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 2/10/16 - Wednesday Wellness From regarding breathing exercises that reduce stress.....Try the Firebreath or Breath of Fire technique for an energy boost.... <BR> <BR> This one is a foundational breathing technique of Kundalini yoga practice. It’s meant to expand lung capacity, flush out toxins, and increase strength. To try it for yourself, <BR> <BR> Sit in a position that won’t block your ability to take full breaths. Then you pant like a dog (yes, you heard that right). Begin panting with an open mout... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 21:28:12 EST 2/9/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for at least 10 minutes of cardio....walking, dancing, treadmill, swimming etc and then pick two opposing muscle groups to strengthen....biceps/triceps, chest/back or inner/outer thighs etc: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Don't just work the muscles you see in the mirror, work the opposing muscles to avoid injury and increase your metabolism. <BR> <BR> ********** <BR> We have a few team members under the weather so let's all ma... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 21:53:52 EST 2/8/16 - Monday Movement Let's fit in several short bursts of activity throughout the addition to whatever workout you have planned if possible. Burn calories all day long! <BR> <BR> Take a few five minute walks around you home or office <BR> Add a few sets of jumping jacks throughout the day (leave out the jump if you need to) <BR> Go up a flight of stairs or two, just because <BR> <BR> Or try a few of these moves through the day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.a... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 21:45:50 EST 2/7/16 - Visualization From In the book by Dr Maxwell Maltz, in the classic book Psycho Cybernetics...... <BR> <BR> You Can "Trick" Your Subconscious Mind! <BR> <BR> "Your subconscious cannot tell the difference between a real memory, and a vividly imagined visualization" <BR> <BR> When you visualize, you effectively "implant" new memories into your self-image - meaning that your subconscious mind "thinks" you are already the success you dream of being. <BR> <BR> This frees up sub... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 21:16:50 EST 2/6/16 - Freggies Get your five a day or at least one more serving than you usually do. Look for fruits and veggies that are new to you or some that you have never tried. Start your shopping list. <BR> <BR> <BR> September 6 is Take Your Child To The Library day. Maybe just take yourself to the library. Check out what's going on at your local library. I have a DVD on hold at my library so I will be stopping by my library tomorrow as luck would have it. Fri, 5 Feb 2016 22:38:42 EST 2/5/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to challenge yourself. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on my posture. I caught a glimpse of myself in windows a few times this week and I was hunched. GRRR! So I will keep the shoulders back and down and the imaginary button between my shoulder blades buttoned all day! <BR> <BR> February 5 is National Doodle Day, first established in 2004 by Epilepsy Action an organization which acts as a voice not only for the 600... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 21:39:45 EST 2/4/16 -Thursday Thighs Continuing on the road to revving up our metabolism.... work those thighs and lower body. These are large muscles so its a big calorie burn. <BR> <BR> Work some squats into your day. <BR> <BR> Wide leg squats with dumbbell (skip weight if need be) - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=161 </link> <BR> <BR> Variations... <BR> <BR> with legs wide, toes pointed out, keep back straight as you lower down and focus on your inner thighs as you drive bac... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 21:49:42 EST 2/3/16 - Wednesday Wellness Continuing to work on our metabolism... get your zzzz's. <BR> <BR> According to a study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine... Just a few nights of bad sleep is enough to throw the body's metabolism into disarray. The study shows that getting four hours of sleep a night for four nights made healthy people's bodies resistant to insulin — a condition that is a common precursor of weight gain, diabetes and other serious health problems. <BR> <BR> So get yourself into a better sleep r... Tue, 2 Feb 2016 21:29:53 EST 2/2/16 - Core Let's work the core to increase abdominal muscle strength and increase metabolism..... <BR> <BR> 12-min Seated Core Workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> 7-minute Belly Blast With Dumbbells <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=77 </link> <BR> <BR> Or go more advanced on <BR> <BR> <link><BR>10-minute-core-workout-pain-in-m... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 22:35:56 EST 2/1/16 - Upper Body Work Let's hit a different muscle group each day this week, starting with upper body. A pushup is a great move to build arm and back muscles. Pick your level.... <BR> <BR> Against the wall... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Close-arm pushups <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Modified Pushups <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise... Sun, 31 Jan 2016 21:39:41 EST 1/31/16 - Soothing Sunday Try the 5-step breathing exercise to clear your mind and slow yourself down... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Or the 15-minute Qi Gong video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Or both! <BR> <BR> January 31 is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. Look on line or visit your local library or book store for works of art that are inspiring to you. <BR> <BR> <... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 20:58:11 EST 1/30/16 - ABsolutely fABulous Work your abs using small movements throughout the day..... <BR> <BR> Contract your abs, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> If sitting in a swivel office type chair, lift your feet and swivel back and forth using your contracted abs. <BR> <BR> Lean to the left and then to the right using just your abs, knees slightly bent. <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 22:00:16 EST 1/29/16 - Free Form Friday It's Friday! Roll call.... what is everyone doing to challenge yourself? It's your choice or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I think I'm going to feel that butt and thigh workout so there will be stretching and a Yoga With Adrianne video (available on youtube). <BR> <BR> By the way, January 29 is Puzzle Day. Exercise your brain muscle with a jigsaw puzzle, sudoku or crossword puzzle. <BR> <BR> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 21:42:16 EST 1/28/16 - Thursday Thighs Create a strong base to keep you moving through your day by working your thigh muscles. Strong thighs: <BR> <BR> lead to better cardiovascular health <BR> increases metabolism which helps burn more fat <BR> creates strong glutes and hamstrings, creating a nice backside <BR> work your core. your core works at keeping your spine aligned and your upper body straight during leg work <BR> help reduce knee and ankle injuries <BR> increase stamina <BR> <BR> So try a move or two in either video....... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 22:40:54 EST 1/27/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take care of your neck..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function." <BR> <BR> "the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:59:38 EST 12/26/16 - Take a Lap After dinner, after the dishes, after the kids' homework, after your evening workout, after whatever the last thing you do in the evening.... walk two laps around the house. One last bit of movement in the day. <BR> <BR> January 26 is Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement. Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement is a day to connect with others through the heart. It stresses the importance of sharing a kind word with others. <BR> <BR> Check in with family or friends to say hello. Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:01:10 EST 1/25/16 - Opposite Day January 25 is National Opposite Day. You could celebrate the day by wearing mismatched socks, put your shirt on backwards, talk backwards or....... <BR> <BR> Work opposing muscles groups in what is called antagonistic supersets. According to <BR> <BR> When a muscle is working, such as the biceps in a biceps curl, the opposite muscle -- your triceps -- are resting, known as the antagonist. Performing a set for your biceps, immediately followed by a set for your triceps is kno... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 22:03:21 EST 1/24/16 - Sunday Me Day Take a day to rest and restore. What makes you feel restored.... <BR> <BR> a cup of herbal tea <BR> time for a book and a blanket <BR> a nap <BR> meditation <BR> deep breathing <BR> full body stretching <BR> time with a friend or family member <BR> <BR> Take the time today. <BR> <BR> By the way, January 24 is Global Belly Laugh Day..... <BR> <BR> On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. <BR> <BR> Join the Belly Laugh Bounce Around the ... Sat, 23 Jan 2016 18:33:36 EST 1/23/16 - Saturday Steps/Ha dwriting Day Do you have a step counter of some kind.... aim for at least 500 more steps than you normally get on a Saturday. No step counter.... aim for at least 15 minutes more walking. <BR> <BR> Are you stuck in the house through a wintry storm? Crank up some music and walk laps around the house. <BR> <BR> Try some some jumping jacks. Get the blood circulating! (no jumping required if you are unable to jump... just step out to one side as you raise that arm, then switch) <BR> <BR> January 23 is Nat... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:59:50 EST 1/22/15 - Free Form Friday It's FRIDAY and it's all up to you..... what will you do? What small step will you take towards a goal? <BR> <BR> I know a few people are still not feeling good so please lay low an take good care of yourselves. <BR> <BR> I need some more stretching. I'm still sore from the gym from Wednesday! I'm going to do a Yoga By Adrienne video. <BR> <BR> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 22:13:18 EST 1/21/16 - Burn In Less Five moves, multiple muscles, big calorie burn.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_fullbody_exercises_that_save_you_<BR>time </link> <BR> <BR> Work out smart, not longer. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Know your iron.... <BR> <BR><BR>ition_articles.asp?id=48 <BR> <BR> The main function of iron is to help carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs Wed, 20 Jan 2016 21:57:13 EST 1/20/15 - Wednesday Wellness Work on maintaining or improving your balance. Don't wait until an injury happens. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> Stay near a sturdy chair or wall if you need extra support. <BR> <BR> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 22:32:23 EST 1/19/16 - Triceps Tuesday Try some Jessica Smith tricep exercises.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_exercises_that_target_the_triceps </link> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE... turn it into a bit of a bootcamp workout by walking laps or doing jumping jacks between sets. Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:49:11 EST 1/18/16 - Monday Minutes/Taste the Rainbow Aim to increase your fitness minutes by 15 minutes more than you planned.....walking, dancing, zumba, chair cardio and/or strength training. <BR> <BR> Make it a movement Monday. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you are able to eat at least two colors of the rainbow... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:53:22 EST 1/17/15 - Sunday Stretches I'm posting early for Sunday since I will be out this evening. <BR> <BR> I love this 15-minute Chair Yoga video by Jessica Smith.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=finally_a_yoga_routine_for_bad_wrists </link> <BR> <BR> If some moves do not work for you, repeat a move that does. <BR> <BR> By the way, January 17 is Ditch New Year's Resolution Day, the day when most people that make resolutions give them up. <BR> <BR> Stay strong and focused on your goals to... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 16:56:35 EST 1/16/16 - Taste The Rainbow How many colors of the rainbow can you eat today? Start your shopping list if you have don't have much on hand at the moment...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> A diet rich in fruits and vegetables... <BR> <BR> provides many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing risks of heart disease, cancer, and digestive problems. <BR> <BR> provides many necessary vitamins and minerals <BR> <BR> full of... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 22:13:37 EST 1/15/16 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey <BR> <BR> Free Form Friday baby. The challenge is up to you. How will you challenge yourself to achieve your goals. <BR> <BR> I need to reign in the calories and get back to logging everything. Today was a big calorie day. And some yoga. <BR> <BR> Healing wishes to those that are not feeling well! <BR> <BR> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 20:56:39 EST 1/14/15 - Knees How are your knees? Do you regularly work the muscles that support your knees so you can keep active and injury-free? <BR> <BR> Check out these five exercises to build supporting knee muscles.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> If you can't get on the floor, you may be able to do these on a firm mattress. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get your spice on with a 30-min (or however long you ha... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 21:36:20 EST 1/13/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a moment to assess your well being.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1358 </link> <BR> <BR> See where you can use some improvement <BR> <BR> January 13 is Make Your Dreams Come True day. Sometimes the stairway to our goals is high but each small step gets us closer. <BR> <BR> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:49:43 EST 1/12/15 - Multiple Muscles Burn more fat, more calories in less time by working more than one muscle group in one move. <BR> <BR> For example... <BR> <BR> Wall sit with a medicine ball: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise=469 </link> <BR> <BR> Or do bicep curls while wall sitting. <BR> <BR> Or a wall sit with calf raises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=109 </link> <BR> <BR> Or work opposing muscle groups like chest/back, ... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 22:29:30 EST 1/11/16 - ABsolutely fABulous Let's work on our core. Remember all daily movements go through your core. <BR> <BR> Do some ab contractions during daily actives.... brushing your teeth, while sitting at a stop light in the car, while washing dishes or standing in line.... <BR> <BR> Bend your knees slightly, contract your abs, hold a couple beats then release. Don't forget the obliques while standing, Contract your abs, keep your lower body still as you bend to each side. <BR> <BR> Try some crunches moves: <BR> <BR> <... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 20:53:31 EST 1/10/16 - Sunday Stretches Loosen and lengthen: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> This can be done first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, after dinner or all three times. Just move around for a few minutes first, never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Sat, 9 Jan 2016 20:51:43 EST 1/9/16 - Let's Move/Vision Board Walk, Run, Dance.... let's get moving for at least 20 minutes. Break it up 10 minutes at a time if need be. <BR> <BR> I'm hoping for a run but the weather might cause me to go to plan B so, there's the Jessica Smith 12-Minute Indoor Power Walking Workout. So nice, it can be done twice. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Or a 25 Minute Zero Equipment Cardio workout. <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 8 Jan 2016 21:32:12 EST 1/8/16 - Free Form Friday Guess what day it is? It's FRIDAY and you get to challenge yourself. What do you need to do to be healthy and well? Name it and claim it, inspire others! <BR> <BR> I need a break. It's been a busy week with a little worry about a family member's health thrown in for good fun. <BR> <BR> But I'm gonna let it all go with some yoga, a nice foot soak and a book. January 8 is Bubble Bath Day according to so I'm going to show my feet some love! I may want them to help me run Satur... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 21:26:53 EST 1/7/16 - Thursday Thighs Strengthen your base to keep you moving..... <BR> <BR> Hold on to a chair or a wall if need be and let you inner ballerina shine: <BR> <BR> Standing Adduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Standing Abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Or hit your entire lower body with the 14-minute Barre workout: <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 6 Jan 2016 22:49:46 EST 1/6/15 - Wednesday Wellness According to an article in USATODAY.COM: <BR> <BR> Coloring not only evokes happy memories of childhood; the act can also foster a sense of well-being and offer a relaxing respite from our digital world. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>15/11/14/why-latest-coloring-book-craz<BR>e-can-good-you/75723218/ </link> <BR> <BR> has some free coloring pages or stop and pick up a coloring book and crayons and enjoy some creative, non-digital time. <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 21:41:20 EST 1/5/16 - Booty Call From glutes are the largest and strongest muscles in the body. Strengthening your glutes can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier. Developing strong glutes can also improve athletic performance and decrease your risk for injuries. <BR> <BR> Sneak in some glute work during the day..... <BR> <BR> Start to sit down in a sturdy chair or on the couch, keep your weight in your heels as you lower down, barely tou... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 22:12:28 EST 1/4/16 - Thank God It's Monday Open your mind to embrace the beginning of a week an all of it's possibilities. <BR> <BR> This day was created to celebrate all things that start/happen on a Monday in the the upcoming year, such as; a new job, a promotion, birthdays, holidays, vacations and etc. This is also a day, which starts out the first full week of the new year, to look ahead with positive hope, energy, enthusiasm and excitement for all things to come in the next 12 months. