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 11/19/17 - Make it a Play Day Find the chid in your today by ..... <BR> <BR> Take a walk to a park, swing on the swings. <BR> <BR> Pick up bathtub crayons and draw on the wall when you shower or bath <BR> <BR> Tape large pieces of paper on the wall, draw in broad strokes with markers <BR> <BR> Be a "surprise fairy". Leave an anonymous gift or token for someone special. It could be a trinket or a poem, a hand-me-down necklace, or a handmade card. <BR> <BR> Grab a deck of cards for a game of go fish, or concentration, ... Sat, 18 Nov 2017 20:32:21 EST 11/18/17 - Full Body Strengthening Add some simple exercises throughout the day to build strength all over and increase your metabolism. <BR> <BR> Skip the weights if you're not used to them or use soup cans. If you've never done a plank before, do it against the wall. <BR> <BR> Do what you can, skip what doesn't work for your health and fitness level. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>g.asp?post=10_full_body_strength_train<BR>ing_exercises_for_the_beginner </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLE... Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:28:49 EST 11/17/17 - Free Form Friday Welcome to Friday! It's your turn to make your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Step out of your comfort zone... try a new fruit/vegetable, healthy recipe, new workout, stretching, resting. <BR> <BR> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:37:57 EST 11/16/17 - Aim for an hour Can you rack up 60 minutes of activity throughout your entire day? Take it ten minutes at a time. <BR> <BR> There are excellent short Spark videos, take a few ten minute walking breaks. Stretching, cardio and strength all count. <BR> <BR> I will be participating in fun run with a local running store in the evening, not sure how long the run is yet but I read there will be challenges throughout the run for raffle tickets, so it could be an hour. Just to make sure, I will get in walking break... Wed, 15 Nov 2017 18:57:10 EST 11/15/17 - Wednesday Wellness Try to slow down for at least two meals or snacks.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/nutrition_articles.asp?id=963 </link> <BR> <BR> Try at least two of the tips in the article. <BR> <BR> <BR> 'Chewing your food thoroughly is actually the first step in the complex process of digestion" <BR> <BR> Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:31:26 EST 11/14/17 - Track It Tuesday Are your tracking all meals and snacks? Are you reading your nutrition labels to see how many servings of your foods/drinks you are actually consuming? No shame in going over your limit, it's about getting a realistic look at what you are consuming. <BR> <BR> If you are already a diligent tracker, create a new grouping of your favorite meals to track quicker. <BR> <BR> Not sure how to create a grouping, let me/us know. We are all here to help! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Stairs! F... Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:42:59 EST 11/13/17 - Monday Motivation November 12 is World Kindness day. Spread the kindness in your daily travels and here on Spark. Leave a welcome message to at least three new Spark members... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oard_topics.asp?imboard=14 </link> <BR> <BR> or leave a supportive comment on a Spark member blog.. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Sun, 12 Nov 2017 21:34:28 EST 11/1217 - Sunday Self Care Try some rise and shine stretches... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> These are great stretches any time of day. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Sit in silence for 3 - 5 minutes (if you have the time and enjoy it, go for ten minutes). <BR> <BR> No need to force yourself to clear you mind. Turn off the tv, radio, apps on your cell phone etc. Close your eyes and listen to the sound... Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:49:27 EST 11/11/17 - Cardio/Strength Alternate cardio with strength today. Check out the Spark cardio and strength moves. Alternate a cardio move for 30 - 60 seconds then a strength move and so on for as long as you need. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/fitness.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the Spark 20-minute Fat Blaster video that alternates cardio and strength... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/videos-detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE...... Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:37:29 EST 11/10/17 - Free Form Friday Okay, the weekend is upon us and today is your day to name your challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Step outside your comfort zone toward your health and wellness goals. <BR> <BR> No challenge too small! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 9 Nov 2017 20:55:07 EST 11/9/17 - Leg Day Reasons not to skip leg day... <BR> <BR> improved balance <BR> increased metabolism <BR> burn more calories <BR> relieve lower back pain <BR> run longer and stronger (if you're into that) <BR> increased range of motion <BR> superhero efficiency for every-day tasks <BR> <BR> So what's not to love about leg day??? I know but keep reminding yourself of the benefits as you.... <BR> <BR> Do a brisk walk or jumping jacks to warm up first then pick your level.... <BR> <BR> Perform squats. Keep i... Wed, 8 Nov 2017 20:35:41 EST 11/8/17 - Wednesday Wellness Take a moment to search for some good news. <BR> <BR> Try the good news network: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Share a story that spoke to you, either here on Spark or on your other favorite social media platforms. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Plan a mood lifter. Check out the Spark article about 15 Natural Mood lifters. Jot down three that would work for you to remember for the next time you are feeling less than Sparkling. <BR> <BR> <link>https... Tue, 7 Nov 2017 21:51:26 EST 11/7/17 - Two Fer It's a two-fer towel Tuesday. <BR> <BR> Pick two towel exercises that fit your fitness level. These can be done while watching tv or after doing dishes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>g.asp?post=the_towel_workout_makes_ton<BR>ing_easy </link> <BR> <BR> ADVANCED: Are you able to push it to the next level? If so, try two from: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>g.asp?post=grab_a_towel_for_this_5move<BR>_fullbody_workout </link> <BR> <BR... Mon, 6 Nov 2017 21:47:53 EST 11/6/17 - Monday Motivation Look in the mirror first thing in the morning or as soon as you read this and repeat the Marilyn Monroe quote.... <BR> <BR> "Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle!" Now go forth and twinkle! <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Increase your normal amount of activity by 10 minutes. Cardio, strength and stretching sessions all count. Sun, 5 Nov 2017 21:15:37 EST 11/5/17-ME Day TAke a day off. Rest, relax, recharge. Nurture yourself. Stay in your pjs all day if possible! Sat, 4 Nov 2017 21:31:50 EST 11/4/17 - Strong Core Saturday All movements run through our core so let's build some core strength. <BR> <BR> Several times during the day, contract your abs, hold for a couple seconds and release. Don't hold your breath during the contraction. <BR> <BR> For a full-on core workout: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Standing ab workout: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 3 Nov 2017 22:17:46 EST 11/3/17 - Free Form Friday Today is your day to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> How will you step out of your comfort zone or decide to rest if you've been pushing it too hard? <BR> <BR> <em>321</em> Thu, 2 Nov 2017 20:28:55 EST 11/2/17 - One More Minute During the kickboxing workout video I did this evening, I was reminded of workouts at a gym I belonged to. After an hour of treadmill, rowing machine, free weights, repeat, the trainers would have us do one minute of burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks or some other cardio move. When I was wilted beyond recognition, I pulled out one minute of cardio. I used to get a vision of my fat cells shrinking and my lungs getting stronger to get me through that minute. <BR> <BR> SO.... your missi... Wed, 1 Nov 2017 19:11:25 EST 11/1/17 - Wednesday Wellness From how to relieve tired eyes.... <BR> <BR> Every 30 minutes on the computer, or while reading, look as far off into the distance as possible for one to two minutes. <BR> <BR> Imagine a clock directly in front of you. Focus on the center point, then look at an hour mark without moving your head. Look back at the center of the clock, and then focus your eyes on another hour mark. Try this 10 times. <BR> <BR> Use your eyes to write letters on a distant wall—but keep your head sti... Tue, 31 Oct 2017 21:24:43 EST 10/31/17 - Happy Halloween Check out the Spark version of exercises for Halloween. Make it a Two-For-Tuesday by choosing at least two of these exercises that work for your fitness level and try to do them twice during the day..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=scare_away_candy_calories_with_the_<BR>halloween_workout </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Pick two healthy snacks for your day using fruits and veggies. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_a... Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18:51:41 EST 10/30/17 - Checklist Day Possibly created during the 1930s when early aviators were searching for ways to allow flying to be much safer and avoid the all-too-common crash during takeoff. After several costly mishaps, one group of pilots came up with the idea to create a checklist before taxiing down the runway. <BR> <BR> Start your checklist for the day or go out all and map out your week. What do you want to accomplish. Schedule exercise, healthy shopping, phone calls to friends, proper breathing time outs... whate... Sun, 29 Oct 2017 21:03:47 EST 10/29/17 - Sunday Self Care Give yourself five to ten minutes to practice proper breathing. <BR> <BR> "Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. More blood cells get the new, oxygen-rich air instead of the same old stale stuff." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> Sat, 28 Oct 2017 20:45:07 EST 10/28/17 - Spread Out The Cardio Insert as many of these quick moves as you can throughout your day, in addition to any other workout you have planned... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1658 </link> <BR> <BR> Keep your metabolism workout all day long! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: October 28 is Make a Difference Day. Whatever that means to you, go forth and make a difference in the world around you. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:19:42 EST 10/27/17 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey! It's Friday! <BR> <BR> To our new team members, Fridays are the days you get to state your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> No challenge too small... <BR> <BR> Do you need more cardio? <BR> Do you need some strength training? <BR> Do you need to organize your dining room/kitchen table/sock drawer? <BR> Do you need to watch your portions? <BR> Do you need to nap? <BR> <BR> Step outside your comfort zone! Tackle an item that has been on your to-do l... Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:51:57 EST 10/26/17 - Stretch Those Hips Desk jobs, sitting in the car, on a bus or train all day takes a toll on the hips. After getting warmed up with a brisk walk (never stretch cold muscles): <BR> <BR> While seated, cross the right ankle over the left knee and sit up nice and tall. <BR> <BR> Gently lean forward, keeping the back straight and reaching out with the torso until you feel a stretch in the right glute and hip. <BR> <BR> You can also press down on the right knee to deepen the stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds and rep... Wed, 25 Oct 2017 20:33:00 EST 10/25/17 - Wednesday Wellness From 100 Ways to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less... <BR> <BR> Breathe with intention for 2 minutes. <BR> Inhale for 4 counts while saying "I am" in your mind. Then exhale for 4 counts while saying "at peace" to yourself. Repeat the cycle at least 4 times to ground yourself, says Aviva Romm, MD, herbalist and midwife. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: <BR> <BR> Ground yourself. <BR> Stand and feel your feet on the ground, the distribution of weight between them, and with your eye... Tue, 24 Oct 2017 20:12:29 EST 10/24/17 - Triceps Tuesday Posting on my phone from on the way home from the airport after my flight got delayed a couple times, gonna be a while before I get home to my laptop. <BR> <BR> Aim for two tricep exercises today. I like pushups against the wall or against my desk, keeping my elbows close to my body. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: try to get 2 servings of fruits and veggies at 2 meals or for two snacks. Mon, 23 Oct 2017 21:05:40 EST 10/23/17 - Power Monday Gear up for a positive week. Try a 12-minute Power Walk: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Before work, dishes, getting the kids to school, whatever task you have to face, pull out the superman(woman) pose. <BR> <BR> Stand with legs a little more than hip-width apart <BR> Hands on hips <BR> Abs in, shoulders back <BR> Chin up <BR> Hold for a minute or two. You are powerful! Make it an epic day. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:30:09 EST 10/22/17 - Sunday Stretches After getting warmed up (never stretch cold muscles) do some 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 do them in the afternoon after errands or a workout. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:26:01 EST 10/21/17 - Celebrate The Mind day Developed by the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation, encourages people to get together to enjoy games, puzzles, math and magic. <BR> <BR> Pick up a new crossword puzzle book, puzzle or what-have-you and get those neurons firing to keep you sharp. Nobody is too young for this! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add 15 minutes more activity (cardio, strength, stretching or a combination of all) than you normally get on a Saturday. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:22:10 EST 10/20/17 - Free Form Friday Today is up to you. You name or your own or repeat a previous day's challenge, or repeat two previous challenges. <BR> <BR> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:15:23 EST 10/19/17 - Thursday toe tapping From - <BR> <BR> Toe tappers, or toe taps, strengthen the muscles that flex the foot, particularly the tibialis anterior. These muscles, which are located on the shin, help with walking, as they maneuver the foot so it can clear the ground. Because of this, toe tappers benefit elderly individuals by reducing the risk of falls. Toe tappers are also used as both a treatment and as a preventive measure for shin splints. This exercise is well suited for people who suf... Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:14:08 EST 10/18/17 - Wednesday Wellness Posture check! <BR> <BR> Every hour on the hour, remind yourself to roll your shoulders back and down. Picture a string through your spine pulling up through your head. <BR> <BR> Remember, good posture makes you appear five pounds thinner and helps prevent lower back and shoulder strain. <BR> <BR> Bonus/Alternate Challenge: Try the Jessica Smith 12-minute posture workout. If a move is too challenging, repeat the previous move.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR... Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:36:42 EST 10/17/17 - Combination exercises Work more than one muscle group at the same time to burn more calories in a short time. <BR> <BR> Try... <BR> <BR> A squat with a lateral raise. (skip the weight if need be, just focus on the muscles you are working).... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=52 </link> <BR> <BR> One arm dumbbell rows... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=37 </link> <BR> <BR> If you can get on your knees (fold up a towel or sm... Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:31:17 EST 10/16/17 - Monday Mambo Or any dance moves. Why wait till the weekend. Start the week with a dance party to kick the week into fun gear. <BR> <BR> A few of the benefits of dancing include: <BR> <BR> Stronger bones <BR> Greater endurance and stamina <BR> Stress relief <BR> More flexibility <BR> Better posture <BR> Improved balance <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article for more benefits... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=850 </link> <BR> <BR> Check out dance videos on... Sun, 15 Oct 2017 20:02:56 EST 10/15/17 - Sunday Self Care Cold and flu season is here for most of us. Check out the tips to boost your immune system and start making your shopping list.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1216 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try the ancient healing practice of Qi Gong. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1746 </link> <BR> <BR> "Awaken your senses, detoxify your body, and achieve a feeling of calm vitality and inner... Sat, 14 Oct 2017 20:01:25 EST 10/14/17 - Saturday Side Steps From healthy "Side-stepping exercises help you develop spatial awareness, balance, strength and flexibility." <BR> <BR> Keep is simple as in the side step demo below. If you want to pump it up a little, pump those arms: <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=516 </link> <BR> <BR> Add even more umph by adding a jump from side to side. In this video, she nearly touches the floor, do or do not, it's up to you.... <BR> <BR> www.youtub... Fri, 13 Oct 2017 21:52:42 EST 10/13/17 - Free Form Friday You take the lead today. Your challenge is up to you. How will you step outside your comfort zone? What will you tackle that you have been putting off? <BR> <BR> No challenge too small! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:02:40 EST 10/12/17 - Throwback Thursday Do you have any old exercise videos accumulating dust? Do you have an exercise band, free weights, bosu or exercise ball lying untouched lately? <BR> <BR> Today is the day to go back in time and revive an old workout. It can be cardio, strength or stretching. <BR> <BR> I'm going to dust off my Bodies in Motion DVD with Gilad. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: pay attention to your portions. Read labels to check the actual portion size. <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:47:58 EST 10/11/17 - Wednesday Wellness Set a timer for five to ten minutes and determine if you want to fill a page or three pages, it's up to you. Jot down incomplete thoughts, just words. No editing, analyzing or judgments, just write until the timer goes off. <BR> <BR> According to <BR> <BR> The main benefit to freewriting as a journal writing method, is that you learn not to edit your words — or your thoughts. Sometimes previously repressed thoughts and emotions surface (you may be surprised at what y... Tue, 10 Oct 2017 21:01:06 EST 10/10/17 - Tuesday Take a Lap After dinner, after the dishes, after the kids' homework, after your evening workout, after whatever the last thing you do in the evening.... walk two laps around the house. One last bit of movement in the day. <BR> <BR> <BR> Oct 10 is International Letter Carrier's day.... drop a note of thanks in your mailbox for your letter carrier to pick up. <BR> <BR> It's also Ada Lovelace english writer and mathematician. She is often thought of as the first person to recognize the full po... Mon, 9 Oct 2017 21:46:54 EST 10/9/17 - Motivation Monday A busy work week ahead? Busy day at home? Schedule five-minute breaks each hour to walk, get a glass of water and return fresh to your task. <BR> <BR> According to jigsaw,the natural rhythm of brain and body means that few people can focus on the same thing in the same way for more than about 45 minutes. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Sneak in some ab work throughout the day. Contract your abs, hold for two seconds, release, never holding your breath. <BR> <BR> Try five to te... Sun, 8 Oct 2017 22:12:56 EST 10/817 - Sunday Self Care 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> BONUS/CHALLENGE FIELD: How's your vitamin C intake? Vitamin C can help wounds heal, help improve mood, may help lower hypertension in addition to supporting your immune system. <BR> <BR> <link... Sat, 7 Oct 2017 20:04:41 EST 10/7/17 - Saturday Steps Aim for 500 more steps than you normally get on a Saturday. <BR> <BR> Go for an extra 15 minutes or so walk <BR> Pull up your favorite Spark or youtube cardio video to add on additional steps <BR> Go for a longer walk or run than you normally do on a Saturday <BR> Pull up a longer cardio video than you are used to <BR> <BR> Let's see those activity minutes on the One Day Challenge team climb! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: If you've been burning the candle at both ends or if you have... Fri, 6 Oct 2017 17:51:12 EST 10/6/17 - Free Form Friday Friday is your day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. How will you step outside your comfort zone to improve your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> By the way, October 6 is Mad Hatter Day. It fills the need for a second crazy day in the year, almost exactly half a year from April Fools' Day. Let your silliness show. <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Thu, 5 Oct 2017 17:14:50 EST 10/5/17 - Curtsy Build a strong butt, abductors and adductors. Trifecta of toning! <BR> <BR> Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your left foot behind and across your body as you lunge downward. Both knees should be at about 90 degrees. <BR> <BR> Try to keep your front knee from going too far over your toes. If it's difficult to balance, use a wall for stability until you feel ready to do them on your own. Keep the movement small if you are not used to lunges. <BR> <BR> <img src="ht... Wed, 4 Oct 2017 21:30:20 EST 10/4/17 - Wednesday Wellness Read the spark article on the benefits of eating slowly (link at the bottom). Aim to slow it down for at least one meal today by using the tips below. How many did you follow: <BR> <BR> Give yourself enough time to eat—at least 20-30 minutes just to eat the meal, plus additional time to prepare it. <BR> <BR> Don’t eat amidst distractions, like the TV, computer, or while driving. <BR> <BR> Be fully present while you eat. Notice the smell, temperature, texture, color, and subtle flavor di... Tue, 3 Oct 2017 21:05:25 EST 10/3/17 - Two For Tuesday What do you need today? Cardio? Pick two types of cardio to do... walk/run, walk/dance, zumba/kickboxing or two different cardio machines at the gym. <BR> <BR> Have you been neglecting a certain muscle group lately? Pick two different strength exercises for the muscle group you need. Remember to work opposing muscle groups... biceps/triceps, back/chest, etc. <BR> <BR> Pick a couple short Spark videos if you need some ideas: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS... Mon, 2 Oct 2017 20:58:29 EST 10/2/17 - Monday Mile From <BR> <BR> "research shows that people who start their week with exercise are more likely to keep exercising throughout the week. And since exercise can boost your mood and increase brain power, why not start the week off right?" <BR> <BR> Aim for walking, running or a combination of both for one mile to start the week on the right foot. Pull in friends, family, coworkers or go it alone. <BR> <BR> If you need to stay indoors, Jessica Smith's walk and talk videos are ... Sun, 1 Oct 2017 20:08:09 EST 10/1/17 - Sunday Self Care Here are a couple stretches to try today while you are watching tv or reading or just sitting, enjoying some quiet time with deep breathing. Get a quick walk in first to warm up. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> A great range-of-motion exercise inspired by team member CHARTHESTARS, with your legs out in front of you, trace the letters of the alphabet with your toes.The movement should come from your foot and ankle, not your hips or knees. <BR> <BR> Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair or ... Sat, 30 Sep 2017 22:23:33 EST 9/30/17 - Saturday Snacking Check out this Spark article to make your shopping list for healthy snacks next week... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1988 </link> <BR> <BR> Or start trying these snacks now if you have everything on hand. Weekends are challenging for me to resist snacks I don't need. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: September 30 is Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play day. Find a way to find your inner child... <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 29 Sep 2017 22:36:07 EST 9/29/17 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey, Weekend Time. Today is your day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> How will you step outside your comfort zone.... new healthy snack or recipe? new cardio workout? new strength move? Take a long overdue nap? Meditate? Sort laundry? <BR> <BR> Thu, 28 Sep 2017 18:38:06 EST 9/28/17 - Alphabet Workout Work you upper body, lower body and pull those abs in to protect your back to get a good ab workout too by spelling out capital letters of the alphabet using a medicine ball, or can of soup, bottle of water or no weight at all.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Let me know if the link does not work. Begin with feet hip-width apart, hold the medicine ball (or weight of some kind) out in front of you at chest height. Go with no weight if you need to,... Wed, 27 Sep 2017 18:49:43 EST 9/27/17 - Wednesday Wellness From the 18 Self-Esteem Worksheet for Teens and Adults... <BR> <BR> Answer the following to yourself. Right it down and keep it to remind yourself of your positive points when you have an off day. This can be about today or yesterday. Make it as recent as you can. The positives are there in our day if we keep our mind open to them: <BR> <BR> <BR> 1) I felt good about myself when… <BR> <BR> 2) I was proud of someone else… <BR> <BR> 3) Today was interesting because… <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/... Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:52:41 EST 9/26/17 - A Litte Extra Try adding a little extra... <BR> <BR> Cardio - try the 6-min Spark Cardio workout: <BR> <BR><BR>?post=video_simple_6minute_cardio_workout <BR> <BR> Some moves are advanced, do what you can, repeat what works for you during the 6 minutes. Step instead of jumping on some of the moves if that helps. <BR> <BR> Instead of the video, add an extra 10 minutes of walking to your day. <BR> <BR> Strength - Add two more sets to your planned strength training... Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:25:45 EST 9/25/17 - Functional Fitness Monday Try some exercises that mimic everyday movements to get stronger for your daily activities. <BR> <BR> Feel free to modify by not using weights if you're not use to using them. For pushups, try them against the wall if getting on the floor doesn't work for you. For the T Stand, try doing them against a sturdy chair if you are not ready to make it all the way to the floor. <BR> <BR> Read about the benefits of functional fitness and examples on the last page of the article.... <BR> <BR> <li... Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:07:10 EST 9/24/17 - Me Day Take this day to nourish your soul.... <BR> <BR> take a nap <BR> take a relaxing bath <BR> do some full body stretches after taking a brief walk <BR> enjoy nature <BR> do a crossword puzzle <BR> <BR> Whatever relaxes and recharges you! <BR> <BR> I will do this right after I get home from running/walking the Chicago half marathon. A nap is DEFINITELY on my list! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Happy Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving to anyone that celebrates. <BR> <BR> September 24 is also... Sat, 23 Sep 2017 19:27:49 EST 9/23/17 - Saturday Side Steps We keep moving forward, work your butt and thigh muscles with a different angle to improve agility and hip flexor strength. <BR> <BR> Try to fit in 2 - 3 sets of ten throughout the day. <BR> <BR> You can make this low impact (step side to side): <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=516 </link> <BR> <BR> or make it high impact (get and stay in a low squat position and add a little jump in the middle), think tennis player getting ready for the serve.... Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:33:26 EST 9/22/17 - Free From Friday Welcome to the weekend! Time to decide how you will make your Monday version of yourself proud of the weekend version of yourself. <BR> <BR> Name your own Friday challenge to begin the weekend on a healthy note or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I am committing to an hour of walking, broken up throughout the day. Since my FitBit died, it's been a little more challenging to keep moving. <BR> <BR> Then finish the day with a good yoga stretch video. <BR> <BR> Happy First Day Of ... Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:49:39 EST 9/21/17 - Tip Toes Thursday Take a few steps here and there on your tip toes. If you are unsteady, do calf raises while holding on to a chair or the sink. <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=123 </link> <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Tip toe walking is a functional exercise, meaning it trains your muscles to work together to perform sport-specific or everyday tasks. <BR> <BR> Tiptoe walking can improve your proprioception, or your sense of where particular body ... Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:33:53 EST 9/20/17 - Wednesday Wellness Bringing back an oldie but a goodie posture challenge: <BR> <BR> Align Your Spine: Sit up Straight <BR> <BR> Freeze! Before you move, notice how you are sitting: are your shoulders slumped over? Is your back curled? Are your shoulders hiked up toward your ears? <BR> <BR> Take a minute right now to straighten up your spine. Here are all the little details to pay attention to (who knew sitting up straight could be so complicated interesting?): <BR> <BR> Feel your sit bones (a.k.a. those ... Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:38:23 EST 9/19/17 - Two For Tuesday Double up the cardio... and increase your steps. <BR> <BR> Two different types of cardio.. walk/run, dance/zumba, kickboxing/walk..One cardio activity in the morning or afternoon and one at night or combine them into one workout. The possibilities are endless. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: get two freggies at each meal... one serving fruits and one serving of veggies or one of each at each meal. <BR> Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:58:00 EST 9/18/17 - Strengthen and Stretch Try some hamstring curls throughout the day for a little cardio, hamstring strength and quad stretch... all in one move. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=544 </link> <BR> <BR> I knew these helped stretch quadriceps but never really thought about it until today, when my legs were stiff from a long run and this move came up in a dance video I did. It helped relieve the stiffness in my quads! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Leave a supportive c... Sun, 17 Sep 2017 20:58:14 EST 9/17/17 - Sunday Self Care September 17 is Time's Up Day, a day to remind us that if we have been waiting for the perfect time to make up with someone, today is the day to do it. Life is too short to be on bad terms. <BR> <BR> Is there someone you should reach out to, bury the hatchet or at least agree to disagree? Get on the phone. <BR> <BR> Or is there a bill you need to pay, healthy foods you keep putting off buying, procrastinating practicing proper stretching and breathing? Today is the day. <BR> <BR> Don't put... Sat, 16 Sep 2017 20:49:58 EST 9/16/17 - Eat An Apple Day It's International Eat An Apple Day. What's not to love about an apple.... <BR> <BR> It contains soluble fiber (4 grams per medium apple) for a modest amount of calories (95) makes apples a filling, sweet snack. <BR> <BR> Plus, a medium apple counts as 1 cup of fruit, so after eating one you’re well on your way to meeting your daily fruit quota (around 2 cups for adults on a 2,000-calorie diet). They also are a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C (providing 14% of the Daily Value). <B... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:33:09 EST 9/15/17 - Free Form Friday The day has arrived... the day you declare your own challenge....or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Step up the microphone with a big smile on your face and tell us all how you will challenge yourself. <BR> <BR> Remember, resting and stretching count too! Be well-rounded! <BR> <BR> Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:13:36 EST 9/14/17 - Dead Butt Syndrome It's a thing! Andrew Bang, a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute was quoted saying he sees this injury all the time in various degrees. <BR> <BR> Sitting too much as we all know is a bad thing but sitting too much and also not working your glutes on a regular basis can lead to the gluteus medius—one of the three main muscles in the booty—stops firing correctly. <BR> <BR> This can lead to lower back pain and hip pain, as well as knee and ankle issues. <BR> <BR> Okay, ... Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:13:27 EST 9/13/17 - Wednesday Wellness Get a few easy steps during a mile walk and talk with Jessica Smith and remember... it's progress, not perfection.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>iKDVK_Q </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Set a reminder for several times each day to roll those shoulders back and down. Good postures can help us avoid many cumulative aches and pains. <BR> <BR> Happy Scooby Doo Day! "scrooby dooby dooooooo' Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:51:16 EST 9/12/17 - Be ABsolutely fABulous Let's work that core.... <BR> <BR> During any planned cardio... zumba, aerobic workout, dancing, walking, running... contract your abs for as long as you can, without holding your breathe. Release when you need to and contract again for as long as you can while breathing. <BR> <BR> A trainer once told me during any workout,to pull my abs in like I'm expecting a punch in the stomach. She said this would protect my lower back as well as strengthen my abs. <BR> <BR> Try a plank. If you are ne... Mon, 11 Sep 2017 23:02:07 EST 9/11/17 - Kickstart the Week Start your week off with something you don't normally do on Mondays, think back to last Monday and the Monday before that. <BR> <BR> Eat a fruit or vegetable you do not normally eat. <BR> Are you tired, do an easy 10-minute workout to reenergize yourself. <BR> Do you take the stairs or the elevator? Hit a few stairs. <BR> Do you drive somewhere close to your house or place of business? If it's safe to do so, walk it. <BR> Are you stressing over the weekend's calories? East smaller portions a... Sun, 10 Sep 2017 20:44:49 EST 9/10/17 - Sunday Self Care Grab a notebook or sketch book and take a few minutes to start creating a play book, spend as much or as little time as you have and keep at it during the week. <BR> <BR> According to blog.psychcentral...."We can marvel at our surroundings, because so much magic really does exist in our lives. It’s just a matter of using our senses fully." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>14/12/self-care-sunday-create-a-play-b<BR>ook/ </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: ... Sat, 9 Sep 2017 21:10:32 EST 9/9/17 - Strong Calves According to <BR> <BR> Inflexible calf muscles can pose a danger to athletes (but everyone should strengthen their calves). They can negatively impact their stride as well as lead to ruptures of the Achilles tendon. If you constantly wear shoes with heels, you risk shortening your calf muscles. <BR> <BR> Let's spend a few minutes strengthening and stretching our calves. Do a few calf raises while washing dishes, or watching tv.... <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 8 Sep 2017 22:07:15 EST 9/8/17 - Free Form Friday Sliding into the weekend! <em>353</em> <em>354</em> <BR> <BR> It's your day to create your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What do you need? <BR> <BR> I need to get back to my September challenge on the Spark yoga team that I set for myself and that is to incorporate some of the 7 chakra principles into my regular yoga practice. I've been reading about them but haven't dug in yet. <BR> <BR> What will it be? <BR> <BR> Thu, 7 Sep 2017 21:10:11 EST 9/7/17 - 60 Seconds You can do anything for 60 seconds AND burn a few calories. Pick the moves you can do based on your health and fitness level and try to spread the out throughout the day.... <BR> <BR><BR>messageboardpost.asp <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Are you getting your macronutrients regularly? Get the info on the importance of carbohydrates, proteins and fat, and why they are so important. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_ar... Wed, 6 Sep 2017 18:11:28 EST 9/6/17 - Wednesday Wellness I'm bring back an oldie but a goodie... I think anyway.. <BR> Smile! <BR> <BR> According to FitBit blog, a member of the Fitbit staff spent time in Southeast Asia and noticed how Balinese people smile unrestricted and unencumbered. <BR> <BR> This FitBit staff member put forth the following challenge: <BR> <BR> Curl your lips up at the corners, and start a little smile. It’s okay if it feels forced and awkward at first. <BR> <BR> Okay, now a little more . . . YES actually do this pleas... Tue, 5 Sep 2017 20:28:07 EST 9/5/17 - Two For Tuesday Okay, back to reality for many of us who celebrated a long labor day weekend. Which muscle group have you not worked in the last 24 hours? <BR> <BR> Upper body, lower body, core? Pick at least two exercises to work the muscle group of your choice... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Or work two muscle groups... upper body and core, lower body and core, upper body and lower body. <BR> <BR> Get some stretches done afterwards... <BR> <... Mon, 4 Sep 2017 21:25:14 EST 9/4/17 - Labor Day - Take a Break Happy Labor Day to those of us that have a day off of work. <BR> <BR> On Sept. 5, 1882 ,10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in a parade from City Hall to Union Square in New York City as a tribute to American workers. <BR> <BR> Thanks to those early protests, we no longer work under bleak conditions such as 12 or more hour workdays; hazardous work environments; meager pay. Children, some as young as 5, were often fixtures at plants and factories. <BR> <BR> Take a break today. S... Sun, 3 Sep 2017 22:02:05 EST 9/3/17 - Sunday Self Care Take 15 minutes to "awaken your senses, detoxify your body, and achieve a feeling of calm vitality and inner peace" : <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1746 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try some walking meditation. Pick the version that works for you: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=894 </link> Sat, 2 Sep 2017 21:23:00 EST 9/2/17 - Spicy Saturday Have some fun with Jessica Smith and her mom during a 30 minute Latin Spice Walk... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=30minute_latin_spice_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS /ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Hydrate... yes, with water but also, with food. Do you regularly include hydrating foods in your day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> Fri, 1 Sep 2017 20:59:21 EST 9/1/17 - Free Form Friday IT'S FRIDAY! <BR> <BR> Time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Rest counts too if you have been burning it up all week. <BR> <BR> I am going to try hard to drive home from the airport after dropping off my daughter without crying too hard to pay attention in traffic! <BR> <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> Seriously though, I need to watch portions and get more freggies going again, It's been a hit or miss week! <BR> Thu, 31 Aug 2017 22:59:43 EST 8/31/17 - Thursday Thighs Nobody looks forward to squats and lunges right?! Add some flair and make em your own..... <BR> <BR> Circle squats - Instead of going straight up and down, start by moving your hips to one side as you lower down, move through your center then to the other side as you rise back up. <BR> <BR> No need to go too far down if that doesn't work for you, just concentrate on putting your weight in your heels and don't let your knees go over your toes. <BR> <BR> Cursy lunges - pretend you are mee... Wed, 30 Aug 2017 21:20:48 EST 8/30/17 - Five Minute Journal I read about the app 5 Minute Journal. Check it out... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-minute-ritual/ </link> <BR> <BR> You don't need to download the app (unless you want to of course) but try this today. You can keep your journal entries to yourself, just give us a <em>248</em> if you tried it. <BR> <BR> In the morning - jot down three things you are grateful for. <BR> What will I do to make today great? This helps you think about the day ahead and help... Tue, 29 Aug 2017 20:58:37 EST 8/29/17 - Two For Tuesday Triceps We can all probably use some work on our triceps? <BR> <BR> Pick at least two tricep exercise to build up the back of those arms.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=triceps </link> <BR> <BR> Don't forget to stretch: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=55 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: August 29 is More Herbs, Less ... Mon, 28 Aug 2017 22:05:42 EST 8/28/17 - Monday Basics Lay a healthy foundation for the week ahead.... <BR> <BR> Give us an emoticon 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 for adding a SparkPeople short video in addition to whatever workout you have planned: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Sun, 27 Aug 2017 21:29:38 EST 8/27/17 - Sunday Self Care Make your bed. Check out this inspirational video of a commencement address by Admiral William McRaven..... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> "If you want to change the world, start by making your bed" <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try to spend some time in silence, even if it's just 2 minutes. Check out the ways sitting in silence can transform your life: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sitting-silence-can-completel... Sat, 26 Aug 2017 22:12:16 EST 8/26/17 - Saturday Walk and Talk Add steps to your day with a nice one-mile walk and talk with Jessica Smith. It's about 15 minutes... you get some extra steps into your day without leaving home and think about what your are grateful for and setting goals. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=get_inspired_get_your_steps_with_th<BR>is_1mile_walk_and_talk </link> <BR> <BR> I'm going to do this after my long run to cool down. <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: <BR> <BR> Have you ever checke... Fri, 25 Aug 2017 17:37:22 EST 8/25/17 - Free Form Friday We made it to the weekend! Step up to the podium and name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> No challenge too small as long as you step outside your comfort zone or take a step toward a better habit! Thu, 24 Aug 2017 21:02:30 EST 8/24/17 - Work Your Core If you haven't worked your core in at least 24 hours, try a new video... <BR> <BR> 10-minute Crunchless Core Workout <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> 7-min Belly Blast (done mostly standing). Skip the weights if need be <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick three core exercises of your choice: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?bodypart=core </link> <BR> <BR> A st... Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:00:10 EST 8/23/17 - Wednesday Wellness Try some seated yoga poses for a mid-week stretch session..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Got shoulder pain? Try... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?ID=2171 </link> Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:27:31 EST 8/22/17 - Two For Tuesday Hip Mobility! "Lack of hip mobility may not result in direct hip pain but could spill over into other parts of the body, causing discomfort elsewhere." <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark articles with exercises to strengthen and stretch hips, which done regularly, may ease or prevent hip and back pain. Pick at least two strength exercises and stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2286 </link> <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:27:00 EST 8/21/17 - Monday Muscles Which group of muscles have you NOT worked in the last 24 hours? ....... <BR> <BR> Okay, work that group today. Strength training... <BR> <BR> helps keep the weight off <BR> protects bone health and muscle mass <BR> makes you stronger and fitter <BR> helps you develop better body mechanics <BR> plays a role in disease prevention <BR> <BR> Do you have small hand weights you don't use much? Put the in the desk drawer at work for moments you are alone... can you say bicep curls at your desk? ... Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:41:04 EST 8/20/17 - Track Ahead Take a few minutes on your Sunday to track ahead as many meals and snacks as you can. <BR> <BR> Tracking only Monday's breakfast counts. <BR> Track the whole day's food and snacks for Monday is excellent. <BR> Keep going into Tuesday.....stellar! <BR> <BR> Get your head in a good space for the week ahead. <BR> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 20:30:01 EST 8/20/17 - Sunday Self Care Sorry, posting late. I forgot to post before I left the house for dinner and the Bruno Mars concert. SO fun. <BR> <BR> Take a few minutes to practice proper breathing, an "underestimated building block of good health" <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Get rid of carbon dioxide waste and take in plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:02:56 EST 8/1717 - Free Form Friday Step up and name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Remember resting and stretching count too! <BR> <BR> Friday will be leg day for me which will include dead lifts, something I'm trying to add in more often. I used to do them regularly at the gym I belonged to years ago They really made a difference in my shape and stamina! <BR> <BR> August 18 is Serendipity Day. Keep your eyes open for those "happy accidents" or "pleasant surprises" that are always out there. <BR> ... Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:34:09 EST 8/17/17 - Short Bursts Spread out your activity in ten minute increments throughout the day. Activity can be cardio, strength or stretching. <BR> <BR> Maybe ten minutes of stretching first thing in the morning (after you get the blood circulating, never with cold muscles). <BR> Maybe a short Spark video before work or errands <BR> Maybe a ten-minute walk after lunch <BR> Maybe another ten minutes of activity before dinner <BR> Maybe another ten minutes after your food digests <BR> <BR> These are just suggestions,... Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:33:19 EST 8/16/17 - Wednesday Wellness From lifestyle articles, 5 tips for a less stressful day. If you see this too late, get ready for Thursday. It's a good idea each day! <BR> <BR> Write your lists early: Make your to-do list within the first hour of your day, and plan everything you want to try to get done during the day. <BR> <BR> Be active: Getting out and taking a walk as you talk, or (if you have the time) going for a run can make a huge difference in your day. When you exercise you release endorphins, and that a... Tue, 15 Aug 2017 21:17:48 EST 8/15/17 - Two for Tuesday Work two muscle... not just what you see in the mirror. Make yourself balanced to avoid injury. Pick muscles you have not worked in the last 24 hours.... <BR> <BR> biceps/triceps <BR> hamstrings/quadriceps <BR> back/chest <BR> abs/lower back <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Bodyweight exercises count. Use water bottles or soup cans if you want to try using weights but do not have any. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Welcome two... Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:22:01 EST 8/14/17 - Monday Motivation Try as many of these tips as you can to start your week off being mindful... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ll-thing/5-small-things-do-every-morni<BR>ng-mindful-day-t113283 </link> <BR> <BR> Be here now - do everything with great focus and purpose. Meaning, if you are brushing your teeth, look at the toothbrush. Really look at it. Now watch yourself putting the toothpaste on your brush. Notice every detail. Think about how you are brushing your teeth. <BR> Stop ... Sun, 13 Aug 2017 22:11:32 EST 8/13/17 - Sunday Self Care Take a me day... whatever that means to you. What nourishes you? What motivates you? What soothes your soul? <BR> <BR> Take the day or at least ten minutes to nurture yourself. <BR> <BR> Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:50:40 EST 8/12/17 - Saturday Recess 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> _a rticles.asp?id=1534 </link> <BR> <BR> August 12 is National Middle Child Day. Happy day to all of the middle children out there. Reach out to your middle child siblings or friends that are middle children. <BR> <BR> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 22:09:27 EST 8/11/17 - Free From Friday Sorry, posting a little later than normal. Whew, life can get crazy and this week was definitely one of those weeks. <BR> <BR> SO how will you challenge yourself today? It's all up to you. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with your own challenge based on your health and wellness needs. <BR> <BR> Need to call a friend or relative to reconnect? <BR> Need to make doctor appointments? <BR> Need to organize your sock drawer? <BR> Need to dig into some strength training? <BR> <BR> It... Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:24:47 EST 8/10/17 - Thursday Thighs Let's keep building that strong base: <BR> <BR> Six minutes - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1058 </link> <BR> <BR> Don't have an exercise band? No problem! I've done this without a band. <BR> <BR> Rather not lay down? No problem... Work the abduction: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> and adduction: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 ... Wed, 9 Aug 2017 18:58:32 EST 8/9/17 - Wednesday Wellness How many times have you thought to yourself "if I knew then what I know now". We've all learned some lessons in health and wellness over the years, so knowing what you know now, write a short (or long, whatever you need) to yourself in the past. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_message_from_your_future_self </link> <BR> <BR> Or write yourself a note for tomorrow (whenever tomorrow is based on when you read this). <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Pick at ... Tue, 8 Aug 2017 21:18:16 EST 8/8/17 - Towel Tuesday Try some exercises with a towel... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> Make it a Two-For-Tuesday by trying to drink a cup of water 30 minutes before and then 1 hour after two meals. Drinking too soon before or after meals may dilute digestive juices. <BR> Mon, 7 Aug 2017 19:36:39 EST 8/7/17 - All rise Aim to spend a few more minutes standing than you normally do. Calculate approximately how long you sit during the day and if if you can knock a minute or two off here and there: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lator/tabid/866/language/en-US/Default<BR>.aspx </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Refresh your memory or learn about macronutrients.. FAT, CARBS, PROTEIN... and why they are important. Get your shopping list ready..... <BR> <BR> <link> Sun, 6 Aug 2017 20:50:55 EST 8/6/17 - Sunday Self Care Make yourself a priority. Check out the Spark article on the eight ways to put yourself first. <BR> <BR> Which tips can you put into effect today? Which tips will you implement during the week? <BR> <BR> I will start with the tip to reevaluate what is wasting time.That should help me during the week as well. I'm especially guilty of the daily shopping like it says in the article, instead of planning ahead. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1... Sat, 5 Aug 2017 21:45:20 EST 8/5/17 - Saturday Side Steps Lateral or side-stepping exercises help you develop spatial awareness, balance, strength and flexibility.We do a lot of forward movement so today, focus on a different set of muscles to improvement strength in the whole thigh. <BR> <BR> Get warmed up with a brisk walk then pick your level..... <BR> <BR> Basic: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=516 </link> <BR> <BR> Make it more challenging by adding a little hop in place of stepping side to side. ... Fri, 4 Aug 2017 22:24:50 EST 8/4/17 - Free Form Friday We have arrived at Friday, your day to repeat a previous day's challenge or decide your own. <BR> <BR> No challenge too small. Step outside that comfort zone, it doesn't have to be food or fitness related if there is something else you need to accomplish. <BR> <BR> Be fierce and fabulous! Thu, 3 Aug 2017 19:48:21 EST 8/3/17 - Be ABsolutely fABulous Work that core. Every movement we make runs through our core so make it strong. <BR> <BR> Go easy on your back: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=strengthen_your_core_without_wrecki<BR>ng_your_back </link> <BR> <BR> Seated Core workout: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Take the portion distortion quiz to educate yourself or refresh your memory on portion sizes. <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeo... Wed, 2 Aug 2017 20:15:26 EST 8/2/17 - Wednesday Wellness They get us through workouts and errands every day so show your feet some love.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: August 2nd is National Coloring Book day. Coloring is not just for kids. It can be very therapeutic. Pick up a coloring book and crayons and melt into a colorful picture. Tue, 1 Aug 2017 18:15:34 EST 8/1/17 - Triceps Tuesday We worked the biceps on the stairs so now let's work the triceps. Hopefully you work them as much as your biceps to even out muscle tone (I tend to neglect my triceps). <BR> <BR> So choose your level..... <BR> <BR> Lying Triceps lift - I've done these in bed at times... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=190 </link> <BR> <BR> Seated Triceps Extensions.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=158 </link> <BR> ... Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:37:20 EST 7/31/17 - Functional Fitness A healthy lifestyle is about more than losing weight. We need to be functionally fit as well. <BR> <BR> Try a stair climb with a bicep curl. From <BR> <BR> Whether you have stairs at your house or have to climb them elsewhere, using stairs as part of your fitness program will keep your legs conditioned and toned. Partnering stair climbs with bicep curls will strengthen your arms and improve your ability to carry things up the stairs. This exercise will also boost your card... Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:10:10 EST 7/30/17 - Sunday Self Care Practice proper breathing to "get rid of carbon dioxide waste and take in plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> July 30 is International Friendship day. Check out the new member message board and consider adding them as a friend. Remember when you first started on Spark, how nice it was when people reached out. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oar... Sat, 29 Jul 2017 20:05:37 EST 7/29/17 - Saturday Dance Party July 29 is National Dance Day here in the US. Dance Day was created by Nigel Lythgoe, the co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance and co-president of the Dizzy Feet Foundation. <BR> <BR> It was founded and officially recognized in 2010 when American congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a National Dance Day resolution to promote dance education and physical fitness. <BR> <BR> Let's get our dance on. Search Spark for Dance workouts: <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 28 Jul 2017 18:40:55 EST 7/28/17 - Free form Friday It's here! Friday! The greatest F word of all time. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> It's your day to decide your challenge. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. No challenge too small. Whatever pushes you past your comfort zone or gets a nagging task done. <BR> <BR> Resting counts too if you've been burning the candle at both ends all week. Never underestimate the power of rest and recovery! <BR> <BR> July 28 is National Get Gnarly Day. Read all about i... Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:41:01 EST 7/27/17 - Thursday Thighs Work on that base to help you move through your day. Strengthen your inner and outer thighs.... <BR> <BR> Adduction... <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Abduction.. <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS: Try some circle squats, like traditional squats except as you squat down, move hips out to the right, lower down and move through the center, then move hips ... Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:17:15 EST 7/26/17 - Wednesday Wellness How is your HDL? We all need cholesterol for a long, healthy life. When is the last time you had yours checked? If it's been too long, make that appointment. <BR> <BR> According to Dr. Nauman Mushtaq, medical director of cardiology at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Illinois, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, delivers the cholesterol you need into your tissues for cell stability and healthy function. Meanwhile, high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, scavenges the excess cholester... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:14:23 EST 7/25/17 - Tuesday Twist <em>335</em> Come on baby, let's do the twist <em>335</em> <BR> <BR> Work the core for better posture, improve balance and stability as well as to prevent lower back pain. <BR> <BR> In your desk chair, pull your feet off the floor, hold on to your desk, pull in your abs and then using your obliques, twist right and then left. Try three sets of ten. <BR> <BR> Or try a seated twist... <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=9 </link> <BR> <BR> Make... Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:13:18 EST 7/24/17 - Monday Mantra Start the week off with a mantra from international yoga teacher, Katrina Love Senn. Every time you are in front of a mirror, repeat "I am wiling to change". Or whenever you are alone, take a deep breath in, as you exhale, repeat the mantra. <BR> <BR> Be willing to open your mind to.... <BR> <BR> new, healthy foods <BR> changing up your workouts <BR> tackling a nagging item on your to-do list <BR> giving yourself a time out to breathe and be silent <BR> eating more fruits and veggies <BR> t... Sun, 23 Jul 2017 21:28:29 EST 7/23/17 - Sunday Self Care I'm posting early as I am heading out soon for the evening. <BR> <BR> Take a 15-minute indoor walk with Jessica Smith 1 Mile Walk and Talk: 7 Self Care Lessons We Can Learn From Nature At Home Inspiration <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: How's your magnesium intake. Add this to your tracker then log all of your food for the day to see where you are at. <BR> <BR> According to the Spark article on magnesium..."Low levels o... Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:15:50 EST 7/22/17 - Saturday Steps Aim for at least 500 more steps than you normally get on a Saturday. If you don't have a step counter of some kind, aim for an extra 15 minutes of activity than you normally get on a Saturday. <BR> <BR> For those of you recovering from and injury, illness or stressed with family commitments, aim to stay in the moment and let go what you can't control. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: leave a supportive comment on at least three team member's blogs. <BR> <BR> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:50:53 EST 7/21/17 - Free Form Friday It's your day to decide how you will challenge yourself. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or decide how you will take a step outside your comfort zone to get closer to your health and wellness goals. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:49:27 EST 7/20/17 - World Jump Day World Jump day was a hoax 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. The claim was this would move the Earth out of its orbit, and into a new one, one that would not cause global warming. <BR> <BR> So let's celebrate "jump day" by getting our cardio on. <BR> <BR> If you're good with jumping, try one of the following short Spark videos. Follow Coach Nicole's instruction... Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:53:34 EST 7/19/17 - Wednesday Wellness Stretching IT bands (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) can avoid knee pain in runners, bicyclists or anyone that feels tightness in hips and sides of the knees. A couple times at work, after a walking break, I stretch my IT bands that get stiff after I've sat for a while <BR> <BR> Take a minute or two to try some IT band stretches, after a quick walk to warm up in order to avoid stretching cold muscles. Pick the option that works for you... <BR> <BR> Stretch with a wall - <BR> <BR> <link>www.s... Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:48:24 EST 7/18/17 - Take a Lap After dinner, after the dishes, after the kids' homework, after your evening workout, after whatever the last thing you do in the evening.... walk two slow laps around your house or apartment. Practice deep cleansing breaths as you walk to wind down... deep breath in, slowly blow it out. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do a two for Tuesday by getting a source of protein with two meals or two snacks. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ce_proteins.asp </link> Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:45:11 EST 7/17/17 - Shake It Up Monday Keep your brain and metabolism sharp..... <BR> <BR> Take a different route to work or to your errands <BR> Go shopping at a different grocery store <BR> Choose a new to your workout <BR> Plan to make a new recipe for one of your favorite meals <BR> Take a different class at the gym than you're use to <BR> <BR> Start the week firing all cylinders! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get 16 oz of water FIRST THING in the morning (if you see this too late, do it Tuesday) before coffee, tea o... Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:59:09 EST 7/16/17 - Me Day Sorry, posting issues so I'm forced to use my phone. <BR> <BR> So make it a ME day. Do what nourished your spirit and your soul. <BR> <BR> Recharge for the week ahead! Sat, 15 Jul 2017 23:45:16 EST 7/15/17 - Could Haves and Should Haves Jult 15 is Toss Away The "Could Haves" and "Should Haves" Day. <BR> <BR> Created by author and motivational speaker Martha J. Ross-Rodgers, this day is intended for all to let go of the past and live for the present. To help with this venture, find a paper and pen, write down your “could haves” and “should haves” and then throw it away. <BR> <BR> Once you have thrown your “could haves” and “should haves” in the trash, make the following resolution: <BR> <BR> “From this day forward, I choo... Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:46:30 EST 7/14/17 - Free Form Friday Do the happy dance for Friday! <BR> <BR> It's choose your challenge day. Pick your own challenge or repeat a previous days challenge. <BR> <BR> What will it be, organize a long-piled up stack of papers on the dining room table, pick a workout that's new to you, organize your sock drawer, make the phone call you've been putting off??? The sky's the limit! Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:30:19 EST 7/13/17 - Stairway to Health Find some stairs and get to work. <BR> <BR> According to reduced heart rate, improved oxygen uptake and had increased their high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol, numbers. Not to mention muscle toning and big calorie burn. <BR> <BR> If you have bad knees, going down can be harder on your knees than going up so walk up and then take the elevator down. <BR> <BR> Pull your abs in and pick your level based on your health and fitness level: <BR> <BR> -Step up with... Wed, 12 Jul 2017 19:50:56 EST 7/12/17 - Wednesday Wellness From the Petra Kolber podcast with executive leadership coach Lolly Daskal..... <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you take time for this exercise. There are no right or wrong answers and you can keep them to yourself. This is an awareness exercise for yourself. <BR> <BR> How much time do you spend focusing on the greatness of those around you or do you tend to focus on their shortcomings? <BR> <BR> Lolly talked about the fact that we get to make a choice at every moment, as to whethe... Tue, 11 Jul 2017 17:56:44 EST 7/11/17 - Two For Tuesday Work opposing muscles. Let's not only work the muscles we see in the mirror. Work muscles you have not work in at least 24 hours... <BR> <BR> Biceps/Triceps <BR> Back/Chest <BR> Hamstrings/Quadriceps <BR> Calves/Shins (while sitting or standing, tapping your toes works your shins) <BR> Abs/lower back <BR> <BR> <link><BR>.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try to eat two servings of fruits and veggies with each meal (could be one serving... Mon, 10 Jul 2017 22:22:24 EST 7/10/17-Monday Smiles Spread positivity on this Monday morning! Let's spread smiles to as many of our Spark friends as we can. Send a smiley face goodie or post a smile emoticon on as many Spark pages as you can. <BR> <BR> What a nice Monday it would be to see smiles! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE- Aim for three ten-minute walks in addition to whatever activity you have planned. <BR> <BR> Sun, 9 Jul 2017 20:51:05 EST 7/9/17 - Rest Day Or take a rest 15 minutes if you have a lot planned. Get recharged for the week ahead. Try the Spark Chi Gong video to stretch, get centered and relax... <BR> <BR> <link> de tail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> It's a favorite of mine and team mate MERRYMARY. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try to spend 10 minutes in quiet. Use this time to focus on yourself and what is important to you. <BR> <BR> If distracting thoughts start to clutter your... Sat, 8 Jul 2017 21:13:35 EST 7/8/17 - Create Your Own Bootcamp I had to give up my membership at Orange Theory Fitness due to work and home commitments. I REALLY miss that varied workout but I figured I can come up with a varied workout of my own using Spark, my free weights, my elliptical and me! <BR> <BR> Start experimenting with your own bootcamp-style workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Check out either the exercise library or the videos tab for ideas. <BR> <BR> Plan a 10-15 minute walk or ... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 16:39:05 EST 7/7/17 - Free Form Friday What will it be, will you repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own? <BR> <BR> What small step do you need to take to achieve your health and wellness goals? <BR> <BR> What has been a nagging to-do item on your list? <BR> <BR> Ready, set GO! <BR> <BR> Thanks Redrobin47, you got to your Spark mail before I did. Back by popular demand... Team Bonus Points! <BR> <BR> <em>321</em> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>bonus_points.asp </lin... Thu, 6 Jul 2017 18:55:17 EST 7/6/17 - Thursday Thighs In less than 20 minutes, work your thighs... inner, outer and the booty! Build a strong base for walking, running, dancing and every day running around that needs to be done. Working these large muscles burns more calories. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=feel_the_lowerbody_burn_with_this_q<BR>uick_circuit_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Skip the weights if you're not used to them or use very light weights. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do you track your pro... Wed, 5 Jul 2017 21:33:01 EST 7/5/17 - Wednesday Wellness Let's get our mid-week stretch on. Create space, uncompress that spine, loosen and lengthen. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_simple_stretches_for_better_postu<BR>re_and_less_pain </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Give yourself a timeout... to breathe properly. "Proper breathing is an underestimated, but critical building block of good health." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Eli... Tue, 4 Jul 2017 21:48:17 EST 7/4/17 - Two For Tuesday Happy 4th of July to my US friends and Happy Tuesday to those not in the US. <BR> <BR> Let's all double up on some cardio. Choose either two forms of cardio... such as running and walking (or alternate running and walking) or dancing and zumba, or a bike ride and brisk walk. <BR> <BR> Or pick two cardio Spark moves and weave them throughout the day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> <em>652</em> Mon, 3 Jul 2017 19:06:06 EST 7/3/17 - Monday Muscles Every time you go to the bathroom or stand at your kitchen counter/workbench/desk etc, squeeze in a few sets of all over strength training.... <BR> <BR> Five squats ... don't let your knees go past your toes, all your weight in your heels <BR> <BR> Five Pushups off the sink/counter/desk/wall etc... work your triceps by keeping our arms and elbows close to your sides <BR> <BR> Five Ab contractions... contract your abs, hold a beat, release, repeat... work the obliques too, slight bend in th... Sun, 2 Jul 2017 21:25:38 EST 7/2/17 - Sunday Self Care Try one or two of the Sunday Self Care tips from <BR> <BR> 1. Start a compliments file. Document the great things people say about you to read later. <BR> <BR> 2. Scratch off a lurker on your to-do list, something that’s been there for ages and you’ll never do. <BR> <BR> 3. Change up the way you make decisions. Decide something with your heart if you usually use your head. Or if you tend to go with your heart, decide with your head. <BR> <BR> 4. Go cloud-watching. Lie on yo... Sat, 1 Jul 2017 20:26:30 EST 7/1/17 - Hop A Park Day July 1st is Hop A Park Day. Check out a local park in your area. Go for a walk, run, bike ride, walk your dog, walk your neighbor's walk, take a walk with a friend or relative. <BR> <BR> Bring a book, enjoy reading in the fresh air and people watching. <BR> <BR> I will be walking my dog through the park near my house, then going for a run with one of my running group buddies on a trail that goes through a park. <BR> <BR> Are you unable to get due to health issues or bad weather... take a w... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:57:39 EST 6/30/17 - Free Form Friday It's all up to you! Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Inspire the rest of us. No challenge is too small. Sometimes the little things are the hardest to get done! <BR> <BR> I'm going back to the hips. I need some more hip stretches to loosen up for a run with a running group buddy Saturday morning. <BR> <BR> So a few psoas stretches during the day on the stairs at work. In the evening, while sitting on the edge of a chair watching tv, I'll cross my foot over ... Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:41:28 EST 6/29/17 - Cardio Thursday Let's kick it up! Make cardio fun by trying something you haven't done before.. a Spark video: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s?keywords=&amp;minlength=0&amp;maxlen<BR>gth=0&amp;minburn=0&amp;maxburn=0&amp;<BR>trainingtype%5B%5D=7 </link> <BR> <BR> Jessica Smith: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t=PLe5P3ayTEj7as1XDiI6jh0I0W3NEFOL23 </link> <BR> <... Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:20:47 EST 6/28/17 - Wednesday Wellness Breathe with intention for 2 minutes. Aim for three times during the day. <BR> <BR> Herbalist and midwife Aviva Romm suggests inhaling for 4 counts while saying "I am" in your mind. Then exhale for 4 counts while saying "at peace" to yourself. Repeat the cycle 4 times to ground yourself. <BR> <BR> We can all use a few grounding moments during the day. <BR> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 18:27:08 EST 6/27/17 - Two For Tuesday How important is hip strength and and flexible hips? Well, let's count the ways. Weak, as well as tight hip flexor muscles can lead to lower back pain, posture problems, mobility issues and injuries. Nothing we need right?! <BR> <BR> For today's Two For Tuesday, pick two exercises to strengthen your hips and two stretches to lengthen the muscles, choose from this Spark article.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healt... Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:35:29 EST 6/26/17 - Motivation Monday Start the week in a powerful way. Raise your testosterone level (associated with confidence) and lower your cortisol levels (associated with stress) for a quick confident builder: <BR> <BR> From - <BR> <BR> Body language may be a lot more important than you imagined. It affects not just how you’re perceived by others, but also your internal body chemistry. <BR> <BR> Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips, chin up, chest open. We've done this challenge before, t... Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:42:07 EST 6/25/17 - Sunday Stretches I'm posting early since I'm headed out for the night. <BR> <BR> Let's start our Sunday, or end it, with some delightful stretches. Get warmed up a bit with a quick walk and work out the kinks of the past week. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try a few minutes of Qi Gong: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1746 <... Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:10:22 EST 6/24/17 - Saturday Senses From <BR> <BR> June 24 is Celebrate the Senses Day, a day to step beyond our normal sensory perceptions and take the time to exercise your latent senses. <BR> <BR> Unlike animals, people tend to over-rely on our vision to process information, or are simply too busy to stop and fully perceive the environment around us. <BR> <BR> Try one or more of the following as a starting point for Celebration of the Senses Day... <BR> <BR> -Go outside and close your eyes (in a safe ... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:44:16 EST 6/23/17 - Free Form Friday Happy Day, we're cruising to the weekend! Make you Monday self proud of your weekend self. <BR> <BR> It's your day to name your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm gonna need a rest day so just two or three walking breaks and some stretching. Saturday morning is a 10K and then Saturday night I'm going to a concert. I'm felling all of my 51 years already! <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:12:03 EST 6/22/17 - One Mile Full Body Workout Get a mile's worth of steps AND a full body workout in 16 minutes! I love Jessica Smith's walking workouts. I get the best of both worlds, cardio and strength. <BR> <BR> Modify the moves if you need to or simply walk in place and absorb her positivity and energy.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_16minute_workout_youll_feel_all_o<BR>ver_tomorrow_morning </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Read the nutrition labels of at least three foods you eat ... Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:37:22 EST 6/21/17 - Wednesday Wellness June 21st is International Yoga Day, created to celebrate India's ancient tradition. <BR> <BR> Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition . It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of onene... Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:09:53 EST 6/20/17 - Two For Tuesday Alternate a cardio move with a strength move to hit two goals in a short time. You make it as easy or as challenging as you need. <BR> <BR> Cardio moves. Pick one or two cardio moves to perform for 30 - 60 seconds - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Pick two strength moves to alternate with your chosen cardio move(s). Choose a muscle group you have not worked in at least 24 hours: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpe... Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:29:43 EST 6/19/17 - Monday Megas How much do you know about Omega 3s and their benefits? Me, not so much so I'm looking into it since I do not like seafood of any kind. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=873 </link> <BR> <BR> Check it out and start your next shopping list. Already working your Omegas? Help educate the rest of us, what are you eating? <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Sneaky Abs! Get ABsolutely fABulous! Spend a minute or two, several times today, contracti... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:27:52 EST 6/18/17 - Happy Father's Day A special shout out to all the dads, grandpas and uncles out there that are setting a good example for the next generation. <BR> <BR> If your dad is no longer with us, reach out to another man that you know it making a difference in kids' lives or a dad that does not get regular visits from his kids. Be the change! <BR> <BR> June 18 is also Husband Caregiver Day. Big hugs to those of you taking care of you spouse or significant other. Take good care of yourself as much as you can! <BR> <B... Sat, 17 Jun 2017 16:06:02 EST 6/17/17 - Eat Your Veggies June 17 is National Eat Your Vegetables Day. <BR> <BR> Aim for one serving of veggies with each meal or for two snacks. Look up how to add veggies to your breakfast... like chopping up green and red peppers to mix in scrambled eggs. Try slices of red peppers with low-fat ranch dressing, steamed veggies with dinner etc. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for an additional 10 minutes of cardio than you normally get on a Saturday. Keep it as simple as 10 minute walk around the block or ... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:43:22 EST 6/16/17 - Free Form Friday It's that time... time for you to take the driver's seat and make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be working upper body muscles! <em>362</em> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:13:38 EST 6/15/17 - Thursday Thighs Build that strong lower body strength by working your large muscles. Concentrate on your form to prevent injury. <BR> <BR> Pick your level... <BR> <BR> Simple squat. Keep it low if need be. Add small weights if you're ready for a challenge: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Go wide leg doing wide leg squats, with or without weights: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=161 </link> <BR> ... Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:29:41 EST 6/14/17 - Wednesday Wellness Look behind! <BR> <BR> I normally promote looking forward but I heard a tip on the podcast A Little Happier. When you walk away from a table in a restaurant, your desk, when you leave a room, look behind to see what you may be leaving behind. <BR> <BR> I didn't think much about this tip until I really thought about it. How many times have I left my glasses on the table in a restaurant. I've even left them on my desk at work, got all the way to the car and had to go back. <BR> <BR> This mor... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:13:51 EST 6/13/17 - Steady State Training I've thrown out a few HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or at least challenged all of us to alternate between intensities in our walks, runs or bike rides. <BR> <BR> Now try Steady State Training. Steady state training refers to cardiorespiratory exercise in which your heart rate is kept relatively constant for an extended period — at least 20 minutes in duration and often in the 30- to 60-minute range. The intensity may be low, moderate or moderately high, but you must be able to sust... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:11:51 EST 6/12/17 - Kickstart the Week From Reader's digest, ways to brighten your morning.. a great way to kick off the week. <BR> <BR> Sunday night, go to sleep with your blinds slightly open - That way, the natural light of the rising sun will send a signal to your brain to slow its production of melatonin and bump up its production of adrenaline, a signal that it’s time to wake up. When the alarm goes off, you’ll already be half awake. <BR> <BR> Stretch every extremity before you get up - Lift your arm and begin by stretchi... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 21:10:42 EST 6/11/17 - Sunday Self Care June 11 is National Making Life Beautiful day, a day to encourage and celebrate men and women who are making life beautiful. Whether you’re creating beauty through building relationships or helping others achieve personal success, one small action can lead to a ripple effect, making life beautiful not just for yourself, but for those around you, too. <BR> <BR> When you reach out to show appreciation for making the world a little bit better in their own way, the good feelings will be good to... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 20:49:26 EST 6/10/17 - Saturday Side Steps Many of us walk or run for exercise, a lot of forward motion which is great but just like anything else, you have to work different angles for all over fitness. <BR> <BR> From healthy "Side-stepping exercises help you develop spatial awareness, balance, strength and flexibility." <BR> <BR> Keep is simple as in the side step demo below. If you want to pump it up a little, pump those arms: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=516 </lin... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 20:35:44 EST 6/9/17 - Free Form Friday It's make-your-own-challenge day. It can be anything from getting your sock drawer organized to making time to sit still and breathe, to challenging yourself to heart-pumping cardio to squeezing in some strength training you may have neglected. <BR> <BR> What do you need to do for your health and wellness today? <BR> <BR> I am leaving on a motorcycle trip and LOVE to stop at local burger joints or anything really that does not meet my healthy eating plan. I will be playing it smart more oft... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 20:19:01 EST 6/8/17 - Small Bursts of Cardio Insert a minute or two here and there throughout the day of cardio.... it can be light for those of us recovering from injury or illness. A one-minute walk around where you work or laps in your living room. <BR> <BR> Or kick it up a notch with 2 or 3 jumping jacks (modified if need be) three times today. <BR> <BR> Or run up some stairs two or three times during the day. <BR> <BR> Make your metabolism work for you! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=habits_of_fit... Wed, 7 Jun 2017 21:43:43 EST 6/7/17 - Wednesday Wellness From the article 11 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem In Less Than an Hour from <BR> <BR> For a quick shot in the arm, life and business strategist Tony Robbins practices a unique ritual—and, crazy as it sounds, it works. Shake out your body, clench your hands like claws, and rock back and forth, breathing in and out quickly. Stop moving, then shake out your body again. Now clap, shout the word "Yes!" five times—and head out there to face the world. <BR> <BR> Sounds crazy to me bu... Tue, 6 Jun 2017 17:36:23 EST 6/6/17 - Try It Tuesday It's a new to you day! Pick a workout or recipe to try. <BR> <BR> If you do not have what you need on hand or the time to cook a new recipe, make your shopping list. <BR> <BR> Do you want to try a new healthy pasta recipe, a breakfast or lunch with more protein or fiber... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>.asp </link> <BR> <BR> The workout can be short to get a taste of it. Stretching and strength count! Check out the following for ideas: <BR> <BR> Spark TV: <... Mon, 5 Jun 2017 20:07:24 EST 6/5/17 - Jump Crunch Push I went in the way back machine for an idea for today. This goes all the way back to the beginning of this team in 2006. <BR> <BR> Try to fit in a jump, crunch push sequence before or after your planned workout. Everything can be modified. How many of each is up to you. <BR> <BR> Jump - Jumping jacks - if jumping is not for you, do the modified version... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Crunch - Get your full-on crunch on o... Sun, 4 Jun 2017 21:20:57 EST 6/4/17 - Sunday Maintenance You take your car in regularly for maintenance, spend some time on your maintenance, top to bottom.... <BR> <BR> Maintain strength and movement in your neck.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> Relieve/prevent wrist pain.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1527 </link> <BR> <BR> Knees... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id... Sat, 3 Jun 2017 20:23:26 EST 6/3/17 - Trail Day June 3 is National Trails Day. Hopefully it's a good day for you to get out for a walk for at least ten minutes before or after your regularly scheduled workout. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If you can't get out, try a Leslie Sasone or Jessica Smith walking workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>=leslie+sansone+workouts </link> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>=jessica+smith+walking+workou... Fri, 2 Jun 2017 20:35:42 EST 6/2/17 - Free Form Friday It's your day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. You are always in control but today, even more so. <BR> <BR> What will it be... what steps will you take towards your June goal(s)? <BR> <BR> June 2nd is Hug Your Cat Day. I'm not a cat person but if you are, cuddle up! <BR> <BR> Thu, 1 Jun 2017 20:48:29 EST 6/1/17 - Throwback Thursday Do a workout you haven't done in a long time, an old Spark video or search youtube for long ago workouts, or plan to make a healthy recipe you haven't made since your early healthy journey days (or make a plan to make it in the near future). <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: June 1st is a great day to set a new goal(s) you would like to achieve. Check out this article for some ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=what_goals_will_you_reach_before_th<BR>e_... Wed, 31 May 2017 22:21:20 EST 5/31/17 - Wednesday Wellness POSTURE CHECK! Did you just sit up straight? How long can you hold it... and still breathe? Roll your shoulders back and down, pull your abs in slightly to protect your lower back, align your ears over your shoulders. <BR> <BR> We all hunch a bit here and there. The more we do it, the more we will do it. It happens over time. Sooooo, the more we keep ourselves in proper alignment, the better our posture will be. <BR> <BR> Try the 12-minute Better Posture Workout or whatever moves from the v... Tue, 30 May 2017 20:41:16 EST 5/30/17 - Two For Tuesday What do you need today? Cardio? Pick two types of cardio to do... walk/run, walk/dance, zumba/kickboxing or two different cardio machines at the gym. <BR> <BR> Have you been neglecting a certain muscle group lately? Pick two different strength exercises for the muscle group you need. Remember to work opposing muscle groups... biceps/triceps, back/chest, etc. <BR> <BR> Pick a couple short Spark videos if you need some ideas: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONU... Mon, 29 May 2017 20:31:27 EST 5/29/17- Memorial day May 29 is Memorial Day and International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. <BR> <BR> Take one minute to pause and remember those that gave so much for peace. <BR> <BR> Sun, 28 May 2017 21:12:57 EST 3/28/17 - Psoas Sunday I am posting for tomorrow a little early since I am heading out for the evening. <BR> <BR> Get a full body stretch going today to work out the kinks of the past week but pay special attention to the psoas... <BR> <BR> Stretching this hip flexor muscle can help prevent tight hip flexor muscles which can lead to lower back and knee pain. <BR> <BR> Check out this quick youtube video for a demo: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on your k... Sat, 27 May 2017 17:51:32 EST 5/17/17 - Saturday Signups A great way to stay on track is to set a future goal... like a walk or run. Spark has free virtual run/walks.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>race-home.asp </link> <BR> <BR> These are great if you do not want to run or walk in a group setting, don't want to pay registration fees or there are no events offered close to you. <BR> <BR> You can: <BR> <BR> choose from a 1 mile walk, 1 mile run, 5K walk, 5K walk/run or 10K <BR> choose the week you will complete y... Fri, 26 May 2017 18:42:40 EST 5/26/17 - Free Form Friday It's time to name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Many of us celebrate the long holiday weekend. Think about the challenges you face during a long, holiday weekend or just a regular weekend. Maybe think about addressing those concerns. <BR> <BR> May 26 is Don't Fry Day and Heat Awareness day. As we cruise towards warm and sunny weather, start educating or reeducating yourself to be sun and heat smart! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_arti... Thu, 25 May 2017 18:07:28 EST 5/25/17 - Towel Day May 25 is Towel day. Were you a fan of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? It is said that a towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have; it has great practical value. <BR> <BR> A towel can be a fantastic toner tool. Give a couple moves a try.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> OR May 25 is also Red Nose day sponsored by Walgreens to end child poverty.... <BR> <BR> <link>ww... Wed, 24 May 2017 21:28:36 EST 5/24/17 - Wednesday Wellness Try an exercise in mindfulness from the Mayo clinic: <BR> <BR> Make the familiar new again. Find a few small, familiar objects — such as a toothbrush, apple or cellphone — in your home or office. Look at the objects with fresh eyes. Identify one new detail about each object that you didn't see before. As you become more aware of your world, you might become fonder of the things around you <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do you consume many anti inflammatory foods? Will they help with e... Tue, 23 May 2017 19:16:12 EST 5/23/17 - Quick Strength Training Below are some quick strength training exercises you can squeeze in throughout the day when you have a minute or two alone.... or not alone. Show 'em what you're made of. <BR> <BR> Make sure you don't work a muscle group that you have worked in the last 24 hours. Muscles need time to repair. <BR> <BR> Lower body - Skater Squat (also a great cardio move) <BR> <BR> Stand with your weight on your right foot, left toe behind right heel. <BR> <BR> Step or jump to the left, landing on your lef... Mon, 22 May 2017 19:19:51 EST 5/22/17 - Monday Minutes Hopefully you tracked all of your activity last week. Look back and try to add at least 10 more minutes of activity today than last Monday. Or pick the day you had the least amount of minutes last week and add at least 10 minutes to that time today. <BR> <BR> If you didn't track any activity last week, today is a good day to get started. <BR> <BR> Check out some short Spark workouts to give you some ideas or simply add a 10 minute walk to your day: <BR> <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 21 May 2017 20:19:29 EST 5/21/17 - Sunday Self Care 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> 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, 20 May 2017 21:41:58 EST 5/20/17 - How Much Time Do You Have Spark can make a workout happen for you even when you are tight on time. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2183 </link> <BR> <BR> If you have 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes, you can burn some calories! <BR> <BR> Go ahead and modify it to make it work for you. For example, If squats are not good for your fitness level or health issues, replace it with some glue contractions.... squeeze the glues, hold for a second or two, release and repeat. <BR> <BR> I... Fri, 19 May 2017 21:12:29 EST 5/19/17 - Free Form Friday You are in the driver's seat today. Where will you steer your health and wellness vehicle? <BR> <BR> You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I have been way overstressed at work and running around each evening this week. I'm going to take some downtime. I have a large book out from the library I haven't started yet so I plan to get some yoga done, make a dent in that book and get to bed early. Thu, 18 May 2017 18:40:10 EST 5/18/17 - Three Moves and Micronutrients Burn calories in 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 dip... Wed, 17 May 2017 18:38:25 EST 5/17/17 - Wednesday Wellness Take time out from looking at the computer or the tv to relax your eyes. Try the 10 tips from <BR> <BR> 1. Blink your eyes every second. Blinking is the best exercise for our eyes. It relaxes them by providing moisture to the eyes. So blink as often as possible to prevent your eyes from drying out. <BR> <BR> 2. Close your eyes, roll your eyes to relax eye muscles and deep breathe for 1 minute every hour if possible. <BR> <BR> 3. Wash your eyes with cool water at least at th... Tue, 16 May 2017 22:18:30 EST 5/16/17 - Two For Tuesday Find exercises to perform that will work opposing muscles.... <BR> <BR> biceps/triceps <BR> abs/lower back <BR> chest/upper back <BR> hamstrings/quadriceps <BR> <BR> Don't just work the muscles you see in the mirror. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Look for some new healthy snack ideas. Add the ingredients to your next shopping list. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=22 </link> Mon, 15 May 2017 18:20:39 EST 5/15/17 - Monday Motivators Get your Spark on for the week ahead. Give me a <em>248</em> if you.... <BR> <BR> Visualize backwards....Look back where you were and how far you have come. If your goal was to get organized, and you have made enormous improvement in that area, visualize back to when things weren't going so well. This will keep you heading in the right direction. <BR> <BR> Take a walk or drive....Take a walk around the block or a short drive through the neighborhood to relax, reflect, and enjoy some qu... Sun, 14 May 2017 21:17:42 EST 5/14/17 - Mother's Day Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there and any dads that fill mom's role. I hope you get to spend time with your mom and if you cannot, take time to nurture yourself. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1657 </link> <BR> <BR> By the way, May 14 is National Chicken Dance day. Just sayin! <em>334</em> Sat, 13 May 2017 20:40:33 EST 5/13/17 - Saturday Sunshine Try to get outdoors if you are able... even if just for a five-minute walk. Check out the benefits of getting outside and get your five Spark points at the end of the article.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> "being outdoors and aware of the world's beauty can make you feel energized and alive." <BR> <BR> If the weather is dangerous or you are recovering from injury or illness, open your curtains or blinds to let some... Fri, 12 May 2017 20:39:31 EST 5/12/17- Free Form Friday Today is the day! Step right up and make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge! You are in the driver's seat of your day. <BR> <BR> Let's make it a fun free form Friday. Check in with a line or two from your favorite song that gives you a smile. <BR> <BR> Here's to a happy and healthy weekend! <BR> <BR> <em>353</em> <em>67</em> <em>354</em> <em>335</em> <BR> <BR> Happy International Nurse's day to all of our Spark nurses and the people that care about them Thu, 11 May 2017 21:21:28 EST 5/11/17 - Be ABsolutely fABulous Let's focus on the core throughout the whole day.... <BR> <BR> Anytime you are standing... washing dishes, waiting in any kind of line, do a few sets of ten ab contractions. <BR> <BR> In a swivel chair, lift your feet, contract your abs, use your core to swivel back and forth. <BR> <BR> Sit on the edge of sturdy chair, lean back with a straight back and slowly lift your knees up, on eat a time using your abs. <BR> <BR> If you have any type of cardio planned, keep your abs contract tight d... Wed, 10 May 2017 21:09:37 EST 5/10/17 - Wednesday Wellness Reframing is the name of the game. Turn your 'I have tos' into "I want to do this for my future self". I have been practicing this since I heard this concept a month or so ago on A Little Happier podcast. <BR> <BR> Do you dread doing the dishes after dinner? Think of how happy your morning self will be waking up to a clean sink. <BR> <BR> Are you putting off getting gas until tomorrow? Think of how your tomorrow self will be happy not to have to stop at the gas station. <BR> <BR> Do you pu... Tue, 9 May 2017 18:10:18 EST 5/9/17 - Macronutrients How much do you know about macronutrients? Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates. <BR> <BR> We need protein to "provides the body with the amino acids it needs to build and repair muscle tissues, supply oxygen to the cells, create the enzymes and hormones that control basic bodily functions and bolster the immune system" <BR> <BR> We need healthy fat which "supplies the essential fatty acids that regulate bodily processes, protects vital organs, transports fat-soluble vitamins throughout the body ... Mon, 8 May 2017 19:03:53 EST 5/8/17 - Move it Monday Let's aim to move for at least 3 - 5 minutes every hour. <BR> <BR> It can be a quick walk down the hall, around the block or around the living room. <BR> <BR> It can be a simple desk stretch move.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822 </link> <BR> <BR> Or a quick Spark cardio or strength move... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do what you can to limit proce... Sun, 7 May 2017 20:40:08 EST 5/7/17 - Sunday Self Care From Mary Poppins.. "I love to laugh, loud and long and clear". <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=655 </link> <BR> <BR> Laughter enhances our mood and may protect our hearts. <BR> <BR> Fill your Sunday with laughter. Get together with fun friends, pop on a comedy or do an internet search for Laughter Yoga. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 6 May 2017 21:32:15 EST 5/6/17 - Mix It Up While routines are important, trying new experiences can increase happiness, well being and boost creativity. <BR> <BR> Try - <BR> <BR> Taking a different route to work (if you work Saturdays) or running your errands. Check out a different grocery store than you normally shop at. <BR> <BR> Change where you sit to eat your meals <BR> <BR> If you walk, run or bike ride, try a new route that is safe <BR> <BR> Change your bedtime routine <BR> <BR> Look up a new recipe for a favorite meal ... Fri, 5 May 2017 19:37:38 EST 5/5/17 - Free Form Friday As the song goes.. "it's your thing, do what you wanna do..." <BR> <BR> The challenge is up to you today. will you kick it up a notch, rest and stretch, watch your portions, eat a variety of freggies.... it's all up to you. <BR> <BR> I haven't made time for any yoga this week so Friday will be Yoga With Adriene day! <BR> <BR> Happy Cindo De Mayo! Thu, 4 May 2017 19:11:57 EST 5/4/17 - Thursday Thighs Let's work on that strong base to carry us through our days. Pick your level: <BR> <BR> Seated Leg Toning workout <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Easy on the Knees lower body workout with Jessica Smith <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_15minute_lowerbody_workout_for_ba<BR>d_knees </link> <BR> <BR> 9-min Spark Lower Body Workout <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or mix and ma... Wed, 3 May 2017 16:54:55 EST 5/3/17 - Wednesday Wellness May 3rd is Great American Grump Out Day. Just like it sounds, this day is meant "to focus on humor, self awareness and positive behaviors to lighten up the seriousness and stresses of the world for 24 hours.” <BR> <BR> Find the fun and humor in your day, let the work, family and grown-up stress roll off your back for at least 24 hours. <BR> <BR> Pull up a stand-up comic video <BR> Pop on a funny movie and humor tv show <BR> Tell some knock knock jokes at work <BR> Or just smile <BR> <BR> B... Tue, 2 May 2017 20:23:55 EST 5/2/17 - Track It Tuesday Track ahead all meals, snacks and beverages for the entire day to help stick to your plan. Track into Wednesday if you have this done or see this too late. <BR> <BR> Or create a new food or exercise grouping that you do regularly. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add to your Other Goals. Under My Trackers from the main Spark page, click Other Goals. Scroll down towards the end of the page to the Other Goals header and click the Add/Remove Other Goals button and create a new goal that y... Mon, 1 May 2017 19:21:06 EST 5/1/17 - Monday Balance Let's start the week in balance... or work on getting there. You're never too young or too old to work on balance and agility on a regular basis. <BR> <BR> This article was brought to my attention by Spark member BESSHAILE..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=regain_agility_and_reduce_pain_with<BR>_the_alexander_technique </link> <BR> <BR> "Our daily habits can negatively interfere with how our bodies are supposed to move" <BR> <BR> Try these four tips accor... Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:16:22 EST 5/1/17 - Sunday Self Care Check out the following website for ideas for a nourishing Sunday: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>15/01/self-care-sunday-create-a-nouris<BR>hing-list/ </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> for each tip you use. This is not about how many can you do but rather what really nourished you. One tip is fine if it made your day. <BR> <BR> Happy May Day! <BR> <BR> <em>354</em> <em>375</em> <em>355</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:13:17 EST 4/29/17 - Saturday Sashay Or any time of dancing will do. Today is International Dance Day so get up and boogie with me. <BR> <BR> A variety of sources will tell you that dancing.... <BR> <BR> Improves the condition of the lungs and heart <BR> Increases muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness <BR> strengthens bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis <BR> reduces stress <BR> <BR> All while doing something fun. Pop on your favorite music. Like the Beach Boys sang "After six hours of school, I've had enough for t... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:56:52 EST 4/28/17 - Free Form Friday Sliding into the weekend! How will your Monday self look back at your Friday self? Make yourself proud. <BR> <BR> Make up your own challenge today or repeat a previous day's challenge.What positive step will you take today? <BR> <BR> I'm working on posture so I will do the Spark posture video and will focus on keeping my shoulders pulled back and down all day. <BR> <BR> April 28 is National Super Hero day. Be a super hero for someone that needs a lift or be a super hero for yourself. <BR> ... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:33:27 EST 4/27/17 - Sneaky Strength Training Sneak in several rounds of body weight exercises throughout the day. Become a calorie burning machine all day long. <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article for some ideas to insert in your day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_bodyweight_training_exercises_yo<BR>u_can_do_anywhere </link> <BR> <BR> You can keep it as simple.... <BR> -getting up and down from a chair a few extra times <BR> -if you have a swivel chair, pick your feet up and swivel back and fort... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:04:54 EST 4/26/17 - Wednesday Wellness "I am… two of the most powerful words. For what you put after them shapes your reality." <BR> <BR> Finish this sentence to yourself at least three times today. "I am ____________" <BR> <BR> You can keep it share it here or keep it private and just give me a <em>248</em> I challenge you to make it positive end of the sentence. It's all to easy to see our shortcomings. We need to spend more time on the positive to create our reality! <BR> <BR> Happy Administrative Professionals Day or... Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:48:45 EST 4/25/17 - Triceps Tuesday 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> es .asp?exercise=158 </link> <BR> <BR> Triceps dips with knees bent (more advanced, legs extended) <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=124 </link> <BR> <BR> Close-arm wall pushups... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.c... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:38:45 EST 4/24/17 - HIIT Monday Let's HIIT the ground running Monday..... or walking... or bike riding... whatever your cardio activity, change up the level of intensity to burn more calories in a short amount of time. <BR> <BR> HIIT will..... <BR> <BR> train and condition both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems <BR> increase the amount of calories you burn during (and after) your exercise session <BR> improve your fat-burning potential <BR> <BR> Whatever your favorite cardio activity is... perform it at an easy p... Sun, 23 Apr 2017 21:44:39 EST 4/24/17 - Me Day Take time for you today to refresh, rejuvenate and recharge, whatever that means to you. <BR> <BR> You may want to start with 10 minutes of proper breathing to "get rid of carbon dioxide waste and take plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Or curl up with a good book as April 23rd is World Book Night. Run by The Reading Agency in the UK.....Books are given out across the ... Sat, 22 Apr 2017 21:27:18 EST 4/22/17 - Earth Day Check out for ten things you can do on earth day every day. This is the only home we have so let's take care of it: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Welcome a new member or two to Spark... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oard_topics.asp?imboard=14 </link> <BR> <BR> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:18:19 EST 4/21/17 - Free Form Friday It's your day to make your challenge. Will you come up with one of your own or repeat a previous day's challenge/ Remember resting counts too if you've been burning it up! <BR> <BR> By the way, April 21 is National Kindergarten day, in honor of Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel who is credited with starting the very first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837. He laid a foundation for modern education recognizing that children learn through play and experience. <BR> <BR> Find some time for play tod... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:38:55 EST 4/20/17 - Throw Back Thursday A few ideas for throw back Thursday.... <BR> <BR> Do a workout you haven't done in a very long time. You should be able to find some classics on youtube or dust off some of those old DVDs. <BR> <BR> Pull up a healthy recipe you haven't made in a long time, get back to what worked in the past. <BR> <BR> Go back and look at old blogs you have written. Remember how it felt when you started at Spark and appreciate your accomplishments.... small and large! <BR> <BR> April 20 is High Five day. ... Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:18:26 EST 4/19/17 - Wednesday Wellness Take 10 minutes to- <BR> <BR> -wipe down something you've been meaning to wipe down <BR> <BR> -stack papers into a pile that have been lingering around for far too long (just stack them and be done) <BR> <BR> -put away laundry that stays in the basket all week <BR> <BR> -call and schedule or cancel that appointment you have been meaning to get to <BR> <BR> The idea is to find something small that has been gnawing at you and get it done quickly. It's amazing how you can clear a littl... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:30:17 EST 4/18/17 - Two For Tuesday What do you need today? Cardio? Pick two types of cardio to do... walk/run, walk/dance, zumba/kickboxing or two different cardio machines at the gym. <BR> <BR> Have you been neglecting a certain muscle group lately? Pick two different strength exercises for the muscle group you need. Remember to work opposing muscle groups... biceps/triceps, back/chest, etc. <BR> <BR> Pick a couple short Spark videos if you need some ideas: <BR> <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Re... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 20:30:40 EST 4/17/17 - Hit the Stairs According to taking the stairs: <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. Your body releases natural pain relievers, or endorphins, during a stair climb, so you’ll feel better and have less tension." <BR> <BR> If you have stairs in your home or at your work, hit as many as you can. Hold on the rail if you need it. <BR> <BR> If you need to... Sun, 16 Apr 2017 21:26:42 EST 4/16/17 - Happy Easter I hope everyone that celebrates enjoys a beautiful day. <BR> <BR> Make it a Sunday Self Care with a checklist from Lisa Druxman, founder of Fit For Mom: <BR> <BR> Did you..... <BR> <BR> Fuel yourself today <BR> Move today <BR> Be today <BR> Reflect today <BR> Give today <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> <em>449</em> <em>184</em> Sat, 15 Apr 2017 19:38:45 EST 4/15/17 - Stay in Balance From the National Institute of Health.... <BR> <BR> Don't overlook balance exercises to prevent falls and maintain control of your body, whether moving or standing still. <BR> <BR> Try these moves. If you are unsteady, stand near a sturdy chair or wall. <BR> <BR> Standing on One Foot: <BR> <BR> Stand on one foot, hold for 10 seconds, repeat 10 times Switch legs and repeat 10 times. <BR> <BR> Walking heel to toe: <BR> <BR> Place the heel of one foot in front of your other foot's to... Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:32:49 EST 4/14/17 - Free Form Friday Here we are... International Moment of Laughter day, created by humorologist Izzy Gesell, encourages people to forget the stresses of daily life and give into the healing and relaxing power of laughter. <BR> <BR> Just sayin <BR> <BR> SO, today is your day to name your own challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I'm going to get a short cardio workout done (still trying to work off vacation weight) and get to bed early as I have a tough train... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:27:29 EST 4/13/17 - Tip Toe Thursday 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, agility and coordination -- depend on good proprioception. These skills can wane with age if you if you don't make an effort to maintain them ... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:36:54 EST 4/12/17 - Wednesday Wellness From the Petra Kolber podcast, an interview with Jon Giswald, fitness and lifestyle expert: <BR> <BR> Listen actively today. <BR> <BR> Jon talks about the skill set of being a listener. Listening is not a passive act and skilled listening requires us to remove any expectations from how a conversation is going to work out. <BR> <BR> Can you be in a conversation without waiting for, and already writing the script for, what the other person is going to say? <BR> <BR> Today I invite you to ... Tue, 11 Apr 2017 20:53:48 EST 4/11/17 - Two For Tuesday Let's work those opposing muscle groups for greater calorie burn. From <BR> <BR> "When a muscle is working, such as the biceps in a biceps curl, the opposite muscle -- your triceps -- are resting, known as the antagonist. <BR> <BR> Performing a set for your biceps, immediately followed by a set for your triceps is known as an antagonistic superset. Former elite bodybuilder Dace Draper used this approach in his training, and advises that it's great for building muscle mass, ... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 20:41:16 EST 4/10/17 - Move-It Monday Start the week off on an active note. <em>313</em> <em>342</em> <BR> <BR> Aim for a short walk 30 minutes before a meal, 30 minutes after or both. Walking before and after meals can promote healthy metabolic activity..