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 1/15/17 - Sunday Self Care Take a ten-minute timeout to practice proper breathing. Get rid of carbon dioxide waste and take plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. Get yourself centered for the week ahead.. <BR> <BR><BR>ness_articles.asp?id=328 <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: If you have a workout planned, keep your abs contracted the entire workout. You will protect your lower back and get a little core work done. <BR> <BR> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 22:26:42 EST 1/14/17 - Saturday Sunshine Try to get outdoors if you are able... even if just for a five-minute walk. Check out the benefits of getting outside and get your five Spark points at the end of the article.... <BR> <BR><BR>ness_articles.asp?id=1680 <BR> <BR> "being outdoors and aware of the world's beauty can make you feel energized and alive." <BR> <BR> If the weather is dangerous or you are recovering from injury or illness, open your curtains or blinds to let some natural ligh... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:14:26 EST 1/13/17 - Free Form Friday It's name your own challenge day, dream big day, take a step outside your comfort zone day, it's repeat a previous day's challenge, it's what you want to call it! <BR> <BR> It's all up to you. How will you take a step towards your health and wellness.... <BR> <BR> try a new fruit or veggie? <BR> fold and put away your laundry? <BR> Get more protein? <BR> Get some important paperwork together? <BR> <BR> No challenge too big or too small. Whatever it takes to make it a positive day! <BR> <B... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 22:12:23 EST 1/12/17 - Throwback Thursday Go back in your time machine and do a workout you haven't done in a long time. Check out youtube for some blasts from the past or pull out your old DVDs collecting dust. <BR> <BR> I'm going Step Aerobic with Gilad! Love that Hawaii beach setting. <BR> <BR> January 12 is National Hot tea day. Relax with a cup of hot tea to melt the day away. Try a tea you've never tried before. <BR> <BR> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 21:53:09 EST 1/11/17 - Wednesday Wellness Posture check. Deep breath in as you raise your shoulders to your ears, slowly blow out your breath as you lower and roll your shoulders back and down. Hold that position as long as you can. <BR> <BR> Repet throughout the day. <BR> <BR> If you feel the need to work further on your posture... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:24:46 EST 1/10/17 - Two For Tuesday Weak hips lead to lower back and knee pain so pick at least two hip strengthening exercises and add them to your regular routine going forward... <BR> <BR> Lying hip abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=149 </link> <BR> <BR> Lying double leg raises <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=151 </link> <BR> <BR> Skater Squats <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=112 </l... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 22:38:45 EST 1/9/17 - Monday Motivation Research shows that people think about and act on healthy activities more on Mondays than any other day of the week. <BR> <BR> A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine revealed that there are more searches related to health topics at the beginning of the week, no matter the time of year, and more folks start exercise routines on Monday than any other day of the week, too. <BR> <BR> Exercising on Mondays sets the tone for the week and you'll be more likely to stay ... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 22:12:40 EST 1/8/17 - Sunday Self Care January 8 is Joy Germ Day, created by Joan White, a retired advertising and public relations specialist. The original joy germ Day fell on White’s mother’s birthday, as it was her energy that inspired White to have the day to honor her. <BR> <BR> Germs and other pathogens spread from person to person so readily. So it seemed a good idea that happiness should also be highly infectious. <BR> <BR> Smile and say hello to strangers you pass, create a little extra pleasantness everywhere you go.... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 21:20:12 EST 1/7/17 - Sneaky Abs Squeeze in some ab contractions throughout the day 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> If you have a cardio workout plan... dancing, zumba, kickboxing, really keep those abs pulled into your spine to make every move of your workout, a core-strengthening move. <BR> <BR> From health.harvard... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 17:53:55 EST 1/6/17 - Free Form Friday It's your day to decide your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Friday is girls night own... dinner at a great Italian restaurant and going to see La La Land. I will eat smart at the restaurant and skip the popcorn at the theater. <BR> <BR> Then stretching before bed! <BR> <BR> What step will you take towards your health and wellness? Thu, 5 Jan 2017 21:36:42 EST 1/5/17 - Thursday Thighs Give your body a strong support system AND pull off a major calorie burn by working your larger muscles. Do a little warmup like walking, jogging in place or dancing. <BR> <BR> Outer Thighs <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Inner Thighs <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a good stretch: <BR> <BR> Inner Thigh <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 4 Jan 2017 22:30:58 EST 1/4/17 - Be Superman (woman) Be Superman or Superwoman! For an instant confidence boost, stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips, chin up. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: stretch for better posture.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <link><BR>st=5_simple_stretches_for_better_postu<BR>re_and_less_pain </link> Tue, 3 Jan 2017 21:31:22 EST 1/3/17 - Two For Tuesday Hey Hey Hey... it's Two for Tuesday. Try to get one serving of fruits and one serving of veggies with at least two meals or for each snack. <BR> <BR> try some of these tips: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for 4 - 6 10-minute walking breaks during the day. Get your metabolism burning all day long. <BR> <BR> Mon, 2 Jan 2017 21:53:28 EST 1/2/16 - Thank God It's Monday day Yes, January 2nd is Thank God It's Monday day, a day that starts out the first full week of the new year, to look ahead with real hope, energy, enthusiasm and excitement for all things to come in the next 12 months. <BR> <BR> Take a few minutes today, look in the mirror, smile and repeat your favorite motivational mantra. Smile, say it slowly, feel it, believe it. Don't have one? Spark has maybe one or two... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asp </link> <BR> <BR>... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 20:28:14 EST 1/1/17 - Me Day Start the new year with a ME day. Rest, rejuvenate, restore... whatever that means to you. <BR> <BR> Those of you not feeling well... get some rest, fluids and take good care. <BR> <BR> Those that have been burning the candle at both ends.... take that break! Rest is very important on the road to health and wellness! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1657 </link> <BR> <BR> Make yourself a priority! <BR> <BR> HAPPY 2017! <em>411</em> Sat, 31 Dec 2016 22:14:42 EST 12/31/16 - New Years Eve Happy New Years Eve! It's also Make Up Your Mind Day. Are there any decisions you have been putting off? Sit down and finally get that decision made. Move forward. <BR> <BR> Saturday Steps.... Try to add an extra 500 steps to your day or an extra 15 minute workout. <BR> <BR> Big <em>247</em> all around. I makes me smile to read your check-ins each day. You keep me motivated and upbeat. <BR> <BR> I wish a wonderful year ahead for you, your friends and family! <BR> <BR> <em>408</em> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 22:09:54 EST 12/20/16 - Free Form Friday We have arrived at the last Friday of the year. WOW huh?! <BR> <BR> Today it's up to you. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Take a step towards your health and wellness even if that means mating the socks instead of living out of the laundry basket. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I plan to get off work early and go for a run. Plan B will be to hit Orange Theory Fitness. <BR> <BR> I will also try not to cry as Friday will be the last night my son lives here. He... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 22:02:20 EST 12/29/16 - Interval Training Burn more calories in less time while keeping a workout interesting. Interval training is good for all fitness levels since you decide what is a challenging pace and what is an easier pace for you, everyone is different! <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article for tips on interval training... <BR> <BR> <link> <link><BR>st=7_good_reasons_to_try_interval_trai<BR>ning </link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Drink a cup of water first thin... Wed, 28 Dec 2016 22:14:45 EST 12/28/16 - Wednesday Wellness How is your sleep routine lately? Have the holidays thrown you off schedule? Check out this Spark article for tips to get your sleep routine on track. <BR> <BR> "Research shows that inadequate sleep can have disastrous effects on your weight loss efforts, impair your concentration, and even mimic the symptoms of impaired glucose tolerance (which can lead to diabetes and hypertension)." <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Eat the rainbow to get necessary vitamins into your diet.... <BR> <B... Tue, 27 Dec 2016 22:23:10 EST 12/27/16 - New To You Shake it up at the end of the year or in preparation for the new year. <BR> <BR> Try a workout that is new to you <BR> <BR> <link> </link> or check out youtube for workout videos.. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Look for a new recipe... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on.asp </link> Make a shopping list. <BR> <BR> Look for new snacks.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=179... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 19:57:55 EST 12/26/16 - Back on Track Did you overindulge the last couple days? I did, I made a conscious decision to eat what I ate, enjoyed it and now back to my routine. <BR> <BR> It you had a little bit more salt and sweets than normal or just need a little boost.... <BR> <BR> Get at least ten minutes of activity or add on ten minutes to your planned activity <BR> Have an extra cup of water <BR> Choose hydrating foods... <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> <BR> <BR> Happy Kwanza t... Sun, 25 Dec 2016 22:11:54 EST 12/25/16 - Merry Christmas Start your day, your afternoon or to relax before bed with these stretches... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Enjoy the day with your family, friends or by nurturing yourself. <BR> <BR> I wish you all the joy a day can bring, no matter what you celebrate! <BR> <BR> <em>445</em> <em>500</em> <em>532</em> Sat, 24 Dec 2016 21:48:11 EST 12/24/16 - Full body strength Let's wrap up this strength training week with a quick, 12-minute full body strength session which includes a little cardio. Oh yeah... we're burning up the calories during the biggest eating time of the year. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick a couple seated workout videos... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1713 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Eat and extra serving of fruits/veggies ... Fri, 23 Dec 2016 22:38:07 EST 12/23/16 - Free Form Friday It's FRIDAY! Time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge! How will you take one step further toward your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> If you still want to follow this week's muscle-group-a-day theme, I'm going to work my calves. <BR> <BR> Pick which option works for your fitness level... <BR> <BR> Calf raises with a chair... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=123 </link> <BR> <BR> Calf raises with a step.... <BR> <BR> ... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 21:11:31 EST 12/22/16 - Booty Call Our glutes are the largest and strongest muscle in our body. <BR> <BR> 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> So work that booty.... <BR> <BR> 6-minute butt blasting video <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on your knees is not reco... Wed, 21 Dec 2016 22:11:05 EST 12/21/16 - Wednesday Wellness Aim for mental strength today. <BR> <BR> Keep your mind sharp by celebrating Crossword Puzzle Day... First released in a ‘New York World’ newspaper edition on December 21, 1913, the crossword puzzle soon became the pastime of the more astute folk. The modern version of these ancestral puzzles is the invention of Arthur Wynne, a British-born violinist and journalist who emigrated to Pennsylvania when he was 19. <BR> <BR> Pick up a crossword puzzle, sudoku or word find book or in your local p... Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:40:24 EST 12/20/16 - Core it up! According to 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 ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it. <BR> <BR> So let's make that chain strong to help us move through our day. Try to work your abs, lower back and obliques. We do not get strong by crunches alone! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exer... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:07:25 EST 12/19/16 - Upper Body work Let's start from the top. Pick three upper body strength moves. Going to the gym? There are options for the gym as well.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=upper%20body </link> <BR> <BR> Try to hit bicep, tricep, upper back and shoulders. Many moves hit more than one of these areas so it shouldn't take much. <BR> <BR> A strong upper body helps you rock a bag a groceries... Sun, 18 Dec 2016 20:17:34 EST 12/18/16 - Sunday Self Care From <BR> <BR> Mindfulness Exercise #4: Cleaning House <BR> <BR> The term "cleaning house" has a literal meaning (cleaning up your actual house) as well as a figurative one (getting rid of "emotional baggage," letting go of things that no longer serve you), and both can be great stress relievers! Because clutter has several hidden costs and can be a subtle but significant stressor, cleaning house and de-cluttering as a mindfulness exercise can bring lasting benefits. <BR> <B... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 21:04:01 EST 12/17/16 - Cardio temperature What's the temperature by you. It's pretty frigid here. The last couple winters I decide to get into the butterfly out of the cocoon mentality..... really work it during the winter months to feel fit and confident come spring and summer. <BR> <BR> So pick either the low or high temp for the day and do that many repetitions of a cardio move... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Anyone out there not feeling well...... Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:13:01 EST 12/16/16 - FREE FORM FRIDAY It's all up to you today. How will you challenge yourself? Or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I am taking a day off at work, I need a break to get stuff done around the house. I intend to get the majority of Christmas shopping done since I've been working so much I haven't started yet. <BR> <BR> <em>590</em> what bit of healthy will you add to your day? Thu, 15 Dec 2016 21:34:19 EST 12/15/16 - Ten Minutes Give yourself 10 minutes for a short exercise video..... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or walk laps for 10 minutes around where you work or in the living room before bed. <BR> <BR> Or add these 10 minute challenges in addition to your regularly planned activity. <BR> <BR> Ten minutes does a body good! <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>590</em> What small bit of healthy did you add to your day? Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:29:00 EST 12/14/16 - Wednesday Wellness The eyes have it.... regularly work at preventing eye strain with the 20/20/20 rule..... <BR> <BR> look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some eye doctors call this the "20-20-20 rule." Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue. <BR> <BR> Give us an <em>590</em> if you added healthy to the day Tue, 13 Dec 2016 22:23:54 EST 12/13/16 - Two for Tuesday Aim for at least two cardiac moves during the day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> Try two Spark cardio videos.. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> (or any two cardio videos you like) <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> two cardio machines at your gym <BR> <BR> or some dancing/walking or running/walking <BR> <BR> What is your <em>590</em> healthy add? Mon, 12 Dec 2016 22:17:09 EST 12/12/16 - Multiple Monday Shake things up inserting moves into your day that work more than one muscle group. Try one or two the following or tell us what exercise you like to burn up more than one muscle group. <BR> <BR> Squat with shoulder press... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=35 </link> <BR> <BR> Stick to light weights if you are not used to this move or use soup cans. <BR> <BR> Lunge &amp; Twist with a Medicine Ball... <BR> <BR> <link> Sun, 11 Dec 2016 21:12:23 EST 12/11/16 - Sunday Self Care Time for practicing proper breathing. "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> Take 5 - 10 minutes to reap the benefits of proper breathing. <BR> <BR> What is your <em>590</em> ? What bit of healthy did you add to your day? Sat, 10 Dec 2016 21:35:27 EST 12/10/16 - Iron Man And woman! How is your iron? Do you track it? <BR> <BR> A couple benefits of iron...helps carry oxygen to all parts of the body as part of blood cells. It is also essential for cell growth regulation and mediation. <BR> <BR> Learn about more benefits of iron and tips to improve your iron intake.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=iron_foods_can_energize_your_body </link> <BR> <BR> Remember, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Make sure you don't overdu... Fri, 9 Dec 2016 22:10:16 EST 12/9/16 - Free Form Friday Today is up to you! Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. No challenge too small! