SparkPeople 13.1 miles ..CAUSE I'M ONLY HALF CRAZY TEAM Team Messageboard For all of those that want to go from the couch to 5k, 10k, or even 13.1 half marathon. Walking, running, jogging, or using any or all exercise machines. You Can Do It. Let's Do it Together! SparkPeople 13.1 miles ..CAUSE I'M ONLY HALF CRAZY TEAM Team Messageboard advice for running on icy sidewalks? First of all, I know the obvious answer is the dreadmill, but I hate that more than I hate being weak and out of shape, so any other suggestions? <BR> <BR> I have fallen twice in the past couple weeks. Once just got me wet, but the other one busted my lip and I can't believe I didn't break my front teeth. That face-plant has really made me timid. <BR> <BR> I don't think my balance is bad (I can stand on one foot with my eyes shut pretty much indefinitely) and I wasn't running or wearing... Tue, 9 Jan 2018 15:13:48 EST What is High Tibial Osteotomy-Knee surgery? Patients with a condition known as osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, experience a successive wearing on the menisci and articular cartilage, which may develop tears. These degenerative processes limit the ability of the knee to glide smoothly and can result in popping, catching, locking, clicking and pain. <BR> <BR> In a condition called malalignment, unbalanced forces cause excessive pressure on either in the inner (medial) or outer (lateral) portion of the knee. Degenerative arthr... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 04:48:08 EST 5K Here I Come! Hi, I am new to races but there is a valley here I want to explore. It is open to the public once a year for a 5k race. I "discovered" the race and became determined to enter the next competition. It is coming up in the spring. I am not following any "plan" for running. I just have maped my goals and increases. P'uwa'awa'a here I come! Sun, 20 Nov 2016 22:29:13 EST what websites do you use to find your runs? Here are some I've used, but it seems like they have very different coverage in different parts of the country. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> What are others' favorite sites? Sun, 31 Jan 2016 11:00:19 EST Committed to Half Marathon! Hi All! I've been a member of this group for a while, just not very active in it. But I wanted to announce that I have committed to my first Half Marathon! It'll be in April 2016 in Hollywood! <BR> <BR> I'm really looking forward to the event and to training to do the event :) Mon, 9 Nov 2015 13:00:16 EST Running for WeightLoss and improve my Health Hello All I'm 54 years old, diabetic and 277lbs. I started jogging 2 years ago. My son participated in Cross Country, so during his practices I'd go off on my own to walk/jog. I started at 320Lbs and built my distance up to 6 miles. That year I ran my first 5K in 38minutes. Then I hurt my back and slacked off - winter came - summer came - big project at work - long hours - yaddi yaddi yaddi . This September I started again C25K and got my distance back to 6 miles- weight is coming off using S... Sun, 25 Oct 2015 09:16:43 EST My full Okay, so I know we've talked about this board being for half marathon runners only. So this is the disclaimer, do not read if you are not interested in my story of my first full marathon!! <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> Well my running friends, I finished my full marathon yesterday. I had so many emotions going through my mind it was hard to focus on one!! Honestly, it was hardy to focus on anything yesterday as my mind was fairly numb!!! I finished the marathon in just under 7 hours, which is a ... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:40:43 EST Update on me Hello everyone!! Hope this finds you well!!! I completed my full marathon training!! I ran 22 miles last Saturday and started my taper!! That is a huge feat in it of itself!! LOL It kind of got rocky in the middle, but then my running buddy came home from Florida and we've been running as much as we can together!! Long runs are so much better with someone!!! I have 16 to do this Saturday and 12 the following. Then the marathon is on the 27th!! It is funny b/c we went out yesterday and ran 12 ... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 17:04:16 EST how do I train my body to handle humidity? Normally, I run early in the morning when it's still cool. And normally my morning runs feel easy or strenuous depending on whether it's a long run day or an interval day or whatever. This morning I ran what should have been an easy 5K and it took me fully 50% longer than normal. I was beet red and dripping sweat within just a few minutes of the start of my run. Mornings when it's cool and relatively dry, my runs are pleasant - mornings like today when I get out just a little bit later an... Sun, 31 May 2015 08:33:37 EST How to run a tempo run? Please forgive me if these have already been posted. Very helpful article. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>w-run-tempo-workout?cid=socTP_20150527<BR>_46474126&adbid=z12ry1wbduuzdxquq23vht<BR>yhtrnuchigk04&adbpl=gp&adbpr=112416939<BR>415625171763 </link> Wed, 27 May 2015 16:16:31 EST What Happens to Your Body by Skipping the Gym? This is a great article. It doesn't just talk about gym workouts. It also talks about cardio, your heart muscle, and Vo2 max. I hope you will learn from it too. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>chive/2015/05/15/skipping-workouts.aspx </link> Mon, 18 May 2015 10:20:40 EST THIS Is What That Extra Shoelace Hole Is For! Pretty kewl! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>THIS-Is-What-That-Extra-Shoelace-Hole-<BR>Is-For- </link> Tue, 12 May 2015 12:21:51 EST Six Prerun Mini Meals I thought this was really helpful. It provides a time zone and provides an example what to eat. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>unners/six-prerun-mini-meals?adbid=101<BR>52755622901987&adbpl=fb&adbpr=98154869<BR>86&cid=socNut_20150501_44969016&short_code=2wqst </link> Fri, 1 May 2015 14:59:56 EST How to Make Yourself Poop On a perfect race morning, you'd wake up, have breakfast, and use the bathroom—at least once, maybe twice—and then head to your starting corral feeling great, not worrying whether you'll have to stop along the way for an emergency Number 2. <BR> <BR> But sometimes, your routine fails you. Maybe you're traveling and in a different time zone, maybe your diet's been a little off, or maybe you've just got a nervous stomach. But some mornings, you just can't go, no matter how much you know it's e... Wed, 4 Mar 2015 10:06:29 EST Interval Training Advice * Pace yourself. Intervals train you to run a goal race pace, whether it's a 6-minute-mile pace or a 10-minute-mile pace. During your interval sessions, you want to run slightly faster than this pace so, come race time, your goal pace will feel comfortable. <BR> <BR> * Pick the right distance. If you're training for a 5-K, start with quarter-mile repeats, then move up to half-miles and then miles. For 10-K or half-marathon training, you'll need to do longer intervals. Start with half-miles a... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:18:35 EST How to step it up a notch? I have been running for about 6 months now using Galloway 30:30. I have run several 5Ks and want to do my first half next Jan. Since the half is so far out I wondered what would be the next step to stepping up my running? Should I try to get to a longer run/walk ratio? Or try for more distance at the same 30:30? And if I step it up for run/walk ratio would I increase 15sec at a time (ie. 45:30) or go to 1:00/30? Thanks for any suggestions. <BR> <BR> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:09:24 EST Muscles and Foam Rolling This was an <em>345</em> article about muscles and foam rolling. I believe it to be 100% true. I understand we are not football players, but our muscles deserve the same treatment. What are your thoughts? <BR> <BR> ""The TEST Parisi school takes elite college athletes and turns them into peak performers for the biggest job interview of their lives. We’ve used it as a template to make suggestions to help you take your performance — inside the gym or out — to the next level. PREP WORK Ever... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:44:19 EST Custom Map A Run Is anyone using a phone app where you can create your own map where you are going to run, then when you go on your run it tells you turn-by-turn instructions? <BR> <BR> I have seen that the technology is there, but not perfected yet. <BR> <BR> For example, we have several races in my town and I don't like to carry a piece of paper to get familiar with the race route. Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:22:23 EST Race Day Etiquette - Do’s and Don’ts Race Day Etiquette - Do’s and Don’ts <BR> <BR> Does it exist? Not the ask miss manners white glove no snot rockets kind, but yes. <BR> <BR> After months of training, everyone arrives at the start line a little amp’ed up, anixous and determined to achieve their goal. Maybe that means trying to get just a little closer to the front, maybe it means nerves that require a few more bathroom breaks… <BR> <BR> It always means thousands of people focused on their own goals, but needing to flow toge... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:26:30 EST Running Shoes - Plantar Fasciitis I am sure Plantar Fasciitis has been discussed on here before, but I really wanted to stress how important it is to have proper shoes and shoes that aren't over-worn. <BR> <BR> "Plantar fasciitis is caused by drastic or sudden increases in mileage, poor foot structure, and inappropriate running shoes, which can overload the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes. The plantar fascia may look like a series of fat rubber bands, but it's made of c... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 10:08:12 EST You think you run slow? I saw this from another running group and found it interesting. It is worth reading. <BR> <BR> <link> /04/training-tips/if-you-run-slow-who- cares_22791 </link> Tue, 6 Jan 2015 15:54:23 EST Strategies for Slimming Down Nutrition tips for the runner who accumulates miles, but wants to drop weight. <BR> By <BR> Amanda Macmillan; <BR> Published December 18, 2014 <BR> <BR> Runners who want to lose weight and are already maxing out their miles burn plenty of calories, so the easiest way for them to create a deficit is to eat smarter. Don't eliminate meals or skip your post-run snacks, though; you could end up under-fueled, constantly hungry or with a sluggish metabolism–none of which are good for weight loss or... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:51:22 EST Spark People Enhancements Check out the new enhancements to streaks, as well as the ability to now post a picture with your status updates on your SparkPage. More details are here: <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=new_feature_roundup_enhanced_streak<BR>s_and_photos_with_status_updates </link> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:48:13 EST Race Day Lessons Learned - PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT!! Below are some valuable lessons learned from our TEAM on race day. If you would like to add your experience, please let me know. Everyone's experience is welcome. Your experience may help another runner <BR> <BR> 1) Do not change up your diet on race morning. The way you trained is the way race day should be. (TXHRT4U) <BR> <BR> 2) If it is hot, slow down your pace and stay hydrated. If the morning is starting hot, it is recommended to cool your body down before race starts. More info ... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:34:23 EST Running In The Heat Running in the heat: <BR> <BR> More Demand On The Heart <BR> <BR> Ideally, during exercise we want the heart to pump out as much blood as possible in each beat so that the heart rate doesn’t skyrocket to sustain a given workload. What happens in the heat, however, is less than ideal. <BR> <BR> With more blood at the periphery, there is less blood flowing to the heart. This decreases cardiac filling and stroke volume — the amount of blood that is pumped from the heart. To compensate, heart ... