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 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 7/2/14 - 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 6/9/14 - Change it Up It is believed that alternating the speed and intensity of your workouts can burn more calories than a steady pace. Check out this Spark article for more information on interval training and ideas.... <BR> <BR><BR>ess_articles.asp?id=489 <BR> <BR> If you have a smart phone, you can download an app called Seconds. I have the free version which means I can't save the timers I set but I'm okay with that. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical tonight, alter... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 23:01:04 EST 6/8/14 - Me day Take at at least 10 minutes for yourself. Even if you have to lock the bedroom or bathroom door to do a few minutes of cleansing breaths.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Or read a book or sit outside and appreciate nature. Treat yourself today! <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Think about adding a picture of yourself to the team page. On the right side of the main team page you'll see a picture team member IAMTRUEGRIT posted ... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 22:34:09 EST 6/7/14 - Happy Trails The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day. Search for trails in your area for hiking, biking or walking. Get out today or start making a plan for when you have a free day. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <em>295</em> <em>331</em> <em>217</em> <BR> <BR> Be sure to stop by team member Jenn's blog and wish her a happy six month anniversary.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703562 </link> Fri, 6 Jun 2014 21:55:42 EST 6/6/14 - Free Form Friday Okay gang, it's up to you to challenge yourself. June 6 is National Gardening Exercise day and National Yo Yo day. Just sayin is all I'm sayin! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Who's pushing themselves to try something new or do a little dancing or track every single bite and sip? <BR> <BR> Let's hear it! <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> Thu, 5 Jun 2014 21:24:28 EST 6/5/14 - Jack it out No jumping required. Try to add in as many sets of ten during the day as you can. <BR> <BR> Low impact... Step your right leg out to your right side as you lift you arms up just below shoulder level, come back together. Repeat with left leg. <BR> <BR> Full-on jumping jack... Just like in school, jump out as you raise your hands over your head, come back down. <BR> <BR> Plank jack.. Get in plank position, watch your form, don't let your hips dip, keep everything in a straight line. Jump you... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 22:14:05 EST 6/4/14 - Vote for the One Day Challenge team How often do you visit the Spark America point section of your main Spark Page? In the Step 3 section of the Spark Start page, click on Spark America Team Bonus Points and click on the One Day Challenge team flag. Vote daily! <BR> <BR> Thanks Toni for the reminder! <BR> <BR> Bonus Challenge: How are you getting your calcium today? Remember it's Dairy Month. Check out 11 ways to get your calcium without dairy for new ideas. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_artic... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 21:36:57 EST 6/3/14 - Repeat Day June 3 is Repeat Day so pick a favorite Spark cardio video and repeat..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Or a favorite strength move and repeat... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=core </link> <BR> <BR> Moves so nice, you do them twice. Mon, 2 Jun 2014 22:13:47 EST 6/2/14 - Curtsy Lunge We all know how lunges are an effective way to work our lower bodies. It's always good to switch things up and fire up muscles in a different way to keep them responding. <BR> <BR> Try a curtsy lunge: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sy-lunge </link> <BR> <BR> For a little extra muscle burn, pick up some light weights and do a bicep curl as you lunge. <BR> <BR> If you have knee issues that prevent you from trying lunges, try a seated workout... <BR> <BR> <lin... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 21:09:50 EST 6/1/14 - Dairy Month June is dairy month. Start the month off with 15 Ways To Boost Calcium Intake... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=464 </link> <BR> <BR> Don't like or have issues with dairy? Check out some alternatives to cows milk: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1555 </link> <BR> <BR> "Calcium plays an important role in strengthening bones and teeth. But what many people don’t know is that it also helps muscles ... Sat, 31 May 2014 21:59:19 EST 5/31/14 - Try it Slow Check out this Spark article that discusses the benefits of slowing down during strength training.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=double_your_strength_by_slowing_dow<BR>n_at_the_right_time </link> <BR> <BR> Try some slow strength training. For example, when performing a bicep curl, lift for a count of two and lower for a count of four. <BR> <BR> Try this method with squats. Squat down for a count of two and stand back up to a count of four (really pushing... Fri, 30 May 2014 22:21:19 EST 3/30/14 - Friday Free For All What's up for the weekend? How will you challenge yourself on Friday? <BR> <BR> My system needs a serious reboot from all my traveling the last two weeks.... <BR> <BR> 5 freggies <BR> Water, water and more water <BR> Thu, 29 May 2014 22:10:00 EST 5/29/14 - Power To The Brain Headlines Game: Pick up your local newspaper (or pull up your favorite news website) and glance at the headlines. Then take a piece of paper and write down the ones you remember. <BR> <BR> I will be doing this while waiting for my flight home tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE - Add at least 10 minutes of walking to your day. Wed, 28 May 2014 22:01:07 EST 5/28/14 - Wednesday Waists Learn about your Waist-to-Hip Ratio with this spark article. Are you pear, apple or avocado shaped? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=776&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> We all know you cannot spot reduce but let's work on those core muscles to build a strong foundation and protect our lower backs. <BR> <BR> Try some moves from the Lose Your Love Handles workout. Make sure to read the proper form... <BR> <BR> <link> Tue, 27 May 2014 21:30:43 EST 5/27/14 -Sunscreen Day May 27 is sunscreen day. How often do you practice proper skin protection? Read the following article for Spark points and to learn about skin protection..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=875 </link> <BR> <BR> How many of the following tips below can you follow today? Remember, skin protection is not just for sunny days. <BR> <BR> Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. <BR> Apply enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass (about one ou... Mon, 26 May 2014 22:18:41 EST 5/26/14 - Remember I know, you hear it everywhere, to remember the men and women that gave their lives while serving our country. <BR> <BR> Before your BBQs or picnics... <BR> <BR> Consider taking a few minutes to look up a war memorial museum near you and send a donation. <BR> <BR> Take a moment of silence to remember the men and women that have sacrificed everything. <BR> <BR> If you do not live in the US, educate all of us on how and when you remember your fallen service men and women. <BR> <BR> BONU... Sun, 25 May 2014 22:22:17 EST 5/25/14 - Stretch Your Freggies Okay, no, actually, get a good Sunday stretch done. I love this routine that can be done any time of day after getting your body warmed up.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Aim for five servings of fruits and veggies during your Sunday! <BR> <BR> <em>265</em> <em>401</em> <em>267</em> Sat, 24 May 2014 21:23:30 EST Saturday, May 24 - Challenge <BR> <BR> Good morning team. It's the holiday weekend to remember those who died in service to our country, as well as the start of summer. Let's use today to set a goal or two for the season ahead. Let's take a look at the goal boards on our start pages and use them to renew or set special goals to work on between now and Labor Day. And if there are goals on our board we no longer want to pursue, let's drop those for targets and habits we really care about. <BR> <BR> (After the long w... Sat, 24 May 2014 06:44:33 EST Friday, May 23 - challenge Happy Friday! <BR> <BR> Let's read about streaks and see if we would like to start one: <BR> <BR><BR>vation_articles.asp?id=88 <BR> <BR> I want to up my fitbit steps to 11k and see how many days I can keep it going. What do you think of using streaks to motivate yourself? Any thing you want to take on? Fri, 23 May 2014 07:59:39 EST Thurdsay 5-22 Challenge - Circle Squats Good morning! This is a "throwback" challenge that Kellie posted a while ago. Let's think of her and try it on again. Can't hurt for swim suit season... <BR> <BR> Just like it sounds, a different take on a squats, as you squat down, push hips out to the right pass through your center as you lower down a little more then push hips out to the left and back up, nice and slow. <BR> <BR> Keep your weight in your heels, don't let your knees go past your toes.Get as low as possible in good form... Thu, 22 May 2014 06:58:25 EST Wednesday Challenge 5-21 How about strength training -- upper body -- using this coach Nicole video? Let's get those shoulders and arms looking good for summer clothes! <BR> <BR><BR>os-detail.asp?video=39 <BR> <BR> <em>344</em> <BR> <BR> Wed, 21 May 2014 06:42:06 EST One Day Challenge 5-20 Abs Day - pushups, planks, crunches, what's your pleasure? Do as many of your favorite as you can during the day. Remember, we don't have to do them all at once! <BR> <BR> Come back and say what you did and how it went. <BR> <BR> By tomorrow we will be "ripped!" Enjoy. <BR> <BR> <em>402</em> <BR> <BR> And here is a link for ideas, if you need 'em: <BR> <BR><BR>bs-exercises?cm_sp=Hotlist-_-Fitness-_<BR>-10AbsExercisesBetterThanCrunches Tue, 20 May 2014 06:50:47 EST Hi I love the idea of a daily challenge - I'm always making up my own but I really love the idea & creativity that can come from someone(s) else doing the challenging :) I'm a 34 year old happily married working mom of a beautiful energetic 2 year old. Looking to get healthy and lose weight in the process. Mon, 19 May 2014 13:24:53 EST Monday 5-19 Challenge So how about making this Park Away Monday? Everytime we can, let's add a few steps by parking further from store, work, etc. than usual. <BR> <BR> If parking is not part of your life, try adding micro breaks--get up and walk around--on the hour. Let's just move more today and see how it goes. Let's share that. <BR> <BR> Mon, 19 May 2014 05:40:51 EST Sunday challenge We know Kellie's gone and having fun! So how about we do one Sunday activity that we think is totally fun and vacation-like, even though we are not with Kellie? <BR> <BR> I'm in the middle of a fun book and plan to spend at least an hour in those pages. And when know one's looking I'm going to skip around like a kid... It's been awhile (-: Happy Sunday, team mates. Sun, 18 May 2014 07:21:25 EST Exercise of the Day Saturday <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=142 </link> <BR> <BR> I often over look the exercise of the day, so today, let's all try it. Sorry I posted this late, first day off I have had in 13 days! Sat, 17 May 2014 13:09:40 EST 5/16/14 - Free Form Friday Hey gang, Free Form Friday time. How will you challenge yourself today? <BR> <BR> My motorcycle is all packed for our trip tomorrow morning and an exercise band is packed and ready to go. I intend to do a few minutes of strength moves each day and get as much walking in as I can when we make stops. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Thu, 15 May 2014 23:36:43 EST 5/15/14 - Hit the stairs Stair climbers have better leg strength and aerobic capacity than those who take the elevator, leading to a greater quality of life. <BR> <BR> Let's see how often we can take the stairs to get where we are going or simply hit a flight or two of stairs for no reason a few times during the day. <BR> <BR> For an extra challenge, as you step up a step, lift your other leg behind you, contracting that glute muscle. <BR> <BR> No stairs available? Increase time on your feet, even if it's just t... Wed, 14 May 2014 22:29:57 EST 5/14/14 - Volunteer(s) needed I am leaving on a motorcycle road trip Friday morning so I'll leave it to you guys if someone would like to lead challenges for a few days or if you want to take turns. <BR> <BR> I will have internet access here and there so I'll pop in a couple times, see how everyone is doing. I will post the Friday challenge and will be back in time to post the challenge on Sunday the 25th. <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge.....pushups... <BR> <BR> Against the wall. For a variation, try a plyometric move by pu... Tue, 13 May 2014 23:37:26 EST 5/13/14 - Vitamin C Are you getting enough of the C? <BR> <BR> According to a Spark article, adult males need 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily and adult females need 75 milligrams daily. People who smoke need about twice as much vitamin C daily. <BR> <BR> Look beyond the orange juice and try a serving of red pepper, broccoli or kiwi. <BR> <BR> Vitamin C is water-soluble, the body excreets what it doesn't need, but don't go overboard since very large doses can cause kidney stones and diarrhea. <BR> <BR> If t... Mon, 12 May 2014 21:27:08 EST 5/12/14 - Quads/Hams Let's begin the week working the large muscles. It's important to work opposing muscles. <BR> <BR> Quads... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Hamstrings... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=185 </link> <BR> <BR> According to Hamstrings are responsible for bending your knees. If they’re strong, you can jump high, run fast and accelerate with explosive power. With well... Sun, 11 May 2014 22:13:19 EST 5/11/14 - Mothers Day Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading this and the moms of those reading this. Take the day to relax and reach out to all moms in your life. <BR> <BR> Hopefully you have some time to spend on yourself. I will be doing the Spark Qi Gong video to recover from my active Saturday..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30r </link> <BR> <BR> <em>213</em> Sat, 10 May 2014 22:12:19 EST 5/10/14 - Saturday Slouches We'll have none of that now! POSTURE CHECK! All day, repeat, "shoulders back and down, abs in". Keep that in mind everywhere you go to make good posture a habit! <BR> <BR> If you haven't yet, check out the Spark article on posture information and exercises: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1407 </link> <BR> <BR> Remember, good posture makes you appear thinner and younger. Walk tall my friends! <BR> <BR> Sat, 10 May 2014 00:14:22 EST 5/9/14 - Free Form Friday Here we are at Friday! How will you push yourself today? <BR> <BR> I need to watch my portions. That's been getting away from me lately. I will be going out for dessert Friday evening with the family after my niece's confirmation so I will be mindful! Thu, 8 May 2014 22:17:04 EST 5/8/14 - Thursday Thighs Work your thighs....inner and outer. Put a little power in your walk and build endurance to handle stairs. <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> Don't forget to stretch: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=92 </link> Wed, 7 May 2014 21:38:37 EST 5/7/14 - Wednesday Wellness Check Give me a big <em>248</em> for each goal you meet today...... <BR> <BR> Eight cups of water <BR> Five servings of fruits and veggies <BR> At least 10 minutes of cardio <BR> At least 5 minutes of proper breathing: <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Tue, 6 May 2014 19:42:30 EST 5/6/14 - Two For Tuesday Try some exercises that work two muscles.... <BR> <BR> Hamstrings/inner thighs <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=185 </link> <BR> <BR> Biceps/quads (bonus, glutes too) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=51 </link> <BR> <BR> What's your favorite combo move? Mon, 5 May 2014 21:36:08 EST 5/5/14 - Monday Minutes How many fitness minutes can you rack up....walking, running, swimming, biking, yoga, stretching. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! <BR> <BR> Cinco De Mayo challenge... Cook up or look up for later a healthy Mexican recipe. Sun, 4 May 2014 21:54:42 EST 5/4/14 - Renewal Day May 4th is Renewal day. Take this opportunity to renew yourself or a relationship that needs attention or both. <BR> <BR> Do your nails. <BR> Take a bath. <BR> Call a family member or friend you haven't talked to in a while. <BR> Stop and be present. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Try the 15-minute Qi Gong video. It's my go-to when I need a little renewing. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> Sat, 3 May 2014 22:02:07 EST 5/3/14 - 10 minutes Do something positive for ten minutes. <BR> <BR> Add ten minutes on to whichever cardio or strength training you have planned. <BR> Dance <BR> Sit down for ten minutes and track all of your food and all of your activity for the day. <BR> Don't have a plan for activity? Pick a ten-minute Spark video. <BR> <BR> Let's get moving! Fri, 2 May 2014 21:28:34 EST 5/2/14 - Free Form Friday It's free-form Friday baby dolls! May is recommitment month. Recommit yourself to a goal that has escaped you lately. What step can you take today to get back to that goal? <BR> <BR> I have not tracked my food much the last few weeks so I'm getting back to that and I intend to run after work, rain or shine! <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Thu, 1 May 2014 21:05:55 EST 5/1/14 - May Day May Day is celebrated around the world, not so much in the US (except for Hawaii, who celebrates Lei Day). <BR> <BR> Take this opportunity to brighten your day. Stop and pick up a flower, or a bunch, for your desk or your home. Or leave a basket of flowers on a neighbor's door. <BR> <BR> Dance! In Germany, they hold a dance on April 30 that lasts past midnight to "Dance into May". <BR> <BR> <em>125</em> <em>353</em> <em>354</em> <em>126</em> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 21:20:00 EST 4/30/14 - Spice It Up Put that spice rack to good use. Check out the Spark article that lists which spices go best with which foods. Try something you never have before. After all, variety is the SPICE of life. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=297 </link> <BR> <BR> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:59:49 EST 4/29/14 - Commercial Break Workout Try some of these moves on commercial breaks or work your way down the list in between loads of laundry or errands.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_sparkpeople_commercial_break_wo<BR>rkout </link> <BR> <BR> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 22:13:57 EST 4/28/14 - Meatless Monday Can we try another meatless Monday? Or at least make one meal meatless. <BR> <BR> From - <BR> <BR> Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. <BR> <BR> If you are already in the habit of skipping meat, give the rest of us your favorite meatless meal. <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge, April 28 is Great Poetry Reading day. Pick up a poetry book, or do a search online to either exp... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 17:35:05 EST 4/27/14 - Assess Your Well-Being 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, 26 Apr 2014 21:33:19 EST 4/26/14 - Opposing Muscle Groups from (and just about every health and fitness website).... <BR> <BR> "Balance your strengths with exercises focusing on opposing muscle groups. After working your chest, work your back. After performing biceps curls, work your triceps. Imbalances lead to chronic overuse injuries, spinal issues and even digestive problems due to poor posture. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=core </link> <BR> <BR> Choose your muscle groups ... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 20:02:36 EST 4/25/14 - Free Form Friday Hey guys and dolls, here we are again at Free Form Friday where it's up to you to push yourself. What needs to get done? What's been neglected? What do you want to try that you've never tried before? <BR> <BR> As for me, I'm challenging myself to relax and get a good night's sleep. I am running a 5K Saturday morning and I always stay up too late with nervous energy. <BR> <BR> Let's roll through the weekend strong! Ready, set, GO! Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:25:37 EST 4/24/14 - Booty Call Strengthening your glutes can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier. <BR> <BR> Pick a move from the Spark Five Minutes to a Better Butt article. Start with Thursday's move and continue each day or pick a move that works for you. <BR> <BR> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:33:11 EST 4/23/14 - Just 10 Minutes Studies show you can improve yourself in just 10 minutes a day. <BR> <BR> Check out the 10-minute cardio blog with links to ten-minute cardio workouts. Try one in addition to your regularly-planned workout. MAJOR CALORIE BURN! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=our_fastest_cardio_workouts </link> <BR> <BR> April 23rd is Take A Chance Day. Take a chance on a workout you haven't tried yet, haven't tried in a while or extend your cardio time! <BR> <BR> Ready, set... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:42:46 EST 4/22/24 - Beauty Foods Not just for the girls....pick your focus from the following Spark article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1669 </link> <BR> <BR> Our diets affect not just our weight but out bodies from the top down, the inside out. <BR> <BR> I'm going to focus on foods that may contribute to joint health. Which area will you pick? <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:50:32 EST 4/21/14 - Combo Burn more calories in less time by working multiple muscles in one move. Try a wall sit with a bicep curl... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=51 </link> <BR> <BR> Try doing two sets of 12 as directed in the above demo. If it's too much, just try a couple or do it without weights. <BR> <BR> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:45:31 EST 4/20/14 - Breathing Exercise Try to find 10 minutes to follow this breathing exercise.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Many of us have had a busy week getting ready for Easter or just a busy week in general. Give yourself 10 minutes to breathe in the good and release the tension. <BR> <BR> If you celebrate, I wish you a very happy Easter. If not, I hope you have a peaceful Sunday! <BR> <BR> <em>449</em> <em>414</em> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 22:17:36 EST New Member Hello, I am emily. I am 21 and I am currently going to college at LFCC. I have always struggled with my weight. I am currently 153 lbs and I am trying to get some of the excess weight off so I don't get winded as easily and can be healthier over all. Sat, 19 Apr 2014 19:32:01 EST 4/19/14 - Benefits of Garlic April 19 is National Garlic day. Garlic is a great way to add flavor without extra calories or sodium. <BR> <BR> Garlic has been shown to moderately reduce cholesterol, and its sulfur compounds have been shown to reduce blood pressure. <BR> <BR> Read the following Spark article for more about the health benefits of garlic and a few Spark recipes..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1791 </link> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:43:46 EST 4/18/14 - Free Form Friday Okay gang, what is your challenge for your Friday? <BR> <BR> I will be doing some plank work, some regular planks and some side planks. Workin on my plan. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: April 18 is International Juggler's Day. Grab some scarves, small lightweight balls, whathaveyou, give it a try and have fun! <BR> <BR> <em>213</em> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:05:59 EST 4/17/14 - Rhomboid (shoulder) Squeezes Work your Rhomboids! This will help improve your posture. Good posture makes you look slimmer than you are! <BR> <BR> You can do this with our without weights. Try without weights first if you've never worked this area before, If you use weights, make it light! <BR> <BR> Stand with feet hip-distance apart, slight bend in the knee to protect your back <BR> You can do this sitting as well <BR> Lift arms out in front of you, shoulder height <BR> Pull your arms back so your elbows are behind yo... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:16:16 EST I can do it.. ONE day at a time. Hello everyone, I am Gail I live in Texas, I joined SP last year and lost about 20 lbs, then I took a couple weeks off, then a couple months and now its been almost a year since I left, oh, I am so glad to be back and find this ONE DAY Challenge. <BR> <BR> I BELIEVE I can get through One Day! Starting Today! <BR> <BR> Good luck to all, I enjoy reading your stories of success, stumbles and getting back up.. because that is ME! I stumbled, I am back on my feet and away I go! I am glad t... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:06:37 EST 4/16/14 - Circle Squats Just like it sounds, a different take on a squats, as you squat down, push hips out to the right pass through your center as you lower down a little more then push hips out to the left and back up, nice and slow. <BR> <BR> Keep your weight in your heels, don't let your knees go past your toes.Get as low as possible in good form. Try ten one direction then ten in the opposite direction. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE/BONUS CHALLENGE: April 16 is National Stress Awareness week. Take five minutes for so... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:31:48 EST 4/15/14 - Anti-inf ammatory foods Ibuprofen is necessary for many of us but I wonder what would happen if we consistently add the following foods to our diet.. <BR> <BR> 1. Berries <BR> As a general rule, colorful foods tend to be high in antioxidants and other healthy compounds. Fruits certainly fall into this category. Acai, blueberries raspberries and blackberries are very high in anthocyanins, a class of polyphenols that helps give them their vibrant color. <BR> 2. Cacao <BR> The main ingredient in chocolate, cacao is r... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:21:44 EST 4/14/14 - Arm Circles Let's go back to gym class for a simple (but intense)calisthenic. <BR> <BR> Arm circles force your trapezius, deltoids and the muscles of your upper arms to contract and relax. This can help improve muscle tone and build muscle over time. <BR> <BR> Stand with arms out to your sides making a T formation. Circle forward ten times, then circle back ten times. If you're up for it, try two or three sets. Make sure to get a good shoulder stretch afterward. <BR> <BR> Skip this if you have shoulde... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 21:56:31 EST 4/13/14 - Rise and Shine Stretches They can be done any time of day to set the the tone for the rest of the day... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_shou<BR>ld_do_each_morning </link> <BR> <BR> Stretch it out. Sat, 12 Apr 2014 22:44:13 EST 4/12/14 - Portions I saw a lot of special plans and celebrations this weekend for most of us. There will be temptations. <BR> <BR> Watch portions Saturday. If you must or want to indulge, keep the portion sizes small so you can enjoy without feeling deprived. <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge: WATER, WATER, WATER. Keep it flowing and try to add some fruit or a slice of cucumber to your water. <BR> <BR> Life should be celebrated. Make it great! Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:01:14 EST 4/11/14 - Free Form Friday I saw a lot of great weekend plans! <BR> <BR> Check in towards the end of your Friday letting everyone know which of your weekend goals you completed. <BR> <BR> Go forth and be accountable! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:10:10 EST 4/10/14 - Plan for the Weekend I have seen the quote by both Winston Churchill and Benjamin Franklin... If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. <BR> <BR> On a recent Spark Radio episode they talking about how easy it is to get off-track on the weekends due to failing to plan ahead. It was suggested that a plan is put in place on Thursday to get through the weekend. <BR> <BR> So, sound off, how will you plan to stay on track through the weekend? Post it here, post it on the fridge or blog about it or all of the abo... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 21:53:39 EST 4/9/14 - Functional Fitness It's time for another functional fitness exercise. A healthy lifestyle is about more than losing weight and running races. We need to be functionally fit as well. <BR> <BR> Try a stair climb with a bicep curl. From <BR> <BR> Whether you have stairs at your house or have to climb them elsewhere, using stairs as part of your fitness program will keep your legs conditioned and toned. Partnering stair climbs with bicep curls will strengthen your arms and improve your ability to... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 21:31:27 EST 4/8/14 - Tricep Tuesday Tone your triceps. Check out the spark article explaining 10 tricep exercises... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=10_exercises_that_target_the_triceps </link> <BR> <BR> Most if us concentrate on building beautiful biceps. Don't neglect the opposing muscle. <BR> <BR> I will be working a few of these in addition to my planned workout. Mon, 7 Apr 2014 21:31:10 EST 4/7/14 - World Health Day I need to post a little early since I will be busy tonight. April 7 is World Health Day sponsored by the United Nations World Health Organization. <BR> <BR> Celebrate by making sure you are doing everything you can to remain healthy..... <BR> <BR> throw away the unnecessary junk food in your kitchen <BR> go shopping for fruits, veggies, complex carbs etc <BR> make that doctor's appointment or screening test you've been putting off <BR> get outside <BR> play <BR> meditate <BR> <BR> BONUS CH... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 14:23:50 EST 4/6/14 - Sorry Charlie day April 6 is Sorry Charlie day. We have all been rejected and dejected a time our two in our lives and our journeys. We have survived and in many cases became stronger and learned valuable lessons. <BR> <BR> Take a minute today and reflect upon a past dejection. Then, smile with the realization that... <BR> "_ _ it all of us!" <BR> <BR> Write your lessons learned in private journal or blog about it. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Pay attention to your vitamin C. Vitamin C helps co... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 21:38:41 EST 4/5/14 - Sneaky ST Saturday I'm sure we all have a busy Saturday of errands and events. Find some time for some sneaky abs and butt work. <BR> <BR> We've done the sneaky abs before.... contracting your abs while brushing your teeth, washing dishes, standing in line at the store etc. <BR> <BR> We have also done squats. Let's put it all together. Find some time to alternate... contract your abs, do a squat (make sure to put your weight in your heels and stick that tush way out there). <BR> <BR> Okay, can't hardly do t... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 21:24:22 EST 4/4/14 - Free Form Friday Excellent efforts on the protein. Keep it up! <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself today? I will be getting some yoga time. <BR> <BR> Let's hear it! Thu, 3 Apr 2014 21:28:32 EST 4/3/14 - Protein Check Are you getting enough protein? Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. How many sources of protein can you get today? <BR> <BR> COMPLETE PROTEIN SOURCES (provides all nine essential amino acids): <BR> <BR> Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and soybeans provide all nine essential amino acids. <BR> <BR> INCOMPLETE PROTEIN SOURCES (do not contain all nine amino acids): <BR> <BR> Plant sources of protein include legumes (dried bean... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 22:00:54 EST 4/2/14 - One Minute You can do anything for one minute! I have heard that statement in quite a few workout classes I have taken over the years. Amazingly enough, it is true. I just reminded myself today during the upper body workout I did. <BR> <BR> So take one minute today, set a timer, watch a clock, and try to do as many exercises as you can in that minute. For example, one minute of crunches or a one-minute plank, or one minute of pushups, jumping jacks, you name it! <BR> <BR> OR this doesn't have to be ab... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 21:09:31 EST 4/1/14 - Two For Tuesday No foolin, Start an admirable April by combining two types of cardio... <BR> <BR> -Pick two Spark cardio videos... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>category.asp?category=2 </link> <BR> <BR> OR <BR> <BR> - Get outside, alternate between a brisk and a slow walk or walking and running. <BR> <BR> Let's rack up some cardio minutes to start the month on an active note. Remember, a body at rest, stays at rest, a body in motion, stays in motion! <BR> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:58:08 EST 3/31/14 - functional fitness Functionality: Even though you lift your kids and groceries with your arms, your legs and back are also key players. This exercise strengthens your legs, glutes, lower back, arms and shoulders. <BR> <BR> Stand with your feet wide, holding a light medicine ball (or a soup can or bottle of water etc) in front of you in both hands. <BR> Squat down, moving your rear back and keeping your knees over your ankles, and lower the medicine ball to the floor, keeping your head up and back straight (d... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 22:26:51 EST 3/30/14 - Sunday Stretch and Pamper Congratulations to everyone that participated in the Spark Boot Camp challenges this week and to all that chimed in on their own challenges!! Way to work the week and way to keep me accountable! <BR> <BR> This is what I was following this week in case you want to do it again on your own.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1102 </link> <BR> <BR> Find some time Sunday to pamper yourself and get a good stretch in. Wind down from the week and set you... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 17:59:20 EST 3/29/14 - 7-Day Boot Camp Day Seven Here we are, last day of boot camp. You can take a break from cardio today...if you want to that is and do the spark 9-minute Core Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=74 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Push-up Levels. Pick your level and aim for three sets of ten or mix and match.... <BR> <BR> Wall pushups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Modified on the floor: <BR> ... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 21:20:22 EST 3/28/14 - 7-Day Boot Camp Day 6 We are SOOOOO close! Get 30 minutes of cardio of your choice and do the 7-minute Tone Up With Dumbells video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=75 </link> <BR> <BR> The cardio can be 3 easy 10 minute walks throughout the day. No need to go hard core if you need a break. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Free Form Friday. How will you choose to challenge yourself today? In addition to the boot camp workout, I will be shopping for freggies. I've been l... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:34:49 EST 3/27/14 -7-Day Bootcamp Day Five We are moving closer to the end of the Spark Bootcamp workout. Today, get 30minutes of cardio of your choice, then follow the Spark Bootcamp 10-minute Lean Legs Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=76 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: How many ways can you add calcium to your diet: <BR> <BR> Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes. <BR> Use milk instead of water in soups, breads, sauces, or salad dressings. <BR> Add milk to tea or c... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:04:33 EST 3/26/14 - 7-Day Boot Camp Day Four Hey gang! Great job so far! How is everyone feeling? Powerful? Accomplished? <BR> <BR> Onward to day four with 30 minutes of cardio of your choice (remember you can break up up into a few minutes rough out the day) and then the 7-minute Belly Blaster video.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=77 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Jacks, jumping or no jumping. Aim for at least three sets of ten. Pick your level or mix it up... <BR> <BR> No impa... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 21:36:10 EST 3/25/14 - 7 Day Boot Camp, Day Three Hey kids. Here we are at day three. Let's continue the party with 30 minutes of cardio and the Spark 7-minute Arm Shaper video. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=78 </link> <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE - Posture Check. Good posture improves your appearance, opens airways to improve proper breathing and reduces wear and tear on joints. <BR> <BR> Challenge yourself to keep your shoulders rolled back and down and your abs pulled in all day long. <B... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 21:31:28 EST 3/24/14 - 7-Day Bootcamp , Day Two Day two of the Spark 7 Day Bootcamp includes 30 minutes of cardio and the Spark 10-Minute Lower Body Blast video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=79 </link> <BR> <BR> You can break up your 30 minutes of cardio into a few minutes throughout the day if need be. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: Sneaky abs. Any time you are standing still (brushing your teeth, standing in line, doing dishes etc) contract your abs for a count of two and release. Aim f... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 21:01:56 EST 3/23/14 - 7-Day Bootcamp, Day One Welcome to day one of the Spark People 7-day Boot camp challenge. Today we will do the 10-minute Cardio Kickboxing workout video. This includes a warm up, cool down and stretch. <BR> <BR> You can do this video low-impact as Coach Nicole instructs through the video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=80 </link> <BR> <BR> Alternate Challenge: Get a full body stretch done. Pick two upper body and two upper body stretches to perform. Make sure you warm... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 21:47:37 EST 3/22\14 - water Is everyone getting their eight cups! <BR> <BR> Get creative by adding fruit to your water. Maybe a slice if cucumber. Look for referees hong fruits and veggies as well...serve yourself some celery or watermelon in addition to you H2O! <BR> <BR> <em>274</em> <em>491</em> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 22:34:09 EST Changing my lifestyle. Hi everyone, my name is Connie and I started my journey on March 5, 2014. I don't want to be on any diets but want to change my lifestyle to be healthy. I am really done with being tired and just want to know I've done everything I can to spend as many years in this world to be with my children, and hopefully one day in the far future grandchildren. :) <BR> I read and have started to follow Dolvett Quince "The 3-1-2-1 Diet" and I can honestly say I love it. I'm hoping to find friends on her ... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:59:49 EST 3/21/14 - Free Form Friday Okay gang, it's Free form Friday. How will you choose to challenge yourself and make it a Fabulous Friday! <BR> <BR> I just finished the Spark Streak Into Spring 20-day challenge by strength training for 10 minutes every day. I'm going to keep the streak going. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! <BR> <BR> <em>185</em> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 21:47:02 EST 3/20/14 - Celebrate Earth Day It's the first day of Spring on this side of the globe. Celebrate by educating yourself about Earth Day. <BR> <BR> I found the following article by Senator Gaylord Nelson on how the first Earth day came to be: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> If the weather is nice in your area, fit in a nice long walk and appreciate everything you see. If you have a busy day, try to get outside for at least five minutes. <BR> <BR> Be extra diligent about recyclin... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 22:27:59 EST 3/19/14 - Strong Flexible Feet Improve the strength and flexibility of the feet and ankles to improve balance and increase mobility: <BR> <BR> These five exercises will help you to strengthen and stretch all ten toes, and develop flexible strength from the ground up. <BR> <BR> <link>These five exercises will help you to strengthen and stretch all ten toes, and develop flexible strength from the ground up. </link> <BR> <BR> How many can you do? <BR> <BR> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 21:06:16 EST 3/18/14 - Two For Tuesday Double up on the calorie burn. Pick two muscle groups to work and then pick a move or two that targets those muscles. <BR> <BR> This link will display core moves, then you can click links for upper body or lower body moves. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=core </link> <BR> <BR> I'm going to do a few sets of side planks and pushups on a ball. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: do 10 jumping jacks in between the sets you pick. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 21:41:32 EST 3/17/14 - Go Green Happy St. Patrick's Day! <BR> <BR> Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Try to include something green at every meal and in every snack. <BR> <BR> A few ideas.... <BR> <BR> If you like smoothies, try a green smoothie by adding some spinach. <BR> Put some lime or cucumber slices in your water. <BR> Spread some avocado on your toast. <BR> Have a side salad with lunch or dinner. <BR> <BR> Share your favorite green food tip. <BR> <BR> <em>441</em> <em>440</em> <em>137</em> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 18:07:25 EST 3/16/14 - Breathe Hopefully you don't have too much on your plate today or can at least find 5-10 minutes to practice some good, cleansing breathing.... <BR> <BR> "Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. More blood cells get the new, oxygen-rich air instead of the same old stale stuff." <BR> <BR> Check out this spark article to practice just a few minutes of good, cleansing breaths. <BR> <BR> <link> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 22:28:15 EST 3/15/14 - ABsolutely fabulous A strong core helps us with everyday activities and prevents injuries. What is your favorite core activity you can fit in today? <BR> <BR> Short on time? Find several opportunities to contract your abs whole running errands, driving, brushing your teeth etc. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark seated core workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try the crunch less core workout: <BR> <link><BR>... Fri, 14 Mar 2014 22:43:49 EST 3/14/14 - Free Form Friday Okay, it's free form Friday again. How will you challenge yourself today. <BR> <BR> I am changing my step goal from 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. Many days I go over that anyway so now that the weather is finally getting nicer I'm going make 12,000 my minimum. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, go! Thu, 13 Mar 2014 21:48:02 EST 3/13/14 - Popcorn Lover's Day The second Thursday in March is Popcorn Lover's Day. Celebrate by making a healthy popcorn snack with air-popped popcorn and creative toppings. <BR> <BR> Check out the Spark article for ideas: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=23_ways_to_top_your_popcorn_for_und<BR>er_150_calories </link> <BR> <BR> I'm going to try garlic powder and olive oil. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 18:30:22 EST 3/12/14 - Hit The Stairs Read the following article on a study regarding people who regularly use the stairs. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=can_taking_the_stairs_really_prolon<BR>g_your_life_you_bet </link> <BR> <BR> Take the stairs as often as you can today. <BR> Step up and down one or two stairs if you cannot manage a whole flight. <BR> Run up a flight of stairs instead of walking up. <BR> <BR> If you do not have access to stairs, aim for an extra 10 to 15 minutes of the cardio ... Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:09:05 EST 3/11/14 - Johnny Appleseed day Celebrate Johnny Appleseed day by grabbing an apple or two today. <BR> <BR> Chop up an apple to put in oatmeal. <BR> Slice up an apple and dip in peanut butter. <BR> Apple slices paired with cheddar cheese. <BR> <BR> Apples are an excellent source of fiber and potassium. If you don't have apples today, add them to your shopping list. <BR> <BR> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 21:49:27 EST Good Morning SparkTeam! My name is Sandy and I love long walks on the beach! ;) Unfortunately, I live in landlocked Kansas, but I still enjoy prairie sunset walks with my 2 little doggies. I'm starting the newest journey to getting my health back in control including losing weight. I'll start doing well then get whatever virus is going around (then start all over again)! I'm on the down slope of a sinus infection, I'm still taking my antibiotics like a good girl, and hopefully will be back to 100% again soon. ... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:57:12 EST 3/10/14 - Let The Sunshine In It looks like many areas will are expecting warm temps for Monday. Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D and it's free. If you are able to try to get out and get some sun on your face. <BR> <BR> ALTERNATE CHALLENGE: whatever activity you have planned, try to do an extra two to five minutes. Sun, 9 Mar 2014 21:53:44 EST 3/9/14 - Active rest Are you familiar with active rest? It's a hybrid between resting and exercising. Some of the benefits of active resting are: <BR> <BR> Help your muscle soreness to go away faster <BR> Help your muscles recover and repair <BR> Enhance your psychological/mental recovery <BR> Promote mental and physical relaxation <BR> <BR> Check out this spark article to include active stretching in your day.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=fitness_defined_active_and_passive_<... Sat, 8 Mar 2014 22:43:00 EST 3/8/14 - Get Your Calcium Are you getting enough calcium? Try some of the following 15 Spark tips to get more calcium. <BR> <BR> Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes. <BR> Try plain yogurt as a vegetable dip. <BR> Stir some nuts into a yogurt cup as a snack. <BR> Include leafy vegetables in baked casseroles such as lasagna. <BR> Eat hot oatmeal made with milk for breakfast. <BR> Snack on crunchy broccoli instead of potato chips. <BR> <BR> Check out the following Spark article for more ideas.... <BR> <BR> <... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 22:46:25 EST 3/7/14 - Free Form Friday Pick your challenge or challenges for today. <BR> <BR> I intend to continue the Spark Streak Into Spring challenge with at least 10 minutes of upper body strength training. <BR> <BR> I'm also going to try to hit five freggies. It seems to be a bit challenge for me the past couple weeks. <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! Thu, 6 Mar 2014 21:16:57 EST 3/6/14 - Stay in Balance From the National Institute of Health.... <BR> <BR> Don't overlook balance exercises to prevent falls and maintain control of your body, whether moving or standing still. <BR> <BR> Try these moves out. If you are unsteady, stand near a sturdy chair or wall. <BR> <BR> Standing on One Foot: <BR> <BR> Stand on one foot, hold for 10 seconds, repeat 10 times Switch legs and repeat 10 times. <BR> <BR> Walking heel to toe: <BR> <BR> Place the heel of one foot in front of your other foot's toes... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 22:39:16 EST 3/5/14 - Freggiesi Is everyone getting their five a day consistently? Check out this spark article for five easy ways to get it done. <BR> <BR> Which ones can you do today? Which ones will you use going forward? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> Tue, 4 Mar 2014 22:38:04 EST 3/4/14 - improve Your Posture All day, keep reminding yourself to roll your shoulders back and down and pull in your abs. Leave yourself sticky notes or set a few reminders on your calendar if need be. <BR> <BR> From the Spark article on improving posture... Sit and stand with proper posture and you will physically look 10 years younger—and 10 pounds lighter. Psychologically, good posture conveys confidence, poise and leadership. <BR> <BR> Let's fix rounded shoulders: <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 3 Mar 2014 22:30:41 EST 3/3/14 - Booty call Okay, not THAT kind of booty call. Let's work the strongest muscle in the body. Try one or all four of the body weight exercises for a better butt. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1947 </link> <BR> <BR> If you have difficulty with floor exercises, find a few minutes, a few times throughout the day to context your glutes in sets of 10. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: at least 10 minutes of cardio! Sun, 2 Mar 2014 21:31:12 EST 3/2/14 - Celebrate Seuss and Stretch Let's enjoy the Sunday. March 2nd is Dr. Seuss' birthday... <BR> <BR> “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.” <BR> <BR> So today, let's have fun. Do you have board games you can blow dust off of and play? <BR> Is the weather good enough by you to go out and play? <BR> Is there a good comedy showing at ... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 21:02:08 EST 3/1/14 - Peanut Butter Lover's day March 1st is peanut butter lover's day. Are you a peanut butter lover? Celebrate the day with a healthy peanut butter snack. It is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. <BR> <BR> Try the Spark no-bake peanut butter fudge protein bars: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=662771 </link> <BR> <BR> Or put some peanut butter and raisins on a stalk of celery. <BR> Or apple slices dipped in peanut butter. <BR> <BR> What's your favorite peanut butte... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:31:51 EST 2/28/14 - Free Form Friday How will you challenge yourself today? Check in with the challenge of your choice and then pop back in later to let us know how you did or make one post later with what you did. <BR> <BR> I've had a sad and stressful week so I will be challenging myself to get back to more sparking....tracking everything I eat and commenting on blogs. <BR> <BR> Let's end the month on a strong note! Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:33:37 EST 2/27/14 - Portion control Have you educated yourself on portion control? <BR> <BR> How many of the Spark 10 portion control pointers can you accomplish in your day: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=40 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:33:47 EST 2/26/14 - Calorie torching cardio I'm posting way early. It's going to be a long day and evening for me today away from the computer. <BR> <BR> I need a little jump start this week so if you do too or just want something different to do, give this a try on Wednesday: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=have_a_ball_with_this_calorietorchi<BR>ng_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Watch it all the way through first, see where you can make modifications based on your fitness level. <BR> <BR> <em>185</em> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 08:31:50 EST 2/25/14 - Sneaky abs Whatever you are doing right now, pull your abdominal muscles into your spine and hold for a second. <BR> <BR> Now, how many opportunities can you find during the day to do a set of ten? Sitting at your desk, washing dishes, brushing your teeth. <BR> <BR> Work in the obliques too, while brushing your teeth, pull your abs in and slightly bend to each side using your obliques to move you. <BR> <BR> Keep a slight bend in your knees to protect your back. <BR> <BR> Go forth and build a stron... Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:30:49 EST 2/24/14 - Cardio Monday Check in today with how many cardio minutes you accumulate. It can come from a simple walk to a kickboxing routine and everything in between. <BR> <BR> You can break it up in a few minutes here and there throughout the day. Take a jumping jack break, take a quick walk after lunch, pick a Spark video. <BR> <BR> Let's get moving today! <BR> <BR> <em>185</em> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 06:01:26 EST 2/23/14 - Natural skin care Pamper your face today. Check out the Spark article about homemade beauty recipes. If there are any guys lurking out there, this includes you too. Healthy skin care is not just for women. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=911&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Make it a day to pamper yourself. <em>30</em> Sat, 22 Feb 2014 20:44:15 EST 2/22/14 - nutrition tracker How has nutrition tracking been going? <BR> <BR> Make sure today to record everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. <BR> <BR> Do you use groupings and favorites? They are a quick way to track what you eat and drink most often. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:15:34 EST 2/21/14 - Free Form Friday! As suggested by a team member, today you pick the challenge and report in to let us know how you did. <BR> <BR> How will you challenge yourself today? <BR> <BR> I have been slacking off on my daily one-minute plank. I restarted that habit on Monday so I will make sure to get that done in addition to my other ab work. <BR> <BR> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 20:39:10 EST 2/20/14 - Lower Back Love It's important to include functional fitness into our routines. Show your lower back some love on a daily basis to avoid future injuries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=234 </link> <BR> <BR> There are some exercises on the floor but there are a couple stretches you can do lying in bed. <BR> <BR> <em>401</em> <em>418</em> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:57:35 EST 2/19/14 - Wednesday Wellness challenge How many of the 10 tips for wellness (as recommended by Spark) can you fit into your day? <BR> <BR> 1 Drink water <BR> 2 go for a walk <BR> 3 Call a friend <BR> 4 Journal <BR> 5 Soak your feet <BR> 6 Send a thank you note <BR> 7 Eat a healthy snack <BR> 8 Chew sugar-free gum <BR> 9 Organize your space <BR> 10 Take "five" <BR> <BR> Read the Spark article for further details on this top ten list: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=270 </link> <BR> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:43:20 EST 2/18/14 - Two For Tuesday Combos Let's torch some major calories in minimal time. Try either or both of the following moves that work two muscle groups. <BR> <BR> Wall sit with dumbbell: <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=51 </link> <BR> You can use soup can or no weights at all. <BR> <BR> Wood chop with medicine ball: <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=465 </link> <BR> Again use a soup can or water bottle if you don't have a medicine ball. <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 21:33:18 EST 2/17/14 - Meatless Monday Let's aim for a meatless Monday. You may or may not have heard or read about this national health campaign. If a meatless day is unrealistic for you, try one meatless meal. <BR> <BR> Here's a snippet from the Meatless Monday Spark article: <BR> <BR> "On average, people who eat less meat are leaner, less apt to weight gain than people who eat the most meat, less prone to cancer, especially colorectal cancer, and suffer from fewer heart problems." <BR> <BR> Check out the article for more inf... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 15:45:56 EST 2/16/14 - Check in Who... <BR> <BR> Drank 8 cups of water <BR> Had five servings of fruits and vegetables <BR> Got at least 10 minutes of cardio <BR> Did a full-body stretch <BR> <BR> <em>274</em> <em>550</em> <em>185</em> <em>401</em> <BR> Sat, 15 Feb 2014 23:37:28 EST 2/15/14 - Towel Workout I'm posting early since I will be out tonight. Try a couple moves, or the whole workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> I hope everyone is having a safe and warm Valentine's day. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 18:24:56 EST 2/14/14 - Heart Healthy Foods <em>129</em> Happy Valentine's Day <em>129</em> <BR> <BR> Show your heart some love with heart-healthy foods. How many can you squeeze into your day? If you see this too late, not to worry, make a note for the next day and the next etc. <BR> <BR> Salmon <BR> Flaxseed <BR> Oatmeal <BR> Black or Kidney Beans <BR> Almonds <BR> Walnuts <BR> Red Wine <BR> Carrots <BR> Spinach <BR> Sweet Potato <BR> <BR> Check out the heart-healthy foods article on WebMD for more heart-healthy foods optio... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:00:01 EST 2/13/14 - Take to the Stairs 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> *Sta... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:43:47 EST 2/12/14 - ABsolutely fABulous A strong core is important to help us through daily tasks, lessens wear and tear on the spine and improves balance among other benefits. <BR> <BR> Working the core is more than working towards six-pack abs. It's important to work the obliques and lower back as well. <BR> <BR> Choose your core workout: <BR> <BR> 12-minute seated core workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=42 </link> <BR> <BR> Or try one or two of the many plank moves on Spark... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:53:57 EST 2/11/14 - Eat Slowly We've all read about eating slowly as a weight-loss tip but do we all actually do it consistently each day? Try to be aware at each meal and with every healthy snack to take time between each bite and chew thoroughly before swallowing. <BR> <BR> Other benefits to eating slowly... <BR> <BR> Chewing food slowly begins the digestive process before the food is swallowd. <BR> Superior nutrition absorption. <BR> Less indigestion. <BR> <BR> Read the following Spark article about eating slowly: <B... Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:00:38 EST 2/10/14 - TV workout Are you watching the Olympics or any other network TV show? Put your TV time to good use with these commercial moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_sparkpeople_commercial_break_wo<BR>rkout </link> <BR> <BR> Not watching TV? Pick at least 3 moves to try and let us know how it went. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sun, 9 Feb 2014 21:47:17 EST 2/9/14 - Relax Take 15 minutes to relax. Try the Spark Chi Gong video. It's a great way to slow down and loosen up... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Share your favorite ways to slow yourself down. <BR> <BR> Also, stop by team member MOMNAMEMANTOOTH's blog and congratulate her on her first 5K. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5618833 </link> Sat, 8 Feb 2014 22:25:06 EST 2/8/14 - Early Morning Water I'm posting early so hopefully team members in time zones ahead of me see it in time. If not, try again the next day, and the next day etc. <BR> <BR> Try to get in one cup of water first thing in the morning....BEFORE coffee, tea or pop. This was hard for me at the start but now I drink two cups of water before I leave for work. <BR> <BR> Start with a half cup of warm water if your stomach is sensitive first thing in the morning. <BR> Take a sip of water in between sips of your favorite mor... Fri, 7 Feb 2014 19:36:59 EST 2/7/14 - Send a Card to a Friend Day February 7th is Send a Card to a Friend day. Do ya think the card companies wanted to squeeze in an extra holiday before Valentine's day?? <BR> <BR> No matter how it started, stop today and pick up a card or two to and mail it to a friend or family member "just because". Think of the smile on their face when they go to their mailbox! <BR> <BR> Another idea would be to grab a card for yourself. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back cards or words of encouragement, whatever you need.... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 21:38:48 EST 2/6/14 - 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> BONUS CHALLENGE: Lets work the tush. Strong glute muscles can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easie. <BR> <BR> Try one or all of t... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 21:33:56 EST 2/5/14 - Eat your vitamins D and Calcium Calcium is essential for bone health and plays an important role in preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption <BR> <BR> How will you eat yours: CALCIUM... An eight-ounce glass of skim milk, one cup of yogurt, one cup of cooked spinach, and one fig. if you don't eat dairy, look for calcium-fortified soy milk or orange juice. <BR> <BR> VITAMIN D...Some is found in fatty fishes, like tuna and salmon, most of our vitamin D comes from fortified foods, like milk and cereal. ... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 22:09:38 EST 2/4/14 - Eat Your Vitamins - C Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to fight DNA-damaging free radicals. It may help to maintain a healthy immune system and boost HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol. <BR> <BR> Best food sources: Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, red and green peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, kale, and collard greens. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLLENGE: pick your push-up level.... <BR> <BR> Wall push-up <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=10... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 21:50:02 EST 2/3/14 - Eat Your Vitamins B6 & B12 Time for another week of eat your vitamins. Supplements are great and necessary for some people but this week, let's try to get our vitamins with healthy food. <BR> <BR> Up first is the B complex vitamins which 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. <BR> <BR> BON... Sun, 2 Feb 2014 22:32:21 EST 2/2/14 -Sunday Deep Breathing From the following Spark article... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=328 </link> <BR> <BR> Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. Experts estimate that proper breathing helps your body eliminate toxins 15 times faster than poor, shallow breathing. <BR> <BR> Take 10 minutes (it can be done in less time) to practice the five steps in the article. <BR> <BR> Sat, 1 Feb 2014 22:35:50 EST 2/1/14 - ABC workout Check out this clip from an old Regis and Kelly show. Pick up a medicine ball, dumbbell, bottle of water or no weight at all and spell out the letters of the alphabet. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D3uV7iU-MjbY </link> <BR> <BR> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 21:57:43 EST 1/31/14 - Friday Dance Party We've worked hard this week. Put on your favorite music and dance like nobody's watching! <BR> <BR> There are many benefits of dancing according to Everyday Health.... <BR> <BR> Dancing may boost your memory and prevent dementia <BR> Increase flexibility <BR> Reduce stress <BR> Diminish depression <BR> Improve health and breathing <BR> Oh yeah, and loose weight. <BR> <BR> Here's a little something to get you started: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:00:45 EST 1/30/14 - ABsolutely fABulous Let's work the core. A strong core helps prevent low back pain, stabilize the body and improves posture. <BR> <BR> Try one or more of the following variations: <BR> <BR> SNEAKY ABS <BR> <BR> While brushing your teeth, or any time you are standing still, contract your abs 100 times. <BR> <BR> If you sit in an office chair that spins, lift your feet up, pull in your abs and twist side to side, focusing on your abs and obliques to move. <BR> <BR> SPARKPEOPLE SEATED CORE VIDEO <BR> <BR> <... Wed, 29 Jan 2014 21:46:23 EST 1/29/14 - Mid-week goal check-in How are you doing with your goals this week? Have you met your goals each day so far? Do you need any help with your goals? Celebrate your success or ask for help today if you need it! <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge: January 29th is National Puzzle day. Do you have a newspaper with a crossword puzzle laying around? Maybe a boxed puzzle collecting dust on a shelf? <BR> <BR> Celebrate puzzle day by exercising your brain working on a puzzle. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:10:05 EST 1/28/14 - Water Check Read the Spark article on the benefits of keeping hydrated. It's not just for summer! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_experts.asp?q=41 </link> <BR> <BR> For a while, I've been working on getting two down first thing in the morning, in between sips of coffee before leaving for work in the morning. <BR> <BR> Get creative, add a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber or strawberries. <BR> <BR> <em>274</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 21:41:50 EST 1/27/14 - Cardio/ST combo Determine how much you can do for ten minutes based on your fitness level. Alternate squats and jumping jacks. Shoot for 20 - 30 seconds each. Walk in place in between the moves for a minute if it's too intense. <BR> <BR> If you have knee issues, skip the squats, step up and down a step. Low impact jumping jacks can be done if need be....stepping out to each side raising arms up to shoulder level, no jumping necessary. <BR> <BR> When doing squats, keep your weight in your heels and do not l... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 22:04:35 EST 1/26/14 - Goals for the week "He who fails to plan is planning to fail" - Winston Churchill <BR> <BR> Let's plan the week ahead. What are three goals you intend to stick to this week? Post them here, on your fridge, on your desk at work, set reminders in Spark or on your smart phone. <BR> <BR> Mine are: <BR> <BR> 1. Increase my calcium and vitamin D <BR> 2. Make time for strength training three days this week <BR> 3. Portion control, portion control, portion control! <BR> <BR> I'll be asking you during the week how t... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 21:41:45 EST 1/25/14 - Review and cardio Let's review our nutrition and fitness trackers from this past week. What went well, what can you improve? Make a plan for next week. Maybe you need to make a goal to fill in your trackers? Make a shopping list, mark your calendar for activity appointments. <BR> <BR> Check out this spark article for shopping suggestions: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1001 </link> <BR> <BR> Then get at least 10 minutes of cardio in. Pick a video: <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 21:34:35 EST 1/24/14 - Friday freggies Get your weekend shopping lists ready. Read about easy ways to eat 5 fruits and veggies each day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=161 </link> <BR> <BR> Did you get your five? Share some of your creative ways to get your freggies? <BR> <BR> <em>550</em> <em>265</em> <em>267</em> <em>45</em> <em>210</em> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:05:53 EST 1/23/14 - 60-second moves You can do anything for one minute. Check out this spark article with 10 cardio moves. Do one or two, do all of them at one time for a ten-minute workout or spread them out during the day to keep the metabolism firing all day long. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1658 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: January 23rd is National Handwriting day. Get back to pen and paper and write someone a note to make their day. <BR> <BR> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 22:01:30 EST 1/22/14 - Sign up! The best way to keep yourself on track is to have a goal to work towards. Even though it doesn't feel like it for most of us, spring is right around the corner. How do you want to look and feel this spring and summer? <BR> <BR> Check out <link> </link> and do a search for 5K walks, runs or bicycling in your area. Sign yourself up for an event this spring or summer and mark it on your calendar. <BR> <BR> If you are not comfortable getting out there in a group yet, Spark has... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 21:38:52 EST 1/21/14 - Two for Tuesday Let's work the upper body today. Pick two (or more if you are up for it) moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=upper </link> <BR> <BR> Try to work opposing muscles, for example a bicep and a tricep or a back and chest move. <BR> <BR> Upper body strength is essential for every day activities, improving posture and helps propel us during exercises that rely on our legs. <BR> <BR> <em>85</em> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:54:11 EST 1/20/14 - Hunt for Happiness Today has been dubbed Blue Monday, most depressing day of the year. Well, we'll have none of that now. Let's challenge ourselves to make it a good day, despite anything that tries to get in our way. <BR> <BR> The Secret Society of Happy People ( have declared this week, Hunt For Happiness week. <BR> <BR> Spread the Spark of happiness today. Leave a happy thought on a Spark member's blog or daily status. Sometimes we can make ourselves happy by brightening someone else's day. <BR> ... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 22:03:59 EST 1/19/14 - Sunday Stretches We've all had a busy week and stayed active. Let's stretch it all out. Make sure to do a quick warmup by walking or dancing. Never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Pick at least two upper body and two lower body stretches: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Try the 15-minute Qi Gong routine: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=30 </link> <BR> <BR> Let's loosen it up! Sat, 18 Jan 2014 22:15:31 EST 1/18/14 _ Push yourself What's on your agenda today.... running, walking, kickboxing, strength training? Whatever your planned workout, try to push yourself just a little more... <BR> <BR> -Run or walk an extra five minutes, add some intervals... alternate between a faster pace and a recover pace. <BR> <BR> -Cardio video... just put just a little more umph into a move or two or if it is a short video, "play it again Sam". <BR> <BR> -Try an extra rep or two during your strength moves or take one set very slowly. <... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:15:31 EST 1/17/14 - Test your lower back pain knowledge How's your lower back pain knowledge? Watch this 5-minute video, available on Spark, and try to answer the five questions. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=44 </link> <BR> <BR> How did you do? Did you learn anything new? <BR> <BR> If you were familiar with all of the answers, do you apply these practices in your daily routines? <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Show the lower back some love with some stretches from <BR> <BR> <link>www.we... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:09:34 EST 1/16/14 - Squat/cardio combo Take five or ten minutes to torch some calories. This can be done while watching TV.. Take it in 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. If squats are a bad idea for you, step up and down one stair. <BR> <BR> If both options are too strenu... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:31:26 EST 1/15/14 - Mid-week energy boost Let's work on relying more on healthy food and less on caffeine for energy. How many energy foods in the Spark article below can you fit into your day: <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> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=65 </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Di... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 22:26:55 EST 1/14/14 - Five full-body moves Let's burn more calories in less time. Check out the following Spark article that contains five compound moves that will work several muscle groups in one move. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_fullbody_exercises_that_save_you_<BR>time </link> <BR> <BR> Try one or all five moves, or share your favorite compound move with everyone to try. <BR> <BR> I once attended a group workout class where the instructor had us all sit against the wall while we did sets of... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:50:21 EST 1/13/14 - Monday Headlines Game From the website <BR> <BR> Monday headlines Game: Pick up your local newspaper (or pull up your favorite news website) and glance to the headlines. Then take a piece of white paper and write down the ones you remember. <BR> <BR> How did you do? <BR> Sun, 12 Jan 2014 22:02:20 EST 1/12/14 - Relax One of our team goals is to do something for yourself each day. Take 10 or 15 minutes to pamper yourself and relax. <BR> <BR> Rest, rejuvenate and recharge. What is your favorite way to pamper yourself? <BR> <BR> Sat, 11 Jan 2014 23:01:02 EST 1/11/13 - High Impact Easy on Joints Are you stuck in the house due to weather or other circumstances? Need some cardio time that's easy on your joints? <BR> <BR> Give this a try... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=high_intensity_lowimpact_do_anywher<BR>e_cardio_workout </link> <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Do this in addition to your regularly scheduled cardio or strength training workout. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 22:23:19 EST 1/10/14 - ABsolutely fABulous! Let's work the core. A thin waist is attractive but more importantly, a strong helps us in many ways throughout the day....bending to pick up a child or a package, sitting still, housework, to name just a few. A weak core leads to slouching, which leads to wear and tear on the spine. <BR> <BR> Try this spark video. Planks and back extensions on the floor are involved. One move uses dumbbells. If you do not have dumbbells handy, any small weight like soup cans will do or even no weights: <BR... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 21:31:22 EST 1/9/14 - Start the day with water While we sleep, our bodies are in repair mode and our digestive system takes a rest. Caffeine first thing only further dehydrates us. <BR> <BR> Today, try to start your day with a warm cup of water. Warm water is easier on an empty stomach. <BR> <BR> I started working on getting water earlier in the day by bringing a filled water bottle with me in the car to sip in between sips of coffee on the way to work. <BR> <BR> Check out the following article on the importance of starting your day ... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 21:43:45 EST 1/8/13 - Skater Squats or stairs Let's work the quads, glutes, hips and outer thighs.. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=112 </link> <BR> <BR> If you have knee pain issues, skip this. Instead, step up on a stair with your right foot, raise your left leg out to the side slightly then switch. <BR> <BR> Get a good lower body stretch when you are done: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=92 </link> Tue, 7 Jan 2014 22:28:01 EST 1/7/13 - Spark recipe search and bonus challenge Do a search for a spark recipe to shop for this week and try this weekend: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> It can be as simple as a smoothie or a dinner. The point is to try something new. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Water check. Remember eight cups a day isn't only necessary in the summer. Almost all of the major systems in our body depend on water. Try adding a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to your water. <BR> <BR> Get creative, them member Sam_... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 21:57:02 EST 1/6/13 - Keep Moving How many opportunities can you find to keep moving more than usual....pace while talking on the phone, walk a lap around your home or office every hour, walk a lap around a store you visit before checking out, high steps while brushing your teeth. <BR> <BR> Everyday movements and activities burn calories. For the trivia challenge I read that standing still uses 300 muscles. <BR> <BR> So challenge yourself to fit as much extra activity in your daily routine in addition to your regularly sche... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 22:25:55 EST 1/5/13 - Work on your Immune System Most of us are in the middle of winter... cold and flu season so make sure you are taking care of your immune system. <BR> <BR> Here are some nutrients and foods that may enhance our immune systems. How many of these nutrients can you get today: <BR> <BR> Vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruit and broccoli <BR> Vitamin E-rich foods, like nuts and whole grains <BR> Garlic <BR> Zinc-rich foods, like beans, turkey, crab, oysters, and beef <BR> Bioflavanoids, which are found in fruits and vege... Sat, 4 Jan 2014 22:00:21 EST 1/4/13 - Trivia Day January 4th is trivia day according to <BR> <BR> Look through a fitness magazine, Spark website or other sources for an interesting bit of fitness or health and wellness trivia. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Push-ups! Having a fit upper body helps us complete everyday tasks with less stress on both our muscles and cardiovascular system. <BR> <BR> Wall push-ups: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> or: <BR> <... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 22:03:20 EST 1/3/13 - Friday dance party Put your dancin shoes on and cut loose. There's no right or wrong way, just put on your favorite music and feel the joy! <BR> <BR> Check out the benefits of dance according to a Spark article. All this and fun too! <BR> <BR> If you’re looking to improve your health and fitness level, a wide variety of dance styles can do the trick. From bellydance to square dance, ballet to ballroom, and salsa to swing, you can get a fun aerobic workout that also offers the following benefits: <BR> <BR> S... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 22:34:14 EST 1/2/13 - Protein check Make sure to get your protein. Review the Spark article below regarding how much protein you need.... <BR> <BR> The RDA established by The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences is based on a bodyweight: 0.8 grams protein per kilogram of body weight for a healthy adult. That is roughly 54 grams daily for a 150-pound female, or 71 grams daily for a 195-pound male. This calculation doesn't factor exercise into the equation, and it might overestimate protein needs for peo... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 23:18:21 EST 1/1/14 - Small acts of power Start the new year with small acts of power that add up to a successful day. How many small acts of power can you complete today..... <BR> <BR> -Small, healthy meals and snacks every three hours (skip this if health issues may be adversely impacted) <BR> <BR> -Eight glasses of water <BR> <BR> -3 - 5 servings of fruits/veggies <BR> <BR> -At least 10 minutes of cardio <BR> <BR> Ready, set, GO! <BR> <BR> <em>411</em> Tue, 31 Dec 2013 22:22:50 EST 12/31/13 - Three things Write down three lessons you have learned this year and put the list under your pillow. Take these lessons with you into the new year. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: at least 10 minutes of cardio or strength training. Get the calorie burn going before you head to any New Years functions. <BR> <BR> Check out the short videos on Spark: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asp </link> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 22:10:20 EST 12/30/13 - Plan and a bonus challenge Winston Churchill said "He who fails to plan is planning to fail". Let's head into the new year with a plan. <BR> <BR> Use your spark planner (My Trackers-Planner-Add Appointment) or your calendar hanging in your kitchen or whatever method works for you. Make an appointment for at least 10 minutes of cardio/strength training each day. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: Check in with how many fitness minutes you got in today. All cardio and strength training counts. Break it up in five minute incre... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 22:07:13 EST 12/29/13 - Me day Now that the hustle and bustle is winding down for most of us, make it a me day or at least find five or ten minutes for me time. You can use this time to track the team goal to do something for yourself. <BR> <BR> Constant stress can have negative effects on our health. Take some time today to slow down. <BR> Check out the following spark article for some relaxing techniques you can try: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=779 </link> <BR> <BR> Le... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 21:58:20 EST 12/28/13 - Card Playing Day According to, December 28 is card playing day. Spend some time with a good game of solitaire or gather the kids and play some Go Fish, Crazy Eights or Memory. <BR> <BR> You can also use today to do a Deck of Cards workout. Follow Jillian's or make up your own, as easy or as challenging as you need: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-loser-trainer-jillian-michaels-deck-o<BR>f-cards-workout </link> <BR> <BR> If playing cards is not an option tod... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 22:29:19 EST 11/27/13 - Pushups.. 4 levels Besides the obvious upper-body conditioning, pushups also improve core strength, increase bone mass, which declines with age and increases metabolic rate which can lead to weight loss. <BR> <BR> Pick the push-up that fits your fitness level: <BR> <BR> Wall pushups - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=107 </link> <BR> <BR> Modified pushups on knees - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>es.asp?exercise=36 </link> <BR> <BR> P... Thu, 26 Dec 2013 22:49:25 EST 12/26/13 - Boxing Day 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. In the case of servants, they would work on Christmas Day, so it was only fitting that immediately after Christmas, they would be given a day off to celebrate. <BR> <BR> Today's challenge, look around and see what you really do not use or need anymore to box up for charity. <BR> <B... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 22:02:26 EST 12/25/13 - Count your blessinga Sit back for a minute or two and count your blessings... really count your blessings, look around you, pay attention to the faces of those surrounding you, really hear what is said. <BR> <BR> Time goes so fast. Sometimes we miss the smallest details. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> List your blessings out here or simply let us all know that you have found small moments in your day to be thankful for. <BR> <BR> Blog about it or jot your blessings ... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 22:21:07 EST 12/24/13 -Sneaky glutes While brushing your teeth, washing dishes, peeling potatoes...any time you are standing still, or sitting, tighten your glutes, hold a second and release. <BR> <BR> See how many opportunities you can find to tighten your tushie. <BR> <BR> <em>445</em> <BR> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 23:00:19 EST 12/23/13 - Short Cardio - 3 levels Let's get moving! Holiday calories are no match for the One Day Challenge team. Pick your level: <BR> <BR> 11-min Seated Cardio- <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=38 </link> <BR> <BR> 12-min low impact cardio - <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=33 </link> <BR> <BR> I noticed this one cuts off a bit at the end. Make sure to take time to cool down, walk in place for a minute, deep breath in as you raise... Sun, 22 Dec 2013 21:31:59 EST 11/21/13 - Sunday Stretching Let's loosen up and get ready for the week ahead and Christmas, if you celebrate. Cardio challenges lie ahead so let's get flexible. <BR> <BR> Make sure to do a five to ten-minute warm-up first with a brisk walk or a little dancing. Never stretch cold muscles. Remember to breathe during stretches, never hold your breath. <BR> <BR> 4-minute lower body stretching video: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=92 </link> <BR> <BR> 3-minute upper body stre... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:03:11 EST Look on the Bright Side Day December 21st is Look on the Bright Side day. <BR> <BR> The challenge for today will be to find as much good in your day as you can. Find silver linings. Counter any frustrations you feel today with a moment of power...deep breathing, an extra glass of water or a short workout... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asp </link> <BR> <BR> <em>437</em> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 22:42:23 EST 11/20/13 - Friday freggies and bonus challenge As we head into the weekend power up with your five servings of fruits and veggies. If you don't have enough on hand, get as much as you can today and plan on picking up a few more items for the weekend. <BR> <BR> Ideas for getting more freggies in your diet: <BR> <BR> -Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast. <BR> -Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fresh fruit. <BR> -Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips ... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 22:26:07 EST 11/19/13 - Let's hear it It's that time of year when we reflect on the year that is passing and look ahead to a new year full of opportunities. <BR> <BR> Today's challenge will be to hear from as many team members as possible. Feel free to send me a spark mail if you would rather not post a comment to the team. <BR> <BR> I'm looking for: <BR> <BR> What kinds of challenges motivate you each day? <BR> Which of your daily goals could use a boost? <BR> Which past challenge(s) would you like to see repeated every so... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 22:57:31 EST 12/18/13 - Sneaky abs While brushing your teeth, bend your knees a bit to protect your back, contract your abdominal muscles as many times as you can. <BR> <BR> How many more opportunities during the rest of the day can you find to perform these contractions? <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: join/track team goals. I see the numbers are slowly rising. Let's finish the year with big numbers. <BR> <BR> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 22:57:52 EST 12/17/13 - Calcium check How is your calcium intake? Besides strengthening bones and teeth, calcium helps muscles and nerves function properly. <BR> <BR> Try a few ideas from the Spark list to get more calcium in your diet: <BR> <BR> Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes. <BR> Grate low-fat cheese over soups and salads. <BR> Enjoy a smoothie made with yogurt . <BR> Use milk instead of water in soups, breads, sauces, or salad dressings. <BR> Add milk to tea or coffee in the morning. <BR> Try plain yogurt as a ... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 22:45:32 EST 12/16/13 - Three Moves Certified Personal Trainer Gunnar Peterson also believes in 10 minutes of activity just as Spark encourages. <BR> <BR> On a Dr. Oz episode, he demonstrates 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... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 22:31:25 EST 12/15/13 - De-stress During the hustle and bustle of the holidays plus dealing with the cold and flu season, take a few minutes to practice deep breathing and slow yourself down. <BR> <BR> Breathe deeply from the abdomen so you can inhale more oxygen which will make you less tense and anxious: <BR> <BR> Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. <BR> Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 23:25:51 EST 12/14/13 - Vitamin C How's your vitamin C intake on a daily basis? Among other benefits... <BR> <BR> It helps to build, repair, and maintain red blood cells, bones, and other tissues. <BR> It helps the body to absorb iron found in plant foods. <BR> Vitamin C is necessary for cuts and wounds to heal. <BR> It keeps the gums healthy and protects you from infection by keeping the immune system strong and healthy. <BR> <BR> The best sources of vitamin C include: <BR> citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, tangerine... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 22:59:50 EST 12/13/13 - 12 Days of Christmas workout Or call it the holiday that you celebrate. Pick as many moves as you can do in good form or challenge yourself to perform the entire circuit. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=prevent_holiday_pounds_with_the_12_<BR>moves_of_christmas_workout </link> <BR> <BR> Holiday calories are no match for the One Day Challenge team! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:11:31 EST 12/12/13 - Squats Why they're effective: they engage more muscles than any other move. Squats work the thighs (quads, hamstrings, outer thighs), glutes, and core (abdominals and the muscles that support your spine). You don't need any equipment to perform squats, but always have the option of adding dumbbells and/or a stability ball to add challenge. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions. <BR> <BR> Pick your move or do a combination of both.... <BR> <BR> Basic squats (use a chair or wall for balance): <BR> ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:47:43 EST 12/11/13 - Cardio Minutes Who can rack up the most cardio minutes today? Check out the spark list of over 110 cardio ideas..... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1596&page=2 </link> <BR> <BR> Everything counts, Spark videos, YouTube videos, DVDS you have, anything on the list. <BR> <BR> Gaye, I hope you are feeling better, if not, rack up taking care of yourself minutes! That goes for anyone else that may not be feeling good. <BR> <BR> Let's get moving! Report in how ma... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 22:06:12 EST 12/10/13 - Water Check Summer isn't the only season to consume enough water. During the winter we sweat less and feel less thirsty. <BR> <BR> Water is necessary for all of our body systems. Our systems do not change in the winter so we need to continue to pay attention to our water consumption. <BR> <BR> One benefit of drinking water is to improve the functioning of our brain. If water consumption is low, the blood thickens, the body works harder to circulate blood, and the brain becomes sluggish. Who needs that... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 22:30:18 EST 12/9/13-Weekend check-in and bonus challenge How did your weekend go? <BR> <BR> I got my eight glasses of water in each day, I road my bike for twenty minutes before doing some ST and I was mindful at the annual cousin Christmas party. As I stared at all of the food, thinking about filling my plate, I thought of posting to all of you my weekend goals and limited my choices. <BR> <BR> BONUS CHALLENGE: December 9th is Christmas card day which honors Sir Henry Cole (1818 - 1874) of England. Cole created the first commercial Christmas Ca... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 22:59:50 EST 12/8/13 - A "me" day Take a "me" day or at least five or ten minutes. Before the hustle and bustle of the week begins, take time to refresh and recharge. <BR> <BR> "Taking time for yourself allows you to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace." <BR> <BR> Check out the spark article on how to make yourself a priority. We are no good to anyone else until we take care of ourselves. <BR> <BR> What is your favorite way to spend some quality time on yourself? <BR> <BR> I hope everyone's weekend goals ... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 01:25:07 EST 12/7/13 - Stairs It's a win-win, cardio and strength training. Taking the stairs raises your heart rate and works your glutes...a major muscle group so major calorie burn! <BR> <BR> Take it at your fitness level: <BR> <BR> Take it easy... Step up and down a step or two. <BR> <BR> Step it up a notch.... Alternate stepping up with one foot, extend opposite leg up behind you, squeezing your glute. <BR> <BR> Go baby go.... Jog up the stairs. <BR> <BR> <BR> See how many times a day you can hit the stairs. <B... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 22:54:42 EST 12/6/13 - Make it Public People who make their goals public tend to be more successful. Share three goals you have for the weekend. What do you normally struggle with on the weekends? Share them here or blog about them. <BR> <BR> Read the following Spark article for tips on picking realistic goals.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=696 </link> <BR> <BR> I will... <BR> <BR> Get my eight glasses of water each day <BR> Be mindful at the annual cousin Christmas party Sat... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 23:06:55 EST 12/5/13 - Towel Workout and bonus challenge Check out the Spark Towel Workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_towel_workout_makes_toning_easy </link> <BR> <BR> It's toning the easy way, all you need is a towel. Scroll past the photos for detailed instructions. Try as many moves as you can! <BR> <BR> If you have mobility issues, pick a seated workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1713 </link> <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge: December 5th is Bathtub Party... Wed, 4 Dec 2013 22:17:00 EST 12/4/13 - Protein Are you getting enough protein? Review your nutrition tracker. <BR> <BR> Protein Basics: <BR> <BR> Protein is a macronutrient that supplies both calories and 20 different amino acids for the human body. Amino acids are necessary building blocks that are used 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 bo... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 23:03:08 EST 12/3/13 - Tuesday triceps.... ...and biceps and shoulders and back and chest. Let's build some lean muscle and burn fat. <BR> <BR> Pick your moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e_demos.asp?exercise_type=upper </link> <BR> <BR> Some moves work multiple areas such as the modified shoulders, chest and triceps. <BR> <BR> Pick a move or two that you have never tried before. Mon, 2 Dec 2013 22:05:58 EST 12/2/13 - Moving Monday Let's start the week off with some major movement. Aim for at least 30 minutes. Break it up in five or ten-minute intervals if need be. <BR> <BR> Walk, run, swim, strength training, climb stairs or a combination of different activities. If you need some ideas, check out the various spark videos, some as short as eight minutes.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>asp </link> <BR> <BR> Make sure to look under "more video categories" on that page for videos that mee... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 22:07:52 EST 12/1/13 - Freggies Review your nutrition tracker and see how you are doing on fruits and vegetables. I've been a bit lacking this week. <BR> <BR> We are in the cold and flu season, we need to fight those free radicals with everything we've got and the antioxidants in freggies are a great weapon. <BR> <BR> According to ask the experts on spark: Eating broccoli or an orange each day might not necessarily give you an energy spike like a cup of coffee, but it has a great impact on your health over your entire lif... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 23:18:47 EST 11/30/13 - Make a List It's here, the holiday hustle and bustle. Before it gets down-to-the-wire hectic, take a few minutes and make a list of what you would like to accomplish for the holidays. <BR> <BR> Keep it in your wallet, purse or on your smart phone so that you may be able to check off one or two items each day and avoid some last-minute anxiety. <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 22:06:34 EST 11/29/13 - Post Holiday I hope everyone had a wonderful day even if you don't celebrate the holiday! Let's move today, besides shopping! <BR> <BR> Try Coach Nicole's Turkey Burner workout; torch major calories in five moves: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=take_the_turkey_burner_workout_chal<BR>lenge </link> <BR> <BR> If you have mobility issues, try Coach Nicole's 11-minute Chair Cardio workout: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>detail.asp?video=38 </link> ... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 22:45:58 EST 11/28/13 - Thanksgiving Take a break today, look around you and be thankful for the many blessings in your life. <BR> <BR> If you do not celebrate the holiday, do something nice for yourself! <BR> <BR> I wish you all a wonderful day and thanks for participating in the challenges. <BR> <BR> <em>429</em> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 21:59:44 EST 11/27/13 - Eat Your Vitamins day three Today we will work on Calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is essential for bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption. <BR> <BR> Best food sources for calcium: Dairy products are the most calcium-dense foods, but smaller amounts can be found in legumes and dark green, leafy vegetables. <BR> <BR> How to eat enough of it: An eight-ounce glass of skim milk, one cup of yogurt, one cup of cooked spinach, and one fig will get you to your calcium goal. If you don't e... Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:59:09 EST 11/26/13 - Eat Your Vitamins Day 2 Up next this week is Vitamin C. There's no scientific evidence it will prevent colds but it is an antioxidant that may fight DNA-damaging free radicals and boost your good cholesterol. <BR> <BR> How much you need daily: Seventy-five milligrams, but some experts recommend getting at least 200 milligrams. <BR> <BR> Best food sources: Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, red and green peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, kale, and collard greens. <BR> <BR> Just one orange almost ... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 22:22:22 EST 11/25/13 - Eat Your Vitamins Day 1 This week we will try to eat our vitamins. Taking supplements is fine and maybe necessary for some, but let's try to get our vitamins through healthy food this week. <BR> <BR> Today... Vitamin ps B6 and B12..... Benefit - keep blood, nerves and immune system functioning. <BR> <BR> Best food sources: 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. <BR> <BR> Bonus challenge: push-ups, beginners... Sun, 24 Nov 2013 23:00:33 EST 11/24/13 - Sunday stretches Time to stretch it out and get flexible. Stretching help us to avoid a decrease in our range of motion. <BR> <BR> Check out this link to the SparkPeople daily stretching routine... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=1264 </link> <BR> Remember to warm up, get the blood circulating before stretching. <BR> <BR> Let's loosen up for the week ahead! Sat, 23 Nov 2013 22:12:52 EST 11/23/13 - Fire up your metabolism Help your body help itself. Aim to eat every three hours, something small and healthy, every three hours to keep yourself from getting hungry and keep your metabolism firing all day. <BR> <BR> Share some of your healthy snack ideas to keep hunger at bay, helping you to avoid bad food choices. <BR> <BR> I keep low-fat wheat thins on hand at all times. When my stomach starts growling, I eat a serving if wheat thins with a tablespoon of peanut butter or a wedge of laughing cow cheese. It takes... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 22:38:36 EST 11/22/13 - Go out of your way The weekend is upon us. Let's get moving to burn calories and keep the metabolism fired up as we cruise into the weekend! <BR> <BR> Find ways to go out of your way to stay active. We've all read and heard about small ways to burn calories throughout the day... <BR> <BR> Take the stairs instead of the elevator <BR> Walk to the store instead of drive <BR> Walk in place or do strength training while watching tv <BR> Get up to change the channel instead of using the remote <BR> Leave cleaning s... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:30:24 EST 11/21/13 - World Hello Day November 21st is World Hello Day, created during the 1973 conflict between Egypt and Isreal. World Hello Day is celebrated by saying hello to 10 people and voicing your concerns for peace. <BR> <BR> Let's use this day to say hello to ten spark members. You can send goodies, comment on blogs/spark pages or stop by the Introduce Yourself message board and say hello to ten new members. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ity.asp </link> <BR> <BR> <em>524</em> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 22:26:53 EST 11/20/13 - Deck of Cards Workout I like to do this one once in a while to add variety to my activity. Check out the following article that explains Jillian Michaels's deck of cards workout example. You can make it your own though... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-loser-trainer-jillian-michaels-deck-o<BR>f-cards-workout </link> <BR> <BR> This takes me about 15 minutes or so to get through the workout I planned out. For each suit, assign an exercise such as jumping jacks, push-up, bicep curls e... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 22:39:20 EST 11/19/13 - Eat for Energy Instead of relying on coffee, tea or sodas for an energy boost, we should strive for eating energizing food throughout the day, every day, to keep our energy levels up and avoid the afternoon energy crash after the caffeine wears off. <BR> <BR> Read the article linked below and see how many of the following energy foods you can fit into your day and throughout the week. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=65 </link> <BR> <BR> 1.Whole wheat pasta ... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 21:59:21 EST 11/18/13 - Core Work It was great to read everyone's successes on watching portions! Keep those thoughts through the week. <BR> <BR> It's time to work the core again. Earlier in the year, I met with a trainer once a week and he put me through ab work each time. I found similar moves on spark people so I could track them. Very effective! Work at your own pace. You do not have to use weights if you're not ready: <BR> <BR> Balance seated torso twist. I don't have a medicine ball at home so I use a free weight: <BR... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 23:24:58 EST 11/17/13 - Portion Control Very impressive cardio ideas on the previous challenge! I also added extra steps getting the laundry done. I made it through the grocery store in record time and parked far from the store entrance. <BR> <BR> Let's focus on our portions today. Take a look at the following Spark People slide show to help recognize the proper portions as well as to learn the difference between portion size and serving size. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ow.asp?show=40 </link> <BR>... Sat, 16 Nov 2013 23:56:47 EST 11/16/13 - Several bursts of cardio Let's get moving! Squeeze in as many short bursts of activity you can today. <BR> <BR> How many jumping jacks can you do today? (Remember to do a low impact version if necessary... step right leg out to the side as you raise your left arm then switch sides) <BR> <BR> How many stairs can you walk up or jog up through the day? <BR> <BR> How fast can you safely walk through a parking lot or through the store? <BR> <BR> Put the radio on and several times, break out into a dance for the length... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 22:46:06 EST 11/15/13 Clean Your Fridge Day November 15 is Clean Your Fridge Day. Let's take this opportunity to get in the fridge at home/work and toss old food as well as some unhealthy items we do not need. <BR> <BR> If your fridge is in good shape, check out your pantry and food cabinets. Toss unhealthy snacks you try so hard to avoid. Check expiration dates and get rid of stuff that is past it's prime. <BR> <BR> At just a quick glance, I've spotted a couple things in my pantry that need to go. Let's clear out some space for what... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 22:44:21 EST 11/14/13 - Strong Flexible Feet Let's improve the strength and flexibility of our feet! <BR> <BR> Check out the following Spark article for five quick exercises for your feet: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=5_exercises_for_stronger_more_flexi<BR>ble_feet </link> <BR> <BR> "Over time you will enjoy improved balance in daily activities and workouts, a stronger walking/running stride, increased circulation and mobility throughout the feet and ankles, and significant reductions of foot, leg a... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 22:36:07 EST 11/13/13 - Recipe search Check out the over 500,000 recipes on spark. Let's pick a recipe today and get our shopping lists done to make a spark recipe over the weekend. <BR> <BR> Click on the link below. There's a search field at the top of the screen where you can search recipes by what interests you....low sodium, low cholesterol, vegetarian etc. Try something new! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I'm leaning towards the Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup. I'm challenged in the ki... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:08:34 EST 11/12/13 - Skater Jump (or step) This plyometric move is a great leg shaper, cardio move and good for improving balance. <BR> <BR> Stand with your weight on your right foot, left toe behind right heel. <BR> <BR> Step or jump to the left, landing on your left foot and touch your right toe behind your left heel. Swing your arms out in front of you and towards the direction you are jumping. <BR> <BR> Your mobility and fitness level will dictate how easy or intense you make this move. There is no need to jump, stepping to eac... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 22:32:33 EST 11/11/13 K.I.S.S Keep it Simple, Sparkers. I learned a tip that I plan on implementing into my lifestyle makeover, and it makes life so simple. I have determined the calorie count of my favorite meals, and I formed them into food groupings on the SP tracker. Try to eat one or two of these groupings each day; cutting back on tracking individual foods all day makes life easy. <BR> <BR> Also, kiss your veteran's today, or show them some other form of affection today; they deserve it. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 05:28:38 EST 11/10/13 - Stretching We all worked hard last week so let's stretch it out and get ready for a new week. Remember to warm up first, never stretch cold muscles. <BR> <BR> Some of the benefits of stretching include... <BR> <BR> Increased range of movement in the joints <BR> Enhanced muscular coordination <BR> Increased circulation to various parts of the body <BR> Enhanced performance in daily life, sports, or other physical activity <BR> Improved posture <BR> Mental relaxation <BR> <BR> .... just to name a few. ... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 12:29:56 EST