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Fat... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 21:36:55 EST 1/3/16 - Sunday Stretches I have to post a little early for Sunday as I will be out for the evening.... <BR> <BR> What a great week job everyone did keeping active and mindful through the holidays! Give yourselves a big round of applause. <BR> <BR> Show your whole body some love with 7 stretches.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1261 </link> <BR> <BR> Make it a ME day! <BR> <BR> <em>345</em> Sat, 2 Jan 2016 19:34:07 EST 1/2/16 - Day 7 Bootcamp/M Motivation If you've been following the Spark 7 day Bootcamp plan this week, we are at the end. Day 7 does not require any cardio.... but go for it if you are up for it. <BR> <BR> It does include the Spark 9-minute Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=74 </link> <BR> <BR> This can be too challenging for some with issues getting on the floor so if need be, do the Spark Seated Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 22:07:23 EST 1/1/16 - Bootcamp Day 6/Free Form Friday Happy New Year! <BR> <BR> If you're following the 7 - Day Bootcamp plan..... 30 minutes of cardio followed by 7 minutes of upper body strength training. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=75 </link> <BR> <BR> Feel free to adjust as needed, get at least 10 minutes of walking in and do some wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>411</em> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CH... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 22:02:41 EST 12/31/15 - Bootcamp Day 5/New Years Eve The end of 2015! Take a moment to reflect on or jot down your accomplishments this year, small and large. All accomplishments count. Stay focused on the positives and review them every day. <BR> <BR> If you are following along with the Spark Bootcamp plan, day 5 includes 30 minutes of cardio, however you choose and then the Spark 10-minute Lean Legs video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=76 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Insert sma... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 21:51:19 EST 12/30/15 - Day 4 Bootcamp/ Wednesday Wellness We are moving closer to the end of the year in a most active fashion! Day four of the Spark 7-day Bootcamp plan includes 30 minutes of cardio again. Get your cardio any way you can and do the 7-Minute Belly Blast video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=77 </link> <BR> <BR> To shake things up, do some Spark cardio exercises, do a couple moves in the Belly Blast video, pause it to do some more Spark cardio exercises, go back to the video etc. <BR> ... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:43:13 EST 12/29/15 - Day 3 Bootcamp/Two for Tuesday Gather round for day three of the Spark 7-day Bootcamp plan. <BR> <BR> Once again, get 30 minutes of cardio any way you can then do the Spark 7-minute Arm Shaper with Dumbbells video. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=78 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> No worries if you do not have dumbbells, remember water bottles or soup cans will work. No weights at all work well, just really focus on the muscles you're working. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: M... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:37:00 EST 12/28/15 - Day 2 Bootcamp/Lower Body Workout Okay, day two of the seven day bootcamp is 30 minutes of cardio.....your choice, walking, running, walk/run, dancing, swimming, bike riding, Spark or other fitness cardio video.....whatever gets you moving. Feel free to break it up into small increments throughout the day if need be. <BR> <BR> Then the Spark Bootcamp 10- minute Lower Body Blast <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=79 </link> <BR> <BR> or the seated lower body video: <BR> <BR> <li... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 21:46:47 EST 12/27/15 - Bootcamp/Proper Breathing I had emailed everyone last week that I will be following the Spark 7-day Bootcamp series this week. Join me as we wrap up 2015 with a bang and head into 2016 on an active note! <BR> <BR> Day one is a 10-minute Cardio Kick video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=80 </link> <BR> <BR> Listen for options to modify, keep kicks low, step instead of jump or walk in place if need be. Just keep moving for ten minutes. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALL... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 21:46:51 EST 12/26/15 - Walking Intervals Happy Kwanza to those that celebrate! <em>501</em> <BR> <BR> Alternate intensity during your walk today. Aim for at least ten minutes, walk fast for one minute and a slower pace for two minutes etc. <BR> <BR> If you have more time, try one of the three walking workouts described in this Spark article... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1221 </link> Fri, 25 Dec 2015 21:53:27 EST 12/25/15 - Christmas Meditative Walk If you have the time to get out for a walk, try a meditative walk... <BR> <BR> This technique is very simple, making it great for beginners. In this method, the focus is your feet as they touch the ground. Your eyes are aimed a few steps ahead, and your mind is cleared of all thoughts and emotions extraneous to your keen awareness of each foot, as you place it on the ground. With each step, you focus your attention only on the contact of your foot with the ground, and when your mind wanders ... Thu, 24 Dec 2015 22:02:35 EST 12/24/15 - Christmas Eve Walk Get the family together and get a 10-minute walk together or sneak in a 12-minute Jessica Smith walking workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Let's keep walking through the holidays to keep our metabolism working. <BR> <BR> Most of all, if you celebrate Christmas eve, enjoy the day and feed your soul! <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Freggies! The holidays are full... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 21:04:17 EST 12/23/15 - Wednesday Wellness We've racked up a LOT of steps so far so show your lower body some love after your 10-minute walk today.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=92 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: In addition to getting a 10-minute walk, try to walk for a couple minutes about 30 minutes before at least one meal. <BR> <BR> According to, walking within a half hour or so of eating a meal decreases the amount of sugar and fats that accumulate in the bl... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 22:41:35 EST 12/22/15 - Strength Training for Walkers Continuing our walking challenge this week let's try some strength training for walkers. <BR> <BR> "A well-rounded exercise routine also includes strength training, which will improve your fitness level and help prevent injury." <BR> <BR> See if you can get through at least two sets of 10 of each of these exercises to strengthen your walking routine and increase your metabolism.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2021 </link> <BR> <BR> Aim for ... Mon, 21 Dec 2015 22:30:03 EST 12/21/15 - Walking Break Monday Let's make this week a walking break week. <BR> <BR> Start the week with at least 10 minutes of walking or a few walking breaks throughout the day even if each break is only two minutes. If nothing else, walk around the living room. <BR> <BR> Try to alternate intensity by speeding up and slowing down, maybe hit a flight of stairs in the middle of your walking break. <BR> <BR> Research shows that "taking a walk in the park or any green space you can find in your area—can lessen your brain... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 20:49:41 EST 12/20/15 - Refresh and Restore I have to post a little for Sunday since I'll be out for the evening. <BR> <BR> We've all been VERY active this week. Some of us have not felt our best. Take 15 minutes to restore yourself with the Spark Chi Gong video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Next week, we're putting on our walking shoes. Stay tuned...... <BR> <BR> <em>57</em> <em>311</em> <em>313</em> <em>342</em> <BR> <BR> Sat, 19 Dec 2015 18:56:14 EST 12/19/15 - Of COREs you can Pick your level to strengthen your core..... <BR> <BR> 12-min Seated Core Workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> 10-min Crunchless Core Workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> Bootcamp: 9-minute Core Workout (repeat one or two moves to hit 10 minutes) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=74 </link> <BR> <BR> Every m... Fri, 18 Dec 2015 21:48:18 EST 12/18/15 - Free Form Friday Okay, it's your day to decide how you will challenge yourself. Will you be more active than normal, watch your portions, get more water, get rest if need be? <BR> <BR> What will it be. <BR> <BR> I will be marathon shopping. I took the day off work and intend to get it all done, accumulating many steps along the way <BR> <BR> Then a marathon stretch session when I get home. Hips are getting tight. Thu, 17 Dec 2015 22:03:20 EST 12/17/15 - Kick It Up Try the 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing workout. Keep it low-impact if need be, keeps the movement smaller, walk in place etc. <BR> <BR> If you can, kick up the intensity and maybe try it twice.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=80 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for two or three five-minute walking breaks throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Don't forget about the seated cardio video if need be... <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 22:34:46 EST 12/16/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take a break to relive or prevent eye strain. From VSP.COM: <BR> General Eye Strain Relief Exercises <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... Tue, 15 Dec 2015 21:26:48 EST 12/15/15 - Tuesday Towel Workout See how many of these isometric exercises you are able to do? In between sets, try walking laps or a set of 10 jumping jacks (You can do a modified jack... no jumping, just step out to each side and lift an arm, then alternate). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> Those of you feeling under the weather.... your ten-minute holidays challenge is to lay down for 10 minutes as often as needed. No sense pushing your... Mon, 14 Dec 2015 22:28:54 EST 12/14/15 - Movement Monday Okay so we're working on a 10-minute per day activity challenge through the holidays but can you double it up with a 20-minute Jessica Smith One Mile Power Walk video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_1mile_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Feel free to stop after 10 minutes if need be or stop after 10 minutes and pick it up again to finish the last 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Are you watching out for your immune syste... Sun, 13 Dec 2015 22:03:59 EST 12/13/15 - Kick Start The Week Get some quick cardio for our 10-minute holiday challenge..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=55 </link> <BR> <BR> Keep everything low-impact if need be or if you're up for it...... try it twice. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get refreshed and flexible with the Qi Gong workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> Sat, 12 Dec 2015 22:26:09 EST 12/12/15 - Stand Tall Roll those shoulders back and strengthen your body to improve your posture. I need all the help I can get.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> All day long, pretend there is a button in the middle of your shoulders on your upper back. Keep your shoulders pulled together as much as possible during the day to keep that button buttoned! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: How's your protein? <BR> <BR> <lin... Fri, 11 Dec 2015 21:43:15 EST 12/11/15 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Okay, let's get ready to make our Monday selves proud of our weekend selves. How will you start the weekend? <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with a new one! what will it be. <BR> <BR> I have had christmas decoration boxes all over the house all week. I am going to make a start on getting the decorations up and be finished by Sunday night. This will include MANY MANY steps. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? Thu, 10 Dec 2015 21:03:59 EST 12/10/15 - Upper Body According to Manual tasks that you perform every day are much easier if you're stronger. Having a stronger upper body also means that you don't need to rely on your lower back as much when lifting objects from the floor, making it less likely you'll rely on your back and injure it. <BR> <BR> So hit the Spark 9 - minute upper body video... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=39 </link> <BR> <BR> Remember, don't worry if you don't h... Wed, 9 Dec 2015 21:54:11 EST 12/9/15 - Wednesday Wellness Get outside! True, there may not be a whole lot of sunshine out there but try to get outdoors for 10 minutes, if it is safe to do so and reap the benefits: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> Walk the dog, get the kids for a walk, walk with a neighbor or co-worker or get some quality alone time. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Watch your portions. It's always good to refresh your portion knowledge. Take the quiz: <BR> <... Tue, 8 Dec 2015 22:40:08 EST 12/8/15 - Two for Tuesday Let's combine cardio and strength for big calorie burn in a short time. Try the Spark 18 minute Spark Bootcamp workout. <BR> <BR> Listen to your body, stick with the modifications she gives or skip moves that do not agree with you. Use water bottles instead of weights if you are not used to using weights. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=32 </link> <BR> <BR> If that doesn't work for you, walk laps in between Spark Body weight exercises: <BR> <BR... Mon, 7 Dec 2015 22:05:17 EST 12/7/15 - Be ABsolutely fABulous According to Jane Cobler, a doctor of physical therapy at ATI Physical Therapy....."Abs are the foundation and platform from which the rest of your body moves and functions." <BR> <BR> Try the Spark 10-minute Crunchess Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the Spark 12-minute Seated Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE... Sun, 6 Dec 2015 21:19:00 EST 12/6/15 - Sunday Stretches Aim for at least 10 minutes of walking today and then, get flexible. <BR> <BR> Try the Cool Down Yoga workout. It's a six-minute video so do what you can or do it twice. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s/lake-cool-down-yoga-workout-fluid-yo<BR>ga-stretches-for-flexibility-and-stres<BR>s-relief </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the stretches in this Spark stretching article which can be done seated: <BR> <BR> <link> Sat, 5 Dec 2015 18:12:04 EST 12/5/15 - Intervals Burn more calories in less time with interval training...... alternating between intense bursts of activity and less-intense activity. <BR> <BR> Try this ten minute Fast and Slow Cardio Interval video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s/remix-fast-and-slow-cardio-intervals<BR>-fun-fat-burning-cardio-workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or you can walk or run as fast as you can for one minute, slow down for two minutes. <BR> <BR> Make your Monday self be... Fri, 4 Dec 2015 21:35:14 EST 12/4/15 - Free Form Friday Today is the day you pick your own challenge! You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. How will you challenge yourself to move one step closer to your health and wellness goals? <BR> <BR> Resting is important too so resting counts if you need it! <BR> <BR> If you up for it though, keep pushing towards at least 10 minutes of activity! <BR> <BR> I need to do some stretching. I have two 5Ks this weekend and I'm a bit stiff so tomorrow will be walking breaks a... Thu, 3 Dec 2015 21:49:20 EST 12/3/15 - Thursday Thighs Get a strong foundation using the Spark 10 - minute lower body workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=79 </link> <BR> <BR> If you don't have weights, use soup cans or water bottles. No weights at all are fine as well, just really focus on the muscles you are working. <BR> <BR> Or try the one-minute Leg-Toning Chair exercises. See how many times you can repeat it.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?vide... Wed, 2 Dec 2015 21:17:40 EST 12/2/15 - Wednesday Wellness It's been so exciting to see everyone moving! Let's show our feet and ankles some love for getting us through all of this activity..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Also try holding out one leg at a time and while pointing your toe, spell out the alphabet. Someone once told me that helps prevent shin splints. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Get in at least 10 minutes of walking even if it's aroun... Tue, 1 Dec 2015 21:46:30 EST 12/1/15 - 10 - minute cardio Welcome in December with 10 minutes of cardio. Strengthen your heart and increase calorie burn! <BR> <BR> Try the Jessica Smith 10 Minute Cardio for Bad Knees. You don't have to have bad knees to do this, it's just a nice low-impact cardio workout....... UPDATE: It seems the link doesn't work by clicking it in this post but if you copy the link and paste it in your search engine, you should be able to get the video My apologies). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>P_e... Mon, 30 Nov 2015 22:25:12 EST 11/30/15 - Movement Meatless Monday Welcome to Monday! Let's get moving! <BR> <BR> Remember, if these challenges do not fit your needs, tell us what you did instead. All input is welcome! <BR> <BR> Try the 10-minute Spark Cardio Jump Start video. Listen for modifications, you can keep this low impact if need be: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=87 </link> <BR> <BR> Check out the Seated Cardio video if needed: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>Zbpi8Ow </lin... Sun, 29 Nov 2015 22:31:56 EST 11/29/15 - Sunday Stretches I'm posting early for Sunday since I will be out for the evening. <BR> <BR> We all worked really hard staying active during this week's ten-minute fitness daily challenges. Treat yourself to a full body stretch first thing in the morning, maybe after lunch and before bed if you have time. <BR> <BR> Just remember to warm up first, never stretch cold muscles.... walk some laps, a few jumping jacks (no jumping required, step out to each side as you raise your arms) or a little dancing to get ... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:40:15 EST 11/28/15 - Three Moves From personal trainer Gunner Peterson on a Dr. Oz show..... three moves to hit major muscles while watching tv.... <BR> <BR> ABS: Sit up straight at the edge of the couch or a chair. Lean back slightly with a straight back and lift and lower your knees. To make it more challenging, do it slooooooooow. <BR> <BR> TRICEPS: Tricep dips off the edge of your couch or chair. To make it more challenging, do the tricep dips with straight legs. <BR> <BR> THIGHS AND BUTT: Stand up sit down. Sit on... Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:23:20 EST 11/27/15 - Free Form Friday Fridays are the day you get to pick your own challenge so go for it. How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> In keeping with this holiday week daily10-min challenge tip, try the Spark 8-min Cardio Interval workout. Try it in addition to your planned activity or once or twice during the day. <BR> <BR> I did this in a hotel room on vacation once and it felt good to get a quick workout done! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=40 </link> <BR> <BR>... Thu, 26 Nov 2015 21:30:54 EST 11/26/15 - Thanksgiving Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, try the 5-move Spark Turkey Burner workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=take_the_turkey_burner_workout_chal<BR>lenge </link> <BR> <BR> Modify the moves as needed, change the jumping jacks to no-impact, step out to each side as you raise your arms. For the pushups, you can do them on your knees or against the wall. <BR> <BR> Skip burpees if you have a hard time getting on the floor. Repeat another move instead... Wed, 25 Nov 2015 22:02:11 EST 11/25/15 - Wednesday Wellness From the Spark Proper Breathing article: <BR> <BR> "Proper breathing is an underestimated, but critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> For our holiday week 10-minute a day challenge, join Jessica Smith for a quick 11-Minute Miracle Workout... <BR> <BR> <link>11-min mir... Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:25:20 EST 11/24/15 - Two For Tuesday Mix your cardio with your strength training. <BR> <BR> Why strength train? Check out the Spark article reminding us of 10 benefits we all want that can come from regular strength training.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1736 </link> <BR> <BR> Pick a short Spark toning video. If you don't have weights, use soup cans, water bottles or no weights. If you go without weights, just make sure to pay extra attention to the muscle being worked, you'... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:54:44 EST 11/23/15 - Movement Monday Let's get moving into the holiday burning calories 10 minutes at a time. If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, join us in racking up fitness minutes this week! <BR> <BR> Short burst of activity throughout the day keep metabolism firing up to keep burning calories all day so add ten minutes to any planned activity. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing Video. Keep the movements small if you need to or kick it up a notch you're able. <BR> <BR> <link> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 21:25:33 EST 11/22/15 - Improve your Balance It's never too early or too late to work on balance. Check out the Spark article to test your balance..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=755 </link> <BR> <BR> Then try three exercises to improve or maintain your balance..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Take stock of the kitchen. Are there more healthy, whole foods than negatively processed foods... Sat, 21 Nov 2015 22:00:30 EST 11/21/15 - Saturday Slipper workouts Sorry I'm posting late for tomorrow! <BR> <BR> Try a few of the moves from either the Rise and Shine or Sunset Stretch 10 minute slipper workout. Slip in a little strength/stretching in the comfort of your warm and toasty home! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10minute_slipper_workouts </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: <BR> <BR> November 21 is World Hello Day which began in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973. Si... Fri, 20 Nov 2015 23:31:28 EST 11/20/15 - Friday Fun Day Friday baby yeah! It's your day. Find a way to make health and wellness fun. Dance, jump rope, hula hoop, read, write, meditate or whatever flips your fun mental health switch. <BR> <BR> I will be doing a 5K with a local running group. We are calling it Friday Night Lights. They are a great group of people, always a good time. <BR> <BR> I just need to pick up a couple more fun light accessories to decorate myself. <BR> <BR> Go forth and have fun. Thu, 19 Nov 2015 22:26:48 EST 11/19/15 - Stairs Let's hit the stairs... in your house, apartment building, local mall... wherever you find stairs, take a few just because. <BR> <BR> Because.... <BR> <BR> The vigorous and continuous movement of your legs and hips results in deeper breathing and increases your heartbeat, which enhances blood flow to all areas of your body. <BR> <BR> Your body releases natural pain relievers, or endorphins, during a stair climb, so you’ll feel better and have less tension. <BR> <BR> Increase leg strengt... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 21:40:36 EST 11/18/15 - Wednesday Wellness Check out the Spark article for tips for One Minute to a Healthier You..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1557 </link> <BR> <BR> Check in with how many you tips you fit into your day. <BR> <BR> Take health and happiness in baby steps. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Give me a <em>248</em> if you hit five servings of freggies! Tue, 17 Nov 2015 22:18:48 EST 11/17/15 - Two For Tuesday Pick two different forms of cardio today and aim for 30 minutes, breaking it up in a few small increments if need be. <BR> <BR> Try.... <BR> A walk/run combo <BR> If you go to the gym, try a few minutes on the treadmill and an elliptical <BR> 3 ten-minute walking breaks <BR> or pick two or three short Spark cardio videos: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: How do you do in the area of Omegas... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 22:25:53 EST 11/16/15 - Healthy Hips Aim for at least one or two of the strengthen exercises and stretches to strengthen and lengthy your hips to prevent injury.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> "Tight hip flexors are a common problem among those of us who spend a lot of the day sitting at a desk. When you spend a lot of time in a seated position, the hip flexors remain in a shortened position. Over time, the shortened ... Sun, 15 Nov 2015 20:44:24 EST 11/15/15 - Sunday Stretches Everyone did such a great job this week working different muscle groups. Show those muscles your appreciation.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Try these 8 stretches maybe two or three times throughout your day after some movement. Never stretch cold muscles! <BR> <BR> Or try the Spark Qi Gong video.... one of my favorites.... <BR> <BR> <link><... Sat, 14 Nov 2015 22:22:30 EST 11/14/15 - Keep Moving Try to move more than you sit. Go for a two short walks if weather permits or pick a couple cardio videos to fit in to your day a couple times.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Keep metabolism working for you all day long. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BOUNUS CHALLENGE: November 14 is Loosen Up, Lighten Up day. Take a mental step back, loosen up, lighten up, and find some balance. Fri, 13 Nov 2015 22:04:47 EST 11/13/15 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey, we've arrived at Friday! It's up to you to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I had a tough bootcamp type workout today so Friday will be walking breaks and a lot of stretching. <BR> <BR> By the way, November 13 is World Kindness Day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> <BR> Let's kick it up this weekend! <BR> <BR> <em>354</em> <em>355</em> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 21:36:43 EST 11/12/15 - Better Posture Work on maintaining or improving posture muscles...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Good posture does wonders for our appearance and...... <BR> <BR> Is essential for avoiding back and neck pain. <BR> Prevents muscle aches and muscle fatigue. <BR> Keeps your bones and joints in proper alignment which prevents strain and overuse. <BR> Proper posture reduces abnormal wear and tear on joint surfaces, which... Wed, 11 Nov 2015 21:22:00 EST 11/11/15 - Strong Core According to Jane Cobler, a doctor of physical therapy at ATI Physical Therapy..... <BR> <BR> "Abs are the foundation and platform from which the rest of your body moves and functions. This comes in handy for virtually every movement—from grabbing the dish off the top shelf to spinning your niece around at the family party. Even though it seems like these activities are all about arm and shoulder strength, a strong core prevents these other muscles from straining." <BR> <BR> Pick your fitne... Tue, 10 Nov 2015 22:22:29 EST 11/10/15 - Lean Legs Try the 10-minute Lean Legs Workout video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=76 </link> <BR> <BR> Regular lower-body exercise increases bone strength, improves your balance and stamina and decreases injuries to your knees and hips, along with your risk of falling. <BR> <BR> If that video is too strenuous for your fitness level, try the seated log-toning chair exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video... Mon, 9 Nov 2015 22:27:43 EST 11/9/15 - Upper Body Strength Each day this week, we'll focus on a different muscle group. Feel free to add your own exercise if the one I post doesn't work for you. <BR> <BR> Benefits of upper body strength: <BR> <BR> A stronger upper body is a more injury-resistant upper body. <BR> Strength doesn't just mean getting stronger muscles, it also includes your tendons, bones and ligaments. <BR> The stronger your muscles, the better they can withstand impact and the less likely you are to injure yourself. <BR> Manual task... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 19:51:52 EST 11/8/15 - Sunday Sensations Take some time to relax with soothing smells... vanilla, apple, lavender, coconut are stress-reducing smells. <BR> <BR> November 8 is Cook Something Bold day that will fill the house up with homey smells. It is celebrated in November as houses are closed up for the winter, and capture the cooking smells. <BR> <BR> Check out spark recipes for ideas: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>se-recipes.asp </link> <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Sat, 7 Nov 2015 17:36:13 EST 11/7/15 - Abs and Glutes Let's tighten them up while we go about our day. <BR> <BR> Do a few sets of ten ab contractions, pull your belly into your back, hold a second or two, let it out. Don't hold your breath! <BR> <BR> Same for your backside... contract, hold a second or two and let it out. <BR> <BR> Sneaky toning Saturday! <BR> <BR> By the way, November 7 is Book Lovers day. Some say it is celebrated in August, some say in November. No matter, pick up a book or magazine and escape for a few minutes. <BR> <BR... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 22:33:00 EST 11/6/15 - Free Form Friday And here we are at another Friday. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I have a lot of driving around to do all day and evening so I will get in short bursts of activity throughout the day where I can and get to bed early for Saturday's 5K benefitting homeless veterans. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> "Your imagination is your preview to life's coming attractions." Thu, 5 Nov 2015 21:27:48 EST 11/5/15 - Kick it up Let's get a running start into an active weekend. Pick a short video based on your fitness level to add to whatever activity you have planned today. If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you! <BR> <BR> No impact: try the 11-min chair cardio. I have done this when I am not feeling well or have a few minutes alone in the office for an extra calorie burn in the day... <BR> <BR> <link> de tail.asp?video=38 </link> <BR> <BR> The 11-minute Mirac... Wed, 4 Nov 2015 21:47:34 EST 11/4/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week break to stretch by trying the following desk stretches... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> This is very helpful for those of us who spend much of our day at our desk, in a car or just to release stress! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Pay yourself two compliments today. <BR> <BR> Tue, 3 Nov 2015 22:42:00 EST 11/3/15 - Pushups Let's increase our upper body strength to burn calories and help us get through daily activities. <BR> <BR> Pick your level or mix and match..... <BR> <BR> Wall pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Modified pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=36 </link> <BR> <BR> On your toes: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=63 </link> <BR> ... Mon, 2 Nov 2015 21:58:27 EST 11/2/15 - Small Bursts of Activity According to"Shoveling snow, raking the leaves, lugging laundry up the stairs, or pacing while chatting on the phone may be as effective as a formal workout — provided those short bursts of activity add up to 30 minutes a day, according to a new study." <BR> <BR> Find opportunities to get small bursts of activity in your day.... <BR> <BR> Do a short Spark (or other site) video in the morning and in the evening... <BR> <BR> <link><B... Sun, 1 Nov 2015 19:24:24 EST 11/1/15 - End of Daylight Savings Sunday Get outside today to absorb as much daylight as possible. Even if it's grey and gloomy in your area, layer up and go for a quick walk if it's safe to do so. <BR> <BR> If you are not in an area that turns the clock back, get outside anyway and get a good dose of nature to kick start your week. <BR> <BR> Read about nature's healing powers.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>465</em> Sat, 31 Oct 2015 20:07:12 EST 10/31/15 - Happy Halloween Try a few moves of the Spark Candy Crusher workout or fit them all in for a 10 minute calorie burn. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=scare_away_candy_calories_with_the_<BR>halloween_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Get plenty of water and healthy food options to help avoid treat temptations. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>431</em> <BR> <BR> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 22:29:01 EST 10/30/15 - Free Form Friday It's your day to create a challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What will you do to make your day positive in any way you need? <BR> <BR> October 30 is known as Haunted Refrigerator Night, created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat to find, “what evil lurks in the refrigerators of men… and women… and venture unto the realm of the lower shelf, rear.” <BR> <BR> I need to get in my fridge! and I need to go for a short run. We'll see what the weather holds after work. <BR> <BR> Let's... Thu, 29 Oct 2015 20:38:00 EST 10/29/15 - Dance Moves As we head towards the weekend, let's get our dance moves on. Dancing can help reduce stress as well as improve balance and flexibility. <BR> <BR> Put on your favorite music and try a couple dance moves.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Be active for at least 30 minutes. Break it up in 5 or 10 minute increments if need be based on your schedule. <BR> <BR> <em>354</em> <em>355</... Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:28:49 EST 10/28/15 - Wednesday Wellness Show your feet some love for their dedication to getting you from point A to point B every day. <BR> <BR> Try a good mid-week foot soak..... <BR> <BR> Cover the bottom of a basin with marbles if you have them, fill the basin with warm water and sprinkle in some Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you have them. <BR> <BR> While soaking, glide your feet over the marbles for a mini-massage. After you’ve soaked your feet, slather on a rich re-hydrating cream. <BR> ... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 20:27:02 EST 10/27/15 - Two For Tuesday Let's double it up... <BR> <BR> pick at least two strength moves that work opposing muscle groups.. biceps/triceps, chest/upper back, abs/lower back etc. <BR> <BR> pick at least two cardio activities.... walk/run, walk/bicycle ride, dancing/kickboxing etc. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark fitness link for ideas: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>.asp </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge: aim for one serving of fruit AND vegetable at one meal. <BR> <BR> <... Mon, 26 Oct 2015 21:51:50 EST 10/26/15 - Lung Health Day October 26 is Lung Health day. According to <BR> <BR> "Lungs at rest and during most daily activities are only at 50 percent of their capacity," says Jennifer M. Ryan, PT, MS, DPT, CCS, a certified specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy. "Like the rest of your body, lungs thrive on movement and activity." <BR> <BR> "Since regular day-to-day activity doesn’t help you use your lungs to full capacity, you need to challenge the lungs with more intense activity.... Sun, 25 Oct 2015 20:51:35 EST 10/25/15 - Me Day Take some time to rejuvenate and refresh! <BR> <BR> Take five or ten minutes, in a quiet room just being <BR> Read a book <BR> Take a nap <BR> Get some full body stretching done <BR> <BR> Try the 15-min Chi Gong video. "Awaken your senses, detoxify your body, and achieve a feeling of calm vitality and inner peace". <BR> <BR> October 25 is International Artist Day. Take a few minutes enjoying the arts in some form. Look up local art galleries or symphonies you may attend in the future. Acco... Sat, 24 Oct 2015 22:02:17 EST 10/24/15 - Bootcamp Saturday I will be hitting my local fitness center for a class that has me alternating intervals on the treadmill wit the water rowing machine followed by strength training then repeat for an hour. <BR> <BR> So join me with a bootcamp workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_quick_zeroequipment_cardio_workout </link> <BR> <BR> By the way..... <BR> <BR> According to 24 is Food Day. Take the green initiative.... <BR> <BR> Green Meal is a ... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:32:04 EST 10/23/15 - Free Form Friday It's all up to you. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Take a step toward better nutrition, activity and/or wellness! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 22:21:44 EST 10/22/15 - Intervals Switch it up and burn more calories in less time.