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:14:56 EST 3rd Half Marathon in the record book I am glad to say that I survived that one. That was my hardest race ever. The morning started off great. No rushing. Arrived at the race with plenty of time. Since it was a balloon festival and race it brought in a lot off people which meant long lines to get in. We learned our lesson the day before when it took us 1.5 hrs to travel 2 miles to the main gate. So race day morning I knew what do to bypass the crowd. <BR> <BR> Right before the race started, I looked around and the trees ... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:03:20 EST Blisters :( Hey guys. I'm a little more than 2 weeks away from doing my 3rd half marathon. I'm excited, but extremely nervous, but I am pretty confident I can finish the race. EXCEPT for a huge problem I've been having...blisters. Especially one I always get on my left pinky toe. It ends up being twice as big as it's supposed to be. And it hurts so bad. I have tried Body Glide, I have tried different socks, different shoes. Nothing seems to be working and that's the only thing standing in my way of finis... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:09:38 EST My second half marathon and what I learned.... Well, my second marathon is over!! I barely survived!! I learned a couple of things from this training/half marathon: <BR> 1. I need to make sure that I do more long runs during my training. I only ran 10 miles and 13.1 miles once each through out my training. All the other "long" runs were less than 7 miles!!! Now I know better and will make sure I put in the time on my long runs!!! <BR> 2. I need to make sure I run more than 4 times for a total of 15 miles during my two taper weeks. I rea... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:09:26 EST 2nd half marathon OVER!! LOL Well, my second marathon is over!! I barely survived!! I learned a couple of things from this training/half marathon: <BR> 1. I need to make sure that I do more long runs during my training. I only ran 10 miles and 13.1 miles once each through out my training. All the other "long" runs were less than 7 miles!!! Now I know better and will make sure I put in the time on my long runs!!! <BR> 2. I need to make sure I run more than 4 times for a total of 15 miles during my two taper weeks. I rea... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:42:05 EST Have you ever had a cortizone shot? Hi. I recently had an x-ray of my foot which has been quite painful for about a month and they found a bone spur on the bottom of my left heel. I am registered for a half marathon on 10-19-14 and I talked to the Dr. about it (I really don't like the idea of not being able to do it)...she suggested maybe doing a cortizone shot before the run. Has anyone done this and would you recommend it or does anyone have any other suggestions? <BR> <BR> On a side note, I did a 5K tonight which I was a... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 23:40:04 EST Beautiful day in Chi-town 6 mile run on one of the post perfect days of the year so far! Mon, 8 Sep 2014 12:19:35 EST Starting over (again) Hello! <BR> Just finished another 5k today, but still overweight...wanting to run better, feel better, and go further! 13.1 would be awesome! Sat, 6 Sep 2014 15:22:57 EST More info on shoes and running form I read this today and it expanded on what we have been talking about this week. <BR> <BR> The most common misconception concerning style becomes immediately apparent by looking closely at a typical pair of modern running shoes. I find it impossible to find running shoes today which are not heavily padded at the heel, and which have a relatively small amount of protective material under the ball of the foot - especially under the toes. Any athlete who has grown up wearing these shoes unfort... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:14:16 EST Did you ever run with a broken toe? I am just under 3 weeks from my 1/2 marathon & I am pretty sure I broke my toe today at the zoo with my son. It's horrible, throbbing and very bruised looking in the nail area. I don't even know exactly how it happened. Just something about my son pulling the stroller back & it hitting my toe. Then I couldn't hardly put weight on it. Frustrated as I just paid for my 1/2 marathon, plus it was our 1 on 1 time for the 1st time since school got out in June. I plan to keep trying to run, mayb... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:59:48 EST Running Form I found this in my file of running articles: <BR> The Perfect Form: Running better, from head to toe by Jane Unger Hahn <BR> <BR> Head Tilt: How you hold your head is key to overall posture, which determines how efficiently you run. Let your gaze guide you. Look ahead naturally, not down at your feet, and scan the horizon. This will straighten your neck and back, and bring them into alignment. Don't allow your chin to jut out. <BR> <BR> Shoulders: Shoulders play an important role in keeping... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 17:16:31 EST What went wrong? I got to thinking the other day about my half coming up in September and all the little details that one needs to be ready for on *the* day (and what can all go wrong). For example, I did a 10K about a year and half ago now and they had the usual bibs at the check-in, but no little safety pins. Usually I keep a few in the car, but not this time. I kind of panicked a bit until I found DH's emergency took kit in the trunk--duck tape! Looked kind of odd and I got a lot of comments, but it did th... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:18:33 EST Blue Water Half Marathon this morning 6/26/14 I ran my first half marathon this morning. It was great!! It is very hot and humid here in Michigan but I made sure I drank a ton of water yesterday and took drinks at every water station through the course. I ended with a time of 2:30 which was very close to my goal. I wanted to stay in the range of 10:30-11 min miles and did great up through mile 6.5. I felt strong and stayed under 11 min miles. But once I hit half way I started to slow down. I had several miles just over 11 min then went u... Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:16:06 EST How your body beats the heat This was posted in another running group and I thought it would be good to post here too. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>health/wp/2014/06/13/how-your-body-bea<BR>ts-the-hot-muggy-days-of-summer/ </link> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:04:59 EST Daily Motivation "We all have dreams, in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort." <BR> <BR> <em>186</em> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:00:08 EST Alcohol and Weight Loss... Alcohol and Weight Loss <BR> Can You Have Both? <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> . <BR> <BR> Alcohol and weight loss are enemies, but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many experts note the potential health benefits of consuming a single drink per day, including a reduced risk for high blood pressure If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans. <BR> <BR> Alcohol is metabolized differen... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:39:35 EST Did you track your nutrition and/or exercises <em>224</em> Sat, 7 Jun 2014 10:25:16 EST Slight Panic ... So my friend and I signed up for a half marathon about three months ago. <BR> <BR> We were training REALLY well for the first two months - it was great! Two short runs and a long run per week, with cross-training in between. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, we're both teachers, so our standardized testing, end-of-year crazy murdered the progress we'd been doing. <BR> <BR> Well, Sunday is our half ... and it's a trail half that's considered "moderate difficulty." (The Washington, D.C. North Face ... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 08:52:16 EST June....Bonus Points For Our Team 2 Fri, 6 Jun 2014 08:43:55 EST The Importance of Systems in Achieving Goals. The Importance of Systems in Achieving Goals <BR> Being Overwhelmed is So Over <BR> -- By Joe Downie, Certified Physical Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site. <BR> <BR> Setting and achieving goals can be very overwhelming if systems aren’t put in place. A system can take many different forms. It can be a simple post-it reminder or it can be a routine that you follow on a regular basis. <BR> <BR> Once you start setting goals, it’s tough not to wan... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 08:21:57 EST Arm Yourself Against Exercise Excuses.... Arm Yourself Against Exercise Excuses <BR> Winning the Fight Against Yourself <BR> -- By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> <BR> I got into a fight this morning. It was not a “discussion." It was not a “disagreement.” It was a full blown fight. No, it wasn’t with my wife or kids or even the other drivers on the highway. The fight started before work and even before anyone else in the house was awake. The person I had a fight with was myself. <BR> <BR> You see, if I am... Fri, 30 May 2014 08:03:53 EST 25 Ways to Get Back on Track Today.... 25 Ways to Get Back on Track Today <BR> Don't Give Up on Your Goals! <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Not long ago, you were energetic and determined to start your healthy lifestyle. Starting with enthusiasm and hope, you watched your food intake diligently, exercised like it was going out of style, and even avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner. You were confident that you were going to reach your goals once an... Thu, 29 May 2014 09:06:18 EST How to Deal with Setbacks..... How to Deal with Setbacks <BR> Bounce Back from Life's Hurdles <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We’ve all hit that bump in the road, the setback, the problem. What sets people apart is how they react to that bump. Are you one to spin out of control, in despair? Or do you grab a hold of that wheel and steer yourself straight? Whether it’s a school assignment, a work project, or a volunteer mission, we all encounter things that slow us down. You just have to keep i... Wed, 28 May 2014 08:51:33 EST Defend Yourself Against Diet Saboteurs Defend Yourself Against Diet Saboteurs! <BR> Are Your Friends and Family Making You Fat? <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> There’s one in every crowd— at the office, in your church group, among your closest friends and family. Sometimes they mean well, sometimes they seem a tad malicious, often they have no idea how they’re sabotaging you. But every time you take a step forward to gain dominion over food, they’re at your elbow-- offering you a brownie, some chip... Tue, 27 May 2014 09:20:25 EST Heart Healthy Benefits of Exercise Heart-Healthy Benefits of Exercise <BR> Your Body Benefits from Your Hard Work <BR> -- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site. <BR> <BR> "Exercise improves your health." You hear it all the time, but what does that really mean? How much of a difference can exercise make in your life, and how much do you really need to do? You’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to spend countless hours in the gym to achieve the heart-heal... Mon, 26 May 2014 08:39:13 EST Pave the Way for Persistence Pave the Way for Persistence <BR> Be Consistent and Persistant to Reach Your Goals <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When it comes to permanent weight loss, persistence is where the tire meets the road. There will be many