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 3/26/14 - Pick Your Level and Eat Your Spinach Let's get a running start into an active weekend. Pick a short video based on your fitness level to add to whatever activity you have planned today. If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you! <BR> <BR> No impact: try the 11-min chair cardio. I have done this when I am not feeling well or have a few minutes alone in the office for an extra calorie burn in the day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=38 </link> <BR> <BR> Low Impact: try th... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:15:38 EST 3/25/15 - Wedness Wellness Try at least one of the exercises in the following article to help ease and possibly prevent neck pain... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_9_best_exercises_for_neck_pain </link> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month Tip: Wait 20 - 30 more minutes before going for a second helping.After 20 minutes, you may see that you are full and do not need seconds. Tue, 24 Mar 2015 22:44:08 EST 3/24/15 - Two for Tuesday Pick opposing muscle groups to work today... abs/lower back, biceps, triceps, quadricep/hamstring,chest/back etc. You don't want to only work muscles you see in the mirror. You need to work opposing muscles for balance and to prevent injuries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> I will be doing chest and back, if there's time, maybe some bicep/tricep action. <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip....get your dairy, increase your bone mass. ... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:05:21 EST 3/23/15 - Move It Monday Okay gang, after Goof Off Day, let's hit the ground running, or walking, or dancing, or zumbaing or stair running. <BR> <BR> Regardless what workout you have planned, get in short bursts of activity during the day to keep the calorie burn going all day! <BR> <BR> I have an evening yoga class planned but I will be running up a few stairs near my office during the day, a few jumping jacks in the bathroom and walking the dog after yoga. <BR> <BR> Let's hit it! <BR> <BR> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 21:40:49 EST 3/22/15 - Goof Off Day On this day in 1976, a young girl disguised her voice and called into the radio station her grandfather was speaking on and suggested a goof off day. A reporter got wind of the interview and so began Goof Off Day. <BR> <BR> So let's all take this opportunity to goof off if you do not have urgent responsibilities. Disconnect, revive and refresh for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Of course you can always do some Sunday stretches to get ready for an active week ahead....hint hint! <BR> <BR> <lin... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 22:07:56 EST 3/21/15 - March Madness Anyone into March madness basketball? I'm not but I saw this workout in an email from fitbit that looks worth putting a game on. You don't have to watch a basketball game to do the workout. <BR> <BR> Try as many moves as your fitness level can handle, limiting reps and intensity if you need to: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>015/03/030515_MarchMadnessWorkout_Info<BR>graphic8.png </link> <BR> <BR> Alternate challenge: Add 15 minutes of activity to your day. <BR... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 21:33:43 EST 3/20/15 - Free Form Friday Gear up for free form Friday! To all the newbies on the team, this is the day you get to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm going to try to get out for a run, get out of this post-vacation sleepy state I seem to be in. <BR> <BR> Let's rock the weekend! Thu, 19 Mar 2015 22:02:19 EST 3/19/15 - Kick It Up A Notch Try some interval training today with whatever cardio activity you have planned.....walking, running, dancing, bicycle riding. <BR> <BR> Go at a brisk pace for one minute and an easier pace for two or three minutes. <BR> <BR> Interval training helps to keep you from getting bored with your workout, improve your fitness level and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip: March 19 is Poultry Day. Look up healthy chicken or turkey recipes to try. Wed, 18 Mar 2015 22:20:12 EST 3/18/15 - Wednesday Wellness Helloooooo everyone! <BR> <BR> I don't know about you but my feet could use some attention. Four days of walking and dancing on the beach, not to mention not using enough sunblock on my feet have led to sore swollent feet and ankles. <BR> <BR> Try a good mid-week foot soak..... <BR> <BR> Cover the bottom of a basin with marbles if you have them, fill the basin with warm water and sprinkle in some Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you have them. While soaking, gl... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 21:00:33 EST 3/17/15 Twinkletoes Tuesday Item 3 of the Swedish Plan... <BR> <BR> Firstly, please read today's blog by team member, Prairiecrocus... Wise words and the musical comparison sets us up nicely for today's Challenge, which is to Dance. <BR> <BR> Today's video on the SP Start Page is a Bollywood dance routine and if you need a further reason - today is St. Patrick's Day! <BR> <BR> I don't know how to set up links but check out YouTube TAKE THE FLOOR Flashmob Dublin Airport (2013) <BR> <BR> Dance and be happy on St. Pa... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 04:32:50 EST 3/16/15: Mental Monday Remembering yesterday's Swedish survey recommending exercise, fish and a mental workout...I'm chasing out today to get my mental activity encouraging literacy in some 9 and 10 year old reluctant readers. <BR> <BR> When I'm home and want a quiet 5-10mins, I have apps for Mahjong, Sudoku and a word puzzle called Spellmania. How do you get your mental work out? <BR> <BR> Edit: I've just watched today's Daily Spark video on how the media and particularly advertising affects perception of body i... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 02:39:45 EST 3/15/15: Sunday Study Dance, Sudoku and fish: recipe for brain power? <BR> <BR> A recently published research project in Finland of 1260 senior volunteers over 2 years showed that those who: <BR> #1. did regular strength training 1-3 times a week <BR> #2. did some aerobic exercise 2-5 times a week <BR> #3. did brain training exercises <BR> #4. ate a 'Nordic' diet - fish x2 a week, fruit, veg and olive oil <BR> <BR> ...scored 25% higher on mental tests; 85% higher on executive function and an impressive 150% hi... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 02:52:06 EST 3/14/15 - Sunshine Saturday Hopefully you have nice weather in your area. Get outside and absorb some vitamin D and fresh air. Get at least 10 minutes of activity outside if you can. <BR> <BR> March Nutrition month tip: March 14 is National Pi day, a mathematical concept, a number that has no end, rounded to 3.14. <BR> <BR> Celebrate by doing a search for a healthy fruit pie recipe. <BR> <BR> Th th th that's all folks. I'm flying out bright and early in the am. Keep the challenges coming, I'll need ideas to get myse... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 21:41:25 EST 3/13/15 - Free Form Friday Today's the day you post your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be challenging myself to get my run in early so I can get the house cleaned, get packed and get to sleep early in preparation for leaving the house at 3am Saturday for our flight. <BR> <BR> What is your challenge? Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:47:46 EST 3/12/15 - Thursday Thighs Build a strong foundation to help you move through your day. Strengthen your inner and outer thighs.... <BR> <BR> Adduction... <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Abduction.. <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Extra credit: Try some circle squats, like traditional squats except as you squat down, move hips out to the right, lower down and move hips out to the left as you come ... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 22:04:03 EST 3/11/15 - Wednesday Wellness Take ten minutes to get rid of carbon dioxide and take in healthy oxygen to your heart and lungs by following the easy steps in the following article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition Month tip: try to get at least one serving of fruits/veggies with each meal and snack. <BR> <BR> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 21:33:26 EST Nice to meet you! Trying to get healthier. 1 Lose weight 2 Keep sugar levels under control. 3 Feel like doing more stuff. 4. I do have quit smoking under my belt, thus the weight gain. One year smoke free 1/23/15. This can't be an excuse any longer! Sure I gained 40 pounds, but that is a heck of a lot of food! I am not going to be Miss Piggy any more, I am soon to be Miss Fit! Love it. Oh yeah, I love to have fun and laugh. <em>252</em> Mon, 9 Mar 2015 23:21:04 EST 3/10/15 - Awesomeness Day March 10 is Awesomeness Day, inspired by the awesomeness of the myth of actor Chuck Norris. <BR> <BR> Pay attention to the little things you do and celebrate your awesomeness. Before facing a stressful situation, be a super hero for five minutes....stand with legs hip-width apart, hands on hips, chest out and look up. Studies have shown this will increase your self confidence. Or maybe increase your awesomeness! <BR> <BR> March Nutritional month tips: try to incorporate power foods into you... Mon, 9 Mar 2015 22:31:55 EST 3/9/15 - Fiber March nutrition tip...Start the week off on a filling note. Check your fiber intake and try some of the following tips to get your fiber.... <BR> <BR> <BR> Choose fresh fruit and/or vegetables over juice. <BR> Drink more water to accommodate your increased fiber intake to reduce indigestion. <BR> Eat less processed foods and more whole foods. <BR> <BR> Remember if you are not used to fiber in your diet, add fiber gradually over three weeks to avoid bloating, diarrhea, gas, and all-around d... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 22:22:29 EST 3/815 - Me Day March 8th is Internationsl Working Women's Day. Take this day to celebrate all of your hard work over the years by relaxing. <BR> <BR> For any male team mates out there, celebrate the hard working women in your life. <BR> <BR> Get a full body stretch, catch a nap or tend to whatever needs you have been neglecting. <BR> <BR> Sat, 7 Mar 2015 23:59:07 EST 3/7/15 - Saturday Sunshine Hopefully the weather is nice where you are. Try to get outside for a few minutes and take in that vitamin D and a few deep breaths of fresh air! <BR> <BR> March nutrition tip: Eat slow. Enjoy the taste and textures and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you have had enough. Fri, 6 Mar 2015 21:46:27 EST 3/6/15 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Here we are, FRIDAY, the day of the week you can come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. Everything counts, including rest if you need it. <BR> <BR> I will be continuing to work on lower body flexibility. I missed a couple nights of the stretches I've been doing lately. <BR> <BR> Here's to a healthy and active weekend! Who's with me? <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> <BR> <BR> March 5 is National Frozen Food day. Frozen foods first hit store shelves in 1930 in Spri... Thu, 5 Mar 2015 21:28:45 EST 3/5/15 - Get ready For some of us, Daylight Savings Time is coming Sunday morning. Anyone out there like me and need a week or so to shake off losing just that one hour of sleep?? <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article and try to start planning ahead. Maybe set one clock an hour back sooner than Sunday to plan your meals, exercise and sleep before Sunday but not every clock in the house so you don't mess up work or social plans. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1236 <... Wed, 4 Mar 2015 22:31:44 EST 3/4/15 - Mid-Week Dance Party Loosen up, put some music on, have fun and learn to mambo. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_dance_moves_anyone_can_do </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> March Nutrition tip: try a new fruit or vegetable or one you haven't had in a long time. Tue, 3 Mar 2015 22:41:12 EST 3/3/15 - Functional Fitness Functional exercises use multiple muscles and joints to improve muscular endurance, overall strength, coordination, balance, posture and agility. This can prepare your body for everyday, real-world activities. <BR> <BR> Try one exercise from <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/articles/806681/top-functional-exerci<BR>ses-for-fullbody-fitness/page:6 </link> <BR> <BR> March nutrition month tip of the day....when eating out, ask for a child's-sized meal... Mon, 2 Mar 2015 21:58:03 EST 3/2/15 - Nutrition month March is national nutrition month. Focus on the basics today and put a <em>248</em> out there if you hit your goals..... <BR> <BR> 8 cups of water <BR> 5 freggies <BR> Adequate protein <BR> Adequate calcium <BR> <BR> Extra credit for at least 10minutes of activity. <BR> <BR> Start the week off on a high note! Sun, 1 Mar 2015 21:54:47 EST 3/1/15 - Chair yoga Take some ME time today and do some gentle yoga poses using a chair... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=finally_a_yoga_routine_for_bad_wrists </link> <BR> <BR> Deep breath in....and slowly blow it out. Quiet your mind and stretch your muscles as you get ready to begin a new week! <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> By the way, March 1st is Peanut Butter day. If you are not allergic, small amounts of peanut butter are a great source of protein. <BR> <BR> I ... Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:36:46 EST 2/28/15 - Load Up on Freggies Try to get one serving of fruits and/or vegetables with each meal and as a snack. Check out this spark article for tips on getting your five a day as well as suggested serving sizes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: Live up to your own expectations. Ignore the images you see in magazines/movies/television if you are setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Turn off all outside influence... Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:29:40 EST 2/27/15 - Free Form Friday It's that time of the week where you get to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will meditate. It's been a while and I could use some quiet time. <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem tip: remind yourself (several times) of the following quote.... “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” – Helen Keller Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:56:15 EST 2/26/15 - Water First Hopefully this gets to you in time, try to get one or two cups of water down first thing, before coffe or tea. <BR> <BR> Water isn't just for warm months. Almost all of our body functions depend on water. <BR> <BR> Get creative, throw some fruit or a slice of cucumber in your water. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: take a minute, look in the mirror and finish this sentence...."I will________." <BR> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:02:23 EST 2/25/15 - Thursday Thighs Give your body a strong support system AND pull off a major calorie burn by working your larger muscles. Do a little warmup like walking, jogging in place or dancing. <BR> <BR> Outer Thighs <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Inner Thighs <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a good stretch: <BR> <BR> Inner Thigh <BR> <BR> <link> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:02:47 EST 2/24/15 - Taste the Rainbow Try to eat as many colors of the rainbow as you can today. If do not have what you need available, make a shopping list and try this as soon as possible. <BR> <BR> This Spark article will get you started and there is a link at the bottom to Family Circle for more ideas... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=eat_bright_healthy_fruits_and_veget<BR>ables </link> <BR> <BR> "You get a better mix of nutrients by eating produce in a variety of shades." according to Kare... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:47:39 EST 2/23/15- Fun With Weather Most of us are in the grips of winter. So use it to your advantage. Pick a Spark cardio move: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Do as many reps as the high temperature predicted in your area. Is it below zero? Do as many degrees below zero. <BR> <BR> Is the temp too high in your area, cut the reps in half. <BR> <BR> Spread your cardio out through the day, one or two here and there if it helps. Keep your calorie... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 21:00:10 EST 2/22/15 - World Thinking Day February 22nd is the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell founder of the Boy Scouts, and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell. Lady Baden-Powell founded Girl Guides. <BR> <BR> International World Thinking Day is celebrated by Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and other girl groups. <BR> <BR> The original objective of this day was to set aside a day for girls all over the world to think of each other, and to give thanks and appreciation to "sister" Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. <BR> <BR> Over the years, it... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 23:27:32 EST 2/21/15 - Meet Your Goals Give me a <em>248</em> if you hit the basics...... <BR> <BR> 10 minutes or more of some kind of activity (stretching counts) <BR> 8 cups of water or 2 more cups that you normally get <BR> 5 Freggies or one more than you normally get <BR> 1 serving of lean protein Fri, 20 Feb 2015 22:52:38 EST 2/20/15 - Free Form Friday Okay gang it's time to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I noticed during yoga the other night that my hips are rediculously tight so I'm challenging myself to start a nightly stretching habit. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: WorkThe Coat! <BR> <BR> I once read a post on actress Marilu Henner's website about gusto. Read the article below... <BR> <BR> Marilu was helping a friend try on coats. Her friend tried on the coats looking sl... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 21:49:57 EST 22/19/15 - Three Moves On a Dr. Oz episode, personal trainer Gunner Peterson demonstrated three moves to hit major muscles. You can do these while watching TV or in between sparking. <BR> <BR> ABS: Sit up straight at the edge of the couch or a chair. Lean back slightly with a straight back and lift and lower your knees. To make it more challenging, do it slooooooooow. <BR> <BR> TRICEPS: Tricep dips off the edge of your couch or chair. To make it more challenging, do the tricep dips with straight legs. <BR> <B... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 22:20:19 EST 2/18/15 - Wednesday Wellness Many of us walk and run for fitness. Hopefully you are incorporating proper stretches after your cardio of choice. <BR> <BR> Stretches for walkers: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=92 </link> <BR> <BR> Stretches for runners: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1565 </link> <BR> <BR> These stretches are great after any cardio. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: Remind yourself of the benefits. <B... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 20:58:13 EST 2/17/15 - Two For Tuesday Pick two cardio moves that are new to you or moves you have not done in a while: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> <BR> <BR> Or aim to double your normal activity minutes. You can break it up however you like, some cardio here and there, some strength moves here and there throughout the day. <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem tip: Treat those around you with kindness and compassion. It comes back around to you. <BR> <... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 22:36:08 EST 2/16/15 - Weather Minutes Those of us experiencing frigid temps, take the high temp in your area,double it and get active for that many minutes. It can be a combination of cardio and strength broken up into a few minutes here and there throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Use winter temps to your advantage! <BR> <BR> If it's nice in your area, add ten minutes of either cardio or strength to your regularly scheduled workout. <BR> <BR> February Boost Your Self Esteem tip: As early as possible in your day, take a minute and... Sun, 15 Feb 2015 22:12:30 EST 2/15/15 - Wrist Stretches Stretch your wrists to avoid/ease carpal tunnel syndrome: <BR> <BR> Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you. <BR> <BR> Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Now straighten your wrists while relaxing your fingers. <BR> <BR> Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Keeping your fists clenched, bend your wrists down. ... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 22:12:44 EST 2/14/15 - Happy Valentine's Day Check out this spark article on tips for a healthy heart. Give me a <em>248</em> for each item you fit into your day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=376 </link> <BR> <BR> And in honor of Boost your Self Esteem month, write down at least two positive things you did this week. You don't have to have cured cancer. If you organized your sock drawer, celebrate it! <BR> <BR> Most of all, enjoy your day! <BR> <BR> <em>129</em> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:45:50 EST 2/13/15 - Free Form Friday Hey gang! Welcome to free-form Friday where the choice is yours and smiles come easy! <BR> <BR> Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Remember, sometimes we need to force ourselves to rest so if you've been burning the candle at both ends or not feeling well, maybe you need to challenge yourself to finally stop and rest! <BR> <BR> Since I've been sick all week, I need to increase my steps and work on my posture. All this laying down and couch time is... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:52:17 EST 2/12/15 - Total Body work then slow down For those of us not injured or ill, find 18 minutes in your day for a full body workout. This Spark video combines cardio and strength training. Keep it low impact if need be on the cardio moves and follow along with the modifications given..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=32 </link> <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem idea: <BR> <BR> Speak slowly. Such a simple thing, but it can have a big difference in how others perceive you. <BR> <BR> A... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 20:46:23 EST 211/15 - Waist Wednesday Below are everyday habits that can help you achieve the goal of a smaller waist. How many can you work on today? <BR> <BR> Do 30-60 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week <BR> <BR> Strength Train - Strength training is a serious ally when it comes to lowering body fat and getting a toned belly - you can't spot reduce fat, but lean muscle can help you maintain a healthy body fat percentage. <BR> <BR> Pull in your stomach - Increase your overall body awareness; stand up straight and keep y... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:07:55 EST 2/10/15 - Two For Tuesday It's important to work opposing muscle groups....biceps/triceps, abs/lower back, chest/back etc. <BR> <BR> Pick at least two exercises for the two muscle groups you choose to work. Feel free to pick two cardio exercises if you're up for it: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> February Boost Self Esteem idea: Live in the present with your beliefs and values. This eliminates dwelling on past failures that you can no longer affect. <BR> <... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 20:52:38 EST 2/9/15 - Omegas and twinkling Work on getting your Omega-3 fatty acids. From the Spark article on Osteoarthritis.... <BR> <BR> Omega 3s have been known to suppress inflammation and are used to form the outer membranes of joint cells <BR> <BR> Osteoarthritis experts suggest three grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily (with 0.7 grams coming from fish sources). Try some of the following sources or add to your shopping list. <BR> <BR> Omega-3 Sources Grams <BR> <BR> Flaxseeds (ground), 2 Tbsp 3.5 <BR> Wa... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 21:50:01 EST 2/8/15 - Rest Take a rest day to get ready for an active week. Try the Spark Chi Gong video to stretch, get centered and relax... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> It's a favorite of mine and MERRYMARY's <BR> <BR> February self esteem idea: Try to spend 10 minutes in quiet. Life is so hectic and cluttered. Use this time to focus on yourself and what is important to you. <BR> <BR> If distracting thoughts start to clutter your head, visualiz... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 21:50:32 EST 2/7/15 - Freggies With Every Meal Do you get a little off track on weekends? I do. So let's focus on the healthy habit of eating at least one serving of fruits/vegetables with every meal. Make a quick stop at the store if you don't have much on hand. <BR> <BR> February 7 is also "wave all your fingers at your neighbors" day. If you see your neighbors, wave all five fingers. How much more fun is that than just lifting your hand in a slight wave?? <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem idea: Take a 2 minute self-appreciation break. ... Fri, 6 Feb 2015 20:17:08 EST 2/6/15 - Free Form Friday For all the newbies, Friday is the day you can make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> Step right up, what will it be? For me, I'm going to do a deck of cards workout I wrote up for an upper body workout. <BR> <BR> February self-esteem idea: look in the mirror and say with conviction "I am______". Fill in the blank with something positive about yourself. Thu, 5 Feb 2015 21:17:44 EST 2/5/15 - Booty Call Let's sneak in some glute work throuought the day. When standing in line at the store, washing dishes or at your desk......contract your glute muscles, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> These glute muscles play an important functional role in our body’s alignment. Strong glutes protect us from injury, improve athletic performance and give us a curvy shape. <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem booster: <BR> <BR> From Oprah' list of 11 things to do to improve your self esteem, standing ... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 21:48:29 EST 2/5/15 - Booty Call Let's sneak in some glute work throuought the day. When standing in line at the store, washing dishes or at your desk......contract your glute muscles, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> <BR> February Self Esteem booster: <BR> <BR> From Oprah' list of 11 things to do to improve your self esteem, standing for two minutes in a "power pose"—think of Wonder Woman, with her feet flat on the ground, shoulders square, and hands on her hips—can help you feel 40 percent more powerful than... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 21:44:56 EST 2/4/15 - Sneky abs Work your abs while you go about your day.... <BR> <BR> If you have a swivel desk chair, lift your feet up and twist using your abs and obliques to move. <BR> While brushing you teeth or doing dishes, contract your abs, hold for two seconds and release. <BR> <BR> Every movement we make goes through our core so it's important to strengthen that muscle group including the lower back.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=6 </link> <BR> <BR> February Boo... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 21:03:37 EST 2/3/15 - Stairs Except for those still recovering. For those not feeling well... fluids and a nap. <BR> <BR> Do as few or as many stairs a couple times a day as your health dictates. Try some variations... <BR> <BR> Step up with left foot, bring the right knee up before taking the next step. <BR> Step up with left foot, extend your right leg either to the side, working your hip or behind you working your glute. <BR> Take wide steps as you climb the stairs....step to the left side of a step with your left f... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 22:25:07 EST 2/2/15 - Monday Basics Give me a <em>248</em> If you: <BR> <BR> Got 8 cups of water or two more than you normally do <BR> Got 5 serving of freggies or at least one more than you normally do <BR> At least 15 minutes of activity <BR> <BR> February self esteem challenge: Start the day by looking in the mirror and repeat... <BR> <BR> When I look in the mirror, what do I see? A brilliant mind looking back at me. <BR> <BR> (From Estella's Brilliant Bus) Sun, 1 Feb 2015 22:00:26 EST 2/1/15 - l Boost Self Esteem February is International Boost Self Esteem month. Start your month off by reflecting on your accomplishments big and small. <BR> <BR> It's very easy to focus on what has gone wrong in our lives. Work on creating a balance by reminding yourself of your accomplishments. Even the small ones. <BR> <BR> Let's also work on clearing out toxins with a few minutes of proper breathing... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 21:36:25 EST 1/31/15 - Inspire Your Heart With Art day January 31st is Inspire Your Heart With Art day. Check out your local library or book store for books on art, or check out works of art on line. <BR> <BR> Pay attention to the colors, lines and textures. Think about how they make you feel. <BR> <BR> Last day of the January daily cardio challenges..... <BR> <BR> Pick a few Spark cardio moves and sprinkle them throughout your day for an all-day calorie burn. Unles of course you are walking 13 miles like Julie. That's some major calorie burn... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:54:13 EST 1/30/15 - Free Form Friday The weekend is here and it's time to challenge ourselves. To the new team member, Friday's are the days you get to pick your own challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm going to do the better posture workout. It's been a crazy week at work and I haven't been watching my posture like I usually do. So join me... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or pick a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Name it and ... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:38:34 EST 1/29/15 - Puzzle Day January 29th is National Puzzle Day. Do you have access to a jigsaw puzzle? Pick up a newspaper with a crossword puzzle or a crossword puzzle book. <BR> <BR> Some of the benefits of solving puzzles..... <BR> <BR> A way to keep you mentally active and fit <BR> Improved word power and vocabulary <BR> An appealing learning method for a range of learning styles <BR> The appeal of a solvable problem in a complicated life <BR> Practice for your pattern recognition skills <BR> An easy, fun activit... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:00:42 EST 1/28/15 - Wednesday Wellness Beauty from the inside out. Read up on healthy habits for healthy skin. How many foods do you eat on a regular basis from the chart in the article below, which foods will you put on your shopping list to try.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=481 </link> <BR> <BR> Six-minute cardio routine to try..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=video_simple_6minute_cardio_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Or walk an extra six minu... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:38:27 EST 1/27/15 - Freggies Give me a <em>248</em> If you got your five servings of fruits and vegetables. Extra credit if you try a new fruit or vegetable. <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day: Try two of the 60 second cardio moves.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1658 </link> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:14:06 EST 1/26/15 - Support Your Knees This Spark article focuses on pain from arthritis of the knee. Even if you do not experience knee pain, try these five moves to strengthen the muscles that support our kneeS. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_smart_exercises_to_support_your_k<BR>nees </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day - Spark 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing video. Keep the movement low if need be, just move for ten minutes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?vid... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:37:15 EST 1/25/15 - Bursts and Stretches Cardio Idea of the Day: Get in a few small bursts of activity, it can be as low or high impact as you need...two minutes here and there during the day.... <BR> <BR> A few jumping jacks here and there <BR> Walk or run up some stairs <BR> Turn on the radio, put on a cd or fire up a good iPod playlist and dance for a couple minutes <BR> Walk a lap around a grocery store before checking out <BR> <BR> Sunday stretches - after a short burst of activity (remember you should never stretch cold musc... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 23:12:05 EST 1/24/15 - Body Blast Who's ready to turn it up a notch??? I believe someone out there has a big race today? So let's all try to turn up the heat on our activity. <BR> <BR> Today's cardio of the day is to walk or dance longer, walk instead of run or add running intervals to your walk. Try to get out of your comfort zone if you can. That's when change starts to happen. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark 20-minute body blast: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=29 </link> <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:45:17 EST 1/23/15 - Free Form Friday Okay gang, it's time to pick your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. What healthy habit do you need to work on? What goal are you working towards? Do you really need to rest? <BR> <BR> I'm going to get some ab work done. I want to get back into my every other day plank habit. <BR> <BR> Name it and claim it! Thu, 22 Jan 2015 21:18:13 EST 1/22/15 - Thursday Thighs Having strong leg muscles helps with balance, mobility and a healthy back. Try the 6-minute Spark video that works the hips, glutes, thighs as well as balance. <BR> <BR> If balance is an issue for you, stay near a wall or chair.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the leg-toning chair video..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day: squee... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:46:56 EST 1/21/15 - Hand Stretches Let's take a midweek break to stretch our hands. We type, we write, we knit or crochet so our hands need some lovin. Check out the Spark article on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Even if you don't suffer from this condition, these hand stretches feel great: <BR> <BR> Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you. <BR> <BR> Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Now straighten your wrists ... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:46:18 EST 1/20/15 - Triceps Tuesday According to, as our triceps become stronger, the strength and stability of our shoulders and elbows increases. <BR> <BR> Pick one or two triceps exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>esults_google.asp?cx=partner-pub-93189<BR>47853224619:5707387032&cof=FORID%3A11&<BR>ie=UTF-8&q=Triceps&siteurl=www.sparkpe<BR> </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day.... 10 minute Cardio Kick. Keep it low impact if need... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 20:46:17 EST 1/19/15 - Meatless Monday I know some of you have this down but let's all try to have a meatless day if you do not have any health issues preventing you from trying this. <BR> <BR> If this is new to you, aim for at least one meatless meal. Pile on the freggies today! <BR> <BR> Cardio Challenge: pick at least three Spark cardio moves to do throughout your day or after dinner.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=cardio </link> Sun, 18 Jan 2015 20:27:02 EST 1/18/15 -Me Day Rest, rejunvinate, relax! Sun, 18 Jan 2015 02:16:37 EST 1/17/15 - Cardio Saturday Aim for 30 minutes of cardio. Do a full 30-minute walk, run, bike ride or workout video or break it up.... <BR> <BR> six five minute walks <BR> 1 20-min Spark (or any other type) cardio video and a 10-min walk <BR> 3 10-min Spark (or any other type) cardio videos <BR> 1 15-minute run and 1 15-minute walk if the weather permits (this is my option) <BR> <BR> 30-min indoor cardio idea: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=30minute_indoor_walking_workout </link> <BR> ... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 23:59:58 EST 1/16/15 - Free Form Friday Time to make your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge.. Step up to the microphone and state your challenge. <BR> <BR> I will be getting in two cups of water before coffee in the morning, then a cup before each meal and fit in the other three while working. Thu, 15 Jan 2015 21:31:01 EST 1/15/15 - Get Your Zzzzzs How's your sleep routine? We all know that lack of sleep affects weigh loss and General well-being. <BR> <BR> Review the Spark article on sleep and begin revamping your sleep habits if you need to... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=420 </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio idea of the day, 10-min cardio kick. Keep it low-impact if need be or add your own umph if you've got it... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=80 ... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:39:51 EST 1/14/15 - Wednesday Wellness Many of us spend a lot of time at the computer, in the car, doing housework, compressing our spines and necks. <BR> <BR> Take time for a quick stretch... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=22 </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio of the day.. Aim for an additional15 minutes of activty in your day than you normally do. Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:51:04 EST 1/13/15 - Eat Your Vitamins - Magnesium Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep bones strong. <BR> <BR> How can you eat your magnesium: Whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, spinach, broccoli, dates, raisins, bananas, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans. <BR> <BR> Day 13 Cardio challenge: 12-Minute Indoor Power Walking Workout <BR> <BR> The weather is lousy for many of us so power it up indoors with Jessica Smith: <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 21:35:54 EST 1/12/15 - Fill 'er up Try to get some protein and one serving of fruits/vegetable with each meal. Protein and water-rich foods can help you feel full longer... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=673&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Cardio challenge of the day.. If it is safe for you, find some stairs during your day. Do as few or as many as your fitness level dictates. <BR> <BR> Below are a few of the many benefits of taking a few stairs each day, according to Duke Univ... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 22:23:37 EST 1/11/15 - Sunday Stretches Remember, never stretch cold muscles! Walk, dance, do a few jumping jacks or light jogging for five or ten minutes before stretching. <BR> <BR> Let's all do the Spark Rise and Shine Stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Never underestimate the importance of stretching, not just after a workout. According to a Spark article on stretching: <BR> <BR> "Stretching is important for pe... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 21:33:26 EST 1/10/14 - Saturday Steps In honor of TRAVELGRRL's half marathon, let's all get moving. I believe KITTY20 has a long walk planned as well. <BR> <BR> Cardio challenge of the day is to increase your step count if you have some type of step tracker. Try for 500 more than you normally do. <BR> <BR> If you don't have a step counter, shoot for an extra 15 minutes of walking or running. Let's raise the roof on the One Day Challenge team activity minutes! <BR> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Freggies! Get your f... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 21:28:51 EST 1/9/15 - Free Form Friday The weekend is upon us. How will we look back on this weekend on Monday. Will we be proud of our weekend selves! <BR> <BR> For you newbies to the team, Fridays I leave it up to you to challenge yourself or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> What do you struggle with? What healthy step can you take or which new workout will you try? If you've been going, going, going all week (or you will be running a race this weekend), you may need to challenge yourself to take it easy and that ... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 21:02:35 EST 1/8/15 - Thursday Thighs Try this 4-minute thigh toner video. If you don't have a band, just take it slow and REALLY focus on the muscles used... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Cardio challenge of the day: Alternate the intensity of whichever cardio you are choosing...walking, running, dancing, biking. Take it at a brisk pace for one minute, then a normal pace for two minutes. <BR> <BR> Burn more calories in less time. <BR> <BR> Those that need it, take a... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 22:48:01 EST 1/7/14 - Wednesday Wellness Time to practice the mind-body connection. Check out the Spark article that lists the 7 reasons to smile. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1529 </link> <BR> <BR> You don't have to be in a good mood to try spreading a good feeling for a moment. <BR> <BR> Cardio Challenge day 7 - Add a ten-minute walk to your day or in addition to any planned cardio even if it's around your office or the grocery store. It's an excellent opportunity to spread thos... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 22:10:58 EST 1/6/15 - Bean Me Up Scotty January 6th is Bean Day. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of beans but I've been slowly trying. Just can't ignore all of the health benefits. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article on the benefits of beaning up your diet with some suggestions to adding beans at the end... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1589 </link> <BR> <BR> I'm liking the cannelloni bean idea! <BR> <BR> TWO FOR TUESDAY CARDIO - On this 6th day of the January Cardio challenge,... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 22:08:37 EST 1/5/14 - Make a List I don't know about you but every day I notice things around the house that need my attention and think, maybe I'll get to it over the weekend. Well.... <BR> <BR> So I've made a list of the things that need my attention on my cell phone where I can get to it. I'm going to see how many small steps I can take every day or so towards getting to these things. Some will be quick and some will take some time. Like my favorite quote by Karen Lamb says "This time next year, you will wish you had star... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 21:22:44 EST 1/4/15 - Me Day It's been a busy month for everyone, let's slow down and take at least 15 minutes to make ourselves a priority, rest, recharge and let go. <BR> <BR> Read all about the necessity of a little me time... <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1657 </link> <BR> <BR> CARDIO OF THE DAY - We're taking it easy but you can still get a little cardio in. Does your bathroom need a good cleaning? Or does the kitchen need a good wipe down and sweeping? Did you know you c... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 20:24:54 EST 1/3/15- Vitamin C and Steps Time to eat your vitamins. Most of us are eyeballs deep into the cold and flu season. Keep washing your hands and get your vitamin C. <BR> <BR> Of course it hasn't been absolutely proven to prevent or cure colds but it can help your immune system as well as forming collagen, a connective tissue, which gives strength and structure by holding together muscles, bones, and other tissues. It helps to build, repair, and maintain red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. <BR> <BR> Sources of vita... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 21:07:06 EST hello Hi everyone. I am new to the team, but not to Spark. I am looking for new ways to challenge myself and jumpstart my routines. I am excited to be here. Fri, 2 Jan 2015 13:41:44 EST 1/2/15 - Free Form Friday/Run It Up The Flag Pole Welcome to free-form Friday where you get to create your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> January 2 is "Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes" day. It's is an expression that means to float an idea to see what people think, or if they notice. <BR> <BR> Try something new today... a new workout, new fruit or vegetable, new heathy recipe. It's a new year, time for new things. <BR> <BR> CARDIO IDEA FOR TODAY - I will be doing the Spark 8-minute Cardio ... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 21:56:34 EST 1/1/15 - Quick Cardio I'm posting a little early for Thursday since I will be out tonight. <BR> <BR> Happy 2015. Welcome to a month of cardio challenges! As I mentioned in the email I sent to everyone, some will be quick, some will be longer. Let's increase our cardio minutes to start off the new year. <BR> <BR> Today's cardio challenge is quick, a Six-Minute cardio workout. Do this if you want to ease into the new year or do this in addition to your regularly scheduled workout if you are up for it...... <BR> <... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:48:03 EST 12/31/14 - Biceps and more How well do you read nutrition labels and track the correct serving size of the foods you eat?Take a minute to read labels of the foods you regularly eat. <BR> <BR> During a nutrition seminar at work, they taught us a quick way to spot fattening foods, multiply the fat calories by 4. If it's more than the total calories, best to limit how often we eat those foods. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....Okay, we worked our triceps, let's end the year with our biceps.....and glutes and quads.... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 21:41:31 EST 12/30/14 - Tuesday Triceps Let's work those hard to sculpt muscles. Pick your level or mix and match.... <BR> <BR> Seated Triceps extension... don't have weights, use a soup can or no weight at all... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=158 </link> <BR> <BR> Triceps dips with knees bent (more advanced, legs extended) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=124 </link> <BR> <BR> Close-arm wall pushups... <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.c... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 22:10:12 EST 12/29/14 - Sign up Consider registering for a walk, run or bike event in the spring or summer. Staying on track and pushing yourself is easier when you are working on a goal in the near future. Check out your park district or look on for events that would interest you. <BR> <BR> If you are not up for a public group event, check out the virtual walk or run dates on Spark People.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>race-home.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day: ... Sun, 28 Dec 2014 21:07:23 EST 12/28/14 - Strong Flexible hips Take some time to strengthen and stretch your hips... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> Tight hip flexors can result in lower back pain, hip pain and injury. Sitting all day adds to this problem. <BR> <BR> I have noticed my hips tightenng up again so I can really use this. Let's strengthen and stretch for an active week ahead. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:14:41 EST 12/27/14 - Selfie Saturday So I lost track of my days and missed posting free-form Friday. So we'll make this selfie Saturday. Repeat a previous challenge or make up one of your own. <BR> <BR> Since I overate the past few days, I will be working on small, healthy meals every three hours. This is difficult for me on weekends. <BR> <BR> What is your challenge? Name it and claim it! <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:29:23 EST 12/26/14 - Boxing Day Happy Boxing day to our Canadian, Australian, British and New Zealand friends. <BR> <BR> The roots of the holiday goes back to the Middle Ages. On this day, members of the merchant class would take boxes, fill them with food and fruits, and give them to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate. <BR> <BR> Let's pack up a box of items to donate to a worthy cause. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day... Pushups. Pick your level or mix and match... <BR> <BR> Wall pushups.... <BR> <BR> ... Thu, 25 Dec 2014 20:47:20 EST 12/25/14 - Christmas Day Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, take a few minutes to write down three things you are grateful for. <BR> <BR> No matter how many challenges you are facing in your day, try to find things to be grateful for, no matter how small. Milk isn't the only thing that does a body good! <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....sneaky abs. Nobody has to know you are working your abs. Contract your abs, hold for a count of two and release. You can do this while cooking, eating with family, openin... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 22:28:49 EST 12/24/14 - Christmas Eve Try to squeeze in a couple moves (or all of them) from the Spark 12 Moves of Christmas .... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=prevent_holiday_pounds_with_the_12_<BR>moves_of_christmas_workout </link> <BR> <BR> If those moves are too advanced, try the 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing Workout... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=55 </link> <BR> <BR> Get a calorie burn done and over before festivities begin. <BR> <BR> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 20:35:38 EST 12/23/14 - Freggies and Festivus Try to get one serving of fruits/veggies with each meal and snack. Check out the Spark article on how to add veggies to every meal... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=add_more_veggies_to_your_family_meals </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day... T Stand.. <BR> <BR> Work your abs, lower back and hamstrings. Do this over a chair if you have balance issues. <BR> <BR> Keep the metabolism firing through the holidays! <BR> <BR> When I first posted this I for... Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:51:37 EST 12/22/14 - Stand Up For Your Health and your Quads Today, try to stand/walk around more than you usually do. Check out this article from webmd about the health problems related to too much sitting. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>20140407/sitting-disease-faq </link> <BR> <BR> More research needs to be done but it appears that...itting for a long time causes muscles to burn less fat and blood to flow more sluggishly. Both can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other problems." <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 21:58:50 EST 12/21/14 - Take a Breather and See the Bright Side I'm posting for Sunday a little early since I will be out this evening. <BR> <BR> Let's take a few minutes to slow down from our hectic schedules: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Take 10 minutes to practice proper breathing for great health benefits. You can shorten it if you need to but you deserve these 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> December 21st is Look On The Bright Side day. What a coincidence it falls on Winter Solstice, th... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:22:10 EST 12/20/14 - Short Cardio Bursts With Christmas getting closer, schedules are getting too full for exercise. Try to get several short bursts of cardio in your day to keep calorie burn going all day. <BR> <BR> Unless you are doing 20 miles like Julie, walk through stores like you are late, use the stairs and park further away if it's safe. <BR> <BR> You can squeeze in quick cardio exercises in between housework and laundry. Check out the Spark article with 10 quick cardio moves... <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:39:25 EST 12/19/14 - Free Form Friday Here we are....THE WEEKEND! We finished the Spark better posture series this week. Congratulations to all! If you would like to read more about the the value of good posture as well as more about the exercises and stretches we did this week, check out the Spark article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1407 </link> <BR> <BR> So for the new members, Friday is the day you choose your own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or com... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:37:15 EST 12/18/14 - Posture Thursday Welcome to day four of posture-improving exercises and stretches. <BR> <BR> We are going to work on retracting a forward head. Years of driving a car, watching tv or working on a computer tighten the front and side neck muscles and weaken the deep and rear muscles of the neck. The position of the head and neck is just as imortant as the back and shoulders for good posture. <BR> <BR> Neck retraction exercise (upper trapezius and deep cervical flexors): <BR> <BR> Elongate the back of your ... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:00:41 EST 12/17/14 -Posture Wednesday and Rededication Happy Hanukkah to those that celebrate! <BR> <BR> The Jews rededicated the Temple after they defeated the Syrians, and so Chanukah means dedication. Take some time to reflect on your goals and rededicate yourself to staying on track towards those goals through the end of the year. <BR> <BR> Today's focus for better posture is on our tilted hips. Tilted hips are the result of weak and tight hips, quad and ab muscles. Sitting all day behind a desk or in the car adds to the problem. So lets st... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:33:01 EST 12/16/14 - Posture Tuesday and Awareness Hello and welcome to day two of the better posture week. Today we will focus on fixing rounded shoulders. Years of being hunched over a desk, computers, watching tv leads to rounded shoulders. <BR> <BR> Try these shoulder exercises and stretches... <BR> <BR> Dumbbell Reverse Flys on exercise ball. You can do this without weights or with soup cans, sitting in a chair. Just watch your form as described in the demo... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:10:39 EST 12/15/14 - Posture Monday Welcome to Posture week. Good posture is about more than just standing up straight. <BR> <BR> Let's start the week by working the core, which includes obliques and lower back. <BR> <BR> If any (or all) of your core muscles are weak, other muscles have to compensate, resulting in loss of motion, weakness and pain. In fact, you can alleviate and prevent low-back pain through regular core training. <BR> <BR> If you worked your core, like Mary did, on Sunday, get a good abdominal stretch in in... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 21:20:18 EST 12/14/14 - Sunday Stretches After a quick warmup, get a quick stretch done... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1262 </link> <BR> <BR> Loosen up and get the blood flowing for an active week ahead. Sat, 13 Dec 2014 22:20:52 EST 12/13/14 - St. Lucia and Daylight December holiday fact.... December 13th is St. Lucia day in Sweden. The eldest daughter wakes sleeping family members and serves St. Lucia rolls and coffee. <BR> <BR> It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light. <BR> <BR> If weather permits, get outside for a quick (or long) walk on your Saturday and absorb as much natural sunlight as possible. Even if it's cloudy, the sun gets through. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day -... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:50:51 EST 12/12/14 - Free Form Friday Friday is here and it's time to come up with your own challenge or repeat a previous day's challenge. <BR> <BR> I will continue with filling out my nutrition tracker in advance to stick to my plan. It reallyl helps me. <BR> <BR> I'm also going to do some pilates. <BR> <BR> Name you challenge and give us a <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> Holiday fun fact... December 12 is Fiest of Our Lady of Guadalupe...The Dark Madonna is a symbol of Mexican Christianity and of Mexican nationalism. <BR> <BR... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:43:51 EST 12/11/14 - Nutrition Tracker and Stairs Holiday season is the time when many of us fly by the seat of our pants. Between work, social engagements, shopping and family responsibilities, it's very difficult to plan ahead. <BR> <BR> So let's try it. Fill out your nutrition tracker for the next meal and snack as best you can. Try to go into the next day. Fill it out with healthy foods you know you have access to and do your best to stick to that plan. <BR> <BR> I have done this in the past, filled out my nutrition tracker for the ne... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 21:55:15 EST 12/10/14 - Wednesday Wellness and Pullovers Let's take a ten-minute, mid-week breather. It's a hectic and stressful time of year so give yourself 10 minutes to feed your body good oxygen to keep you going... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day.... Dumbell pullovers, work your chest, triceps and lats in one move. If you do not have a step, no worries. I have done this lying on the floor. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>... Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:04:00 EST 12/9/14 - Cursty and Christmas Cards Is Princess Kate still in New York? Let's curtsy like a princess to really work the glutes and thighs. <BR> <BR> Hopefully this link works for everyone so you can see what this looks like... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sy-lunge </link> <BR> <BR> Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips. Take a big step back with your left leg, crossing it behind your right. Bend your knees and lower your hips until your right thigh is nearly parallel to the f... Mon, 8 Dec 2014 22:07:09 EST 12/8/14 - Basics and abs Let's start the week strong by reaching basic goals. Give me a <em>248</em> if you.... <BR> <BR> Got 5 servings of freggies or at least one more than you usually do <BR> Got 8 cups of water or at least two more than you normally do <BR> Watched your portion sizes <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day, do some sneaky ab work. Do you have a desk chair that spins? Lift your feet off the floor, hold on to the desk and use your abs and obliques to turn right then left. That's one repetition. Tr... Sun, 7 Dec 2014 21:23:06 EST 127/14 - Write a letter/Me day I'm posting a little early for tomorrow since I will be out this evening. December 7 is letter writing day. Take some time to write a quick note to a friend or family member. Think of how happy they would be to receive that. <BR> <BR> Maybe write a letter to yourself. <BR> <BR> Everyone has posted some EXCELLENT activty this week so let's take a break and make today a ME day, or at least a little ME time if it's a hectic day. Try..... <BR> <BR> Get a full body stretch <BR> Take a bubble... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 19:39:50 EST 12/6/14 - St.Nicholas Day/Upper Body Strength Happy St. Nicholas day. True to the christian concept of giving up belongings and following Christ, St. Nicholas gave up all of his belongings. He was well known for giving to needy people, especially children. <BR> <BR> The practice of hanging up stockings originated with Saint Nicholas. Legend goes, Saint Nicholas was known to throw small bags of gold coins into the open windows of poor homes. <BR> <BR> After one bag of gold fell into the stocking of a child, news got around. Children so... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 21:35:06 EST 12/5/14 - Free Form Friday To those of you that are new, On Fridayseveryone picks their own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> By the way, December 5 is Bathtub Party Day. Just sayin! <BR> <BR> My challenge will be to get my walking breaks in at work and a few minutes of meditation after work. It's been a while and I could really use it after the challenging work week. <BR> <BR> Strength moves of the day for me is an ab combo I did when I had a few sessio... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 20:34:42 EST 12/4/14 - Santa's List Day and Happy Feet December 4th is known as Santa's List day. Have you been naughty or nice? <BR> <BR> Make a list of all of your accomplishments this year (or blog about it) and keep it where you can see it every day. It doesn't have to be fitness or food related. It's so easy to get down on ourselves if we haven't measured up to our own expectations. So focus on the positives! <BR> <BR> Strength moves of the day.... Let's build strong and flexible feet in five moves. We ask a lot of our feet and ankles so... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 22:35:47 EST 12/3/14 - Mid-Week Stretch and a booty call Take a few minutes to stretch a bit. We spend time bent over our computers, over children or over the sink washing dishes. Loosen it up with some desk stretches. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=22 </link> <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....Five Moves To A Better Butt <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1755 </link> <BR> <BR> If some of these moves are too much for you, go the old fashioned butt clench... Tue, 2 Dec 2014 21:52:23 EST 12/2/14 - Two For Tuesday If you have trouble getting your eight cups of water each day, try to double your usual count. Try adding fruit to your water or a slice of cucumber to make it interesting. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day - work your abs and lower back. It's very important to work both muscle groups. Pick at least one move that works both abs and lower back or one move for abs and one move for lower back: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> A... Mon, 1 Dec 2014 22:07:35 EST 12/1/14 - Meatless Monday Try going meatless for a day or just one meal. Some research suggests going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. <BR> <BR> Strength move of the day....pushups. Pick your level that best suits your fitness level and try three sets of 8 or as many as you can do keeping good form. <BR> <BR> Wall pushups <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <B... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 19:24:31 EST 11/30/14 -Rise and Shine Stretches I apologize for getting this out too late for some of you but this can be done any time of day. In fact, let's try for twice today. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Be good to yourself and your muscles! Sat, 29 Nov 2014 21:41:32 EST Hi Hi I am new to the team and love the idea of getting fresh healthy challenges every day :-) <BR> Sat, 29 Nov 2014 15:03:12 EST 11/29/14 - Square Dance Day/Creative Workout Day November 29 is Square Dance Day. <BR> <BR> noted ......With all its moving, twisting, and turning, square dancing provides more than the daily dose of heart- and bone-healthy physical activity. Remembering all the calls -- from "do-si-do" to 'alemand' -- keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. <BR> <BR> No dance partner? Find other ways to get a creative workout: <BR> <BR> If you are going to the gym today, try to do the Machine Mixe... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 22:04:21 EST 11/28/14 - Free Form Friday Fridays everyone gets to pick their own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> Name your challenge or come back later and let us know it was done. <BR> <BR> I am going to do the Spark jump rope workout video. Amazing calorie burn after a bit of indulgence today. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Thu, 27 Nov 2014 21:05:20 EST 11/27/14 - Give Thanks and a ME day Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, take a me day and give thanks for all that you have. Remember to track your ME time on your other goals page under the One Day Challenge team. <BR> <BR> Thank you for coming along on the Fit2Feast Challenge ride with me. Knowing you were all out there watching my posts really kept me moving. I only missed one day due to a small family emergency. <BR> <BR> I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving or a wonderful Thursday. <BR> <BR> <em>304</e... Wed, 26 Nov 2014 22:07:12 EST 11/26/14 - Wednesday Wellness Take some time today to feel the power of gratitude. Read the Spark article for more details on the tips below to build our gratitude power. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1541 </link> <BR> <BR> How many tips are you able to work into your day: <BR> <BR> Keep a gratitude journal. <BR> At the end of each day, write down 3-5 things from the day you feel grateful for. Simplicity is <BR> key. <BR> <BR> Express your gratitude. <BR> Take the t... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:05:05 EST 11/25/14 - Tuesday Toning Fit2Feast Challenge: Let's work some muscles to give us a boost in the resting calorie burn department. For most of us Thanksgiving is looming ahead. Let's work it. <BR> <BR> Where would you like to work it? Upper body? Try the 9-minute arm and shoulder workout. Repeat the stretches for another minute to reach 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=39 </link> <BR> <BR> Lower body: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>d... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:33:12 EST 11/24/14 - Ease Up On Your Neck and Spine Did anyone else see this study in the news? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>w-hunching-over-your-smartphone-stress<BR>es-your-spine-1D80302058 </link> <BR> <BR> A study recently published states "An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in a neutral position, but by tilting it forward, the forces it exerts on the neck can surge—up to 60 pounds when the head is tilted by 60 degrees" <BR> <BR> So we are putting approxmately four bowling balls of pressure on our necks a... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 20:34:15 EST 11/23/14 - Show Your Back Some Love Of the 12 ways listed to protect your back, how many can you/did you fit into your day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=804 </link> <BR> <BR> Fit2feast Challenge: <BR> <BR> Try the Chi Gong video. In addition to calming my mind, this also helps remove tension from back: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Lossen up from all of your activity this past week, and get ready for a new act... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:18:31 EST 11/22/14 - Cardio levels Pick your level for a Fit2Feast 10-minute cardio challenge: <BR> <BR> Beginner - a 10-minute walk or the Spark Seated Cardio workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Intermediate - <BR> <BR> Jump Start Cardio (you can make this lower impact by replacing hopping and jumping with stepping) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=87 </link> <BR> <BR> Advanced - Jump Rope Cardio Workout ... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:22:05 EST 11/21/14 - Free-Wheeling Friday It's time to pick your own challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or challenge yourself to something that you need to get done. <BR> <BR> For the Fit2Feast challenge, I will do the 4,3,2,1 workout and then I'm going to rest. It's been an exhausting, stressful week with my dad and it's not over yet so I need some rejuvenating. <BR> <BR> As the Cheerios bee says in the commercials, "be happy, be healthy!" Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:19:10 EST 11/20/14 - Arm yourself... ...with upper body strength. According to "Strong upper and lower back muscles can be helpful in protecting against spine problems later in life, as long as no muscles are damaged in the back and care is taken to stretch and work these muscles throughout life." <BR> <BR> Try the following upper body video for day 20 of the Fit2Feast Challenge: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=37 </link> <BR> <BR> Alternate/Bonus challenge: In... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:57:31 EST 11/19/14 - Wednesday Wellness "It has been said your mind can only hold one thought at a time, which means we have a choice. We can focus on a thought that makes us feel badly or a thought that makes us feel good." <BR> <BR> So what will you choose today? Pick something about yourself or an achievement that makes you feel proud. Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself out loud that you are proud of yourself for that characteristic or achievment. <BR> <BR> See the Spark article about how self-talk leads to success: ... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:27:48 EST 11/18/14 - Core work Fit2Feast challenge: Try the 10-minute crunch less core workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on our knees does not work for you... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Then give me a <em>248</em> if you met your protein goal or took steps to improve. Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:23:24 EST 11/17/14 - 4,3,2,1 and Portion Sizes Fit2Feast Challenge.... <BR> <BR> Try exercise physiologist Sean Foy's 4,3,2,1 exercise model: <BR> <BR> 4 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity (this can be as intense as you can handle, a brisk walk for example or some dancing) <BR> 3 minutes of resistance training (pick any strength exercises you need) <BR> 2 minutes of core work (crunches, planks etc) <BR> 1 minute of breathing and stretching (I usually do this for about five minutes. Go ahead and STRETCH out the time here) <BR> <... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 22:28:47 EST 11/16/14 - Sundat ME time "Proper breathing is an underestimated, but critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to track your ME time on your One Day Challenge team goals on your Other Goals page. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge : Go for a walk for at least 10 minutes even if it's around yo... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 21:05:41 EST 11/15/14 - Clean it up Sending out healthy knee vibes to those that need them. Make sure to rest if you need it! <BR> <BR> November 15 is Clean Your Fridge day. Now is a good time to do that for those of us getting ready to stock up for Thanksgiving dinners. It's alawys a great Idea for all of us to clean out the junk food and the unidentifiable leftovers. <BR> <BR> Spend some quality time decluttering your fridge. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: As long as we are cleaning, add ten minutes of brisk housework. Scr... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:38:26 EST 11/14/14 - Free Form Friday Today's the day you get to pick your own challenge. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with one of your own. Remember, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. <BR> <BR> If you have had no time to relax this week, that may be a challenge for you. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: <BR> <BR> If you're not resting, add 10 minutes to your planned activity. If you are resting, spend 10 minutes in a quiet place doing some deep cleansing breaths. <BR> <BR> I will repeat the pos... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:50:05 EST 11/13/14 - Be Kind And Back It Up November 13 is World Kindness Day. Use the day (or the next and the next) to be kind to friends, family, neighbors or Spark members. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: Some people neglect the back muscles since they don't see it in the mirror. Strong back muscles improve posture and function. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>exercises.asp?exercise_type=any&exerci<BR>se_level=any&equipment=any&bodypart=back </link> <BR> <BR> Fill 10 minutes with as many exercises you... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:37:20 EST 11/12/14 - Begin With Water Then a Kick Hoping to reach everyone before the first cup of coffee or tea Wednesday morning. Aim for one cup of water first thing BEFORE coffee or tea. <BR> <BR> It took me years to try it and a couple months to believe it (by sipping water in between sips of coffee) but water first thing in the morning really does energize me more than that first cup of coffee. <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: Try the 10 Minute Cardio Kick workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?vi... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 20:25:50 EST 11/11/14 - Posture and Water <BR> Fit2Feast Challenge: It is important to regularly work on improving our posture to avoid muscle strain and injury. Try the following 12-minute posture video.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_12minute_better_posture_workout </link> <BR> <BR> If some moves are too difficult for you, pick at least one exercise, in each step, in the Spark posture article.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1407 </link> <BR... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:23:53 EST 11/10/14 - Raise Your HDL "HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the "good" cholesterol. It acts like a cholesterol dump truck, gathering "bad" cholesterol from the arteries and carrying it back to the liver for clearance." <BR> <BR> See the Spark slideshow below for foods that raise your HDL. Talk to your doctor about you HDL. Which foods will you put on your next shopping list? Which foods do you already use regular? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=50 </link> <BR> <BR> Fit2Feast... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 21:29:03 EST 11/9/14 - Productive Habits <BR> I found the financial article below very interesting. I think it works for all of us working towards a healthy lifestyle. Coincidently November 9 is Chaos Never Dies Day. Chaos habits, let's work on healthy, permanent habits to keep it to a minimum. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>uctive-people-time-123000344.html;_ylt<BR>=AwrBT_vZ115U.K0ANqzBGOd_ </link> <BR> <BR> 1. Become an early riser by going to bed early <BR> 2. Start each day with an intention <BR> ... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 22:06:37 EST 11/8/14 - No Nonsense Fit2Feast workout ... <BR> <BR> Try an 11-minute workout that burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time... <BR> <BR> Before each move she gives you a low impact version if you need it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_11minute_miracle_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Bonus/alternate challenge: November 8 is Cook Something Bold day. It is designed to encourage us to cook something homey during November when the house is closed up to capture the smells. ... Fri, 7 Nov 2014 20:24:46 EST 11/7/14 - Free Form Friday So new members, on Fridays you pick your own challenge. You can repeat a previous day's challenge or make your own. Just name it and go for it! <BR> <BR> I will continue the Fit2Feast challenge with a couple ten-minute Spark cardio videos. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself and change yourself? <BR> <BR> Thu, 6 Nov 2014 21:00:17 EST 11/6/14 - Core and Planning According to, a strong core enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries. <BR> <BR> So today's Fit2Feast challenge, work your core for at least 10 minutes with either of the following Spark videos: <BR> <BR> Crunchless Core workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> If getting on the floor or being on your knees is a problem, try the seated core workout: <BR> <BR> <link>ww... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 20:47:08 EST 11/5/14 - Walking and Hip Strength Fit2Feast challenge: <BR> <BR> Take a ten-minute walk either before or after a meal. See the article from about the health benefits of walking before and after a meal. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lking-before-or-after-meals/ </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS/ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Hip strength and flexibility <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> "Tight... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 22:16:09 EST 11/4/14 - Three Moves and some H2O On a Dr. Oz episode, personal trainer Gunner Peterson demonstrated three moves to hit major muscles. You can do these while watching TV or in between sparking. <BR> <BR> ABS: Sit up straight at the edge of the couch or a chair. Lean back slightly with a straight back and lift and lower your knees. To make it more challenging, do it slooooooooow. <BR> <BR> TRICEPS: Tricep dips off the edge of your couch or chair. To make it more challenging, do the tricep dips with straight legs. <BR> <B... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 22:29:25 EST 11/3/14 - Sandwich Day November 3rd is sandwhich day, created by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. In 1762, he created the sandwich, by putting meat between two pieces of bread, allowing him to remain at the gambling table for long periods of time. <BR> <BR> Check out Sparkpeople recipes for healthy sandwich ideas.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>food=Sandwiches&a= </link> <BR> <BR> Make your shopping list for later this week or the weekend. Skip the gambling table. <BR> <... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 22:01:25 EST 11/2/14 - End of Daylight Savings I'm posting early in hopes of reaching all time zones. Tomorrow is the end of daylight savings time for most of us. To deal with the change, do the following: <BR> <BR> Go to bed at your normal time tonight (Saturday) <BR> Wake up at your normal time tomorrow (Sunday) <BR> Get outside in the morning in the sun even if it's for a short walk <BR> <BR> Even if you are not in an area that changes times, this is a good practice to follow on the weekends to avoid Monday-morning grogginess. <BR> ... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 16:21:58 EST 11/1/14 - Strong, Flexible Feet There has been a lot of walking going on and in honor of team member Julie's 22 mile walk Saturday, let's all work on strong, flexible feet. It important to keep our feet and ankles strong and flexible to support us during all our acticities. <BR> <BR> See the Spark article for five exercises to strengthen and stretch this area: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> Start the month off on the right ... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:09:45 EST 10/31/14 - Halloween Okay, it's still free-form Friday, you get to make your own challenge. Remember, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you! <BR> <BR> Is Halloween a tough day for you. How will you challenge yourself to make yourself proud on November 1st? <BR> <BR> I bought candy to hand out that I don't like. I will get extra water, freggies and activity. <BR> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:16:10 EST 10/30/14 Creative Spark Workouts Pressed for time? Need something fun to add to your fitness minutes? Try either or both of these workouts. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Get 10 minutes of walking in today even if it's laps around your living room. <BR> <BR> <BR> Six Minute Excuse Proof Workout <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_excuseproof_workout_plan </link> <BR> <BR> Five Minute Wake Up Call Workout (good for any time of day) <BR> <BR> <link><BR... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:40:15 EST 10/29/14 - Wednesday Wellness Give me a <em>248</em> if you: <BR> <BR> Got 8 cups of water or at least one more than you usually do <BR> Got five servings of fruits and veggies or at least one more serving than you normally do <BR> Got active in some way for at least 10 minutes <BR> Spent 2-5 minutes getting some quiet time for deep breathing <BR> <BR> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:22:45 EST 10/28/14 - Mix It Up There is an excellent Spark article about mixing and matching strength exercises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=495 </link> <BR> <BR> At the bottom of the page is a table numbered 1 - 8 along the left side and columns A-D across the top. <BR> <BR> As described in the article, pick one exercise in each numbered row to perform. If you cannot get to all eight that is fine. Try to hit at least two muscle groups.. Do what you can safely, with goo... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:33:18 EST 10/27/14 - Small Bits Add Up Small bits of activity add up. Try to squeeze in a few five to ten-minutes of activity in addition to any planned workout. Keep your calorie burn going all day long. <BR> <BR> Take a few five minute breaks to walk around your workplace or around the house. <BR> Two or three times, run up a few stairs just because. <BR> Do a few jumping jacks a couple times (some of us have been known to get in a private bathroom or conference room at work to fit in a couple rounds of the jacks). <BR> <BR> W... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:07:33 EST 10/26/14 - Sunday Tune-up Get loose and in touch. Let last week go and mentally prepare for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> If it's nice outside where you live, try some walking meditation. The following Spark article details a few different way to practice walking meditation from beginner to more advanced.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=894 </link> <BR> <BR> Chi Gong is my Sunday go-to as well as when I'm stressed. it really helps me loosen up and let it all go.... <BR> ... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:31:00 EST 10/25/14 - Make a Difference Day The fourth Saturday in October is Make A Difference Day. Research volunteer opportunities in your area. <BR> <BR> It doesn't matter whether you help a non-profit organization, the community, your town, nursing home, a church, a food kitchen, or any other group in need. What matters is that you participate. <BR> <BR> It can also be a small gesture like writing a letter or making a call to an old friend or family member, just because. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Get outside if possible, to ge... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:13:01 EST 10/4/14 - Free Wheelin Friday The weekend is upon us. How will you set yourself for success? <BR> <BR> New members, Fridays are the days you get to repeat a previous day's challenge or make up one of your own. <BR> <BR> I'm going to repeat Tuesday's challenge, the 4,3,2,1 workout. Below is the link to the article where I found this if anyone wants to read more about it...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>gh-intensity-interval-training-office_<BR>n_6013034.html </link> <BR> <BR> It's 4 min... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:34:38 EST 10/23/14 - Pushups Let's work the upper body for improved upper body strength, flexibility and range of motion. <BR> <BR> Start with wall pushups. Be sure to pay attention to proper form as noted in the demo... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> If you can, hit the floor and try it on your knees or toes. Do as many sets of ten as you can do safely, with proper form. <BR> <BR> I also like table top pushups as seen in the Spark 10-minute upper bod... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:31:39 EST 10/22/14 - Eat Less Processed Foods I know it's unrealistice in our hectic lifestyles to completely eliminate processed foods but let's try to eat at least one serving less of processed foods. Baby steps. <BR> <BR> Below is a link to an article from the 100 Days Of Real Food website with eight tips to eating less processed foods. Let me know if the link does not work for you and I will email you the tips. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/real-food-tips-8-ways-to-avoid-proces<BR>sed-food/ </link> <... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:59:06 EST 10/21/14 - 4-3-2-1 I was reading about exercise physiologist Sean Foy's 4,3,2,1 exercise model and thought I'd give it a try...... <BR> <BR> 4 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity <BR> 3 minutes of resistance training <BR> 2 minutes of core work <BR> 1 minute of breathing and stretching <BR> <BR> Join me and let me know how it works for you. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:33:17 EST 10/20/14 - Boost Your Energy Start the week off on an energetic note. Take a look at the eight suggestions in this Spark article. How many can you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1930 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Get in ten extra minutes of activity on top of your regularly-planned activity. <BR> <BR> Power up! Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:19:34 EST 10/19/14 - Me day Or at least 15 minutes of me time. What have you neglected for yourself? Rest and recharge for the week ahead. Be sure to log your Me time on your Other Goals page. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: October 19 is National Evaluate Your Life Day. Take a few minutes to reflect on what is working in your life, what isn't and what steps you can take to improve any areas you would like. Make sure to remember your accomplishments and be proud! <BR> <BR> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:40:39 EST 10/18/14 - Happy Sweetest Day Use this third Saturday in October to... <BR> <BR> Search Spark recipes for a healthy sweet treat <BR> Share your favorite healthy sweet treat with all of us <BR> Contact a friend or relative you haven't spoken to in a while <BR> Take time to be sweet to yourself <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:43:55 EST 10/17/14 - Free Form Friday Time to challenge ourselves. Repeat a previous day's challenge or come up with your own challenge that you need. <BR> <BR> I will be doing the Spark fall workout. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_seriously_fun_fullbody_workout_fo<BR>r_fall </link> <BR> <BR> Let's hear it! <BR> <BR> <em>431</em> <em>465</em> <em>422</em> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:12:53 EST 10/16/14 - Portion Control Refresh your knowledge about portion sizes with the Spark article below. The article contains tips for controlling portions while eating out and at home. <BR> <BR> Name at least one tip you followed for a Spark goodie. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=56 </link> <BR> <BR> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 23:33:20 EST 10/15/14 - Wednesday Water Give me a <em>248</em> If you.... <BR> <BR> Hit eight cups of water <BR> If you didn't make it to eight, but got one more cup than you normally do <BR> Added fruit or a slice of cucumber to one cup of water <BR> <BR> <em>274</em> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:52:06 EST 10/14/14 - Sneaky Abs Sneak in some ab work throughout the day. No crunches required... <BR> <BR> While washing the dishes or brushing your teeth or both...contract your abs, hold for a second and release. Try as many sets of ten that you can. <BR> <BR> Do you have a swivel chair at home or at the office? Lift your feet off the floor, pull your abs in and use your core to swivel right then left. Try as many sets of ten through the day as you can. <BR> <BR> Get a good stretch in. Stand tall, deep breath in and s... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:49:36 EST 10/14/14 - Muscle Monday If today is a strength training day, try some isometric holds. Check out the Spark article that explains the benefits of isometric strength training as well as examples of isometric strength training: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1261 </link> <BR> <BR> Isometric strength training is NOT safe for anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure, and women who are pregnant. <BR> <BR> So if you fall into any of those categories your challenge w... Sun, 12 Oct 2014 21:33:12 EST 10/13/14 - Sunday Stretches Get warmed up and get a good stretch in today to improve circulation and increase flexibility <BR> <BR> Try to perform each of the Spark stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=126 </link> <BR> <BR> For a little more advanced move, try the "world's greatest stretch" according to Yahoo. We do this in my yoga class and while I do not do it perfectly, it feels wonderful... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ld-s-greates... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 21:40:34 EST 10/11/14 - Chew Slowly Hopefully your Saturday isn't too busy. Take some time to eat slower than you usually do, at least for one meal. <BR> <BR> Chewing food slowly aids in digestion and prevents heartburn not to mention helping you feel full. Check out the Spark article on the benefits of chewing your food slowly..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=963&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Take a sip of water in between bites of food. I heard a swallowing spec... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 21:11:35 EST 10/10/14 - Free Form Friday Today is the day to repeat a previous challenge or come up with one of your own. <BR> <BR> I will be doing an ab Deck Of Cards workout after my run. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Read about eggs on World Egg Day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=126 </link> <BR> <BR> Let's start the weekend on a powerful, healthy note! Thu, 9 Oct 2014 21:23:56 EST 10/9/14 - Thursday Thighs Let's work the large muscles for a major calorie burn and to gain strength to handle everyday tasks. Try one or more of the following: <BR> <BR> Skater squats: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=112 </link> <BR> <BR> Wall sit: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=66 </link> <BR> <BR> Seated leg workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=21 </link> <BR> <BR> Thighs ... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:16:48 EST 10/8/14 - Posture Check Every hour on the hour, remind yourself to roll your shoulders back and down. Picture a string through your spine pulling up through your head. <BR> <BR> Remember, good posture makes you appear five pounds thinner and helps prevent lower back and shoulder strain. <BR> <BR> How many of you walked around with a book on your head when you were young? I did! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Tue, 7 Oct 2014 21:28:24 EST 10/7/14 - Two For Tuesday Up your cardio minutes today with two different kinds of cardio or ST. <BR> <BR> Do some walking/running, dancing/jump rope, walking/running, kickboxing/walking. <BR> <BR> Is it your ST day? Mix it up with at least 10 minutes of cardio. <BR> <BR> Let's burn it up! Mon, 6 Oct 2014 21:31:13 EST 10/6/14 - Meatless Monday If your physician has no objections, try going meatless for the day or try to at least make one meal meatless. <BR> <BR> According to the Spark article below "Eating less meat and more grains, beans, fruits and veggies means you’ll be consuming fewer calories, less saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=902 </link> <BR> <BR> If you are a vegetarian or regularly do me... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 20:32:19 EST 10/5/14 - Rise and Shine Stretches Even if you see this after you have been up and around, it's still a great stretch for any time of day. <BR> <BR> Everybody got a lot of great activity in this week so stretch it out and get ready for the coming week's activities. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: October 5th is Do Something Nice Day. Find a small way to make someone's day. Sat, 4 Oct 2014 21:54:18 EST 10/4/14 - Frugal Fun Day October is International Frugal Fun Day. Spend the day having fun on the cheap. If weather permits, go for a bike ride or bundle up and go for a hike while enjoying the breeze and fresh air. <BR> <BR> Do you have a library nearby? Discover all your library has to offer. <BR> <BR> Try an internet search of free activities in your area. What did you find? <BR> <BR> Enjoy the Saturday! Fri, 3 Oct 2014 19:38:37 EST 10/3/14 - Free Form Friday How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> I'm going old school.....I'll be shooting for several bursts of activity during the day since I wll have a long day at work then girls night. I will hit two flights of stairs every few minutes with plank jacks mixed in. <BR> <BR> Name your challenge! Thu, 2 Oct 2014 21:59:03 EST 10/1/14 - Fall Freggies October 1st is World Vegetarian Day. Work toward five servings or at least one more than you usually get. <BR> <BR> See the Spark article about fall fruits, vegetables and seasonings and try something new or something you haven't had in a while.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=956&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: the first week in October is Get Organized week. Make a to-do list of tasks that keep getting pushed to the back burner.... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:49:52 EST 9/30/14 - These Boots Were Made For Walking Squeeze in 10 -15 minutes of walking (more if you can) in addition to any other workout you have planned. If walking is your activity, try to get in two or three walking sessions throughout the day. <BR> <BR> Hopefully the link below works for you. It's an article that discusses the necessity of walking for good health in addition to any other planned workout. <BR> <BR> A scientist is quoted in the article as saying...."walking is a biological imperative like eating". "you can't offset 10 ... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:21:26 EST 9/29//14 - Jacks Let's start the week with some old school cardio to rev up the metabolism. Space these out during the day if possible to keep the calorie burn going all day. <BR> <BR> Pick your level and if you can, try one or two of the next level for an extra challenge. <BR> <BR> No impact: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=529 </link> <BR> <BR> High Impact, full jumping jack: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=530 </link... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:07:48 EST 8/29/14 - Roll Call I'm late as well. I live in Rochester, Illinois. Sun, 28 Sep 2014 20:38:50 EST 9/28/14 - Prepare For Cold and Flu Season For most of us, it is the beginning of cold and flu season. Arm yourself with information and healthy foods as we head into the season. <BR> <BR> Take the quiz, even if you have in the past, it's a good refresher: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_questions.asp?quizid=50 </link> <BR> <BR> Then check out the spark article about boosting our immune system with immune-enhancing foods and habits . Let's get ready now: <BR> <BR> <link> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 21:54:06 EST 9/27/14 - Protein Check How is your protein intake? Mine has been a little low lately. We must remember that sufficient amounts of protein helps to: <BR> <BR> Build, repair and maintain body tissues (including muscle) <BR> Make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the cells <BR> Form antibodies that fight infection and disease <BR> Produce hormones and enzymes that regulate body processes <BR> <BR> Consult with your physician on your protein needs, revie the Spark article for more information and add some protein ... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:55:05 EST 9/26/14. - Free Form Friday Time to name your own challenge. What goal will you stick to? How will you push yourself? <BR> <BR> I will get a run in. I'm close to reaching my mileage for September for the mileage challenge on I was hoping to be done by now so power up! <BR> <BR> Set your sights on the beginning of a healthy weekend! Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:01:33 EST 9/25/14 - Balance It Out <BR> "Even when you're not thinking about it, your body is balancing—in everyday life, when you exercise, and during your active pastimes". <BR> <BR> We are never too old or too young to work on our balance. Check out the following Spark article and follow the three steps to improving balance.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1377 </link> <BR> <BR> If balance is already a challenge for you, make sure to stand close to a wall or sturdy chair. Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:14:04 EST 9/24/14 - Wedness Whimsy Take a funny break today. A recent study conducted by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine reported that laughter not only enhances your mood, but it may also protect your heart. <BR> <BR> Some ideas from <BR> <BR> -Take in regular doses of funny films, joke books, and comedians. <BR> -Browse through the humor section of a bookstore or library. <BR> -Make a point of looking at the cartoons in the newspapers and magazines. Cut out the ones that appeal to you, and keep ... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:26:53 EST 9/23/14 - Two For Tuesday Let's double it up. If today is a strength training day, pick two strength exercises working opposing muscles... abs/lower back, biceps/triceps etc. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> On the right side of the screen is the opportunity to search the types of muscles you are looking for. <BR> <BR> If today is a cardio day or stretching day, do the same thing, pick two cardio moves or at least two stretching moves. <BR> <BR> I'll will se... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:42:52 EST 9/22/14 - Moving Monday Okay gang, let's start the week off strong and active. Try to increase your fitness minutes by 10 minutes today even if it means one or two short walks, 10 minutes of stretching or try a Spark video you never tried before... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asp </link> <BR> <BR> Look back at your fitness tracker for last Monday to see how many fitness minutes you tracked and then shoot for at least 10 minutes more. <BR> <BR> What are you doing to increase your mi... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:34:20 EST 9/21/14 - Sunday Stretches Let's loosen up for the week ahead. Tight muscles lead to injury so get warmed up with and easy walk, or a little dancing. It's never a good idea to stretch cold muscles! <BR> <BR> Follow the full-body stretch routine in the Spark article below... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1261 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: September 21st is World Gratitude day which originated at the International East-West Center in Hawaii in 1965. <BR> <BR> Make ... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:46:54 EST 9/20/14 - Freggies Are you consistently getting your five servings of fruits and vegetables? Check out the following Spark article for tips to meeting your freggies goal.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> Give me a <em>248</em> if you hit five or if you didn't get five, let us know if you challenged yourself to at least get one more serving than you normally do. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Do a search for German recipes.... <BR> <B... Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:50:05 EST 9/19/14 - Free Form Friday How will you challenge yourself? Repeat a previous challenge or pick one of your own? <BR> <BR> State your intentions loud and proud. <BR> <BR> I intend to pick one of the Spark 30-minute circuit workouts I keep meaning to try: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>minute_workout.asp </link> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:12:39 EST 9/18/14 - How are your getting your B vitamins besides a supplement? Just take care not to overdo it. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing! <BR> <BR> The B complex vitamins help keep the blood, nerves and immune system functioning properly. <BR> <BR> How many ways can you eat your Bs: <BR> <BR> B6 is plentiful in whole grains, bananas, beans, nuts, wheat germ, chicken, and fish. B12 is found in beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy. Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:31:05 EST 9/17/14 - Mid-week Stretch Grab a chair and loosen up tight muscles from tensions of the week so far. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1822&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> # 3 is my favorite. It really hits that tight spot between my shoulders! <BR> <BR> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:27:48 EST 9/16/14 - Mexican Independence Day Mexican Independence Day celebrates Mexico's Independence from Spain. Celebrate the day by declaring your independence from any obstacles that stand in your way of a healthy lifestyle. <BR> <BR> Will you give up a tv show for some activity or do some exercises while watching your favorite tv show? Will you cut down portions of your favorite dish? Will you find a way to get that extra cup of water, extra serving of freggies? Will you try a workout that is new to you? <BR> <BR> Alternate chal... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 22:11:58 EST 9/15/14 - Moving Monday Let's bump up our activity minutes to kick-start the week! Increase your activity by 10 minutes, even if it's just a leisurely walk or a 10-minute Spark video. <BR> <BR> I have my hour yoga class but I'm going to hurry home after work to take the dog for her 15-minute walk first! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Sun, 14 Sep 2014 20:31:58 EST 9/1415 - Wrist exercises Try the following wrist exercises to relieve and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Even if you do not have carpal tunnel symptoms, these exercises feel really good for anyone that performs any repetitive motion with their hands. <BR> <BR> <BR> Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you. <BR> <BR> Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds. <BR> <BR> Now straighten your wrists while relaxing you... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 22:45:17 EST 9/13/1; - Positive Thinking Day/Other Goals Page September 13th is Positive Thinking Day. Focus on the positive all day. <BR> <BR> Write down three things you have accomplished recently. No accomplishment too small. When you face an obstacle today, face it with an open mind and a positive attitude. <BR> <BR> Today's Quote: "It takes just a moment to change your attitude. And, in that quick moment, you can change your entire day." - - Author Unknown <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: When was the last time you looked at your Other Goals page? Th... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:23:09 EST 9/12/14 - Free Form Friday Friday is the day to pick a previous challenge you would like to repeat or announce your own challenge. <BR> <BR> I am challenging myself to get a run in after work before it gets dark (blast the shorter days approaching fall). I joined a challenge on to rack up 30 miles during September and I've been lazy this week. <BR> <BR> Name your challenge! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 21:21:32 EST 9/11/14 - Thursday Thighs Build up your thigh strength and increase your calorie burn by working these large muscles: <BR> <BR> A quick inner and outer thigh toner using a step and a band. Equipment not necessary to do this. If you really focus on the muscles involved and take it slow, it will be effective. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=83 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try this 6-min workout without equipment: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.a... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:17:25 EST 9/10/14 - Did you know? According to, Frazier Valley's milk revenue accounts for 70% of British Columbia's milk revenue, home of team member eyewant2lose. <BR> <BR> How's your dairy intake? Check out the Spark list of 15 ideas to increase your dairy intake: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=464&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: September 10th is Swap Ideas Day. Share a tip with the team that helps keep you on track towards a healthy lifestyle. <B... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 22:01:42 EST 9/9/14 - Antioxidents Many studies suggest eating foods rich in antioxidants may slow the progression of some age-related diseases. <BR> <BR> Review the following Spark article and try to fit at least one fruit and one vegetable from the chart into your day or start your next shopping list. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=239 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>45</em> <em>267</em> Mon, 8 Sep 2014 21:52:11 EST 9/8/14 - Push-ups Having a fit upper body allows you to complete everyday tasks with less stress, both on your muscles and on your cardiovascular system. <BR> <BR> Pick the level appropriate for you based on your fitness level or try a combination of levels.... <BR> <BR> Wall pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Or combine that with close-arm wall pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=108 </... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 21:14:47 EST 9/7/15 - 10-Minute Breathing Exercise "If you know the art of breathing, you have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers". <BR> <BR> ~Chinese adage <BR> <BR> Good, clean amounts of oxygen boost physical and mental performance and lowers stress. Follow the steps in the following Spark article to improve your breathing and mentally prepare for the week ahead: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>403</em> Sat, 6 Sep 2014 21:41:17 EST 6/6/14 - Fight Procrastination Day September 6 is Fight Procrastination Day. What have you been meaning to get to? <BR> <BR> Make a phone call? Visit a relative? Pay a bill? Organize a closet or junk drawer ? Delink more water? <BR> <BR> Pick two things that have been on your to-do list for too long. <BR> <BR> I have a large bathroom mirror that is overdue to be cleaned and a stack of papers and magazines collecting dust in my closet. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Fri, 5 Sep 2014 21:56:00 EST Hello Hi I am new here. Just joined Sparkpeople and liked the look of this team. So here I am. I look forward to getting started <em>213</em> Fri, 5 Sep 2014 11:56:25 EST 6/5/14 - Free Form Friday/Cheese Pizza day Hey Hey Hey, it's Free From Friday. Choose your own challenge. Pick a previously posted challenge to repeat or come up with one of your own and let us know what you are doing. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: September 5 is Cheese Pizza Day. Who says pizza has to be unhealthy. Look up healthy pizza recipes. A whole wheat crust, a little sauce and a sprinkle of cheese and you can celebrate Cheese Pizza day in a healhty way. <BR> <BR> A quick search of "cheese pizza" in the spark recipes page gave ... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 22:16:28 EST 9/4/14 - Mind-Body Exercises Exercise your mind-body connection for a healthy heart. Read the Spark article about this mind-body connection to a healthy heart and give one or all a try today or mark your calendar for another day..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1613 </link> <BR> <BR> Yoga - there is a link in the article to Spark demos for different yoga poses <BR> Pilates - there is a link in the article to the Spark lower body video <BR> Tai Chi - there is information... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 22:33:15 EST 9/3/14 - Did You Know.... ....that Green Giant vegetables began in Minnesota? Celebrate this fun Minnesota fact by getting at least three servings of vegetables today. <BR> <BR> BONUS challenge: Have one serving of fruits and/or vegetables with each snack and meal. <BR> <BR> A big high five to our Minnesota team member Charlie62750. So glad you are out of the hospital and getting back on track! <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> <em>485</em> <em>370</em> Tue, 2 Sep 2014 22:02:16 EST 9/2/14 - Two For Tuesday Burn more fat in less time. Pick an exercise that works two muscles. Read the instructions carefully to avoid injury. If you are new to using weights, use very light weights, soup cans or no weights at all. Each exercise has a link to guide you to the proper weight to use. <BR> <BR> Wall sit with lateral raise... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=52 </link> <BR> <BR> Lateral lunges with dumbbell... <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 1 Sep 2014 22:11:34 EST 9/1/14 - Celebrate Accomplishments In the US, the first Monday in September is a day dedicated to American workers and their accomplishments. <BR> <BR> Regardless what country you live In, write yourself a letter congratulating yourself on a job well done. Note in your letter successes you have had at work and improvements you have made in your health. Tell yourself what you would like to accomplish in a month. <BR> <BR> Make a note on your calendar to read it on October 1st. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> A little ... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:32:56 EST 8/31/14 - Exercise Your Brain Try to fit some exercises for your brain into your Sunday. "Over time, a consistent plan to exercise your mind allows you to better block out distractions and improve concentration." <BR> <BR> Check in with how many of the 7 brain exercises you can fit into your day. See the Spark article below for more details on each point...... <BR> <BR> 1. Read something new every day. <BR> 2. Play trivia-based games. <BR> 3. Eat brain-feeding foods. <BR> 4. Keep up with your workouts! <BR> 5. De-stres... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:25:09 EST 8/30/14 - Fitness Checkup At the end of June, the challenge was to test your fitness based on the Spark article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1112 </link> <BR> <BR> Did you note your results? Did you not get to it? <BR> <BR> Here we are, two months later. Take the fitness test again to see where you are at or take it for the first time to see where you may need to improve. <BR> <BR> Did you improve in any area from June? Do you need to improve in one or more area? No... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:12:12 EST area Hello,I live in a small community called Smiths Grove,Ky Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:57:30 EST 8/29/14 - Roll Call Where are you from? Check in with the city, state, country, village etc that you live in. I think it would be fun to look up some of your local histories and cultures to incorporate into future challenges. <BR> <BR> It's also a great way to see how far and wide Sparkers are spread. <BR> <BR> I live just out side of Chicago, Illinois in the US <BR> <BR> Now, pick your Friday Challenge. Look back at previous challenges you would like to repeat or pick your own. <BR> <BR> August 29 is More ... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:07:53 EST 8/28/14 - Basic Health Goals Check in with a <em>248</em> If you hit your marks... <BR> <BR> 8 cups of water <BR> 5 servings of fruits and vegetables <BR> At least 10 minutes of activity <BR> <BR> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 22:50:38 EST 8/27/14 - Hump Day Hips (and Just Because) Let's strengthen and stretch our hips. Those of us who sit most of the day are at risk for tight hip flexors which can lead to lower back pain, hip pain and injury. See the spark article for strengthening and stretching moves for hip flexors.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> Check in with which ones you were able to do. <BR> <BR> FUN CHALLENGE: August 27 is Just Because day. ... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:06:50 EST 8/26/14 - Go Outside Try to spend at least five minutes outside if the weather permits. Go for a quick walk, do some gardening or take your lunch to a park bench. <BR> <BR> Studies have shown the many possible benefits of being outdoors which includes but are not limited to: <BR> <BR> Increase in natural vitamin D <BR> Increase quality of sleep <BR> Gives a break from technology <BR> <BR> Read the following Spark article for more details.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:37:33 EST 8/25/14 - Metabolism Monday Let's fire up our metabolism and turn our bodies into fat burning machines. <BR> <BR> How many ideas can you fit in your day... <BR> <BR> Strength training <BR> Stay active <BR> Don't just sit there <BR> Exercise in the morning or several bursts through the day <BR> Interval training <BR> Mental exercises (managing stress) <BR> <BR> Read the spark article for details on each point: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=676 </link> <BR> <BR> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:25:21 EST 8/24/14 - Sunday Stretches Check out the links in this spark article for a full body, five-minute stretch. Make sure to warm up first. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=your_5minute_full_body_stretch_routine </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the 15-minute Chi Gong video. This is my favorite Sunday stretch.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Get loose! Sat, 23 Aug 2014 21:57:38 EST 8/23/14 - Water Check Give me a <em>248</em> if you fit your eight cups of water into your Saturday or if you didn't make it to eight, did you get at least one more cup than you normally would. <BR> <BR> <link><BR><BR>articles.asp?id=270_articles.asp?id=54 </link> <BR> <BR> According to the above Spark article.... " If your body is used to not getting water, it actually stores more in ankles, hips and thighs. In other words, it does... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:02:38 EST 8/22/14 - Name your weekend challenge What do you want to accomplish before Monday? Let's make our Monday selves proud of our weekend selves. <BR> <BR> Name it and claim it! <BR> <BR> I have a short to-do list of things around the house I have been meaning to get to for months. I am determined to knock that out. <BR> <BR> And I am determined to get the 11-min plank routine done as suggested by Spark member confidently_fit several months ago. I had done it a few times and I want to get back at it. I need to up my ab game. <BR> ... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:53:36 EST 8/21/14 - Wellness Journey How many of these Spark wellness tips can you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> Drink a glass of water <BR> Go for a walk <BR> Call a friend <BR> Journal <BR> Soak your feet <BR> Send a thank you note <BR> Eat a snack <BR> Chew sugar-free gum <BR> Organize your space <BR> Take "five" <BR> <BR> Read the Spark article for details on each tip... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=270 </link> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:01:46 EST 8/20/14 - Interval Training According to the Spark article below... " When you vary your effort by mixing periods of high and low intensities during your workout, your fitness will improve faster and more dramatically—and your workouts will be less boring. " <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=489 </link> <BR> <BR> At then end of the article are ideas for interval training. You can do this while walking, running, swimming, bike riding etc. You set the pace and length of the wo... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:06:21 EST 8/19/14 - 10-minute opportunities We have all seen the 10-minute concept encouraged by Spark People. Some days it can be a challenge to get just 10 minutes to ourselves, <BR> <BR> Check out this "10-minute mindshift" article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_ten_minute_mindshift </link> <BR> <BR> Try at least one of theses ideas today and check in with which one(s) you did. They are great ideas for busy days and for days when you have gone off track. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Print the a... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:39:04 EST 8/18/14 - Train Your Shoulders <BR> According to the Spark article on training our shoulders..."the ball in the upper arm is larger than the socket that holds it so it must be kept in place by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Therefore, it is very important to make sure these soft tissues are strengthened to keep the shoulder strong, flexible, more coordinated, and conditioned to handle stress." <BR> <BR> Read the article for Spark points and pick at least one exercise from each muscle group (there at links in the articl... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 22:33:30 EST 8/17/14 - Proper Breathing Take ten minutes during your Sunday to practice proper breathing. <BR> <BR> According to the Spark article below, "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> Mentally prepare yourself for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 22:26:20 EST 8/16/14 - Towel Workout I do this right before I wash a load a towels so join me Saturday in a fun toning workout. The piriormis and inner thigh stretches alone are worth picking up a towel. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: August 16 is National Tell A Joke Day. Go forth and make someone laugh. <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 22:33:11 EST 8/15/14 - Name Your Challenge We are sliding in to Friday! How will you challenge yourself? It doesn't have to be fitness or food related. If there is a goal you have been meaning to tackle, name it and go for it! <BR> <BR> After today's sodium challenge I am going to challenge my self to continue to keep my sodium in check. It's been an eye-opening day reading labels! <BR> <BR> For those of you that are going, going, going and working out ALL the time, August 15th is relaxation day according to <BR>... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:50:31 EST 8/14/14 - Sodium Check <BR> Are you aware of how much salt you consume each day? Make sure to read labels today and try to keep it under 2300 milligrams. <BR> <BR> Check out the following Spark article for more information on sodium intake and ideas for cutting back on sodium. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=625 </link> <BR> <BR> Check in with how you are watching your sodium intake or give me a <em>248</em> If you know you kept it under 2300mg. <BR> <BR> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 22:21:44 EST 8/13/14 - Hump Day Posture Check Let's do a mid-week check of our posture. Do you find yourself walking or sitting hunched forward? <BR> <BR> Repeat after me... abs in, shoulders back and down! <BR> <BR> Check out the article on and practice the proper standing, sitting and lying postures given.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ture-important/ </link> <BR> <BR> In addition to looking slimmer, proper posture takes pressure off ligaments, tendons and muscles that can lead to inj... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 23:05:16 EST 8/12/14 - ABsolutely fABulous "Your body’s core forms the foundation of all your movement. If your core is weak, you are susceptible to poor posture and injury. Lower back pain is also more likely to occur". <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=428 </link> <BR> <BR> This article discusses the importance of a strong core. It's not only about looking good in your jeans. <BR> <BR> It discusses proper breathing techniques as well as two core exercises that are new to me. Join me in w... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 22:35:22 EST 8/11/14 - Monday Minutes Let's hit the ground running this week. Check in with a <em>248</em> If you increased your activity by ten minutes. <BR> <BR> How will you rack up some extra fitness minutes? <BR> <BR> A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Sun, 10 Aug 2014 22:14:18 EST 8/10/14 - Put Yourself First Spend at least 5 - 10 minutes putting yourself first. We cannot take care of others if we do not take care of ourselves. I learned that lesson again this weekend! <BR> <BR> If you haven't yet, read the Spark article about the importance of putting yourself fist every now and again... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=484 </link> <BR> <BR> August 10th is also Lazy Day. Just sayin <em>211</em> Sat, 9 Aug 2014 22:02:50 EST 8/9/14 - Book Lovers Day August 9th is book lovers day. <BR> <BR> Take this opportunity to pick up a book that has been lying around the house, hit a used book store or library in your area. <BR> <BR> Find a comfy, quiet place to escape into another world for a little while. <BR> <BR> <em>149</em> Fri, 8 Aug 2014 22:34:06 EST 8/8/14 - Name Your Challenge How will you challenge yourself? What positive note will you start the weekend with? <BR> <BR> No sweets for me. I've had a few the last two days and now I'm craving more. <BR> <BR> And I will get two cups of cold water in before my morning coffee. When I do that, I feel more energized first thing than I do when I have coffee first. <BR> <BR> Thu, 7 Aug 2014 22:53:01 EST 8/7/14 - Got 30 minutes? Or two 15-minute sessions or 3 10-minute sessions? <BR> <BR> Here is a 30-min workout I saw on WEBMD.COM when I was searching for some information for my dad. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e-7-minute-workout-slideshow </link> <BR> <BR> Some moves may or may not be difficult. Do what you can based on your fitness level and health restrictions. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE - Fit in 30 minutes of walking. Break it up in smaller increments throughout the day if ... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 21:18:41 EST 8/6/14 - Hump Day Sleep Check Week days are stressful. We need to take care of ourselves so we are able to handle our responsibilities. <BR> <BR> How many of these Spark tips can you fit into your morning: <BR> <BR> -Wake up to music rather than an alarm. <BR> -Don't get up right away. While breathing deeply, loosen up and stretch your limbs out, from your fingers to your toes. Pretend you're a cat waking up from a nap. <BR> -Think of the most positive thing you'll be doing that day. <BR> -Get out of bed slowly. Ease in... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 21:54:25 EST 8/5/14 - Two for Tuesday You pick two. Pick two muscles to work.... biceps/triceps, chest/upper back, quads/hamstrings etc. <BR> <BR> I will be doing abs and lower back <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=core </link> <BR> <BR> Remember, strength training benefits your heart, improves your balance, strengthens your bones, and helps you lose weight while making you look and feel better. (from <BR> <BR> What will you do or give me a <em>248</em... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 23:05:12 EST &/4/14 - Stairway To Fitness How many stairs can you tackle (safely) at work, at home, at the mall? Shout it out proud whether it's two or 40! <BR> <BR> No access to stairs? Pick a favorite Spark cardio workout or your favorite cardio DVD. Share with all of us what you pick. <BR> <BR> Some benefits of using the stairs regularly: <BR> <BR> *Adding stairs to your day can add years to your life. Studies show that risk of cardiovascular disease and death is lower among those who are regular Stair climbers. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 22:09:25 EST 8/3/14 - Stong, Flexible Feet After all the standing and activity we have done, let's strengthen and stretch our feet and ankles with five exercises.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> "strengthen and stretch all ten toes, and develop flexible strength from the ground up". <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: August 3rd is Friendship Day. Reach out to friends far and near. <BR> <BR> <em>213</em> Sat, 2 Aug 2014 21:51:16 EST 8/22/14 - Please rise! I came across an article about the evils of sitting on <BR> <BR> <link><BR>aspx </link> <BR> <BR> We've all heard how bad a sedentary lifestyle is and for some of us it can be a challenge to keep moving between commuting too and from work and working a desk job. <BR> <BR> Included in the article is a link to calculate your sitting time.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lator/tabid/866/language/en-US/Default<... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 22:01:27 EST 8/1/14 - FREE FORM FRIDAY Okay, let's hear it. How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> I am going to meditate. I was getting into it for a while during the winter and lost sight of it. I'm not very good and sitting still and calming my mind but I was getting much better at it. <BR> <BR> It's been a stressful two weeks so my mind needs some calm! <BR> <BR> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:06:31 EST 7/31/14 - Thursday Thighs Work those large muscles to burn calories and build endurance. <BR> <BR> If you have a step and a band, this is a great, short exercise... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=83 </link> <BR> <BR> If not then: <BR> <BR> Outer thighs... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Inner thighs... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=122 </link> <BR> <BR> D... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:44:40 EST 7/30/14 - Vitamin C check How's your vitamin C intake? Men and women should consume at least 60 mg of vitamin C daily. Smoking and stress increase the need for vitamin C. <BR> <BR> Some benefits of vitamin C: helps to heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy gums and teeth, strengthen the immune system, and absorb iron. <BR> <BR> Sources: Fresh fruit and berries (especially citrus fruits), green vegetables, onions, tomatoes, radishes, and rose hips and red peppers are all excellent vitamin C sources. <BR> ... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:07:27 EST 7/29/14 - Two For Tuesday Change up your workout today. Pick two different cardio activities...walk then run, walk then go for a bicycle ride, or pick two Spark different Spark videos... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> If today is your strength training day, make sure to work opposing muscles....biceps and triceps, chest and upper back, abs and lower back etc..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=3 <... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:12:17 EST 7/28/14 - Vitamin E check What do you know about vitamin E? According to a Spark article... <BR> <BR> Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that prevents premature reaction to oxygen in the body and the breakdown of many substances in the body. It neutralizes free radicals in the body that would otherwise cause damage to cells and tissue, while aiding in circulation, clotting, and healing. <BR> <BR> How many sources of vitamin E do you consume regularly: <BR> <BR> Most vegetable oils, wheat germ, soybean oil, raw seeds... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:59:30 EST 7/27/14 - Take Your Pants For A Walk Day July 27 is Take Your Pants For a Walk Day. So get out and fit a nice, leisurely walk into your Sunday! <BR> <BR> Bad weather in your area? look up a Leslie Sasone walking video on youtube: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sone%20&sm=1 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Fit a few minutes of me time in your day. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:43:00 EST 7/26/14 - "I am_______ From the website website.... <BR> <BR> Today’s Challenge is the question: Who Would You be if Nobody Told You who you were? <BR> <BR> Add your response below in a comment. Finish the sentence I am ________. <BR> <BR> Fill it in with something powerful and inspiring. <BR> <BR> I'm thinking about mine. I'll be back. Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:00:24 EST 7/25/15 - Free-Wheelin Friday Okay gang, your are setting your own challenge. What's it gonna be? <BR> <BR> I have not made time to complete my nutrition tracker in way too long so I am going to track every sip and bite. <BR> <BR> Sound off! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:43:22 EST 7/24/14 - Get Your Zzzzzs Sleep check! Are you getting the right amount of sleep? Do you sleep through the night? <BR> <BR> If the answer to one or both questions is no, your Thursday challenge is to write down a bed time routine that you will commit to sticking to as much as possible every single night going forward. <BR> <BR> You do not need to share it here unless you want to. Check out the following spark article for ideas to better sleep. <BR> <BR> <link><BR> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:01:38 EST 7/23/14 - Jumpin Jack Flash Let's get moving by inserting jumping jacks into your Wednesday for a great calorie burn throughout the day. <BR> <BR> No jumping required if your health issues prevent jumping. Try as many sets of ten throughout the day as you can. Pick your level or mix and match: <BR> <BR> No impact-step one leg out to the side as you raise your arms to shoulder level, then bring your arms down and leg back in. Switch legs. <BR> <BR> Low impact-do the same thing but add a small hop as you switch legs. ... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:27:57 EST 7/22/14 - Water Check Give me a <em>248</em> if you hit your eight cups today or increased your usual amount if you have been struggling to get to eight cups. <BR> <BR> Be creative, throw a slice of lemon, lime, grapes, strawberries or whatever you have on hand to add a little somethin to your water. <BR> <BR> Some benefits of drinking water: <BR> <BR> Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells <BR> Moisturizes the air in lungs <BR> Helps with metabolism <BR> Protects our vital organ <BR> Helps our organs t... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:36:42 EST 7/21/14 - Work the Glutes Start the week working the largest and strongest muscle group. Strengthening your glutes can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier. <BR> <BR> Sneak in some glute contractions several times during the day while standing in line, driving or waiting in a line. <BR> <BR> For more glute moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1755 </link> <BR> <BR> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:52:08 EST 7/20/14 - Sing a Song While driving home from a stressful workday last week, a good song came on the radio and I sang my heart out in the car. The day just melted away. It felt great. <BR> <BR> So pick a song that brings back great memories and as Karen Carpenter once sang.... <BR> <BR> "sing, sing a song <BR> make it simple to last your whole life long <BR> don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear <BR> just sing, sing a song" <BR> <BR> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 21:29:51 EST 7/19/14 - Calcium and Osteoporosis Get educated about Osteoporosis by reading the following spark article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Which foods can you fit into your diet today or out on your shopping list.... <BR> <BR> Whole grains – brown rice, oats, corn, barley, buckwheat, wheat, rye <BR> Vegetables – broccoli, carrots, spinach, lettuce, onions, celery, string beans, artichoke, summer squash, endive, cucumbers, asparagus, peppers, parsley, sprou... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:16:20 EST 7/18/14 - Free Form Friday Time to set your own challenge. What will it be? Name it and claim it. <BR> <BR> I'm going to be working on posture, I've caught a few glimpses of myself in windows at work and notice my hunching shoulders. <BR> <BR> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:27:48 EST 7/17/14 - Sneaky Abs Work the core. If you are at a desk all day in a chair swivel chair, pick up your feet, use your abs and obliques to twist right and left in the chair. Aim for three sets of 10. <BR> <BR> While sitting at a stop light, waiting in line or talking on the phone, contract and release your abs. I aim for 200 a day. Break it up at five or ten throughout the day. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:41:35 EST 7/16/14 - Be strong to the finish Like Popeye sang "I'm strong to the finish cuz I eats me spinach, I'm Popeye the sailor man" <BR> <BR> July 16 is fresh spinach day. Celebrate by adding fresh spinach to salads, pasta, eggs or a smoothie. <BR> <BR> Personally, I was never a fan of spinach until someone told me it was in a salad AFTER I ate it. <BR> <BR> I throw spinach in a smoothie along with 1/3 of a cup of frozen fruit, V8 Fusion juice, vanilla yogurt and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Can't taste the spinach. <BR> <B... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 22:08:51 EST 7/15/14 - Two For Tuesday It's important to work opposing muscles in order to achieve muscle balance. Muscle balance decreases the chance of injuries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=core </link> <BR> <BR> Think abs and lower back or chest and upper back or biceps and triceps or hamstrings and quadriceps. <BR> <BR> Pick at least two exercises that work opposing muscle groups to begin to achieve muscular balance. <BR> <BR> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:33:57 EST 7/14/14 - Keep Moving A body at rest, stays at rest. A body in motion, stays in motion. Try to keep moving as often as you can. We have all heard of the studies linking prolonged sitting to a shorter lifespan. <BR> <BR> Read all about it and earn some Spark points: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=prolonged_sitting_may_increase_your<BR>_risk_for_premature_death_and_disease </link> <BR> <BR> Try to keep moving or standing as often as possible. Make it a moving Monday to improve your... Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:53:52 EST 7/13/14 - Loosen Up The Hips Tight hip flexors can result in lower back pain, hip pain and injury. Check out the Spark article with links to several hip flexor stretches as well as exercises to strengthen hip flexors if you have been told you have weak hip flexors.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=8_hip_flexor_stretches_and_exercise<BR>s_for_healthy_hips </link> <BR> <BR> Get loose! Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:30:36 EST 7/12/14 - Dance Party Let yourself go today. Turn on the radio, pop your favorite CD on or your favorite dance playlist on your electronic device and dance like nobody's watching. <BR> <BR> Here are just some of the many benefits of dancing: <BR> <BR> Stress relief <BR> More flexibility <BR> Better posture <BR> Improved balance <BR> Cardiovascular benefits <BR> Reduced back pain <BR> <BR> Read all about it... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=850 </link> <BR> <BR> Ch... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:26:16 EST 7/11/14 - Free Form Friday Okay teammates, time to make your own challenge. What will it be? Add more time to your workout? Try a new workout? Pick a Spark recipe to try? <BR> <BR> If it's a rest day for you, make it an active rest day. Get an easy walk in. <BR> <BR> I have slacked off on the upper body workouts this week so I'm gonna pump it up! Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:56:12 EST 7/10/14 - How's Your Balance You're never too young or too active to keep an eye on your balance and coordination. <BR> <BR> Check out this slideshow from the Mayo Clinic for balance exercises. If balance is an issue for you, make sure to stand near a wall, sturdy chair or have someone nearby. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>tness/multimedia/balance-exercises/sls<BR>-20076853?s=1 </link> <BR> <BR> How did you do? Wed, 9 Jul 2014 21:46:52 EST 7/9/14 - Three Moves On a Dr. Oz episode, personal trainer Gunner Peterson demonstrated three moves to hit major muscles. You can do these while watching TV or in between sparking. <BR> <BR> ABS: Sit up straight at the edge of the couch or a chair. Lean back slightly with a straight back and lift and lower your knees. To make it more challenging, do it slooooooooow. <BR> <BR> TRICEPS: Tricep dips off the edge of your couch or chair. To make it more challenging, do the tricep dips with straight legs. <BR> <B... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 22:25:03 EST Second Intro Hello My name is Denise, but you can call me LadyDee. I just realized I've already introduced myself before. So I will get this post forum down soon. It reminds me of when you have an online class, in college. So WTBS, I will have to come on here more often just for the practice, right? I am glad to be apart of this challenge. Anybody live in the Pacific Northwest? That's where I'm from, Seattle. If not, that's ok, I'm still looking forward to getting to know my fitness team, to encou... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 07:59:30 EST 7/8/14 - Freggies With Each Meal Try eating a piece of fruit or serving of vegetables with each meal and snack to increase your intake. <BR> <BR> I usually have a banana every morning first thing. For breakfast, I have planned eggo waffles with mixed fruit, yogurt and a little peanut butter. <BR> <BR> For one snack, I have a baggie of a little Cheerios mixed with Craisins and for an afternoon snack, I have cut up cucumbers with a little bit of fat-free ranch dressing. <BR> <BR> I still have to think of what to have with d... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 23:07:16 EST 7/7/14 - Turn up the Calorie Burn Try combining cardio and strength to turn up the calorie burn and fire up your metabolism.Take it in15 to 30 second intervals... <BR> <BR> Jumping jacks - if you don't do high impact, take it low....step out to the right, arms up to shoulder lever, step back together, arms down then switch sides. <BR> <BR> Squats - do not allow your knees to go past your toes, stick that tush way out to the back and push up through your heels. If squats are a bad idea for you, step up and down one stair. ... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 21:58:43 EST 7/6/14 - Sunday Stretches Good flexibility is so important yet often neglected. Good flexibility may: <BR> <BR> Prevent back injuries <BR> Improve circulation <BR> Improve posture <BR> Increase range of motion <BR> <BR> Check out the following Spark article. On the last page it lists tips for proper stretching and links to Spark stretching videos and routines: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1034 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS: Stop by team member NONONO54's blog and give her... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 21:23:10 EST 7/5/14 - Join The Band Have you tried resistance band workouts? Do you have an exercise band collecting dust? <BR> <BR> See the list of Spark People resistance band workout videos. Some are as short as 7minutes. Easy enough to squeeze into a busy day...... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1227 </link> <BR> <BR> I did a few of these before I bought a resistance band so if you don't have one, try one or two anyway. Just really focus on the muscles you are working. <BR> ... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 21:58:57 EST 7/4/14 - Oh Say Can You Freggie If you celebrate the 4th of July, or if it's just another weekend....fill it with an extra helping of fruits and vegetables, think hydrating. <BR> <BR> Here are some ideas.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=78 </link> <BR> <BR> I have plenty of watermelon and celery to snack on tomorrow. What do you have? Fri, 4 Jul 2014 00:08:15 EST 7/3/14 - Compliment Your Mirror Day According to, July 3rd is Compliment Your Mirror day. Okay, it may feel awkward but this is a challenge team, push yourself.... <BR> <BR> "Stand in front of your mirror with your eyes closed. Put a big smile on your face.... a big smile. Now, open your eyes. Isn't the picture of the person in your mirror absolutely stunning!? The person in your mirror is beautiful (or handsome). <BR> <BR> So, compliment your mirror for displaying this beautiful person." <BR> Wed, 2 Jul 2014 20:41:04 EST 7/2/14 - Proper Plate Method Here's a fun article to help you learn (or reinforce the knowledge you already have) regarding the proper plate method. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=432 </link> <BR> <BR> Visualize a bikini on a plate to get your portions correct: <BR> <BR> The bikini top has two bra cups that each cover one-fourth of the plate. <BR> <BR> -A serving of meat, legumes, or tofu should fit on one of the bra cups. Notice that a 10-ounce steak will not fit, but... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 22:38:40 EST 7/1/14 - Tuesday Twist Work the abs and obliques. <BR> <BR> In your desk chair, pull your feet off the floor, hold on to your desk, using your obliques, twist right and then left. Try three sets of ten. <BR> <BR> Or try a seated twist... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=9 </link> <BR> <BR> Make time for a stretch... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=289 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS: stop by team member SANDI92167 's blog and give ... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:52:46 EST 6/30/14 - Moving Monday <BR> "Health Benefits of a 10-Minute Workout Last for 1 Hour" according to the Spark article below. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=health_benefits_of_a_10minute_worko<BR>ut_last_for_1_hour </link> <BR> <BR> Get at least ten minutes of activity in today. If you can, push yourself to complete three ten-minute workouts, even if it's a ten-minute walk. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 23:14:43 EST 6/29/14 - Wellness Tips Focus on wellness today and recharge for the week ahead. How many of these 10 Spark wellness tips can you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> Drink a glass of water <BR> Go for a walk <BR> Call a friend <BR> Journal <BR> Soak your feet <BR> Send a thank you note <BR> Eat a snack <BR> Chew a stick of sugarless gum <BR> Organize your space <BR> Take five <BR> <BR> Read more details on each tip: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=270 </link> <BR> <BR> June... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 23:12:57 EST 6/28/14 - Test Your Fitness Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or have been at it a while, it's a good idea to test your fitness monthly or every other month to see how you are progressing and where to focus your attention. <BR> <BR> Check this out.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1112 </link> <BR> <BR> I never did this when I first joined Spark so I'm going to start tracking this every other month on My Measurements page. <BR> <BR> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:19:32 EST 6/27/14 - It's Howdy Doody Time Okay no, it's Make Your Own Challenge day! <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself today? How will you step outside your comfort zone and try something new? Which of your goals have you slacked off on lately? <BR> <BR> I have not been to my yoga class or done any of my yoga DVDs for a month or so. I will pull out my Ashley Turner yoga DVD after work. <BR> <BR> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:55:48 EST 6/26/14 - Five Minute Wake Up Call Did you guys see this? I look forward to the morning... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=a_5minute_wake_up_call_for_your_who<BR>le_body </link> <BR> <BR> I'm recovering from a sinus infection so my usual workouts have been out of the question lately. I think I can handle this. <BR> <BR> Let's all jump start our day with five minutes. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:37:35 EST 6/25/14 - Get your 10,000 Are you busy, having a hard time reaching 10,000 steps a day? Are you slowly building up and trying hard to reach 5,000 steps? <BR> <BR> I can't begin to tell you what the past few days have been for me, haven't gotten anywhere near my step goal until today. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article for ideas to reach your step goal (and 5 Spark points for reading the article). Which ideas do you regularly perform? Which ideas can you add to your day? <BR> <BR> A body at rest, tends to stay at... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:37:04 EST 6/24/14 - Learn to Eat Clean We hear a lot about "eating clean". The following spark article defines eating clean for beginners and how to eat clean on a budget. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=clean_eating_101_healthier_eating_m<BR>ade_easy </link> <BR> <BR> Is eating clean already a consistent habit for you? Give the rest of us your best tip for getting started. <BR> <BR> If this is new to you, what can you do today to get begin eating clean? Mon, 23 Jun 2014 20:47:14 EST 6/23/14 - Monday Muscle Try an upper body workout with a fun pirate theme and earn five Spark points for reading the article..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=172 </link> <BR> <BR> Get those muscles fired up to burn calories at rest! Sun, 22 Jun 2014 21:27:34 EST 6/22/14 - Wellness Check Take a few minutes during your Sunday to assess your well-being. Look at the articles in the the Spark article below and make a plan to improve any areas necessary. <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> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1358 </link> <BR> <BR> ... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 21:36:09 EST 6/21/14 - No-Equipment shoulder Exercise Let's go old school... Try two or three sets of arm circles. Hold your arms out to your sides in a T formation. <BR> <BR> Start with small circles. If you are strong enough, go a little bigger. <BR> <BR> Make sure to stretch... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=54 </link> <BR> <BR> Here's to Saturday circles Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:36:28 EST 6/20/14 - Free a Form a Friday Here we are.....FRIDAY! Time to come up with your own challenge. Think outside the box, try something new, make a improvement or take the next step towards a goal. <BR> <BR> I am sick.GRRRR, I will be resting. Something I have done very little of lately. <BR> <BR> Let me live vicariously through you. Let's hear it! Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:59:05 EST 6/19/14 - Thursday Thighs Our thighs have to carry us around all day providing strength and support. Let's build some muscle... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=84 </link> <BR> <BR> It's just six minutes. Keep your movements small if you need to. <BR> <BR> Or if you need to stay standing, try the standing abduction and abduction moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> <link> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 21:55:15 EST 6/18/14 - eat For Energy Choose foods for energy. How many of these foods do you have on hand? <BR> <BR> Whole wheat pasta <BR> Oatmeal <BR> Fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt <BR> Peanut butter <BR> Dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, raisins, figs) <BR> Yams <BR> Beans <BR> Apples <BR> Carrots <BR> Chickpeas <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article for more information on energy foods... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=65 </link> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 22:00:59 EST Introduction Hello! My name is Jessica and I am brand new to SparkPeople. This team looks like a good fit, motivational and enthusiastic. Let's get to it! Mon, 16 Jun 2014 23:09:48 EST 6/17/14 - Cardio Minutes Let's up the cardio minutes. What are your cardio plans, running, walking, bike riding, swimming? Shoot for adding ten extra minutes. <BR> <BR> Need some short quick cardio moves to try adding to your regularly scheduled workout? <BR> <BR> Try one or all of the moves in the spark article below. No jumping required on most so repeat the moves a couple times that you can safely perform. <BR> <BR> Let's get moving! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=16... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:07:59 EST 6/16/14 - Fresh Veggies Day June 16th is Fresh Veggies Day according to <BR> <BR> Do your best to get your hands on some fresh veggies. I have celery and baby carrots I will be taking for snacks tomorrow. I'll see what he cafeteria has for a side for my lunch. <BR> <BR> If you don't have any on hand today, make it a point to start your next shopping list. <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> <em>550</em> <em>368</em> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 22:12:08 EST 6/15/14 Sunday Stretches Let's work out all the kinks from the week and loosen up for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> Pick two upper body and two lower body Spark stretches... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type= </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure your body is warmed up with some walking or light aerobics. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Let's get loose! Sat, 14 Jun 2014 22:50:56 EST 6/14/14 - Saturday Stairs Let's hit the stairs again. Do a couple flights in your home or go to a store that has some stairs. Remember the benefits of regularly taking the stairs... <BR> <BR> *Adding stairs to your day can add years to your life. Studies show that risk of cardiovascular disease and death is lower among those who are regular Stair climbers. <BR> <BR> *Stair climbing can also add life to your years. Those who climb stairs on a daily basis have greater leg strength and aerobic capacity, allowing them ... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 22:54:28 EST 6/13/14 - Free Form Friday It's challenge yourself day. How will you challenge yourself? <BR> <BR> Will you try a new activity? <BR> Will you be more diligent in your activity and nutrition trackers? <BR> Will you knock something off your to-do list you've been meaning to get to? <BR> <BR> Sound off! <BR> <BR> I have been lacking in the freggies and sleep area this week. I bought stuff to make a smoothie tomorrow for my afternoon snack and I'm going to make sure to get to bed at a decent time for a change. <BR> <... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:24:15 EST 6/12/14 - ABsolutely fABulous Let's work the core. 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 necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it." <BR> <BR> So let's work our core throughout the day: <BR> <BR> Perform some abdominal contractions while you are on the phone, waiting in line or driving. Contract your abdominals into your back. Fit ... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:02:20 EST 6/11/14 - Wednesday Wrist Action Do you type, sew, play an instrument or perform any other repetitive motion on a regular basis? <BR> <BR> Make sure to take care of your wrists on a regular basis to avoid or treat carpal tunnel syndrome.. <BR> <BR> Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you. <BR> Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds. <BR> Now straighten your wrists while relaxing your fingers. <BR> Keeping your wrists str... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 21:03:31 EST 6/10/14 - Opposing Muscles Keep yourself in balance and strengthen muscles around joints by working opposing muscle groups. <BR> <BR> Try Hammer Curls.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=183 </link> <BR> <BR> Followed by Triceps Dips... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=125 </link> <BR> <BR> OR <BR> <BR> Standing Abduction .. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=121 </link> <BR> <BR> Fol... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 22:30:00 EST