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=489&amp;page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Alternate between high and low intensity.... if you're walking, walk at a faster pace for one minute and lower pace for two minutes. Same if you're on the treadmill, elliptical, running etc. <BR> <BR> If you are strength training, alternate between a very slow set, followed by a regular-paced set. Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:13:28 EST 10/21/15 - Wednesday Wellness Try at least the first pictured pose, the Warrior 2, in this spark article. Hold for five deep breaths and switch leg positions, hold for five deep breaths. <BR> <BR> I always feel powerful and confident doing this pose in my yoga class. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=flow_with_me_warrior_sequence_to_st<BR>rengthen_and_stretch </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Bonus Challenge would be to try all poses pictured. <BR> <BR> <BR> By the way, October 21 is Information Ov... Tue, 20 Oct 2015 21:21:31 EST 10/20/15 - Freggies Introduce yourself to or get new ideas for smoothies...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=490 </link> <BR> <BR> Start making your shopping list. <BR> <BR> I used to wrinkle my nose at green smoothies until I finally played around with one..... some fresh spinach (I swear to you I don't taste the spinach), some Dole frozen fruit, a quarter of an avocado (again, I don't taste this, just makes it creamy), some V8 Fusion juice and a little peanut... Mon, 19 Oct 2015 21:09:21 EST 10/19/15 - Improve Your Balance <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> Try at least one of the three moves in this article to maintain or improve your balance. If balance is an issue for you, stand near a wall or sturdy chair. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: October 19 is Evaluate Your Life Day. Take a few minutes to think about how things are going...nutrition, activity, family, friends, goals. Jot down a plan for changing/improving an area in your life that needs th... Sun, 18 Oct 2015 22:07:02 EST 10/18/15 - Exercise Your Brain As this Spark article points out, it's important to "train your brain to improve its attention and focus through a variety of mind exercises. Over time this allows you to better block out distractions and improve concentration." <BR> <BR> Read the article for your Spark points and try at least one of the tips given in the article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1623&amp;page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Make a plan to try at least one of these tips eac... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 22:41:20 EST 10/17/15 - Isometrics Have you tried some isometrc moves for strength training? First educate yourself... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=972 </link> <BR> <BR> Learn the benefits and limitations of isometric exercises. "Isometric exercise is your body’s answer to the question, "What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?” The answer is that your muscles will get stronger without actually moving. <BR> <BR> There are several demos of isometric mov... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:36:19 EST 10/16/15 - Free Form Friday Ladies and Gentlemen and all the ships at sea... we are pulling into Friday. Today is the day to take the reigns and come up with your own challenge. What small steps can you make towards your goals? <BR> <BR> I'm still recovering from my sinus infection and trying to reign in the crazy eating. Any kind of upper respiratory thing sends me into snack overload and there is just no stopping it. <BR> <BR> I will be focusing on fruits and water... need to flush out all the salt I've consumed. I'... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 20:59:58 EST 10/15/15 -Vitamea avegamin Happy I Love Lucy Day. I Love Lucy Debuted on October 15, 1951. <BR> <BR> Remember Vitameatavegamin? It was a health tonic Lucy drank on the 1951 I Love Lucy episode "Lucy Does a TV Commercial". It was supposed to be an elixir that contained "vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals". It promised to help people who are "tired, run-down, and listless" <BR> <BR> Let's head towards the weekend with good habits. Give me a <em>248</em> if you.... <BR> <BR> Took or found a way to eat you vit... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:34:13 EST 10/14/15 - Wednesday Wellness 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 please . . . <BR> <BR> And now . . . let me see those pearly whites!!... Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:56:36 EST 10/13/15 - Cardio/Strength Whichever muscle group you haven't worked in the past two days, pick two or three strength training exercises and insert one minute of a cardio move in between strength sets. <BR> <BR> Cardio exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> There are a plenty of moves you can do without jumping if need be. <BR> <BR> Pick two or three strength moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos... Mon, 12 Oct 2015 22:01:50 EST 10/12/15 - World Arthritis Day Are you bothered by arthritis or feel like you want to prevent or limit arthritis issues? <BR> <BR> Take advantage of World Arthritis Day by performing as many of these joint exercises on as is safe for you or what your physician instructs.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ts-14/video-joint-exercises </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE Challenge..... Log every lick, sip and bite in your nutrition tracker. Be honest and see where you are at nutritionally a... Sun, 11 Oct 2015 21:36:36 EST 10/11/15 - Eliminate Toxins Take ten minutes to "get rid of carbon dioxide waste and get plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles" <BR> <BR> Try this Spark proper breathing exercise: <BR> <BR> <link>gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles </link> <BR> <BR> Take some time to rest and restore! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge: Freggie up your water. Consider adding a slick of lemon, lime or some grapes to your water. A slice of cucumber i... Sat, 10 Oct 2015 21:46:13 EST 10/10/15 - Sneaky Abs Is your Saturday filled with errands or a relaxing day? Squeeze in some ab contractions to tighten up the ab muscles. <BR> <BR> Contract your abs, hold for a second or two, and release. Try a set of ten or twenty while.... <BR> <BR> Brushing your teeth <BR> Washing dishes <BR> Watching TV <BR> Standing in line <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis b... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 21:35:43 EST 10/9/15 - Free Form Friday Ah Friday! Wrapping of the week of responsibilities and hopefully looking forward to some down time. <BR> <BR> Time to make your own challenge! What will it be? I think some of the sqatters will be resting and stretching their tushies??! <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> Or are some of you going to pump it up and try a new workout, or a new healthy dish? <BR> <BR> I made a commitment to my first non-trial night at the gym I just joined with a co-worker. You have to sign up for the time you want ... Thu, 8 Oct 2015 21:00:40 EST 10/8/15 - Squats I know, I can hear the eyes rolling but let's work the large muscle groups anyway. We need a strong base to get us through our day. <BR> <BR> If mobility is limited, just start to sit down in a chair or on the couch but wait, change your mind and get back up, focusing on putting your weight in your heels when you stand back up. <BR> <BR> If you're used to squats, stick that booty out, go down as far as you can without letting your knees go past your toes and focusing on your weight in your ... Thu, 8 Oct 2015 00:19:05 EST 10/7/15 - Roll Your Ankles/Stretch your feet According to eorthopod.... "the ankle joint is a strong joint that can support up to 1.5 times your body weight when you walk... has several strong muscles that support it, providing stability" <BR> <BR> So show your ankles some love... <BR> <BR> Start with your right ankle and roll it SLOWLY... half the speed you normally would. <BR> Switch directions <BR> Repeat on the other side as you feel all the big and small bones in your ankles and feet shift and move <BR> Next, with both feet at o... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 21:20:54 EST 10/6/15 - Triple Tuesday Pick three upper body weight exercises to increase your upper body strength. Pick your favorite moves or try at least one new move. <BR> <BR> There is a nice mix of exercises with weights, without weights at machines at the gym..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&exerci<BR>se_level=any&equipment=any&bodypart=up<BR>per%20body </link> <BR> <BR> Upper body strength is important to have because the upper body controls your ability to... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 22:17:24 EST 10/5/15 - Meatless Monday Let's aim for at least one meal without meat today. According to, going meatless once a week "may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. And going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water." <BR> <BR> I think I can get breakfast and lunch meatless. Have to go check out supplies. <BR> <BR> How do you go meatless? <BR> ... Sun, 4 Oct 2015 21:17:52 EST 10/4/15 - Sunday Stretches <BR> Wake up and stretch or have an after-lunch or have an after-dinner stretch. Let's loosen and lengthen! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Happy 10-4 day... celebrating National CB radios. 10-4 Good buddies! Sat, 3 Oct 2015 21:35:11 EST 10/3/15 - Wake Up And Walk Do you need a change in your routine? Do you need something to get yourself out of a slump? Do you need a warm-up routine before your workout? Try this out.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=one_mile_wake_up_and_walk_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or try this after dinner for a calorie burn before settling down for the evening. <BR> <BR> I'm going to do this one to warm up before my 5K Saturday. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 2 Oct 2015 22:55:57 EST 10/2/15 - Free Form Friday Sliding into the weekend again. It's all up to you on the challenge. What small step will you take towards your physical and mental health and wellness today. <BR> <BR> I signed up for two 5Ks this weekend without realizing it. I'm already a tired pup from the draining week at work ... big project go live coming up next week.... so I am going to eat smart, do some meditating to clear my head and get to bed early. <BR> <BR> I think I can I think I can I think I can! <BR> <BR> Let's make our... Thu, 1 Oct 2015 21:26:46 EST 10/1/15 - Bootcamp/Dog walks Okay, let's ROCKtober! Start up with the month with an all over calorie burn. If you're new to this, keep your movements small, walk in place when needed, just keep moving. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=32 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS Challenge: October 1st is Walk Your Dog day. Do you have a dog or know someone that would love for you to walk their pooch? <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 22:44:11 EST 9/30/15 - Wednesday Wellness Time for a mid-week stretch. Check out this Spark minute and a half video...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=22 </link> <BR> <BR> Great for a mid-day stretch or in the evening to wind down and release tension. <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS Challenge: We are knocking on the door to a new month. What would you like to accomplish..... connect more with family and friends, eat healthy portions, add more freggies? <BR> <BR> Write down one goal ... Tue, 29 Sep 2015 22:15:11 EST 9/29/15 <BR> September is World Heart Day which aims to "reduce our cardiovascular risk, and promotes a heart-healthy planet for those around us" according to <BR> <BR> Choose an article from the Spark Healthy Heart center and educate yourself. Let us know what you read...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-heart.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Take inventory on your kitchen. Can you buy a less processed foods? <BR> <BR> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 21:58:13 EST 9/29/15 - Monday Minutes Start off the week with activity, a few minutes here and there if need be throughout the day. Burn calories all day long and don't be an active couch potato. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=2042 </link> <BR> <BR> Take a few five-minute walks, get a Spark 10 minute workout in, do a few minutes of strength training. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30 minutes total or if that's your usual fitness minutes, aim for 10 more. <BR> <BR> Let's move! <BR> <BR> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 21:47:48 EST 9/27/15 - Sunday stretches Who has tight hips? I certainly do. Let's get those strengthened and stretched. Feel free to do one or there other depending what is going on in your day and fitness plan.. <BR> <BR> I'm definitely going to stretch, after a short warmup thought. Never stretch cold muscle! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge: Focus on one positive moment in your day! Sat, 26 Sep 2015 22:18:56 EST 9/26/15 - Alternate it Try to get some strength training done.... work a muscle and opposing muscle group that you have not worked in at least 24 hours. You don't want <BR> <BR> Insert a cardio move in between set of strength exercises...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> It doesn't have to be a knock-down drag out workout. Do one minute of cardio followed by one or two sets of 8 strength reps if that's all you have time for. <BR> <BR> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 21:46:06 EST 9/25/15 - Free Form Friday It's the day you get to choose. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I am choosing a me day. I've been burning the candle at both ends for two weeks. I'm going to take some down time, meditate and read my book. <BR> <BR> Go forth and be wonderful! Thu, 24 Sep 2015 20:41:10 EST 9/24/15 - Thursday Thighs Let's build strong glutes and thighs.Working your backside muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) do more than add roundness to your behind. <BR> <BR> These muscles play an important functional role in your body’s alignment. Strong glutes protect you from injury, improve athletic performance and give you a curvy shape. <BR> <BR> SO, after a quick warm up... walk, dance, jumping jacks..... try different exercises to build up those muscles and pump up your metabolism. ... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:10:57 EST 9/23/15 - Wednesday Wellness Inspired by the Tell Me Something Good blog by Spark member AUTHENTICALLYME. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6001898 </link> <BR> <BR> Too often we get bogged down with negative news and being our own worst critic. So tell us something good about your day or positive news in your area or both. <BR> <BR> Nothing is too small, nothing is insignificant. Anything positive is worth sharing. <BR> <BR> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:58:52 EST 9/22/15 - World Car Free Day Is there an errand you can get done without driving? <BR> <BR> Car Free Day is Tuesday, September 22, 2015. It’s is a worldwide event that encourages greener methods of travel; meaning ways to get around other than driving alone by car. <BR> <BR> Carpooling and taking public transportation counts too since not riding alone in a car releases less pollutants into the air. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge: Add an additional 15 minutes of cardio to your normally planned activity. <BR> <B... Mon, 21 Sep 2015 21:39:12 EST 9/21/15 - Eat Your Vitamins It's great to take your supplements but try to look for healthy foods that supply necessary vitamins. <BR> <BR> Look at the chart in this Spark article and see which foods you can consume to get your vitamins.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ce_vitamins.asp </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge..... aim for three ten-minute walks in addition to your planned workout. <BR> Sun, 20 Sep 2015 21:29:59 EST 9/20/15 - Day of Calm Or at least 5 - 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> Check out the article on proper breathing. It takes just 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> I may have a tough time with my allergies, but I'm going to try to do it anyway, at least get 10 minutes of calm. It's been a going-going-going weekend so I really need a few minutes of quiet. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:37:19 EST 9/19/15 - An Apple a Day..... Today is International Eat an Apple day.So have an apple, try a different variety of apple than you are used to or look for a healthy apple recipe. <BR> <BR> In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectively. <BR> <BR> Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin—a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fer... Fri, 18 Sep 2015 21:29:26 EST 9/18/15 - Free Form Friday <em>104</em> It's the weekend <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> How will you start things off for your weekend? Make your Monday self proud of your weekend self. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What step do you need to take to improve your health and wellness or to clear your mind? <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on posture exercises. I'm a work in progress in many ways, one of them my posture! <BR> <BR> By the way, September 18 is Hug a Greeting Car... Thu, 17 Sep 2015 22:43:59 EST 9/17/15 - Be ABsolutely fABulous! Let's do some sneaky ab work throughout the day. Work your abs while you move about your day. <BR> <BR> While driving, washing dishes, brushing your teeth or standing in line at the store, contract your abs for a count of two and release. <BR> <BR> While watching TV, sit on the edge of the chair or couch, pull in your abs and lift one knee up at at time, using your abs to pull your knee up. For an extra challenge, bring both knees up at the same time. Watch your back, don't slouch! <BR> ... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 21:49:52 EST 9/16/15 - Wednesday Wellness Our necks and shoulders bear the brunt of our baggage all day. Show your neck some love: <BR> <BR> First, tuck your chin to your chest, letting your head hang. Hold it there for at least 30 seconds. <BR> <BR> Now roll it gently to the right and hold. <BR> <BR> Roll it back through center, holding in the middle, and all the way (sloooooowly, as though you are moving through molasses) over to the left. <BR> <BR> Repeat this on both sides for one minute, or as long as feels good to you! <BR>... Tue, 15 Sep 2015 22:10:19 EST 9/15/15 - Small Cardio moves Check out the Spark article on 10 quick cardio moves and the different options for using these moves... as an HIIT workout, spread out throughout the day etc. <BR> <BR> I have been known to do some of these in the bathroom throughout the day at work when I'm alone. <BR> <BR> I've also done a couple when I didn't feel like getting my normal workout in and soon found my second wind! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1658 </link> <BR> <BR> Septembe... Mon, 14 Sep 2015 22:11:01 EST 9/14/15 - Muscle Monday <BR> Let's start the week strong. Pick at least two strength training exercises (remember to work opposing muscle groups... back/chest, bicep/tricep etc). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?equipment=bodyweight </link> <BR> <BR> Remind yourself about some of the benefits of strength training: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1736 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Happy Rosh HaShanah to those that celebrate! <BR> <BR... Sun, 13 Sep 2015 21:17:58 EST 9/13/15 - Positive Thinking Day September 13the is Positive Thinking day. I learned a long time ago that positive thinking is the key to achieving any goal, work-related, nutrition-related, weight-related, you name it, it's mostly mental. <BR> <BR> Try this positive thinking exercise before you go to bed and see if you can try to do it each night..... <BR> <BR> Write down three things that went well for you today. It doesn't matter if it's in a physical journal, a Google Docs document, or your phone. Use whatever method i... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 21:55:52 EST 9/12/15 - Spark Recipes Let's hit the Spark recipes and find something new. For many of us, the seasons are changing so let's change up our recipes. <BR> <BR> Find something new to you. After clicking the link below, in the search field at the top of the screen do a search for what you like, chicken, fish, beef, smoothie, slow cooker, oatmeal etc. The possibilities are endless. <BR> <BR> Just like changing up your workout, like we did in an earlier challenge, it's important to change up your eating habits to keep ... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 21:04:01 EST 9/11/15 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey! Friday! <BR> <BR> Today is your day to inspire and challenge yourself. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with your own. Maybe you'll inspire the rest of us. <BR> <BR> Of course today is 9/11 remembrance day. This day affected people around the world. Say a little prayer or think a positive, loving thought for those directly affected by that day! <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> all around! <BR> <BR> On a lighter note, it's also Make Your Bed day. If you don't consistentl... Thu, 10 Sep 2015 21:23:53 EST 9/10/15 - Cardio/Strength Who's ready to burn some calories.I just got back from alternating lower body strength moves and running a quarter mile lap, rinse and repeat three times. Very challenging but I felt AHHMAZING when we finished. <BR> <BR> So give it a try. Try the Spark 20 - Minute Fat Blaster video which combines cardio moves and strength training. Take it at your pace, follow modifications given. If a cardio move is too challenging, march in place. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 21:58:01 EST 9/9/15 - Wednesday Wellness From Reset By Relaxing your face. There are 43 muscles in our face. That is a lot of opportunities for us to unknowingly build and hold tension. <BR> <BR> Try this for one minute: <BR> <BR> Close your eyes (after you read these instructions), and begin to soften the muscles of your face. <BR> <BR> Release your jaw if it is clenched, and let your tongue rest on the soft upper palate of your mouth. <BR> <BR> Curl your lips in the slightest smile, as you relax all of the ... Tue, 8 Sep 2015 23:45:13 EST 9/8/15 - Change it Up Do you consistently perform the same workouts/activity. Our bodies adapt to the same activity and stop responding. <BR> <BR> Try changing it up today. Educate yourself or get a refresher on cross-training. Cross training helps you avoid burnout and overuse injuries. <BR> <BR> Check out the following Spark article for more information on the benefits of cross-training and suggestions for changing up your current routine. <BR> <BR> <link><BR> Mon, 7 Sep 2015 20:56:45 EST 9/7/15 - Happy Labor Day/Day of Charity Welcome Monday! In the US we celebrate Labor day. According to the Department of Labor ( <BR> <BR> Labor day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. <BR> <BR> It's also International Day of Charity. According to UN.GOV, the General Assembly of the &#8206;United Nations in... Sun, 6 Sep 2015 21:22:02 EST 9/6/15 - Sunday Calm I have to post early for Sunday as I'm heady out shortly for the night. <BR> <BR> On Sunday, try 5 - 10 minutes of meditation. Check out this Spark article that describes how to meditate in addition to other relaxing techniques.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=779 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try walking meditation.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=894 </link> <BR> <BR> Find a few minutes of calm in ... Sat, 5 Sep 2015 16:39:01 EST 9/5/1/5 - Side Shuffles Try some lateral Shuffle exercises. According to <BR> <BR> "When done with proper form, the lateral shuffle can improve your flexibility and help strengthen your hip flexors. If you stay in a deep squat throughout the exercise, you can also strengthen the major muscles in your hips and legs. Lateral shuffles can be performed as part of a dynamic warm-up or you can use them for a heart-pumping, fat-burning cardio workout." <BR> <BR> Here's the proper technique: (you don't h... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 21:48:16 EST 9/4/15 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey, it's Friday gang. Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of you own. <BR> <BR> It can be fitness, nutrition, emotional, household or spiritual related. Whatever you need! <BR> <BR> What will it be? <BR> <BR> I will have overnight guests Saturday night. I have a long to-do list tomorrow, cleaning and grocery shopping. <BR> <BR> Here's to a happy, healthy weekend! Thu, 3 Sep 2015 21:28:44 EST 9/3/15 - Stairs Hit the stairs today if you have access to stairs. Do as much or as little as your fitness level allows. <BR> <BR> For extra fun, take wide steps. <BR> <BR> Or lift your knee up before stepping down on the stair. <BR> <BR> Or swing your leg behind you before placing it on the next step to really work the glute! Just make sure to do it with control, squeezing your glute, not arching your back. <BR> <BR> Taking the stairs works the large muscles in your lower body burning more calories! <... Wed, 2 Sep 2015 23:05:21 EST 9/2/15 - 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 lounging 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 little stre... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 21:35:57 EST 9/1/15 - Two For Tuesday Start the month on a strong note... working two sets of muscles at the same time. <BR> <BR> Try dumbbell squats: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=51 </link> <BR> <BR> For a little more of a challenge, do a wall sit..... get in sitting position against the wall and do hammer curls or bicep curls. It's a burn! <BR> <BR> Or try Lateral lunges with dumbbells: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=29 </link> <BR>... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 22:37:11 EST 8/31/15 - Eat Your Lunch Outside Day August 31st is Eat Your Lunch Outside day. Most of us are nearing the end of summer. Get out and get some fresh air if you can. <BR> <BR> Get away from your desk or out of the house by eating lunch outside. Or if you're pressed for time, take your coffee or water bottle for a short walk. Get some fresh air. <BR> <BR> According to <BR> <BR> Did You Know… <BR> …that picnics began as a meal break for hunters while hunting? Sun, 30 Aug 2015 21:53:21 EST 8/30/15 - Sunday Gratitude Take some time to feel grateful today. Look for small things.... that light bulb didn't burn out today or you got all the laundry put away or you were able to get up and move etc. <BR> <BR> It's so easy to focus on the little annoyances. Make an effort to look for small wonders. <BR> <BR> Read the Spark article on gratitude. At the end of the article, it has ways to practice gratitude. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1541 </link> <BR> <BR> Gi... Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:58:13 EST 8/29/15 - Saturday Salt talk Today is More Herbs Less Salt Day. According to <BR> <BR> "Most herbs belong to either the mint family, which includes basil, oregano, rosemary and sage, or the carrot family, like dill, parsley and cilantro." <BR> <BR> Did you make that shopping list earlier in the week? Stop to pick up some herbs to experiment with. <BR> <BR> Check out the spark article on Herbs and Spices to "Spark" Your Food. The article contains a chart that shows a list of herbs and the dishes they compli... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:56:34 EST 8/28/15 - Free Form Friday We're HERE! The WEEKEND! Whohooo! It's Free Form Friday, the day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. You call the shots. <BR> <BR> What will it be for you? <BR> <BR> I am going to have dinner with a friend that is long overdue and hit the hay early in preparation for a 5k early Saturday morning. <BR> <BR> By the way, August 28 is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. <BR> <BR> Think about your dream and take steps every day towa... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:44:43 EST 8/27/15 - Stand Up According to <BR> <BR> A 130-pound woman burns a scant 78 calories in an hour while sitting quietly. If you sit for eight hours of your day, that burns only 624 calories, which is less than what many people consume at dinner <BR> <BR> A 130-pound woman burns about 99 calories per hour standing quietly, which totals 792 calories over eight hours. Standing qualifies as non-exercise activity thermogenisis, also known as NEAT, which encompasses those everyday activities that h... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:26:32 EST 8/26/15 - Wednesday Wellness Start your next shopping list now. Stick it in your purse, wallet, put it in the car or if you have a smartphone, put the list in your phone so you won't forget your list next time you stop at the store. <BR> <BR> Part of the battle of staying on track is having healthy foods and snacks around. Check out this Spark article on shopping cart essentials: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1001 </link> <BR> <BR> Don't get too bogged down by all the... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:54:56 EST 8/25/15 - Mix it Up Combine strength and cardio. In between strength sets, add a cardio move... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Most of these cardio moves are low or no impact so you don't have to overdue it, just a little extra calorie burn. <BR> <BR> I do this every now and again... a set up bicep curls, then a few jumping jacks, a few tricep dips, followed by walking two laps around the house, some shoulder presses, followed b... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:33:15 EST 8/24/15 - Move it Monday Aim for 30 minutes of cardio today. Break it up into 10 minute increments if need be, a few walks, a run, some dancing or Spark videos.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Mix it up to make it an interesting day! Spark goodies to all that post what they did for 30 minutes and also to those that rested if it's needed. Rest days are important too! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! <BR> <BR> <em>312</em> <em>57</em> <em>33... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 22:10:53 EST 8/23/15 - Rise and Shine Stretches Or lunch and stretch or dinner then stretching.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Any time of day is a good day for lengthening the muscles that work hard for you every day. <BR> <BR> Make sure to move around some first. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> By the way...... August 23 is National Ride The Wind day, commemorating the anniversary of the first human powered flight to w... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 22:45:53 EST 8/22/15 - Shake Those Hips And strengthen and stretch them. <BR> <BR> Strong and flexible hips can help prevent injury, make it easier to walk up stairs or inclines. Strong hip flexors offer some sport-specific benefits as well. <BR> <BR> Get some hip strengthening and stretching done: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> By the way, August 22 is Be An Angel day: <BR> <BR> Be An Angel Day is all about making the w... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 22:23:00 EST 8/21/15 - Free Form Friday Hey Hey Hey, It's Friday! Today it's up to you what you accomplish. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What opportunity will you find for yourself? <BR> <BR> I will be mindful and present with my goals. I either go to the movie with a friend (where there is buttered popcorn) or stay home with DH for pizza night depending what my friend's schedule allows. <BR> <BR> Soooooo, activity and healthy eating will be a challenge. I will rise to the challenge because t... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 22:26:59 EST 8/20/15 - Throwback Thursday I went back to the beginning of this team in 2006. The challenge was to get four upper body strength exercises. I'll add links to suggestions given at that time for you. How many can you fit in.... <BR> <BR> Get in FOUR Upper Body Strength Training Exercises. Some of my personal favorites are: <BR> <BR> Alternating Bicep Curls <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=69 </link> <BR> <BR> Bench Press <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:19:14 EST 8/19/15 - Wednesday Wellness Need a refresher on healthy beverages? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=605 </link> <BR> <BR> Learn something new or get a refresher and earn some Spark points. <BR> <BR> Try two confidence poses (I have done these in the bathroom at work before meetings) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=166 </link> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 22:09:25 EST 8/18/15 - Two For Tuesday Let's try to get one serving of fruits AND one serving of vegetables with at least one meal. <BR> <BR> Not enough on hand? Plan your next shopping list today to accomplish this goal later in the week. <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE... August 18 is Serendipity Day, a day that encourages people to look for and notice those unexpected good things that are always out there, if we have the eyes to see them. <BR> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 20:52:01 EST 8/17/15 - Muscle Monday Why strength training is important for everyone, young and old: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=364 </link> <BR> <BR> Pick a strength training video, most are quick to fit into a busy day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=3 </link> <BR> <BR> Strength training with disabilities: <BR> <BR> Are you restricted in some way? Check with your doctor after reviewing this article and the exercise links: <... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 20:59:24 EST 8/16/15 - Me Day Sorry I'm late with this! <BR> <BR> Let's take a me day. Rest, relax, reconnect. Be good to yourself. <BR> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 02:33:35 EST 8/15/15 - Show Your Back Some Love Ever since I threw my back out picking up laundry the beginning of July, I've been very careful with my back and do stretches every evening. Every little daily movement goes through your back. Read these tips to take care of your back. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=804 </link> <BR> <BR> How many tips did you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> By the way, August 15 is Relaxation Day. Soooo...... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 22:09:10 EST 8/14/15 - Free Form Friday Here we are, the day we make our own challenge/repeat a previous day's challenge or both. <BR> <BR> I will be doing some upper body strength since I missed it. But before that, I am determined to not let the negativity at work suck me in. As they sang in the movie Cool Runnings.... "rise above it!" <BR> <BR> Let's all make it a positive Friday! Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:15:33 EST 8/13/15 - Upper Body Strength From Strengthening your upper body, especially the shoulders and back, will give you the posture to fight unnecessary injuries and maintain form in lengthy, grueling workouts. <BR> <BR> Try the 9-minute Spark Seated Arm and Shoulder workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=39 </link> <BR> <BR> Or share your favorite upper body strength workout. <BR> <BR> Any lefties out there? Happy Left-hander's day. Did you Know? Right handed peop... Wed, 12 Aug 2015 21:58:25 EST 8/12/15 - 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 diffe... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:03:23 EST 8/11/15 - Boot Camp Let's do some big sweating in a short amount of time. This Spark video combines cardio and strength training. Keep it low impact if need be on the cardio moves and follow along with the modifications given..... <BR> <BR> <link> os-detail.asp?video=32 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Try adding fruit such as berries, grapes, lemon or lime or try a slice of cucumber. <BR> <BR> Get creative with your H2O! Mon, 10 Aug 2015 22:36:04 EST 8/10/15 - Strong Bones Know your calcium needs.Most adults need 1,000 to 1,200 mg each day, but your needs may vary based on your age or risk level. <BR> <BR> Check out the 31 Days to Stronger Bones article with a link to a month of tips for strong bones..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=845 </link> <BR> <BR> Some tips include: <BR> <BR> Limit caffeine <BR> Get three servings of dairy each day (or dairy alternatives) <BR> Aim for 2-3 strength training sessions... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 21:44:31 EST 8/9/15 - Sunday Stretches Let's loosen and lengthen all muscles that have been working hard to get us through our workouts and daily activities. <BR> <BR> Try this daily stretching routine..