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 7/28/15 - Ballet Tuesday Did you take ballet as a child or did you wish you did? Bring out that inner ballerina with a 15 minute barre workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=15minute_beginner_barre_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Any guys lurking out there, this is not just for the ladies. Mikhail Baryshnikov! Enough said! <BR> <BR> Four benefits of ballet: <BR> <BR> Improved posture and flexibility <BR> Improved balance and coordination <BR> Improved confidence <BR> Improved muscl... Mon, 27 Jul 2015 22:42:49 EST 7/27/15 - Walking July 27 is National Take Your Pants for a Walk day. I also found National Take Your Houseplant for a Walk. If you want to take your plant along, by all means, but get out there and walk.... or walk laps in the house or at work. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30 minutes if you can. You can break it up into 6, 5-minute walks or 3, 10-minute walks. According to the American Heart Association being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke and that you will experience benefits even i... Sun, 26 Jul 2015 22:17:46 EST 7/26/15 - Hips and Thighs Strengthen and stretch your thighs. Many of us spend a lot of time during the week sitting at work and sitting in the car. We need to stretch those muscles out on a regular basis. <BR> <BR> Try as many moves in this article as you can in good form. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> I love the pigeon pose. I've been working on it every night since the beginning of the month and I'm getti... Sat, 25 Jul 2015 22:26:11 EST 7/25/15 - Dance The last Saturday in July is National Dance Day. It was created as a day to raise awareness about and encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity. <BR> <BR> Turn on your favorite playlist and boogie oogie oogie. Or look up a dance workout on youtube or on Spark. Don't forget to log your dancing minutes!! <BR> <BR> Besides feeling good and helping with weight loss, some other benefits of dancing include.... <BR> <BR> boost memory... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 21:13:10 EST 7/24/15 - Free Form Friday Here we are.... FRIDAY BABY! Today is the day you pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm going to get out for a short run. I joined the mapmyfitness app 30 miles in 30 days challenge. then there is also my stretching streak. Ever since I threw my back out two weeks ago, I've been stretching every night! <BR> <BR> Here's to an active and healthy weekend! Thu, 23 Jul 2015 22:25:17 EST 7/23/15 - Stairs Benefits of taking the stairs from live <BR> <BR> "The vigorous and continuous movement of your legs and hips results in deeper breathing and increases your heartbeat, which enhances blood flow to all areas of your body. <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 ... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 22:25:52 EST 7/22/15 - Wednesday Wellness Try to compliment at least three people that you wouldn't normally.... the cashier at the store, a customer on the phone, someone who held a door open for you, give a friendly wave to a driver that let you merge in front of them. <BR> <BR> According to there are 7 benefits of paying compliments... <BR> <BR> 7. It takes the focus off of you. <BR> Any time you can break the habit of “stinkin’ thinkin’” even just for a second, you’re shifting your attention from all the things goi... Tue, 21 Jul 2015 22:23:14 EST 7/21/15 - Tuesday Tip toes 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> 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 parts are in space. Skills you developed when you were younger -- including balance, agil... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 22:15:01 EST 7/20/15 - World Jump Day The World Jump Day was an event scheduled for July 20, 2006 at 11:39.13 UTC, at which time the organization claimed to have 600 million people from the western hemisphere jump simultaneously. They claimed this would move the Earth out of its orbit, and into a new one, one that would not cause global warming. <BR> <BR> Well, that was a hoax but let's see if we can get the One Day Challenge team to jump start the week. Sneak some jacks in your day. <BR> <BR> No worries if jumping is not for ... Sun, 19 Jul 2015 22:04:34 EST 7/19/15 - Qi Gong Take a few minutes and "Awaken your senses, detoxify your body, and achieve a feeling of calm vitality and inner peace by following Cohen's simple standing exercises and graceful, flowing movements." <BR> <BR> Try the SparkPeople 15-Minute Qi Gong video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> ADDITIONAL/BONUS CHALLENGE: Keep an eye on your posture all day. Roll those shoulders back and down, ears aligned over your shoulders. <... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 22:02:24 EST 7/18/15 - Toss Away the "couldas" and "shouldas" Martha J. Ross-Rodgers, author and motivational speaker, created "Toss Away the Could haves/Should haves" day. It is intended for all to let go of the past and live for the present. <BR> <BR> Find a piece of paper and pen, write down your “could haves” and “should haves” and then through it away. Once you have thrown your “could haves” and “should haves” in the trash, make the following resolution: <BR> <BR> “From this day forward, I choose not to live in the past, the past is history that... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:15:50 EST 7/17/15 - Freeform Friday Hey Hey Hey, it's Freeform Friday where you pick the challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Take a small step towards increasing your activity, healthy food swaps or improving your self esteem. <BR> <BR> Since hurting my lower back a couple weeks ago, I appreciate the value of daily stretching. I've always stretched a bit after a workout but not enough. <BR> <BR> I made a spark streak to track daily stretching. I'm working on sitting cross-l... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:33:56 EST 7/16/15 - Fresh Spinach Day July 16 is Fresh Spinach Day. Celebrate by adding spinach to pasta, salads or smoothies (If you make it right, you can't taste the spinach). <BR> <BR> Check out the spark recipes that contain spinach..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>food=spinach&a= </link> <BR> <BR> Are you really against spinach? How do you get your greens? <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Add fruit to your water such as lemons, strawberries, grapes or even a cucumber. Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:05:31 EST 7/15/15 - Wednesday Wellness Like MOONSHINE said when we were stretching our wrists, there are exercises to prevent and ease plantar fasciitis so let's get it done.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> If you haven't experienced plantar faciitis, trust me, you don't want to! Get flexible! <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Give yourself at least two compliments today! Tue, 14 Jul 2015 22:00:19 EST 7/14/15 - Tuesday Triceps Work your triceps using the wall pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Or while laying down, try the one-arm pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=139 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try a few of both! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLLENGE: Check out In the search field, type in fish, chicken, oatmeal etc to find a recipe to make this week or weekend. <BR> <BR> Let u... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 22:48:20 EST 7/13/15 - Mindful Monday Try to take a minute or two to think 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 “dig in,” but first stop, take a deep breath, and position your body for the bounty you... Sun, 12 Jul 2015 22:15:43 EST 7/12/15 - Prevent Wrist Pain Even if you do not experience wrist pain now, educate yourself on carpal tunnel syndrome and do the easy stretches at the end of the article to keep ease or prevent wrist pain. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1527 </link> <BR> <BR> Keep your wrists happy! Sat, 11 Jul 2015 23:03:23 EST 7/11/15 - Adult Recess I'm taking a idea from team leader MAREE1953 from the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. <BR> <BR> Take some time for adult recess, get out and play, do something fun. Find your inner child! <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article on idea to get out and play.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1534 </link> <BR> <BR> Healthy, healing wishes to all that need them! Fri, 10 Jul 2015 21:50:16 EST 7/10/15 - Free Form Friday Okay, it's your day, pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What small step can you take to achieve your goal, it doesn't have to be fitness related. <BR> <BR> I am going to face the workday with an open mind and stop stressing. It's been that kind of week. I keep reminding myself that worry is not going to change the outcome of the situation. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> By the way, happy Independence Day to any Bahamian Sparkers out there! <BR> ... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 21:49:06 EST 7/9/15 - Add Activity to Exercise Check out the Spark article on adding activity to exercise. It's excellent to get a good workout in your day but add to your fitness level by increasing activity in your day in addition to your workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=habits_of_fit_people_add_activityno<BR>t_just_exerciseto_your_days </link> <BR> <BR> Many of you regularly add some of these activities to your day. If not, try one or two. Let us know if you have new ideas for adding activity to ... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 22:13:24 EST 7/8/15 - Show Your Back Some Love Join me in stretching your back. I threw my back out Sunday morning and am just now (Tuesday evening) starting to loosen up thanks to stretches and easy walking. <BR> <BR> Some stretches can be done in bed if you cannot get on the floor: <BR> <BR> Lying Hip & Glute Stretch - it also feels good on the lower back... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=293 </link> <BR> <BR> Child's Pose - it was hard for me to get on the floor with my lower back pain b... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 21:38:12 EST 7/7/15 - Training As in interval training. Whatever your aerobic workout, alternate a fast pace with a moderate pace to burn more calories. <BR> <BR> Are you doing strength training today? Take two or three reps at a sloow pace to add a little extra burn. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Start your shopping list with some detox foods: <BR> <BR> Artichokes <BR> Asparagus <BR> Broccoli <BR> Avocados <BR> Kale <BR> Apples <BR> Goji <BR> Lemons and lemon juice <BR> The pink and red colors of grapefruit ... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 21:03:09 EST 7/6/15 - Sneaky abs Let's start the week working our core while nobody is watching. While standing in line, talking on the phone, attending a meeting, contract your abs into your spine, hold for a second or two and release. <BR> <BR> See how many sets of 10 you can do in a day. <BR> <BR> Be Absolutely fabulous! <BR> <BR> Sun, 5 Jul 2015 22:05:17 EST 7/5/15 - Rest/Relax Take some time to relax. Try the Spark 15-min Chi Gong video to relax your body and mind..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Sat, 4 Jul 2015 23:21:52 EST 7/4/15 - Independence Day Happy 4th of July! May the 4th be with you! <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> In the US, we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. <BR> <BR> In 1994, July 4 marked the end of the Rwandan Genocide, and the birth of the new government. <BR> <BR> No matter where you are, declare your... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 22:10:46 EST 7/3/15 - Free Form Friday Okay, it's your day, pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What small step can you take to make yourself the healthiest version of yourself you can be? Physically or mentally. <BR> <BR> I don't always track these days. I'm going to track my plan for the whole day and Saturday too to keep myself on track during the holiday weekend. <BR> <BR> By the way, July 3 is Compliment Your Mirror Day..... <BR> <BR> Stand in front of your mirror with your eyes closed. Put a big ... Thu, 2 Jul 2015 21:32:17 EST 7/2/15 - Thursday thighs The thighs are one of the larger muscle groups which means more calories burned when working them. Not to mention the benefit of keeping ourselves strong while mobile! <BR> <BR> Try to sneak in a few sets of simple squats throughout your day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Spice up your squat to make it more interesting by making it a circle squat. As you squat down, move your hips out to the right, lower down to the cente... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 21:39:33 EST 7//1/15 - Wednesday Wellness Happy First Day of July!!! July is Social Wellness Month. According to the University of Minnesota, healthy relationships are a vital component of health. <BR> <BR> The health risks from being alone or isolated in one's life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity. <BR> <BR> Research shows that: <BR> <BR> People who have a strong social network tend to live longer. <BR> The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships resp... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:22:06 EST 6/30/15 - Stand tall 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><BR>st=the_12min... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:12:25 EST challenging myself This will be a good team for me, as I do better when I <BR> have a group to help me keep on track. And I like to have <BR> challenges that change often. Makes it interesting to try to just do them <BR> with the rest of the group. <BR> <BR> Good luck to everyone. <BR> <BR> We Can Do This :-) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:34:29 EST 6/29/15 - Freggies Aim for one serving of fruits/veggies at every meal. If you don't have enough on hand try for just one meal but start your shopping list for more freebies. <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE - Doing some strength training today? <BR> <BR> Try inserting a cardio move in between sets. It can be as easy as walking a couple laps to a few jumping jacks (no jumping required....step out to one side as you lift your arms to shoulder level, step back together and bring arms down then step th... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 22:08:31 EST 6/28/15 - Me day Take a me day today. Find some time to rest, relax and rejuvenate for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Try ten minutes of proper breathing: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Or go through Rise and Shine stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Or put your feet up and just BE. <BR> <BR> What is your favorite way to spend M... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 21:42:45 EST 6/27/15 - Saturday Steps Let's all be with KITTY20 today on her long walk. Try to increase your normal walking/running/bicycling time as much as your fitness level allows. Break it up into five or ten minutes increments through the day if need be. <BR> <BR> If you don't have a tracking device that automatically updates SparkPeople, make sure to log it yourself. Feel free to ask if you need any help with tracking. <BR> <BR> Let's see those One Day Challenge team activity minutes rise. <BR> <BR> "Human beings evolv... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 22:31:26 EST 6/26/15 - Free Form Friday We made it to Friday. Today is the day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What small step will you take to reach your goal. It doesn't have to be fitness related. Is there something on your to-do list that has been waiting for your attention? Or do you need extra fitness minutes. <BR> <BR> Shout it out loud! <BR> <BR> I need some upper body strength training! <BR> <BR> By the way, June 26th is Global Forgiveness day which originated in Vancouver, Br... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:09:25 EST 6/25/15 - Cross-Training How often do you change up your workout? Doing the same workout can lead to muscle overuse injuries. Your body will also eventually stop responding to exercise if you never change things up. <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article to educate yourself on cross-training to prevent injuries and keep your whole body toned.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1593 </link> <BR> <BR> Which activities can you add to your workout routine? I regularly walk ... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 22:57:30 EST 6/24/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week breather! Check out the 20 one-minute tips to a healthier you in this article.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1557 </link> <BR> <BR> Check in with how many tips you fit into your day for a One Day Challenge team goodie. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> Any Italians out there? Happy Feast of St. John day! Enjoy some gelato! <BR> <BR> <em>620</em> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:07:16 EST 6/23/15 - Two For Tuesday Spend at least five or ten minutes working opposing muscles. We don't want to only work the muscles we see in the mirror. Work opposing muscles for balance, calorie burn and to avoid injuries.... <BR> <BR> Biceps/triceps <BR> Chest/upper back <BR> Quads/hamstrings <BR> Abs/lower back <BR> <BR> You can search exercise demos on the following link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 21:17:37 EST 6/22/15 - Portion Sizes How well do you know your portion sizes? Every once in a while I have to check myself on portion sizes as I think I've got it down and sometimes forget. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark slideshow that shows what portion sizes look like.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=12 </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you read or look up nutrition information on at least three of the foods you eat today. <BR> <BR> Start the week by educating yourself... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 21:39:09 EST 6/21/15 - Wind Down Before Bed How is your sleep routine? Check out this article from <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/poses/yoga-routine-before-sleep/ </link> <BR> <BR> My best night's sleep of the week is the night I go to yoga class. Try the moves in the article before bed to see if helps you wind down. <BR> <BR> ************************* <BR> <BR> Happy Father's day! <BR> <BR> Enjoy the day with your dad, grandpa, uncle, brother etc. If that special man is no longer ... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 21:33:04 EST 6/20/15 - Intervals Vary your activity today. Whether walking, running, treadmill, elliptical... whatever your movement, vary your pace to ramp up calorie burn in less time. <BR> <BR> Be safe and check out this Spark article to educate yourself on interval training if you are not familiar with the concept.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=489 </link> <BR> <BR> Try: <BR> <BR> Cycle or run at high intensity (determined by your fitness level and/or your heart rate m... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 22:21:41 EST 6/19/15 - Free Form Friday Today's the day you can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own to inspire the rest of us. <BR> <BR> What small step do you need to accomplish any goal? <BR> <BR> I have a run early Saturday morning so I'm going to take it easy besides walking breaks at work, walking the dog and get to bed early. <BR> <BR> By the way.... <BR> <BR> June 19th is World Sauntering Day which is a day to saunter here and there, wherever you go. <BR> <BR> Sauntering is not a walk, jo... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 21:50:27 EST 6/17/15 - Of COREse Let's work the core. Pick your level... <BR> <BR> Try a pilates ab workout.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_best_workout_you_can_do_for_you<BR>r_core </link> <BR> <BR> If you have trouble getting on the floor, try a seated core workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> No time for a full workout? Do some sneaky abs.... while brushing your teeth, watching tv, washing dishes or standing ... Wed, 17 Jun 2015 21:49:33 EST 6/16/15 - Help Your Knees Don't wait until you have problems with your knees to build up the muscles around the knee that protect the knee.... <BR> <BR> "exercising the muscles surrounding the knee joints— Quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh), Abductor (outside thigh), and Adductor (inside thigh)—will help make your knees stronger and less susceptible to injury. Exercise keeps your joints from stiffening and provides needed support, making movement easier and reducing pain." <BR> <BR> Check out th... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 21:59:39 EST 6/15/15 - Fresh Vegetable day June 16th is Fresh Veggies day. A great day to up your veggie intake. Try to eat one serving of vegetable at at least one meal today. <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge.... try to fill half your plate with veggies. <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> <em>210</em> <em>551</em> Mon, 15 Jun 2015 21:46:41 EST 6/15/15 - Monday Minutes Add 11 minutes of activity to your day with Jessica Smith..... <BR> <BR><BR>?post=the_11minute_miracle_workout <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE... add at least 10 minutes of brisk walking to whatever other activity you have planned. <BR> <BR> Let's get the week started on an active note! Sun, 14 Jun 2015 21:42:35 EST 6/14/15 - Protect Your Back Check out this Spark article to see if you have proper daily habits to protect your back.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=804 </link> <BR> <BR> Bad posture and improper lifting and twisting techniques take their toll on us over time. Work on making the 12 points in this article a habit each day! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE - Take 15 minutes to perform the Chi Gong video to loosen your bad and de-stress.... <BR> <BR> <link>www... Sat, 13 Jun 2015 21:22:36 EST 6/13/15 - Basics Do weekends trip you up on your road to a healthier you? Sometimes, weekends are a challenge for me so give us a <em>248</em> for each goal you hit.... <BR> <BR> at least 8 cups of water (or two more than you normally get) <BR> <BR> at least 10 minutes of activity (extra credit for spacing out quick bursts of activity throughout the day) <BR> <BR> 5 servings of freggies (or at least one more serving than you normally do) <BR> <BR> one serving of dairy <BR> <BR> one serving of protein... Fri, 12 Jun 2015 21:47:55 EST 6/12/15 - Free Form Friday We have arrived at the weekend! Time to name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> This month at work, our health challenge is aim for filling half of our plate with vegetables at at least one meal. <BR> <BR> I didn't make it much this week so going to make the effort! <BR> <BR> Okay.... what will it be?? Thu, 11 Jun 2015 21:01:06 EST 6/11/15 - Vitamin C How's your vitamin C? From the Spark article on vitamins, Vitamin C..... <BR> <BR> *forms collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength and structure by holding together muscles, bones, and other tissues. <BR> <BR> *helps to build, repair, and maintain red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. <BR> <BR> *gives strength and flexibility to blood vessels and capillary walls. This helps to prevent bruising. <BR> <BR> *helps the body to absorb iron found in plant foods. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:56:34 EST 6/10/15 - Wednesday Wellness Be present. Regardless if you are involved in a good, bad or indifferent moment, be present. All we have is this moment right now. Don't blink! <BR> <BR> "The present is what slips by us while we are pondering the past and worrying about the future" ~ Ziggy <BR> <BR> <BR> "It means that the outcome doesn't matter. What matters is that you were there for it, whatever IT is, good or bad, kind of like right now." ~ From the movie People Like Us <BR> <BR> <BR> Tue, 9 Jun 2015 23:14:48 EST 6/9/15 - Two For Tuesday Double up on the cardio moves by picking at least two Spark cardio moves to fit into your day.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Extra credit... insert a Spark cardio move in between Spark strength moves of your choice for a major calorie burn.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Workouts do not have to be long to be effective. When sprinkled throughout ... Mon, 8 Jun 2015 21:31:48 EST 6/8/15 - Monday Minutes Spread your activity throughout the day to keep the calorie burn going all day and prevent the cumulative damage of sitting too long. <BR> <BR> In addition to whatever workout you have planned, take short walking breaks several times, take a lap around a store you shop at, take a lap around the office, head up a flight or two of stairs just because. <BR> <BR> Let's get the week off to an active start! <BR> <BR> Sun, 7 Jun 2015 22:10:48 EST 67/15 - Sunday Stretches I have to post early for tomorrow as I'm headed to a wedding soon and will not be home tonight. <BR> <BR> Get your Sunday stretches going. Lengthen and lubricate all over..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_5minute_full_body_stretch_routine </link> <BR> <BR> Extra credit for taking at least five quiet minutes for some deep cleansing breaths. <BR> <BR> Sat, 6 Jun 2015 17:02:25 EST 6/6/15 - Get Outside June 6th is National Gardening Day and National Trails Day. Get outside! Walk, run or bike a trail, plant something or sit outside and enjoy the plants and flowers around you that someone else planted. <BR> <BR> Feel more restored and less anxious by enjoying some time outside... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> I have a 5K I will be running and my dog will want her usual two walks (one in the morning and one in the early ... Fri, 5 Jun 2015 21:53:03 EST 6/2/15 - Free Form Friday It's here! The day you get to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Name it and claim it. <BR> <BR> I need to rest. I've been pushing it hard on my legs this week. I have a 5K on Saturday so I'll be doing a little walking, stretching and resting. <BR> <BR> June 5th is World Environment day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> <em>434</em> <em>432</em> <em>435</em> <BR> <BR> Here's to a most excellent weekend! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 4 Jun 2015 20:04:18 EST 6/4/15 - Thursday thighs.... .....and hips! <BR> <BR> From the Spark article on strong, flexible hips...."The hip flexors are the group of muscles that allow you to lift your knees toward your chest and bend forward from the hips." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> I love the pigeon pose. I can't quite do it perfect yet but I keep working at it and it feels good! <BR> <BR> Do what you can based on your fitness lev... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 21:16:12 EST 6/3/15 - Wednesday Wellness I'm posting a little early for tomorrow since I will be out for the evening. <BR> <BR> June 3rd is Repeat Day. June 3rd is repeat day. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Pick one positive behavior you would like to improve and repeat it to yourself several times throughout the day. The important thing is keep repeating it, not so much if you get the behavior right or not. Conditioning ourselves takes time. <BR> <BR> No negative statements.... no "I will not eat sweets today" or "I will not sit o... Tue, 2 Jun 2015 18:31:16 EST 6/2/15 - Tuesday Triceps 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 this Spark article which includes a 2 1/5 min video on three exercises that work your triceps. After the vides there are some links to Spark exercises if you are not yet strong enough to perform the exercises in the video. <BR> <B... Mon, 1 Jun 2015 22:01:38 EST 6/1/15 - Monday Motivation Well, did you notice I skipped over May 31? Not sure where my head was at so I'll drop back to May 31 which is "What You Think Upon Grows Upon You" day. <BR> <BR> What you think upon grows is an Eastern truism, and sums up the greatest and most fundamental of all the Laws of Mind. Whatever you allow to occupy your mind, you magnify in your life. Writings from Make Your Life Worthwhile by Emmet Fox. <BR> <BR> We are the master weavers of our circumstances and our thoughts can set us up a lif... Sun, 31 May 2015 21:42:48 EST 6/1/15 - National Barefoot Day June 1 is National Go Barefoot day <BR> <BR> Celebrate by working on strong, flexible feet with five moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Or give your footsies a warm, relaxing soak. Do you have a tennis or other small ball nearby. They are great to roll your foot around on for a foot massage. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 30 May 2015 21:03:45 EST 5/30/15 - Improve Balance Check out this Spark article for three moves to improve (or maintain) your balance which is important at any age.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> Stand near a wall for safety. <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 May 2015 22:10:41 EST 5/29/15 - Free Form Friday Here we go... cruisin into the weekend. Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own and inspire the rest of us. <BR> <BR> A recent blood test showed I may be borderline anemic (still waiting for the follow-up blood test results) so I've been educating myself on getting more iron in my diet. I added iron to my nutrition tracker and was SHOCKED how little iron I've been getting. <BR> <BR> What are you focusing on? <BR> <BR> Here's to a healthy and active weekend... Thu, 28 May 2015 21:13:20 EST 5/28/15 - Upper Body Strength Build your upper body strength in order to help with every day tasks as well as building lean muscle mass to improve your metabolism. Pick your level and number of reps you can do in good form..... <BR> <BR> Table top pushups: <BR> <BR> Get on hands and knees, table top position and only lower your chest keeping your abs pulled in. You can see this at the end of the Spark 10-minute upper body video... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=37 </link> <... Wed, 27 May 2015 21:13:26 EST 5/27/15 - Wednesday Wellness It's that day again, May 27, Sun Screen Protection Day! Educate yourself on the importance of sun screen. The SPF numbers are not always what they seem. You want to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects you from UV-A and UV-B rays. An SPF of 50-100 doesn't necessarily mean you are in the clear. <BR> <BR> Check out this spark article then go out and pick up a bottle to keep handy at home, in your purse, backpack or car. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_... Tue, 26 May 2015 21:54:23 EST 5/26/15 - Tuesday Towel Toning Get creative with toning by doing one or two(or as many as you can) of these towel toning exercises.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Increase your normal fitness minutes by 15! <BR> <BR> Let's rev up our metabolism! Mon, 25 May 2015 21:49:51 EST 5/25/15 - Taste The Rainbow Focus on your fruits and veggies by trying to eat the rainbow, or at least the red and blue on this Memorial Day ( or your country's colors). <BR> <BR><BR>?post=are_you_eating_a_rainbow <BR> <BR> Take a moment today to remember and give thanks to those that have given their lives to defend your country! Post your flag proudly. <BR> <BR> <em>652</em> <BR> <BR> Sun, 24 May 2015 22:19:43 EST 5/24/15 - Enjoy Natures's Healing Powers Spend time outdoors and enjoy the poetry of nature. Read about the benefits of nature and ideas for getting outside.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> Even if the weather is less than ideal, grab a jacket or umbrella if need be, take a quick walk and take in all that nature provides. <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> Sat, 23 May 2015 21:37:56 EST 5/23/15 - Tips on Cutting Calories As we here in the US head into Memorial Day weekend, all all the BBQ that can entail, check out this spark article for five points and also for tips to save some calories in several different areas.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1183 </link> <BR> <BR> I've been in maintenance 2 1/2 years and I still need some reminders, tips and tricks to keep myself on track. <BR> <BR> Those of you in countries that do not celebrate memorial day, these t... Fri, 22 May 2015 22:23:14 EST 5/22/15 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week....time to either repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own and maybe Spark another team member with a new idea! <BR> <BR> I haven't gone for a run in almost two weeks so I'm going to try to make it a priority tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Here we go! Thu, 21 May 2015 19:42:54 EST 5/21/15 - Short Bursts of Cardio Well we worked the muscles so now let's bump up the cardio. Add short bursts of cardio throughout your to ten minutes of activity a few times a day. <BR> <BR> Some studies show the health benefits of a 10 minute workout last for about an hour. Sooooo, try... <BR> <BR> HIIT - high intensity interval training....whatever your activity, alternate between higher intensity for one minute and lower intensity for two minutes. <BR> <BR> Walk or run up one or two flights of stairs a few ... Wed, 20 May 2015 21:56:11 EST 5/20/15 - Wednesday Wellness I need to post a little as I'm headed out for the evening. <BR> <BR> Take a mid-week break to stretch tight, stressed muscles and improve your flexibility. A couple of these you may not feel comfortable doing at work so they can wait till you are home. <BR> <BR> I am a big fan of the eagle pose. It really loosens that space between my shoulder blades that is always so tight! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Today is... Tue, 19 May 2015 19:50:47 EST 5/19/15 - Tuesday Tweaking Sneak in some strength training several times during your day. Try.... <BR> <BR> Squats while brushing your teeth <BR> Twist in your office chair, keeping abs pulled in and use your obliques to twist <BR> When walking up stairs, lift leg out behind, or out to the side <BR> Before starting dishes or at your desk, try some push-ups against the sink or your desk <BR> <BR> Small movements several times a day add up! As my mom always told me, "good things come in small packages". <BR> <BR> Ext... Mon, 18 May 2015 22:20:58 EST 5/18/15 - Monday Basice Let's start the week off with the basics; lay a healthy foundation for the week ahead.... <BR> <BR> Give us a <em>248</em> For each goal you met... <BR> <BR> Eight cups of water <BR> Five servings fruits/veggies <BR> At least one serving of protein <BR> At least ten minutes of activity <BR> <BR> Bonus points for adding a Spark people short video in addition to whatever workout you have planned: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> Sun, 17 May 2015 21:51:25 EST 5/17/15 - Sunday Stretches Educate yourself on proper stretching techniques and the different types of stretching. There is a link in this article to Spark stretch demos. Try to get a full body stretch in today. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2016 </link> <BR> <BR> My favorite tip in the article... <BR> <BR> Stretch often. Although it can take time to see weight loss or improved endurance from a regular exercise routine, that’s not the case with stretching. The nice th... Sat, 16 May 2015 23:04:21 EST 5/16/15 - Saturday Steps Let's lock arms and get moving together. Try to increase your steps by 500 or an extra 15 minutes of activity on top of what you normally get. <BR> <BR> Any increase is a good increase! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Fri, 15 May 2015 23:13:29 EST 5/15/15 - Free Form Friday Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Resting counts too, our bodies need time to heal when we are very active. <BR> <BR> I will be working on posture. I've had a rough week and have found myself slouching <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? Thu, 14 May 2015 22:33:06 EST 5/14/15/ - Taste the rainbow How varied is your freggie consumption? Check out this Spark article that lists fruits and veggies that cover the rainbow.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> How many colors can you hit? If you don't have these on hand, start your next shopping list. <BR> <BR> <em>550</em> Wed, 13 May 2015 21:55:17 EST 5/13/15 - Strong, Flexible Feet Take care of the base that takes care of and moves you! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Try the five exercises in the Spark article to strengthen and stretch your feet. Tue, 12 May 2015 23:05:37 EST 5/12/15 - Tuesday Timesaving I have to post early as I'll be out of commission tonight and tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Double up on the strength training in one move to maximize calorie burn in a shorter amount of time. <BR> <BR> Not every exercise is for every body so take a minute to read the instructions and see what works for you. If you are not used to using weights, skip them and focus on form... way more important than burning calories if you are new to the moves! <BR> <BR> If you feel up for it use soup cans for 1 - 2... Mon, 11 May 2015 17:14:14 EST 5/11/15 - Meatless Monday From the website - <BR> <BR> Improve The Nutritional Quality of Your Diet—Going meatless encourages consumption of plant-based sources of protein, like beans and peas. Consuming beans and peas results in a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Also, diets high in beans and peas are associated with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat. <BR> <BR> Try to go meatless today or have at least one meatless meal today unless your doctor advis... Sun, 10 May 2015 21:26:38 EST 5/10/15 - Happy Mother's Day Honor yourself or your mom with a healthy, active day. A nice bike ride or walk with mom is a great way to spend time together. <BR> <BR> If your mom is no longer here, your kids are far away or you are a mom figure to someone, treat yourselves and loved ones to some activity. <BR> <BR> My mom is no longer with me. My daughter is having me over for a healthy brunch and a walk. We will no doubt share funny memories of my mom! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=tre... Sat, 9 May 2015 22:00:35 EST 5/9/15 - Freggies at Every Meal Hopefully you see this in time to plan for your day. Try to get one servingn of fruits and/or vegetables with each meal or snack. <BR> <BR> Try dipping peppers, carrots or celery in low fat dip <BR> Put fruit on your cereal <BR> Pick a side of fruit if you eat out instead of fries <BR> <BR> By the way, May 9 is World Bellydance Day. Just sayin! <BR> Fri, 8 May 2015 22:28:40 EST 5/8/15 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week again, time to repeat a previous day's challenge or make up your own. Which healthy habit are you working towards? What task do you need to stop putting off? <BR> <BR> Declare your challenge today! <BR> <BR> I am going out to dinner with friends for a race packet pickup. I will be mindful to eat light and get home in time to get a good night's sleep before Saturday's challenging race! <BR> <BR> TGIF my darlins! Thu, 7 May 2015 20:09:35 EST 5/7/15 - Vary Intensity Let's get a running start into a calorie-burn weekend! Burn more calories in less time by varying your intensity. Below are some ideas to vary your intensity from a Spark article on the subject... <BR> <BR> <BR> Always remember to warm up for a few minutes before you start, and don’t forget the cool down at the end. <BR> <BR> Cycle or run at high intensity (determined by your fitness level and/or your heart rate monitor) for one minute. Follow this with three minutes of lighter cycling or ... Wed, 6 May 2015 20:57:31 EST 5/6/15 - Sit Still "but Kellie, you always say sit less!" True but for our Wednesday Wellness challenge, let's take a mid-week breather and try to sit still for 2 - 5 minutes. Don't force yourself to clear your mind. Instead, picture your thoughts in a bubble that you can just swipe away. <BR> <BR> Find a quiet place and sit up straight. From Meditation For Dummies: <BR> <BR> "When you sit up straight like a mountain or a tree, your body acts as a link between heaven and earth — and by analogy, connects your ... Tue, 5 May 2015 22:27:42 EST 5/5/15 - Happy Cinco De Mayo On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. This single military battle signified defeat of a European colonial power, and a victory for the Mexican people. <BR> <BR> Cinco de Mayo has come to signify Hispanic and Mexican pride and a time to celebrate the rich culture. <BR> <BR> In the spirit of this celebration, everyone find time to kick up your heels if only for a few minutes. <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article about the many benefits of danci... Mon, 4 May 2015 21:56:12 EST 5/4/15 - Move it Monday Okay, let's get a move on and add short bursts of cardio to your day. Man/woman does not get fit by one workout alone. Rev up your metabolism engine! <BR> <BR> Try: <BR> <BR> Ten jumping jacks three times a jumping requires if that doesn't meet your fitness level, step one leg out to the side and raise the same arm and switch. <BR> <BR> Walk laps for five mi Utes around where you work every hour or so. <BR> <BR> Try a quick Spark workout in the morning and in the evening <BR> ... Sun, 3 May 2015 22:24:30 EST May 3 - proper breathing I love this alternate nostril breathing technique we do in our yoga class. I thought it silly at first but like the Spark article says. It made me feel calm and balanced.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=its_300does_anyone_else_need_a_brea<BR>ther </link> <BR> <BR> That may be difficult if you are congested so you can also follow this Spark article for 5-10 minutes of proper breathing..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles... Sat, 2 May 2015 22:24:06 EST 5/2/15 - Get Outside Check out this article (and click to get five spark points at the end) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> A study quoted in the article found that "as little as five minutes exercising in a park, working in a backyard garden, hiking on a nature trail, or even sitting in a plant-filled setting will benefit your mental health" <BR> <BR> Try to spend at least five minutes outdoors today. There are a few ideas for getting outside... Fri, 1 May 2015 20:47:52 EST 5/1/15 - Free Form Friday Hey hey hey! It's Friday and that means it's up to you to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Name it and follow through! <BR> <BR> I will be mindful of healthy meals and making myself rest, besides a few walking breaks. I have a 5K Saturday morning. <BR> <BR> Here's to a healthy, active weekend. <BR> <BR> Happy May Day! Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:49:15 EST 4/30/15 - Thursday Thighs Take six minutes to work your hips, glues and thighs. We need a strong base to carry us through our days and improve our endurance. These are out largest muscles so major calorie burn. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> Read the precautions, stay near a wall for balance. Do what you can, go back to an easy squats or glute contractions if the moves are too advanced for your fitness level. <BR> <BR> April 30th is National Honest... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:34:14 EST 4/29/15 - Wednesday Wellness Pay attention to your eyes. Many of us spend a lot of time on the computer for work, news, Sparking. <BR> <BR> The longer the eyes focus on one spot and in one direction, the more likely computer eye fatigue is to occur. <BR> <BR> For every three to five minutes of looking at a computer screen, look away at an object either closer to the eyes or farther away. This allows the eye muscles to relax, and it prevents straining due to tension in the eyes. <BR> <BR> Looking to the left and righ... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:54:59 EST 4/28/15 - Choose your pushup level Or mix and match levels. <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> The prime movers in pushups are located in the chest, front of the shoulders and back of the arms. <BR> <BR> When you perform pushups, your spine should remain neutrally curved and rigid so that any load is distributed safely through it, no sagging back. This works the core. <BR> <BR> Pushups also ... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 21:59:51 EST 4/27/15 - Move it Monday Let's hit the ground running this week! Increase your activity minutes today by 15 minutes. <BR> <BR> Break it up a few minutes at a time throughout the day... A five minute walk two or three times, a workout video-aerobic or strength training, stretching counts too. Log it all! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Sun, 26 Apr 2015 21:33:14 EST 4/26/15 - Chi Gong This is a favorite of mine and I believe team member MERRYMARY. The first time I tried this, I was in a major foul mood. I was amazed how this calmed me down, slowed my racing heart rate and put me at ease. <BR> <BR> I only recently looked into the benefits of Chi Gong..... <BR> <BR> Loosens the Muscles and Builds Power <BR> Strengthens the Organs <BR> Improves Cardio-pulmonary Function <BR> Strengthens the Nerves <BR> Improves Vascular Function <BR> Can Be Used by the Seriously ill <B... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 21:57:06 EST 4/25/15 - National Mani/Pedi Day April 25 is listed as mani/pedi day. It's not just for the ladies. You don't need to spend a fortune at a spa. <BR> <BR> Check out beauty colleges in your area. Their services are less expensive. Or do it at home, keep it simple by giving your hands and feet a nice warm, soapy soak. Grab a nail file and smooth out the edges then give them a good massage with moisturizer. <BR> <BR> Massaging lotion into your hands and feet is not only incredibly relaxing, it also helps to improve blood circu... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:31:45 EST 4/24/15 - Free Form Friday IT'S FRIDAY! Today's challenge is up to you. Come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm on a good roll with my running schedule so I will make my run and since I am on call for work, my plan B (always have to have a plan B) will be the elliptical. <BR> <BR> The last Friday in April is Arbor Day, a day set aside to read about and plant trees, founded by J. Sterling Morton. My high school was named after him. So I should think of something tree-related... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:10:30 EST 4/23/15 - Lets Mambo Let's get in weekend mode a little early and get our mambo on..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> Read the steps a couple times and put some good music on. Don't worry about doing it perfect, just shake those hips and smile! <BR> <BR> Dancing helps improve memory, flexibility and reduces stress... just to name a few of the many benefits of dancing. <BR> <BR> Get your Mambo Number Five on! <BR> <BR> <em>354... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:06:48 EST 4/22/15 - Earth Day It's Wednesday Wellness time. We all benefit from taking care of our planet so today (or whatever day you read this): <BR> <BR> Walk/bike instead of drive <BR> Shower instead of bathe <BR> If you mainly shower instead of bathe, cut the shower short <BR> Buy organic <BR> Use less electricity <BR> <BR> What other ways can you help the planet? Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:04:34 EST 4/21/15 - Work Multiple Muscles Let's work multiple muscles and scorch major calories. Walk some laps in between sets... <BR> <BR> Dumbbell squat with overhead press: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=35 </link> <BR> <BR> Works quads, glutes, calves, core and shoulders <BR> <BR> Wide leg wall sit with calf raises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=109 </link> <BR> <BR> Works quads, glutes, inner thigh and calves <BR> <BR> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 21:40:38 EST 4/20/15 - Be Revolutionary Happy Patriots day to any New England team members. Patriot Day is celebrated on the third Monday of April, commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and the start of the American Revolution. <BR> <BR> Lets make it a movement Monday, increase your fitness minutes by at least 15 minutes. Any activity counts, a few quick walking breaks, a bike ride, whatever gets you moving throughout the day! <BR> <BR> Extra credit for trying a new activity or one you haven't done in a long time. ... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 21:36:11 EST 4/18/15 - Me Day Okay gang, let's take a breather! No, don't sit on the couch for 8 hours straight but take some time to rejuvinate and recharge.... meditate, do some yoga or deep breathing. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article on the importance of putting yourself first along with some ideas for a me day! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1657 </link> <BR> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 21:47:01 EST 4/18/15 - Sit less I heard about a study that said it's better to tell yourself to sit less rather than exercise more. Being healthy isn't so much about one workout in the day and done, stand up more, walk a little more to get stuff done, sit less! <BR> <BR> I see a lot of big activity going on, some of you may need a rest. Rest is important too so get a five minute walk and then take a load off if you need to. <BR> <BR> Stand up for a healthy you! <BR> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:58:14 EST 4/17/15 - Free Form Friday Hey gang, time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Name it and claim it. <BR> <BR> The other night I heard about a study that showed it's easier to lose weight if you stop telling yourself to exercise more. Instead, tell yourself to sit less. I'm going to try to keep moving several times during the day. <BR> <BR> By the way, April 17 is Blah Blah Blah day. Blah, Blah, Blah Day. "The intent of this day is to do all of the projects and things that people have bee... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:29:10 EST 4/16/15 - Sneaky Glutes Our glutes are the largest and strongest muscles in our bodies consisting of three different muscles: Gluteus minimus, medius and maximus. <BR> <BR> Strong glutes improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier. Plus, working large muscles burns more calories! <BR> <BR> What's not to love about strong glutes??! So let's work them in small ways several times throughout the day: <BR> <BR> Go to sit down in a chair or on the couch, barely ... Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:08:13 EST Evening Eating... Evening!! I have a quick question for you all!! I have been really struggling with evening over eating. I do great throughout the day but when I get home I just can't stop eating. Does anyone have a similar issue?? Any tips?? I am going out of my mind trying to figure it out!! :P Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:13:56 EST 4/15/15 - Wednesday Wellness Power up Sparkers. Do you have a busy day ahead, a stressful situation to face, a long task/chore list to accomplsih? <BR> <BR> Studies show you can increase your confidence level by standing like a super hero for five minutes before facing a stressful situation. Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips and chin up for two to five minutes. <BR> <BR> I've done it, it felt silly the first time, but it works. I'm going to do it again before a tension-filled meeting I have to lead Wednesd... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:09:58 EST 4/14/15 - Two For Tuesday Let's work this opposing muscles. We can't just work what we see in the mirror. <BR> <BR> Biceps/triceps <BR> Chest/upper back <BR> Quads/hamstrings <BR> If you didn't get to it on Monday, abs/lower back <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> April 14 is International Reach As High As You Can Day. Is there a workout you'd like to try or improve at? A healthy recipe you'd like to try? Reconnect with a relative or friend? Improve your job s... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 21:32:36 EST 4/13/15 - Sneaky abs Let's start the week working the core. Almost all of our movements run through our core muscles....abs, obliques and lower back. <BR> <BR> Try to do one or two sets of ten (or less if need be) of the following moves a few times during the day.... <BR> <BR> While waiting in line somewhere or washing dishes, contract your abs, hold for a second or two and release. <BR> <BR> Do you have a chair that rotates? Contract your abs, lift your feet up and twist. <BR> <BR> Try a few supermans's.... ... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 21:02:20 EST 4/12/15 - Rise and Stretch Begin your day.... or afternoon or evening.... with these stretches and intentional breathing..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> It's a great way to energize your day and attitude! <BR> <BR> Sat, 11 Apr 2015 21:27:40 EST 4/11/15 - Improve Your Posture According to the Cleveland Clinic.... <BR> <BR> "Good posture and back support are essential for avoiding back and neck pain. In fact, many people who suffer back pain experience positive changes when they improve their posture. Good posture also prevents muscle aches and muscle fatigue. It keeps your bones and joints in proper alignment so you use your muscles more efficiently, preventing strain and overuse." <BR> <BR> So let's take care of our posture. Try as many moves as you can in the ... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 22:09:52 EST 4/10/15 - Free Form Friday We made it to Friday! Today is the day you pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> It's been an while since I did the Spark Jump Rope video so I'm going to shoot for that after dinner. <BR> <BR> Name your challenge and Inspire your team! <BR> <BR> Alternate/Bonus Challenge: Get at least a five minute walk in addition to any other planned activity. If you have bad weather, do laps in the house while watching TV. Thu, 9 Apr 2015 21:02:18 EST 4/9/15 - Strong Calves How often do you strengthen and stretch your calves? Strong calf muscles act to stabilize your ankles and feet. <BR> <BR> Pick your level. If you are not used to calf raises, only try a couple of the calf rocking without weights. Don't forget to stretch... <BR> <BR> Calf rocking: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=163 </link> <BR> <BR> Calf raises with chair: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=123 </link> <... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 22:25:36 EST 4/8/15 - Wednesday Wellness - WorkThe Coat One off my favorite inspirational read was from actress Marilu Henner...Work The Coat... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ay-work-the-coat/ </link> <BR> <BR> Her friend was trying on coats, all slouchy, feeling like none of them looked good on her. Marilu pointed out that the coats would look good on her if she "worked the coat", wear them with gusto. It became a family mantra to "work the coat". <BR> <BR> Whatever you need to do today, do it with gusto and "wor... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 21:35:33 EST 4/7/15 - Pick Your Level Get your short bursts of actvity. All activity adds up and breaking it up throughout the day can keep the metabolism firing all day long. <BR> <BR> Pick the level that works best for your fitness level.... <BR> <BR> Modified jacks (no jumping required): <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Full jumping jack: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=530 </link> <BR> <BR> Advanced...plank jacks... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 22:19:22 EST 4/6/15 - Small Acts of Power Start the week off with small acts of power. I once heard Spark founder Chris Downey talk about committing small acts of power to get back on track or to stay on track. How many small acts of power can you fit into your day.... <BR> <BR> At least 10 minutes of activity...everything counts, walking, running, stretching, dancing etc. <BR> Eight cups of water, or at least one more than you did the day before <BR> Five servings of Freggies or at least one more than the day before <BR> <BR> Thro... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 22:23:07 EST 4/5/15 - Happy Easter Happy Easter to those that celebrate. Weather or not you celebrate the day, take 5 - 10 minutes to check in with yourself and practice proper breathing. <BR> <BR> I love the beginning of this Spark article: "Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles". <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Allow yourself some time to rest and regroup. Sat, 4 Apr 2015 21:58:26 EST 4/4/15 - Vitamin C day April 4 is vitamin C day. Are you getting enough C? Did you know red peppers supply more vitamin C than orange juice? <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article for recommended vitamin C levels..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_better_way_to_get_vitamin_c_besid<BR>es_orange_juice </link> <BR> <BR> Fri, 3 Apr 2015 22:12:59 EST 4/3/15 - Free Form Friday Friday is here and time to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>363</em> <em>318</em> <em>332</em> <em>274</em> <em>265</em> <em>551</em> <em>267</em> <em>492</em> <em>277</em> <em>414</em> <em>351</em> <em>102</em> <em>376</em> <em>149</em> <BR> <BR> I am going to get two cups of water in BEFORE my morning coffee first thing. It's always a challenge for me but ... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 22:16:03 EST 4/2/15 - Don't Throw in the Towel Pick it up and make it work for you. See how many of these strength moves you can safely do with a towel... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> April 2 is Peanut Butter and Jelly day. I'm a huge fan of the PB&J. Just sayin. <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Wed, 1 Apr 2015 21:06:44 EST 4.1.15 - No Foolin Deak Stretches Take two minutes to get a good stretch at your desk or just a good mid-day break... <BR> <BR><BR>os-detail.asp?video=22 <BR> <BR> <BR> April is stress awareness month. A good mid-day stretch can release those tight tension-filled muscles. Make sure to take some good cleansing breathes. <BR> <BR> <em>404</em> <em>414</em> <em>401</em> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:32:20 EST 3/31/15 - Tuesday triceps Our tricep muscles are responsible for most of the pushing movements we perform. <BR> <BR> Try a few tricep moves to incorporate into your regular routine.... <BR> <BR> Lying tricep extension... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=159 </link> <BR> <BR> Seated dumbbell tricep extension... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=158 </link> <BR> <BR> Last day of March Nutrituon Month... Try to eat at least one pie... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:52:07 EST 3/30/15 - Stairs and Control Harvard Medical School reports that people that walk up stairs, even at a slow pace, burn calories three times faster then walking at a faster pace on a normal surface. The body releases natural pain relievers.... endorphins... during a stair climb. Be sure to hold on to the hand rail for safety. <BR> <BR> Try to takes stairs more often today or head up a flight or two of stairs just because. Make it a workout if you can with these options... <BR> <BR> Take wide steps up the stairs. <BR> St... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 22:30:32 EST 3/29/15 - Sunday Smiles Take time out to smile today, at people you may pass on the street, in the parking lot at the store etc. Read the seven reasons to smile article about the benefits you gain from smiling... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1529 </link> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip: Read the nutrition labels on as many food items as you can today. Learn what the serving size really is instead of what you assume it is. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article o... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:57:57 EST 3/28/15 - saturday steps and kabobs The weekend is here. Can you keep moving? Aim for 500 more steps than you normally get. If you do not have a step tracking device, get 15 more minutes of activity than you normally get on a Saturday. <BR> <BR> Let's see the One Day Challenge team fitness minutes soar! <BR> <BR> Those of you that need to rest or recouperate, your challenge is to lie low and get a stretch! <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip: March 28 is Something On A Stick Day. Do a search for healthy kabob recipes to ma... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 23:08:08 EST 3/27/15 - Free Form Friday Hi all! <BR> <BR> To the newbies on the team, Fridays are the days you make up your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Just name it and own it! <BR> <BR> I'm going to do a hilly training run Saturday morning so I will be taking it easy Friday evening. I'll make sure to get my walking breaks at work, walk the dog and then some good stretching in the evening. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:07:45 EST 3/26/14 - Pick Your Level and Eat Your Spinach Let's get a running start into an active weekend. Pick a short video based on your fitness level to add to whatever activity you have planned today. If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you! <BR> <BR> No impact: try the 11-min chair cardio. I have done this when I am not feeling well or have a few minutes alone in the office for an extra calorie burn in the day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=38 </link> <BR> <BR> Low Impact: try th... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:15:38 EST 3/25/15 - Wedness Wellness Try at least one of the exercises in the following article to help ease and possibly prevent neck pain... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month Tip: Wait 20 - 30 more minutes before going for a second helping.After 20 minutes, you may see that you are full and do not need seconds. Tue, 24 Mar 2015 22:44:08 EST 3/24/15 - Two for Tuesday Pick opposing muscle groups to work today... abs/lower back, biceps, triceps, quadricep/hamstring,chest/back etc. You don't want to only work muscles you see in the mirror. You need to work opposing muscles for balance and to prevent injuries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> I will be doing chest and back, if there's time, maybe some bicep/tricep action. <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip....get your dairy, increase your bone mass. ... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:05:21 EST 3/23/15 - Move It Monday Okay gang, after Goof Off Day, let's hit the ground running, or walking, or dancing, or zumbaing or stair running. <BR> <BR> Regardless what workout you have planned, get in short bursts of activity during the day to keep the calorie burn going all day! <BR> <BR> I have an evening yoga class planned but I will be running up a few stairs near my office during the day, a few jumping jacks in the bathroom and walking the dog after yoga. <BR> <BR> Let's hit it! <BR> <BR> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 21:40:49 EST 3/22/15 - Goof Off Day On this day in 1976, a young girl disguised her voice and called into the radio station her grandfather was speaking on and suggested a goof off day. A reporter got wind of the interview and so began Goof Off Day. <BR> <BR> So let's all take this opportunity to goof off if you do not have urgent responsibilities. Disconnect, revive and refresh for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Of course you can always do some Sunday stretches to get ready for an active week ahead....hint hint! <BR> <BR> <lin... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 22:07:56 EST 3/21/15 - March Madness Anyone into March madness basketball? I'm not but I saw this workout in an email from fitbit that looks worth putting a game on. You don't have to watch a basketball game to do the workout. <BR> <BR> Try as many moves as your fitness level can handle, limiting reps and intensity if you need to: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>015/03/030515_MarchMadnessWorkout_Info<BR>graphic8.png </link> <BR> <BR> Alternate challenge: Add 15 minutes of activity to your day. <BR... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 21:33:43 EST 3/20/15 - Free Form Friday Gear up for free form Friday! To all the newbies on the team, this is the day you get to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm going to try to get out for a run, get out of this post-vacation sleepy state I seem to be in. <BR> <BR> Let's rock the weekend! Thu, 19 Mar 2015 22:02:19 EST 3/19/15 - Kick It Up A Notch Try some interval training today with whatever cardio activity you have planned.....walking, running, dancing, bicycle riding. <BR> <BR> Go at a brisk pace for one minute and an easier pace for two or three minutes. <BR> <BR> Interval training helps to keep you from getting bored with your workout, improve your fitness level and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip: March 19 is Poultry Day. Look up healthy chicken or turkey recipes to try. Wed, 18 Mar 2015 22:20:12 EST 3/18/15 - Wednesday Wellness Helloooooo everyone! <BR> <BR> I don't know about you but my feet could use some attention. Four days of walking and dancing on the beach, not to mention not using enough sunblock on my feet have led to sore swollent feet and ankles. <BR> <BR> Try a good mid-week foot soak..... <BR> <BR> Cover the bottom of a basin with marbles if you have them, fill the basin with warm water and sprinkle in some Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you have them. While soaking, gl... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 21:00:33 EST 3/17/15 Twinkletoes Tuesday Item 3 of the Swedish Plan... <BR> <BR> Firstly, please read today's blog by team member, Prairiecrocus... Wise words and the musical comparison sets us up nicely for today's Challenge, which is to Dance. <BR> <BR> Today's video on the SP Start Page is a Bollywood dance routine and if you need a further reason - today is St. Patrick's Day! <BR> <BR> I don't know how to set up links but check out YouTube TAKE THE FLOOR Flashmob Dublin Airport (2013) <BR> <BR> Dance and be happy on St. Pa... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 04:32:50 EST 3/16/15: Mental Monday Remembering yesterday's Swedish survey recommending exercise, fish and a mental workout...I'm chasing out today to get my mental activity encouraging literacy in some 9 and 10 year old reluctant readers. <BR> <BR> When I'm home and want a quiet 5-10mins, I have apps for Mahjong, Sudoku and a word puzzle called Spellmania. How do you get your mental work out? <BR> <BR> Edit: I've just watched today's Daily Spark video on how the media and particularly advertising affects perception of body i... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 02:39:45 EST 3/15/15: Sunday Study Dance, Sudoku and fish: recipe for brain power? <BR> <BR> A recently published research project in Finland of 1260 senior volunteers over 2 years showed that those who: <BR> #1. did regular strength training 1-3 times a week <BR> #2. did some aerobic exercise 2-5 times a week <BR> #3. did brain training exercises <BR> #4. ate a 'Nordic' diet - fish x2 a week, fruit, veg and olive oil <BR> <BR> ...scored 25% higher on mental tests; 85% higher on executive function and an impressive 150% hi... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 02:52:06 EST 3/14/15 - Sunshine Saturday Hopefully you have nice weather in your area. Get outside and absorb some vitamin D and fresh air. Get at least 10 minutes of activity outside if you can. <BR> <BR> March Nutrition month tip: March 14 is National Pi day, a mathematical concept, a number that has no end, rounded to 3.14. <BR> <BR> Celebrate by doing a search for a healthy fruit pie recipe. <BR> <BR> Th th th that's all folks. I'm flying out bright and early in the am. Keep the challenges coming, I'll need ideas to get myse... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 21:41:25 EST 3/13/15 - Free Form Friday Today's the day you post your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be challenging myself to get my run in early so I can get the house cleaned, get packed and get to sleep early in preparation for leaving the house at 3am Saturday for our flight. <BR> <BR> What is your challenge? Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:47:46 EST 3/12/15 - Thursday Thighs Build a strong foundation to help you move through your day. Strengthen your inner and outer thighs.... <BR> <BR> Adduction... <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Abduction.. <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Extra credit: Try some circle squats, like traditional squats except as you squat down, move hips out to the right, lower down and move hips out to the left as you come ... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 22:04:03 EST 3/11/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take ten minutes to get rid of carbon dioxide and take in healthy oxygen to your heart and lungs by following the easy steps in the following article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip: try to get at least one serving of fruits/veggies with each meal and snack. <BR> <BR> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 21:33:26 EST Nice to meet you! Trying to get healthier. 1 Lose weight 2 Keep sugar levels under control. 3 Feel like doing more stuff. 4. I do have quit smoking under my belt, thus the weight gain. One year smoke free 1/23/15. This can't be an excuse any longer! Sure I gained 40 pounds, but that is a heck of a lot of food! I am not going to be Miss Piggy any more, I am soon to be Miss Fit! Love it. Oh yeah, I love to have fun and laugh. <em>252</em> Mon, 9 Mar 2015 23:21:04 EST 3/10/15 - Awesomeness Day March 10 is Awesomeness Day, inspired by the awesomeness of the myth of actor Chuck Norris. <BR> <BR> Pay attention to the little things you do and celebrate your awesomeness. Before facing a stressful situation, be a super hero for five minutes....stand with legs hip-width apart, hands on hips, chest out and look up. Studies have shown this will increase your self confidence. Or maybe increase your awesomeness! <BR> <BR> March Nutritional month tips: try to incorporate power foods into you... Mon, 9 Mar 2015 22:31:55 EST 3/9/15 - Fiber March nutrition tip...Start the week off on a filling note. Check your fiber intake and try some of the following tips to get your fiber.... <BR> <BR> <BR> Choose fresh fruit and/or vegetables over juice. <BR> Drink more water to accommodate your increased fiber intake to reduce indigestion. <BR> Eat less processed foods and more whole foods. <BR> <BR> Remember if you are not used to fiber in your diet, add fiber gradually over three weeks to avoid bloating, diarrhea, gas, and all-around d... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 22:22:29 EST 3/815 - Me Day March 8th is Internationsl Working Women's Day. Take this day to celebrate all of your hard work over the years by relaxing. <BR> <BR> For any male team mates out there, celebrate the hard working women in your life. <BR> <BR> Get a full body stretch, catch a nap or tend to whatever needs you have been neglecting. <BR> <BR> Sat, 7 Mar 2015 23:59:07 EST 3/7/15 - Saturday Sunshine Hopefully the weather is nice where you are. Try to get outside for a few minutes and take in that vitamin D and a few deep breaths of fresh air! <BR> <BR> March nutrition tip: Eat slow. Enjoy the taste and textures and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you have had enough. Fri, 6 Mar 2015 21:46:27 EST 3/6/15 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Here we are, FRIDAY, the day of the week you can come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Everything counts, including rest if you need it. <BR> <BR> I will be continuing to work on lower body flexibility. I missed a couple nights of the stretches I've been doing lately. <BR> <BR> Here's to a healthy and active weekend! Who's with me? <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> <BR> <BR> March 5 is National Frozen Food day. Frozen foods first hit store shelves in 1930 in Spri... Thu, 5 Mar 2015 21:28:45 EST 3/5/15 - Get ready For some of us, Daylight Savings Time is coming Sunday morning. Anyone out there like me and need a week or so to shake off losing just that one hour of sleep?? <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article and try to start planning ahead. Maybe set one clock an hour back sooner than Sunday to plan your meals, exercise and sleep before Sunday but not every clock in the house so you don't mess up work or social plans. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1236 <... Wed, 4 Mar 2015 22:31:44 EST 3/4/15 - Mid-Week Dance Party Loosen up, put some music on, have fun and learn to mambo. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition tip: try a new fruit or vegetable or one you haven't had in a long time. Tue, 3 Mar 2015 22:41:12 EST 3/3/15 - Functional Fitness Functional exercises use multiple muscles and joints to improve muscular endurance, overall strength, coordination, balance, posture and agility. This can prepare your body for everyday, real-world activities. <BR> <BR> Try one exercise from <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/articles/806681/top-functional-exerci<BR>ses-for-fullbody-fitness/page:6 </link> <BR> <BR> March nutrition month tip of the day....when eating out, ask for a child's-sized meal... Mon, 2 Mar 2015 21:58:03 EST 3/2/15 - Nutrition month March is national nutrition month. Focus on the basics today and put a <em>248</em> out there if you hit your goals..... <BR> <BR> 8 cups of water <BR> 5 freggies <BR> Adequate protein <BR> Adequate calcium <BR> <BR> Extra credit for at least 10minutes of activity. <BR> <BR> Start the week off on a high note! Sun, 1 Mar 2015 21:54:47 EST 3/1/15 - Chair yoga Take some ME time today and do some gentle yoga poses using a chair... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=finally_a_yoga_routine_for_bad_wrists </link> <BR> <BR> Deep breath in....and slowly blow it out. Quiet your mind and stretch your muscles as you get ready to begin a new week! <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> By the way, March 1st is Peanut Butter day. If you are not allergic, small amounts of peanut butter are a great source of protein. <BR> <BR> I ... Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:36:46 EST 2/28/15 - Load Up on Freggies Try to get one serving of fruits and/or vegetables with each meal and as a snack. Check out this spark article for tips on getting your five a day as well as suggested serving sizes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: Live up to your own expectations. Ignore the images you see in magazines/movies/television if you are setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Turn off all outside influence... Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:29:40 EST 2/27/15 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week where you get to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will meditate. It's been a while and I could use some quiet time. <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem tip: remind yourself (several times) of the following quote.... “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” – Helen Keller Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:56:15 EST 2/26/15 - Water First Hopefully this gets to you in time, try to get one or two cups of water down first thing, before coffe or tea. <BR> <BR> Water isn't just for warm months. Almost all of our body functions depend on water. <BR> <BR> Get creative, throw some fruit or a slice of cucumber in your water. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: take a minute, look in the mirror and finish this sentence...."I will________." <BR> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:02:23 EST 2/25/15 - Thursday Thighs Give your body a strong support system AND pull off a major calorie burn by working your larger muscles. Do a little warmup like walking, jogging in place or dancing. <BR> <BR> Outer Thighs <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Inner Thighs <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a good stretch: <BR> <BR> Inner Thigh <BR> <BR> <link> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:02:47 EST 2/24/15 - Taste the Rainbow Try to eat as many colors of the rainbow as you can today. If do not have what you need available, make a shopping list and try this as soon as possible. <BR> <BR> This Spark article will get you started and there is a link at the bottom to Family Circle for more ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=eat_bright_healthy_fruits_and_veget<BR>ables </link> <BR> <BR> "You get a better mix of nutrients by eating produce in a variety of shades." according to Kare... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:47:39 EST 2/23/15- Fun With Weather Most of us are in the grips of winter. So use it to your advantage. Pick a Spark cardio move: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Do as many reps as the high temperature predicted in your area. Is it below zero? Do as many degrees below zero. <BR> <BR> Is the temp too high in your area, cut the reps in half. <BR> <BR> Spread your cardio out through the day, one or two here and there if it helps. Keep your calorie... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 21:00:10 EST 2/22/15 - World Thinking Day February 22nd is the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell founder of the Boy Scouts, and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell. Lady Baden-Powell founded Girl Guides. <BR> <BR> International World Thinking Day is celebrated by Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and other girl groups. <BR> <BR> The original objective of this day was to set aside a day for girls all over the world to think of each other, and to give thanks and appreciation to "sister" Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. <BR> <BR> Over the years, it... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 23:27:32 EST 2/21/15 - Meet Your Goals Give me a <em>248</em> if you hit the basics...... <BR> <BR> 10 minutes or more of some kind of activity (stretching counts) <BR> 8 cups of water or 2 more cups that you normally get <BR> 5 Freggies or one more than you normally get <BR> 1 serving of lean protein Fri, 20 Feb 2015 22:52:38 EST 2/20/15 - Free Form Friday Okay gang it's time to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I noticed during yoga the other night that my hips are rediculously tight so I'm challenging myself to start a nightly stretching habit. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: WorkThe Coat! <BR> <BR> I once read a post on actress Marilu Henner's website about gusto. Read the article below... <BR> <BR> Marilu was helping a friend try on coats. Her friend tried on the coats looking sl... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 21:49:57 EST 22/19/15 - Three Moves On a Dr. Oz episode, personal trainer Gunner Peterson demonstrated three moves to hit major muscles. You can do these while watching TV or in between sparking. <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> <B... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 22:20:19 EST 2/18/15 - Wednesday Wellness Many of us walk and run for fitness. Hopefully you are incorporating proper stretches after your cardio of choice. <BR> <BR> Stretches for walkers: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=92 </link> <BR> <BR> Stretches for runners: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1565 </link> <BR> <BR> These stretches are great after any cardio. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: Remind yourself of the benefits. <B... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 20:58:13 EST 2/17/15 - Two For Tuesday Pick two cardio moves that are new to you or moves you have not done in a while: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Or aim to double your normal activity minutes. You can break it up however you like, some cardio here and there, some strength moves here and there throughout the day. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: Treat those around you with kindness and compassion. It comes back around to you. <BR> <... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 22:36:08 EST 2/16/15 - Weather Minutes Those of us experiencing frigid temps, take the high temp in your area,double it and get active for that many minutes. It can be a combination of cardio and strength broken up into a few minutes here and there throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Use winter temps to your advantage! <BR> <BR> If it's nice in your area, add ten minutes of either cardio or strength to your regularly scheduled workout. <BR> <BR> February Boost Your Self Esteem tip: As early as possible in your day, take a minute and... Sun, 15 Feb 2015 22:12:30 EST 2/15/15 - Wrist Stretches Stretch your wrists to avoid/ease carpal tunnel syndrome: <BR> <BR> Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you. <BR> <BR> Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Now straighten your wrists while relaxing your fingers. <BR> <BR> Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Keeping your fists clenched, bend your wrists down. ... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 22:12:44 EST 2/14/15 - Happy Valentine's Day Check out this spark article on tips for a healthy heart. Give me a <em>248</em> for each item you fit into your day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=376 </link> <BR> <BR> And in honor of Boost your Self Esteem month, write down at least two positive things you did this week. You don't have to have cured cancer. If you organized your sock drawer, celebrate it! <BR> <BR> Most of all, enjoy your day! <BR> <BR> <em>129</em> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:45:50 EST 2/13/15 - Free Form Friday Hey gang! Welcome to free-form Friday where the choice is yours and smiles come easy! <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Remember, sometimes we need to force ourselves to rest so if you've been burning the candle at both ends or not feeling well, maybe you need to challenge yourself to finally stop and rest! <BR> <BR> Since I've been sick all week, I need to increase my steps and work on my posture. All this laying down and couch time is... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:52:17 EST 2/12/15 - Total Body work then slow down For those of us not injured or ill, find 18 minutes in your day for a full body workout. This Spark video combines cardio and strength training. Keep it low impact if need be on the cardio moves and follow along with the modifications given..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=32 </link> <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem idea: <BR> <BR> Speak slowly. Such a simple thing, but it can have a big difference in how others perceive you. <BR> <BR> A... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 20:46:23 EST 211/15 - Waist Wednesday Below are everyday habits that can help you achieve the goal of a smaller waist. How many can you work on today? <BR> <BR> Do 30-60 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week <BR> <BR> Strength Train - Strength training is a serious ally when it comes to lowering body fat and getting a toned belly - you can't spot reduce fat, but lean muscle can help you maintain a healthy body fat percentage. <BR> <BR> Pull in your stomach - Increase your overall body awareness; stand up straight and keep y... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:07:55 EST 2/10/15 - Two For Tuesday It's important to work opposing muscle groups....biceps/triceps, abs/lower back, chest/back etc. <BR> <BR> Pick at least two exercises for the two muscle groups you choose to work. Feel free to pick two cardio exercises if you're up for it: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem idea: Live in the present with your beliefs and values. This eliminates dwelling on past failures that you can no longer affect. <BR> <... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 20:52:38 EST 2/9/15 - Omegas and twinkling Work on getting your Omega-3 fatty acids. From the Spark article on Osteoarthritis.... <BR> <BR> Omega 3s have been known to suppress inflammation and are used to form the outer membranes of joint cells <BR> <BR> Osteoarthritis experts suggest three grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily (with 0.7 grams coming from fish sources). Try some of the following sources or add to your shopping list. <BR> <BR> Omega-3 Sources Grams <BR> <BR> Flaxseeds (ground), 2 Tbsp 3.5 <BR> Wa... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 21:50:01 EST 2/8/15 - Rest Take a rest day to get ready for an active week. Try the Spark Chi Gong video to stretch, get centered and relax... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> It's a favorite of mine and MERRYMARY's <BR> <BR> February self esteem idea: Try to spend 10 minutes in quiet. Life is so hectic and cluttered. Use this time to focus on yourself and what is important to you. <BR> <BR> If distracting thoughts start to clutter your head, visualiz... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 21:50:32 EST 2/7/15 - Freggies With Every Meal Do you get a little off track on weekends? I do. So let's focus on the healthy habit of eating at least one serving of fruits/vegetables with every meal. Make a quick stop at the store if you don't have much on hand. <BR> <BR> February 7 is also "wave all your fingers at your neighbors" day. If you see your neighbors, wave all five fingers. How much more fun is that than just lifting your hand in a slight wave?? <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem idea: Take a 2 minute self-appreciation break. ... Fri, 6 Feb 2015 20:17:08 EST 2/6/15 - Free Form Friday For all the newbies, Friday is the day you can make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Step right up, what will it be? For me, I'm going to do a deck of cards workout I wrote up for an upper body workout. <BR> <BR> February self-esteem idea: look in the mirror and say with conviction "I am______". Fill in the blank with something positive about yourself. Thu, 5 Feb 2015 21:17:44 EST 2/5/15 - Booty Call Let's sneak in some glute work throuought the day. When standing in line at the store, washing dishes or at your desk......contract your glute muscles, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> These glute muscles play an important functional role in our body’s alignment. Strong glutes protect us from injury, improve athletic performance and give us a curvy shape. <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem booster: <BR> <BR> From Oprah' list of 11 things to do to improve your self esteem, standing ... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 21:48:29 EST 2/5/15 - Booty Call Let's sneak in some glute work throuought the day. When standing in line at the store, washing dishes or at your desk......contract your glute muscles, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem booster: <BR> <BR> From Oprah' list of 11 things to do to improve your self esteem, standing for two minutes in a "power pose"—think of Wonder Woman, with her feet flat on the ground, shoulders square, and hands on her hips—can help you feel 40 percent more powerful than... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 21:44:56 EST 2/4/15 - Sneky abs Work your abs while you go about your day.... <BR> <BR> If you have a swivel desk chair, lift your feet up and twist using your abs and obliques to move. <BR> While brushing you teeth or doing dishes, contract your abs, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> Every movement we make goes through our core so it's important to strengthen that muscle group including the lower back.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=6 </link> <BR> <BR> February Boo... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 21:03:37 EST 2/3/15 - Stairs Except for those still recovering. For those not feeling well... fluids and a nap. <BR> <BR> Do as few or as many stairs a couple times a day as your health dictates. Try some variations... <BR> <BR> Step up with left foot, bring the right knee up before taking the next step. <BR> Step up with left foot, extend your right leg either to the side, working your hip or behind you working your glute. <BR> Take wide steps as you climb the stairs....step to the left side of a step with your left f... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 22:25:07 EST 2/2/15 - Monday Basics Give me a <em>248</em> If you: <BR> <BR> Got 8 cups of water or two more than you normally do <BR> Got 5 serving of freggies or at least one more than you normally do <BR> At least 15 minutes of activity <BR> <BR> February self esteem challenge: Start the day by looking in the mirror and repeat... <BR> <BR> When I look in the mirror, what do I see? A brilliant mind looking back at me. <BR> <BR> (From Estella's Brilliant Bus) Sun, 1 Feb 2015 22:00:26 EST 2/1/15 - l Boost Self Esteem February is International Boost Self Esteem month. Start your month off by reflecting on your accomplishments big and small. <BR> <BR> It's very easy to focus on what has gone wrong in our lives. Work on creating a balance by reminding yourself of your accomplishments. Even the small ones. <BR> <BR> Let's also work on clearing out toxins with a few minutes of proper breathing... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 21:36:25 EST 1/31/15 - Inspire Your Heart With Art day January 31st is Inspire Your Heart With Art day. Check out your local library or book store for books on art, or check out works of art on line. <BR> <BR> Pay attention to the colors, lines and textures. Think about how they make you feel. <BR> <BR> Last day of the January daily cardio challenges..... <BR> <BR> Pick a few Spark cardio moves and sprinkle them throughout your day for an all-day calorie burn. Unles of course you are walking 13 miles like Julie. That's some major calorie burn... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:54:13 EST 1/30/15 - Free Form Friday The weekend is here and it's time to challenge ourselves. To the new team member, Friday's are the days you get to pick your own challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm going to do the better posture workout. It's been a crazy week at work and I haven't been watching my posture like I usually do. So join me... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Name it and ... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:38:34 EST 1/29/15 - Puzzle Day January 29th is National Puzzle Day. Do you have access to a jigsaw puzzle? Pick up a newspaper with a crossword puzzle or a crossword puzzle book. <BR> <BR> Some of the benefits of solving puzzles..... <BR> <BR> A way to keep you mentally active and fit <BR> Improved word power and vocabulary <BR> An appealing learning method for a range of learning styles <BR> The appeal of a solvable problem in a complicated life <BR> Practice for your pattern recognition skills <BR> An easy, fun activit... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:00:42 EST 1/28/15 - Wednesday Wellness Beauty from the inside out. Read up on healthy habits for healthy skin. How many foods do you eat on a regular basis from the chart in the article below, which foods will you put on your shopping list to try.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=481 </link> <BR> <BR> Six-minute cardio routine to try..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=video_simple_6minute_cardio_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or walk an extra six minu... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:38:27 EST 1/27/15 - Freggies Give me a <em>248</em> If you got your five servings of fruits and vegetables. Extra credit if you try a new fruit or vegetable. <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day: Try two of the 60 second cardio moves.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1658 </link> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:14:06 EST 1/26/15 - Support Your Knees This Spark article focuses on pain from arthritis of the knee. Even if you do not experience knee pain, try these five moves to strengthen the muscles that support our kneeS. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day - Spark 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing video. Keep the movement low if need be, just move for ten minutes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?vid... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:37:15 EST 1/25/15 - Bursts and Stretches Cardio Idea of the Day: Get in a few small bursts of activity, it can be as low or high impact as you need...two minutes here and there during the day.... <BR> <BR> A few jumping jacks here and there <BR> Walk or run up some stairs <BR> Turn on the radio, put on a cd or fire up a good iPod playlist and dance for a couple minutes <BR> Walk a lap around a grocery store before checking out <BR> <BR> Sunday stretches - after a short burst of activity (remember you should never stretch cold musc... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 23:12:05 EST 1/24/15 - Body Blast Who's ready to turn it up a notch??? I believe someone out there has a big race today? So let's all try to turn up the heat on our activity. <BR> <BR> Today's cardio of the day is to walk or dance longer, walk instead of run or add running intervals to your walk. Try to get out of your comfort zone if you can. That's when change starts to happen. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark 20-minute body blast: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:45:17 EST 1/23/15 - Free Form Friday Okay gang, it's time to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What healthy habit do you need to work on? What goal are you working towards? Do you really need to rest? <BR> <BR> I'm going to get some ab work done. I want to get back into my every other day plank habit. <BR> <BR> Name it and claim it! Thu, 22 Jan 2015 21:18:13 EST 1/22/15 - Thursday Thighs Having strong leg muscles helps with balance, mobility and a healthy back. Try the 6-minute Spark video that works the hips, glutes, thighs as well as balance. <BR> <BR> If balance is an issue for you, stay near a wall or chair.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the leg-toning chair video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day: squee... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:46:56 EST 1/21/15 - Hand Stretches Let's take a midweek break to stretch our hands. We type, we write, we knit or crochet so our hands need some lovin. Check out the Spark article on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Even if you don't suffer from this condition, these hand stretches feel great: <BR> <BR> Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you. <BR> <BR> Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Now straighten your wrists ... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:46:18 EST 1/20/15 - Triceps Tuesday 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>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&cof=FORID%3A11&<BR>ie=UTF-8&q=Triceps&siteurl=www.sparkpe<BR> </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day.... 10 minute Cardio Kick. Keep it low impact if need... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 20:46:17 EST 1/19/15 - Meatless Monday I know some of you have this down but let's all try to have a meatless day if you do not have any health issues preventing you from trying this. <BR> <BR> If this is new to you, aim for at least one meatless meal. Pile on the freggies today! <BR> <BR> Cardio Challenge: pick at least three Spark cardio moves to do throughout your day or after dinner.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> Sun, 18 Jan 2015 20:27:02 EST 1/18/15 -Me Day Rest, rejunvinate, relax! Sun, 18 Jan 2015 02:16:37 EST 1/17/15 - Cardio Saturday Aim for 30 minutes of cardio. Do a full 30-minute walk, run, bike ride or workout video or break it up.... <BR> <BR> six five minute walks <BR> 1 20-min Spark (or any other type) cardio video and a 10-min walk <BR> 3 10-min Spark (or any other type) cardio videos <BR> 1 15-minute run and 1 15-minute walk if the weather permits (this is my option) <BR> <BR> 30-min indoor cardio idea: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=30minute_indoor_walking_workout </link> <BR> ... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 23:59:58 EST 1/16/15 - Free Form Friday Time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge.. Step up to the microphone and state your challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be getting in two cups of water before coffee in the morning, then a cup before each meal and fit in the other three while working. Thu, 15 Jan 2015 21:31:01 EST 1/15/15 - Get Your Zzzzzs How's your sleep routine? We all know that lack of sleep affects weigh loss and General well-being. <BR> <BR> Review the Spark article on sleep and begin revamping your sleep habits if you need to... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=420 </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio idea of the day, 10-min cardio kick. Keep it low-impact if need be or add your own umph if you've got it... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=80 ... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:39:51 EST 1/14/15 - Wednesday Wellness Many of us spend a lot of time at the computer, in the car, doing housework, compressing our spines and necks. <BR> <BR> Take time for a quick stretch... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=22 </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day.. Aim for an additional15 minutes of activty in your day than you normally do. Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:51:04 EST 1/13/15 - Eat Your Vitamins - Magnesium Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep bones strong. <BR> <BR> How can you eat your magnesium: Whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, spinach, broccoli, dates, raisins, bananas, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans. <BR> <BR> Day 13 Cardio challenge: 12-Minute Indoor Power Walking Workout <BR> <BR> The weather is lousy for many of us so power it up indoors with Jessica Smith: <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 21:35:54 EST 1/12/15 - Fill 'er up Try to get some protein and one serving of fruits/vegetable with each meal. Protein and water-rich foods can help you feel full longer... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=673&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Cardio challenge of the day.. If it is safe for you, find some stairs during your day. Do as few or as many as your fitness level dictates. <BR> <BR> Below are a few of the many benefits of taking a few stairs each day, according to Duke Univ... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 22:23:37 EST 1/11/15 - Sunday Stretches Remember, never stretch cold muscles! Walk, dance, do a few jumping jacks or light jogging for five or ten minutes before stretching. <BR> <BR> Let's all do the Spark Rise and Shine Stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Never underestimate the importance of stretching, not just after a workout. According to a Spark article on stretching: <BR> <BR> "Stretching is important for pe... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 21:33:26 EST 1/10/14 - Saturday Steps In honor of TRAVELGRRL's half marathon, let's all get moving. I believe KITTY20 has a long walk planned as well. <BR> <BR> Cardio challenge of the day is to increase your step count if you have some type of step tracker. Try for 500 more than you normally do. <BR> <BR> If you don't have a step counter, shoot for an extra 15 minutes of walking or running. Let's raise the roof on the One Day Challenge team activity minutes! <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Freggies! Get your f... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 21:28:51 EST 1/9/15 - Free Form Friday The weekend is upon us. How will we look back on this weekend on Monday. Will we be proud of our weekend selves! <BR> <BR> For you newbies to the team, Fridays I leave it up to you to challenge yourself or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What do you struggle with? What healthy step can you take or which new workout will you try? If you've been going, going, going all week (or you will be running a race this weekend), you may need to challenge yourself to take it easy and that ... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 21:02:35 EST 1/8/15 - Thursday Thighs Try this 4-minute thigh toner video. If you don't have a band, just take it slow and REALLY focus on the muscles used... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio challenge of the day: Alternate the intensity of whichever cardio you are choosing...walking, running, dancing, biking. Take it at a brisk pace for one minute, then a normal pace for two minutes. <BR> <BR> Burn more calories in less time. <BR> <BR> Those that need it, take a... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 22:48:01 EST 1/7/14 - Wednesday Wellness Time to practice the mind-body connection. Check out the Spark article that lists the 7 reasons to smile. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1529 </link> <BR> <BR> You don't have to be in a good mood to try spreading a good feeling for a moment. <BR> <BR> Cardio Challenge day 7 - Add a ten-minute walk to your day or in addition to any planned cardio even if it's around your office or the grocery store. It's an excellent opportunity to spread thos... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 22:10:58 EST 1/6/15 - Bean Me Up Scotty January 6th is Bean Day. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of beans but I've been slowly trying. Just can't ignore all of the health benefits. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article on the benefits of beaning up your diet with some suggestions to adding beans at the end... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1589 </link> <BR> <BR> I'm liking the cannelloni bean idea! <BR> <BR> TWO FOR TUESDAY CARDIO - On this 6th day of the January Cardio challenge,... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 22:08:37 EST 1/5/14 - Make a List I don't know about you but every day I notice things around the house that need my attention and think, maybe I'll get to it over the weekend. Well.... <BR> <BR> So I've made a list of the things that need my attention on my cell phone where I can get to it. I'm going to see how many small steps I can take every day or so towards getting to these things. Some will be quick and some will take some time. Like my favorite quote by Karen Lamb says "This time next year, you will wish you had star... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 21:22:44 EST 1/4/15 - Me Day It's been a busy month for everyone, let's slow down and take at least 15 minutes to make ourselves a priority, rest, recharge and let go. <BR> <BR> Read all about the necessity of a little me time... <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1657 </link> <BR> <BR> CARDIO OF THE DAY - We're taking it easy but you can still get a little cardio in. Does your bathroom need a good cleaning? Or does the kitchen need a good wipe down and sweeping? Did you know you c... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 20:24:54 EST 1/3/15- Vitamin C and Steps Time to eat your vitamins. Most of us are eyeballs deep into the cold and flu season. Keep washing your hands and get your vitamin C. <BR> <BR> Of course it hasn't been absolutely proven to prevent or cure colds but it can help your immune system as well as forming collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength and structure by holding together muscles, bones, and other tissues. It helps to build, repair, and maintain red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. <BR> <BR> Sources of vita... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 21:07:06 EST hello Hi everyone. I am new to the team, but not to Spark. I am looking for new ways to challenge myself and jumpstart my routines. I am excited to be here. Fri, 2 Jan 2015 13:41:44 EST 1/2/15 - Free Form Friday/Run It Up The Flag Pole Welcome to free-form Friday where you get to create your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> January 2 is "Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes" day. It's is an expression that means to float an idea to see what people think, or if they notice. <BR> <BR> Try something new today... a new workout, new fruit or vegetable, new heathy recipe. It's a new year, time for new things. <BR> <BR> CARDIO IDEA FOR TODAY - I will be doing the Spark 8-minute Cardio ... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 21:56:34 EST 1/1/15 - Quick Cardio I'm posting a little early for Thursday since I will be out tonight. <BR> <BR> Happy 2015. Welcome to a month of cardio challenges! As I mentioned in the email I sent to everyone, some will be quick, some will be longer. Let's increase our cardio minutes to start off the new year. <BR> <BR> Today's cardio challenge is quick, a Six-Minute cardio workout. Do this if you want to ease into the new year or do this in addition to your regularly scheduled workout if you are up for it...... <BR> <... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:48:03 EST 12/31/14 - Biceps and more How well do you read nutrition labels and track the correct serving size of the foods you eat?Take a minute to read labels of the foods you regularly eat. <BR> <BR> During a nutrition seminar at work, they taught us a quick way to spot fattening foods, multiply the fat calories by 4. If it's more than the total calories, best to limit how often we eat those foods. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....Okay, we worked our triceps, let's end the year with our biceps.....and glutes and quads.... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 21:41:31 EST 12/30/14 - Tuesday Triceps Let's work those hard to sculpt muscles. Pick your level or mix and match.... <BR> <BR> Seated Triceps extension... don't have weights, use a soup can or no weight at all... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=158 </link> <BR> <BR> Triceps dips with knees bent (more advanced, legs extended) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=124 </link> <BR> <BR> Close-arm wall pushups... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.c... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 22:10:12 EST 12/29/14 - Sign up Consider registering for a walk, run or bike event in the spring or summer. Staying on track and pushing yourself is easier when you are working on a goal in the near future. Check out your park district or look on for events that would interest you. <BR> <BR> If you are not up for a public group event, check out the virtual walk or run dates on Spark People.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>race-home.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day: ... Sun, 28 Dec 2014 21:07:23 EST 12/28/14 - Strong Flexible hips Take some time to strengthen and stretch your hips... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> Tight hip flexors can result in lower back pain, hip pain and injury. Sitting all day adds to this problem. <BR> <BR> I have noticed my hips tightenng up again so I can really use this. Let's strengthen and stretch for an active week ahead. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:14:41 EST 12/27/14 - Selfie Saturday So I lost track of my days and missed posting free-form Friday. So we'll make this selfie Saturday. Repeat a previous challenge or make up one of your own. <BR> <BR> Since I overate the past few days, I will be working on small, healthy meals every three hours. This is difficult for me on weekends. <BR> <BR> What is your challenge? Name it and claim it! <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:29:23 EST 12/26/14 - Boxing Day Happy Boxing day to our Canadian, Australian, British and New Zealand friends. <BR> <BR> The roots of the holiday goes back to the Middle Ages. On this day, members of the merchant class would take boxes, fill them with food and fruits, and give them to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate. <BR> <BR> Let's pack up a box of items to donate to a worthy cause. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day... Pushups. Pick your level or mix and match... <BR> <BR> Wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> ... Thu, 25 Dec 2014 20:47:20 EST 12/25/14 - Christmas Day Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, take a few minutes to write down three things you are grateful for. <BR> <BR> No matter how many challenges you are facing in your day, try to find things to be grateful for, no matter how small. Milk isn't the only thing that does a body good! <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....sneaky abs. Nobody has to know you are working your abs. Contract your abs, hold for a count of two and release. You can do this while cooking, eating with family, openin... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 22:28:49 EST 12/24/14 - Christmas Eve Try to squeeze in a couple moves (or all of them) from the Spark 12 Moves of Christmas .... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=prevent_holiday_pounds_with_the_12_<BR>moves_of_christmas_workout </link> <BR> <BR> If those moves are too advanced, try the 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing Workout... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=55 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a calorie burn done and over before festivities begin. <BR> <BR> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 20:35:38 EST 12/23/14 - Freggies and Festivus Try to get one serving of fruits/veggies with each meal and snack. Check out the Spark article on how to add veggies to every meal... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=add_more_veggies_to_your_family_meals </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day... T Stand.. <BR> <BR> Work your abs, lower back and hamstrings. Do this over a chair if you have balance issues. <BR> <BR> Keep the metabolism firing through the holidays! <BR> <BR> When I first posted this I for... Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:51:37 EST 12/22/14 - Stand Up For Your Health and your Quads Today, try to stand/walk around more than you usually do. Check out this article from webmd about the health problems related to too much sitting. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>20140407/sitting-disease-faq </link> <BR> <BR> More research needs to be done but it appears that...itting for a long time causes muscles to burn less fat and blood to flow more sluggishly. Both can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other problems." <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 21:58:50 EST 12/21/14 - Take a Breather and See the Bright Side I'm posting for Sunday a little early since I will be out this evening. <BR> <BR> Let's take a few minutes to slow down from our hectic schedules: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Take 10 minutes to practice proper breathing for great health benefits. You can shorten it if you need to but you deserve these 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> December 21st is Look On The Bright Side day. What a coincidence it falls on Winter Solstice, th... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:22:10 EST 12/20/14 - Short Cardio Bursts With Christmas getting closer, schedules are getting too full for exercise. Try to get several short bursts of cardio in your day to keep calorie burn going all day. <BR> <BR> Unless you are doing 20 miles like Julie, walk through stores like you are late, use the stairs and park further away if it's safe. <BR> <BR> You can squeeze in quick cardio exercises in between housework and laundry. Check out the Spark article with 10 quick cardio moves... <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:39:25 EST 12/19/14 - Free Form Friday Here we are....THE WEEKEND! We finished the Spark better posture series this week. Congratulations to all! If you would like to read more about the the value of good posture as well as more about the exercises and stretches we did this week, check out the Spark article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1407 </link> <BR> <BR> So for the new members, Friday is the day you choose your own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or com... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:37:15 EST 12/18/14 - Posture Thursday Welcome to day four of posture-improving exercises and stretches. <BR> <BR> We are going to work on retracting a forward head. Years of driving a car, watching tv or working on a computer tighten the front and side neck muscles and weaken the deep and rear muscles of the neck. The position of the head and neck is just as imortant as the back and shoulders for good posture. <BR> <BR> Neck retraction exercise (upper trapezius and deep cervical flexors): <BR> <BR> Elongate the back of your ... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:00:41 EST 12/17/14 -Posture Wednesday and Rededication Happy Hanukkah to those that celebrate! <BR> <BR> The Jews rededicated the Temple after they defeated the Syrians, and so Chanukah means dedication. Take some time to reflect on your goals and rededicate yourself to staying on track towards those goals through the end of the year. <BR> <BR> Today's focus for better posture is on our tilted hips. Tilted hips are the result of weak and tight hips, quad and ab muscles. Sitting all day behind a desk or in the car adds to the problem. So lets st... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:33:01 EST 12/16/14 - Posture Tuesday and Awareness Hello and welcome to day two of the better posture week. Today we will focus on fixing rounded shoulders. Years of being hunched over a desk, computers, watching tv leads to rounded shoulders. <BR> <BR> Try these shoulder exercises and stretches... <BR> <BR> Dumbbell Reverse Flys on exercise ball. You can do this without weights or with soup cans, sitting in a chair. Just watch your form as described in the demo... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:10:39 EST 12/15/14 - Posture Monday Welcome to Posture week. Good posture is about more than just standing up straight. <BR> <BR> Let's start the week by working the core, which includes obliques and lower back. <BR> <BR> If any (or all) of your core muscles are weak, other muscles have to compensate, resulting in loss of motion, weakness and pain. In fact, you can alleviate and prevent low-back pain through regular core training. <BR> <BR> If you worked your core, like Mary did, on Sunday, get a good abdominal stretch in in... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 21:20:18 EST 12/14/14 - Sunday Stretches After a quick warmup, get a quick stretch done... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1262 </link> <BR> <BR> Loosen up and get the blood flowing for an active week ahead. Sat, 13 Dec 2014 22:20:52 EST 12/13/14 - St. Lucia and Daylight December holiday fact.... December 13th is St. Lucia day in Sweden. The eldest daughter wakes sleeping family members and serves St. Lucia rolls and coffee. <BR> <BR> It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light. <BR> <BR> If weather permits, get outside for a quick (or long) walk on your Saturday and absorb as much natural sunlight as possible. Even if it's cloudy, the sun gets through. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day -... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:50:51 EST 12/12/14 - Free Form Friday Friday is here and it's time to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will continue with filling out my nutrition tracker in advance to stick to my plan. It reallyl helps me. <BR> <BR> I'm also going to do some pilates. <BR> <BR> Name you challenge and give us a <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> Holiday fun fact... December 12 is Fiest of Our Lady of Guadalupe...The Dark Madonna is a symbol of Mexican Christianity and of Mexican nationalism. <BR> <BR... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:43:51 EST 12/11/14 - Nutrition Tracker and Stairs Holiday season is the time when many of us fly by the seat of our pants. Between work, social engagements, shopping and family responsibilities, it's very difficult to plan ahead. <BR> <BR> So let's try it. Fill out your nutrition tracker for the next meal and snack as best you can. Try to go into the next day. Fill it out with healthy foods you know you have access to and do your best to stick to that plan. <BR> <BR> I have done this in the past, filled out my nutrition tracker for the ne... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 21:55:15 EST 12/10/14 - Wednesday Wellness and Pullovers Let's take a ten-minute, mid-week breather. It's a hectic and stressful time of year so give yourself 10 minutes to feed your body good oxygen to keep you going... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day.... Dumbell pullovers, work your chest, triceps and lats in one move. If you do not have a step, no worries. I have done this lying on the floor. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>... Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:04:00 EST 12/9/14 - Cursty and Christmas Cards Is Princess Kate still in New York? Let's curtsy like a princess to really work the glutes and thighs. <BR> <BR> Hopefully this link works for everyone so you can see what this looks like... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sy-lunge </link> <BR> <BR> Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips. Take a big step back with your left leg, crossing it behind your right. Bend your knees and lower your hips until your right thigh is nearly parallel to the f... Mon, 8 Dec 2014 22:07:09 EST 12/8/14 - Basics and abs Let's start the week strong by reaching basic goals. Give me a <em>248</em> if you.... <BR> <BR> Got 5 servings of freggies or at least one more than you usually do <BR> Got 8 cups of water or at least two more than you normally do <BR> Watched your portion sizes <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day, do some sneaky ab work. Do you have a desk chair that spins? Lift your feet off the floor, hold on to the desk and use your abs and obliques to turn right then left. That's one repetition. Tr... Sun, 7 Dec 2014 21:23:06 EST 127/14 - Write a letter/Me day I'm posting a little early for tomorrow since I will be out this evening. December 7 is letter writing day. Take some time to write a quick note to a friend or family member. Think of how happy they would be to receive that. <BR> <BR> Maybe write a letter to yourself. <BR> <BR> Everyone has posted some EXCELLENT activty this week so let's take a break and make today a ME day, or at least a little ME time if it's a hectic day. Try..... <BR> <BR> Get a full body stretch <BR> Take a bubble... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 19:39:50 EST 12/6/14 - St.Nicholas Day/Upper Body Strength Happy St. Nicholas day. True to the christian concept of giving up belongings and following Christ, St. Nicholas gave up all of his belongings. He was well known for giving to needy people, especially children. <BR> <BR> The practice of hanging up stockings originated with Saint Nicholas. Legend goes, Saint Nicholas was known to throw small bags of gold coins into the open windows of poor homes. <BR> <BR> After one bag of gold fell into the stocking of a child, news got around. Children so... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 21:35:06 EST 12/5/14 - Free Form Friday To those of you that are new, On Fridayseveryone picks their own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> By the way, December 5 is Bathtub Party Day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> My challenge will be to get my walking breaks in at work and a few minutes of meditation after work. It's been a while and I could really use it after the challenging work week. <BR> <BR> Strength moves of the day for me is an ab combo I did when I had a few sessio... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 20:34:42 EST 12/4/14 - Santa's List Day and Happy Feet December 4th is known as Santa's List day. Have you been naughty or nice? <BR> <BR> Make a list of all of your accomplishments this year (or blog about it) and keep it where you can see it every day. It doesn't have to be fitness or food related. It's so easy to get down on ourselves if we haven't measured up to our own expectations. So focus on the positives! <BR> <BR> Strength moves of the day.... Let's build strong and flexible feet in five moves. We ask a lot of our feet and ankles so... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 22:35:47 EST 12/3/14 - Mid-Week Stretch and a booty call Take a few minutes to stretch a bit. We spend time bent over our computers, over children or over the sink washing dishes. Loosen it up with some desk stretches. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=22 </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....Five Moves To A Better Butt <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1755 </link> <BR> <BR> If some of these moves are too much for you, go the old fashioned butt clench... Tue, 2 Dec 2014 21:52:23 EST 12/2/14 - Two For Tuesday If you have trouble getting your eight cups of water each day, try to double your usual count. Try adding fruit to your water or a slice of cucumber to make it interesting. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day - work your abs and lower back. It's very important to work both muscle groups. Pick at least one move that works both abs and lower back or one move for abs and one move for lower back: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> A... Mon, 1 Dec 2014 22:07:35 EST 12/1/14 - Meatless Monday Try going meatless for a day or just one meal. Some research suggests going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....pushups. Pick your level that best suits your fitness level and try three sets of 8 or as many as you can do keeping good form. <BR> <BR> Wall pushups <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <B... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 19:24:31 EST 11/30/14 -Rise and Shine Stretches I apologize for getting this out too late for some of you but this can be done any time of day. In fact, let's try for twice today. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Be good to yourself and your muscles! Sat, 29 Nov 2014 21:41:32 EST Hi Hi I am new to the team and love the idea of getting fresh healthy challenges every day :-) <BR> Sat, 29 Nov 2014 15:03:12 EST 11/29/14 - Square Dance Day/Creative Workout Day November 29 is Square Dance Day. <BR> <BR> noted ......With all its moving, twisting, and turning, square dancing provides more than the daily dose of heart- and bone-healthy physical activity. Remembering all the calls -- from "do-si-do" to 'alemand' -- keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. <BR> <BR> No dance partner? Find other ways to get a creative workout: <BR> <BR> If you are going to the gym today, try to do the Machine Mixe... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 22:04:21 EST 11/28/14 - Free Form Friday Fridays everyone gets to pick their own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Name your challenge or come back later and let us know it was done. <BR> <BR> I am going to do the Spark jump rope workout video. Amazing calorie burn after a bit of indulgence today. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Thu, 27 Nov 2014 21:05:20 EST 11/27/14 - Give Thanks and a ME day Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, take a me day and give thanks for all that you have. Remember to track your ME time on your other goals page under the One Day Challenge team. <BR> <BR> Thank you for coming along on the Fit2Feast Challenge ride with me. Knowing you were all out there watching my posts really kept me moving. I only missed one day due to a small family emergency. <BR> <BR> I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving or a wonderful Thursday. <BR> <BR> <em>304</e... Wed, 26 Nov 2014 22:07:12 EST 11/26/14 - Wednesday Wellness Take some time today to feel the power of gratitude. Read the Spark article for more details on the tips below to build our gratitude power. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1541 </link> <BR> <BR> How many tips are you able to work into your day: <BR> <BR> Keep a gratitude journal. <BR> At the end of each day, write down 3-5 things from the day you feel grateful for. Simplicity is <BR> key. <BR> <BR> Express your gratitude. <BR> Take the t... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:05:05 EST 11/25/14 - Tuesday Toning Fit2Feast Challenge: Let's work some muscles to give us a boost in the resting calorie burn department. For most of us Thanksgiving is looming ahead. Let's work it. <BR> <BR> Where would you like to work it? Upper body? Try the 9-minute arm and shoulder workout. Repeat the stretches for another minute to reach 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=39 </link> <BR> <BR> Lower body: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>d... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:33:12 EST 11/24/14 - Ease Up On Your Neck and Spine Did anyone else see this study in the news? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>w-hunching-over-your-smartphone-stress<BR>es-your-spine-1D80302058 </link> <BR> <BR> A study recently published states "An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in a neutral position, but by tilting it forward, the forces it exerts on the neck can surge—up to 60 pounds when the head is tilted by 60 degrees" <BR> <BR> So we are putting approxmately four bowling balls of pressure on our necks a... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 20:34:15 EST 11/23/14 - Show Your Back Some Love Of the 12 ways listed to protect your back, how many can you/did you fit into your day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=804 </link> <BR> <BR> Fit2feast Challenge: <BR> <BR> Try the Chi Gong video. In addition to calming my mind, this also helps remove tension from back: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Lossen up from all of your activity this past week, and get ready for a new act... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:18:31 EST 11/22/14 - Cardio levels Pick your level for a Fit2Feast 10-minute cardio challenge: <BR> <BR> Beginner - a 10-minute walk or the Spark Seated Cardio workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Intermediate - <BR> <BR> Jump Start Cardio (you can make this lower impact by replacing hopping and jumping with stepping) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=87 </link> <BR> <BR> Advanced - Jump Rope Cardio Workout ... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:22:05 EST 11/21/14 - Free-Wheeling Friday It's time to pick your own challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or challenge yourself to something that you need to get done. <BR> <BR> For the Fit2Feast challenge, I will do the 4,3,2,1 workout and then I'm going to rest. It's been an exhausting, stressful week with my dad and it's not over yet so I need some rejuvenating. <BR> <BR> As the Cheerios bee says in the commercials, "be happy, be healthy!" Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:19:10 EST 11/20/14 - Arm yourself... ...with upper body strength. According to "Strong upper and lower back muscles can be helpful in protecting against spine problems later in life, as long as no muscles are damaged in the back and care is taken to stretch and work these muscles throughout life." <BR> <BR> Try the following upper body video for day 20 of the Fit2Feast Challenge: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=37 </link> <BR> <BR> Alternate/Bonus challenge: In... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:57:31 EST 11/19/14 - Wednesday Wellness "It has been said your mind can only hold one thought at a time, which means we have a choice. We can focus on a thought that makes us feel badly or a thought that makes us feel good." <BR> <BR> So what will you choose today? Pick something about yourself or an achievement that makes you feel proud. Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself out loud that you are proud of yourself for that characteristic or achievment. <BR> <BR> See the Spark article about how self-talk leads to success: ... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:27:48 EST 11/18/14 - Core work Fit2Feast challenge: Try the 10-minute crunch less core workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on our knees does not work for you... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Then give me a <em>248</em> if you met your protein goal or took steps to improve. Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:23:24 EST 11/17/14 - 4,3,2,1 and Portion Sizes Fit2Feast Challenge.... <BR> <BR> 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 for example or some dancing) <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> <... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 22:28:47 EST 11/16/14 - Sundat ME time "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> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to track your ME time on your One Day Challenge team goals on your Other Goals page. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge : Go for a walk for at least 10 minutes even if it's around yo... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 21:05:41 EST 11/15/14 - Clean it up Sending out healthy knee vibes to those that need them. Make sure to rest if you need it! <BR> <BR> November 15 is Clean Your Fridge day. Now is a good time to do that for those of us getting ready to stock up for Thanksgiving dinners. It's alawys a great Idea for all of us to clean out the junk food and the unidentifiable leftovers. <BR> <BR> Spend some quality time decluttering your fridge. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: As long as we are cleaning, add ten minutes of brisk housework. Scr... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:38:26 EST 11/14/14 - Free Form Friday Today's the day you get to pick your own challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Remember, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. <BR> <BR> If you have had no time to relax this week, that may be a challenge for you. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: <BR> <BR> If you're not resting, add 10 minutes to your planned activity. If you are resting, spend 10 minutes in a quiet place doing some deep cleansing breaths. <BR> <BR> I will repeat the pos... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:50:05 EST 11/13/14 - Be Kind And Back It Up November 13 is World Kindness Day. Use the day (or the next and the next) to be kind to friends, family, neighbors or Spark members. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: Some people neglect the back muscles since they don't see it in the mirror. Strong back muscles improve posture and function. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&exerci<BR>se_level=any&equipment=any&bodypart=back </link> <BR> <BR> Fill 10 minutes with as many exercises you... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:37:20 EST 11/12/14 - Begin With Water Then a Kick Hoping to reach everyone before the first cup of coffee or tea Wednesday morning. Aim for one cup of water first thing BEFORE coffee or tea. <BR> <BR> It took me years to try it and a couple months to believe it (by sipping water in between sips of coffee) but water first thing in the morning really does energize me more than that first cup of coffee. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: Try the 10 Minute Cardio Kick workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?vi... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 20:25:50 EST 11/11/14 - Posture and Water <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: It is important to regularly work on improving our posture to avoid muscle strain and injury. Try the following 12-minute posture video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> If some moves are too difficult for you, pick at least one exercise, in each step, in the Spark posture article.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1407 </link> <BR... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:23:53 EST 11/10/14 - Raise Your HDL "HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the "good" cholesterol. It acts like a cholesterol dump truck, gathering "bad" cholesterol from the arteries and carrying it back to the liver for clearance." <BR> <BR> See the Spark slideshow below for foods that raise your HDL. Talk to your doctor about you HDL. Which foods will you put on your next shopping list? Which foods do you already use regular? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=50 </link> <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 21:29:03 EST 11/9/14 - Productive Habits <BR> I found the financial article below very interesting. I think it works for all of us working towards a healthy lifestyle. Coincidently November 9 is Chaos Never Dies Day. Chaos habits, let's work on healthy, permanent habits to keep it to a minimum. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>uctive-people-time-123000344.html;_ylt<BR>=AwrBT_vZ115U.K0ANqzBGOd_ </link> <BR> <BR> 1. Become an early riser by going to bed early <BR> 2. Start each day with an intention <BR> ... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 22:06:37 EST 11/8/14 - No Nonsense Fit2Feast workout ... <BR> <BR> Try an 11-minute workout that burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time... <BR> <BR> Before each move she gives you a low impact version if you need it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_11minute_miracle_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Bonus/alternate challenge: November 8 is Cook Something Bold day. It is designed to encourage us to cook something homey during November when the house is closed up to capture the smells. ... Fri, 7 Nov 2014 20:24:46 EST 11/7/14 - Free Form Friday So new members, on Fridays you pick your own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or make your own. Just name it and go for it! <BR> <BR> I will continue the Fit2Feast challenge with a couple ten-minute Spark cardio videos. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself and change yourself? <BR> <BR> Thu, 6 Nov 2014 21:00:17 EST 11/6/14 - Core and Planning According to, a strong core enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries. <BR> <BR> So today's Fit2Feast challenge, work your core for at least 10 minutes with either of the following Spark videos: <BR> <BR> Crunchless Core workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on the floor or being on your knees is a problem, try the seated core workout: <BR> <BR> <link>ww... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 20:47:08 EST 11/5/14 - Walking and Hip Strength Fit2Feast challenge: <BR> <BR> Take a ten-minute walk either before or after a meal. See the article from about the health benefits of walking before and after a meal. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lking-before-or-after-meals/ </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Hip strength and flexibility <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> "Tight... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 22:16:09 EST 11/4/14 - Three Moves and some H2O On a Dr. Oz episode, personal trainer Gunner Peterson demonstrated three moves to hit major muscles. You can do these while watching TV or in between sparking. <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> <B... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 22:29:25 EST 11/3/14 - Sandwich Day November 3rd is sandwhich day, created by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. In 1762, he created the sandwich, by putting meat between two pieces of bread, allowing him to remain at the gambling table for long periods of time. <BR> <BR> Check out Sparkpeople recipes for healthy sandwich ideas.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>food=Sandwiches&a= </link> <BR> <BR> Make your shopping list for later this week or the weekend. Skip the gambling table. <BR> <... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 22:01:25 EST 11/2/14 - End of Daylight Savings I'm posting early in hopes of reaching all time zones. Tomorrow is the end of daylight savings time for most of us. To deal with the change, do the following: <BR> <BR> Go to bed at your normal time tonight (Saturday) <BR> Wake up at your normal time tomorrow (Sunday) <BR> Get outside in the morning in the sun even if it's for a short walk <BR> <BR> Even if you are not in an area that changes times, this is a good practice to follow on the weekends to avoid Monday-morning grogginess. <BR> ... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 16:21:58 EST 11/1/14 - Strong, Flexible Feet There has been a lot of walking going on and in honor of team member Julie's 22 mile walk Saturday, let's all work on strong, flexible feet. It important to keep our feet and ankles strong and flexible to support us during all our acticities. <BR> <BR> See the Spark article for five exercises to strengthen and stretch this area: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Start the month off on the right ... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:09:45 EST 10/31/14 - Halloween Okay, it's still free-form Friday, you get to make your own challenge. Remember, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you! <BR> <BR> Is Halloween a tough day for you. How will you challenge yourself to make yourself proud on November 1st? <BR> <BR> I bought candy to hand out that I don't like. I will get extra water, freggies and activity. <BR> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:16:10 EST 10/30/14 Creative Spark Workouts Pressed for time? Need something fun to add to your fitness minutes? Try either or both of these workouts. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get 10 minutes of walking in today even if it's laps around your living room. <BR> <BR> <BR> Six Minute Excuse Proof Workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_excuseproof_workout_plan </link> <BR> <BR> Five Minute Wake Up Call Workout (good for any time of day) <BR> <BR> <link><BR... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:40:15 EST 10/29/14 - Wednesday Wellness Give me a <em>248</em> if you: <BR> <BR> Got 8 cups of water or at least one more than you usually do <BR> Got five servings of fruits and veggies or at least one more serving than you normally do <BR> Got active in some way for at least 10 minutes <BR> Spent 2-5 minutes getting some quiet time for deep breathing <BR> <BR> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:22:45 EST 10/28/14 - Mix It Up There is an excellent Spark article about mixing and matching strength exercises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=495 </link> <BR> <BR> At the bottom of the page is a table numbered 1 - 8 along the left side and columns A-D across the top. <BR> <BR> As described in the article, pick one exercise in each numbered row to perform. If you cannot get to all eight that is fine. Try to hit at least two muscle groups.. Do what you can safely, with goo... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:33:18 EST 10/27/14 - Small Bits Add Up Small bits of activity add up. Try to squeeze in a few five to ten-minutes of activity in addition to any planned workout. Keep your calorie burn going all day long. <BR> <BR> Take a few five minute breaks to walk around your workplace or around the house. <BR> Two or three times, run up a few stairs just because. <BR> Do a few jumping jacks a couple times (some of us have been known to get in a private bathroom or conference room at work to fit in a couple rounds of the jacks). <BR> <BR> W... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:07:33 EST 10/26/14 - Sunday Tune-up Get loose and in touch. Let last week go and mentally prepare for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> If it's nice outside where you live, try some walking meditation. The following Spark article details a few different way to practice walking meditation from beginner to more advanced.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=894 </link> <BR> <BR> Chi Gong is my Sunday go-to as well as when I'm stressed. it really helps me loosen up and let it all go.... <BR> ... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:31:00 EST 10/25/14 - Make a Difference Day The fourth Saturday in October is Make A Difference Day. Research volunteer opportunities in your area. <BR> <BR> It doesn't matter whether you help a non-profit organization, the community, your town, nursing home, a church, a food kitchen, or any other group in need. What matters is that you participate. <BR> <BR> It can also be a small gesture like writing a letter or making a call to an old friend or family member, just because. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Get outside if possible, to ge... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:13:01 EST 10/4/14 - Free Wheelin Friday The weekend is upon us. How will you set yourself for success? <BR> <BR> New members, Fridays are the days you get to repeat a previous day's challenge or make up one of your own. <BR> <BR> I'm going to repeat Tuesday's challenge, the 4,3,2,1 workout. Below is the link to the article where I found this if anyone wants to read more about it...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>gh-intensity-interval-training-office_<BR>n_6013034.html </link> <BR> <BR> It's 4 min... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:34:38 EST 10/23/14 - Pushups Let's work the upper body for improved upper body strength, flexibility and range of motion. <BR> <BR> Start with wall pushups. Be sure to pay attention to proper form as noted in the demo... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> If you can, hit the floor and try it on your knees or toes. Do as many sets of ten as you can do safely, with proper form. <BR> <BR> I also like table top pushups as seen in the Spark 10-minute upper bod... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:31:39 EST 10/22/14 - Eat Less Processed Foods I know it's unrealistice in our hectic lifestyles to completely eliminate processed foods but let's try to eat at least one serving less of processed foods. Baby steps. <BR> <BR> Below is a link to an article from the 100 Days Of Real Food website with eight tips to eating less processed foods. Let me know if the link does not work for you and I will email you the tips. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/real-food-tips-8-ways-to-avoid-proces<BR>sed-food/ </link> <... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:59:06 EST 10/21/14 - 4-3-2-1 I was reading about exercise physiologist Sean Foy's 4,3,2,1 exercise model and thought I'd give it a try...... <BR> <BR> 4 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity <BR> 3 minutes of resistance training <BR> 2 minutes of core work <BR> 1 minute of breathing and stretching <BR> <BR> Join me and let me know how it works for you. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:33:17 EST 10/20/14 - Boost Your Energy Start the week off on an energetic note. Take a look at the eight suggestions in this Spark article. How many can you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1930 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Get in ten extra minutes of activity on top of your regularly-planned activity. <BR> <BR> Power up! Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:19:34 EST 10/19/14 - Me day Or at least 15 minutes of me time. What have you neglected for yourself? Rest and recharge for the week ahead. Be sure to log your Me time on your Other Goals page. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: October 19 is National Evaluate Your Life Day. Take a few minutes to reflect on what is working in your life, what isn't and what steps you can take to improve any areas you would like. Make sure to remember your accomplishments and be proud! <BR> <BR> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:40:39 EST 10/18/14 - Happy Sweetest Day Use this third Saturday in October to... <BR> <BR> Search Spark recipes for a healthy sweet treat <BR> Share your favorite healthy sweet treat with all of us <BR> Contact a friend or relative you haven't spoken to in a while <BR> Take time to be sweet to yourself <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:43:55 EST 10/17/14 - Free Form Friday Time to challenge ourselves. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with your own challenge that you need. <BR> <BR> I will be doing the Spark fall workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_seriously_fun_fullbody_workout_fo<BR>r_fall </link> <BR> <BR> Let's hear it! <BR> <BR> <em>431</em> <em>465</em> <em>422</em> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:12:53 EST 10/16/14 - Portion Control Refresh your knowledge about portion sizes with the Spark article below. The article contains tips for controlling portions while eating out and at home. <BR> <BR> Name at least one tip you followed for a Spark goodie. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=56 </link> <BR> <BR> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 23:33:20 EST 10/15/14 - Wednesday Water Give me a <em>248</em> If you.... <BR> <BR> Hit eight cups of water <BR> If you didn't make it to eight, but got one more cup than you normally do <BR> Added fruit or a slice of cucumber to one cup of water <BR> <BR> <em>274</em> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:52:06 EST 10/14/14 - Sneaky Abs Sneak in some ab work throughout the day. No crunches required... <BR> <BR> While washing the dishes or brushing your teeth or both...contract your abs, hold for a second and release. Try as many sets of ten that you can. <BR> <BR> Do you have a swivel chair at home or at the office? Lift your feet off the floor, pull your abs in and use your core to swivel right then left. Try as many sets of ten through the day as you can. <BR> <BR> Get a good stretch in. Stand tall, deep breath in and s... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:49:36 EST 10/14/14 - Muscle Monday If today is a strength training day, try some isometric holds. Check out the Spark article that explains the benefits of isometric strength training as well as examples of isometric strength training: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1261 </link> <BR> <BR> Isometric strength training is NOT safe for anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure, and women who are pregnant. <BR> <BR> So if you fall into any of those categories your challenge w... Sun, 12 Oct 2014 21:33:12 EST 10/13/14 - Sunday Stretches Get warmed up and get a good stretch in today to improve circulation and increase flexibility <BR> <BR> Try to perform each of the Spark stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=126 </link> <BR> <BR> For a little more advanced move, try the "world's greatest stretch" according to Yahoo. We do this in my yoga class and while I do not do it perfectly, it feels wonderful... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ld-s-greates... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 21:40:34 EST 10/11/14 - Chew Slowly Hopefully your Saturday isn't too busy. Take some time to eat slower than you usually do, at least for one meal. <BR> <BR> Chewing food slowly aids in digestion and prevents heartburn not to mention helping you feel full. Check out the Spark article on the benefits of chewing your food slowly..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=963&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Take a sip of water in between bites of food. I heard a swallowing spec... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 21:11:35 EST 10/10/14 - Free Form Friday Today is the day to repeat a previous challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I will be doing an ab Deck Of Cards workout after my run. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Read about eggs on World Egg Day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=126 </link> <BR> <BR> Let's start the weekend on a powerful, healthy note! Thu, 9 Oct 2014 21:23:56 EST 10/9/14 - Thursday Thighs Let's work the large muscles for a major calorie burn and to gain strength to handle everyday tasks. Try one or more of the following: <BR> <BR> Skater squats: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=112 </link> <BR> <BR> Wall sit: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=66 </link> <BR> <BR> Seated leg workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Thighs ... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:16:48 EST