> <link>www.s... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:22:17 EST 8/17/16 - Wednesday Wellness August 17 is Love Your Feet Day. Celebrate the day by.... <BR> <BR> Shopping for new shoes if your shoes are worn down and uncomfortable <BR> Fill a water bottle half-way full, stick it in the freezer until frozen and use it to roll under your feet <BR> Elevate your feet when you can <BR> <BR> And/or try these Spark exercises for strong, flexible feet.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Our fe... Tue, 16 Aug 2016 22:00:42 EST 8/16/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for either..... <BR> <BR> two servings of fruits with each meal <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> two servings of veggies with each meal <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> one serving veggies AND one serving of fruit with each meal <BR> <BR> <em>277</em> <em>267</em> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 22:11:03 EST 8/15/16 - Muscle Monday Start the week by increasing muscle mass which will speed up your metabolism. <BR> <BR> Pick three body weight exercises to... PUMP IT UP! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?equipment=bodyweight </link> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Sun, 14 Aug 2016 22:07:34 EST 8/14/16 - Sunday Self Care Give your yourself a time limit...10 or 15 minutes, write down your worries in a journal, or grab a piece of paper. <BR> <BR> Write down your worries within the time you allotted and then focus on something positive or get outside and do something fun. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Schedule your workouts on your calendar or at least a reminder to get moving. <BR> <BR> Sat, 13 Aug 2016 22:04:37 EST 8/13/16 - August Goals Do you remember the goals you set for yourself for this month? Check out the thread, see what you goals you checked in with. Give me a <em>248</em> if you took a step today towards on of your goals. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sageboard_thread.asp?board=0x2107x6487<BR>7852 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: How's your vitamin C? <BR> <BR> One of the many benefits of vitamin C is to "form collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength ... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 22:18:39 EST 8/12/16 - Free Form Friday You're up to bat to make your challenge! What step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> Remember rest counts for those of you still recuperating! <BR> <BR> After debating back and forth, I've agreed to go to work late and meet some members of my running group at 5:30 am for a six mile run. We are expecting rain but as long as there's no lightning.... we run. You never know, it could be raining the day of the half marathon next month. <BR> <BR> Plan B, I'l find a cardio... Thu, 11 Aug 2016 21:26:56 EST 8/11/16 - Taste The Rainbow <BR> Are you eating all of the colors of the rainbow each day? I try, don't always make it but let's work on it together. Get as many colors as you can and start a shopping list to get more. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for four short bursts of cardio during the day. <BR> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:24:21 EST 8/10/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take time for a mid-week stretch at your desk or in between household chores and errands... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Watch your portions. Read labels to learn or refresh your memory about your favorite foods. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you kept portion sizes smart.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=177 </link> <BR> <BR> Happy Nat... Tue, 9 Aug 2016 22:15:16 EST 8/9/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for at least 10 minutes of cardio....walking, dancing, treadmill, swimming etc and then pick two opposing muscle groups to strengthen....biceps/triceps, chest/back or inner/outer thighs etc: <BR> <BR> <link> e_ demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Don't just work the muscles you see in the mirror, work the opposing muscles to avoid injury and increase your metabolism. Mon, 8 Aug 2016 21:23:38 EST 8/816 - Bursts of Activity and Happiness Several short bursts of activity keep the calorie burn going all day. Go for a few quick walks, do some jumping jacks a few times, run up a few stairs a few times. <BR> <BR> August 8 is Happiness Happens day.... <BR> <BR> Founded in 1999 under the name of “Admit You’re Happy Day” by the Secret Society of Happy People, Happiness Happens Day aims to spread the joy of being happy, and to persuade people to look on the brighter side of life. <BR> <BR> Happiness is contagious, so if you’re happ... Sun, 7 Aug 2016 21:13:55 EST 8/7/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a me day. True, sometimes there is still a to-do list on Sundays but try to fit in some me time.... <BR> <BR> take a bath <BR> read a book or magazine <BR> take a nap <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add some hydrating foods to your daily menus... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> Sat, 6 Aug 2016 21:26:18 EST 8/6/16 - Saturday Steps Let's up those step counts... <BR> <BR> Go for an extra walk <BR> Increase your planned workout <BR> Add a short Spark video to your planned activity <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>57</em> <em>311</em> <em>57</em> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Track your meals for the entire weekend. See if you can stick to what you have on hand. Fri, 5 Aug 2016 22:24:06 EST 8/5/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to call the shots. How will you challenge yourself? Remember, rest counts too if you need it! <BR> <BR> I plan to attend my running group's Friday Night 5K, ending up at a local bar and grill where the husband of a woman in my running group performs with a partner singing Irish folk songs. It's a lot of fun. <BR> <BR> My challenge is to be mindful. They serve a good naked burger... all the fixins, no bun with a side salad and I do not need a beer. <BR> <BR> Let's inspire eac... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 22:10:00 EST 8/4/16 - Thursday Thighs We need those strong and flexible thighs to keep us moving and prevent back pain. <BR> <BR> -Do some good old fashioned squats <BR> -Start to sit down on the couch, but stand back up just before touching down <BR> <BR> Then check out the Pop Sugar article and try some thigh muscles stretches, including that all-important posts muscle ...... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>elief-Stretch-Your-Hip-Flexors-3368118 </link> Wed, 3 Aug 2016 21:30:18 EST 8/3/16 - Wednesday Wellness Every day is a good day to strengthen and stretch the muscles supporting the knees to prevent injury. You don't have to wait until you have knee arthritis to take the steps in this article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> August 3 is National Watermelon Day. The National Watermelon Association, Inc. is a voluntary, membership trade association dedicated to making a positive difference in the busin... Tue, 2 Aug 2016 21:55:13 EST 8/2/16 - Two For Tuesday Amp up your cardio with two cardio sessions..... a walk/run/dancing/zumba in the morning and a short Spark cardio video in the evening or a short cardio video in the morning and a walk at night after dinner <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> August 2nd is National Coloring Book day. Pick up a coloring book and crayons... or print off a coloring page from and spend some quality downtime by coloring. Very calming and therapeutic. <BR> <BR> <link... Mon, 1 Aug 2016 21:48:55 EST 8/1/16 - Goals The beginning of a new month, like a blank page in your life story waiting to begin. <BR> <BR> Make a list of goals you would like to work towards this month. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Add some functional exercises to your day to promote full range of motion and everyday ease of movement.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=234 </link> Sun, 31 Jul 2016 22:09:17 EST 7/31/16 - Sunday Self Care What a great way to reflect on the month as it passes and to mentally prepare for a new month.... <BR> <BR> <link> s_ articles.asp?id=894 </link> <BR> <BR> This article lists three types of walking meditation from easy to challenging. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Sit down and make your shopping list for a healthy week: <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=1001 </link> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 21:23:10 EST 7/30/16 - Friendship Day July 30 is International Friendship Day, declared by the United Nations in 2011, to celebrate friendship and peace. <BR> <BR> Pick up a card and send it to a friend just because <BR> Send a friendly email or text message <BR> Add one new Spark friend or comment on a Spark friend's page that you haven't seen a post from in a while. <BR> <BR> Make it a Saturday of smiles <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:28:36 EST 7/29/16 - Free Form Friday Your day is here, to be your own leader. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What do you need to do to improve your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I'm following the Nike half marathon training plan so I've done a lot of running and cross-training this week. I have a hour run with a friend Friday so I need to remember to get those stretches done AND I bought epson salt last weekend that is still unopened. I intend to show my feel and ankles some love after my ru... Thu, 28 Jul 2016 21:28:06 EST 7/28/16 - Be ABsolutely fABulous! Work your core in sneaky ways. Many mornings while brushing my teeth and curling my hair, I pull in my abs and lean side to side slightly to work the obliques. <BR> <BR> Several times through the day, contract your abs for two seconds and release, repeat. <BR> <BR> During whatever activity or workout you have planned, try to keep your abs contracted as if you were expecting a punch. <BR> <BR> OR <BR> <BR> Combine 12 minutes of low-impact cardio and ab work... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkp... Wed, 27 Jul 2016 21:43:56 EST 7/27/16 - Wednesday Wellness Assess your well-being with four easy steps... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1358 </link> <BR> <BR> "It's easy to get caught up in the numbers—calories, pounds and pants size. But taking these daily wellness measurements is a good reminder that your overall feelings of health and well-being are just as important!" <BR> <BR> July 27 is Take Your Houseplant For a Walk Day. Yes, they say it's healthy for plants to become acquainted with their en... Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:03:32 EST 7/26/16 - Visualize the bikini No, I'm not pushing you to fit into one, instead check out the Spark article out using the visual of a bikini on your plate in order to fill the plate correctly with food. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=432 </link> <BR> <BR> Kind of a fun way to eat the right portions. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ATERNATE CHALENGE: Add some fruit or cucumbers to at least one cup of water to make it more interesting. <BR> <BR> July 26 is One Voice Day...a global initiati... Mon, 25 Jul 2016 22:05:08 EST 7/25/16 - Movement Monday Let's aim to stand or walk more than we sit today. Now, yes, that can be impossible with desk jobs and commutes, but let's give it a shot.... <BR> <BR> Take a call standing up. If you're at home, walk laps while on the phone. <BR> Set a reminder to stand up and stretch every 30 - 45. <BR> Walk to the farthest bathroom, preferably on another floor, work those stairs. <BR> Walk up a few stairs, just because. <BR> Get up and do ten jumping jacks (no jumping required. If need be step out to each... Sun, 24 Jul 2016 22:13:52 EST 7/24/16 - Sunday Stretches Show your muscle some love by loosening and lengthening. First thing in the morning, lunch time or after dinner all great times to perform these stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to move around a bit first. Never stretch cold muscles! <BR> <BR> Happy Pioneer Day to any Mormon Sparkers and Happy Auntie and Cousin day. Sat, 23 Jul 2016 22:19:22 EST 7/23/16 - Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone If it doesn't challenge us, it doesn't change us right? So today, pick a new workout you're not used to, a workout you haven't done in a long time or extend the workout you are used to. <BR> <BR> If it's a rest day, make it an active rest day with a slow 10-minute walk. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you "went the extra mile" <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2107 </link> <BR> <BR> Also, Happy Gorgeous Grandma day to all gorgeous Spark g... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:41:11 EST 7/22/16 - Free Form Friday As we slide into the weekend, it's up to you to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Try to make it a Friday fun day while taking one more step towards your health and wellness. <BR> <BR> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 21:31:41 EST 7/21/16 - Lower Body Let's work that lower half with some squats. I have a love/hate relationship with squats. They are SO beneficial to.... <BR> <BR> -build muscle in the entire body.... squats create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building according to fitness <BR> <BR> -make every-day activities easier <BR> <BR> -burn more calories <BR> <BR> -helps to maintain mobility and balance <BR> <BR> Squeeze in three sets of ten squats throughout your day. If you're not used to... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 23:18:19 EST 7/20/16 - Wednesday Wellness Check out the Popsugar Fitness article on tips to feel more energized throughout the day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>re-Energized-34935504 </link> <BR> <BR> Try to add at least one of the tips during the day: <BR> <BR> Morning - <BR> <BR> Do not hit the snooze button <BR> Hydrate first thing when you wake up <BR> Choose the right breakfast <BR> Fit in a quick workout <BR> <BR> Afternoon - <BR> <BR> Get some fresh air <BR> Drink green tea <BR> Declutter w... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:32:41 EST 7/19/16 - Walking According to, a short, brisk walk before and/or after meals promotes healthy metabolic activity. <BR> <BR> Walking within a half hour or so of eating a meal decreases the amount of sugar and fats that accumulate in the blood after eating. <BR> <BR> Engaging in light or moderate walking after a meal is an excellent way to rev up that metabolism and burn off those calories, as well as contribute to muscle and heart health. But wait at least 45 minutes after a big meal. <BR> <B... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 23:12:07 EST 7/18/16 - Six-Minute Monday Start the week with a quick full-body workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_excuseproof_workout_plan </link> <BR> <BR> Do what you can based on your fitness level. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge..... Track ahead. Track your next two to three meals and snacks to keep yourself on track. Sun, 17 Jul 2016 21:48:44 EST 7/17/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a few minutes to listen to your life: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-for-your-life/ </link> <BR> <BR> What’s right in front you? <BR> Scan the scene. What’s around you. Look up from the screen for a moment and take it in. <BR> Have a look at the present snapshot of your real life, in the room you’re in, right now. <BR> <BR> Is what surrounds you proof in some way that you heeded your own wise calls? <BR> Or do you see reminders that, maybe, in some importa... Sat, 16 Jul 2016 22:39:51 EST 7/16/16 - Saturday Salutations Stop by the Introduce Yourself message board and show some support to new Spark members. Remember when you first started out here and how nice it was to get a supportive comment or a friend add. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oard_topics.asp?imboard=14 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Watch your portions. Read tips for controlling your portions without cutting out too much of your favorite foods. Give us a <em>248</em> if you adopted at least two... Fri, 15 Jul 2016 22:10:46 EST 7/15/16 - Free Form Friday Aaaaand we've arrived at Friday. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Take a step towards health and wellness. <BR> <BR> I'm going to continue adding more cardio to my day. I have a run planned with a friend after work but I'll still aim for my two walking breaks at work and insert jumping jacks throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Hugs all around Thu, 14 Jul 2016 22:09:02 EST 7/14/16 - Jumpin Jack Flash Bump up your cardio by inserting at least three rounds of eight jumping jacks throughout your day. <BR> <BR> No jumping required if that is not something you should be doing.... <BR> <BR> Modified - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Full jack - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=530 </link> <BR> <BR> Advanced - Plank Jack <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 22:20:26 EST 7/13/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a few minutes to try a loving-kindness meditation. From 100 ways to change your life: <BR> <BR> Sit quietly, breathe normally, and repeat the phrase "May I be happy, may I be peaceful," says Salzberg. Whenever your attention wanders, gently let those thoughts go and come back to the phrase. After repeating that phrase for yourself, offer it up to include all beings everywhere, saying "May all things be happy, may all things be peaceful." <BR> <BR> With the stressful news of the day, we... Tue, 12 Jul 2016 21:52:45 EST 7/12/16 - Two For Tuesday Work multiple muscles in one exercise to rev up your metabolism and burn more calories in less time. <BR> <BR> <BR> Pick two exercises from the Spark library that work more than one muscle group: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=strength&a<BR>mp;exercise_level=advanced&amp;equipme<BR>nt=dumbbells&amp;bodypart=any </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: how's your protein? Feed those muscles what they need to repair and grow after... Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:39:25 EST 7/11/16 - Monday Movement Let's get the week moving! Try to increase your steps by 500 or add an extra 10 minutes of activity to whatever is already planned. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> In the workout finder section search for 10 - 15 minute to see a list of short workout videos to get you moving. <BR> <BR> Ready, Set, Go! <BR> <BR> Stretch of the Day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=295 </link> <BR> <BR> Work at flexibility in your hips and hamstri... Sun, 10 Jul 2016 22:33:27 EST 7/10/16 - Sunday Funday Exercise your brain and your creativity on Clerihew Day......Invented by Edmund Clerihew Bently, a clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem. <BR> <BR> A clerihew has the following properties: <BR> It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it pokes fun at mostly famous people <BR> <BR> It has four lines of irregular length and metre (for comic effect) <BR> <BR> The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are ofte... Sat, 9 Jul 2016 22:55:06 EST 7/9/16 - Saturday Snacks Do you tend to snack on the weekends. Give me a <em>248</em> if you limited snacking or snacked smart.... with healthy, nourishing snacks. <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=504 </link> <BR> <BR> "Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible." Fri, 8 Jul 2016 22:18:09 EST 7/8/16 - Free Form Friday TGIF my friends! It's time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Relaxing counts too if you've been burning the candle at both ends. <BR> <BR> I read that July 8 is SCUD....stands for Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama Day, and encourages those of us whose lives might have a touch too much drama to step back, relax, and enjoy the funnier side of life. <BR> <BR> I've been a little wound up this week. I'm going to be looking for humor and relaxation! <BR>... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 22:26:02 EST 7/7/16 - Think Macro Macronutrients that is.... FATS, CARBS and PROTEIN.... the major energy sources our bodies need to grow, digest food, build and repair muscle tissue, and perform basic bodily functions. <BR> <BR> Learn or refresh your memory on these important building blocks for your health. Check out the food examples given for each macronutrient. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=2132 </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you were able to meet or imp... Wed, 6 Jul 2016 22:11:00 EST 7/6/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take ten minutes towards a healthy habit. Check out this Spark article about a ten-minute mind shift for tips to jump start a healthy habit.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_ten_minute_mindshift </link> <BR> <BR> Pick one tip from this article to tackle today.... <BR> <BR> Cut up some fresh fruit and store it at eye level in the fridge <BR> Go for a walk <BR> Have a cup of herbal tea and enjoy a moment of quiet <BR> Do a set of old-fashioned push-ups a... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 23:08:21 EST 7/5/16 - You Pick Two Pick two cardio workouts, Spark videos or any other cardio workouts you like... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or at least two exercises that work multiple muscles groups... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add one serving of fruits AND one serving of vegetables to at least two meals or snacks. Mon, 4 Jul 2016 22:03:16 EST 7/4/16 - Monday Mini Muscles Rev up the metabolism with some mini muscle work during whatever Independence Day celebrations you have. <BR> <BR> While brushing your teeth, doing dishes etc, try some small mini squats... you don't have to go down far, just focus on driving up through your heels <BR> <BR> or some ab contractions, glute crunches, wall pushups, pushups against a sink with elbows close to your sides to focus on your triceps..... any time you have a minute or two alone, work some muscles. <BR> <BR> Happy Ind... Sun, 3 Jul 2016 23:55:28 EST 7/3/16 - Sunday Self Care July 3rd is Compliment Your Mirror Day. It's easy to listen to negative thoughts of our own and comments of others. <BR> <BR> Take a moment (or several times through the day) to focus on your strengths, big and small, look in the mirror, smile and compliment yourself on those strengths. Say it confidently. We achieve what we believe! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Add some fruit to your water. Sat, 2 Jul 2016 21:53:26 EST 7/2/16 - Hop A Park Day July 2nd is Hop A Park Day....a day that encourages you to visit the local parks in your area, and to enjoy public space put aside tor rest and relaxation. <BR> <BR> Enjoy a walk or a good book in a local park! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add one extra serving of fruit than you normally do. <BR> Fri, 1 Jul 2016 22:08:47 EST 7/1/16 - Free Form Friday It's Second Half of the Year day. July first marks the beginning of the second half of the year. <BR> <BR> Take a step back, review your nutrition tracker, your activity tracker, your job, your garden, your family and friend connections. Evaluate where you are and where you want to be. <BR> <BR> Now set your own challenge for your free-form Friday or repeat a previous day's challenge that will help you reach your goals. <BR> <BR> By the way, Happy Canada day to all of our Canadian Sparker... Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:58:26 EST 6/30/16 - Thursday Thighs Posting early since I will be out for a few hours. <BR> <BR> Let's strengthen our thighs for some walking, running, dancing, zumba, housework etc! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_best_inner_thigh_exercises_ever </link> <BR> <BR> If you worked your thighs in the last 24 hours, get a good stretch instead! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=61 </link> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?... Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:24:20 EST 6/29/16 - Wednesday Wellness Scroll down and pick one or two new ideas from the list below that we looked at on Sunday to add some zen to your day. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Slow down while eating during at least one meal. <BR> <BR> Eating slowly aids in digestions and helps avoid metabolic syndrome (combination of the symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance). It also helps you feel fuller aiding in weight loss and maintenance. <BR> <BR> <BR> From <BR>... Tue, 28 Jun 2016 21:40:59 EST 6/28/16 - Be ABsolutely fABulous I'm going to try a new core video on Spark. Join me won't you... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> It's about five minutes, all you need is a towel or a band and you don't have to get on the floor. <BR> <BR> The 12-minute seated core video is a great option: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Just about every movement we makes, run through are abdominal muscles. <BR> <BR> ADDITIONAL/BONUS CHALLENGE: Hopefully... Mon, 27 Jun 2016 22:05:12 EST 6/27/16 - Monday Minutes Start the week on an active note. In addition to whatever activity you have planned... <BR> <BR> Pick a short Spark or other workout video <BR> Go for a 10 minute walk <BR> Do 10 minutes of stretching during your favorite evening tv show or newscast <BR> <BR> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 21:39:13 EST 6/26/16 - Sunday Self Care Copy and paste this list somewhere you can refer back to it quickly through the week. Pick at least two to try today...... <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Lighting an iced spice cake candle. <BR> Drinking a hot cup of tea or coffee. <BR> Dancing to your favorite music. <BR> Taking a dance class. <BR> Writing down your worries in your journal. (And giving yourself a time limit, such as 15 minutes, to get it all down and then refocusing on something else.) <BR> Writing down yo... Sat, 25 Jun 2016 22:03:34 EST 6/25/16 - Saturday Support Remember when you were new to SparkPeople? Check out the Introduce Yourself message board and post a supportive reply to a new Spark member.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oard_topics.asp?imboard=14 </link> <BR> <BR> You never know the positive effect a small gesture can have on someone's day and journey. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: June 25 is Great American Backyard Campout day. Okay, if camping out in your yard is not a possibility, spend some qu... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 23:03:15 EST 6/24/16 - Free Form Friday Aaaaaand cruisin on into the Friday... your day to make your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What step do you need to take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I will be doing some stretching and get to bed early. I have to be up and out of the house very early to meet my daughter for an early 10K. I haven't done a 10K in long time. <BR> <BR> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 22:26:15 EST 6/23/16 - Pushups Work on your upper body strength to get you through every-day activities. <BR> <BR> Pick your level or mix and match... pushups against the wall, on your knees, on your toe, on a step or a ball.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&amp;cof=FORID%3<BR>A11&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=pushups&amp;sit<BR><BR>earch_results_google.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 22:14:25 EST 6/22/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week zen break. Check out this Spark article and pick at least one idea to try to add more zen to your day. Make a plan to try another idea the following day..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=how_to_find_some_zen_in_every_part_<BR>of_your_day </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Become an educated athlete. Do an internet or Spark search or visit your library about injury prevention in your chosen activity. <BR> <BR> Activities bring be... Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:47:23 EST 6/21/16 - Two For Tuesday I need a major calorie burn. Join me combining cardio and strength work in this 20-minute workout... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick cardio moves.... <BR> <BR><BR>se-exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio <BR> <BR> combined with your favorite strength exercises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE... Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:45:46 EST 6/20/16 - Sumer Solstice For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year so take advantage of the long daylight hours by getting outside to enjoy a fun activity while absorbing some vitamin D. <BR> <BR> If you are stuck inside at work, try to get a quick walk near some windows or outside around the building if it's safe. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: After your fun day outdoors or after an indoor workout, try some quick stretches to loosen and lengthen... <BR> <BR> <link>www.... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:54:54 EST 6/19/16 - Happy Father's Day A happy day to your dad, grandpa, husband, brother, cousin, good friend etc. If your dad is no longer with us, give someone a call or pay a visit to someone who may need a friend voice/face. <BR> <BR> Show your neck some love. After all.... "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function. Why so many muscles? Well, the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." <BR> <BR> Follow you... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:41:13 EST 6/18/16 - Eat Your Veggies June 17 is Eat Your Vegetables day. But let's continue this into Saturday the 18th. Add one extra serving of veggies to your day than you normally do. <BR> <BR> Look up healthy veggie snacking for new ideas. Try a veggie that is new to you or that you haven't had in a while. <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> <em>291</em> <em>368</em> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add 15 minute of activity to your day than you normally get. Get some additional Saturday steps. Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:29:25 EST 6/17/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to challenge yourself. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own based on your needs. Remember, rest days count too if you've been burning the candle at both ends. <BR> <BR> I am heading out of town on a motorcycle trip so I'm going to work on eating mindfully and not slip into my fast food habits on motorcycle trips. <BR> <BR> And away we go..... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 19:21:25 EST 6/16/16 - Be AB-solutely f-AB-ulous Work that core for strength and flexibility. A strong core improves your posture and prevents other muscles from straining. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark Seated Core workout (don't let the "seated" part fool you, you will feel it!) <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or, during any other cardio you do, focus on really pulling in those ab muscles. A trainer once told me (after I tweaked my lower back on the rower), that to prevent back issues, keep my abs pul... Wed, 15 Jun 2016 21:52:28 EST 6/15/16 - Wednesday Wellness Let's work on our balance. Don't wait until you fall and injure yourself to work on balance. Pick your level... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/CHALLENGE: Add some fruit to your water to jazz it up. Tue, 14 Jun 2016 22:04:23 EST 6/14/16 - Two For Tuesday Pick two cardio workouts, Spark videos or any other cardio workouts you like... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or at least two exercises that work multiple muscles groups... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Sit cross-legged on the floor or your bed and with a flat back, hinge forward to open up your hips and gluten. If you can only go forward an inch or two, it's all go... Mon, 13 Jun 2016 22:22:28 EST 6/13/16 - Small Bursts of Activity Insert a cardio move a few time throughout the day. Keep your metabolism firing all day for an all-day calorie burn... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Read labels on as many food and drink items as you can. Refresh your memory how many servings you are actually eating/drinking. <BR> <BR> Sun, 12 Jun 2016 22:36:45 EST 6/12/16 - Sunday Self Care Make it a day to rest and rejuvante... <BR> <BR> Read in bed <BR> Spend time with friends/family <BR> Have tea and cookies <BR> Give yourself or get a mani/pedi <BR> Take a nap with cucumber slices on your eyes <BR> Spend 10 minutes practicing proper breathing... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> Sat, 11 Jun 2016 21:37:31 EST 6//11/16 - Make Life Beautiful Day Release your inner, beautiful ballerina and sculpt your lower body with Jessica..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=target_your_entire_lower_body_in_14<BR>_minutes </link> <BR> <BR> Don't forget to stretch. Even if you are not a runner, these stretches are very beneficial... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1565 </link> <BR> <BR> A lovely Shavuot to those that celebrate and a spectacular Trooping the Colours to ou... Fri, 10 Jun 2016 22:13:25 EST 6/10/16 - Free Form Friday Today's your day to make your own challenge, repeat a previous day's challenge or continue with this week's Spark Video a day challenge. <BR> <BR> Today's video will work the abs. If some moves do not work for you, repeat any other move. Take it at your own pace. No need to use weights if you do not have them. Or use water bottles or soup cans. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or the seated core workout... <BR> <BR> <link> Thu, 9 Jun 2016 20:34:26 EST 6/9/16 - Spark Video Day Four Let's bump up some cardio. Try the 10-Min Cardio Kickboxing video in addition to other planned cardio. Keep the movements small if you need to..... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Don't forget about the seating cardio workout if that works better for you.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Hit a crossword puzzle or word find puzzle for some brain cardio. <BR> Wed, 8 Jun 2016 21:52:48 EST 6/8/16 - Spark Video Day Three It's a Wednesday Wellness video challenge. Get loose and calm with either: <BR> <BR> Jessica Smith's Chair yoga... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=finally_a_yoga_routine_for_bad_wrists </link> <BR> <BR> or SparkPeople's Qi Gong.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> I love both of these videos. We'll see how the day goes, I may fit both in! <BR> <BR> June 8 is Upsy Daisy Day... <BR> <BR> Upsy... Tue, 7 Jun 2016 21:43:11 EST 6/7/16 - Spark Video Day 2 Moving on through the week strengthing the glutes and thighs.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> More muscles = higher metabolism = burning calories at rest. <BR> <BR> Don't forget.... if need be, there are great seated videos... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1713 </link> <BR> <BR> ANTIOXIDANTS... how many foods high in antioxidants do you fit into your day? Start your shopping list.... <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 6 Jun 2016 21:43:21 EST 6/6/16 - Spark Video Day One If you are following along with the Spark Video a day challenge this week, try to add the 8-min Cardio Interval workout video in addition to any other activity you have planned.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If any move is too much for you, walk in place or do any other move that works for you. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Eat your greens. <BR> <BR> Leafy greens help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, are high in dietary f... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 20:59:26 EST 6/5/15 - Me Day Take a me day or at least some me ten minutes. <BR> <BR> Meditate <BR> Read <BR> Take a bath <BR> Close yourself in a room and do some deep breathing <BR> Just be <BR> <BR> Rest up, we're hitting some Spark videos next week... get our cardio on! Sat, 4 Jun 2016 23:01:09 EST 6/4/16 - Be Fiberiffic How's your fiber? Check out the Spark article to refresh your memory on the benefits of fiber, recommended amount and ideas for adding more fiber in a tasty way.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ce_fiber.asp </link> <BR> <BR> June 4 is National Trail day. Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors if it's a safe area for you to do so! <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>332</em> <em>313</em> Fri, 3 Jun 2016 22:00:22 EST 6/3/16 - Free Form Friday Time to challenge yourself or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be doing Thursday's challenge on Friday. I let some aggravations get the best of me and had no energy left for a work out SO, a 20 minute yoga video helped me out. <BR> <BR> What step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Thu, 2 Jun 2016 21:32:12 EST 6/2/15 - Cardio and Strength Add some cardio to your strength training for an extra calorie burn. <BR> <BR> Pick three exercises for muscle groups you have not worked in the last 24 hours..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> In between sets, perform a cardio move.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> Wed, 1 Jun 2016 22:20:56 EST 6/1/16- Wednesday Wellness Take a two minute break to stretch. This is good for anyone that has a desk job or is on their feet most of the day. The shoulders, neck and upper back tend to take on our stress and when we let our posture slip. It's all cumulative! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_simple_stretches_for_better_postu<BR>re_and_less_pain </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: How's your Fiber? Are you tracking fiber and getting the recommended amount for you? <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 31 May 2016 21:40:00 EST 5/31/16 - Stairs According to <BR> <BR> Your body releases natural pain relievers, or endorphins, during a stair climb, so you’ll feel better and have less tension. Doctors also recommend stair climbing as an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease. <BR> <BR> Hit the stairs as often as you can at work, at home... find some stairs at a local mall..... <BR> <BR> BONUS/... Mon, 30 May 2016 22:02:26 EST 5/30/16 - Happy Memorial Day It's a day to remember the men and women that gave their lives while serving our country. <BR> <BR> Before your BBQs, picnics or me time...... <BR> <BR> Consider taking a few minutes to look up a war memorial museum near you and send a donation. <BR> <BR> Take a moment of silence to remember the men and women that have sacrificed everything. <BR> <BR> If you do not live in the US, educate all of us on how and when you remember your fallen service men and women. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLE... Sun, 29 May 2016 21:26:57 EST 5/29/16 - Sunday Stretches Prevent and ease wrist pain with simple stretches. <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1527 </link> <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article and try the simple stretches. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: watch your portions. If you are celebrating a holiday weekend or just hanging out with friends, reduce your portion size of the foods you enjoy to avoid feeling deprived. Sat, 28 May 2016 21:49:00 EST 5/28/16 - Saturday Signup Every want to try a race but not sure if it's for you or you don't want to pay the registration fees? Are you looking for a race before your next organized race? Would you like to try going from a 1-mile to a 5K or from a 5K to a 10K? <BR> <BR> Stop by Spark's Virtual Race page and sign up for a 1 mile walk, 1 mile run, 5K walk, run or walk/run or 10K. <BR> <BR> You pick the week you want, the type of race, then pick a route anywhere near you and then log your results. <BR> <BR> A great wa... Fri, 27 May 2016 22:05:03 EST 5/27/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to make your challenge. Inspire the rest of us too. No challenge too small or insignificant!!! <BR> <BR> I ran tonight and worked my thighs so it will be an active rest day, lots of walking and stretching. <BR> <BR> Will continue to do my cross-legged stretches. <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>414</em> <em>313</em> Thu, 26 May 2016 22:25:18 EST 5/26/16 - Thursday Thighs Work your inner and outer thighs ..... <BR> <BR> Standing Abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Standing Adduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you have a band? Try the same exercises with a band: <BR> <BR> Abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=249 </link> <BR> <BR> Adduction <BR> <BR> <li... Wed, 25 May 2016 21:58:09 EST 5/25/16 - Wednesday Wellness From Reset By Relaxing your face. There are 43 muscles in our face. That is a lot of opportunities for us to unknowingly build and hold tension. <BR> <BR> Try this for one minute: <BR> <BR> Close your eyes (after you read these instructions), and begin to soften the muscles of your face. <BR> <BR> Release your jaw if it is clenched, and let your tongue rest on the soft upper palate of your mouth. <BR> <BR> Curl your lips in the slightest smile, as you relax all of t... Tue, 24 May 2016 22:24:35 EST 5/24/16 - Tuesday Triceps According to as our triceps become stronger, the strength and stability of our shoulders and elbows increases. <BR> <BR> Pick one or two triceps exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=triceps </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Continue this week with sitting crossed legged on the floor (or on your bed) hinge forward at the hips with a... Mon, 23 May 2016 21:48:31 EST 5/23/16 - Get Up And Dance Why should dancing wait until the weekend? Get the week off to a groovin good start by adding 7 minutes of dance to the day... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Join me as I try to loosen my hips. Every day I'm going to make time to sit cross-legged on the floor (you can do this on the bed too), lean forward with a straight back, slowly, for a count of ten, switch legs and do it again. <BR> <BR> If just sitting cross-legged... Sun, 22 May 2016 22:28:23 EST 5/22/16 - Sunday Stretches Try this stretching video to get loose. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on the floor is a problem for you, try these instead.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get an extra cup of water, one more than you normally do. Sat, 21 May 2016 22:10:39 EST 5/21/16 - Your Shoes Are Made For Walkin Get outside, get your vitamin D and get some extra steps. Aim for at 30 minutes of walking, running or a combination. <BR> <BR> Weather not cooperating? Hit the Jessica Smith 30-Minute Power Walking video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=30minute_indoor_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>57</em> <em>313</em> Fri, 20 May 2016 21:32:14 EST 5/20/16 - Free From Friday Here we are, your day to decide your challenge. <BR> <BR> Do you need to improve.... <BR> <BR> portion sizes <BR> cardio minutes <BR> strength training <BR> posture <BR> rest... remember rest is important too! <BR> <BR> I'm working on stretching my hips so that's my plan. <BR> <BR> Thu, 19 May 2016 21:17:17 EST 5/19/16 - Burner Set As seen on make your last set of a strength training move slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> For example, on the up of a bicep curl or tricep extension or coming up in a pushup (or pushing away from the wall on a wall pushup) go slooooooooowwwwwww. <BR> <BR> Pick a muscle group you haven't worked in at least 24 hours, do two sets of the move as you normally do, then perform your third set slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> <link>www.spar... Wed, 18 May 2016 21:47:23 EST 5/18/16 - Wednesday Wellness Show your neck some love.Take care of your neck..... "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function." <BR> <BR> "the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." <BR> <BR> <link> st =the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> Tue, 17 May 2016 20:07:29 EST 5/17/16 - Tuesday Triceps From <BR> <BR> The triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase. <BR> <BR> Do a few sets of close-arm warm pushups... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try some of these (or all) triceps... <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 16 May 2016 21:27:42 EST 5/16/16 - Monday Minutes Let's up those activity minutes to start the week on a high note. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30, if 30 is your norm, aim for 40. Break it up throughout the day if it's a busy day for you. A few 10 minutes brisk walks do wonders for the metabolism. <BR> <BR> Jessica Smith is always a good choice if you're stuck indoors... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> <em>57</em> <em>312</em> <BR> <BR> May 16 is Biograp... Sun, 15 May 2016 22:36:49 EST 5/15/16 - Sunday Stretches After a brief warmup like walking or light jogging to warm up your muscles, do a full body stretch. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Try one of the Spark TV stretching videos.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or.... <BR> <BR> <link> _a rticles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> The Spark Qi Gong is a great way to cool down, relax and get loose.... <BR> <BR> <link><... Sat, 14 May 2016 21:54:54 EST 5/14/16 - Saturday Sneaky Abs Contract your abs several times today... while washing dishes, talking on the phone, waiting in line at the store or at red lights in the car. <BR> <BR> Do you have a swivel chair in your house? Swivel your way to a tight core. <BR> <BR> Don't forget the lower back which should always be worked when you work your abs... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ises.asp?ID=191 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Eat a green veggie with at least one meal. Fri, 13 May 2016 21:15:06 EST 5/13/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to make your challenge or catch up on previous days' challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm inspired by Spark member BEACHCALSIX to try to eat something green with each meal. <BR> <BR> Let's make it a positive weekend! Thu, 12 May 2016 22:16:21 EST 5/12/16 - Booty Call Work that tush... a large muscle that will burn more calories and make you stronger in your struttin! <BR> <BR> Through out the day, contract your glutes, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> While brushing your teeth or washing dishes, do tiny squats, focusing on driving up through the heel. <BR> <BR> For more tushy working ideas, check this out.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=411 </link> <BR> <BR> May 12 is International Nurses D... Wed, 11 May 2016 22:17:52 EST 5/11/16 - Wednesday Wellness May 11 is National Foam Foam Rolling Day. According to TriggerPoint.... <BR> <BR> "foam rolling doesn’t guarantee medical results, but by introducing mobility into tissue that’s stuck together, tense or overused, you can expect reduced tension, better mobility and less overall stress." <BR> <BR> Pull out your foam roller and show your tight muscles some love.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=63 </link> <BR> <BR> No foam roller... no problem..... Tue, 10 May 2016 22:28:45 EST 5/10/16 - Compound Exercises Try a few exercises that work multiple muscles in one move.... <BR> <BR> Hips, Glutes, Upper Thigh: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=113 </link> <BR> <BR> Quads, Glutes, Inner thigh, Calves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=109 </link> <BR> <BR> Biceps, Triceps, Obliques, Hips: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=139 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: ... Mon, 9 May 2016 21:13:26 EST 5/9/16 - Monday Movement Let's get moving... <BR> <BR> Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio.... walk, run, dance, swim, zumba....or a combination of activities totaling at least 30 minutes. <BR> <BR> Insert jumping jacks throughout the day... no jumping required if that doesn't work for you.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Hit the stairs <BR> <BR> Walk to the store if it's safe and close instead of driving <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! <BR> Sun, 8 May 2016 20:17:16 EST 5/7/16 - Mother's Day/Me Day Happy Mother's day to all the moms and all the dads that fill a mom's role. <BR> <BR> Spend quality time with family or spend the day mothering yourself if your mom is not here like mine. <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> Sat, 7 May 2016 22:16:40 EST 5/7/16 - Scrapbook Saturday May 7 is National Scrapbooking Day. If you don't normally scrapbook, you can use to the day to start a new vision board. <BR> <BR> Have you reached some of your goals? Do you have new goals you would like to achieve? Grab some old magazines, newspapers, pick up a few gadgets at a craft store and start designing your new vision board. If you can see it, you can be it. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNTE CHALLENGE: Aim for one serving of fruits/veggies at each meal. Fri, 6 May 2016 22:19:40 EST 5/6/16 - Free Form Friday We made it to another weekend. Today is your day to challenge yourself. What step will you take to reach your goals? <BR> <BR> I'm going try to relax and get to bed early. I have a very challenging, hilly 5K Saturday morning and I've been burning the candle at both ends this week. <BR> <BR> Thu, 5 May 2016 21:45:59 EST 5/5/16 - Happy Cinco de Mayo Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). <BR> <BR> Look up some healthy Mexican recipes/side dishes to consider making today or shop for another day. <BR> <BR> Kick up your heels.... turn some music on and celebrate the day with some dancing. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Make it a throw-back Thursday by doing a workout you haven't done in a while. I haven't been to my yoga class in a m... Wed, 4 May 2016 22:25:11 EST 5/4/16 - Wednesday Wellness From 100 Ways To Change Your Life... <BR> <BR> Ease anxiety with a Tibetan sky-gazing meditation... <BR> <BR> Look out the window (or look upward), relax your whole body, and let your gaze expand into the spaciousness of the sky, says Dean Sluyter, author Natural Meditation: A Guide To Effortless Meditative Practice. Repeat the ahhh sound silently—it's the most open sound you can make, and it amplifies the feeling. Let your attention go, and sit for a few minutes. <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 3 May 2016 21:52:23 EST 5/3/16 - Two For Tuesday Work opposing muscle groups... skip any muscles you may have worked on Monday. <BR> <BR> abs/lower back <BR> biceps/triceps <BR> chest/upper back <BR> hamstrings/quads <BR> inner thigh/outer thigh <BR> <BR> Use the exercise finder for new ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add five jumping jacks in between sets. Keep it low impact if need be by stepping out to one side at a time while you raise your... Mon, 2 May 2016 22:13:25 EST 5/2/16 - Monday Minutes Let's get the work week started on an energetic note... <BR> <BR> Aim for 3 ten-minute activity breaks.....a walk, a jog, stairs. dancing....whatever fits. <BR> <BR> If you have a 30-minute workout planned, add a ten-minute activity burst to the day. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Sun, 1 May 2016 21:17:15 EST 5/1/16 - May Day Welcome the first of May by getting outdoors if the weather is agreeable. Enjoy the day and the benefits of getting outside.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Pick up a plant or some flowers to brighten up a room. Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:01:24 EST 4/20/16 - LISS Aim for 30-45 minutes of low-intensity activity during your Saturday. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2100 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: April 30 is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.... try a little Qigong.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 21:39:40 EST 4/29/16 - Free Form Friday Today is your day to make the challenge. What will you do to take a step towards your health and wellness. No step is too small. <BR> <BR> I am going to do some yoga since I haven't been able to attend my yoga class in a couple weeks. <BR> <BR> April 29 is International Dance Day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> <em>354</em> <em>355</em> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:06:46 EST 4/28/16 - Three For Thursday <BR> Pick a muscle group to work that you have not worked for the past two days. Do three different exercises for that muscle group, preferably exercises that are new to you. <BR> <BR> Or just do three sets of 8 - 10 of one exercise. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Squeeze in three five minute walking breaks in your day. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 21:12:11 EST 4/27/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week decompression break.... practice proper breathing for ten minutes.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> "Proper breathing is a critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 22:38:21 EST 4/26/16 - Check Your Portions Don't suffer from portion distortion. Labels are our friends. Check out the Spark article on tips for habits of smart portion control. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you followed at least two of the suggestions in the article. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=56 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Add some fruit chunks or slices to one glass of water. <BR> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:05:37 EST 4/25/16 - Move it Monday It's Monday, let's get up and burn some calories, increase our strength and endurance. Do a workout that combines strength and cardio. Work out smarter, not necessarily harder. <BR> <BR> Watch the video first if you've never done it. Step left and right if you have trouble following the moves until you get it. <BR> <BR> <link> de tail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> If that video is too much, combine cardio moves and strength moves that work f... Sun, 24 Apr 2016 22:41:10 EST 4/24/16 - Sunday Self Care Give your yourself a time limit...10 or 15 minutes, write down your worries in a journal, or grab a piece of paper. <BR> <BR> Write down your worries within the time you allotted and then focus on something positive. <BR> <BR> Sat, 23 Apr 2016 21:40:15 EST 4/23/16 - Get Uncomfortable You know the saying, nothing changes if nothing changes! Do something to get out of your comfort zone today. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article for 12 tips for getting uncomfortable.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2107 </link> <BR> <BR> I am going to do some hill running. I have a very hilly 5K in a couple weeks that I have not prepared for so I'm going to meet a group for a training run. The hills will be alive with the sound of my grunt... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 22:55:26 EST 4/22/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to challenge yourself. <BR> <BR> Do you need more water? <BR> Do you need to log activity and food? <BR> Do you need to reconnect with a friend or family member? <BR> Do you need to rest? <BR> <BR> It all counts. What will you do? <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on posture. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: April 22 is Earth Day. Do something positive for the environment. <BR> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 21:54:08 EST 4/21/16 - LISS Explore Low Intensity Sustained State activity. Check out the Spark article on this new concept, opposite from HIIT, high intensity interval training. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2103 </link> <BR> <BR> Or read about it on <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-State-Cardio-Examples-33051100 </link> <BR> <BR> Pick an activity to perform for 30 - 60 minutes, keeping your heart rate in the moderate zone. <BR>... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 22:41:42 EST 4/20/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week stretch with a video from Spark TV... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add some anti-inflammatory foods to your day or to your next shopping list... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_foods_that_fight_inflammation </link> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 22:14:16 EST 4/19/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for two servings of fruits/veggies at at least one meal. Find some tips for getting your five a day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Work opposing muscle groups. Don't just work what you see in the mirror. <BR> <BR> Chest/Upper Back <BR> Abs/Lower back <BR> Biceps/Triceps <BR> Quads/hamstrings <BR> <BR> Use the exercise finder on the right side of the Exercise Library page if you need ideas.... <B... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 21:56:37 EST 4/18/16 - Boston Marathon Day The 120th running of the Boston Marathon is Monday. Let's all go the distance and make it a movement Monday. <BR> <BR> Try to walk, run, bike, elliptical an extra mile. Do you zumba, dance, kickbox? Add a few more minutes on to your normal routine. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: In order to keep moving, we need proper nutrition. Give me a <em>248</em> if you added at least two of these foods to your day or at least started your next shopping list with these foods.... <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 17 Apr 2016 21:23:52 EST 4/17/16 - Sunday Stretches After a brief warmup like walking or light jogging to warm up your muscles, do a full body stretch..... <BR> <BR> Try one of the Spark TV stretching videos.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> Sat, 16 Apr 2016 22:12:26 EST 4/16/16 - Calves Some benefits of strong calves..... <BR> <BR> Protect from calf pulls <BR> Stabilize ankles and feet <BR> Shapely calves are a good look <BR> <BR> Try some calf raises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=132 </link> <BR> <BR> You can do them on a step or just standing at the kitchen sink <BR> You can do one leg at a time or both at the same time <BR> You can hold weights or not <BR> When not doing them on a step, you can do them with toes pointed... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 21:44:24 EST 4/15/16 - Free Form Friday The weekend has arrived! It's your day to decide your own challenge, repeat a previous day's challenge or join me in checking out Spark People TV. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> A lot of the usual Spark videos are there plus many more. There are strength training, cardio as well as yoga and meditation videos. <BR> <BR> Scroll through and see what looks good or fill in the workout finder to narrow down your search. To the right of the video is button to save it and tra... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 22:03:21 EST 4/14/16 - Booty Call Try at least two moves from the spark booty workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1755 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a nice strong booty to take you through your day. <BR> <BR> April 14 is International Moment of Laughter day. Find time for some laughter! <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 22:23:36 EST 4/13/16 - Wednesday Wellness From the national eye institute website.......Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. <BR> <BR> Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain. <BR> <BR> <BR> April 13 is Scrabble Day. A good game of scrabble is an excellent brain exercise! <BR> <BR> Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:12:41 EST 4/12/16 - Tuesday Triceps Let's work a muscle a day the rest of the week. <BR> <BR> Pick at least two tricep exercise to build up the back of those arms.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=triceps </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Give me a <em>248</em> if you did something small that always makes you feel fantastic. <BR> <BR> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 22:15:46 EST 4/11/16- Motivation Monday First thing, or whenever you read this, look in the mirror, smile and state your intention for the week. <BR> <BR> Make it about something within your control. Be realistic. You'e not changing the world with this one thought but you may improve your week in a small way. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: If you begin to feel sluggish, grab a big glass of ice water to pump yourself back up. Throw some fruit in the water to make it fun and refreshing. Sun, 10 Apr 2016 22:23:02 EST 4/10/16 - Sunday Self Care From the website on creating a playbook. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>14/12/self-care-sunday-create-a-play-b<BR>ook/ </link> <BR> <BR> Take an idea from this playbook idea by writing down five things that never fail to make you feel fantastic. Do one today and schedule the rest. <BR> <BR> Sat, 9 Apr 2016 21:59:14 EST 4/9/16 - Saturday Dance Party Put some music on and try these moves... doesn't have to perfect, just let the music move you... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Below are just a few benefits of dancing.. <BR> <BR> Improved condition of your heart and lungs. <BR> increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness. <BR> increased aerobic fitness. <BR> improved muscle tone and strength. <BR> weight management. <BR> stronger bones and re... Fri, 8 Apr 2016 21:24:36 EST 4/8/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm in an all-day meeting at work so it will be a challenge to reach my step goal. I forsee jumping jacks on bathroom breaks! <em>334</em> and a good long dog walk after work if the weather cooperates. Plan B, I'll hit the elliptical. <BR> <BR> April 8 is Draw a Bird Day which began in honor of Dorie Cooper, a 7 year old girl in England. She visited her uncle who was wounded in the war in 1943. She... Thu, 7 Apr 2016 22:32:42 EST 4/7/16 - Thursday Thighs Let's work the large muscle groups again..... <BR> <BR> 6 Minute Hip Glute and Thigh video; <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> Seated leg toner video <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Or do both! <BR> <BR> April 7 is World Health Day. Each year the World Health Organization picks a different health them. This is is Beat Diabetes. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30 minutes o... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 21:42:38 EST 4/6/16 - Wednesday Wellness Get some midweek stretching done with the Spark seated yoga sequence. My favorite is #3, really opens up that tight spot between my shoulder blades. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822 </link> <BR> <BR> April 6 is National Walking Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Keep your gym shoes with you and sneak in some walks when you can.....or laps around the living room <BR> <BR> Happy Tartan Day! <BR> <BR> Tue, 5 Apr 2016 22:13:02 EST 4/5/16 - Jacks No jumping required! Add a few jacks throughout the day to keep calorie burn going all day. Pick your level..... <BR> <BR> No impact: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Full on jack: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=530 </link> <BR> <BR> Way advanced.... are you already comfortable doing jumping jacks as well as planks? <BR> <BR><BR> Mon, 4 Apr 2016 21:43:14 EST 4/4/16 - Vitamin C April 4 is Vitamin C day. How are you doing on your daily Vitamin C intake? <BR> <BR> Some benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. <BR> <BR> How many sources of vitamin C are you getting today? Do you know what gives you more C for your buck than orange juice? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_better_way_to_get_vitamin_c_besid<BR>es_o... Sun, 3 Apr 2016 21:36:38 EST 4/3/16 - Sunday Stretches Loosen it all up.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to make stretching a daily routine to.... <BR> <BR> Reduce muscle tension. <BR> Increase range of movement in the joints. <BR> Enhance muscular coordination. <BR> Increase circulation of the blood to various parts of the body. <BR> Increase energy levels (resulting from increased circulation) <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: 15... Sat, 2 Apr 2016 22:05:33 EST 4/2/16 - Three Moves Increase your muscle mass....and your metabolism.... with three moves you can do while watching tv.. <BR> <BR> <BR> ABS: Sit up straight at the edge of the couch or a chair. Lean back slightly with a straight back and lift and lower your knees. To make it more challenging, do it slooooooooow. <BR> <BR> TRICEPS: Tricep dips off the edge of your couch or chair. To make it more challenging, do the tricep dips with straight legs. <BR> <BR> THIGHS AND BUTT: Stand up sit down. Sit on your cou... Fri, 1 Apr 2016 23:09:36 EST 4/1/16 - Free Form Friday No foolin, we made it to Friday and a new month, a new chapter! The challenge is up to you, what positive step will you take toward health and wellness? <BR> <BR> April 1 - 3 is crossword puzzle day. April 1 is National Fun day. Just sayin. <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm going to do a deck of cards workout I wrote up a couple years ago. I picked a low-impact cardio move from the Spark exercise library and attached that to each suite in a deck of cards. So as I flip each card, I do that exercise the n... Thu, 31 Mar 2016 22:19:39 EST 3/31/16 - Sneaky glutes Several times during the day, work the glues. Large muscle groups burns more calories. While brushing your teeth, washing dishes, waiting in line etc, contract your glutes for a couple seconds and release. <BR> <BR> When walking up stairs, lift a leg behind you as you step up, just a small squeeze. <BR> <BR> If you can get on your hands and knees, try this effective workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=98 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS ... Wed, 30 Mar 2016 22:16:56 EST 3/30/16 - Wednesday Wellness Pay attention to your knees. We should regularly build strength to support our knees to keep us moving. <BR> <BR> You can do these lying in bed if need be: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> Tue, 29 Mar 2016 22:13:36 EST 3/29/16 - Hydrating Foods Drink your water and get some hydration from foods. See if you can fit a couple of these into your day or add to your shopping list.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Remind yourself several times through the day to roll your shoulders back and down. Pull your shoulders back slightly. If we practice this through the day, good posture will come naturally, preventing muscle strain. <BR> <BR> Give me a ... Mon, 28 Mar 2016 21:55:57 EST 3/28/16 - Monday Movement Where has March gone? We are in the final stretch of the month so let's increase our fitness minutes and our calorie burn with full-body workout. Walk in place during a move that does not work for you. <BR> <BR> 20-minute Body Sculpting <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Aim for 3 10-minute walking breaks. <BR> <BR> Happy Dingus day to those that celebrate. This is the day the first king of Pol... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 21:34:19 EST 3/27/16 - Happy Easter To those that celebrate, a very happy Easter to you and your family. To those that don't, a very happy Sunday to you! <BR> <BR> <em>451</em> <em>67</em> <em>449</em> <em>375</em> <BR> <BR> Take 10 minutes to practice proper breathing to remove carbon dioxide waste and take plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. <BR> <BR> Follow these five steps: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>414</em... Sat, 26 Mar 2016 22:28:37 EST 3/26/16 - Spinach Saturday March 26th is National Spinach Day. Personally, I'm not a fan but blended with frozen fruit, V8 Fusion juice, vanilla yogurt and a little peanut butter, I get a 1/4 cup each day and do not taste it. <BR> <BR> Be like Popeye and eat your spinach for a dose of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc,... Fri, 25 Mar 2016 22:26:49 EST 3.25.16 - Free Form Friday It's all up to you! Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> What positive step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I'm going to meditate. It's been a while. Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:01:57 EST 3/24/16 - Pushups Work that upper body strength in order to handle every day tasks and increase your metabolism. <BR> <BR> Pick the type of pushup that works with your fitness level.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&amp;cof=FORID%3<BR>A11&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=pushups&amp;sit<BR><BR>earch_results_google.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do some sneaky ab work durin... Wed, 23 Mar 2016 22:22:16 EST 3/23/16 - Wednesday Wellness Be Superman! For an instant confidence boost, stand with feet hip width apart, hands on hips, chin up. <BR> <BR> I need this as I have a very high-pressure all day meeting so I will be doing this before we start. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: stretch for better posture.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_simple_stretches_for_better_postu<BR>re_and_less_pain </link> Tue, 22 Mar 2016 22:52:13 EST 3/22/16 - Tuesday Triceps We're all probably pretty good at working the biceps, not to mention every day chores work them somewhat so try a few sets of tricep exercises. <BR> <BR> Pick the variation that works for your fitness level. There is even one you can do in bed: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&amp;cof=FORID%3<BR>A11&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=triceps&amp;sit<BR><BR>earch_results_google.asp... Mon, 21 Mar 2016 22:44:00 EST 3/21/16 - Monday Minerals Take a few minutes to read the spark article on minerals. They are necessary for many body functions. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ce_minerals.asp </link> <BR> <BR> How many minerals are you hitting today? <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: <BR> <BR> Try a wall squat, even if it's only for a couple seconds. Work your quads, glutes and hamstrings in one move. Check out this link for the variation that fits your fitness level... <BR> <BR> <link>www.spark... Sun, 20 Mar 2016 20:41:43 EST 3/20/16 - First Day Of Spring Happy Vernal Equinox! <BR> <BR> Spend some time outside if weather permits. Grab some natural vitamin D. <BR> <BR> I'll be running with a local running group at the nearby arboretum. <BR> <BR> Happy spring! <BR> <BR> <em>87</em> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Spend some time practicing PMR, Progressive Muscle Relaxation. <BR> <BR> Sit comfortably and close your eyes. <BR> Start by tightening a group of muscles, such as your fists, as much as possible. <BR> Hold this tensio... Sat, 19 Mar 2016 21:37:56 EST 3/19/16 - Saturday Steps Check out the Jessica Smith video posted by Spark People today. Get an extra mile of steps with a low-impact 12-minute workout AND work the muscles around your core. BONUS! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=onemile_express_workout_for_your_abs </link> <BR> <BR> I goofed on the Earth Hour day, it's actually Saturday so try to reduce your electricity consumption for at an hour at 8:30. Fri, 18 Mar 2016 21:19:13 EST 3/18/16 - Free Form Friday We are sliding into Friday! Come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What do you need to do to take care of your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I'm going to be taking care of my feet and ankles with the spark article on feet and ankle stretches. <BR> <BR> March 18 is Earth Hour Day (not to be confused with Earth day). At 8:30 local time, turn off non-essential lights and appliances for one hour as a symbol of your commitment to the planet. <BR> <BR> Thu, 17 Mar 2016 21:16:15 EST 3/17/16 - HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY Everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's day. Celebrate the day by going green in as many ways as possible. <BR> <BR> Give me a goal met if you...... <BR> <BR> Ate at least two servings of green fruits/veggies <BR> <BR> Tried a green smoothie (or look for a new one if you already do the green) or add the ingredients to your shopping list: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1980 </link> <BR> <BR> Packed up stuff to donate/recycle instead of throwing a... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 21:44:42 EST 3/16/16 - Wednesday Wellness From, How to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less... <BR> <BR> Breathe with Intention For Two Minutes.... <BR> <BR> Inhale for 4 counts while saying "I am" in your mind. Then exhale for 4 counts while saying "at peace" to yourself. Repeat 4 times to ground yourself. <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: March 16 is National Lip Day. Remember to protect your lips from UV damage. Lips are more vulnerable to sun damage than the rest of rest of the body. Pick up a good l... Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:47:09 EST 3/15/16 - Two For Tuesday You pick your two...... <BR> <BR> Pick two opposing muscle groups to work.....abs/lower back, biceps/triceps, chest/back but only if you didn't work those muscles on Monday. Always give your muscles a day to rest. <BR> <BR> Pick two different types of cardio and do as many minutes of each that you have time for. Break it up throughout the day if need be. <BR> <BR> Or <BR> <BR> Try to double your normal activity minutes. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Aim for two servings of fruits/... Mon, 14 Mar 2016 22:01:35 EST 3/14/16 - Pi Day Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “&amp;#960;”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. <BR> <BR> Celebrate the day by.... <BR> <BR> Performing 3 sets of 14 repetitions of your favorite strength exercises <BR> Aim for 3 rounds of 14 minutes of cardio each <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 22:03:39 EST 3/13/16 - Spring Forward Many of us are going to lose an hour of sleep tonight as spring forward. Soooo.... <BR> <BR> Make sure to expose yourself to as much sunlight during the day as possible, open the blinds and go for a walk. <BR> <BR> Shut down electronics two hours before bedtime <BR> <BR> Avoid caffeine two hours before bedtime <BR> <BR> All good habits to have any day! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Put some fruit in your water to make it interesting. Sat, 12 Mar 2016 18:57:30 EST 3/12/16 - Practice Good Posture Work on your body alignment every day so walking with good postures is a habit that you do not have to think about. <BR> <BR> Roll your shoulders back and down <BR> Pretend there is a large button between your shoulder blades in the middle of your upper back. Practice keeping that buttoned. <BR> <BR> And try the 12-Minute Better Posture workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> Fri, 11 Mar 2016 21:51:30 EST 3/11/16 - Free Form Friday We have arrived at another Friday. Time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I have been burning the candle at both ends lately so I took the day off work. I'm going to relax a bit when DH and DS leave for work, visit my dad and catch a nap. After all, March 11 is World Sleep Day. <BR> <BR> Are you getting enough zzzzzz's???? <BR> <BR> Thu, 10 Mar 2016 21:55:19 EST 3/10/16 - Stairs March 10 is International Day of Awesomeness. You are all awesome in your own way. Celebrate your awesomeness! <BR> <BR> Be awesome on the stairs. If you are not used to stairs, start small, just go up a couple and come back down. Maybe do it a couple times during the day. <BR> <BR> No stairs at home or at work? Is there a mall or large department store nearby you can stop by? <BR> <BR> Already active? Add an extra flight than you normally take. <BR> <BR> Extra challenge, lift each leg be... Wed, 9 Mar 2016 22:30:01 EST 3/9/16 - Wednesday Wellness From 100 Ways to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less <BR> <BR> Remember what you want. <BR> <BR> Sometimes we're so distracted by stresses that we never take time to settle down and listen to what our body, mind, and soul are telling us, says Malika Chopra, founder and CEO of <BR> <BR> Try this: Sit in a comfortable position, settle your breath, close your eyes, and, as you breathe, mentally repeat the words "I am" for 5 minutes. Next, ask yourself "What do I want?" 2 to 4 ... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 21:15:57 EST 3/8/16 - Raise your Calves According to Strong calves help prevent you from calf pulls, help stabilize ankles and feet, not to mention give you nice looking legs. <BR> <BR> Try only a couple repetitions if you're not used to working your calves to see how you feel the next day. Make sure to warm up for five to ten minutes first by walking, dancing, jumping jacks etc. Never work cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Choose your level.... <BR> <BR> Calf Raises Against a Wall: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeopl... Mon, 7 Mar 2016 21:13:34 EST 3/7/15 - Eat the Rainbow Try to eat one serving from each color of the rainbow.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> Or add a few of the ideas in this article to your shopping list. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge.... throughout any planned workout, as much as possible, really contract your abs as if you were expecting a punch. This will work your abs and protect your back. <BR> <BR> Sun, 6 Mar 2016 21:30:56 EST 3/6/16 - Sunday Walking Meditation Give it a try. This article lists three types of walking meditation from easy to challenging. <BR> <BR> It can be done indoors if you cannot get outdoors or if the weather is not agreeable. <BR> <BR> Take a few minutes to invest in your wellness..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=894 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Sit down and make your shopping list for a healthy week: <BR> <BR> <link><BR... Sat, 5 Mar 2016 21:12:07 EST 3/5/16 - Your Shoes Are Made For Walking Kitty is walking 11 - 12 miles, I will be doing a 7-mile walk/run so let's all get out there together. <BR> <BR> Get some vitamin D and some easy cardio. Take it easy or pump it up depending on how you are feeling. <BR> <BR> Can't get outside, then do an indoor power walk video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Those of you not feeling well or that have been burning it up every day, take a break! Fri, 4 Mar 2016 21:55:14 EST 3/4/16 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week.... repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Anything goes..... nutrition, activity, resting, meditation, household chore.... it all counts! <BR> <BR> By the way, March 4th is March Forth and Do Something day.... a made up holiday that encourages people to do something new that enriches their own lives or the lives of people in their community. <BR> <BR> I'm going to continue working on flexibility. My hips and thighs have bee... Thu, 3 Mar 2016 22:05:12 EST 3/3/16 - Thursday thighs Do some sneaky thigh strengthening during the day.... do squats while brushing your teach (watch your form, stick that butt way back there and make sure your knees do not go past your toes), talking on the phone and a set or two whenever you have a minute alone. <BR> <BR> Or a quick inner and outer thigh video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=83 </link> <BR> <BR> Are you advanced? Try a quick video if you need more of a bur... Wed, 2 Mar 2016 22:34:10 EST 3/2/16 - Wednesday Wellness From 100 Ways To Change Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less...... <BR> <BR> Focus on your mentors.. <BR> <BR> To feel a deeper connection to those around you, try this ancient Tibetan technique: <BR> <BR> Sit quietly and think of someone who has unconditionally supported you. <BR> Close your eyes and visualize that person behind and slightly above you. <BR> Imagine him/her radiating love in the form of beautiful, golden light. <BR> Then visualize someone in front of you ... Tue, 1 Mar 2016 22:07:53 EST 3/1/16 - Two For Tuesday Pick two forms of cardio, aiming for 30 minutes. Try mixing it up with Spark cardio videos.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick two pieces of cardio equipment at the gym. <BR> <BR> March 1st is World Compliment Day. From <BR> <BR> If done properly, Compliment Day is undoubtedly a force for good in this crazy world. Let’s really go for it. Compliment people you’ve never complimented before. C... Mon, 29 Feb 2016 22:28:27 EST 2/29/16 - Move It Monday Start the week on an active note. Try this 20-minute video that combines strength and cardio. Burn more fat in less time. <BR> <BR> Watch it first if you've never done it. Step left and right if you have trouble following the moves until you get it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> If this video is too much, combine cardio moves and strength moves that work for you.... <BR> <BR> <link><B... Sun, 28 Feb 2016 20:33:14 EST 2/28/16 - Me day Have a super Sunday with a ME day. Do what makes you feel rested and restored..... for Monday we will WORK IT! <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Sat, 27 Feb 2016 22:18:08 EST 2/27/16 - Saturday Stretches Show your muscles some love with as many stretching exercises as you need.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=yoga/stret<BR>ching&amp;exercise_level=any&amp;equip<BR>ment=any&amp;bodypart=any </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Don't ditch the vitamins you take but try to eat a few vitamins..... <BR> <BR> Vitamins B6 and B12 <BR> <BR> ...whole grains, bananas, beans, nuts, wheat germ, chicken, and fish. B12 is found in beef, pork, pou... Fri, 26 Feb 2016 22:41:22 EST 2/26/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to shine! Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What positive step will you take toward health and wellness? <BR> <BR> Do you need a little more cardio? <BR> Do you need a little more strength training? <BR> Do you need to rest? <BR> Do you need to check in with an old friend or relative? <BR> <BR> It all counts! <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on posture. I'm watching a webinar (as I type this) on how to be a better runner. His challenge is to set... Thu, 25 Feb 2016 20:54:15 EST 2/25/16 - Try It Thursday Try a workout that is new to you or one that you have not done in a long time. Keep your body responding by adding a new workout to the mix. Choose a new cardio video or new strength moves. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asp </link> <BR> <BR> Or do a search on for a workout you have always thought about trying. I recommend you first watch whichever workout you choose so you know what to expect. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Log all of the fo... Wed, 24 Feb 2016 21:21:51 EST 2/24/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take ten minutes for a proper breathing exercise.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> "Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Color like a kid. Reduce stress by coloring. Pick up a coloring book and crayons or print off a page at and spend a few minutes with yourself in a relaxing, creative way. Tue, 23 Feb 2016 23:39:43 EST 2/23/16 - Single Tasking Day According to, February 23rd is Single Tasking day: <BR> <BR> "Research shows that multitasking is really inefficient. Trying to focus on and hop between multiple tasks dilutes focus, introduces delays, and makes things take longer to complete. Single Tasking Day, then, is about embracing one and only one task. Make a list, put it in order of priority, and get started on a task – and ignore everything else until you finish it!" <BR> <BR> So try to make a list of tasks you n... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 21:49:46 EST 2/22/16 - Energize Your Monday Start the week by eating for energy. See how many foods in the article below you can add to your meals on a regular basis: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=65 </link> <BR> <BR> "concentrating on low-fat, high-fiber foods and complex carbs – these are broken down slowly and steadily, giving you regular energy throughout the day.' <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you fit in short bursts of activity throughout the day. Sun, 21 Feb 2016 21:21:22 EST 2/21/16 - Relax Your Eyes Take time out from looking at the computer or the tv to relax your eyes. Try the 10 tips from <BR> <BR> 1. Blink your eyes every second. Blinking is the best exercise for our eyes. It relaxes them by providing moisture to the eyes. So blink as often as possible to prevent your eyes from drying out. <BR> <BR> 2. Close your eyes, roll your eyes to relax eye muscles and deep breathe for 1 minute every hour if possible. <BR> <BR> 3. Wash your eyes with cool water at least at the b... Sat, 20 Feb 2016 22:02:52 EST 2/20/16 - Saturday Snacking Do you tend to snack on the weekends. Give me a <em>248</em> if you limited snacking or snacked smart.... with healthy, nourishing snacks. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=504 </link> <BR> <BR> "Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible." Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:57:11 EST 2/19/16 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey, it's sweet Friday! Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on posture. I subscribed to this running tip video series and in the last video he talked about posture during running and how important it is to continuously work on posture during the day because when you slip into bad posture during other activities, when you get tired when running, your body defaults into that slump it's used to and you can't run properly... Thu, 18 Feb 2016 21:48:56 EST 2/18/16 - Portion Sizes and Take it Slow Refresh your memory how to eyeball portion sizes. Read your nutrition labels and remember these visuals to watch your portions.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=12 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you regularly eat slowly or is life too hectic to think about slowing down? <BR> <BR> Do your best to try to slow it down a bit during at least one meal. Put your utensil down and drink water between bites. Check out this Spark article for tips and benefits...... Wed, 17 Feb 2016 22:43:07 EST 2/17/16 - Wednesday Wellness Show your feet and ankles some love. They take quite a pounding through all of our workouts and daily activity. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> February 17 is World Human Spirit Day.... <BR> <BR> a celebration of the fact that what we know about our own world is limited and superficial. It is a day to wonder at our achievements on this planet as humans, and to contemplate the endless pos... Tue, 16 Feb 2016 21:06:23 EST 2/16/16 - Mix It UP Alternate strength and cardio for a major calorie burn in less time. Pick strength moves..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> And alternate cardio moves in between strength sets.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> February 16 is National Almond Day. Maybe pick up a pack of almonds to snack on. They are good for you heart, your skin and your waistline..... Mon, 15 Feb 2016 20:31:03 EST 2/15/16 - Meatless Monday I will need this one on the way home from my trip to the land of BBQ, beer and pizza!!!! <BR> <BR> Aim for at least one meal that is meatless. If you do this regularly, share a meatless recipe for those of us that need a little help. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Hit the stairs. Improve your lower body strength and cardiovascular health. <BR> <BR> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 07:26:17 EST 2/14/16 - Valentine's day Be heart smart on this Valentine's day. Check out this Spark article and adopt these healthy habits for heart health. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Try the Spark Qi Gong workout....... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 07:23:54 EST 2/13/16 - Saturday Steps Just in case nobody is able to post for Saturday..... <BR> <BR> Increase your steps. If you have an activity tracker of some kind, aim for an extra 500 steps and if you do not have a tracker, aim for an extras 15 minutes of movement in addition to whatever workout you have planned. <BR> <BR> Feel free to post your own challenge here as well. <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>342</em> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 07:21:15 EST 2/12/16 - Free Form Friday Hey kids! It's Friday. Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What healthy habit will you work on? <BR> <BR> I will be in a car for 6 hours to go visit my brother-in-law for a long weekend... southern Missouri... BBQ, beer and pizza. Wish me luck. <BR> <BR> But for Friday, I will eat a healthy breakfast, enjoy the BBQ lunch we are planning and take is easy in the evening when the pizza and beer will arrive! I will drink a lot of water. <BR> <BR> Ready, s... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 21:48:37 EST 2/11/16 - Sneaky Abs Work your abs throughout the day by contracting your abs, hold for two seconds and release. Do several sets of ten throughout the day. <BR> <BR> During whatever workout you have planned, focus on keeping your abs contracted through the workout. <BR> <BR> A tip given to me by a trainer today ...... while working out, keep abs contracted like you're expecting a punch in the gut, keep it contracted to the point you feel like you'll grunt. This also protects your lower back. <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:36:37 EST 2/10/16 - Wednesday Wellness From regarding breathing exercises that reduce stress.....Try the Firebreath or Breath of Fire technique for an energy boost.... <BR> <BR> This one is a foundational breathing technique of Kundalini yoga practice. It’s meant to expand lung capacity, flush out toxins, and increase strength. To try it for yourself, <BR> <BR> Sit in a position that won’t block your ability to take full breaths. Then you pant like a dog (yes, you heard that right). Begin panting with an open mout... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 21:28:12 EST 2/9/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for at least 10 minutes of cardio....walking, dancing, treadmill, swimming etc and then pick two opposing muscle groups to strengthen....biceps/triceps, chest/back or inner/outer thighs etc: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Don't just work the muscles you see in the mirror, work the opposing muscles to avoid injury and increase your metabolism. <BR> <BR> ********** <BR> We have a few team members under the weather so let's all ma... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 21:53:52 EST 2/8/16 - Monday Movement Let's fit in several short bursts of activity throughout the addition to whatever workout you have planned if possible. Burn calories all day long! <BR> <BR> Take a few five minute walks around you home or office <BR> Add a few sets of jumping jacks throughout the day (leave out the jump if you need to) <BR> Go up a flight of stairs or two, just because <BR> <BR> Or try a few of these moves through the day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.a... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 21:45:50 EST 2/7/16 - Visualization From In the book by Dr Maxwell Maltz, in the classic book Psycho Cybernetics...... <BR> <BR> You Can "Trick" Your Subconscious Mind! <BR> <BR> "Your subconscious cannot tell the difference between a real memory, and a vividly imagined visualization" <BR> <BR> When you visualize, you effectively "implant" new memories into your self-image - meaning that your subconscious mind "thinks" you are already the success you dream of being. <BR> <BR> This frees up sub... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 21:16:50 EST 2/6/16 - Freggies Get your five a day or at least one more serving than you usually do. Look for fruits and veggies that are new to you or some that you have never tried. Start your shopping list. <BR> <BR> <BR> September 6 is Take Your Child To The Library day. Maybe just take yourself to the library. Check out what's going on at your local library. I have a DVD on hold at my library so I will be stopping by my library tomorrow as luck would have it. Fri, 5 Feb 2016 22:38:42 EST 2/5/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to challenge yourself. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on my posture. I caught a glimpse of myself in windows a few times this week and I was hunched. GRRR! So I will keep the shoulders back and down and the imaginary button between my shoulder blades buttoned all day! <BR> <BR> February 5 is National Doodle Day, first established in 2004 by Epilepsy Action an organization which acts as a voice not only for the 600... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 21:39:45 EST 2/4/16 -Thursday Thighs Continuing on the road to revving up our metabolism.... work those thighs and lower body. These are large muscles so its a big calorie burn. <BR> <BR> Work some squats into your day. <BR> <BR> Wide leg squats with dumbbell (skip weight if need be) - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=161 </link> <BR> <BR> Variations... <BR> <BR> with legs wide, toes pointed out, keep back straight as you lower down and focus on your inner thighs as you drive bac... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 21:49:42 EST 2/3/16 - Wednesday Wellness Continuing to work on our metabolism... get your zzzz's. <BR> <BR> According to a study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine... Just a few nights of bad sleep is enough to throw the body's metabolism into disarray. The study shows that getting four hours of sleep a night for four nights made healthy people's bodies resistant to insulin — a condition that is a common precursor of weight gain, diabetes and other serious health problems. <BR> <BR> So get yourself into a better sleep r... Tue, 2 Feb 2016 21:29:53 EST 2/2/16 - Core Let's work the core to increase abdominal muscle strength and increase metabolism..... <BR> <BR> 12-min Seated Core Workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> 7-minute Belly Blast With Dumbbells <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=77 </link> <BR> <BR> Or go more advanced on <BR> <BR> <link><BR>10-minute-core-workout-pain-in-m... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 22:35:56 EST 2/1/16 - Upper Body Work Let's hit a different muscle group each day this week, starting with upper body. A pushup is a great move to build arm and back muscles. Pick your level.... <BR> <BR> Against the wall... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Close-arm pushups <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Modified Pushups <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise... Sun, 31 Jan 2016 21:39:41 EST 1/31/16 - Soothing Sunday Try the 5-step breathing exercise to clear your mind and slow yourself down... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Or the 15-minute Qi Gong video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Or both! <BR> <BR> January 31 is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. Look on line or visit your local library or book store for works of art that are inspiring to you. <BR> <BR> <... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 20:58:11 EST 1/30/16 - ABsolutely fABulous Work your abs using small movements throughout the day..... <BR> <BR> Contract your abs, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> If sitting in a swivel office type chair, lift your feet and swivel back and forth using your contracted abs. <BR> <BR> Lean to the left and then to the right using just your abs, knees slightly bent. <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 22:00:16 EST 1/29/16 - Free Form Friday It's Friday! Roll call.... what is everyone doing to challenge yourself? It's your choice or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I think I'm going to feel that butt and thigh workout so there will be stretching and a Yoga With Adrianne video (available on youtube). <BR> <BR> By the way, January 29 is Puzzle Day. Exercise your brain muscle with a jigsaw puzzle, sudoku or crossword puzzle. <BR> <BR> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 21:42:16 EST 1/28/16 - Thursday Thighs Create a strong base to keep you moving through your day by working your thigh muscles. Strong thighs: <BR> <BR> lead to better cardiovascular health <BR> increases metabolism which helps burn more fat <BR> creates strong glutes and hamstrings, creating a nice backside <BR> work your core. your core works at keeping your spine aligned and your upper body straight during leg work <BR> help reduce knee and ankle injuries <BR> increase stamina <BR> <BR> So try a move or two in either video....... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 22:40:54 EST 1/27/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take care of your neck..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function." <BR> <BR> "the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:59:38 EST 12/26/16 - Take a Lap After dinner, after the dishes, after the kids' homework, after your evening workout, after whatever the last thing you do in the evening.... walk two laps around the house. One last bit of movement in the day. <BR> <BR> January 26 is Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement. Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement is a day to connect with others through the heart. It stresses the importance of sharing a kind word with others. <BR> <BR> Check in with family or friends to say hello. Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:01:10 EST 1/25/16 - Opposite Day January 25 is National Opposite Day. You could celebrate the day by wearing mismatched socks, put your shirt on backwards, talk backwards or....... <BR> <BR> Work opposing muscles groups in what is called antagonistic supersets. According to <BR> <BR> When a muscle is working, such as the biceps in a biceps curl, the opposite muscle -- your triceps -- are resting, known as the antagonist. Performing a set for your biceps, immediately followed by a set for your triceps is kno... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 22:03:21 EST 1/24/16 - Sunday Me Day Take a day to rest and restore. What makes you feel restored.... <BR> <BR> a cup of herbal tea <BR> time for a book and a blanket <BR> a nap <BR> meditation <BR> deep breathing <BR> full body stretching <BR> time with a friend or family member <BR> <BR> Take the time today. <BR> <BR> By the way, January 24 is Global Belly Laugh Day..... <BR> <BR> On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. <BR> <BR> Join the Belly Laugh Bounce Around the ... Sat, 23 Jan 2016 18:33:36 EST 1/23/16 - Saturday Steps/Ha dwriting Day Do you have a step counter of some kind.... aim for at least 500 more steps than you normally get on a Saturday. No step counter.... aim for at least 15 minutes more walking. <BR> <BR> Are you stuck in the house through a wintry storm? Crank up some music and walk laps around the house. <BR> <BR> Try some some jumping jacks. Get the blood circulating! (no jumping required if you are unable to jump... just step out to one side as you raise that arm, then switch) <BR> <BR> January 23 is Nat... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:59:50 EST 1/22/15 - Free Form Friday It's FRIDAY and it's all up to you..... what will you do? What small step will you take towards a goal? <BR> <BR> I know a few people are still not feeling good so please lay low an take good care of yourselves. <BR> <BR> I need some more stretching. I'm still sore from the gym from Wednesday! I'm going to do a Yoga By Adrienne video. <BR> <BR> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 22:13:18 EST 1/21/16 - Burn In Less Five moves, multiple muscles, big calorie burn.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_fullbody_exercises_that_save_you_<BR>time </link> <BR> <BR> Work out smart, not longer. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Know your iron.... <BR> <BR><BR>ition_articles.asp?id=48 <BR> <BR> The main function of iron is to help carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs Wed, 20 Jan 2016 21:57:13 EST 1/20/15 - Wednesday Wellness Work on maintaining or improving your balance. Don't wait until an injury happens. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> Stay near a sturdy chair or wall if you need extra support. <BR> <BR> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 22:32:23 EST 1/19/16 - Triceps Tuesday Try some Jessica Smith tricep exercises.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_exercises_that_target_the_triceps </link> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE... turn it into a bit of a bootcamp workout by walking laps or doing jumping jacks between sets. Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:49:11 EST 1/18/16 - Monday Minutes/Taste the Rainbow Aim to increase your fitness minutes by 15 minutes more than you planned.....walking, dancing, zumba, chair cardio and/or strength training. <BR> <BR> Make it a movement Monday. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you are able to eat at least two colors of the rainbow... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:53:22 EST 1/17/15 - Sunday Stretches I'm posting early for Sunday since I will be out this evening. <BR> <BR> I love this 15-minute Chair Yoga video by Jessica Smith.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=finally_a_yoga_routine_for_bad_wrists </link> <BR> <BR> If some moves do not work for you, repeat a move that does. <BR> <BR> By the way, January 17 is Ditch New Year's Resolution Day, the day when most people that make resolutions give them up. <BR> <BR> Stay strong and focused on your goals to... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 16:56:35 EST 1/16/16 - Taste The Rainbow How many colors of the rainbow can you eat today? Start your shopping list if you have don't have much on hand at the moment...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> A diet rich in fruits and vegetables... <BR> <BR> provides many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing risks of heart disease, cancer, and digestive problems. <BR> <BR> provides many necessary vitamins and minerals <BR> <BR> full of... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 22:13:37 EST 1/15/16 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey <BR> <BR> Free Form Friday baby. The challenge is up to you. How will you challenge yourself to achieve your goals. <BR> <BR> I need to reign in the calories and get back to logging everything. Today was a big calorie day. And some yoga. <BR> <BR> Healing wishes to those that are not feeling well! <BR> <BR> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 20:56:39 EST 1/14/15 - Knees How are your knees? Do you regularly work the muscles that support your knees so you can keep active and injury-free? <BR> <BR> Check out these five exercises to build supporting knee muscles.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> If you can't get on the floor, you may be able to do these on a firm mattress. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get your spice on with a 30-min (or however long you ha... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 21:36:20 EST 1/13/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a moment to assess your well being.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1358 </link> <BR> <BR> See where you can use some improvement <BR> <BR> January 13 is Make Your Dreams Come True day. Sometimes the stairway to our goals is high but each small step gets us closer. <BR> <BR> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:49:43 EST 1/12/15 - Multiple Muscles Burn more fat, more calories in less time by working more than one muscle group in one move. <BR> <BR> For example... <BR> <BR> Wall sit with a medicine ball: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise=469 </link> <BR> <BR> Or do bicep curls while wall sitting. <BR> <BR> Or a wall sit with calf raises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=109 </link> <BR> <BR> Or work opposing muscle groups like chest/back, ... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 22:29:30 EST 1/11/16 - ABsolutely fABulous Let's work on our core. Remember all daily movements go through your core. <BR> <BR> Do some ab contractions during daily actives.... brushing your teeth, while sitting at a stop light in the car, while washing dishes or standing in line.... <BR> <BR> Bend your knees slightly, contract your abs, hold a couple beats then release. Don't forget the obliques while standing, Contract your abs, keep your lower body still as you bend to each side. <BR> <BR> Try some crunches moves: <BR> <BR> <... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 20:53:31 EST 1/10/16 - Sunday Stretches Loosen and lengthen: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> This can be done first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, after dinner or all three times. Just move around for a few minutes first, never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Sat, 9 Jan 2016 20:51:43 EST 1/9/16 - Let's Move/Vision Board Walk, Run, Dance.... let's get moving for at least 20 minutes. Break it up 10 minutes at a time if need be. <BR> <BR> I'm hoping for a run but the weather might cause me to go to plan B so, there's the Jessica Smith 12-Minute Indoor Power Walking Workout. So nice, it can be done twice. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Or a 25 Minute Zero Equipment Cardio workout. <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 8 Jan 2016 21:32:12 EST 1/8/16 - Free Form Friday Guess what day it is? It's FRIDAY and you get to challenge yourself. What do you need to do to be healthy and well? Name it and claim it, inspire others! <BR> <BR> I need a break. It's been a busy week with a little worry about a family member's health thrown in for good fun. <BR> <BR> But I'm gonna let it all go with some yoga, a nice foot soak and a book. January 8 is Bubble Bath Day according to so I'm going to show my feet some love! I may want them to help me run Satur... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 21:26:53 EST 1/7/16 - Thursday Thighs Strengthen your base to keep you moving..... <BR> <BR> Hold on to a chair or a wall if need be and let you inner ballerina shine: <BR> <BR> Standing Adduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Standing Abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Or hit your entire lower body with the 14-minute Barre workout: <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 6 Jan 2016 22:49:46 EST 1/6/15 - Wednesday Wellness According to an article in USATODAY.COM: <BR> <BR> Coloring not only evokes happy memories of childhood; the act can also foster a sense of well-being and offer a relaxing respite from our digital world. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>15/11/14/why-latest-coloring-book-craz<BR>e-can-good-you/75723218/ </link> <BR> <BR> has some free coloring pages or stop and pick up a coloring book and crayons and enjoy some creative, non-digital time. <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 21:41:20 EST 1/5/16 - Booty Call From glutes are the largest and strongest muscles in the body. Strengthening your glutes can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier. Developing strong glutes can also improve athletic performance and decrease your risk for injuries. <BR> <BR> Sneak in some glute work during the day..... <BR> <BR> Start to sit down in a sturdy chair or on the couch, keep your weight in your heels as you lower down, barely tou... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 22:12:28 EST 1/4/16 - Thank God It's Monday Open your mind to embrace the beginning of a week an all of it's possibilities. <BR> <BR> This day was created to celebrate all things that start/happen on a Monday in the the upcoming year, such as; a new job, a promotion, birthdays, holidays, vacations and etc. This is also a day, which starts out the first full week of the new year, to look ahead with positive hope, energy, enthusiasm and excitement for all things to come in the next 12 months. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Fat... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 21:36:55 EST 1/3/16 - Sunday Stretches I have to post a little early for Sunday as I will be out for the evening.... <BR> <BR> What a great week job everyone did keeping active and mindful through the holidays! Give yourselves a big round of applause. <BR> <BR> Show your whole body some love with 7 stretches.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1261 </link> <BR> <BR> Make it a ME day! <BR> <BR> <em>345</em> Sat, 2 Jan 2016 19:34:07 EST 1/2/16 - Day 7 Bootcamp/M Motivation If you've been following the Spark 7 day Bootcamp plan this week, we are at the end. Day 7 does not require any cardio.... but go for it if you are up for it. <BR> <BR> It does include the Spark 9-minute Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=74 </link> <BR> <BR> This can be too challenging for some with issues getting on the floor so if need be, do the Spark Seated Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 22:07:23 EST 1/1/16 - Bootcamp Day 6/Free Form Friday Happy New Year! <BR> <BR> If you're following the 7 - Day Bootcamp plan..... 30 minutes of cardio followed by 7 minutes of upper body strength training. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=75 </link> <BR> <BR> Feel free to adjust as needed, get at least 10 minutes of walking in and do some wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>411</em> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CH... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 22:02:41 EST 12/31/15 - Bootcamp Day 5/New Years Eve The end of 2015! Take a moment to reflect on or jot down your accomplishments this year, small and large. All accomplishments count. Stay focused on the positives and review them every day. <BR> <BR> If you are following along with the Spark Bootcamp plan, day 5 includes 30 minutes of cardio, however you choose and then the Spark 10-minute Lean Legs video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=76 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Insert sma... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 21:51:19 EST 12/30/15 - Day 4 Bootcamp/ Wednesday Wellness We are moving closer to the end of the year in a most active fashion! Day four of the Spark 7-day Bootcamp plan includes 30 minutes of cardio again. Get your cardio any way you can and do the 7-Minute Belly Blast video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=77 </link> <BR> <BR> To shake things up, do some Spark cardio exercises, do a couple moves in the Belly Blast video, pause it to do some more Spark cardio exercises, go back to the video etc. <BR> ... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:43:13 EST 12/29/15 - Day 3 Bootcamp/Two for Tuesday Gather round for day three of the Spark 7-day Bootcamp plan. <BR> <BR> Once again, get 30 minutes of cardio any way you can then do the Spark 7-minute Arm Shaper with Dumbbells video. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=78 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> No worries if you do not have dumbbells, remember water bottles or soup cans will work. No weights at all work well, just really focus on the muscles you're working. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: M... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:37:00 EST 12/28/15 - Day 2 Bootcamp/Lower Body Workout Okay, day two of the seven day bootcamp is 30 minutes of cardio.....your choice, walking, running, walk/run, dancing, swimming, bike riding, Spark or other fitness cardio video.....whatever gets you moving. Feel free to break it up into small increments throughout the day if need be. <BR> <BR> Then the Spark Bootcamp 10- minute Lower Body Blast <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=79 </link> <BR> <BR> or the seated lower body video: <BR> <BR> <li... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 21:46:47 EST