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1264 </link> <BR> <BR> August 9th is National Spirit of 45 day...In 2010, the US Congress unanimously voted in favor of a national “Spirit of ’45 Day” to preserve and honor the legacy of the men and women of the World War II generation so that their ... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 22:01:35 EST 8/8/15 - ABsolutely Fabulous Sneak some ab work throughout your day. When waiting in line at the store or the bank, washing dishes or in the car. ( at stop lights only ), contract your abs, hold for a second and release. Sneak in as many sets of ten as you can. <BR> <BR> Try some SparkPeople core workouts... <BR> <BR> Seated Core workout- <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Or <BR> <BR> Pilates Abs Workout <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 7 Aug 2015 21:12:52 EST 8/7/15 - Free Form Friday We all made it to the weekend. It's your day to decide your challenge. Come up with one of your own or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> In addition to continuing my nightly stretching routine, I'm going to do some meditating and cleansing breathing exercises. I have had a stressful week so I'm going to turn it all off and move ahead. <BR> <BR> So what will it be? Thu, 6 Aug 2015 21:41:03 EST 8/6/15 - Five-Minute Energy Blast Need a quick wakeup call? Check out the moves in this Spark article for a quick energy burst... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_5minute_wake_up_call_for_your_who<BR>le_body </link> <BR> <BR> I did this one Sunday morning, before coffee, had a glass of ice water and I felt more energized and productive than I do with my morning cup of coffee. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Try to get a brisk five to 10-minute walk in before or after at least one meal. ... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 20:32:01 EST 8/5/15 - Wednesday Wellness According to, when you stoop or slouch, your muscles and ligaments struggle to keep you balanced — which can lead to back pain, headaches and other problems. <BR> <BR> To test your posture take the wall test. Stand with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall, and have your heels about 2 to 4 inches (about 5 to 10 centimeters) away from the wall. Reach back and slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back, with your palm flat against the wall. <BR> <BR>... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 21:32:30 EST 8/4/15 - Two for Tuesday Amp up your cardio minutes. Pick at least two cardio moves to alternate and repeat for ten minutes or added to your already-planned cardio activity. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Make it as easy or as challenging as you need. <BR> <BR> Or pick two short Spark cardio videos to combine for an energizing workout... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 22:21:47 EST 8/3/15 - Six-Minute Monday Start the week with a quick full-body workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_excuseproof_workout_plan </link> <BR> <BR> Do what you can based on your fitness level. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge..... Track ahead. Track your next two to three meals and snacks to keep yourself on track. Sun, 2 Aug 2015 21:57:22 EST 8/2/15 - Put Yourself First Take a ME day or get a few ME minutes. Did you know one of our team goals is to do something for yourself each day? <BR> <BR> Take some time Sunday to take good care of yourself so you can continue to take care of yourself and others. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=484 </link> <BR> <BR> Sat, 1 Aug 2015 22:09:39 EST 8/1/15 - Saturday Signups Have you checked out the virtual races on Spark People? If you are not up for a group activity or for the group activity fees, consider signing up for a virtual race. <BR> <BR> You pick the week, your route and the type....1 mile beginner walk, 1 mile beginner run, 5K Walk, 5K Walk/Run, 5K Run or 10K (it doesn't specify walk or run so it's up to you). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>race-home.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Having an event to look forward to can help kee... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:46:26 EST 7/31/15 - Free Form Friday Okay gang, it's your time to shine. Come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I have a 5K Saturday morning so I will eat smart, stretch and get to bed at a decent time. I'm always jumpy the night before a race and can't relax. <BR> <BR> Okay, let's hear it, what step(s) will you take toward a healthier you? Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:44:03 EST 7/30/15 - Thursday Thighs Okay, let's get our lunges on. I know you're all groaning BUT consider this: <BR> <BR> According to the American Council on Exercise, lunges are one of the most effective lower-body exercises. They effectively work your glutes and quadriceps and also engage your hamstrings. Strengthening these large muscle groups can speed up your metabolism, which is beneficial if you're trying to lose weight <BR> <BR> Lunges can improve your core strength. When doing lunges, you must engage your core musc... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 22:40:45 EST 7/29/15 - Wednesday Wellness Show your neck some love.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function." <BR> <BR> "the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:48:55 EST 7/28/15 - Ballet Tuesday Did you take ballet as a child or did you wish you did? Bring out that inner ballerina with a 15 minute barre workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=15minute_beginner_barre_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Any guys lurking out there, this is not just for the ladies. Mikhail Baryshnikov! Enough said! <BR> <BR> Four benefits of ballet: <BR> <BR> Improved posture and flexibility <BR> Improved balance and coordination <BR> Improved confidence <BR> Improved muscl... Mon, 27 Jul 2015 22:42:49 EST 7/27/15 - Walking July 27 is National Take Your Pants for a Walk day. I also found National Take Your Houseplant for a Walk. If you want to take your plant along, by all means, but get out there and walk.... or walk laps in the house or at work. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30 minutes if you can. You can break it up into 6, 5-minute walks or 3, 10-minute walks. According to the American Heart Association being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke and that you will experience benefits even i... Sun, 26 Jul 2015 22:17:46 EST 7/26/15 - Hips and Thighs Strengthen and stretch your thighs. Many of us spend a lot of time during the week sitting at work and sitting in the car. We need to stretch those muscles out on a regular basis. <BR> <BR> Try as many moves in this article as you can in good form. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> I love the pigeon pose. I've been working on it every night since the beginning of the month and I'm getti... Sat, 25 Jul 2015 22:26:11 EST 7/25/15 - Dance The last Saturday in July is National Dance Day. It was created as a day to raise awareness about and encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity. <BR> <BR> Turn on your favorite playlist and boogie oogie oogie. Or look up a dance workout on youtube or on Spark. Don't forget to log your dancing minutes!! <BR> <BR> Besides feeling good and helping with weight loss, some other benefits of dancing include.... <BR> <BR> boost memory... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 21:13:10 EST 7/24/15 - Free Form Friday Here we are.... FRIDAY BABY! Today is the day you pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm going to get out for a short run. I joined the mapmyfitness app 30 miles in 30 days challenge. then there is also my stretching streak. Ever since I threw my back out two weeks ago, I've been stretching every night! <BR> <BR> Here's to an active and healthy weekend! Thu, 23 Jul 2015 22:25:17 EST 7/23/15 - Stairs Benefits of taking the stairs from live <BR> <BR> "The vigorous and continuous movement of your legs and hips results in deeper breathing and increases your heartbeat, which enhances blood flow to all areas of your body. <BR> <BR> Your body releases natural pain relievers, or endorphins, during a stair climb, so you’ll feel better and have less tension. Doctors also recommend stair climbing as an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and ... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 22:25:52 EST 7/22/15 - Wednesday Wellness Try to compliment at least three people that you wouldn't normally.... the cashier at the store, a customer on the phone, someone who held a door open for you, give a friendly wave to a driver that let you merge in front of them. <BR> <BR> According to there are 7 benefits of paying compliments... <BR> <BR> 7. It takes the focus off of you. <BR> Any time you can break the habit of “stinkin’ thinkin’” even just for a second, you’re shifting your attention from all the things goi... Tue, 21 Jul 2015 22:23:14 EST 7/21/15 - Tuesday Tip toes Take a few steps here and there on your tip toes. If you are unsteady, do calf raises while holding on to a chair or the sink. <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Tip toe walking is a functional exercise, meaning it trains your muscles to work together to perform sport-specific or everyday tasks. <BR> <BR> Tiptoe walking can improve your proprioception, or your sense of where particular body parts are in space. Skills you developed when you were younger -- including balance, agil... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 22:15:01 EST 7/20/15 - World Jump Day The World Jump Day was an event scheduled for July 20, 2006 at 11:39.13 UTC, at which time the organization claimed to have 600 million people from the western hemisphere jump simultaneously. They claimed this would move the Earth out of its orbit, and into a new one, one that would not cause global warming. <BR> <BR> Well, that was a hoax but let's see if we can get the One Day Challenge team to jump start the week. Sneak some jacks in your day. <BR> <BR> No worries if jumping is not for ... Sun, 19 Jul 2015 22:04:34 EST 7/19/15 - Qi Gong Take a few minutes and "Awaken your senses, detoxify your body, and achieve a feeling of calm vitality and inner peace by following Cohen's simple standing exercises and graceful, flowing movements." <BR> <BR> Try the SparkPeople 15-Minute Qi Gong video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> ADDITIONAL/BONUS CHALLENGE: Keep an eye on your posture all day. Roll those shoulders back and down, ears aligned over your shoulders. <... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 22:02:24 EST 7/18/15 - Toss Away the "couldas" and "shouldas" Martha J. Ross-Rodgers, author and motivational speaker, created "Toss Away the Could haves/Should haves" day. It is intended for all to let go of the past and live for the present. <BR> <BR> Find a piece of paper and pen, write down your “could haves” and “should haves” and then through it away. Once you have thrown your “could haves” and “should haves” in the trash, make the following resolution: <BR> <BR> “From this day forward, I choose not to live in the past, the past is history that... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:15:50 EST 7/17/15 - Freeform Friday Hey Hey Hey, it's Freeform Friday where you pick the challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Take a small step towards increasing your activity, healthy food swaps or improving your self esteem. <BR> <BR> Since hurting my lower back a couple weeks ago, I appreciate the value of daily stretching. I've always stretched a bit after a workout but not enough. <BR> <BR> I made a spark streak to track daily stretching. I'm working on sitting cross-l... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:33:56 EST 7/16/15 - Fresh Spinach Day July 16 is Fresh Spinach Day. Celebrate by adding spinach to pasta, salads or smoothies (If you make it right, you can't taste the spinach). <BR> <BR> Check out the spark recipes that contain spinach..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>food=spinach&a= </link> <BR> <BR> Are you really against spinach? How do you get your greens? <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Add fruit to your water such as lemons, strawberries, grapes or even a cucumber. Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:05:31 EST 7/15/15 - Wednesday Wellness Like MOONSHINE said when we were stretching our wrists, there are exercises to prevent and ease plantar fasciitis so let's get it done.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> If you haven't experienced plantar faciitis, trust me, you don't want to! Get flexible! <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Give yourself at least two compliments today! Tue, 14 Jul 2015 22:00:19 EST 7/14/15 - Tuesday Triceps Work your triceps using the wall pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Or while laying down, try the one-arm pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=139 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try a few of both! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLLENGE: Check out In the search field, type in fish, chicken, oatmeal etc to find a recipe to make this week or weekend. <BR> <BR> Let u... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 22:48:20 EST 7/13/15 - Mindful Monday Try to take a minute or two to think about everything you put in your mouth today. I mean really think about it. The spark article on mindful eating on Thanksgiving is a good read for any day. <BR> <BR> Try these tips today as best you can before anything you eat or drink...... <BR> <BR> Prior to eating, turn off the distractions: television, radio, phone and computer. Quiet your mind as you prepare to “dig in,” but first stop, take a deep breath, and position your body for the bounty you... Sun, 12 Jul 2015 22:15:43 EST 7/12/15 - Prevent Wrist Pain Even if you do not experience wrist pain now, educate yourself on carpal tunnel syndrome and do the easy stretches at the end of the article to keep ease or prevent wrist pain. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1527 </link> <BR> <BR> Keep your wrists happy! Sat, 11 Jul 2015 23:03:23 EST 7/11/15 - Adult Recess I'm taking a idea from team leader MAREE1953 from the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. <BR> <BR> Take some time for adult recess, get out and play, do something fun. Find your inner child! <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article on idea to get out and play.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1534 </link> <BR> <BR> Healthy, healing wishes to all that need them! Fri, 10 Jul 2015 21:50:16 EST 7/10/15 - Free Form Friday Okay, it's your day, pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What small step can you take to achieve your goal, it doesn't have to be fitness related. <BR> <BR> I am going to face the workday with an open mind and stop stressing. It's been that kind of week. I keep reminding myself that worry is not going to change the outcome of the situation. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> By the way, happy Independence Day to any Bahamian Sparkers out there! <BR> ... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 21:49:06 EST 7/9/15 - Add Activity to Exercise Check out the Spark article on adding activity to exercise. It's excellent to get a good workout in your day but add to your fitness level by increasing activity in your day in addition to your workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=habits_of_fit_people_add_activityno<BR>t_just_exerciseto_your_days </link> <BR> <BR> Many of you regularly add some of these activities to your day. If not, try one or two. Let us know if you have new ideas for adding activity to ... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 22:13:24 EST 7/8/15 - Show Your Back Some Love Join me in stretching your back. I threw my back out Sunday morning and am just now (Tuesday evening) starting to loosen up thanks to stretches and easy walking. <BR> <BR> Some stretches can be done in bed if you cannot get on the floor: <BR> <BR> Lying Hip & Glute Stretch - it also feels good on the lower back... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=293 </link> <BR> <BR> Child's Pose - it was hard for me to get on the floor with my lower back pain b... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 21:38:12 EST 7/7/15 - Training As in interval training. Whatever your aerobic workout, alternate a fast pace with a moderate pace to burn more calories. <BR> <BR> Are you doing strength training today? Take two or three reps at a sloow pace to add a little extra burn. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Start your shopping list with some detox foods: <BR> <BR> Artichokes <BR> Asparagus <BR> Broccoli <BR> Avocados <BR> Kale <BR> Apples <BR> Goji <BR> Lemons and lemon juice <BR> The pink and red colors of grapefruit ... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 21:03:09 EST 7/6/15 - Sneaky abs Let's start the week working our core while nobody is watching. While standing in line, talking on the phone, attending a meeting, contract your abs into your spine, hold for a second or two and release. <BR> <BR> See how many sets of 10 you can do in a day. <BR> <BR> Be Absolutely fabulous! <BR> <BR> Sun, 5 Jul 2015 22:05:17 EST 7/5/15 - Rest/Relax Take some time to relax. Try the Spark 15-min Chi Gong video to relax your body and mind..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Sat, 4 Jul 2015 23:21:52 EST 7/4/15 - Independence Day Happy 4th of July! May the 4th be with you! <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> In the US, we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. <BR> <BR> In 1994, July 4 marked the end of the Rwandan Genocide, and the birth of the new government. <BR> <BR> No matter where you are, declare your... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 22:10:46 EST 7/3/15 - Free Form Friday Okay, it's your day, pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What small step can you take to make yourself the healthiest version of yourself you can be? Physically or mentally. <BR> <BR> I don't always track these days. I'm going to track my plan for the whole day and Saturday too to keep myself on track during the holiday weekend. <BR> <BR> By the way, July 3 is Compliment Your Mirror Day..... <BR> <BR> Stand in front of your mirror with your eyes closed. Put a big ... Thu, 2 Jul 2015 21:32:17 EST 7/2/15 - Thursday thighs The thighs are one of the larger muscle groups which means more calories burned when working them. Not to mention the benefit of keeping ourselves strong while mobile! <BR> <BR> Try to sneak in a few sets of simple squats throughout your day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Spice up your squat to make it more interesting by making it a circle squat. As you squat down, move your hips out to the right, lower down to the cente... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 21:39:33 EST 7//1/15 - Wednesday Wellness Happy First Day of July!!! July is Social Wellness Month. According to the University of Minnesota, healthy relationships are a vital component of health. <BR> <BR> The health risks from being alone or isolated in one's life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity. <BR> <BR> Research shows that: <BR> <BR> People who have a strong social network tend to live longer. <BR> The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships resp... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:22:06 EST 6/30/15 - Stand tall Focus on good posture. Proper posture... <BR> <BR> reduces abnormal wear and tear on joint surfaces <BR> reduces stress on ligaments that connect spinal joints <BR> helps you avoid developing an abnormal permanent position, which can cause spinal disk problems and constricted blood vessels and nerves. <BR> Good posture also protects spinal joints from injury and deformity. <BR> <BR> So give the posture workout a try... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12min... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:12:25 EST challenging myself This will be a good team for me, as I do better when I <BR> have a group to help me keep on track. And I like to have <BR> challenges that change often. Makes it interesting to try to just do them <BR> with the rest of the group. <BR> <BR> Good luck to everyone. <BR> <BR> We Can Do This :-) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:34:29 EST 6/29/15 - Freggies Aim for one serving of fruits/veggies at every meal. If you don't have enough on hand try for just one meal but start your shopping list for more freebies. <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE - Doing some strength training today? <BR> <BR> Try inserting a cardio move in between sets. It can be as easy as walking a couple laps to a few jumping jacks (no jumping required....step out to one side as you lift your arms to shoulder level, step back together and bring arms down then step th... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 22:08:31 EST 6/28/15 - Me day Take a me day today. Find some time to rest, relax and rejuvenate for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Try ten minutes of proper breathing: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Or go through Rise and Shine stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Or put your feet up and just BE. <BR> <BR> What is your favorite way to spend M... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 21:42:45 EST 6/27/15 - Saturday Steps Let's all be with KITTY20 today on her long walk. Try to increase your normal walking/running/bicycling time as much as your fitness level allows. Break it up into five or ten minutes increments through the day if need be. <BR> <BR> If you don't have a tracking device that automatically updates SparkPeople, make sure to log it yourself. Feel free to ask if you need any help with tracking. <BR> <BR> Let's see those One Day Challenge team activity minutes rise. <BR> <BR> "Human beings evolv... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 22:31:26 EST 6/26/15 - Free Form Friday We made it to Friday. Today is the day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What small step will you take to reach your goal. It doesn't have to be fitness related. Is there something on your to-do list that has been waiting for your attention? Or do you need extra fitness minutes. <BR> <BR> Shout it out loud! <BR> <BR> I need some upper body strength training! <BR> <BR> By the way, June 26th is Global Forgiveness day which originated in Vancouver, Br... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:09:25 EST 6/25/15 - Cross-Training How often do you change up your workout? Doing the same workout can lead to muscle overuse injuries. Your body will also eventually stop responding to exercise if you never change things up. <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article to educate yourself on cross-training to prevent injuries and keep your whole body toned.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1593 </link> <BR> <BR> Which activities can you add to your workout routine? I regularly walk ... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 22:57:30 EST 6/24/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week breather! Check out the 20 one-minute tips to a healthier you in this article.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1557 </link> <BR> <BR> Check in with how many tips you fit into your day for a One Day Challenge team goodie. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> Any Italians out there? Happy Feast of St. John day! Enjoy some gelato! <BR> <BR> <em>620</em> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:07:16 EST 6/23/15 - Two For Tuesday Spend at least five or ten minutes working opposing muscles. We don't want to only work the muscles we see in the mirror. Work opposing muscles for balance, calorie burn and to avoid injuries.... <BR> <BR> Biceps/triceps <BR> Chest/upper back <BR> Quads/hamstrings <BR> Abs/lower back <BR> <BR> You can search exercise demos on the following link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 21:17:37 EST 6/22/15 - Portion Sizes How well do you know your portion sizes? Every once in a while I have to check myself on portion sizes as I think I've got it down and sometimes forget. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark slideshow that shows what portion sizes look like.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=12 </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you read or look up nutrition information on at least three of the foods you eat today. <BR> <BR> Start the week by educating yourself... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 21:39:09 EST 6/21/15 - Wind Down Before Bed How is your sleep routine? Check out this article from <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/poses/yoga-routine-before-sleep/ </link> <BR> <BR> My best night's sleep of the week is the night I go to yoga class. Try the moves in the article before bed to see if helps you wind down. <BR> <BR> ************************* <BR> <BR> Happy Father's day! <BR> <BR> Enjoy the day with your dad, grandpa, uncle, brother etc. If that special man is no longer ... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 21:33:04 EST 6/20/15 - Intervals Vary your activity today. Whether walking, running, treadmill, elliptical... whatever your movement, vary your pace to ramp up calorie burn in less time. <BR> <BR> Be safe and check out this Spark article to educate yourself on interval training if you are not familiar with the concept.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=489 </link> <BR> <BR> Try: <BR> <BR> Cycle or run at high intensity (determined by your fitness level and/or your heart rate m... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 22:21:41 EST 6/19/15 - Free Form Friday Today's the day you can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own to inspire the rest of us. <BR> <BR> What small step do you need to accomplish any goal? <BR> <BR> I have a run early Saturday morning so I'm going to take it easy besides walking breaks at work, walking the dog and get to bed early. <BR> <BR> By the way.... <BR> <BR> June 19th is World Sauntering Day which is a day to saunter here and there, wherever you go. <BR> <BR> Sauntering is not a walk, jo... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 21:50:27 EST 6/17/15 - Of COREse Let's work the core. Pick your level... <BR> <BR> Try a pilates ab workout.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_best_workout_you_can_do_for_you<BR>r_core </link> <BR> <BR> If you have trouble getting on the floor, try a seated core workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> No time for a full workout? Do some sneaky abs.... while brushing your teeth, watching tv, washing dishes or standing ... Wed, 17 Jun 2015 21:49:33 EST 6/16/15 - Help Your Knees Don't wait until you have problems with your knees to build up the muscles around the knee that protect the knee.... <BR> <BR> "exercising the muscles surrounding the knee joints— Quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh), Abductor (outside thigh), and Adductor (inside thigh)—will help make your knees stronger and less susceptible to injury. Exercise keeps your joints from stiffening and provides needed support, making movement easier and reducing pain." <BR> <BR> Check out th... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 21:59:39 EST 6/15/15 - Fresh Vegetable day June 16th is Fresh Veggies day. A great day to up your veggie intake. Try to eat one serving of vegetable at at least one meal today. <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge.... try to fill half your plate with veggies. <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> <em>210</em> <em>551</em> Mon, 15 Jun 2015 21:46:41 EST 6/15/15 - Monday Minutes Add 11 minutes of activity to your day with Jessica Smith..... <BR> <BR><BR>?post=the_11minute_miracle_workout <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE... add at least 10 minutes of brisk walking to whatever other activity you have planned. <BR> <BR> Let's get the week started on an active note! Sun, 14 Jun 2015 21:42:35 EST 6/14/15 - Protect Your Back Check out this Spark article to see if you have proper daily habits to protect your back.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=804 </link> <BR> <BR> Bad posture and improper lifting and twisting techniques take their toll on us over time. Work on making the 12 points in this article a habit each day! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE - Take 15 minutes to perform the Chi Gong video to loosen your bad and de-stress.... <BR> <BR> <link>www... Sat, 13 Jun 2015 21:22:36 EST 6/13/15 - Basics Do weekends trip you up on your road to a healthier you? Sometimes, weekends are a challenge for me so give us a <em>248</em> for each goal you hit.... <BR> <BR> at least 8 cups of water (or two more than you normally get) <BR> <BR> at least 10 minutes of activity (extra credit for spacing out quick bursts of activity throughout the day) <BR> <BR> 5 servings of freggies (or at least one more serving than you normally do) <BR> <BR> one serving of dairy <BR> <BR> one serving of protein... Fri, 12 Jun 2015 21:47:55 EST 6/12/15 - Free Form Friday We have arrived at the weekend! Time to name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> This month at work, our health challenge is aim for filling half of our plate with vegetables at at least one meal. <BR> <BR> I didn't make it much this week so going to make the effort! <BR> <BR> Okay.... what will it be?? Thu, 11 Jun 2015 21:01:06 EST 6/11/15 - Vitamin C How's your vitamin C? From the Spark article on vitamins, Vitamin C..... <BR> <BR> *forms collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength and structure by holding together muscles, bones, and other tissues. <BR> <BR> *helps to build, repair, and maintain red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. <BR> <BR> *gives strength and flexibility to blood vessels and capillary walls. This helps to prevent bruising. <BR> <BR> *helps the body to absorb iron found in plant foods. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:56:34 EST 6/10/15 - Wednesday Wellness Be present. Regardless if you are involved in a good, bad or indifferent moment, be present. All we have is this moment right now. Don't blink! <BR> <BR> "The present is what slips by us while we are pondering the past and worrying about the future" ~ Ziggy <BR> <BR> <BR> "It means that the outcome doesn't matter. What matters is that you were there for it, whatever IT is, good or bad, kind of like right now." ~ From the movie People Like Us <BR> <BR> <BR> Tue, 9 Jun 2015 23:14:48 EST 6/9/15 - Two For Tuesday Double up on the cardio moves by picking at least two Spark cardio moves to fit into your day.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Extra credit... insert a Spark cardio move in between Spark strength moves of your choice for a major calorie burn.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Workouts do not have to be long to be effective. When sprinkled throughout ... Mon, 8 Jun 2015 21:31:48 EST 6/8/15 - Monday Minutes Spread your activity throughout the day to keep the calorie burn going all day and prevent the cumulative damage of sitting too long. <BR> <BR> In addition to whatever workout you have planned, take short walking breaks several times, take a lap around a store you shop at, take a lap around the office, head up a flight or two of stairs just because. <BR> <BR> Let's get the week off to an active start! <BR> <BR> Sun, 7 Jun 2015 22:10:48 EST 67/15 - Sunday Stretches I have to post early for tomorrow as I'm headed to a wedding soon and will not be home tonight. <BR> <BR> Get your Sunday stretches going. Lengthen and lubricate all over..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_5minute_full_body_stretch_routine </link> <BR> <BR> Extra credit for taking at least five quiet minutes for some deep cleansing breaths. <BR> <BR> Sat, 6 Jun 2015 17:02:25 EST 6/6/15 - Get Outside June 6th is National Gardening Day and National Trails Day. Get outside! Walk, run or bike a trail, plant something or sit outside and enjoy the plants and flowers around you that someone else planted. <BR> <BR> Feel more restored and less anxious by enjoying some time outside... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> I have a 5K I will be running and my dog will want her usual two walks (one in the morning and one in the early ... Fri, 5 Jun 2015 21:53:03 EST 6/2/15 - Free Form Friday It's here! The day you get to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Name it and claim it. <BR> <BR> I need to rest. I've been pushing it hard on my legs this week. I have a 5K on Saturday so I'll be doing a little walking, stretching and resting. <BR> <BR> June 5th is World Environment day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> <em>434</em> <em>432</em> <em>435</em> <BR> <BR> Here's to a most excellent weekend! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 4 Jun 2015 20:04:18 EST 6/4/15 - Thursday thighs.... .....and hips! <BR> <BR> From the Spark article on strong, flexible hips...."The hip flexors are the group of muscles that allow you to lift your knees toward your chest and bend forward from the hips." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> I love the pigeon pose. I can't quite do it perfect yet but I keep working at it and it feels good! <BR> <BR> Do what you can based on your fitness lev... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 21:16:12 EST 6/3/15 - Wednesday Wellness I'm posting a little early for tomorrow since I will be out for the evening. <BR> <BR> June 3rd is Repeat Day. June 3rd is repeat day. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Pick one positive behavior you would like to improve and repeat it to yourself several times throughout the day. The important thing is keep repeating it, not so much if you get the behavior right or not. Conditioning ourselves takes time. <BR> <BR> No negative statements.... no "I will not eat sweets today" or "I will not sit o... Tue, 2 Jun 2015 18:31:16 EST 6/2/15 - Tuesday Triceps From "The triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase." <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article which includes a 2 1/5 min video on three exercises that work your triceps. After the vides there are some links to Spark exercises if you are not yet strong enough to perform the exercises in the video. <BR> <B... Mon, 1 Jun 2015 22:01:38 EST 6/1/15 - Monday Motivation Well, did you notice I skipped over May 31? Not sure where my head was at so I'll drop back to May 31 which is "What You Think Upon Grows Upon You" day. <BR> <BR> What you think upon grows is an Eastern truism, and sums up the greatest and most fundamental of all the Laws of Mind. Whatever you allow to occupy your mind, you magnify in your life. Writings from Make Your Life Worthwhile by Emmet Fox. <BR> <BR> We are the master weavers of our circumstances and our thoughts can set us up a lif... Sun, 31 May 2015 21:42:48 EST 6/1/15 - National Barefoot Day June 1 is National Go Barefoot day <BR> <BR> Celebrate by working on strong, flexible feet with five moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Or give your footsies a warm, relaxing soak. Do you have a tennis or other small ball nearby. They are great to roll your foot around on for a foot massage. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 30 May 2015 21:03:45 EST 5/30/15 - Improve Balance Check out this Spark article for three moves to improve (or maintain) your balance which is important at any age.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> Stand near a wall for safety. <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 May 2015 22:10:41 EST 5/29/15 - Free Form Friday Here we go... cruisin into the weekend. Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own and inspire the rest of us. <BR> <BR> A recent blood test showed I may be borderline anemic (still waiting for the follow-up blood test results) so I've been educating myself on getting more iron in my diet. I added iron to my nutrition tracker and was SHOCKED how little iron I've been getting. <BR> <BR> What are you focusing on? <BR> <BR> Here's to a healthy and active weekend... Thu, 28 May 2015 21:13:20 EST 5/28/15 - Upper Body Strength Build your upper body strength in order to help with every day tasks as well as building lean muscle mass to improve your metabolism. Pick your level and number of reps you can do in good form..... <BR> <BR> Table top pushups: <BR> <BR> Get on hands and knees, table top position and only lower your chest keeping your abs pulled in. You can see this at the end of the Spark 10-minute upper body video... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=37 </link> <... Wed, 27 May 2015 21:13:26 EST 5/27/15 - Wednesday Wellness It's that day again, May 27, Sun Screen Protection Day! Educate yourself on the importance of sun screen. The SPF numbers are not always what they seem. You want to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects you from UV-A and UV-B rays. An SPF of 50-100 doesn't necessarily mean you are in the clear. <BR> <BR> Check out this spark article then go out and pick up a bottle to keep handy at home, in your purse, backpack or car. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_... Tue, 26 May 2015 21:54:23 EST 5/26/15 - Tuesday Towel Toning Get creative with toning by doing one or two(or as many as you can) of these towel toning exercises.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Increase your normal fitness minutes by 15! <BR> <BR> Let's rev up our metabolism! Mon, 25 May 2015 21:49:51 EST 5/25/15 - Taste The Rainbow Focus on your fruits and veggies by trying to eat the rainbow, or at least the red and blue on this Memorial Day ( or your country's colors). <BR> <BR><BR>?post=are_you_eating_a_rainbow <BR> <BR> Take a moment today to remember and give thanks to those that have given their lives to defend your country! Post your flag proudly. <BR> <BR> <em>652</em> <BR> <BR> Sun, 24 May 2015 22:19:43 EST 5/24/15 - Enjoy Natures's Healing Powers Spend time outdoors and enjoy the poetry of nature. Read about the benefits of nature and ideas for getting outside.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> Even if the weather is less than ideal, grab a jacket or umbrella if need be, take a quick walk and take in all that nature provides. <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> Sat, 23 May 2015 21:37:56 EST 5/23/15 - Tips on Cutting Calories As we here in the US head into Memorial Day weekend, all all the BBQ that can entail, check out this spark article for five points and also for tips to save some calories in several different areas.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1183 </link> <BR> <BR> I've been in maintenance 2 1/2 years and I still need some reminders, tips and tricks to keep myself on track. <BR> <BR> Those of you in countries that do not celebrate memorial day, these t... Fri, 22 May 2015 22:23:14 EST 5/22/15 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week....time to either repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own and maybe Spark another team member with a new idea! <BR> <BR> I haven't gone for a run in almost two weeks so I'm going to try to make it a priority tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Here we go! Thu, 21 May 2015 19:42:54 EST 5/21/15 - Short Bursts of Cardio Well we worked the muscles so now let's bump up the cardio. Add short bursts of cardio throughout your to ten minutes of activity a few times a day. <BR> <BR> Some studies show the health benefits of a 10 minute workout last for about an hour. Sooooo, try... <BR> <BR> HIIT - high intensity interval training....whatever your activity, alternate between higher intensity for one minute and lower intensity for two minutes. <BR> <BR> Walk or run up one or two flights of stairs a few ... Wed, 20 May 2015 21:56:11 EST 5/20/15 - Wednesday Wellness I need to post a little as I'm headed out for the evening. <BR> <BR> Take a mid-week break to stretch tight, stressed muscles and improve your flexibility. A couple of these you may not feel comfortable doing at work so they can wait till you are home. <BR> <BR> I am a big fan of the eagle pose. It really loosens that space between my shoulder blades that is always so tight! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Today is... Tue, 19 May 2015 19:50:47 EST 5/19/15 - Tuesday Tweaking Sneak in some strength training several times during your day. Try.... <BR> <BR> Squats while brushing your teeth <BR> Twist in your office chair, keeping abs pulled in and use your obliques to twist <BR> When walking up stairs, lift leg out behind, or out to the side <BR> Before starting dishes or at your desk, try some push-ups against the sink or your desk <BR> <BR> Small movements several times a day add up! As my mom always told me, "good things come in small packages". <BR> <BR> Ext... Mon, 18 May 2015 22:20:58 EST 5/18/15 - Monday Basice Let's start the week off with the basics; lay a healthy foundation for the week ahead.... <BR> <BR> Give us a <em>248</em> For each goal you met... <BR> <BR> Eight cups of water <BR> Five servings fruits/veggies <BR> At least one serving of protein <BR> At least ten minutes of activity <BR> <BR> Bonus points for adding a Spark people short video in addition to whatever workout you have planned: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> Sun, 17 May 2015 21:51:25 EST 5/17/15 - Sunday Stretches Educate yourself on proper stretching techniques and the different types of stretching. There is a link in this article to Spark stretch demos. Try to get a full body stretch in today. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2016 </link> <BR> <BR> My favorite tip in the article... <BR> <BR> Stretch often. Although it can take time to see weight loss or improved endurance from a regular exercise routine, that’s not the case with stretching. The nice th... Sat, 16 May 2015 23:04:21 EST 5/16/15 - Saturday Steps Let's lock arms and get moving together. Try to increase your steps by 500 or an extra 15 minutes of activity on top of what you normally get. <BR> <BR> Any increase is a good increase! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Fri, 15 May 2015 23:13:29 EST 5/15/15 - Free Form Friday Time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Resting counts too, our bodies need time to heal when we are very active. <BR> <BR> I will be working on posture. I've had a rough week and have found myself slouching <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? Thu, 14 May 2015 22:33:06 EST 5/14/15/ - Taste the rainbow How varied is your freggie consumption? Check out this Spark article that lists fruits and veggies that cover the rainbow.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> How many colors can you hit? If you don't have these on hand, start your next shopping list. <BR> <BR> <em>550</em> Wed, 13 May 2015 21:55:17 EST 5/13/15 - Strong, Flexible Feet Take care of the base that takes care of and moves you! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Try the five exercises in the Spark article to strengthen and stretch your feet. Tue, 12 May 2015 23:05:37 EST 5/12/15 - Tuesday Timesaving I have to post early as I'll be out of commission tonight and tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Double up on the strength training in one move to maximize calorie burn in a shorter amount of time. <BR> <BR> Not every exercise is for every body so take a minute to read the instructions and see what works for you. If you are not used to using weights, skip them and focus on form... way more important than burning calories if you are new to the moves! <BR> <BR> If you feel up for it use soup cans for 1 - 2... Mon, 11 May 2015 17:14:14 EST 5/11/15 - Meatless Monday From the website - <BR> <BR> Improve The Nutritional Quality of Your Diet—Going meatless encourages consumption of plant-based sources of protein, like beans and peas. Consuming beans and peas results in a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Also, diets high in beans and peas are associated with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat. <BR> <BR> Try to go meatless today or have at least one meatless meal today unless your doctor advis... Sun, 10 May 2015 21:26:38 EST 5/10/15 - Happy Mother's Day Honor yourself or your mom with a healthy, active day. A nice bike ride or walk with mom is a great way to spend time together. <BR> <BR> If your mom is no longer here, your kids are far away or you are a mom figure to someone, treat yourselves and loved ones to some activity. <BR> <BR> My mom is no longer with me. My daughter is having me over for a healthy brunch and a walk. We will no doubt share funny memories of my mom! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=tre... Sat, 9 May 2015 22:00:35 EST 5/9/15 - Freggies at Every Meal Hopefully you see this in time to plan for your day. Try to get one servingn of fruits and/or vegetables with each meal or snack. <BR> <BR> Try dipping peppers, carrots or celery in low fat dip <BR> Put fruit on your cereal <BR> Pick a side of fruit if you eat out instead of fries <BR> <BR> By the way, May 9 is World Bellydance Day. Just sayin! <BR> Fri, 8 May 2015 22:28:40 EST 5/8/15 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week again, time to repeat a previous day's challenge or make up your own. Which healthy habit are you working towards? What task do you need to stop putting off? <BR> <BR> Declare your challenge today! <BR> <BR> I am going out to dinner with friends for a race packet pickup. I will be mindful to eat light and get home in time to get a good night's sleep before Saturday's challenging race! <BR> <BR> TGIF my darlins! Thu, 7 May 2015 20:09:35 EST 5/7/15 - Vary Intensity Let's get a running start into a calorie-burn weekend! Burn more calories in less time by varying your intensity. Below are some ideas to vary your intensity from a Spark article on the subject... <BR> <BR> <BR> Always remember to warm up for a few minutes before you start, and don’t forget the cool down at the end. <BR> <BR> Cycle or run at high intensity (determined by your fitness level and/or your heart rate monitor) for one minute. Follow this with three minutes of lighter cycling or ... Wed, 6 May 2015 20:57:31 EST 5/6/15 - Sit Still "but Kellie, you always say sit less!" True but for our Wednesday Wellness challenge, let's take a mid-week breather and try to sit still for 2 - 5 minutes. Don't force yourself to clear your mind. Instead, picture your thoughts in a bubble that you can just swipe away. <BR> <BR> Find a quiet place and sit up straight. From Meditation For Dummies: <BR> <BR> "When you sit up straight like a mountain or a tree, your body acts as a link between heaven and earth — and by analogy, connects your ... Tue, 5 May 2015 22:27:42 EST 5/5/15 - Happy Cinco De Mayo On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. This single military battle signified defeat of a European colonial power, and a victory for the Mexican people. <BR> <BR> Cinco de Mayo has come to signify Hispanic and Mexican pride and a time to celebrate the rich culture. <BR> <BR> In the spirit of this celebration, everyone find time to kick up your heels if only for a few minutes. <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article about the many benefits of danci... Mon, 4 May 2015 21:56:12 EST 5/4/15 - Move it Monday Okay, let's get a move on and add short bursts of cardio to your day. Man/woman does not get fit by one workout alone. Rev up your metabolism engine! <BR> <BR> Try: <BR> <BR> Ten jumping jacks three times a jumping requires if that doesn't meet your fitness level, step one leg out to the side and raise the same arm and switch. <BR> <BR> Walk laps for five mi Utes around where you work every hour or so. <BR> <BR> Try a quick Spark workout in the morning and in the evening <BR> ... Sun, 3 May 2015 22:24:30 EST May 3 - proper breathing I love this alternate nostril breathing technique we do in our yoga class. I thought it silly at first but like the Spark article says. It made me feel calm and balanced.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=its_300does_anyone_else_need_a_brea<BR>ther </link> <BR> <BR> That may be difficult if you are congested so you can also follow this Spark article for 5-10 minutes of proper breathing..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles... Sat, 2 May 2015 22:24:06 EST 5/2/15 - Get Outside Check out this article (and click to get five spark points at the end) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> A study quoted in the article found that "as little as five minutes exercising in a park, working in a backyard garden, hiking on a nature trail, or even sitting in a plant-filled setting will benefit your mental health" <BR> <BR> Try to spend at least five minutes outdoors today. There are a few ideas for getting outside... Fri, 1 May 2015 20:47:52 EST 5/1/15 - Free Form Friday Hey hey hey! It's Friday and that means it's up to you to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Name it and follow through! <BR> <BR> I will be mindful of healthy meals and making myself rest, besides a few walking breaks. I have a 5K Saturday morning. <BR> <BR> Here's to a healthy, active weekend. <BR> <BR> Happy May Day! Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:49:15 EST 4/30/15 - Thursday Thighs Take six minutes to work your hips, glues and thighs. We need a strong base to carry us through our days and improve our endurance. These are out largest muscles so major calorie burn. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> Read the precautions, stay near a wall for balance. Do what you can, go back to an easy squats or glute contractions if the moves are too advanced for your fitness level. <BR> <BR> April 30th is National Honest... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:34:14 EST 4/29/15 - Wednesday Wellness Pay attention to your eyes. Many of us spend a lot of time on the computer for work, news, Sparking. <BR> <BR> The longer the eyes focus on one spot and in one direction, the more likely computer eye fatigue is to occur. <BR> <BR> For every three to five minutes of looking at a computer screen, look away at an object either closer to the eyes or farther away. This allows the eye muscles to relax, and it prevents straining due to tension in the eyes. <BR> <BR> Looking to the left and righ... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:54:59 EST 4/28/15 - Choose your pushup level Or mix and match levels. <BR> <BR> Pushups help improve our upper body strength as well as our core strength, making every day activities and chores easier with less chance of injury. <BR> <BR> The prime movers in pushups are located in the chest, front of the shoulders and back of the arms. <BR> <BR> When you perform pushups, your spine should remain neutrally curved and rigid so that any load is distributed safely through it, no sagging back. This works the core. <BR> <BR> Pushups also ... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 21:59:51 EST 4/27/15 - Move it Monday Let's hit the ground running this week! Increase your activity minutes today by 15 minutes. <BR> <BR> Break it up a few minutes at a time throughout the day... A five minute walk two or three times, a workout video-aerobic or strength training, stretching counts too. Log it all! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Sun, 26 Apr 2015 21:33:14 EST 4/26/15 - Chi Gong This is a favorite of mine and I believe team member MERRYMARY. The first time I tried this, I was in a major foul mood. I was amazed how this calmed me down, slowed my racing heart rate and put me at ease. <BR> <BR> I only recently looked into the benefits of Chi Gong..... <BR> <BR> Loosens the Muscles and Builds Power <BR> Strengthens the Organs <BR> Improves Cardio-pulmonary Function <BR> Strengthens the Nerves <BR> Improves Vascular Function <BR> Can Be Used by the Seriously ill <B... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 21:57:06 EST 4/25/15 - National Mani/Pedi Day April 25 is listed as mani/pedi day. It's not just for the ladies. You don't need to spend a fortune at a spa. <BR> <BR> Check out beauty colleges in your area. Their services are less expensive. Or do it at home, keep it simple by giving your hands and feet a nice warm, soapy soak. Grab a nail file and smooth out the edges then give them a good massage with moisturizer. <BR> <BR> Massaging lotion into your hands and feet is not only incredibly relaxing, it also helps to improve blood circu... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:31:45 EST 4/24/15 - Free Form Friday IT'S FRIDAY! Today's challenge is up to you. Come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm on a good roll with my running schedule so I will make my run and since I am on call for work, my plan B (always have to have a plan B) will be the elliptical. <BR> <BR> The last Friday in April is Arbor Day, a day set aside to read about and plant trees, founded by J. Sterling Morton. My high school was named after him. So I should think of something tree-related... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:10:30 EST 4/23/15 - Lets Mambo Let's get in weekend mode a little early and get our mambo on..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> Read the steps a couple times and put some good music on. Don't worry about doing it perfect, just shake those hips and smile! <BR> <BR> Dancing helps improve memory, flexibility and reduces stress... just to name a few of the many benefits of dancing. <BR> <BR> Get your Mambo Number Five on! <BR> <BR> <em>354... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:06:48 EST 4/22/15 - Earth Day It's Wednesday Wellness time. We all benefit from taking care of our planet so today (or whatever day you read this): <BR> <BR> Walk/bike instead of drive <BR> Shower instead of bathe <BR> If you mainly shower instead of bathe, cut the shower short <BR> Buy organic <BR> Use less electricity <BR> <BR> What other ways can you help the planet? Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:04:34 EST 4/21/15 - Work Multiple Muscles Let's work multiple muscles and scorch major calories. Walk some laps in between sets... <BR> <BR> Dumbbell squat with overhead press: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=35 </link> <BR> <BR> Works quads, glutes, calves, core and shoulders <BR> <BR> Wide leg wall sit with calf raises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=109 </link> <BR> <BR> Works quads, glutes, inner thigh and calves <BR> <BR> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 21:40:38 EST 4/20/15 - Be Revolutionary Happy Patriots day to any New England team members. Patriot Day is celebrated on the third Monday of April, commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and the start of the American Revolution. <BR> <BR> Lets make it a movement Monday, increase your fitness minutes by at least 15 minutes. Any activity counts, a few quick walking breaks, a bike ride, whatever gets you moving throughout the day! <BR> <BR> Extra credit for trying a new activity or one you haven't done in a long time. ... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 21:36:11 EST 4/18/15 - Me Day Okay gang, let's take a breather! No, don't sit on the couch for 8 hours straight but take some time to rejuvinate and recharge.... meditate, do some yoga or deep breathing. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article on the importance of putting yourself first along with some ideas for a me day! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1657 </link> <BR> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 21:47:01 EST