ups and downs along this road, and you'll have to keep yourself going even when things get tough. If you’ve been working the previous eight steps in this plan, you have already done much of the preparation necessary to cultivate... Sun, 25 May 2014 08:46:14 EST Stop Feeling Guilty about Every Mistake... Stop Feeling Guilty about Every Mistake <BR> Don't Let Toxic Guilt Wipe Out Your Willpower <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Does this story sound familiar to you? You’re doing pretty well sticking within your calorie range until that box of candy shows up in the office, or all heck breaks loose and the only way to squeeze in lunch is at the local fast food joint. You give in to the candy or the double cheeseburger with fries and after that, thin... Sun, 25 May 2014 08:38:23 EST Health and Fitness Benefits of Walking Health and Fitness Benefits of Walking <BR> Reasons to Walk Yourself Fit! <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Starting a regular walking program offers numerous health and fitness benefits! <BR> <BR> Good for your heart: Walking regularly can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which contribute to heart disease. <BR> According to the long-term Nurses' Health Study, which follows the habits and health of 72,000 ... Fri, 23 May 2014 09:44:24 EST San Francisco Nike Womens Marathon Is anyone signing up for the upcoming Nike Womens Marathon in San Francisco? Random draw opens Wednesday June 4. Is there a group? Thu, 22 May 2014 19:37:56 EST Race-Day Jitters? For those of you that participate in races, do you get the race-day jitters? I get real bad anxiety the night before. Race-day atmosphere brings an extra boost of adrenaline and competition, which runners want to harness to elevate their performance. However, manage that energy poorly and it can turn into anxiety; too much pressure and nervousness will cause your performance to take a nosedive. Pressure is something all runners must deal with, just like nerves, and pressure isn't always a bad... Thu, 22 May 2014 15:52:11 EST 9 Ways to Get More Out of Your Day.... 9 Ways to Get More Out of Your Day <BR> Time to Ignore the Hourglass <BR> -- By Life Coach Mary Guarino, Ph.D <BR> <BR> Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site. <BR> <BR> Do you always feel pressed for time? If so, you are certainly not alone. Last October, millions of Americans participated in the first annual “Take Back Your Time Day,” a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University. The idea arose as a way to make the public aware of the “... Thu, 22 May 2014 09:02:20 EST Using the "Talk Test" as a Measure for Exercise Using the ''Talk Test'' as a Measure for Exercise Intensity <BR> Fitness News Flash <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> The Talk Test has been a generally accepted method of measuring (aerobic) exercise intensity for a long time now, although fitness experts have questioned whether or not the test is accurate across populations and different types of exercise. The test is self-administered to help exercisers determine whether or not they are exerc... Wed, 21 May 2014 08:58:22 EST 5 Things You Can Learn from Your Mistakes 5 Things You Can Learn from Your Mistakes <BR> Find Life Lessons When You're Less Than Perfect <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've always known that I'm a bit of a perfectionist. In high school, a B was never enough. In college, being in the middle of the bell-shaped curve wouldn't do. While the do-everything-perfectly mentality has pushed me in my adult life to advance my career and start my own business, my Type-A pe... Tue, 20 May 2014 09:12:09 EST Use Measurements Besides the Scale Use Measurements Besides the Scale <BR> What's So Motivating About Numbers Anyway? <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, SparkPeople Contributor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Pretend for a minute that gravity doesn’t exist. Everything is weightless, including your aunt Sophie, yet it all manages to stay on the ground. You don’t know how much you weigh because scales have never been invented. How would you define your state of health? After all, you wouldn’t be able to say "I need to lose 10 pounds" or "I weigh 15... Mon, 19 May 2014 08:54:10 EST Consistency Eventually Leads to Breakthroughs! Consistency Eventually Leads to Breakthroughs! <BR> Sweat the Small Stuff <BR> -- By Chris <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Consistency, so important to the SparkPeople System, is something our society often overlooks. People are so focused on wanting things now that they aren't willing to spend the time consistently doing small things over time. This attitude results in loads of stress and lost opportunities. <BR> <BR> Here's how you can reap the benefits of consistently doing small things: <BR> <BR... Sun, 18 May 2014 09:33:27 EST Reference Guide to Cross-Training Reference Guide to Cross-Training <BR> Why It's Beneficial and How to Do It <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> How would you like an exercise program that banishes boredom, improves your fitness, develops new skills and prevents injuries? Sounds like an infomercial, but it's not! It's cross-training, and you can do it whenever and wherever you are in your fitness journey. Read on for the skinny on this beneficial activity. <... Sat, 17 May 2014 08:23:32 EST Put Yourself First Put Yourself First <BR> Reach Other Goals by Starting With Your Self <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You’re a parent, school volunteer, Little League coach, and trusted assistant to your boss. You’ve been up since 6 a.m., made breakfast, packed lunches, cleaned the house, chauffeured the neighborhood kids, helped with homework, read bedtime stories, and finished extra work from the office.It’s 11:30.You’re exhausted.And, in about six-and-a-half hours you’ll begin... Fri, 16 May 2014 09:23:53 EST Starting Small is no Bull... Starting Small is No Bull <BR> Start Slow for BIG Results <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Imagine you’re in Pamplona, Spain, in July. You’re sightseeing, shopping through downtown for that perfect souvenir for your spouse back home (hey, someone had to watch the kids, right?). You notice a crowd. Then a commotion. Then, right in front of you, an avalanche of panicked, spirited men and women sprint by, followed by a dozen confused, snorting, larger-than-you-ever-exp... Fri, 16 May 2014 09:23:01 EST Plan Today, Succeed Tomorrow.... Plan Today, Succeed Tomorrow <BR> 4 Ways to Think Two Steps Ahead <BR> -- By Megan Coatley, Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Athletes do it. Chess players do it. Novelists, successful scientists and even salespeople do it. These days, everyone who wants to make big things happen is planning ahead in order to succeed. What about you? When it comes to planning ahead to reach your goals, are you falling in line or falling behind? <BR> <BR> Thinking ahead can help you achieve your goals an... Fri, 16 May 2014 09:21:53 EST High Performance Nutrition - Part 1 High Performance Nutrition - Part 1 <BR> The Big Picture: Food as Fuel <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Good nutrition provides the foundation for your goals, whether you want to lose weight the healthy way or fuel high-level physical activities. Unless you eat “the right stuff” at the right times, you aren’t going to get very far in either direction. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, what counts as the right stuff often depends on the situation. Your body c... Fri, 9 May 2014 09:54:58 EST May....words with double letters apple Fri, 9 May 2014 09:30:01 EST Did you hydrate yourself today.... <em>224</em> ....... <em>478</em> <em>469</em> <em>91</em> Fri, 9 May 2014 09:28:58 EST May....Get Up and Go Challenge <em>311</em> <em>315</em> <em>324</em> Fri, 9 May 2014 09:26:51 EST Post A Seasonal Emoticon..... <em>379</em> Fri, 9 May 2014 09:16:53 EST New Members....Come On In and Introduce Yourself <em>235</em> to our team new members. It's great to have you on board. All the best to you on reaching your goals. <em>306</em> Fri, 9 May 2014 09:13:34 EST EMOTICON....How are you feeling today..... <em>104</em> Fri, 9 May 2014 09:10:44 EST May....Bonus Points For Our Team 3 Fri, 9 May 2014 09:09:58 EST Quotes For Today....Come Share!!!! Four things you can't recover: The stone after the throw. The word after it's said. The occasion after it's missed. The time after it's gone. Fri, 9 May 2014 09:05:07 EST Training Advice Happy Tuesday fellow halvzies (half crazy ppl) :) Just wanted to share that today I will be embarking on a training run with my 12 year old son for the first time ever! Two years ago, he and I ran a 5K together at his school but he had trained with a running club at school. Last year he ran the same race with his dad (and no training). This year he says he wants to go solo. I insisted he get proper running shoes (I work at a running store) and TRAIN! So he and I will be training together... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 13:13:47 EST What do you do? So, a little on the lighter side, and not to gross anyone out, but what do you do when you gotta go? Especially during a long or morning run where you don't have access to a proper facility? When it's nice, I like to run at the park near my house (it has a mile and a half loop) and the bathrooms are never open at 5AM.. So, I end up cutting my run short and zipping home fairly quickly. <BR> Just wondering what anyone else does? Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:41:35 EST Might've Made a Bad Choice ... Alas, I've gotten back into running (I've decided I enjoy it 500x more when it's not freezing/snowing/etc. out, haha) and just finished my best-ever 5K (my first 5K was almost 50 minutes, the one on Sunday at 39:05 where I ran the entire thing at a 12:35 mile). <BR> <BR> I'm doing a 10K in May, and am now (idiotically) signed up for a half on June 8. <BR> <BR> I realize now that 10 weeks is not NEARLY enough time to, oh, you know, train properly ... But I'm going to complete it anyway. <BR... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 15:07:06 EST Bruises Since I have started training again, I have noticed small bruises on my legs. They appear in various locations, the shins, calves, close to my knees, and even some on my thighs. While I am currently healing shin splints, the bruising is not located where that pain is. <BR> Yes, I'm resting and only doing low impact and strength training until the shin splints are healed. <BR> My question is this: Is it normal to bruise while running or is this something I should be concerned about? <BR> Her... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:27:41 EST Races Close Together How close together have y'all run half marathons? <BR> <BR> In April, I'll be running 2 races that are two weeks apart. That seems eminently doable on the Galloway run-to-finish schedule. FYI, I have finished one official half and one marathon, and have kept up training during the winter. I am so tempted to try to do the equivalent of at least one half a month. With the shortened season here in Wisconsin due to weather and recovering from my DH's unemployment, I am sticking with day tr... Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:40:54 EST Walking a half marathon! I have started gaining back the weight I lost just last year and needed a kick in the butt, so I signed up to walk a half-marathon in June. Now I'm thinking that was crazy! <BR> <BR> I wish I could run the event, but various back issues makes that not possible, but I know I'm only competing with myself. I just want to finish! And in order to do that, I need to train. <BR> <BR> Does anyone have any suggestions for training to walk this event? Any advice is much needed and appreciated!! Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:26:25 EST Gizmos and Gadgets Sorry everyone, moved this from the "Introduce yourself" thread. <BR> <BR> So what is everyone's favorite shoes, running gizmos and gadgets? Favorite things to wear etc. <BR> <BR> Sat, 8 Feb 2014 17:28:36 EST DC Rock and Roll 1/2 in DC - March 15th Fri, 7 Feb 2014 14:13:53 EST Passed Initiation I feel I can properly lead this group now since I finished my first 1/2 marathon <em>244</em> Thu, 6 Feb 2014 18:02:07 EST Runner Tip Runner TIP: <BR> <BR> Build ab, pelvic and lower-back strength to prevent injury <BR> <BR> Every runner at some point will have to deal with injury at some point. There are ways to prevent this. One way is to strengthen your core and lower back. There are several exercises that will make these muscles stronger. Some exercises are: <BR> <BR> - Abdominal Vacuum <BR><BR>XA <BR> - Kegel <BR><BR>do <BR> - Superman... Mon, 27 Jan 2014 14:45:38 EST Dec.....Get Up and Go Challenge For Goodies Use an emoticon or write what you did today or plan on doing today to get those beautiful bodies moving. <BR> <BR> <BR> This challenge will start on Dec. 1st..... (Sunday) Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:06:30 EST Dec......Hi's For Goodies This challenge will start on Dec. 1st....(Sunday) Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:01:19 EST Bonus Points For Our Team..... On the main page on of Spark People, you will notice on the left hand side, you will see the teams you belong to, with a flag beside it <BR> <BR> 1.. Click on the flag. <BR> 2. The Points earned for the team will appear for the day. <BR> 3. Then post the results in here, the points you earned for the team. <BR> <BR> You can choose to post up to 5 different teams you belong to each day. <BR> <BR> If you don't have time to post to all your teams, keep a tally of the points and the dates f... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:28:33 EST Chit Chat Is Where It's At.... What's happening in your area? What's the weather like? How are your goals coming along? Let us know what's happening in your neck of the woods. Thu, 7 Nov 2013 20:07:55 EST 100 Sparkpoints a Day Challenge 191 Thu, 7 Nov 2013 19:58:45 EST Nov......Get Up and Go Challenge Use an emoticon or write what you did today or plan on doing today to get those beautiful bodies moving. <BR> Thu, 7 Nov 2013 19:57:03 EST Daily ......Hi's for Goodies <em>213</em> Thu, 7 Nov 2013 19:55:45 EST big vs. medium races Hello! I still haven't picked which HM will be my first. <BR> <BR> One I'm looking at has 68,000 runners and one has 5,000. What are the pros and cons of bigger or smaller races? Sat, 2 Nov 2013 16:54:54 EST What's your next race? My next race will be the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in Washington, D.C. on March 15. What race are you training for? Thu, 31 Oct 2013 04:37:53 EST do you preview race course? I haven't done a half marathon yet. I'm wondering if you think it's good to know the course in advance, or is it better to leave it as a surprise? Pros and cons to either way... <BR> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:22:26 EST GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon Have you done this race? I'm thinking about doing a HM next year and I'm wondering if the Gothenburg Half is good for beginners? I'd love to hear testimonials! I've seen some blog posts but not by beginner HMers. <BR> <BR> <em>366</em> <em>705</em> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:33:55 EST Tired Feet? Good morning, Sparklers! <BR> <BR> I did a 5K on Saturday and something very strange happened afterwards. <BR> <BR> Ever since the race, I've had what can only be described as tired feet. The rest of me feels fine. My feet feel exhausted. I've tried massaging them and staying off them when I can. Nothing seems to help. <BR> <BR> Have any of you experienced this? What can be done to help remedy the situation? I'm nervous about my long run (5 miles) on Sunday. <BR> <BR> Any help would be a... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:27:37 EST October.... CALORIES IN.....CALORIES OUT... Better late than never! <BR> <BR> <BR> Calories IN... 1434 <BR> Calories OUT... 0 Tue, 8 Oct 2013 02:01:00 EST Winter Running/Walking Gear I know that I have a few walks/runs coming up now that the weather is turning colder. I live in Northern Illinois and know that I have to prepare for the cold. <BR> <BR> What are your suggestions? The tried and true stuff that you'd recommend I get? I'm not a runner (back injury) but my next event is a 10k and I'm walking 90 minutes or more on a regular basis to get ready. I'd like to continue this into the winter. But what do I need? <BR> <BR> All suggestions are appreciated!! Thanks in ad... Mon, 7 Oct 2013 14:47:29 EST funny half marathon story A woman in Ontario signed up for a half marathon, but got confused on the course and actually ran the full marathon....and WON! <BR> <link><BR>5571/ </link> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:34:22 EST I DID IT!!!! Ran my first half marathon on Sunday with a time of 02:55. My quote was "I never say a runner that is smiling". I am that runner now, runners don't smile because there mind is in a different place. I know the beginning and the end, I see people in the streets that I don't even know you cheering you on, people handing you water, Gatorade, banana's, apples and telling you keep going your doing a great job. I do not know the route that I took but what I do remember is the feeling accomplish... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:36:12 EST cross training and running-s upportive exercise Hello! I want to increase my speed, endurance and strength. I've started to swim laps and do 50 squats a day. I also bike but that's just for transportation. And I climb stairs at work. <BR> <BR> Any other exercises I can do to improve my running? Thu, 12 Sep 2013 09:25:23 EST September.... CALORIES IN.....CALORIES OUT... Time to start up September now that I'm back home again! <BR> <BR> <BR> Calories IN... A lot... I have no idea. I ate *cough* half a bag of dried peaches for a snack and my body has been not so happy with me ever since..... <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> Calories OUT... 0 <BR> Worn out from the 9 hour drive home yesterday <em>40</em> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:39:58 EST Effects of running? Okay..quick question...I ran a half marathon back in May. I wasn't properly hydrated, I came down with the stomach flu the week before the race. So I blamed the intense headache and nausea (which eventually led to me throwing up the little water I was able to keep down after the race)...I took like an hour nap and then was fine and could eat and everything. <BR> <BR> I'm in training for another half marathon. I completed 8 miles for my long run last week and was fine. I did nine miles to... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 07:18:10 EST Excited! I ran 9 miles this morning! It was my furthest distance EVER so far. I planned on doing 7 but felt so great that I kept going! I finished at 6:30 this morning and I'm still excited! :) Fri, 2 Aug 2013 17:23:09 EST August.... CALORIES IN.....CALORIES OUT... Another month!!! <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> Calories IN... 1208 <BR> Calories OUT... 0 <BR> <em>334</em> Thu, 1 Aug 2013 23:50:56 EST newbie seeking advice So I signed up for my first half marathon just after Christmas and here we are in August and its on Monday. Where did that time go??? <BR> <BR> I am nowhere near ready to run it all but don't mind because there will be a lot of walkers too and to be totally honest just getting over the finish line will be an achievement of its own for me. <BR> <BR> I have never done anything like this before so I am looking for any advice on what to do to prepare the night before but also how to recover ov... Thu, 1 Aug 2013 05:30:51 EST Results This is rather late but I had a goal to walk the half-marathon in 3 hours, 45 minutes and beat my goal. I did it in 3:39:15 instead, an average pace of about 16.5 min mile <em>334</em> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 01:22:34 EST How Many Races Have You Done? I'd like to get to know more people in the group. Please answer the following, if you want to: When and where was your first 1/2 marathon? What was your time, if you remember? How many have you run/walked? When is your next race? <BR> <BR> Thanks! <BR> Lisa Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:49:45 EST Need some advice/help I'm training for my third half marathon in early September. My knee is acting up. I get sharp pains just behind the knee cap. Sharp, and gone as fast as they come on. They are not continuous. When I'm running, it's fine. When I'm walking, it's fine. When I start to run, sometimes the first step on that foot hurts my knee, then it's all good. Or when I am looking for traffic/turning my head and shoulders. <BR> <BR> I am treating it with RICE. Then out of no where, it comes back. I... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 20:03:01 EST New Pains Hi everyone! I'm new around here on this Team but I thought I'd tap you all for some info. I've been running for nearly a year now, and average a sub-9 minute mile by now. A few days ago, during a regular half-marathon training run, I started experiencing some soreness and a little pain in a muscle in which I'd never experienced pain before. <BR> <BR> I looked it up since literally I had no idea what muscles these were since I had never hurt them before and it turns out being my fibularis lo... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 00:02:46 EST 10K Training Question I have a technical question I'm hoping you all can help with! I'm training for a 10K in September (and a half in November!) and I'm following a training plan. <BR> <BR> My 50:00 pace run says I need to do 20:00 at an easy pace, then repeat 2:00/half marathon pace & 1:00/easy pace 5 times. Then 15:00 minutes of easy pace to finish. <BR> <BR> My question is this: Wouldn't my half marathon pace be slower than a 10K pace? I think the middle section is supposed to be harder than the easy 20 at... Fri, 5 Jul 2013 23:58:41 EST July.... CALORIES IN.....CALORIES OUT... Time to move to the July tracker!!! <BR> <BR> <em>283</em> <em>232</em> <em>195</em> <em>67</em> <em>259</em> Mon, 1 Jul 2013 09:53:17 EST I did it!!! I don't post on here often but I love reading all your inspiring stories. Just wanted to say that this morning I ran my first half marathon, something I never thought I'd say. It wasn't super fast (2:56) but my goal was to finish in under 3 hours and I did that! So proud of myself! I'm already signed up for my second one, only 8 weeks away! Sun, 23 Jun 2013 23:41:52 EST Goal is to do a 13.1 walk/run by Sept 2013 I have a personal goal of walk/running a 1/2 marathon by Sept 5 and I will take any advice from anyone. Today was my first day I walked 4 minutes, ran 10 minutes, walked 3 minutes, ran 3 minutes and then walked another 3 minutes for a cool down. How did I do for my first day? Did I do too much on my first day or should I of pushed a little harder? I was not really tired or out of breath, just sweating a lot. Thu, 13 Jun 2013 21:36:56 EST Upcoming 5k anxiety and question about finding mor Hey everyone, <BR> <BR> So my goal is to work up to a half-marathon, but I am about a year from that point in my estimation. Given some back issues I have, I am working on my core before my trainer will really even consider letting me run/jog, but she is super supportive of me participating in any kind of run/walk event. So, my second one is this saturday!! Wish me luck! My goal is to end the race jogging, at least to the finish line from somewhere at the end and to beat my last time which ... Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:00:09 EST The Secrets of Success: Sneak in More Exercise... The Secrets of Success: Sneak In More Exercise <BR> <BR> By: Nicole Nichols, SparkPeople Blogger <BR> 3/10/2010 6:05 AM : 108 comments : 53,156 Views <BR> See More: fitness, weight loss, secrets of success, <BR> <BR> We've been talking a lot in the past few weeks about exercise and weight loss: why it matters, how much you need, and ways to vary your routine for better results. What if working out and dieting alone aren't really enough to lose weight? Yes, both exercise and a healthy... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 08:00:35 EST Positive Self-Talk Leads to Success... Positive Self-Talk Leads to Success <BR> Good Things Come to Those Who Believe <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health and Motivation Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Most people are naturally motivated—even excited—when they begin a new exercise routine or adopt a healthier diet. You’ve got your goals set, a plan to reach them, and nothing can get in your way! <BR> <BR> But as time goes by, the novelty wears off and your optimistic attitude can give way to feelings of doubt and dissatisfaction. Or e... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 07:52:45 EST 13 Ways to Get Moving at Work..... 13 Ways to Get Moving at Work <BR> <BR> By: Stepfanie Romine, SparkPeople Blogger <BR> 5/31/2013 6:00 AM : 67 comments : 47,441 Views <BR> See More: fitness, stretching, sitting, work, <BR> <BR> Like so many of you, I suffer from back pain, which I keep in check by taking care of my body with daily yoga, weekly Pilates classes, and being conscious about my posture. And though my job is pretty awesome, I do spend my days in front of a computer. I love writing and editing, but I don't ... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 07:48:16 EST Starving the day after a long run/bike ride Is anyone else completely starving the day after a long run or bike ride (2+hours)? <BR> <BR> Yesterday I rode my bike for 2 hours at a pretty good clip - and I burned a lot of calories. I purposely ate 500 more yesterday, but this morning I am starving. My usual breakfast felt like nothing and I am trying desperately not to completely scarf down the contents of the fridge. Sun, 2 Jun 2013 10:40:11 EST Sneaky Ways to Get Fit & Healthy - Without trying 10 Sneaky Ways to Get Fit and Healthy—Without Really Trying <BR> <BR> By: Nicole Nichols, SparkPeople Blogger <BR> 9/23/2009 7:33 AM : 193 comments : 146,485 Views <BR> See More: quick tips, excuse busters, healthy living, getting started, changes, <BR> <BR> Faster than a speeding bullet, there's a new approach to healthy living can make you fit as a fiddle. And it's as easy as 1-2-3! <BR> <BR> It's called "stealth health" and it's a philosophy that's gaining ground among experts, ... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 09:31:28 EST 1 week to race day! It's only one week until the Helvetia Half Marathon; any advice for the last week? What should I eat, etc. the day before and the morning of? I have to leave a little after 6 am to get there early and get parking. Sun, 2 Jun 2013 02:30:36 EST June.... CALORIES IN.....CALORIES OUT... Calories in......12010 <BR> Calories out....749 Sat, 1 Jun 2013 08:20:30 EST 10 Signs You are Getting Healthier Even if ...... 10 Signs You are Getting Healthier Even if the Scale Doesn’t Move <BR> By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger, SparkPeople Blogger <BR> <BR> <BR> By Beth Donovan, ~INDYGIRL <BR> <BR> Sometimes the scale doesn’t budge and you wonder if you are getting any healthier on your fitness plan. Well, here are 10 signs that you are! <BR> <BR> You feel like taking on something new. That’s a great sign that you are getting healthier. It shows a heightened energy level and more active mentality. You are obvi... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 07:43:59 EST Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up? Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up? <BR> A Look at Self-Destructive Thoughts <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If we had friends that treated us the way that many of us treat ourselves, they wouldn’t be our friends for very long. Imagine a friend who calls up just to complain–about you. Or an alleged buddy who quickly says “I told you so” when you screw up. Or someone who encourages you to give up instead of encouraging you to do your best. <BR> <BR> Why do we do this? Wh... Fri, 31 May 2013 07:59:59 EST Do Detox Diets Work? Are They Safe? Do Detox Diets Work? Are They Safe? <BR> <BR> By: Becky Hand, SparkPeople Blogger <BR> 3/8/2013 12:00 PM : 40 comments : 79,159 Views <BR> See More: weight loss, healthy eating, spring, diet myths, <BR> <BR> Spring is right around the corner, and as I glance around my home, I see that a thorough cleaning is in order. Dust bunnies are multiplying under my bed, spider webs are glistening on my chandelier, and a layer of dust has settled on all places too difficult to comfortably reach... Thu, 30 May 2013 07:27:28 EST High Tibial Osteotomy I ran my first half marathon about a week and a half ago... but unfortunately it made a knee injury worse/flair.... and now have been told both by my regular health clinic and now the orthopedist that I require a high tibial osteotomy (or a modified version of the same type of surgery depending on the standing x-ray and MRI on sat morning) to save my knee joint. Has anyone ever had one and returned to running? Thu, 30 May 2013 07:12:16 EST My First Half Marathon in Oct 2013 I have officially entered into my first Half Marathon. On Oct 6 we run at the Crazy Horse Monument for the first 5K then continue on the Mickelson trail for the other 10 miles. I am feeling all tingly right now. Kinda like when I was waiting in anticipation to go on my first rollercoaster with 7 inversions. When I got of the rollercoaster I felt like I could take on anything. I am guessing that is what it will feel like when I cross that finish line...after I eat, drink, and rest that is. It ... Wed, 29 May 2013 13:53:35 EST 29 Proven Methods to Manage Aches & Pains.... 29 Proven Methods to Manage Aches & Pains <BR> Self-Care Tips from Chronic Pain Sufferers That Really Work <BR> -- By SparkPeople Staff <BR> <BR> <BR> Many people struggle with pain. Whether it's short term from an injury or chronic due to disc issues, neuropathy or Fibromyalgia, we all want to find relief. Pain clinics and medical interventions are great places to begin, but some pain sufferers look for additional ways to find relief that don't always involve drugs, appointments or doctor... Wed, 29 May 2013 07:51:30 EST A Beginner's Guide to Container Veggie Gardens.... A Beginner's Guide to Container Vegetable Gardening <BR> A Versatile Way to Grow Your Favorite Plants <BR> -- By Bryn Mooth and Jenny Sigler, SparkPeople Contributors <BR> <BR> Container gardening is a useful method of growing both edibles and ornamentals when you have little or no yard, have compromised soil, or you simply enjoy the freedom to move your plants from place to place. It is an ideal technique for those in urban situations such as apartments. One of the biggest bonuses to contai... Tue, 28 May 2013 12:56:12 EST Introduction Hi <BR> <BR> I'm Jenny. Avid reader, Mom to 3 (6, 4, 3), housewife. I have 3 half-marathons under my belt. Derby Festival 2012 2:30, Sunburst 1/2,2012 2:40 and Flying Pig 2013 2:34. Currently training for the Indianapolis Monumental in November, and hoping to fit a smaller one in somewhere this fall. I am still chasing a new PR. <BR> <BR> Goals this year? Ride 500 + miles on my bicycle, complete 3 1/2 marathons, make my bed. I know it sounds cliche, but more days than most som... Tue, 28 May 2013 08:25:26 EST Have You Found Your Inner "Normal Eater"? Have You Found Your Inner 'Normal Eater'? <BR> <BR> By: Dean Anderson, SparkPeople Blogger <BR> <BR> One of the goals of making a “lifestyle change” (as opposed to going on a diet) is to develop a healthy relationship with food and eating that feels normal, comfortable, usually enjoyable, and relatively easy to maintain over time. <BR> <BR> No elaborate eating rules, no worries about “good” foods and “bad” foods, no guilt feelings or verbal self-abuse for breaking the rules, no getting ob... Mon, 27 May 2013 07:29:49 EST Doing a 10K run tomorrow ..Sunday It's been a while since I've entered any races so I decided that the time is now. I'm running a 10K for a new team called MetoCanada. The race takes place in Calgary, Alberta - Canada. DH will also join our team in the run. My ankle is acting up a bit but that will not stop me from running or walking for those that cannot run or walk. I will try and post some pictures in the next couple of days. <BR> <BR> <BR> Enjoy your weekend my sparking friends. Sat, 25 May 2013 12:11:00 EST May Challenge... ....CALORIES IN.....CALORIES OUT Starting the May Challenge..... <em>381</em> <em>386</em> <BR> <BR> Calories IN....1409 <BR> Calories OUT....875 <BR> Sat, 25 May 2013 09:48:41 EST Just finished my first half marathong this morning I just finished my first half marathon this morning!!! 2:22:45!!! Considering i didnt' start running until last august at all, but was sidelined from sept to jan with a not fun running knee injury... which i have still been battling. I started running again in mid Jan, so I'm quite happy with the time. I set a goals of 1) finishing the race 2) running the race w/ no walking, running only and 3) get a sub 2:30:00 time.... all of which i did :D I put in my baby diamond nose stud after the race ... Sun, 19 May 2013 17:52:05 EST Shopping Cart Essentials.... Shopping Cart Essentials <BR> Stock Up on these Healthy Staples <BR> -- By Liza Barnes & Nicole Nichols, Health Educators <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> So, you’re going to start eating healthy. Congratulations are in order—and so is a trip to the grocery store. Stocking up on some new items is a must. If your pantry is full of healthy fare, you’ll stress less about meals, and you’ll be less likely to snack on nutritionally-empty junk. <BR> <BR> But should you buy 12-grain or whole wheat bread? Low-... Sun, 19 May 2013 07:23:10 EST Can Certain Foods Help You Burn More Fat? Can Certain Foods Help You Burn More Fat? <BR> What the Research Really Says about Acai, Green Tea, Carbs and Dairy <BR> -- By Robert J. Davis, PhD <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Though food is supposed to be one of life's simple pleasures, few things cause more angst and confusion. It's no wonder why. We're constantly being told which foods we should eat to be healthy, which diets we should follow to be skinny, which preparation methods we should use to be safe, and which chemicals and contaminants ... Sat, 18 May 2013 09:56:12 EST Allergy Tips for Every Season.... Allergy Tips for Every Season <BR> Don't Let Symptoms Prevent You from Enjoying the Weather <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Every season of the year brings new obstacles to allergy sufferers. Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies (such as sensitivity to pollen in the spring or mold in the fall), or allergies that are a nuisance in every season (like pet dander and dust mites), there are plenty of things you can do to lessen your symptoms year-rou... Fri, 17 May 2013 09:46:06 EST Turn Money Problems into Rewarding Solutions.... Turn Money Problems into Rewarding Solutions <BR> Got Money Problems? Find Peace with Your Paycheck <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Got money problems? These days, when many people earn the equivalent of 4 gallons of gas per hour, who doesn’t? <BR> <BR> For many people, money problems go beyond coping with rising prices or tweaking your budget to keep your expenses within your means; they're a way of life. No matter how much money you have, it's ... Thu, 16 May 2013 07:45:32 EST 8 Tips for Deciphering Diet Claims.... 