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lking-before-or-after-meals/ </link> <BR> <BR> I have been working on this habit for a long time. I definitely walk after dinner, no matter the weather... well, except a driving rain. I got my labrador in... Sun, 9 Apr 2017 20:58:42 EST 4/9/17 - Sunday Self Care Time to decompress, wind down and get ourselves ready for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Show your feet and ankles some love after all the cardio, chasing after kids and walking dogs that we do. According to this Spark article, regularly practicing these five exercise... <BR> <BR> "Over time you will enjoy improved balance in daily activities and workouts, a stronger walking/running stride, increased circulation and mobility throughout the feet and ankles, and significant reductions of foot, leg... Sat, 8 Apr 2017 21:10:00 EST 4/8/17 - Your Cardio Type If you haven't yet, check out this recent Spark article on which type of cardio is best for your health and fitness level. Of course your doctor has the final say-so but see where you think you might fall and what you are already used to: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?ID=2240 </link> <BR> <BR> The article gives examples of the duration and types of activity for each level. Use what you have... your gym, your dvd collection, youtube videos and belo... Fri, 7 Apr 2017 21:08:55 EST 4/7/17 - Free Form Friday <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We made it to Friday. Today is the day you get to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. It's all up to you. How will you step out of your comfort zone to move toward your health and wellness goals? <BR> <BR> Do you need to get more cardio? <BR> Do some strength training? <BR> Get some stretching and deep breathing done? <BR> Fold the laundry? Mate the socks? Call a r... Thu, 6 Apr 2017 19:55:24 EST 4/6/17 - Add Activity Not Just Exercise Check out this Spark blog about adding more activity to your day, not just exercise. One workout in a day dose not go far enough, we need to keep active to keep the metabolism burning all day, doing the calorie burning work for you. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=habits_of_fit_people_add_activityno<BR>t_just_exerciseto_your_days </link> <BR> <BR> What kinds of activity can you add to your day in addition to your planned workout? <BR> <BR> Or, pick a few Spar... Wed, 5 Apr 2017 21:18:26 EST 4/5/17 - Wednesday Wellness From 30 Days to a Healthier You: <BR> <BR> Bring Energy Into a Room Instead of Taking it Away - <BR> <BR> No matter what we have going on in our lives, one of the most important things we can all do is bring energy, not steal it. This means maintaining a positive outlook and energy, even if our lives are not as they should be or we wish they were. <BR> <BR> This is important for our health, along with the health of others around us. People who have a positive spirit ca... Tue, 4 Apr 2017 20:59:39 EST 4/4/17 - Slow Ride Actually, slow weight training is the challenge of the day but I heard the song Slow Ride in my head. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Pick at least three strength moves... any muscle group you choose... and perform them slow: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Example... in the mood for some squats? Squat down, hold a beat and come up slow. <BR> <BR> Bicep curls? Curl up slower than you lower down.. same for tricep extensions. <BR> <BR> Lu... Mon, 3 Apr 2017 20:40:32 EST 4/3/17 - Add on 10 Aim for 10 more cardio minutes than you have planned... or normally get on a Monday. <BR> <BR> Make it a simple ten-minute walk or try..... <BR> <BR> A nice an easy 10 minute cardio if you're easing into getting active or for a nice and easy add on to your planned workout.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Add a little more umph with a 10-minute kickboxing routine: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Jump i... Sun, 2 Apr 2017 21:41:12 EST 4/2/17 - Sunday Self Care Add simple self care throughout your Sunday... From <BR> <BR> Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get some Sunday stretches done to loosen and lengthen... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_eac... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 20:27:37 EST 4/1/17- Single Dumbbell Saturday Hit more than one muscle group with one dumbbell ( or soup can, or water bottle )... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2221 </link> <BR> <BR> Happy April Fool's day... don't fool yourself into more than you need today. <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: consider your goal or goals for April. Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:56:49 EST 3/31/17 - Free Form Friday We have arrived at your day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Name your challenge! Rest counts too if you need it. <BR> <BR> My challenge will be to rest big since I went to the doctor today and will be treating a nasty sinus infection. <BR> <BR> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:38:58 EST 3/30/17 - Thursday Thighs Let's keep walking with Jessica and work our lower body.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> March 30 is National I am In Control day, started by then Secretary of State Alexander Haig in 1981 giving the impression he thought he was in control when then President Ronald Reagan was shot. <BR> <BR> Use today to be in control of your day. Make the choices that you know are good for your physical and mental health. <BR> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:54:26 EST 3/29/17 - Wednesday Wellness Take some time to strengthen and stretch for healthy knees. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=363 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Support. It takes long hours, hard work and dedication to run your own business. Find a local small business near you for some shopping. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:22:37 EST 3/28/17 - Walking Core Workout Let's continue with the walking/strength workouts this week. <BR> <BR> Let's walk with Jessica and work the core, no need to get on the floor! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or alternate Spark cardio moves with core moves... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Make sure to taste the rainbow... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eat... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:55:09 EST 3/27/17 - Monday Circuit Training Try a one-mile upper body workout... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or put together your own circuit workout using different Spark exercises.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Or if you plan to hit the gym... make the rounds of the different weight machines after some time on a cardio machine. <BR> <BR> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 20:49:05 EST 3/26/17 - Sunday Self Care From the article 100 Ways To Change Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less on <BR> <BR> Sit in a comfortable position, settle your breath, close your eyes, and, as you breathe, mentally repeat the words "I am" for 5 minutes. Next, ask yourself "What do I want?" 2 to 4 times—don't feel like you have to answer it, let your mind settle down and see what bubbles up. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: March 26 is Spinach Day. Consider adding this powerful veggie to your menu. If you d... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:26:15 EST 3/25/17 - 60-second Saturday Add an additional 10 minutes of cardio throughout your day. See how many of these moves you can do for one minute (or as long as you can) either all at once or spread throughout the day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1658 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add one extra serving of fruits or vegetables than you normally get on a Saturday or try a new fruit or veggie. <BR> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:52:56 EST 3/24/17 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Hey Hey Hey! It's Friday! <em>236</em> <BR> <BR> For those of you that are new, Fridays I step back and let you take the reigns, you call the shots for yourself. What small step will you take towards your health and wellness. Rest counts too if you've been burning it up! <BR> <BR> I will be going back to Sunday's challenge with a hand massage. The activities on my vacation have made my hands and wrists quite achy. I'm also going to try to get out for my first run since before vacation.... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:01:25 EST 3/23/17 - Thursday Thighs Work those thighs that work hard to keep us moving, not to mention working large muscle groups burns more calories. <BR> <BR> Pick your level: <BR> <BR> Basic Squat - don't go too low if that doesn't work for you, keep it small if need be. Watch your form, don't let your knees go over your toes, drive up from your heels... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=21 </link> <BR> <BR> To add more of a challenge, hold weights. <BR> <BR> Skater squat.... <B... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:33:53 EST 3/22/17 - Wednesday Wellness Let's watch our posture to avoid pain in the future. Work on the following sitting habits from National Osteoporosis Foundation: <BR> <BR> Try to keep your hips and knees at the same level. Place your feet flat on the floor. Keep a comfortable posture. You should have a natural inward curve to your lower back and a tall, upright upper back. <BR> <BR> When sitting in bucket seats or soft couches or chairs, use a rolled up towel or pillow to support your lower back. <BR> <BR> When standing u... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 19:18:14 EST 3/21/17 - Two For Tuesday Try to get two forms of cardio in today... run/walk... dance/walk... bike ride/walk... use two different cardio machines at the gym.. do two different Spark cardio moves twice during the day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> What combo you use is up to you! <BR> <BR> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:50:27 EST 3/20/17 - Multiple Muscle Monday Work two muscle groups at one time for double the calorie burn and rev up that metabolism. <BR> <BR> Try.... <BR> <BR> Lower down into a squat and hold while you do a bicep curl. Don't let your knees go past your toes, push that booty back. <BR> <BR> You can also get in a sitting position agains a wall and do bicep curls or a shoulder press. <BR> <BR> Or lunges with an overhead press.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=31 </link> <BR> <BR> Wi... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:44:27 EST 3/19/17 - Sunday Self Care Show your hands some love after all the typing and swiping we do. Get your hands well lotioned with your favorite scented soap and follow the directions from <BR> <BR> Get Well-Heeled <BR> The heels of your hands do a lot of hard work and don't get nearly as much attention as your fingers do. Rub them in gentle circular motions, beginning on the side furthest from your thumb and working your way across. <BR> <BR> Thumbs Up <BR> The web of muscle connecting your thumb to the re... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:33:37 EST 3/18/17 - Saturday Super Slipper Workout It's all about sneaking in small strength training exercises and quick stretches through your day. <BR> <BR> Check out this article for adding strength to your day and stretches to your evening.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10minute_slipper_workouts </link> <BR> <BR> Keep your metabolism working for you during the day and loosen and lengthen in the evening. <BR> <BR> I will be doing some of these strength training moves in my hotel room and some yoga o... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:25:14 EST 3/17/17 - Happy St. Patrick's day Wear some green and make your own challenge today. It's Free From Friday. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What step will you take towards your health and wellness. No challenge too small! <BR> <BR> Since I'm leaving for vacation in the wee Friday morning hours for vacation, I'm going to focus on water, water water! <BR> <BR> Adios Amigos! <em>213</em> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:11:47 EST 3/16/17 - Lower body challenge Moving down to any lower body muscles you need to work. Aim for at least three... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=lower%20body </link> <BR> <BR> Try to spread them out through the day then get a good stretch in the evening.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=280 </link> <BR> <BR> <link><B... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:20:58 EST 3/15/17 - Wednesday Wellness Make a habit of keeping your neck healthy and strong. Check out these neck exercises and stretches unless you have restrictions placed by your doctor, follow their advice first. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Power up your confidence and energy by striking a super hero pose at least three times today.... <BR> <BR> Stand with legs a little more than hips-distance apart, hands on h... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:31:20 EST 3/14/17 - Pi Day March 14 is Pi day that celebrates that never ending number 3.14.... and Albert Einstein's birthday. <BR> <BR> Celebrate by aiming for 3 sets of 14 repetitions of your favorite (or try a new one) core exercise: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?bodypart=core </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for three walking breaks of at least 14 minutes each throughout the day. Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:32:55 EST 3/13/17 - Muscle Monday Let's start at the top this week and work our way down. Aim for three upper body exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=strength&a<BR>mp;exercise_level=any&amp;equipment=an<BR>y&amp;bodypart=upper%20body </link> <BR> <BR> Or try a short upper body video: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Then do the first four stretches in this stretching article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 20:07:14 EST 3/12/17 - Sunday Self Care Take a day to slow down, regroup and refresh for the week ahead. Try the proper breathing technique: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> "Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> During meals.... slooooow down: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=963 </link> <BR> <BR> "Chewing your food thorou... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 20:55:05 EST 3/11/17 - Interval Training Read the Spark article for tips on interval training. You can apply this to walking, running, bike riding, the elliptical.. any cardio activity.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=7_good_reasons_to_try_interval_trai<BR>ning </link> <BR> <BR> It can be as easy or as intense as you need. It works for any fitness level, for example, you can walk slow for 30-60 seconds, then walk a little faster for the same amount of time and repeat for as long as you feel challen... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:02:04 EST 3/10/17 - FREE FORM FRIDAY We have arrived at the weekend! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> It's your day to decide your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Take a small step toward your health and wellness goals. Rest counts too if you've been pushing it all week. <BR> <BR> By the way March 10 is International Day of Awesomeness. Created in 2007 after a fun office conversation. <BR> <BR> So go forth and be awesome! <em>345</em> Thu, 9 Mar 2017 20:53:07 EST 3/9/17 - Cardio Challenge Several short bursts of activity throughout the day add up to big calorie burn. <BR> <BR> See how many of the Spark cardio moves you can squeeze into your day or evening (or into the next day)... in addition to whatever activity you have planned. <BR> <BR> Perform each move for as short or as long as you are able with good form. Good form is always important! Quality over quantity. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> ... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 19:05:10 EST 3/8/17 - Wednesday Wellness From A Little Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin...... <BR> <BR> Do something today to make your future self happy. <BR> <BR> Is your morning routine crazy and stressful? Spend a few minutes setting things out the night before? <BR> <BR> Is there a basket of laundry sitting you keep meaning to fold? Fold a few things on commercial breaks. <BR> <BR> Do you wish you could stop snacking at night? Eat a healthy dinner, then try closing the kitchen just this one time. <BR> <BR> What would ... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 19:49:21 EST 3/7/17 - Tummy Tuesday Let's sneak in some ab work. <BR> <BR> During any cardio workout you have planned, keep that tummy pulled in tight. That will give extra work to the core and protect your lower back at the same time <BR> <BR> I just did a kickboxing workout, lots of twists, I kept my tummy pulled in extra tight and really felt it! <BR> <BR> Sneak in some ab contractions throughout the day when standing or sitting. <BR> <BR> Or try the seated core workout... <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 6 Mar 2017 19:34:52 EST 3/6/17- Mindful Monday See how many mindful eating tips you can fit into your day and how many you can plan for a another day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=7_ways_to_eat_mindfully_on_thanksgi<BR>ving_or_any_day </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Move mindfully as well. Make a conscious effort to move in some way every hour... a few laps around the house or office, some stretches, pushups against your desk or sink, squats while brushing your teeth etc. Be creative. <BR> ... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 21:01:12 EST 3/5/17 - Sunday Self Care Take a break for a full-body scan... a mindful meditation practice... "the aim is to be aware of the different regions of your body, and allow yourself to experience how each part feels, without trying to change anything. Just being with what is there." <BR> <BR> Check out the article to perform this body scan practice... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ce/ </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Make a plan... grab a piece of paper and just jot down ... Sat, 4 Mar 2017 19:39:23 EST 3/4/17 - Psoas Saturday That's pronounced soaz. Stretching this hip flexor muscle can help prevent tight hip flexor muscles which can lead to lower back and knee pain. <BR> <BR> Check out this quick youtube video for a demo: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on your knees is not available for you, stretch it while standing... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add 15 minutes of cardio to your al... Fri, 3 Mar 2017 21:32:09 EST 3/3/17 - Free Form Friday It's your day!!!! <BR> <BR> You decide your challenge... repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What small step can you take toward your health and wellness goals? <BR> <BR> I plan to get a 30 minute Yoga With Adriene video done after my hair cut. I'm still working on my lent/spring challenge of yoga stretches first thing in the morning out of bed. <BR> <BR> Thu, 2 Mar 2017 19:17:01 EST 3/2/17 - World Reading Day “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss <BR> <BR> Consider stopping by your local library, sign up for a card if you don't have one and check out a book. Or check out a book from the audio book app of your choice. <BR> <BR> I just picked up News Of the World by Paulette Jiles <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get your Thursday Thigh work done. Depending on your fitness level and health issues, try some sq... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 21:20:55 EST 3/1/17- Wednesday Wellness I am posting tomorrow's challenge much earlier than normal to get you started thinking... <BR> <BR> You don't have to be catholic to participate in Lent. As the Spark article says, Lent comes from the Old English word len(c)ten, which translates to "spring"—and there's no better time than spring to purge the negative and usher in the positive. <BR> <BR> Try one of these ideas for the next 40 days or maybe these ideas will "spark" another idea that works for you: <BR> <BR> <link> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:48:32 EST 2/28/17 - Tri-Colored Tuesday Taste the rainbow. Aim for at least three different colored fruits, vegetables or both. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> Get your phytochemicals.... the naturally occurring non-nutritive disease preventive chemicals found in plants. <BR> <BR> If you're reading this too late... every day is a good day to taste the rainbow! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Think about your goal(s) for March. Keep the goals you wa... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:46:17 EST 2/27/17 - All-Day- Movement Spread out your strength training throughout the day.... <BR> <BR> <BR> dynamic stretches in the morning - think fluid flexibility. Try one or two stretches first thing in the morning... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>nute-dynamic-stretch/ </link> <BR> <BR> 3 sets of ten lunges around 9am - make the movement small if need be. <BR> <BR> 3 sets of ten pushups around noon - do wall pushups if need be. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:48:30 EST 2/26/17 - Sunday Self Care From <BR> <BR> Have a self-date. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.) <BR> <BR> Be your own best friend for a while to refresh for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 22:35:38 EST 2/26/17 - Saturday Skin Care Work on your skin from the inside, out! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=481 </link> <BR> <BR> Pick three nutrients from the chart in this article and pick foods to add to your weekend for healthy skin. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Check out your activity minutes from last Saturday and try to add ten minutes to your total today. cardio and strength training counting. <BR> <BR> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:04:41 EST 2/23/17 - Free Form Friday Hey kids... what time is it? It's Free Form Friday time! <BR> <BR> It's your day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Name it and claim it! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:31:18 EST 2/23/17 - Multiple and Single First, let's work multiple muscles... obliques, abs and shoulders... with the woodchopper... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=466 </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to read the description with the demo to avoid injury. If you don't have a medicine ball, use a hand weight or soup can, or no weights. <BR> <BR> Then, February 23rd is single tasking day. According to, single tasking makes you smarter. Try the following: <BR> <BR> Give your brain... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:37:02 EST 2/22/17 - Wednesday Wellness Try some alternate nose breathing. Alternate nose breathing... <BR> <BR> 1. activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces blood pressure. <BR> <BR> 2. enhances respiratory functions: increases respiratory strength and endurance. <BR> <BR> 3. improves attention and fine-motor coordination/performance. <BR> <BR> Make a "peace sign" with your right hand. Fold the two extended fingers toward the palm or rest them lightly on the bridge of your nose. Place your thumb gently onto your... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:21:21 EST 2/21/17 - Ten Minute Tuesday Get ten minutes of activity with a fun Jessica Smith walking video that also works your abs without getting on floor. <BR> <BR> Or add this to your already-planned activity.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=onemile_express_workout_for_your_abs </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Either stop at the store or add to your shopping list a vegetable that you have never tried or have not had in a long time. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:50:00 EST 2/20/17 - Hoodie-Hoo Day Hoodie-Hoo day is a day to chase away winter blahs, and bring in spring. On this winter day, people go out at noon, wave their hands over their heads and chant "Hoodie-Hoo". <BR> <BR> My running group is planning a noon Hoodie-Hoo run but alas, I must work so join me in a noon (or as close to noon as you can) walk or run for at least 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> Try some walking meditation.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=894 </link> Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:01:14 EST 2/19/17 - Sunday Self Care Take a me day. Rest, rejuvenate, relax. Whip up that facial you've read about and take a snooze, catch up with an old friend, take a slow walk, take a nap, sleep in or go to be early. <BR> <BR> Rest and regroup for the week ahead! <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:19:13 EST 2/18/17 - Saturday Sunshine Get outside if it's safe to do so! "Increase your vitamin D intake, increase your quality of sleep and help set the body's internal clock that tells us when to eat and sleep, and normalizes hormonal functions" <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680&amp;page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Check out spark recipes and pick out something new to make, start your shopping list. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:03:18 EST 2/17/17 - Free Form Friday You own today. The challenge is up to you! Make the Monday version of yourself, proud of the Friday version of yourself. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What small step do you need to take toward your goals? <BR> <BR> Remember, rest counts too if you burned the candle at both ends this week. <BR> <BR> February 17 is My Way Day, believed to have been inspired by key events in the world happening because someone had a bold idea they were't afraid ... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:08:47 EST 2/16/17 - Flip a Coin Challenge taken from my Rock My Run app. Feel free to adjust how many reps you perform. <BR> <BR> Flip a coin. <BR> <BR> If you land on heads, complete the following: <BR> <BR> 20 pushups (can be against a wall, on your knees, on your toes or against a step) <BR> 20 crunches (watch your form, don't pull on your neck. For an extra challenge, keep shoulders off the floor) <BR> 20 - 30 second plank (again, can be against a wall, on your knees, on your toes, on your forearms or your hands) <B... Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:28:20 EST 2/15/17 - Wednesday Wellness February 15 is Random Acts of Kindness day. Check out their webpage for inspiring stories... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> You can start with a smile. Try to smile and say hi to three strangers. Of course, be safe, do it in a public place, the store, at work etc. You never know who's day you can make with such a simple gesture. <BR> <BR> It also helps your mood and quality of life. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.a... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:57:29 EST 2/14/17 - Happy Valentine's Day <BR> Give yourself the gift of health with five tips in this article.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=376 </link> <BR> <BR> How many have you accomplished and improved upon? Make a plan to work on anything you still need to work on. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNTE CHALLENGE: Taste the Rainbow: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> If you do not have these freggies on hand, start... Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:09:22 EST 2/13/17 - Monday Multiples Burn more calories in less time by working multiple muscles in one move. Try a wall sit with a hammer curl... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=51 </link> <BR> <BR> Try doing two sets of 12 as directed in the above demo. If it's too much, just try a couple or do it without weights. <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=29 </link> <BR> <BR> Happy Galantine's Day <BR> <BR> <link> Sun, 12 Feb 2017 21:43:56 EST 2/12/17 - Sunday Stillness Find a few minutes to slow down and relax. Wind down from the previous week and get yourself in a good place to begin the week ahead. Which of these easy relaxation techniques can you fit into your day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=779 </link> <BR> <BR> A quote from Hermann Hesse: “Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat any time.” <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Work on your next shopping list. ... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 21:01:46 EST 2/11/17 - Saturday Skaters This plyometric move is a great leg shaper, cardio move and good for improving balance. <BR> <BR> Stand with your weight on your right foot, left toe behind right heel. <BR> <BR> Step or jump to the left, landing on your left foot and touch your right toe behind your left heel. Swing your arms out in front of you and towards the direction you are jumping. <BR> <BR> Your mobility and fitness level will dictate how easy or intense you make this move. There is no need to jump, stepping to ... Fri, 10 Feb 2017 20:53:50 EST 2/10/17 - Free Form Friday Made it to another Friday! We deserve to take good care of ourselves. So make up your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I need some Yoga With Adriene and some posture work! I caught myself slouching today. <BR> <BR> What will it be? What small step will you take? Remember, rest counts too if you've been burning the candle at both ends. <BR> Thu, 9 Feb 2017 20:08:54 EST 2/9/17 - Thursday Thighs Continue working on a strong base to carry you through your workouts and daily activities... <BR> <BR> Start simple by stopping just short of sitting in a chair and stand back up. Don't let your knees go over your toes, push that tush back then drive up from the heels. <BR> <BR> Add squats through the day. Make them as small or as deep as you need... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Try a few wall squats. Go up and down as in... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 22:16:47 EST 2/8/17 - Become a Minimalist Read about the health and wellness benefits of becoming a minimalist... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>m-benefits/ </link> <BR> <BR> You can click on each item to read more detail on that item. See what could work for you, what could fit your lifestyle and start making a plan. <BR> <BR> "there is more joy to be found owning less than can be found pursuing more" <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get at least one cup of water in first thing... before coffee o... Tue, 7 Feb 2017 20:31:46 EST 2/7/17 - Two For Tuesday Add two cardio moves to your day.... do a few seconds here and there throughout the day or do two before or after your planned workout. The intensity and repetitions are up to you.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add two fruits, two vegetables or one fruit and one vegetable to at least two meals. <BR> <BR> Make it a Turn-Table Tuesday. A local radio station here plays old classic ... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 20:34:08 EST 2/6/17- Muscle Monday Start the week working a muscle group of your choice... biceps/triceps, abs/lower back, chest/back etc... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?equipment=bodyweight </link> <BR> <BR> Make it interesting and pick an exercise you've never tried before. Muscles stop responding when we perform the same exercise continually. <BR> <BR> Or pick a short strength video... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHAL... Sun, 5 Feb 2017 16:21:26 EST 2/5/17 - Super Bowl Sunday Anyone going to or hosting a super bowl party? Load up on freggies today to stem your snacking appetite. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1795 </link> <BR> <BR> Try to get in several servings before the big snackapalooza! <BR> <BR> Staying in to watch or watching with like-minded friends? Try the Super Bowl Exercise game: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_super_bowl_exercise_game_work_o<BR>ut_while_you_watch </l... Sat, 4 Feb 2017 20:35:53 EST 2/4/17 - Go Out For Recess Embrace your inner child by getting outside to play.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1534 </link> <BR> <BR> Don't make workout all about work. Go pick up a hula hoop, grab you kids, grandkids, neighbors kids and play tag, find a nearby park etc. Or just bundle up if it's cold and get a quick brisk walk. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Watch your portion sizes. Read your labels... <BR> <BR> <link><B... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 20:27:16 EST 2/3/17 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey, it's Friday and it's the 15th anniversary of the first Wear Red Day...It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women. if you see this in time, throw some red on for yourself and your loved ones! <BR> <BR> Today is your day to choose your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm hoping to get out of work in time for a run before losing daylight. It was great to see the sun still out... Thu, 2 Feb 2017 20:50:19 EST 2/2/17 - Ten Minutes Some of my better workouts began with "I'll only work out for 10 minutes." <BR> <BR> Try this ten-minute, Eight-move workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2166 </link> <BR> <BR> If the moves are too advanced, make them work for you... you don't need to squat low, you don't need to use weights, you can do a plank against a wall... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or swap it out for a seated workout... Wed, 1 Feb 2017 19:27:42 EST 2/1/17 - Wednesday Wellness From 1 minute mindful exercises... <BR> <BR> Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour. <BR> Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Say “ahh” as you exhale. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present. <BR> <BR> Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds. Notice any tightness and say “ease” or just say hello to that place (being mindful — noticing without judgment). Take another 20 second... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:52:47 EST 1/31/17 - Tip Toe Tuesday Try taking a few steps on your toes to- <BR> <BR> ~improve calf strength <BR> ~improve your proprioception, (sense of where particular body parts are in space. Skills you developed when you were younger -- including balance, agility and coordination -- depend on good proprioception) <BR> ~improve balance and stability <BR> <BR> If toe walking does not work for you due to foot or ankle issues, skip that and work on your calf strength by doing calf raises... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 21:02:57 EST 1/30/17 - Spice it Up Start the week on a spicy note... follow Jessica Smith for a 30-minute Latin Spice Walking workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=30minute_latin_spice_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or tell us your favorite 30-minute activity and if you got it done. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Experiment with spices. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=297 </link> <BR> <BR> "Wake up your taste buds! Cooking with herbs... Sun, 29 Jan 2017 19:51:14 EST 1/29/17 - Sunday Stretches You don't have to be in your fifties to benefit from these stretches. Take less than ten minutes to stretch it out... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or the Spark Chi Gong video.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Try some alternate nose breathing. Sit back and relax for about 10 minutes to learn about and try alternate nose breathing. "It is a great way to ... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 23:01:27 EST 1/28/17 - Productive Saturday Start small to develop habits of a productive person. Try to start each day this weekend with... <BR> <BR> 1. Become an early riser by going to bed early <BR> 2. Start each day with an intention <BR> 3. Physical activity <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add an additional 10 minutes or 500 steps to your activity. Fri, 27 Jan 2017 21:33:34 EST 1/27/17 - Free Form Friday It's your turn to make your own challenge on this lovely Friday or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> No challenge too big or too small. Whatever makes it a positive day for you! <BR> <BR> I'm behind in the Yoga With Adriene 31 Day challenge so I hope to catch up a bit on those videos. <BR> <BR> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 19:50:14 EST 1/26/17 - Of COREse you can It's so important to have a strong core for every day activities to make us better athletes if we so choose. <BR> <BR> Fill your day with sneaky abs. Put a slight bend in your knees and contract your abs for a couple seconds and release... while brushing your teeth, sitting at your desk, doing laundry... anywhere! <BR> <BR> Or go for a plank, either on your knees or on your toes... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:24:17 EST