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! <BR> <BR> Thu, 8 Dec 2016 21:31:14 EST 12/8/16 - Thursday Thighs Strengthen your base to move you safely and strong through your day. Pick your level... <BR> <BR> Are squats not good for you, see how many times you can get up from sitting in a chair throughout the day.. just one or two times. Put focus on putting your weight in your heels and keep you abs in. <BR> <BR> Regular squat... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=21 </link> Make it more challenging by holding yourself in the lowest position for a couple s... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 22:00:19 EST 12/7/16 - Wednesday Wellness It's always a good time to work on balance... to make it a habit... to avoid a future fall. <BR> <BR> Pick which of the three levels work for you and slowly build on that... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> Or do an internet search for an easy balancing yoga video. You don't have to be able to bend like a pretzel to do yoga! For example, I cannot do a tree pose with my foot against my inner thigh, I have to keep my foot ag... Tue, 6 Dec 2016 22:27:06 EST 12/6/16 - Posture Check Right now, are you slouching, or are you straightening yourself up? <BR> <BR> Try the Jessica Smith 12-min better posture video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Do you have forward-head-syndrome? <BR> <BR> Remind yourself to walk talk all day, pull those shoulders back... especially when sitting, working on the computer etc. <BR> <BR> What is your <em>590</em> today? What small healthy did you ad... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 21:48:32 EST 12/5/16 - Motivation Monday Remember why you started this journey. Remember the day you signed up with SparkPeople or the day you started back on SparkPeople. Why did you do it? Write it down, keep it in sight all day.Look at it often. <BR> <BR> Take a minute to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you deserve this! <BR> <BR> <BR> Give us an <em>590</em> if you added healthy instead of beating yourself up or placing restrictions on yourself. <BR> <BR> As seen on Pinterest: You don't need a new year to make... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 22:54:43 EST 12/4/16 - Sunday Self Care Time to slow down a bit. From - 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body &amp; Soul..... <BR> <BR> Pay complete attention to something you usually do on autopilot, perhaps brushing your teeth, driving, eating, or performing your morning routine. <BR> <BR> Try to focus on sights, sounds, smells, objects around you that you never take notice of. <BR> <BR> give us an <em>590</em> if you added something healthy to your day. Sat, 3 Dec 2016 20:26:05 EST 12/3/16 - Small Portion Saturday Shoot for small portions today... smaller portion breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Keep yourself full with healthy foods to avoid overeating and cravings. <BR> <BR> What does 100 look like. Check out these photos of fruits, veggies, proteins, grains and nuts. <BR> <BR> An educated eater is a healthy eater! <BR> <BR> Give us an <em>590</em> if you added healthy to you day. Let's hear it for a positive holiday season! <BR> Fri, 2 Dec 2016 20:57:06 EST 12/2/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to decide on your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge! <BR> <BR> What small step will you take towards your health and wellness? What healthy habit will aim to be more consistent with? <BR> <BR> I will be meditating since I need to try to fit in all my work in a short day so I can come home and TRY to sleep before getting back to work at 3am Saturday for a project go live. <BR> <BR> Here's to a happy and healthy weekend! <BR> <BR> Give us an <em>590</em> if y... Thu, 1 Dec 2016 19:53:37 EST 12/1/16 - Crawl Have you heard he latest fitness news... crawling! A chiropractor is quoted in this Washington Post article saying "you can bring back the strength and mobility you’ve lost over the years". <BR> <BR> If you are able to get down on all fours (check with your doctor), try crawling back and forth as described in the article.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lness/crawling-is-the-new-plank-improv<BR>e-strength-and-mobility-by-moving-like<BR>-a-baby/2016/10/13/725451e... Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:17:46 EST 11/30/16 - Wednesday Wellness <BR> Boost your brain power. Exercise is not only good for your weight, blood pressure and self esteem, it also has benefits for our brains. Read about brain power through exercise and other brain-boosting tips. How many can you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1623 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Give us an <em>590</em> if you added healthy to your day. Tue, 29 Nov 2016 22:27:26 EST 11/29/16 - Giving Tuesday Black Friday has come and gone, Cyber Monday is wrapping up, onward to Giving Tuesday. <BR> <BR> Give what you can to a charity that is meaningful to you. You can also volunteer your time instead of donating money. <BR> <BR> Alternate challenge - Sneaky abs. Throughout the day, contract you abs, hold for a count of two and release. Add in the obliques, while brushing your teeth or watching tv, stand with a slight bend in your knees, contract your abs and lean slowly to the left using your o... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 22:43:30 EST 11/28/16 - Move It Monday Shoot for small bursts of activity through the day in addition to a workout you have planned. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30 - 60 minutes, whatever is a challenge for you. Break it up however you need.... <BR> <BR> Take several 10-min walking breaks <BR> Do two or three short Spark cardio or strength videos (or other types of exercise videos) <BR> Jog or walk up a few stairs just because <BR> <BR> Give us an <em>590</em> If you added healthy to your day (see Spark mail for details) Sun, 27 Nov 2016 22:05:47 EST 11/27/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a home spa. Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and read a book or magazines. <BR> <BR> If the day is too busy for that, spend five minutes after a bath or shower in reflection.... focus on the positive moments from last week, take some deep cleansing breaths and set an intention for the coming week. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Give me an <em>590</em> if you added something healthy instead of restricting. See Spark Mail for details. <BR> Sat, 26 Nov 2016 21:18:13 EST 11/26/16 - Small Business Saturday Do you have some holiday shopping to get done, or shopping for a birthday or other occasion or just something you could use around the house? <BR> <BR> Search for small businesses in your community to shop at instead of a large chain store. Support small businesses today. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Give us an <em>590</em> if you added something healthy to the day instead of restricting yourself. Did you add protein to your day, a quick 10 minute workout, an extra cup of water, an extra s... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 21:50:59 EST 11/25/16 - FREE FORM FRIDAY It's your turn to make the challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I went just a little overboard today on calories. I did get a four mile run in but feeling a bit overstuffed! So I will focus on water, smaller portions and stairs for small bursts of activity throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Make it a positive day! <BR> <BR> Thu, 24 Nov 2016 20:26:16 EST 11/24/16 - Happy Thanksgiving Whether or not you celebrate the holiday, take a few minutes to appreciate all you have, not what feel you do not have. Embrace your family/friends and all of their differences. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Focus on fruits/veggies. Enjoy your favorite foods in smaller portions than usual while adding more fruits and veggies to your plate than you normally do. <BR> <BR> <em>532</em> <BR> <BR> I'm thankful for all of you and the time you take to check in each day! I wish you a ... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 21:18:59 EST 11/23/16 - Wednesday Wellness Slow down. Many of us are approaching Thanksgiving, the beginning of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Take some time to slow down and take a breath. <BR> <BR> For at least one meal, purposely slow down.... "Chewing your food thoroughly is actually the first step in the complex process of digestion, and if you glaze over it, just chewing the minimum amount of times necessary to get the food down your esophagus, you’re actually compromising this process. And it’s a mistake many p... Tue, 22 Nov 2016 22:37:22 EST 11/22/16 - Tuesday Triceps Work the back of the arms... easy does it style... <BR> <BR> Lying... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=190 </link> <BR> <BR> One arm side... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=139 </link> <BR> <BR> Close-arm wall pushups.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Do as many sets of 8 that your fitness level allows. Try one set of each to mix it up... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 23:12:33 EST 11/21/16 - World Hello Day A little different take on the Sunday Self Care challenge... try to say hello to ten people today. No need for conversation, just a quick hi or hello as you pass a stranger. <BR> <BR> World Hello Day was created in 1973 by Brian McCormack, a Ph.D. graduate of Arizona State University, and Michael McCormack, a graduate of Harvard University, in response to the Yom Kippur War. Saying hello to at least 10 people demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace. <BR> ... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 22:18:02 EST 11/20/16 - Sunday Self Care Make a small connection. Have a few sentences of conversation with someone in customer service such as a sales assistant, barista or cashier at the store. <BR> <BR> It's good for the soul, for you and for the person with which you connect. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: plan a small, healthy change to your diet to put into action for the rest of the week. Just a few ideas... an additional glass of water each day, additional serving of freggies each day, smaller portions at every meal... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 21:13:59 EST 11/19/16 - H2O Try to drink at least one cup of water first thing in the morning... before coffee or tea. Add some lemon, cucumber or other fruit to jazz it up. <BR> <BR> If you don't see this before you wake up, aim for one cup of water before or after each meal. <BR> <BR> Some benefits of drinking water... <BR> <BR> Relieves Fatigue. ... <BR> Improves Mood. ... <BR> Treats Headaches and Migraines. ... <BR> Helps in Digestion and Constipation. ... <BR> Aids Weight Loss. ... <BR> Flushes Out Toxins. ... ... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 21:27:14 EST 11/18/16 - Free Form Friday Time for your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What will it be? <BR> <BR> I will be going to bed early since I burned the candle at both ends again all week at work and have a run with my group Saturday morning. I'll do a little yoga for sleep too. <BR> <BR> November 18 is Mickey Mouse's birthday. Get in touch with your inner child! <BR> <BR> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:57:59 EST 11/17/16 - Throwback Thursday Celebrate throwback Thursday by.... <BR> <BR> Plan on making a healthy recipe you haven't made in a while <BR> Do a workout you haven't done in a long time, or a very long time, check youtube <BR> Return to a healthy habit you worked on when you first started your health and wellness journey <BR> <BR> November 17 is Great American Smokeout day. Anyone out there need to kick the habit or know someone else who could use some help... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>o... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 22:05:44 EST 11/16/16 - 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> "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> <BR> November 16 is International... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:24:08 EST 11/15/16 - Two For Tuesday Double it up. Work two opposing muscles groups (biceps/triceps, quads/ham strings, chest/upper back, abs/lower back) : <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> OR, do two cardio workouts.... two Spark workout videos, a run and a walk, at the gym, the elliptical and the treadmill, or a bike ride and a walk... whatever it is, aim for 30 minutes. You can split it up throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Go forth and rack up activity minutes! <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 21:36:42 EST 11/14/16 - Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day How great is it that this day falls on a Monday?! A great day of the week to lighten up.... <BR> <BR> -Start off the day by not worrying about being late to work if it's unavoidable. <BR> -Drive casually, don’t rush as you move through traffic, and if someone cuts you off, laugh it off, and continue about your day. <BR> -Today is the day to let things that normally drive you up the wall, slide so that you can be free of that pain and that worry. <BR> <BR> I'm not suggesting you completely... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 21:09:12 EST 11/13/16 - Proper breathing Clear out the carbon dioxide and get some fresh blood circulating... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Takes about ten minutes to clear out the old and bring in the new. Sat, 12 Nov 2016 22:52:13 EST 11/12/16 - Interval training Burn more calories in less time while keeping a workout interesting. Interval training is good for all fitness levels since you decide what is a challenging pace and what is an easier pace for you, everyone is different! <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article for tips on interval training... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=7_good_reasons_to_try_interval_trai<BR>ning </link> <BR> <BR> I will be meeting my running group at a local arboretum for a walk/run so I ... Fri, 11 Nov 2016 20:28:02 EST 11/11/16 - Free Form Friday Happy Veteran's day! And whooohooo... for Free Form Friday! It's your day to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I have to think about what I want to do. I'll check back in on that! <BR> <BR> Thu, 10 Nov 2016 22:00:48 EST 11/10/16 - Sneaky Abs/Make a Friend Time for sneaky abs... working your abs several times throughout the day. <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 ball or mopping the floor, the necess... Wed, 9 Nov 2016 22:18:08 EST 11/9/16 - Wednesday Wellness Stretch out your chest and shoulders. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2171 </link> <BR> <BR> The article states that "because the shoulder is less stable than other major joints, the shoulder is more susceptible to injury." Don't wait for soreness or overuse injury to occurs stretch it out now and make it a regular routine. <BR> <BR> The first stretch in the article, arm-across-chest stretch, I like to combine with a stretch of my psoas muscle... Tue, 8 Nov 2016 21:31:33 EST 11/8/16 - Pick 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 a... Mon, 7 Nov 2016 21:56:45 EST 11/7/16 - Stairs and freggies Go out of your way to take the stairs if you have them available. Take it slow and hold on to the rail if you are not used to stairs, go up a couple and come back down. Get some water, call it a day. <BR> <BR> If you are used to stairs, make it interesting, take wide steps.... step right foot to the far right side of the step, then step left foot to the far left of that step etc. <BR> <BR> Or, step up with one foot, then bring your other knee up (contracting your abs) before you take the ne... Sun, 6 Nov 2016 20:36:30 EST 11/6/16 - Fall Back For most of us it's time to change the clocks back one hour. Happy Fall! Check out this article for nine ways to make the time change easier on our systems... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>me-change-20161031-story.html </link> <BR> <BR> The fall time change is easier on us than the spring time change but it can still take it's toll if you slip into unhealthy habits. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you were able to fit any of these into you day. <BR> ... Sat, 5 Nov 2016 21:24:42 EST 11/5/16 - Ten minutes Let's get in a ten-minute mindset to make it a healthy Saturday. See what you can fit in your day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_ten_minute_mindshift </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for 30 - 60 activity minutes by getting several 10 minute walking sessions as you can and/or picking one or two short Spark videos ... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 4 Nov 2016 22:33:03 EST 11/4/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What will you do to take a step toward your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I'm going to try hard to get out of work in time to get a quick run in since it's going to be a nice day. Gotta take advantage of days like that in Chicago, in November! <BR> <BR> Plan B will be a kickboxing workout. <BR> <BR> Make it a FABULOUS Friday! Thu, 3 Nov 2016 21:07:10 EST 11/3/16 - Think Macro Macronutrients that is.... FATS, CARBS and PROTEIN.... the major energy sources our bodies need to grow, digest food, build and repair muscle tissue, and perform basic bodily functions. <BR> <BR> Learn or refresh your memory on these important building blocks for your health. Check out the food examples given for each macronutrient. <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=2132 </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you were able to meet or i... Wed, 2 Nov 2016 22:01:39 EST 11/2/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week stretch. Try some desk yoga stretches... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822 </link> <BR> <BR> We get pretty tight working over a computer or taking care of household chores. Tight muscles lead to many ailments. Take a few minutes to open up and lengthen. <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENG: Try the tips in this article each day to work towards waking more refreshed.... <BR> <BR> <link> Tue, 1 Nov 2016 23:11:38 EST 11/1/16 - Two For Tuesday Let's work those opposing muscle groups. Ignoring one muscle while working the opposing muscle leads to injury. <BR> <BR> According to "muscular imbalance can torque and pull joints out of alignment as the stronger muscles overpower the weaker ones at a particular joint." <BR> <BR> So pick a muscle group you haven't worked in the last 24 hours (always important to rest and rebuild), and start working on your muscular balance.... <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 21:39:25 EST 10/31/16 - Happy Halloween/Go Orange Go orange by trying some (or all, do what you can) of the Spark Halloween workout. You can do some of these watching tv.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=scare_away_candy_calories_with_the_<BR>halloween_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Scroll down through the article to see links to each exercise demo. <BR> <BR> Go Orange: Orange fruits and veggies contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A.The nutrients hel... Sun, 30 Oct 2016 20:46:14 EST 10/30/16 - Sunday Self Care 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 su... Sat, 29 Oct 2016 20:36:51 EST 10/29/16 - Interval Saturday Try some interval training... vary the intensity of your cardio wether you are walking, running, dancing, bike riding etc. Alternate between a comfortable pace and a more challenging pace for you to burn more calories in less time. <BR> <BR> Try the Jessica Smith 9-min High Intensity Cardio video. It's a low-impact but effective nine minutes.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=high_intensity_lowimpact_do_anywher<BR>e_cardio_workout </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALT... Fri, 28 Oct 2016 22:06:51 EST 10/28/16 - FREE FORM FRIDAY It's Friday baby and time to repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What step can you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> How bout one more muscle group for the week? Hit your upper body to help maintain posture and increase strength for every day activities. <BR> <BR> Try seated dumbbell rows. Feel free to leave out the dumbbells if you need to or use water bottles or soup cans.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?ex... Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:47:39 EST 10/27/16 - Muscle Day 4 Glutes Strong glutes help support the lower back, improves posture and makes everyday movements like sitting down, standing up, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier. <BR> <BR> If you can get on the floor, try some bridges on a medicine ball or foam roller... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=478 </link> <BR> <BR> If you'd rather stand, put a slight bend in your knee, squeeze your glutes tight, hold a couple seconds and release. You can do ... Wed, 26 Oct 2016 21:59:00 EST 10/26/16 - Muscle day 3 calves/W ednesday Wellness Build up your calves... carefully if you're not used to working your calves, don't overdue it... <BR> <BR> Calf raises with a chair... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=123 </link> <BR> <BR> You can also do a couple here and there while brushing your teeth, washing dishes or waiting in line. <BR> <BR> Or on a step for more of a challenge... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=132 </link> <BR> <BR> And stre... Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:53:21 EST 10/25/16 Muscles Day 2 Triceps See the pattern this week, we're hitting the back of the body.... muscles not seen in the mirror but necessary for daily strength. <BR> <BR> Try some seated Triceps extensions... with or without weights... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=158 </link> <BR> <BR> Or on a bench with a weight... or water bottle, or soup can.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=159 </link> <BR> <BR> And stretch it out... <BR>... Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:40:48 EST 10/24/16 - Muscles Day 1 Hamstrings Let's work a different set of muscles each day this week to up our metabolism and strength. Remember we never work the same muscle two days in a row. <BR> <BR> If these do not work for you or if you need a different muscle worked, tell us what you did to make it work for you. <BR> <BR> First aim for six 10-minute walks or other increments of activity to add up to an hour. <BR> <BR> Today let's work our hamstrings with a relatively easy move... <BR> <BR> Lying hamstring curl with ball.. <... Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:07:44 EST 10/23/16 - Sunday Smiles Take time out to smile today, at people you may pass on the street, in the parking lot at the store etc. Read the seven reasons to smile article about the benefits you gain from smiling... <BR> <BR> <link> s_ articles.asp?id=1529 </link> <BR> <BR> You never know what is happening in someone else's day and a smile from a stranger can make a world of difference to them and to you as well! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Join me in my favorite Su... Sat, 22 Oct 2016 20:15:54 EST 10/22/16 - Saturday Signup A great way to stay on track is to sign up for a walking/running event. It gives you a goal to stay on track with healthy eating, exercise and stretching. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark virtual runs and walks link. They are free and you can do them on your own time during the week you select.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>race-home.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Pick a date range then use the filter to find one mile, 5K and 10K walks, runs and a walk/run combo, then ... Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:30:03 EST 10/21/16 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Hey Hey! It's Friday! Celebrate by taking good care of yourself. Today is your day to make up your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I think I'm going to do some yoga now that I can move my head around without the sinus pain and pressure of the week! I have not moved much this week, need to work out the kinks! <BR> <BR> By the way, October 21 is Mammography Day. Ladies???? And gents out there, talk to your female friends and family members. <BR> <BR> It's also C... Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:50:50 EST 10/20/16 - Thursday Thighs and tushy! <BR> <BR> Let's get funky with some circle squats... You do not have to go low if that is bad for you, go just an inch or two down if need be.... <BR> <BR> Just like it sounds, a different take on a squat, as you squat down, push hips out to the right, pass through your center as you lower down a little more then push hips out to the left and back up, nice and slow. <BR> <BR> Keep your weight in your heels, don't let your knees go past your toes.Get as low as possible in good ... Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:49:50 EST 10/19/16 - Wednesday Wellness Give yourself a soothing hand massage (from POPSUGAR.COM). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>Hand-Massage-3533815?stream_view=1#ope<BR>ning-slide </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Slather on three to four drops of your favorite hand lotion. It'll soften your hands and make it easier for you to massage them, too. <BR> <BR> The heels of your hands do a lot of hard work and don't get nearly as much attention as your fingers do. Rub them in gentle circular motions, beginning o... Tue, 18 Oct 2016 22:58:30 EST 10/18/16 - Two For Tuesday Double up your cardio by doing two different types of cardio. Check the link for short Spark videos you can try... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get two servings of fruits/veggies with at least two meals or snacks. Check out this link of ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1795 </link> <BR> <BR> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 21:51:25 EST 10/16/16 - Clean up Oct 17 is Clean Your Virtual Desktop day... created by The Personal Computer Museum located in Brantford, Ontario Canada and celebrated on the third Monday of October. How great would it be for our desktops to look clean and organized the beginning of the week?! That could set the right tone for the week. <BR> <BR> Delete what is not necessary and file documents in folders. <BR> <BR> Not on a computer much... tidy up your most cluttered space or take down all old notes, invitations etc fro... Sun, 16 Oct 2016 21:41:33 EST 10/15/16 - 10-minute Mind Shift Make the most of ten minutes for your health and wellness. We live in a very busy, multi-tasking world. Take ten minutes to take care of yourself. How many of these tips can you fit into your day (no extra credit for the most, remember it's a self-care Sunday, be good to yourself). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_ten_minute_mindshift </link> <BR> <BR> Happy Sweetest Day to you and your sweets! <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 08:03:22 EST 10/15/16 - Saturday Steps Aim for an hour of activity by breaking it up into six ten-minute increments..... six ten-minute walks or a mix of a gym workout/video and walking breaks afterward. <BR> <BR> Find some stairs! Stair climbing can be an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease. <BR> <BR> Make it more challenging taking wide steps (hold on for stability) or lift your knees up before taking... Fri, 14 Oct 2016 06:27:02 EST 10/14/16 - Free Form Friday Hey hey Hey! Friday baby! <BR> <BR> Today is your day to run the show. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I haven't been to an Orange Theory Fitness session in over a month when I used to go once a week. I have the day off work to head out for a girls weekend so I signed up for the 7:15. Plenty of time to get home, get showered and hit the road! <BR> <BR> Let's keep moving forward! Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:29:46 EST 10/13/16 - Tip Toe Thursday Take a few steps here and there on your tip toes. If you are unsteady, do calf raises while holding on to a chair or the sink. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=123 </link> <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Tip toe walking is a functional exercise, meaning it trains your muscles to work together to perform sport-specific or everyday tasks. <BR> <BR> Tiptoe walking can improve your proprioception, or your sense of where particular body... Wed, 12 Oct 2016 22:10:07 EST 10/12/16 - Wednesday Wellness/Empty Shelf "for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command." This is taken from Gretchen Ruben's A little Happier blog. <BR> <BR> Most of us feel a little more stressed when there is clutter. I know I do. <BR> <BR> Gretchen talks about a friend suggesting that it’s also important to have time for serendipity, for the unexpected — to make room for a little messiness in our lives. <BR> <BR> So some place we need an empty shelf and some place we need a junk drawer. Some t... Tue, 11 Oct 2016 22:23:39 EST 10/11/16 - Take a lap After dinner, after the dishes, after the kids' homework, after your evening workout, after whatever the last thing you do in the evening.... walk two laps around the house. One last bit of movement in the day. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Make it a Two For Tuesday by performing exercises that work opposing muscle groups.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Work chest/shoulders... biceps/triceps... quadriceps/hamstrings... abs... Mon, 10 Oct 2016 22:57:29 EST 10/10/16 - Mindful Monday So you ever feel like the day went by and missed some of it due to the multitasking necessary these days? <BR> <BR> Aim to really tune in to at least two moments/tasks in your day. <BR> <BR> Turn off the other channels playing in your head during a work meeting <BR> Close your email during work/conference calls <BR> Make meals technology-free time. Focus on the taste and texture of your food, the company around you <BR> If your family/friends are telling you about their day, tune in and a... Sun, 9 Oct 2016 22:02:13 EST 10/9/16 - Bootcamp day 7/Sunday Self Care We're here... the last day of bootcamp. All that is on the plan for day 7 is a 9-minute Core workout. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> The workout is on the floor which I know does not work for some people, so feel free to substitute the seated core workout (or any other ab workout). <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I do this one when I'm alone in the office once in a while. <BR> <BR> SUNDAY SELF CARE CHAL... Sat, 8 Oct 2016 21:43:24 EST 10/8/16 - Bootcamp Day Six/Portions Okay six days of bootcamp, we're almost at the end. As usual, pick 30 minutes of cardio and then (or before, or during, mix it up if you want) we are back to arm work. Fit muscles are not built one day a week. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Remember if a move doesn't work for you, repeat any other move she does that is okay for you to do. For example, she does pushups against a chair. If that is tough for you, grab a wall and do wall pushups. <BR> ... Fri, 7 Oct 2016 22:54:28 EST 10/7/16 - Bootcamp Day 5/Free Form Friday If you'd like to continue following the Seven Day Bootcamp plan with me, get your 30 minutes of cardio and then do the Lean Legs video or lower body video of your choice.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Remember if you want to make it interesting, do a cardio move in between each move in the lean legs workout. <BR> <BR> OR, it's FRIDAY! Make up your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Thu, 6 Oct 2016 22:01:06 EST 10/6/16 - Bootcamp Day 4/Throw Back Thursday Bootcamp day four calls for 30 minutes of cardio, your choice and the 7-minute Belly Blast Workout with Dumbbells. You can leave out the dumbbells if you need to. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Most of it can be done without getting on the floor if that doesn't work for you. When she gets on the floor, simply repeat other moves. <BR> <BR> For those not following the Spark Bootcamp, do a Throw Back Thursday workout... something you haven't done in ... Wed, 5 Oct 2016 21:38:24 EST 10/5/16 - Bootcamp Day 3/Wednesday Wellness I will not forget about our Wednesday Wellness exercise. From Bring energy into the room instead of taking it away. <BR> <BR> "No matter what we have going on in our lives, one of the most important things we can all do is bring energy, not steal it. This means maintaining a positive outlook and energy, even if our lives are not as they should be or we wish they were. <BR> <BR> This is important for our health, along with the health of others around us. People who hav... Tue, 4 Oct 2016 22:22:56 EST 10/4/16 - Bootcamp Day 2 Hopefully all of the videos do not skip. Feel free to substitute if you have any problems. <BR> <BR> Day two of SparkPeople Seven-Day bootcamp calls for 30 minutes of cardio. Remember you can always break up your cardio to ten minute increments through the day if you need to. <BR> <BR> Check out some Spark videos if you need ideas... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Then do the Bootcamp 10-minute Lower Body Blast with Dumbbells... <BR> <BR> <link>www.... Mon, 3 Oct 2016 21:58:01 EST 10/3/16 - Bootcamp Week Anyone want to join me for Spark Bootcamp this week? <BR> <BR> Day one is a 10-minute Cardio Kick Workout video. If you need to, you can keep this low-impact. Follow Coach Nicole's cues. Add this video to your planned activity. Walk in place if you need to. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Some of you may remember following this plan as a team in the past. There will be strength videos but feel free to adjust to what you need. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTE... Sun, 2 Oct 2016 20:48:01 EST 10/2/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a Me Day. Spend time in quiet, take a nap, go for a walk, meditate... whatever resets and rejuvenates you. <BR> <BR> A happy Rosh Hashanah to our Jewish friends. Sun, 2 Oct 2016 00:14:13 EST 10/1/16 - Saturday steps Julie (KITTY20) will be walking 18 miles Saturday. Let's all get out there and get moving with her. <BR> <BR> You don't have to walk 18 miles but get some extra steps in.... <BR> <BR> October 1 is National Walk Your Dog day so if you have a dog, there's a perfect reason <BR> <BR> Stuck inside? Walk laps around the house listening to your favorite music. <BR> <BR> Try a Leslie Sasone walking video: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> or Jessica Sm... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:14:37 EST 9/30/16 - Free Form Friday Hey boys and girls, what time is it? No, not Howdy Doodey time.... it's free form Friday. Time for you to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What small step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I need some ab work! <BR> <BR> By the way, start thinking about your goal(s) for October.Make s.m.a.r.t goals... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=1794 </link> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:56:05 EST 9/29/16 - World Heart Day September 29 is World Heart Day, founded in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year. <BR> <BR> Check out this slideshow for healthy heart-healthy foods. How many can you add to your day or to your shopping list. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=51 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking (or any other ... Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:00:28 EST 9/28/16 - Wednesday Wellness Spend 5 - 10 minutes in quiet in the morning. According to 30 Days to a Healthier You: A Daily Checklist of Wellness Tips... spending time in quiet first thing in the morning can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which peaks first thing in the morning. <BR> <BR> It also gives you some time to think to yourself before the busyness of the day begins. You might like to write out your thoughts, to-do’s, prayers, concerns, or whatever else comes to your mind first thing in the... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:13:24 EST 9/27/16 - Triceps Tuesday From "The triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase." <BR> <BR> Check out the Jessica Smith Tricep exercises. Do what you are able... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_exercises_that_target_the_triceps </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to scroll down past the photos to the detai... Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:54:28 EST 9/26/16 - Eat Your Vitamins Check out this Spark article regarding different vitamins, what they do, good food sources of the vitamin and how much you need. Remember, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Consult with your doctor for specific needs... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=116 </link> <BR> <BR> Start a shopping list if you do not have some of these sources on hand. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add an additional 15 minutes of activity to your regularl... Sun, 25 Sep 2016 22:35:24 EST 9/25/16 - Sunday Self Care As I write this, it is Saturday morning. I am leaving for the train station shortly to ride into the city for an overnight hotel stay before my first half marathon. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> So I'm posting Sunday's challenge early. I just read this story on line and I think it should be a part of our daily routine. I will be doing this Sunday morning before the race. Join me won't you.... <BR> <BR> <link>/<BR>g-mantra-father-taught-163505174.html </link... Sat, 24 Sep 2016 10:40:19 EST 9/24/16 - Day of Play September 24 is Worldwide Day of Play. Worldwide Day of Play is an annual event designed to encourage children and parents to turn off the television and play, especially outdoors. <BR> <BR> Why is getting outdoors good for you.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Try to go for a 5-10 minute walk before and after at least one meal. After your meal though, waiting at least 30 minutes to walk in or... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:26:42 EST 9/23/16 - Free Form Friday Happy Innergize Day. Innergize day is celebrated the day after the Autumnal Equinox, a day to relax and rejuvenate. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or create your own challenge and then take some time to focus on your personal well being. Thu, 22 Sep 2016 21:29:47 EST 9/22/16 - Throwback Thursday Go back to grade school gym class.... <BR> <BR> Jacks (no jumping required) Do a few full-on jumping jacks or modified jumping jacks: <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Pushups.. get down on the floor on your knees or toes for a few pushups. But if getting on the floor is not possible for you, do wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> <link> es .asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Try a few with you... Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:35:45 EST 9/21/16 - Wednesday Wellness From <BR> <BR> Any activity that you perform where you stay fully present, completely and non-judgmentally rooted "in the now" can count as a mindfulness meditation technique and when practiced regularly can bring the benefits of meditation to your life... <BR> <BR> quick fix to relieve stress <BR> when practiced as part of your daily routine, it can help build resilience to stress <BR> may help with healthier eating <BR> <BR> Many of us have a hard time quieting our mind so ... Tue, 20 Sep 2016 22:25:07 EST 9/20/16 - Triple Tuesday Pick three upper body weight exercises to increase your upper body strength. Pick your favorite moves or try at least one new move. <BR> <BR> There is a nice mix of exercises with weights, without weights at machines at the gym..... <BR> <BR> <link> ex ercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;exerciR><BR>se_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp;bod<BR>ypart= up per%20body </link> <BR> <BR> Upper body strength is important to have because the upper body controls... Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:38:11 EST 9/19/16 - 4,3,2,1 Try exercise physiologist Sean Foy's 4,3,2,1 exercise model: <BR> <BR> 4 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity (this can be as intense as you can handle, a brisk walk, some dancing or a short run.) <BR> 3 minutes of resistance training (pick any strength exercises you need) <BR> 2 minutes of core work (crunches, planks etc) <BR> 1 minute of breathing and stretching (I usually do this for about five minutes. Go ahead and STRETCH out the time here) <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHA... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:39:08 EST 9/18/16 - Sunday Self Care Show your feet some love! We walk, dance, run, bike ride, sometimes where the wrong shoes. So take a few minutes to make your feet strong and flexible to help them help you continue to move the way you want. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> If you like yoga, there is a yoga for feet routine... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=yoga_stretches_for_the_feet_and_ankles </l... Sat, 17 Sep 2016 18:36:45 EST 9/17/16 - Saturday Slow Down Hopefully your Saturday isn't too hectic and you can focus on eating your meals slowly. "The saliva that coats your food as you chew actually contains digestive enzymes that begin to digest your food before you even swallow it." This helps prevent digestive issues -bacterial overgrowth, gas, and bloating. <BR> <BR> Read this Spark article to educate yourself on the benefits of eating slowly. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=963 </link> <BR> <BR... Fri, 16 Sep 2016 21:09:19 EST 9/16/16 - Free Form Friday Sliding into the weekend! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Decide on your own challenge today or repeat a previous day's challenge. Decide what step you need to take to move toward your health and wellness goals. <BR> <BR> Remember, rest days count if you've been overdoing it. A light walk is always a good thing! <BR> <BR> I need some yoga so I'm aiming for an hour of yoga after work. <BR> <BR> September 16 is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer..commemorating the date of ... Thu, 15 Sep 2016 21:51:24 EST 9/15/16 - Be ABsolutely fABulous! A strong core is important for a healthy back, good posture, balance and stability, doing housework etc. <BR> <BR> Sneak in some ab work throughout your day... <BR> <BR> Do you have a swivel chair in your home or office? Lift your feet, pull in your abs and twist. <BR> <BR> Wherever you are, contract your abs for two seconds and release. Don't hold your breath. <BR> <BR> Get your obliques in on the action. Get a slight bend in the knees, pull in your abs and without moving any part of yo... Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:05:22 EST 9/14/16 - Wednesday Wellness From a blog... <BR> <BR> So often we wait to feel happy first, then smile and exude joy. What if you were to try it the other way around? <BR> <BR> I know it may sound ridiculous but right now I want you to: <BR> <BR> Curl your lips up at the corners, and start a little smile. It’s okay if it feels forced and awkward at first. <BR> <BR> Okay, now a little more . . . YES actually do this please . . . <BR> <BR> And now . . . let me see those pearly whites!!! <BR> <BR> Next, cl... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 21:20:40 EST 9/13/16 - Two For Tuesday Choose exercises that work at least two muscle groups... amp up your calorie burn in less time. <BR> <BR> Some examples (or choose your own)... <BR> <BR> Dumbbell lunges with a step (feel free to leave out the weights or use soup cans and leave out the step if you need to. Just watch your form) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=135 </link> <BR> <BR> Wall sit with a medicine ball (hold anything between your knees or nothing). To add another muscle ... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 21:18:46 EST 9/12/16 - Energize Your Monday Start the week by eating for energy. See how many foods in the article below you can add to your meals on a regular basis: <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=65 </link> <BR> <BR> "concentrating on low-fat, high-fiber foods and complex carbs – these are broken down slowly and steadily, giving you regular energy throughout the day.' <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE... <BR> <BR> Aim for 3 - 6 ten-minute walks... as slow or as brisk as you need. ... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 20:53:47 EST 9/11/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a moment of silence on the 15th anniversary of the 911 tragedy. Today is Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. We responded to unthinkable tragedy with an outpouring of service and goodwill. Keep that spirit alive! <BR> <BR> Nurture yourself today. Pick one or two tips to nourish your soul... <BR> <BR> Dance to your favorite music. <BR> Take a dance class. <BR> Write down your blessings in your journal. <BR> Take out your favorite pens, and doodling. <BR> Go to the ... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 22:48:31 EST 9/10/16 - Pick Your Level If you have not worked your upper body in the last 24 hours, let's do this! <BR> <BR> Pushups help improve our upper body strength as well as our core strength, making every day activities and chores easier with less chance of injury. <BR> <BR> Pushups help increase bone mass, reducing bone loss and promote stronger, more dense bones. <BR> <BR> So let's get to it. Pick the version of pushups that match your fitness level or mix and match. Make sure to watch your form, no sagging: <BR> <... Fri, 9 Sep 2016 21:49:04 EST Hi Everyone! My name is Fran and I'm 63 year old. Just getting over foot surgery and am overjoyed that I can walk again. I am not really computer literate so if I do this wrong please let me know. Thanks Fri, 9 Sep 2016 08:39:44 EST 9/9/16 Free Form Friday We are arriving at Friday! WHOOOHOO! Today is your day, make you own challenge, what step do you need to take toward your health and wellness. It doesn't have to be a giant step. Baby steps every day lead to great things! <BR> <BR> I am in desperate need of some yoga. I'm no longer able to attend the free class I used to so I haven't made time for yoga as much as I used to. I'm working on that weekly habit again. I felt better and handled stress better when I in the yoga habit. <BR> <BR> So... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 20:05:20 EST 9/8/16 - Try It Thursday Okay, time to pick a new activity or go back to something you haven't done in a long time., strength or cardio or both. Keep those muscles and your metabolism fired up by changing it up. <BR> <BR> Use the workout finder on <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or search youtube for an activity you'd like to try. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: How's your Fiber intake? Educate yourself or refresh your memory..... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople... Wed, 7 Sep 2016 21:52:04 EST 9/7/16 - Wednesday Wellness I saved this a while ago, I think I got it from, can't remember..... <BR> <BR> Align Your Spine: Sit up Straight <BR> <BR> Freeze! Before you move, notice how you are sitting: are your shoulders slumped over? Is your back curled? Are your shoulders hiked up toward your ears? <BR> <BR> Take a minute right now to straighten up your spine. Here are all the little details to pay attention to (who knew sitting up straight could be so complicated interesting?): <BR> <BR> Feel yo... Tue, 6 Sep 2016 22:19:18 EST 9/6/16 - Cardio and Strength combo Rev up your calorie burn by combining cardio and strength in one workout. Check out the Saprk exercise demos and pick you moves to alternate..... <BR> <BR><BR>cise_demos.asp <BR> <BR> Or try a Spark Bootcamp video... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Hopefully the video plays for you. I've done these many times with no problem but tonight, it's not playing. Hopefully just a fluke. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS ... Mon, 5 Sep 2016 21:29:53 EST 9/5/16 - Motivational Monday Happy Labor Day to those of us that have a day off of work. <BR> <BR> On Sept. 5, 1882 ,10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in a parade from City Hall to Union Square in New York City as a tribute to American workers. <BR> <BR> Thanks to those early protests, we no longer work under bleak conditions such as 12 or more hour workdays; hazardous work environments; meager pay. Children, some as young as 5, were often fixtures at plants and factories. <BR> <BR> Make this a motivation... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 21:48:05 EST 9/4/16 - Enjoy Nature Hopefully the weather is nice by you. Go outside and play or at least go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors. <BR> <BR> Read about the many health benefits... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> September 4 is National Wildlife Day... in memory of conservationist Steve Irwin. <BR> <BR> This day encourages everyone to stand up and fight for animals that need a voice, visit their local zoo and donate ... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 22:09:24 EST September 3 - Move a little longer Try for an extra 10 minutes of activity ..... cardio or strength. Check out Spark TV for new videos. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> September 3 is Writing Date Day..... plan some time to write.... <BR> <BR> write a blog, <BR> write a thank you note to your old self for deciding to join Spark and get healthy, <BR> write a family member or friend a short note in a card just because <BR> or simply jot down words and half thoughts going through your head about your ... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 00:16:16 EST 9/2/16 - Free Form Friday Here we are, another Friday where you make the call. How will you challenge yourself? Take a small step towards those September goals you made... which by the way, kudos all around. We will take September by storm!! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> Remember rest days count too. Take it easy if you need to let muscles repair and strengthen. <BR> No burning the candle at both ends allowed! <BR> <BR> My goal is to not back out of a 5:30 run with a running buddy and to destress. Work proj... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 20:45:39 EST 9/1/16 - Goals Okay, September 1st... 30 blank pages ahead of us. Are you going to keep working on your August goals, make new goals or focus on one goal? It's all good. <BR> <BR> I did pretty well on my August goals..... positive self talk during long runs, no snacking after 8 pm and nightly stretches. The first two went well, not so much on the third so I'm going to focus on stretching for at least five minutes every night. <BR> <BR> Okay so who hasn't worked their lower body in the last 24 hours? Pic... Wed, 31 Aug 2016 22:03:17 EST 8/31/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take 5 - 10 minutes out of the day to practice proper breathing... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> "Proper breathing is an underestimated, but critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> Now that is worth 5 - 10 minutes out of our day! <BR> <BR> Well, here we are at the end of August. Do you r... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 21:21:01 EST 8/30/16 - Two For Tuesday Which muscle group have you not worked in the last 24 hours? Let's get to work on that, pick two opposing muscle groups. Remember it's important not to only work muscles you see in the mirror... <BR> <BR><BR>cise_demos.asp <BR> <BR> abs/lower back <BR> biceps/triceps <BR> back/chest <BR> hamstrings/quadriceps <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Track all of your food and drinks for the day. I you see this later in the day, start tracking tomorrow w... Mon, 29 Aug 2016 23:01:21 EST 8/29/16 - More Herbs Less Salt Day August 29 is More Herbs Less Salt Day. <BR> <BR> Add flavor and reduce sodium by using more herbs and spices instead of salt when cooking. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=297 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: shoot for an hour of activity by doing short bursts of activity. I need a rest day but I'm going to try to get six 10-minute walks in for an easy breezy active day. Sun, 28 Aug 2016 19:24:53 EST 8/28/16 - Sunday Self Care As much as I'm in denial, cold and flu season is around the corner. Start now to make steps to strengthen your immune system a daily habit so that you may avoid the bug that always goes around. <BR> <BR> Put this list of six tips where you will see it every day as a reminder..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1216 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Improve flexibility and balance with the Spark Qi Gong video. <BR> <BR> <BR> <lin... Sat, 27 Aug 2016 21:08:36 EST 8.27.16 - Just Because Saturday August 27 is National Just Because day, created by Joseph J. Goodwin of Los Gatos, CA, in the late 1950s. It began as a family holiday and has grown into an annual celebration across the United States. <BR> <BR> So go for a drive just because <BR> Sing loudly in the car or in the shower just because <BR> Surprise someone with flowers just because <BR> Dance like nobody's watching just because <BR> <BR> Find something you want to do just because. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Drink a cup of w... Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:29:41 EST 8.26.16 - Free Form Friday It's time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Take a small step towards your health and wellness and start the weekend off on a positive note! <BR> <BR> August 26th is Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of US women getting the right to vote. Try to spend some time thoroughly researching candidates in your city, state or country. Decide to be an educated voter. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> And here's to a successful Daffodil Days to our New Zealand fr... Thu, 25 Aug 2016 22:29:28 EST 8/25/16 - Throwback Thursday Let's go old school... back to grade school gym class. <BR> <BR> Jacks (no jumping required) Do a few full-on jumping jacks or modified jumping jacks: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Pushups.. get down on the floor on your knees or toes for a few pushups. But if getting on the floor is not possible for you, do wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR>... Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:03:45 EST 8/24/16 - Wednesday Wellness Look in the mirror three times today and repeat a quote by Marilyn Monroe.... “We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” <BR> <BR> Everywhere you walk today... forget stresses, forget about not wearing the right outfit or if it's a bad hair day.... pull your abs in, roll your shoulders back and down and walk with confidence. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Eat or plan to buy a fruit or vegetable that's new to you or that you have not had in a long time. <BR> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:49:00 EST 8/23/16 - Two For Tuesday Double up your cardio! Pick two Spark cardio exercises to do as a warmup to your regularly scheduled cardio activity. Or pick more than two moves to string together for a quick cardio burst. <BR> <BR> You decide the intensity! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ATLERNATE CHALLENGE: August 23rd is Ride the Wind Day. You can catch a ride with the breeze, or float along slowly like a gentle, late summer cloud. <BR> <BR> For most of us, summer is winding down. Try to carve out a few minutes to enjoy something ex... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 22:02:15 EST 8/21/16 - Mindful Monday Focus today on really thinking about everything you put in your mouth today. I mean really think about it. The spark article on mindful eating on Thanksgiving is a good read for any day. <BR> <BR> Try these tips today as best you can before anything you eat or drink...... <BR> <BR> Prior to eating, turn off the distractions: television, radio, phone and computer. Quiet your mind as you prepare to eat. <BR> <BR> Give attention to your hunger. What messages are you receiving that your body... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 21:31:06 EST 8/21/16 - Sunday Stretches Rise and shine stretches or lunch stretch break or after-dinner cool-down stretches.... <BR> <BR> Whatever time you see this... get mobile and warmed up then get loose and long. I have a 10-mile training run so I will need these stretches and then some... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Plan your week. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Run to the store (o... Sat, 20 Aug 2016 22:09:50 EST 8/20/16 - Posture Check Focus on good posture. Proper posture... <BR> <BR> reduces abnormal wear and tear on joint surfaces <BR> reduces stress on ligaments that connect spinal joints <BR> helps you avoid developing an abnormal permanent position, which can cause spinal disk problems and constricted blood vessels and nerves. <BR> Good posture also protects spinal joints from injury and deformity. <BR> <BR> So give the posture workout a try... <BR> <BR> <link> st =the_12m... Fri, 19 Aug 2016 20:44:43 EST 8/19/16 - Free Form Friday Step up to the plate and declare your own challenge. What do you need to do to achieve health and wellness. <BR> <BR> I need serious stretching and resting. I am so sore from the past couple workouts. I'll be doing some Yoga With Adrienne. <BR> <BR> By the way, August 19 is World Humanitarian Day... a day created by the United Nations to recognize humanitarian workers on the front lines of war and disaster and also stand in solidarity with millions of people around the world that depend on ... Thu, 18 Aug 2016 22:07:37 EST 8/18/16 - Burner Sets As seen on make your last set of a strength training move slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> For example, on the up of a bicep curl or tricep extension or coming up in a pushup (or pushing away from the wall on a wall pushup) go slooooooooowwwwwww. <BR> <BR> Pick a muscle group you haven't worked in at least 24 hours, do two sets of the move as you normally do, then perform your third set slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> <link>www.s... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:22:17 EST 8/17/16 - Wednesday Wellness August 17 is Love Your Feet Day. Celebrate the day by.... <BR> <BR> Shopping for new shoes if your shoes are worn down and uncomfortable <BR> Fill a water bottle half-way full, stick it in the freezer until frozen and use it to roll under your feet <BR> Elevate your feet when you can <BR> <BR> And/or try these Spark exercises for strong, flexible feet.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Our fe... Tue, 16 Aug 2016 22:00:42 EST 8/16/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for either..... <BR> <BR> two servings of fruits with each meal <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> two servings of veggies with each meal <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> one serving veggies AND one serving of fruit with each meal <BR> <BR> <em>277</em> <em>267</em> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 22:11:03 EST 8/15/16 - Muscle Monday Start the week by increasing muscle mass which will speed up your metabolism. <BR> <BR> Pick three body weight exercises to... PUMP IT UP! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?equipment=bodyweight </link> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Sun, 14 Aug 2016 22:07:34 EST 8/14/16 - Sunday Self Care Give your yourself a time limit...10 or 15 minutes, write down your worries in a journal, or grab a piece of paper. <BR> <BR> Write down your worries within the time you allotted and then focus on something positive or get outside and do something fun. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Schedule your workouts on your calendar or at least a reminder to get moving. <BR> <BR> Sat, 13 Aug 2016 22:04:37 EST 8/13/16 - August Goals Do you remember the goals you set for yourself for this month? Check out the thread, see what you goals you checked in with. Give me a <em>248</em> if you took a step today towards on of your goals. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sageboard_thread.asp?board=0x2107x6487<BR>7852 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: How's your vitamin C? <BR> <BR> One of the many benefits of vitamin C is to "form collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength ... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 22:18:39 EST 8/12/16 - Free Form Friday You're up to bat to make your challenge! What step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> Remember rest counts for those of you still recuperating! <BR> <BR> After debating back and forth, I've agreed to go to work late and meet some members of my running group at 5:30 am for a six mile run. We are expecting rain but as long as there's no lightning.... we run. You never know, it could be raining the day of the half marathon next month. <BR> <BR> Plan B, I'l find a cardio... Thu, 11 Aug 2016 21:26:56 EST 8/11/16 - Taste The Rainbow <BR> Are you eating all of the colors of the rainbow each day? I try, don't always make it but let's work on it together. Get as many colors as you can and start a shopping list to get more. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=are_you_eating_a_rainbow </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Aim for four short bursts of cardio during the day. <BR> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:24:21 EST 8/10/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take time for a mid-week stretch at your desk or in between household chores and errands... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Watch your portions. Read labels to learn or refresh your memory about your favorite foods. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you kept portion sizes smart.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=177 </link> <BR> <BR> Happy Nat... Tue, 9 Aug 2016 22:15:16 EST 8/9/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for at least 10 minutes of cardio....walking, dancing, treadmill, swimming etc and then pick two opposing muscle groups to strengthen....biceps/triceps, chest/back or inner/outer thighs etc: <BR> <BR> <link> e_ demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Don't just work the muscles you see in the mirror, work the opposing muscles to avoid injury and increase your metabolism. Mon, 8 Aug 2016 21:23:38 EST 8/816 - Bursts of Activity and Happiness Several short bursts of activity keep the calorie burn going all day. Go for a few quick walks, do some jumping jacks a few times, run up a few stairs a few times. <BR> <BR> August 8 is Happiness Happens day.... <BR> <BR> Founded in 1999 under the name of “Admit You’re Happy Day” by the Secret Society of Happy People, Happiness Happens Day aims to spread the joy of being happy, and to persuade people to look on the brighter side of life. <BR> <BR> Happiness is contagious, so if you’re happ... Sun, 7 Aug 2016 21:13:55 EST 8/7/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a me day. True, sometimes there is still a to-do list on Sundays but try to fit in some me time.... <BR> <BR> take a bath <BR> read a book or magazine <BR> take a nap <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add some hydrating foods to your daily menus... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> Sat, 6 Aug 2016 21:26:18 EST 8/6/16 - Saturday Steps Let's up those step counts... <BR> <BR> Go for an extra walk <BR> Increase your planned workout <BR> Add a short Spark video to your planned activity <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>57</em> <em>311</em> <em>57</em> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Track your meals for the entire weekend. See if you can stick to what you have on hand. Fri, 5 Aug 2016 22:24:06 EST 8/5/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to call the shots. How will you challenge yourself? Remember, rest counts too if you need it! <BR> <BR> I plan to attend my running group's Friday Night 5K, ending up at a local bar and grill where the husband of a woman in my running group performs with a partner singing Irish folk songs. It's a lot of fun. <BR> <BR> My challenge is to be mindful. They serve a good naked burger... all the fixins, no bun with a side salad and I do not need a beer. <BR> <BR> Let's inspire eac... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 22:10:00 EST 8/4/16 - Thursday Thighs We need those strong and flexible thighs to keep us moving and prevent back pain. <BR> <BR> -Do some good old fashioned squats <BR> -Start to sit down on the couch, but stand back up just before touching down <BR> <BR> Then check out the Pop Sugar article and try some thigh muscles stretches, including that all-important posts muscle ...... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>elief-Stretch-Your-Hip-Flexors-3368118 </link> Wed, 3 Aug 2016 21:30:18 EST 8/3/16 - Wednesday Wellness Every day is a good day to strengthen and stretch the muscles supporting the knees to prevent injury. You don't have to wait until you have knee arthritis to take the steps in this article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> August 3 is National Watermelon Day. The National Watermelon Association, Inc. is a voluntary, membership trade association dedicated to making a positive difference in the busin... Tue, 2 Aug 2016 21:55:13 EST 8/2/16 - Two For Tuesday Amp up your cardio with two cardio sessions..... a walk/run/dancing/zumba in the morning and a short Spark cardio video in the evening or a short cardio video in the morning and a walk at night after dinner <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> August 2nd is National Coloring Book day. Pick up a coloring book and crayons... or print off a coloring page from and spend some quality downtime by coloring. Very calming and therapeutic. <BR> <BR> <link... Mon, 1 Aug 2016 21:48:55 EST 8/1/16 - Goals The beginning of a new month, like a blank page in your life story waiting to begin. <BR> <BR> Make a list of goals you would like to work towards this month. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Add some functional exercises to your day to promote full range of motion and everyday ease of movement.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=234 </link> Sun, 31 Jul 2016 22:09:17 EST 7/31/16 - Sunday Self Care What a great way to reflect on the month as it passes and to mentally prepare for a new month.... <BR> <BR> <link> s_ articles.asp?id=894 </link> <BR> <BR> This article lists three types of walking meditation from easy to challenging. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Sit down and make your shopping list for a healthy week: <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=1001 </link> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 21:23:10 EST 7/30/16 - Friendship Day July 30 is International Friendship Day, declared by the United Nations in 2011, to celebrate friendship and peace. <BR> <BR> Pick up a card and send it to a friend just because <BR> Send a friendly email or text message <BR> Add one new Spark friend or comment on a Spark friend's page that you haven't seen a post from in a while. <BR> <BR> Make it a Saturday of smiles <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:28:36 EST 7/29/16 - Free Form Friday Your day is here, to be your own leader. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. What do you need to do to improve your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I'm following the Nike half marathon training plan so I've done a lot of running and cross-training this week. I have a hour run with a friend Friday so I need to remember to get those stretches done AND I bought epson salt last weekend that is still unopened. I intend to show my feel and ankles some love after my ru... Thu, 28 Jul 2016 21:28:06 EST 7/28/16 - Be ABsolutely fABulous! Work your core in sneaky ways. Many mornings while brushing my teeth and curling my hair, I pull in my abs and lean side to side slightly to work the obliques. <BR> <BR> Several times through the day, contract your abs for two seconds and release, repeat. <BR> <BR> During whatever activity or workout you have planned, try to keep your abs contracted as if you were expecting a punch. <BR> <BR> OR <BR> <BR> Combine 12 minutes of low-impact cardio and ab work... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkp... Wed, 27 Jul 2016 21:43:56 EST 7/27/16 - Wednesday Wellness Assess your well-being with four easy steps... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1358 </link> <BR> <BR> "It's easy to get caught up in the numbers—calories, pounds and pants size. But taking these daily wellness measurements is a good reminder that your overall feelings of health and well-being are just as important!" <BR> <BR> July 27 is Take Your Houseplant For a Walk Day. Yes, they say it's healthy for plants to become acquainted with their en... Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:03:32 EST 7/26/16 - Visualize the bikini No, I'm not pushing you to fit into one, instead check out the Spark article out using the visual of a bikini on your plate in order to fill the plate correctly with food. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=432 </link> <BR> <BR> Kind of a fun way to eat the right portions. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ATERNATE CHALENGE: Add some fruit or cucumbers to at least one cup of water to make it more interesting. <BR> <BR> July 26 is One Voice Day...a global initiati... Mon, 25 Jul 2016 22:05:08 EST 7/25/16 - Movement Monday Let's aim to stand or walk more than we sit today. Now, yes, that can be impossible with desk jobs and commutes, but let's give it a shot.... <BR> <BR> Take a call standing up. If you're at home, walk laps while on the phone. <BR> Set a reminder to stand up and stretch every 30 - 45. <BR> Walk to the farthest bathroom, preferably on another floor, work those stairs. <BR> Walk up a few stairs, just because. <BR> Get up and do ten jumping jacks (no jumping required. If need be step out to each... Sun, 24 Jul 2016 22:13:52 EST 7/24/16 - Sunday Stretches Show your muscle some love by loosening and lengthening. First thing in the morning, lunch time or after dinner all great times to perform these stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to move around a bit first. Never stretch cold muscles! <BR> <BR> Happy Pioneer Day to any Mormon Sparkers and Happy Auntie and Cousin day. Sat, 23 Jul 2016 22:19:22 EST 7/23/16 - Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone If it doesn't challenge us, it doesn't change us right? So today, pick a new workout you're not used to, a workout you haven't done in a long time or extend the workout you are used to. <BR> <BR> If it's a rest day, make it an active rest day with a slow 10-minute walk. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you "went the extra mile" <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2107 </link> <BR> <BR> Also, Happy Gorgeous Grandma day to all gorgeous Spark g... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:41:11 EST 7/22/16 - Free Form Friday As we slide into the weekend, it's up to you to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Try to make it a Friday fun day while taking one more step towards your health and wellness. <BR> <BR> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 21:31:41 EST 7/21/16 - Lower Body Let's work that lower half with some squats. I have a love/hate relationship with squats. They are SO beneficial to.... <BR> <BR> -build muscle in the entire body.... squats create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building according to fitness <BR> <BR> -make every-day activities easier <BR> <BR> -burn more calories <BR> <BR> -helps to maintain mobility and balance <BR> <BR> Squeeze in three sets of ten squats throughout your day. If you're not used to... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 23:18:19 EST 7/20/16 - Wednesday Wellness Check out the Popsugar Fitness article on tips to feel more energized throughout the day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>re-Energized-34935504 </link> <BR> <BR> Try to add at least one of the tips during the day: <BR> <BR> Morning - <BR> <BR> Do not hit the snooze button <BR> Hydrate first thing when you wake up <BR> Choose the right breakfast <BR> Fit in a quick workout <BR> <BR> Afternoon - <BR> <BR> Get some fresh air <BR> Drink green tea <BR> Declutter w... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:32:41 EST 7/19/16 - Walking According to, a short, brisk walk before and/or after meals promotes healthy metabolic activity. <BR> <BR> Walking within a half hour or so of eating a meal decreases the amount of sugar and fats that accumulate in the blood after eating. <BR> <BR> Engaging in light or moderate walking after a meal is an excellent way to rev up that metabolism and burn off those calories, as well as contribute to muscle and heart health. But wait at least 45 minutes after a big meal. <BR> <B... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 23:12:07 EST 7/18/16 - Six-Minute Monday Start the week with a quick full-body workout..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_excuseproof_workout_plan </link> <BR> <BR> Do what you can based on your fitness level. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS challenge..... Track ahead. Track your next two to three meals and snacks to keep yourself on track. Sun, 17 Jul 2016 21:48:44 EST 7/17/16 - Sunday Self Care Take a few minutes to listen to your life: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-for-your-life/ </link> <BR> <BR> What’s right in front you? <BR> Scan the scene. What’s around you. Look up from the screen for a moment and take it in. <BR> Have a look at the present snapshot of your real life, in the room you’re in, right now. <BR> <BR> Is what surrounds you proof in some way that you heeded your own wise calls? <BR> Or do you see reminders that, maybe, in some importa... Sat, 16 Jul 2016 22:39:51 EST 7/16/16 - Saturday Salutations Stop by the Introduce Yourself message board and show some support to new Spark members. Remember when you first started out here and how nice it was to get a supportive comment or a friend add. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oard_topics.asp?imboard=14 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Watch your portions. Read tips for controlling your portions without cutting out too much of your favorite foods. Give us a <em>248</em> if you adopted at least two... Fri, 15 Jul 2016 22:10:46 EST 7/15/16 - Free Form Friday Aaaaand we've arrived at Friday. <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Take a step towards health and wellness. <BR> <BR> I'm going to continue adding more cardio to my day. I have a run planned with a friend after work but I'll still aim for my two walking breaks at work and insert jumping jacks throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Hugs all around Thu, 14 Jul 2016 22:09:02 EST 7/14/16 - Jumpin Jack Flash Bump up your cardio by inserting at least three rounds of eight jumping jacks throughout your day. <BR> <BR> No jumping required if that is not something you should be doing.... <BR> <BR> Modified - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Full jack - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=530 </link> <BR> <BR> Advanced - Plank Jack <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 22:20:26 EST 7/13/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a few minutes to try a loving-kindness meditation. From 100 ways to change your life: <BR> <BR> Sit quietly, breathe normally, and repeat the phrase "May I be happy, may I be peaceful," says Salzberg. Whenever your attention wanders, gently let those thoughts go and come back to the phrase. After repeating that phrase for yourself, offer it up to include all beings everywhere, saying "May all things be happy, may all things be peaceful." <BR> <BR> With the stressful news of the day, we... Tue, 12 Jul 2016 21:52:45 EST 7/12/16 - Two For Tuesday Work multiple muscles in one exercise to rev up your metabolism and burn more calories in less time. <BR> <BR> <BR> Pick two exercises from the Spark library that work more than one muscle group: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=strength&a<BR>mp;exercise_level=advanced&amp;equipme<BR>nt=dumbbells&amp;bodypart=any </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: how's your protein? Feed those muscles what they need to repair and grow after... Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:39:25 EST 7/11/16 - Monday Movement Let's get the week moving! Try to increase your steps by 500 or add an extra 10 minutes of activity to whatever is already planned. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> In the workout finder section search for 10 - 15 minute to see a list of short workout videos to get you moving. <BR> <BR> Ready, Set, Go! <BR> <BR> Stretch of the Day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=295 </link> <BR> <BR> Work at flexibility in your hips and hamstri... Sun, 10 Jul 2016 22:33:27 EST 7/10/16 - Sunday Funday Exercise your brain and your creativity on Clerihew Day......Invented by Edmund Clerihew Bently, a clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem. <BR> <BR> A clerihew has the following properties: <BR> It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it pokes fun at mostly famous people <BR> <BR> It has four lines of irregular length and metre (for comic effect) <BR> <BR> The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are ofte... Sat, 9 Jul 2016 22:55:06 EST 7/9/16 - Saturday Snacks Do you tend to snack on the weekends. Give me a <em>248</em> if you limited snacking or snacked smart.... with healthy, nourishing snacks. <BR> <BR> <link> on _articles.asp?id=504 </link> <BR> <BR> "Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible." Fri, 8 Jul 2016 22:18:09 EST 7/8/16 - Free Form Friday TGIF my friends! It's time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Relaxing counts too if you've been burning the candle at both ends. <BR> <BR> I read that July 8 is SCUD....stands for Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama Day, and encourages those of us whose lives might have a touch too much drama to step back, relax, and enjoy the funnier side of life. <BR> <BR> I've been a little wound up this week. I'm going to be looking for humor and relaxation! <BR>... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 22:26:02 EST 7/7/16 - Think Macro Macronutrients that is.... FATS, CARBS and PROTEIN.... the major energy sources our bodies need to grow, digest food, build and repair muscle tissue, and perform basic bodily functions. <BR> <BR> Learn or refresh your memory on these important building blocks for your health. Check out the food examples given for each macronutrient. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=2132 </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you were able to meet or imp... Wed, 6 Jul 2016 22:11:00 EST 7/6/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take ten minutes towards a healthy habit. Check out this Spark article about a ten-minute mind shift for tips to jump start a healthy habit.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_ten_minute_mindshift </link> <BR> <BR> Pick one tip from this article to tackle today.... <BR> <BR> Cut up some fresh fruit and store it at eye level in the fridge <BR> Go for a walk <BR> Have a cup of herbal tea and enjoy a moment of quiet <BR> Do a set of old-fashioned push-ups a... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 23:08:21 EST 7/5/16 - You Pick Two Pick two cardio workouts, Spark videos or any other cardio workouts you like... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or at least two exercises that work multiple muscles groups... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add one serving of fruits AND one serving of vegetables to at least two meals or snacks. Mon, 4 Jul 2016 22:03:16 EST 7/4/16 - Monday Mini Muscles Rev up the metabolism with some mini muscle work during whatever Independence Day celebrations you have. <BR> <BR> While brushing your teeth, doing dishes etc, try some small mini squats... you don't have to go down far, just focus on driving up through your heels <BR> <BR> or some ab contractions, glute crunches, wall pushups, pushups against a sink with elbows close to your sides to focus on your triceps..... any time you have a minute or two alone, work some muscles. <BR> <BR> Happy Ind... Sun, 3 Jul 2016 23:55:28 EST 7/3/16 - Sunday Self Care July 3rd is Compliment Your Mirror Day. It's easy to listen to negative thoughts of our own and comments of others. <BR> <BR> Take a moment (or several times through the day) to focus on your strengths, big and small, look in the mirror, smile and compliment yourself on those strengths. Say it confidently. We achieve what we believe! <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Add some fruit to your water. Sat, 2 Jul 2016 21:53:26 EST 7/2/16 - Hop A Park Day July 2nd is Hop A Park Day....a day that encourages you to visit the local parks in your area, and to enjoy public space put aside tor rest and relaxation. <BR> <BR> Enjoy a walk or a good book in a local park! <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add one extra serving of fruit than you normally do. <BR> Fri, 1 Jul 2016 22:08:47 EST 7/1/16 - Free Form Friday It's Second Half of the Year day. July first marks the beginning of the second half of the year. <BR> <BR> Take a step back, review your nutrition tracker, your activity tracker, your job, your garden, your family and friend connections. Evaluate where you are and where you want to be. <BR> <BR> Now set your own challenge for your free-form Friday or repeat a previous day's challenge that will help you reach your goals. <BR> <BR> By the way, Happy Canada day to all of our Canadian Sparker... Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:58:26 EST 6/30/16 - Thursday Thighs Posting early since I will be out for a few hours. <BR> <BR> Let's strengthen our thighs for some walking, running, dancing, zumba, housework etc! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_best_inner_thigh_exercises_ever </link> <BR> <BR> If you worked your thighs in the last 24 hours, get a good stretch instead! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=61 </link> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?... Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:24:20 EST 6/29/16 - Wednesday Wellness Scroll down and pick one or two new ideas from the list below that we looked at on Sunday to add some zen to your day. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Slow down while eating during at least one meal. <BR> <BR> Eating slowly aids in digestions and helps avoid metabolic syndrome (combination of the symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance). It also helps you feel fuller aiding in weight loss and maintenance. <BR> <BR> <BR> From <BR>... Tue, 28 Jun 2016 21:40:59 EST 6/28/16 - Be ABsolutely fABulous I'm going to try a new core video on Spark. Join me won't you... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> It's about five minutes, all you need is a towel or a band and you don't have to get on the floor. <BR> <BR> The 12-minute seated core video is a great option: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Just about every movement we makes, run through are abdominal muscles. <BR> <BR> ADDITIONAL/BONUS CHALLENGE: Hopefully... Mon, 27 Jun 2016 22:05:12 EST 6/27/16 - Monday Minutes Start the week on an active note. In addition to whatever activity you have planned... <BR> <BR> Pick a short Spark or other workout video <BR> Go for a 10 minute walk <BR> Do 10 minutes of stretching during your favorite evening tv show or newscast <BR> <BR> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 21:39:13 EST 6/26/16 - Sunday Self Care Copy and paste this list somewhere you can refer back to it quickly through the week. Pick at least two to try today...... <BR> <BR> From <BR> <BR> Lighting an iced spice cake candle. <BR> Drinking a hot cup of tea or coffee. <BR> Dancing to your favorite music. <BR> Taking a dance class. <BR> Writing down your worries in your journal. (And giving yourself a time limit, such as 15 minutes, to get it all down and then refocusing on something else.) <BR> Writing down yo... Sat, 25 Jun 2016 22:03:34 EST 6/25/16 - Saturday Support Remember when you were new to SparkPeople? Check out the Introduce Yourself message board and post a supportive reply to a new Spark member.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oard_topics.asp?imboard=14 </link> <BR> <BR> You never know the positive effect a small gesture can have on someone's day and journey. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: June 25 is Great American Backyard Campout day. Okay, if camping out in your yard is not a possibility, spend some qu... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 23:03:15 EST 6/24/16 - Free Form Friday Aaaaaand cruisin on into the Friday... your day to make your challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What step do you need to take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I will be doing some stretching and get to bed early. I have to be up and out of the house very early to meet my daughter for an early 10K. I haven't done a 10K in long time. <BR> <BR> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 22:26:15 EST 6/23/16 - Pushups Work on your upper body strength to get you through every-day activities. <BR> <BR> Pick your level or mix and match... pushups against the wall, on your knees, on your toe, on a step or a ball.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&amp;cof=FORID%3<BR>A11&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=pushups&amp;sit<BR><BR>earch_results_google.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 22:14:25 EST 6/22/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week zen break. Check out this Spark article and pick at least one idea to try to add more zen to your day. Make a plan to try another idea the following day..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=how_to_find_some_zen_in_every_part_<BR>of_your_day </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Become an educated athlete. Do an internet or Spark search or visit your library about injury prevention in your chosen activity. <BR> <BR> Activities bring be... Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:47:23 EST 6/21/16 - Two For Tuesday I need a major calorie burn. Join me combining cardio and strength work in this 20-minute workout... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick cardio moves.... <BR> <BR><BR>se-exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio <BR> <BR> combined with your favorite strength exercises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE... Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:45:46 EST 6/20/16 - Sumer Solstice For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year so take advantage of the long daylight hours by getting outside to enjoy a fun activity while absorbing some vitamin D. <BR> <BR> If you are stuck inside at work, try to get a quick walk near some windows or outside around the building if it's safe. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: After your fun day outdoors or after an indoor workout, try some quick stretches to loosen and lengthen... <BR> <BR> <link>www.... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:54:54 EST 6/19/16 - Happy Father's Day A happy day to your dad, grandpa, husband, brother, cousin, good friend etc. If your dad is no longer with us, give someone a call or pay a visit to someone who may need a friend voice/face. <BR> <BR> Show your neck some love. After all.... "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function. Why so many muscles? Well, the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." <BR> <BR> Follow you... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:41:13 EST 6/18/16 - Eat Your Veggies June 17 is Eat Your Vegetables day. But let's continue this into Saturday the 18th. Add one extra serving of veggies to your day than you normally do. <BR> <BR> Look up healthy veggie snacking for new ideas. Try a veggie that is new to you or that you haven't had in a while. <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> <em>291</em> <em>368</em> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add 15 minute of activity to your day than you normally get. Get some additional Saturday steps. Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:29:25 EST 6/17/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to challenge yourself. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own based on your needs. Remember, rest days count too if you've been burning the candle at both ends. <BR> <BR> I am heading out of town on a motorcycle trip so I'm going to work on eating mindfully and not slip into my fast food habits on motorcycle trips. <BR> <BR> And away we go..... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 19:21:25 EST 6/16/16 - Be AB-solutely f-AB-ulous Work that core for strength and flexibility. A strong core improves your posture and prevents other muscles from straining. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark Seated Core workout (don't let the "seated" part fool you, you will feel it!) <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or, during any other cardio you do, focus on really pulling in those ab muscles. A trainer once told me (after I tweaked my lower back on the rower), that to prevent back issues, keep my abs pul... Wed, 15 Jun 2016 21:52:28 EST 6/15/16 - Wednesday Wellness Let's work on our balance. Don't wait until you fall and injure yourself to work on balance. Pick your level... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> BONUS/CHALLENGE: Add some fruit to your water to jazz it up. Tue, 14 Jun 2016 22:04:23 EST 6/14/16 - Two For Tuesday Pick two cardio workouts, Spark videos or any other cardio workouts you like... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or at least two exercises that work multiple muscles groups... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Sit cross-legged on the floor or your bed and with a flat back, hinge forward to open up your hips and gluten. If you can only go forward an inch or two, it's all go... Mon, 13 Jun 2016 22:22:28 EST 6/13/16 - Small Bursts of Activity Insert a cardio move a few time throughout the day. Keep your metabolism firing all day for an all-day calorie burn... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Read labels on as many food and drink items as you can. Refresh your memory how many servings you are actually eating/drinking. <BR> <BR> Sun, 12 Jun 2016 22:36:45 EST 6/12/16 - Sunday Self Care Make it a day to rest and rejuvante... <BR> <BR> Read in bed <BR> Spend time with friends/family <BR> Have tea and cookies <BR> Give yourself or get a mani/pedi <BR> Take a nap with cucumber slices on your eyes <BR> Spend 10 minutes practicing proper breathing... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> Sat, 11 Jun 2016 21:37:31 EST 6//11/16 - Make Life Beautiful Day Release your inner, beautiful ballerina and sculpt your lower body with Jessica..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=target_your_entire_lower_body_in_14<BR>_minutes </link> <BR> <BR> Don't forget to stretch. Even if you are not a runner, these stretches are very beneficial... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1565 </link> <BR> <BR> A lovely Shavuot to those that celebrate and a spectacular Trooping the Colours to ou... Fri, 10 Jun 2016 22:13:25 EST 6/10/16 - Free Form Friday Today's your day to make your own challenge, repeat a previous day's challenge or continue with this week's Spark Video a day challenge. <BR> <BR> Today's video will work the abs. If some moves do not work for you, repeat any other move. Take it at your own pace. No need to use weights if you do not have them. Or use water bottles or soup cans. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or the seated core workout... <BR> <BR> <link> Thu, 9 Jun 2016 20:34:26 EST 6/9/16 - Spark Video Day Four Let's bump up some cardio. Try the 10-Min Cardio Kickboxing video in addition to other planned cardio. Keep the movements small if you need to..... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Don't forget about the seating cardio workout if that works better for you.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Hit a crossword puzzle or word find puzzle for some brain cardio. <BR> Wed, 8 Jun 2016 21:52:48 EST 6/8/16 - Spark Video Day Three It's a Wednesday Wellness video challenge. Get loose and calm with either: <BR> <BR> Jessica Smith's Chair yoga... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=finally_a_yoga_routine_for_bad_wrists </link> <BR> <BR> or SparkPeople's Qi Gong.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> I love both of these videos. We'll see how the day goes, I may fit both in! <BR> <BR> June 8 is Upsy Daisy Day... <BR> <BR> Upsy... Tue, 7 Jun 2016 21:43:11 EST 6/7/16 - Spark Video Day 2 Moving on through the week strengthing the glutes and thighs.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> More muscles = higher metabolism = burning calories at rest. <BR> <BR> Don't forget.... if need be, there are great seated videos... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1713 </link> <BR> <BR> ANTIOXIDANTS... how many foods high in antioxidants do you fit into your day? Start your shopping list.... <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 6 Jun 2016 21:43:21 EST 6/6/16 - Spark Video Day One If you are following along with the Spark Video a day challenge this week, try to add the 8-min Cardio Interval workout video in addition to any other activity you have planned.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If any move is too much for you, walk in place or do any other move that works for you. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Eat your greens. <BR> <BR> Leafy greens help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, are high in dietary f... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 20:59:26 EST 6/5/15 - Me Day Take a me day or at least some me ten minutes. <BR> <BR> Meditate <BR> Read <BR> Take a bath <BR> Close yourself in a room and do some deep breathing <BR> Just be <BR> <BR> Rest up, we're hitting some Spark videos next week... get our cardio on! Sat, 4 Jun 2016 23:01:09 EST 6/4/16 - Be Fiberiffic How's your fiber? Check out the Spark article to refresh your memory on the benefits of fiber, recommended amount and ideas for adding more fiber in a tasty way.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ce_fiber.asp </link> <BR> <BR> June 4 is National Trail day. Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors if it's a safe area for you to do so! <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>332</em> <em>313</em> Fri, 3 Jun 2016 22:00:22 EST 6/3/16 - Free Form Friday Time to challenge yourself or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be doing Thursday's challenge on Friday. I let some aggravations get the best of me and had no energy left for a work out SO, a 20 minute yoga video helped me out. <BR> <BR> What step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Thu, 2 Jun 2016 21:32:12 EST 6/2/15 - Cardio and Strength Add some cardio to your strength training for an extra calorie burn. <BR> <BR> Pick three exercises for muscle groups you have not worked in the last 24 hours..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> In between sets, perform a cardio move.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> Wed, 1 Jun 2016 22:20:56 EST 6/1/16- Wednesday Wellness Take a two minute break to stretch. This is good for anyone that has a desk job or is on their feet most of the day. The shoulders, neck and upper back tend to take on our stress and when we let our posture slip. It's all cumulative! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_simple_stretches_for_better_postu<BR>re_and_less_pain </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: How's your Fiber? Are you tracking fiber and getting the recommended amount for you? <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 31 May 2016 21:40:00 EST 5/31/16 - Stairs According to <BR> <BR> Your body releases natural pain relievers, or endorphins, during a stair climb, so you’ll feel better and have less tension. Doctors also recommend stair climbing as an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease. <BR> <BR> Hit the stairs as often as you can at work, at home... find some stairs at a local mall..... <BR> <BR> BONUS/... Mon, 30 May 2016 22:02:26 EST 5/30/16 - Happy Memorial Day It's a day to remember the men and women that gave their lives while serving our country. <BR> <BR> Before your BBQs, picnics or me time...... <BR> <BR> Consider taking a few minutes to look up a war memorial museum near you and send a donation. <BR> <BR> Take a moment of silence to remember the men and women that have sacrificed everything. <BR> <BR> If you do not live in the US, educate all of us on how and when you remember your fallen service men and women. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLE... Sun, 29 May 2016 21:26:57 EST 5/29/16 - Sunday Stretches Prevent and ease wrist pain with simple stretches. <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1527 </link> <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article and try the simple stretches. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: watch your portions. If you are celebrating a holiday weekend or just hanging out with friends, reduce your portion size of the foods you enjoy to avoid feeling deprived. Sat, 28 May 2016 21:49:00 EST 5/28/16 - Saturday Signup Every want to try a race but not sure if it's for you or you don't want to pay the registration fees? Are you looking for a race before your next organized race? Would you like to try going from a 1-mile to a 5K or from a 5K to a 10K? <BR> <BR> Stop by Spark's Virtual Race page and sign up for a 1 mile walk, 1 mile run, 5K walk, run or walk/run or 10K. <BR> <BR> You pick the week you want, the type of race, then pick a route anywhere near you and then log your results. <BR> <BR> A great wa... Fri, 27 May 2016 22:05:03 EST 5/27/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to make your challenge. Inspire the rest of us too. No challenge too small or insignificant!!! <BR> <BR> I ran tonight and worked my thighs so it will be an active rest day, lots of walking and stretching. <BR> <BR> Will continue to do my cross-legged stretches. <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>414</em> <em>313</em> Thu, 26 May 2016 22:25:18 EST 5/26/16 - Thursday Thighs Work your inner and outer thighs ..... <BR> <BR> Standing Abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Standing Adduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you have a band? Try the same exercises with a band: <BR> <BR> Abduction <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=249 </link> <BR> <BR> Adduction <BR> <BR> <li... Wed, 25 May 2016 21:58:09 EST 5/25/16 - Wednesday Wellness From Reset By Relaxing your face. There are 43 muscles in our face. That is a lot of opportunities for us to unknowingly build and hold tension. <BR> <BR> Try this for one minute: <BR> <BR> Close your eyes (after you read these instructions), and begin to soften the muscles of your face. <BR> <BR> Release your jaw if it is clenched, and let your tongue rest on the soft upper palate of your mouth. <BR> <BR> Curl your lips in the slightest smile, as you relax all of t... Tue, 24 May 2016 22:24:35 EST 5/24/16 - Tuesday Triceps According to as our triceps become stronger, the strength and stability of our shoulders and elbows increases. <BR> <BR> Pick one or two triceps exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=triceps </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Continue this week with sitting crossed legged on the floor (or on your bed) hinge forward at the hips with a... Mon, 23 May 2016 21:48:31 EST 5/23/16 - Get Up And Dance Why should dancing wait until the weekend? Get the week off to a groovin good start by adding 7 minutes of dance to the day... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Join me as I try to loosen my hips. Every day I'm going to make time to sit cross-legged on the floor (you can do this on the bed too), lean forward with a straight back, slowly, for a count of ten, switch legs and do it again. <BR> <BR> If just sitting cross-legged... Sun, 22 May 2016 22:28:23 EST 5/22/16 - Sunday Stretches Try this stretching video to get loose. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on the floor is a problem for you, try these instead.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get an extra cup of water, one more than you normally do. Sat, 21 May 2016 22:10:39 EST 5/21/16 - Your Shoes Are Made For Walkin Get outside, get your vitamin D and get some extra steps. Aim for at 30 minutes of walking, running or a combination. <BR> <BR> Weather not cooperating? Hit the Jessica Smith 30-Minute Power Walking video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=30minute_indoor_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>57</em> <em>313</em> Fri, 20 May 2016 21:32:14 EST 5/20/16 - Free From Friday Here we are, your day to decide your challenge. <BR> <BR> Do you need to improve.... <BR> <BR> portion sizes <BR> cardio minutes <BR> strength training <BR> posture <BR> rest... remember rest is important too! <BR> <BR> I'm working on stretching my hips so that's my plan. <BR> <BR> Thu, 19 May 2016 21:17:17 EST 5/19/16 - Burner Set As seen on make your last set of a strength training move slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> For example, on the up of a bicep curl or tricep extension or coming up in a pushup (or pushing away from the wall on a wall pushup) go slooooooooowwwwwww. <BR> <BR> Pick a muscle group you haven't worked in at least 24 hours, do two sets of the move as you normally do, then perform your third set slow at the hardest point of the move. <BR> <BR> <link>www.spar... Wed, 18 May 2016 21:47:23 EST 5/18/16 - Wednesday Wellness Show your neck some love.Take care of your neck..... "The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function." <BR> <BR> "the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it." <BR> <BR> <link> st =the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> Tue, 17 May 2016 20:07:29 EST 5/17/16 - Tuesday Triceps From <BR> <BR> The triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase. <BR> <BR> Do a few sets of close-arm warm pushups... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try some of these (or all) triceps... <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 16 May 2016 21:27:42 EST 5/16/16 - Monday Minutes Let's up those activity minutes to start the week on a high note. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30, if 30 is your norm, aim for 40. Break it up throughout the day if it's a busy day for you. A few 10 minutes brisk walks do wonders for the metabolism. <BR> <BR> Jessica Smith is always a good choice if you're stuck indoors... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=12minute_indoor_power_walking_workout </link> <BR> <BR> <em>57</em> <em>312</em> <BR> <BR> May 16 is Biograp... Sun, 15 May 2016 22:36:49 EST 5/15/16 - Sunday Stretches After a brief warmup like walking or light jogging to warm up your muscles, do a full body stretch. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Try one of the Spark TV stretching videos.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or.... <BR> <BR> <link> _a rticles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> The Spark Qi Gong is a great way to cool down, relax and get loose.... <BR> <BR> <link><... Sat, 14 May 2016 21:54:54 EST 5/14/16 - Saturday Sneaky Abs Contract your abs several times today... while washing dishes, talking on the phone, waiting in line at the store or at red lights in the car. <BR> <BR> Do you have a swivel chair in your house? Swivel your way to a tight core. <BR> <BR> Don't forget the lower back which should always be worked when you work your abs... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ises.asp?ID=191 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Eat a green veggie with at least one meal. Fri, 13 May 2016 21:15:06 EST 5/13/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to make your challenge or catch up on previous days' challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm inspired by Spark member BEACHCALSIX to try to eat something green with each meal. <BR> <BR> Let's make it a positive weekend! Thu, 12 May 2016 22:16:21 EST 5/12/16 - Booty Call Work that tush... a large muscle that will burn more calories and make you stronger in your struttin! <BR> <BR> Through out the day, contract your glutes, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> While brushing your teeth or washing dishes, do tiny squats, focusing on driving up through the heel. <BR> <BR> For more tushy working ideas, check this out.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=411 </link> <BR> <BR> May 12 is International Nurses D... Wed, 11 May 2016 22:17:52 EST 5/11/16 - Wednesday Wellness May 11 is National Foam Foam Rolling Day. According to TriggerPoint.... <BR> <BR> "foam rolling doesn’t guarantee medical results, but by introducing mobility into tissue that’s stuck together, tense or overused, you can expect reduced tension, better mobility and less overall stress." <BR> <BR> Pull out your foam roller and show your tight muscles some love.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=63 </link> <BR> <BR> No foam roller... no problem..... Tue, 10 May 2016 22:28:45 EST 5/10/16 - Compound Exercises Try a few exercises that work multiple muscles in one move.... <BR> <BR> Hips, Glutes, Upper Thigh: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=113 </link> <BR> <BR> Quads, Glutes, Inner thigh, Calves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=109 </link> <BR> <BR> Biceps, Triceps, Obliques, Hips: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=139 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: ... Mon, 9 May 2016 21:13:26 EST 5/9/16 - Monday Movement Let's get moving... <BR> <BR> Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio.... walk, run, dance, swim, zumba....or a combination of activities totaling at least 30 minutes. <BR> <BR> Insert jumping jacks throughout the day... no jumping required if that doesn't work for you.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Hit the stairs <BR> <BR> Walk to the store if it's safe and close instead of driving <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! <BR> Sun, 8 May 2016 20:17:16 EST 5/7/16 - Mother's Day/Me Day Happy Mother's day to all the moms and all the dads that fill a mom's role. <BR> <BR> Spend quality time with family or spend the day mothering yourself if your mom is not here like mine. <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> Sat, 7 May 2016 22:16:40 EST 5/7/16 - Scrapbook Saturday May 7 is National Scrapbooking Day. If you don't normally scrapbook, you can use to the day to start a new vision board. <BR> <BR> Have you reached some of your goals? Do you have new goals you would like to achieve? Grab some old magazines, newspapers, pick up a few gadgets at a craft store and start designing your new vision board. If you can see it, you can be it. <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNTE CHALLENGE: Aim for one serving of fruits/veggies at each meal. Fri, 6 May 2016 22:19:40 EST 5/6/16 - Free Form Friday We made it to another weekend. Today is your day to challenge yourself. What step will you take to reach your goals? <BR> <BR> I'm going try to relax and get to bed early. I have a very challenging, hilly 5K Saturday morning and I've been burning the candle at both ends this week. <BR> <BR> Thu, 5 May 2016 21:45:59 EST 5/5/16 - Happy Cinco de Mayo Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). <BR> <BR> Look up some healthy Mexican recipes/side dishes to consider making today or shop for another day. <BR> <BR> Kick up your heels.... turn some music on and celebrate the day with some dancing. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Make it a throw-back Thursday by doing a workout you haven't done in a while. I haven't been to my yoga class in a m... Wed, 4 May 2016 22:25:11 EST 5/4/16 - Wednesday Wellness From 100 Ways To Change Your Life... <BR> <BR> Ease anxiety with a Tibetan sky-gazing meditation... <BR> <BR> Look out the window (or look upward), relax your whole body, and let your gaze expand into the spaciousness of the sky, says Dean Sluyter, author Natural Meditation: A Guide To Effortless Meditative Practice. Repeat the ahhh sound silently—it's the most open sound you can make, and it amplifies the feeling. Let your attention go, and sit for a few minutes. <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 3 May 2016 21:52:23 EST 5/3/16 - Two For Tuesday Work opposing muscle groups... skip any muscles you may have worked on Monday. <BR> <BR> abs/lower back <BR> biceps/triceps <BR> chest/upper back <BR> hamstrings/quads <BR> inner thigh/outer thigh <BR> <BR> Use the exercise finder for new ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add five jumping jacks in between sets. Keep it low impact if need be by stepping out to one side at a time while you raise your... Mon, 2 May 2016 22:13:25 EST 5/2/16 - Monday Minutes Let's get the work week started on an energetic note... <BR> <BR> Aim for 3 ten-minute activity breaks.....a walk, a jog, stairs. dancing....whatever fits. <BR> <BR> If you have a 30-minute workout planned, add a ten-minute activity burst to the day. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Sun, 1 May 2016 21:17:15 EST 5/1/16 - May Day Welcome the first of May by getting outdoors if the weather is agreeable. Enjoy the day and the benefits of getting outside.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1680 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Pick up a plant or some flowers to brighten up a room. Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:01:24 EST 4/20/16 - LISS Aim for 30-45 minutes of low-intensity activity during your Saturday. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2100 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: April 30 is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.... try a little Qigong.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 21:39:40 EST 4/29/16 - Free Form Friday Today is your day to make the challenge. What will you do to take a step towards your health and wellness. No step is too small. <BR> <BR> I am going to do some yoga since I haven't been able to attend my yoga class in a couple weeks. <BR> <BR> April 29 is International Dance Day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> <em>354</em> <em>355</em> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:06:46 EST 4/28/16 - Three For Thursday <BR> Pick a muscle group to work that you have not worked for the past two days. Do three different exercises for that muscle group, preferably exercises that are new to you. <BR> <BR> Or just do three sets of 8 - 10 of one exercise. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Squeeze in three five minute walking breaks in your day. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 21:12:11 EST 4/27/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week decompression break.... practice proper breathing for ten minutes.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> "Proper breathing is a critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 22:38:21 EST 4/26/16 - Check Your Portions Don't suffer from portion distortion. Labels are our friends. Check out the Spark article on tips for habits of smart portion control. <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you followed at least two of the suggestions in the article. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=56 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Add some fruit chunks or slices to one glass of water. <BR> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:05:37 EST 4/25/16 - Move it Monday It's Monday, let's get up and burn some calories, increase our strength and endurance. Do a workout that combines strength and cardio. Work out smarter, not necessarily harder. <BR> <BR> Watch the video first if you've never done it. Step left and right if you have trouble following the moves until you get it. <BR> <BR> <link> de tail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> If that video is too much, combine cardio moves and strength moves that work f... Sun, 24 Apr 2016 22:41:10 EST 4/24/16 - Sunday Self Care Give your yourself a time limit...10 or 15 minutes, write down your worries in a journal, or grab a piece of paper. <BR> <BR> Write down your worries within the time you allotted and then focus on something positive. <BR> <BR> Sat, 23 Apr 2016 21:40:15 EST 4/23/16 - Get Uncomfortable You know the saying, nothing changes if nothing changes! Do something to get out of your comfort zone today. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article for 12 tips for getting uncomfortable.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2107 </link> <BR> <BR> I am going to do some hill running. I have a very hilly 5K in a couple weeks that I have not prepared for so I'm going to meet a group for a training run. The hills will be alive with the sound of my grunt... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 22:55:26 EST 4/22/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to challenge yourself. <BR> <BR> Do you need more water? <BR> Do you need to log activity and food? <BR> Do you need to reconnect with a friend or family member? <BR> Do you need to rest? <BR> <BR> It all counts. What will you do? <BR> <BR> I'm going to work on posture. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: April 22 is Earth Day. Do something positive for the environment. <BR> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 21:54:08 EST 4/21/16 - LISS Explore Low Intensity Sustained State activity. Check out the Spark article on this new concept, opposite from HIIT, high intensity interval training. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=2103 </link> <BR> <BR> Or read about it on <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-State-Cardio-Examples-33051100 </link> <BR> <BR> Pick an activity to perform for 30 - 60 minutes, keeping your heart rate in the moderate zone. <BR>... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 22:41:42 EST 4/20/16 - Wednesday Wellness Take a mid-week stretch with a video from Spark TV... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Add some anti-inflammatory foods to your day or to your next shopping list... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_foods_that_fight_inflammation </link> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 22:14:16 EST 4/19/16 - Two For Tuesday Aim for two servings of fruits/veggies at at least one meal. Find some tips for getting your five a day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Work opposing muscle groups. Don't just work what you see in the mirror. <BR> <BR> Chest/Upper Back <BR> Abs/Lower back <BR> Biceps/Triceps <BR> Quads/hamstrings <BR> <BR> Use the exercise finder on the right side of the Exercise Library page if you need ideas.... <B... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 21:56:37 EST 4/18/16 - Boston Marathon Day The 120th running of the Boston Marathon is Monday. Let's all go the distance and make it a movement Monday. <BR> <BR> Try to walk, run, bike, elliptical an extra mile. Do you zumba, dance, kickbox? Add a few more minutes on to your normal routine. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: In order to keep moving, we need proper nutrition. Give me a <em>248</em> if you added at least two of these foods to your day or at least started your next shopping list with these foods.... <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 17 Apr 2016 21:23:52 EST 4/17/16 - Sunday Stretches After a brief warmup like walking or light jogging to warm up your muscles, do a full body stretch..... <BR> <BR> Try one of the Spark TV stretching videos.... <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Or.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1263 </link> <BR> <BR> Sat, 16 Apr 2016 22:12:26 EST 4/16/16 - Calves Some benefits of strong calves..... <BR> <BR> Protect from calf pulls <BR> Stabilize ankles and feet <BR> Shapely calves are a good look <BR> <BR> Try some calf raises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=132 </link> <BR> <BR> You can do them on a step or just standing at the kitchen sink <BR> You can do one leg at a time or both at the same time <BR> You can hold weights or not <BR> When not doing them on a step, you can do them with toes pointed... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 21:44:24 EST 4/15/16 - Free Form Friday The weekend has arrived! It's your day to decide your own challenge, repeat a previous day's challenge or join me in checking out Spark People TV. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> A lot of the usual Spark videos are there plus many more. There are strength training, cardio as well as yoga and meditation videos. <BR> <BR> Scroll through and see what looks good or fill in the workout finder to narrow down your search. To the right of the video is button to save it and tra... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 22:03:21 EST 4/14/16 - Booty Call Try at least two moves from the spark booty workout.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1755 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a nice strong booty to take you through your day. <BR> <BR> April 14 is International Moment of Laughter day. Find time for some laughter! <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 22:23:36 EST 4/13/16 - Wednesday Wellness From the national eye institute website.......Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. <BR> <BR> Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain. <BR> <BR> <BR> April 13 is Scrabble Day. A good game of scrabble is an excellent brain exercise! <BR> <BR> Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:12:41 EST 4/12/16 - Tuesday Triceps Let's work a muscle a day the rest of the week. <BR> <BR> Pick at least two tricep exercise to build up the back of those arms.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&amp;ex<BR>ercise_level=any&amp;equipment=any&amp<BR>;bodypart=triceps </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Give me a <em>248</em> if you did something small that always makes you feel fantastic. <BR> <BR> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 22:15:46 EST 4/11/16- Motivation Monday First thing, or whenever you read this, look in the mirror, smile and state your intention for the week. <BR> <BR> Make it about something within your control. Be realistic. You'e not changing the world with this one thought but you may improve your week in a small way. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: If you begin to feel sluggish, grab a big glass of ice water to pump yourself back up. Throw some fruit in the water to make it fun and refreshing. Sun, 10 Apr 2016 22:23:02 EST 4/10/16 - Sunday Self Care From the website on creating a playbook. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>14/12/self-care-sunday-create-a-play-b<BR>ook/ </link> <BR> <BR> Take an idea from this playbook idea by writing down five things that never fail to make you feel fantastic. Do one today and schedule the rest. <BR> <BR> Sat, 9 Apr 2016 21:59:14 EST 4/9/16 - Saturday Dance Party Put some music on and try these moves... doesn't have to perfect, just let the music move you... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Below are just a few benefits of dancing.. <BR> <BR> Improved condition of your heart and lungs. <BR> increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness. <BR> increased aerobic fitness. <BR> improved muscle tone and strength. <BR> weight management. <BR> stronger bones and re... Fri, 8 Apr 2016 21:24:36 EST 4/8/16 - Free Form Friday It's your day to name your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm in an all-day meeting at work so it will be a challenge to reach my step goal. I forsee jumping jacks on bathroom breaks! <em>334</em> and a good long dog walk after work if the weather cooperates. Plan B, I'll hit the elliptical. <BR> <BR> April 8 is Draw a Bird Day which began in honor of Dorie Cooper, a 7 year old girl in England. She visited her uncle who was wounded in the war in 1943. She... Thu, 7 Apr 2016 22:32:42 EST 4/7/16 - Thursday Thighs Let's work the large muscle groups again..... <BR> <BR> 6 Minute Hip Glute and Thigh video; <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> Seated leg toner video <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Or do both! <BR> <BR> April 7 is World Health Day. Each year the World Health Organization picks a different health them. This is is Beat Diabetes. <BR> <BR> Aim for 30 minutes o... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 21:42:38 EST 4/6/16 - Wednesday Wellness Get some midweek stretching done with the Spark seated yoga sequence. My favorite is #3, really opens up that tight spot between my shoulder blades. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822 </link> <BR> <BR> April 6 is National Walking Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Keep your gym shoes with you and sneak in some walks when you can.....or laps around the living room <BR> <BR> Happy Tartan Day! <BR> <BR> Tue, 5 Apr 2016 22:13:02 EST 4/5/16 - Jacks No jumping required! Add a few jacks throughout the day to keep calorie burn going all day. Pick your level..... <BR> <BR> No impact: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> Full on jack: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=530 </link> <BR> <BR> Way advanced.... are you already comfortable doing jumping jacks as well as planks? <BR> <BR><BR> Mon, 4 Apr 2016 21:43:14 EST 4/4/16 - Vitamin C April 4 is Vitamin C day. How are you doing on your daily Vitamin C intake? <BR> <BR> Some benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. <BR> <BR> How many sources of vitamin C are you getting today? Do you know what gives you more C for your buck than orange juice? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_better_way_to_get_vitamin_c_besid<BR>es_o... Sun, 3 Apr 2016 21:36:38 EST 4/3/16 - Sunday Stretches Loosen it all up.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to make stretching a daily routine to.... <BR> <BR> Reduce muscle tension. <BR> Increase range of movement in the joints. <BR> Enhance muscular coordination. <BR> Increase circulation of the blood to various parts of the body. <BR> Increase energy levels (resulting from increased circulation) <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: 15... Sat, 2 Apr 2016 22:05:33 EST 4/2/16 - Three Moves Increase your muscle mass....and your metabolism.... with three moves you can do while watching tv.. <BR> <BR> <BR> ABS: Sit up straight at the edge of the couch or a chair. Lean back slightly with a straight back and lift and lower your knees. To make it more challenging, do it slooooooooow. <BR> <BR> TRICEPS: Tricep dips off the edge of your couch or chair. To make it more challenging, do the tricep dips with straight legs. <BR> <BR> THIGHS AND BUTT: Stand up sit down. Sit on your cou... Fri, 1 Apr 2016 23:09:36 EST 4/1/16 - Free Form Friday No foolin, we made it to Friday and a new month, a new chapter! The challenge is up to you, what positive step will you take toward health and wellness? <BR> <BR> April 1 - 3 is crossword puzzle day. April 1 is National Fun day. Just sayin. <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm going to do a deck of cards workout I wrote up a couple years ago. I picked a low-impact cardio move from the Spark exercise library and attached that to each suite in a deck of cards. So as I flip each card, I do that exercise the n... Thu, 31 Mar 2016 22:19:39 EST 3/31/16 - Sneaky glutes Several times during the day, work the glues. Large muscle groups burns more calories. While brushing your teeth, washing dishes, waiting in line etc, contract your glutes for a couple seconds and release. <BR> <BR> When walking up stairs, lift a leg behind you as you step up, just a small squeeze. <BR> <BR> If you can get on your hands and knees, try this effective workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=98 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS ... Wed, 30 Mar 2016 22:16:56 EST 3/30/16 - Wednesday Wellness Pay attention to your knees. We should regularly build strength to support our knees to keep us moving. <BR> <BR> You can do these lying in bed if need be: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> Tue, 29 Mar 2016 22:13:36 EST 3/29/16 - Hydrating Foods Drink your water and get some hydration from foods. See if you can fit a couple of these into your day or add to your shopping list.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Remind yourself several times through the day to roll your shoulders back and down. Pull your shoulders back slightly. If we practice this through the day, good posture will come naturally, preventing muscle strain. <BR> <BR> Give me a ... Mon, 28 Mar 2016 21:55:57 EST 3/28/16 - Monday Movement Where has March gone? We are in the final stretch of the month so let's increase our fitness minutes and our calorie burn with full-body workout. Walk in place during a move that does not work for you. <BR> <BR> 20-minute Body Sculpting <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: Aim for 3 10-minute walking breaks. <BR> <BR> Happy Dingus day to those that celebrate. This is the day the first king of Pol... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 21:34:19 EST 3/27/16 - Happy Easter To those that celebrate, a very happy Easter to you and your family. To those that don't, a very happy Sunday to you! <BR> <BR> <em>451</em> <em>67</em> <em>449</em> <em>375</em> <BR> <BR> Take 10 minutes to practice proper breathing to remove carbon dioxide waste and take plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. <BR> <BR> Follow these five steps: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>414</em... Sat, 26 Mar 2016 22:28:37 EST 3/26/16 - Spinach Saturday March 26th is National Spinach Day. Personally, I'm not a fan but blended with frozen fruit, V8 Fusion juice, vanilla yogurt and a little peanut butter, I get a 1/4 cup each day and do not taste it. <BR> <BR> Be like Popeye and eat your spinach for a dose of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc,... Fri, 25 Mar 2016 22:26:49 EST 3.25.16 - Free Form Friday It's all up to you! Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> What positive step will you take towards your health and wellness? <BR> <BR> I'm going to meditate. It's been a while. Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:01:57 EST 3/24/16 - Pushups Work that upper body strength in order to handle every day tasks and increase your metabolism. <BR> <BR> Pick the type of pushup that works with your fitness level.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&amp;cof=FORID%3<BR>A11&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=pushups&amp;sit<BR><BR>earch_results_google.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do some sneaky ab work durin... Wed, 23 Mar 2016 22:22:16 EST