8 Tips for Deciphering Diet Claims <BR> Separate the Food Fact from the Fiction <BR> -- By Robert J. Davis, PhD <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Though food is supposed to be one of life's simple pleasures, few things cause more angst and confusion. It's no wonder why. We're constantly being told which foods we should eat to be healthy, which diets we should follow to be skinny, which preparation methods we should use to be safe, and which chemicals and contaminants in food we should shun to avoid illn... Wed, 15 May 2013 09:18:56 EST How to Deal With Setbacks..... How to Deal with Setbacks <BR> Bounce Back from Life's Hurdles <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We’ve all hit that bump in the road, the setback, the problem. What sets people apart is how they react to that bump. Are you one to spin out of control, in despair? Or do you grab a hold of that wheel and steer yourself straight? Whether it’s a school assignment, a work project, or a volunteer mission, we all encounter things that slow us down. You just have to keep in ... Tue, 14 May 2013 09:06:29 EST Walked my first Did the 500 Festival Mini on the 4th -- my thanks to my husband for being there to support me and the "Back of the Pack" for walking with me the last 3.1 miles to encourage me on when I just didn't want to go anymore. (While I walked with a few ladies from the Back of the Pack, we were ahead of the timekeeper in the group) Mon, 13 May 2013 22:01:00 EST Body Composition Measures Results.... Body Composition Measures Results <BR> Use these Numbers to Track your Progress <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Some people can measure their weight loss by the way they feel and look: firmer thighs, a smaller waist, jiggle-free arms. But then there are the number-crazy ones who desperately need some kind (any kind!) of concrete proof that all their hard work is paying off. They want to gauge their progress a different way. Give them numbers on paper, or som... Mon, 13 May 2013 07:47:13 EST Common Myths about Happiness... Common Myths about Happiness <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> Finish this sentence: “I could be happy if…” <BR> <BR> Did you answer something like, “If I lost 15 pounds,” “if I got that promotion,” or “if I had more money”? If so, you’re not alone. <BR> <BR> For many people, happiness is some elusive thing that’s always out of reach. You’re never happy right here and now—your happiness depends on something that’s got to happen in the future, something outs... Sun, 12 May 2013 09:12:05 EST An Exercise in Self-Esteem.... An Exercise in Self-Esteem <BR> Exercise Your Way to Feeling Better About Yourself <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you’re like most people who want to lose weight, you probably think that shedding a few pounds will help you feel better about yourself. And chances are, you see exercise simply as something you need to do to accomplish that goal. But here’s something you may not know: this "necessary evil" approach to exercise may actually be prevent... Sat, 11 May 2013 09:24:51 EST Finding Inspiration In Your Biggest Temptations... Finding Inspiration In Your Biggest Temptations <BR> Change the Way You Look at Obstacles on Your Journey <BR> -- By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Getting motivated--and staying motivated--can be difficult, and when temptations abound, it seems like the world is conspiring to keep you indoors, on the couch and stuck in your unhealthy life. <BR> <BR> Instead of viewing temptations as roadblocks, think of them as motivators--the devil on your shoulder, if you will. Thei... Fri, 10 May 2013 08:38:31 EST Put the "I" Back in Your Vocabulary.... Put the ''I'' Back in Your Vocabulary <BR> Increase Your Chances for Weight-Loss Success <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Would you believe me if I told you that knowing the answer to one simple question could improve your chances for weight loss success by up to 100%? Well, it’s true. Here’s the question: <BR> <BR> Which of the following is the single most important factor in long-term weight loss success? <BR> <BR> A. Calorie Counting <BR> B. R... Thu, 9 May 2013 06:29:47 EST An Active Approach to Managing Menopause... An Active Approach to Managing Menopause <BR> Get Moving to Relieve Discomfort <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You’ve heard the jokes and the horror stories. But often, faced with the onset of menopause, most of us don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Luckily, if you’re determined to stay fit—or get fit— there’s no time like perimenopause to begin a sensible physical regimen. <BR> <BR> Physical activity, the most effective alternative therapy available for women ... Wed, 8 May 2013 08:10:16 EST 100...POINTS A DAY CHALLENGE 167 Tue, 7 May 2013 11:34:11 EST 7 Myths and Facts about Chocolate.... 7 Myths and Facts about Chocolate <BR> Melting the Myths for Good <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Whether you prefer a gooey chocolate truffle or a mug of hot cocoa, chocolate is the number one indulgence for most of us—especially on Valentine’s Day. But this indulgence comes at a price, right? After all, isn’t chocolate bad for us, full of caffeine and saturated fat? Not so fast—new research has shown that chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet af... Tue, 7 May 2013 09:06:24 EST 10 Ways to Stay Healthy When Working from Home.... 10 Ways to Stay Healthy When Working from Home <BR> Make Your Home Workplace Work for You <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Working from home may seem like a dream. You have no boss popping up behind you. No employees to interrupt you with the latest office gossip. No donuts to avoid. But, working from home—with all of its perks and pluses—also presents some unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.... Mon, 6 May 2013 08:27:31 EST No Pain = BIG Gain..... No Pain = BIG Gain <BR> Is Your Exercise Program Wearing You Out? <BR> -- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We’ve all heard that a combination of diet and regular exercise is the best way to lose weight and keep it off long term. <BR> <BR> For some of us, common sense dictates that the more you work out—and the higher the intensity—the better. But that’s not necessarily true. Even if you’ve gradually increased the intensity, duration and/or frequency of your ... Sun, 5 May 2013 06:31:30 EST My first mini CHECK! !!!!! <em>224</em> <em>248</em> <em>244</em> <em>236</em> Finished. Slowly but finished thanks everyone for support leading up to it... I may not post but I do read... so thank you all!!! Sun, 5 May 2013 00:33:04 EST Yoga and You'll Go to Sleep... Yoga and You'll Go to Sleep <BR> Health News Flash <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. Many of these people rely on medication to fall asleep, but research shows that relaxation and meditation exercises can also be effective at treating insomnia. <BR> <BR> A new study from the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospi... Sat, 4 May 2013 09:33:24 EST Find Meaning in a Job Well Done... Find Meaning in a Job Well Done <BR> How to Make All Your Work Rewarding & Satisfying <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> For most of us, work is a fact of life. Whether your paycheck helps care for a family, a home, tuition, or simply what you need to stay alive, we spend a large percentage of our waking hours doing some kind of work. <BR> <BR> According to recent research, most of us also have conflicting feelings about our work. Over 84 percent of... Fri, 3 May 2013 09:02:27 EST Getting Rest with RLS... Getting Rest with RLS <BR> Control Restless Legs Syndrome to Sleep Better <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> When your legs ache, you can usually lie down and relax to alleviate your symptoms. But for people who suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS for short), relaxing only makes them hurt more. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 12 million Americans are suffering from RLS, which... Thu, 2 May 2013 11:06:36 EST Homemade Beauty Recipes for Spring.... Homemade Beauty Recipes for Spring <BR> 8 Fresh Ideas for Healthier Skin and Hair! <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Tulips and daffodils are pushing up through the thawing ground, buds are exploding from once-lonely tree branches, and I’ve got mashed carrot and avocado all over my face. No, I’m not spoon-feeding a baby, but I am babying my skin with a spring-inspired face masque. Carrots and avocados are excellent sources of skin-nourishing vitamins that can help... Wed, 1 May 2013 09:02:43 EST News from Jeff Galloway Edited because SP Coach Nancy let me know that I was quoting too much of the text, so I've shortened it to links... <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> If you don't already subscribe to Jeff Galloway's newsletter, I recommend it for useful tips. The following are from his latest. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Wanted to share a link from Jeff, for everyone needing to get going this Spring! <BR> <em>375</em> <BR> <BR> His newest newsletter also had tips on: ... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:33:09 EST 4 Steps to Healthier Surroundings 4 Steps to Healthier Surroundings <BR> Spread the Spark to the World Around You <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you're eager to be a positive force, there’s no shortage of people that could use some help. In 1994, 10-20% of every U.S. state’s population was considered obese. By 2001, the numbers in 30 states grew to 20% or more. According to the American Medical Association, more than 1 of every 4 adults in Alabama is obese. <BR> <BR> Being overweight is an int... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:06:44 EST Prevent Fitness Sebacks Before They Happen.... Prevent Fitness Setbacks Before They Happen <BR> Clearing the 12 Most Common Exercise Hurdles <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Even the most dedicated exercisers suffer from fitness setbacks from time to time. Whether it's losing our workout mojo or over-scheduling ourselves, we're human (think: imperfect). But what if you could prevent those setbacks from ever occurring? What if you could somehow stop setbacks in their tra... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:39:25 EST Break Out of Your Food Rut! Break Out of Your Food Rut! <BR> 5 Ways to Make Happier Meals <BR> -- By Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What's for dinner? What are you eating for breakfast or lunch tomorrow? <BR> <BR> If you aren't feeling excited about your meals, or if your kids are complaining about eating chicken again, you may be in a food rut. <BR> <BR> It happens easily; between work obligations, social plans, and kids' soccer practices, we tend to fall back on easy-to-prepare staple mea... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:02:23 EST 10 Tips for a Healthier Weekend..... 10 Tips for a Healthier Weekend <BR> How to Stay on Track 7 Days a Week <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We all know how it goes. You make good food choices, avoid temptations, and work out every morning only to find that on Friday or Saturday night, your willpower goes out the window. Somehow you begin noshing on chicken fingers and guzzling beer then snoozing through your Spinning class the next morning. Sound familiar? <... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 08:24:35 EST How to Stop a Migraine in it's Tracks..... How to Stop a Migraine in Its Tracks <BR> Triggers & Treatments for Migraine Pain <BR> -- By Robin Donovan, Health Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you live with migraines, you might already be familiar with the pain and discomfort they cause. Migraines are a specific type of headache often identified by episodes of throbbing pain and, sometimes, nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light. Migraines can be mild or severe, and they occur more commonly in women than in men. <BR> <BR> Some people... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 08:22:46 EST Surround Yourself with the Positive.... Surround Yourself with the Positive <BR> Picture Yourself in a Positive Light <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you put yourself in a positive frame of mind, you can accomplish anything. If you can clearly see your goal, see that it’s within your grasp, there’s nothing stopping you. That’s why surrounding yourself with positive images and visual reminders can be just what the doctor ordered. <BR> <BR> You may already have an inner voice telling you that you can d... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:29:55 EST Health and Fitness Benefits of Walking..... Health and Fitness Benefits of Walking <BR> Reasons to Walk Yourself Fit! <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> Starting a regular walking program offers numerous health and fitness benefits! <BR> <BR> Good for your heart: Walking regularly can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which contribute to heart disease. <BR> According to the long-term Nurses' Health Study, which follows the habits and health of 72,000 female nurses, th... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:17:13 EST Walking my first half marathon Hi all <BR> <BR> As the title suggests I've just signed up to walk my first half marathon. I don't know if its sensible or not but hey ho! I'm very overweight (just over 300lbs now) but been slowly losing weight since Jan (38.5lbs gone so far) and getting fitter, I can walk a good few miles without any real issues but I've never walked as far as 13 miles before. <BR> Thing is - its in 6 weeks time so I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or suggestions or a training plan I could follow? I... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:57:32 EST Eco-Exercise: Get Fit & Give Back Eco-Exercise: Get Fit & Give Back <BR> Plus 5 Ways to ''Green'' Your Workout <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Some people would only run if a bear were chasing them. Others do it to lose weight, get fit, or relieve stress. But Wisconsinite Samuel Huber runs to help the planet. He is part of a growing movement of runners who realize that this form of exercise doesn't just get you from point A to point B, but can also be a vehicle for change. <BR> <BR> Huber is a ... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:17:20 EST Managing Arthritis with Exercise.... Managing Arthritis with Exercise <BR> Pain, Pain, Go Away <BR> -- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Does this sound familiar? "My joints are achy, I feel stiff all the time, and it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning." If there were ever a good excuse not to exercise – if there were ever a defensible time to throw in the towel – this would be it, right? Wrong! <BR> <BR> In fact, when arthritis is a problem is precisely the time for you to get up and get mo... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:54:41 EST A Walk With A Cause I just joined a team today. It is a fun raiser for foster kids in Arkansas. It is to also support a young lady I know. To visit the page go to the link here: <link><BR>m=1353558#.UXQ7MLo5xm4.facebook </link> <BR> <BR> To watch her video and see why I am doing this go here: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I am interested in doing 5k and this one is with a cause I believe in. Sun, 21 Apr 2013 15:35:58 EST The Importance of Setting Medium-Term Goals... The Importance of Setting Medium-Term Goals <BR> A Reward System to Reach Your Dreams! <BR> -- By Joe Downie, Certified Physical Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> So often we daydream and think of some far-off goal that we would like to achieve. "I want to play the guitar in a band," "I want to run a marathon", "I want to be better at my job," etc. It's not difficult at that point to break it down into short-term goals… practice some chords in the evening, run on the weekends, or arri... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 07:40:40 EST Healthy Eating Horoscopes.... Healthy Eating Horoscopes <BR> Your Perfect Diet is in the Stars <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> When it comes to cooking and eating healthy foods, you might not reach your goals if you're following a plan that goes against your true nature and personality. If you're spontaneous, then meal plans might make you feel stifled, while an outgoing personality won't stick to a diet plan that involves cooking a lot of meals solo, for example. If you're struggling t... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 11:29:17 EST Healthier Ways to Follow a Recipe.... Healthier Ways to Follow a Recipe <BR> Smart Substitution: Baking Ingredients <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s dinner time again and all of your tried and true recipes your family loves call for cups of oil, sticks of butter, and several ounces of whole milk. But you have the solution – smart substitutions. <BR> <BR> Cookware <BR> For starters, invest in a good set of non-stick pans and skillets. These alone will help cut down the amount of oil you use to cook... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:52:58 EST 10 Signs a Fitness Gadget is a Gimmick..... 10 Signs a Fitness Gadget is a Gimmick <BR> Questions to Ask Yourself to Avoid a Scam <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fitness infomercials promise a lot: dramatic weight-loss, big results, a six pack in 30 days! But unfortunately, most of them do not deliver on those promises. When those ads are so intriguing and believable, how do you know which new products deliver and which ones leave much to be desired? <BR> <BR> To s... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 09:09:58 EST Finding the Courage to Win...... Finding the Courage to Win <BR> A Lesson about the Strength of Vision <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> This is the story of an unassuming electrician working hard at a city zoo. He was not known as the kind to stir up trouble, but as mounting injustice swirled around him, he couldn't help himself. He wrote and published a couple of essays expressing his beliefs - and was promptly arrested and sentenced to 1... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:57:01 EST 25 Green Spring Cleaning Tips... 25 Green Spring Cleaning Tips <BR> Good for You, Your Home and the Planet <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> After being cooped up in a stuffy house all winter long, it’s finally time to fling open the windows, shoo away the cobwebs, and take on your annual spring cleaning. But often, the chemicals found in conventional cleaning products can be more dangerous than the dirt they’re intended to clean. And the way we clean (with lots of disposable paper towels) isn’t ... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 08:57:13 EST Boomerang Kids... Boomerang Kids: <BR> <BR> <BR> When Boomerang Kids Move Back Home <BR> <BR> <BR> Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D., Yahoo! Contributor Network <BR> Sep 8, 2011 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here.". <BR> More: <BR> Boomerang Kids <BR> Boomerang Generation <BR> Coping with Unemployment <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Not since the Great Depression have so many fledgling adults moved into the empty nest with mom and dad. This cyclical trend has accelerated along with the economic crisis. Faced w... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:26:09 EST A Solution -Focused Approach to Weight Loss... A Solution-Focused Approach to Weight Loss <BR> Ask the Right Questions, Find the Right Answers <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What do you do when you don’t achieve the weight loss results you’re looking for? <BR> <BR> Do you resolve to cut calories even more, try harder to resist temptations, or log extra treadmill time? These ideas could work—if you’ve been doing less than what you know you need to do to lose weight in the first place. <BR> <... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:16:18 EST Empty Nesters Find Purpose and Motivation.... Empty Nesters Find Purpose and Motivation <BR> The Action Step Guide Once the Children Leave <BR> -- By Life Coach Mary Guarino, Ph.D <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What will you do with your time once your children leave the nest? You may not have thought about it, but a new career path could be your best option. The years of parenting are spent focusing on other people’s needs, often with little time for self-reflection. Career exploration is a wonderful opportunity for self-discovery and personal ... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 07:41:02 EST Nutrition Tips and Supplements for Insomnia.... Nutrition Tips and Supplements for Insomnia <BR> Dietary Changes for a Better Night's Sleep <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Is a good night’s sleep eluding you? <BR> Tossing and turning the whole night through, <BR> Drowsiness, fatigue, a lack of sleep, <BR> There is more help than just counting sheep. <BR> <BR> There are many factors that can cause sleep problems, and even more potential solutions. The steps you take to improve your sleeping pat... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 09:49:01 EST Tips to Stay Full Longer... Tips to Stay Full Longer <BR> Beat Hunger and Boost Satisfaction <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> No doubt about it, hunger is unpleasant. In fact, it can be downright embarrassing when your tummy grumbles for your attention at the most inopportune times. When you’re watching your calorie intake to lose or manage your weight, there will be days when you might experience ongoing hunger, eve... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:17:20 EST 5 Mind Games You Need to Stop Playing.... 5 Mind Games You Need to Stop Playing <BR> These Common Tricks Never Motivate--Find Out Why <BR> -- By Megan Coatley, Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Motivation is like cold hard cash: You can never have too much! And when you’re trying to lose weight (for the umpteenth time for many of us) you know that you need a wealth of motivational strategies you can count on. But, with so many motivational tips and tricks to sift through, why are we so often losing our motivation rather than rea... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:07:12 EST Do You Suffer from Diet Rage? Do You Suffer from Diet Rage? <BR> Rules of the Road to Help You Reach Your Destination <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> After slowing down to an unexplained stop for the 147th time in the space of 2 miles, I decided that I hated the world. Surrounding me were an ocean of maddening brake lights, rain pelting the windshield and thousands of tons of steel and fiberglass flung around by a clueless pack of selfish morons who obviously didn’t know the first thing about d... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 08:50:54 EST Think Your Too Busy to Eat Healthy? Think You're Too Busy to Eat Healthy? <BR> Quick Shopping & Cooking Tips for People on-the-Go <BR> -- By Tanya Jolliffe, Healthy Eating Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Whether you're overworked or just plain overstressed, time is valuable to all of us. When making a lifestyle change, it can easily seem overwhelming to include new habits like exercise and healthy eating into your jam-packed days. Between everything else you've got going on, how are you also supposed to find time to prepare healt... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 08:26:38 EST The Worst Reasons to Work Out... The Worst Reasons to Work Out <BR> Stay Motivated by Exercising for the Right Reasons <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We all have our own reasons for working out. And while all reasons have merit (and there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good about the reflection you see in the mirror), some reasons for hitting the gym are definitely better and more motivating than others. <BR> <BR> In fact, the goals you set and t... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 09:11:14 EST Almost to my first 13.1 Today I completed my first ever 15k. In Indy they have a training series leading up to the 500 festival mini marathon. I am so glad I signed up for them to keep me committed to the Mini next month. I was so worried about the 15k today. I hurt my foot during the 10k and seriously did not run but maybe a mile the entire month. With the cushion from the podiatrist. The only pain I feel that isn't muscle related are a few small blisters. Hoping I can run more this month than last. But so excited ... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 00:03:53 EST 15 Natural Mood Lifters.... 15 Natural Mood Lifters <BR> Quick and Easy Ways to Lift Your Spirit <BR> -- By Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> One morning I awoke and decided it was the perfect day to mix myself a "happiness cocktail." After indulging in my happy hour, I felt more than ready to take on the day! Just in case you’re wondering why a wellness coach is reaching for a cocktail at the crack of dawn, let me explain. <BR> <BR> While getting dressed, I thought about the many natur... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 09:19:33 EST Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes...... Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes <BR> Manage Glucose, Lose Weight, and Reduce Complications <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If your doctor has diagnosed you with Type 2 diabetes, then she has probably already told you about the importance of adding exercise to your treatment plan. Physical activity can help you improve your blood sugar control, lose weight, and reduce your risk of heart disease, peripheral artery disease and nerve problems that are of... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 07:52:44 EST 9 Hidden Reasons to Stay Motivated.... 9 Hidden Reasons to Stay Motivated <BR> Ways to Rediscover Your Drive <BR> -- By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Everyone tells us to stay motivated. Our friends, our co-workers, our relatives say to keep going, don’t quit. Sometimes, though, you ask, "Why? Why try my hardest when it ends in disappointment? Why go through something when it’s going to hurt? Why?" <BR> <BR> Because it’s going to be different this time! Because you can’t accomplish anything that you give up o... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 09:06:04 EST Exercise Keeps Your Mind Sharp.... Exercise Keeps Your Mind Sharp <BR> Fitness News Flash <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A new study from the National Institutes of Health found that the most sedentary individuals (i.e. couch potatoes) are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia than regular exercisers. Dementia is a condition of declining mental abilities ( especially memory) that affects your personality, skills (like driving a car), and verbal abilities. <BR> <BR> A... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 08:59:54 EST April Challenges. ...Calories IN...Calories OUT This challenge can be done seperately or in combination with each other. This is a great way to visually see how we are doing with Calories IN (food and drinks that we put into our bodies) and Calories OUT (the exercises that we do each day) that will wear calories away. You may want to post your day before results each day. <BR> <BR> Let's be accountable for the amounts of food or drinks that we par-take in each day and the amount of activities that we do in order to achieve the results tha... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 11:50:47 EST How a "Bad Food" Attitude Can Backfire.... How a 'Bad Food' Attitude Can Backfire <BR> Make Peace with Your Cravings to Drop More Pounds <BR> -- By Megan Coatley, Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you struggle with cravings and wish you had the will power to cut out certain foods completely? When we work toward a healthy diet, so many of us think that making a list of food culprits and calling them off-limits will help us to succeed. However, if you take a deeper look at the psychology behind this flawed method, you’ll see so ... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 09:16:15 EST Wake Up to the Importance of Exercise..... Wake Up to the Importance of Exercise <BR> Working Out Improves Sleep Patterns <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You stayed up late last night to finish a project, woke up groggy only to realize that you’d slept through the alarm clock, skipped breakfast, then almost fell asleep in the middle of an important morning meeting. It’s now mid-afternoon and, as you’re having yet another cup of coffee to stifle yet another yawn, you realize you’re seemingly sleep walking ... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 09:18:03 EST APRIL....30 DAYS....TO A GREENER LIFESTYLE.... Each day I will post a daily tip to help us keep our planet cleaner.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> With all the buzz surrounding eco-friendly living these days,you maywonderwhere to start.But reducing your impact on the planet can be simple,and every action does make a difference. Want even more incentive to change? Most green actions will save you money,limit waste,enhance your health and even increase your over all physical activity—all while benefiting the planet. <em>432</em> <em>433</... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 08:31:59 EST Are You a Veggie Head or Just Plain Fruity? Are You a Veggie Head or Just Plain Fruity? <BR> Nutrition News Flash <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A recent study randomly selected 508 adults and categorized each of them as either a vegetable lover or fruit lover by using a cross-classification technique, based on their preference ratings for fruits and vegetables and by each participant’s self-perceptions. Vegetable lovers differed from fruit lovers in both their cooking habits and their foo... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 07:15:02 EST Can Stress Cause Weight Gain? Can Stress Cause Weight Gain? <BR> What the Research Really Shows <BR> -- By The American Institute of Cancer Research <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Some advertisements claim that hormonal changes from high stress lead to weight gain. These ads offer products that will supposedly normalize your hormones, thus decreasing your waist size. Should you use these products? <BR> <BR> Research does support some link between stress and weight. Stress often causes people to drop good eating and exercise habi... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 08:34:25 EST Pave the Way for Persiste nce..... Pave the Way for Persistence <BR> Be Consistent and Persistant to Reach Your Goals <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When it comes to permanent weight loss, persistence is where the tire meets the road. There will be many ups and downs along this road, and you'll have to keep yourself going even when things get tough. If you’ve been working the previous eight steps in this plan, you have already done much of the preparation necessary to cultivate an... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 09:53:04 EST Chocolate: A Not-So-Guilty Pleasure.... Chocolate: A Not-So-Guilty Pleasure <BR> A Love Affair with Good Reason <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> For years, you’ve tried to break it off. You’re certain this relationship is wrong, even sinful. But try as you might, you just can’t end it—your willpower inevitably crumbles, and you always go back for more. <BR> <BR> We’re talking of course about your love affair with CHOCOLATE— that dark seducer even more likely to attract as you're surrounded by heart-sha... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 07:00:19 EST Building a Weight-Loss Wardrobe on a Budget..... <BR> Building a Weight-Loss Wardrobe on a Budget <BR> <BR> 6 Tips for Finding Clothes When You're on Your Way to Your Goal Weight <BR> <BR> -- By Caitlin Boyle, SparkSavings Contributor <BR> If you ever stared at your closet full of clothes and thought, “I have nothing to wear,” imagine how Amanda McQueen, a 28-year-old from Alabama, felt during her weight loss journey. “I’ve lost 115 pounds in total. I started at 260 pounds and a size 22, and now I’m at 145 pounds and a size 8,” she says.... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 08:38:31 EST Anyone had Plantar Fasciitis? So, I've had this on-going, sharp pain in one of my heels and it's been slowly getting worse the more I increase my activity. Doing some research on RW, Mayo Clinic, etc., it sounds like Plantar Fisciitis. <BR> Anyone else had this? I'm going to try some of the suggested exercises and also go to a good running shoe store to have them see if I'm using a good shoe for the way I plant my foot. I'm wondering if you've had this and just did home work with it, if you had success? And how long b... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:29:17 EST How to Get the Support You Need to Succeed.... How to Get the Support You Need to Succeed <BR> Get Your Friends, Family and Fellow SparkPeople on Board <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> You wake up to your husband preparing a platter of fruit and a slice of whole wheat toast for breakfast. Your wife always has a healthy dinner—lean protein and fresh veggies—ready at 6 o’clock. Your co-workers have teamed up to start a healthy lunch club. You have countl... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 07:18:54 EST How To Make Fitness Matter.... How To Make Fitness Matter <BR> Framing Your Big Picture <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> To stick around and work, weight loss has to fit within the bigger picture -- and then made into a daily priority. Like a movie extra struggling to be seen on a blockbuster film, if weight loss isn’t in the big picture, it won’t get watched. <BR> <BR> Weight loss is a classic “out of sight, out of mind” matter. If you’re busy with bigg picture stuff (which hopefully you are), ... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 07:59:13 EST 6 Tips to Deal with Daylight Saving Time.... 6 Tips to Deal with Daylight Saving Time <BR> Time-Tested Ways to Cope with the Time Change <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s that time of year again, when we reset our clocks and try to readjust to the time change associated with Daylight Saving Time (DST). Some of us breeze through the change seamlessly, yet others feel out of sorts for days. If you have trouble dealing with this sudden disruption in your routine, it is for good reason. <BR> <BR> Even thou... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 07:41:07 EST Laugh Your Way to Health & Happiness.... Laugh Your Way to Health & Happiness <BR> Health News Flash <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A recent study conducted by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine reported that laughter not only enhances your mood, but it may also protect your heart. During the study, 20 healthy participants were shown 2 movies: a funny comedy and a war saga. After viewing the war (stress-inducing) film, participants' blood vessels constricted and blood flow wa... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 09:10:55 EST Half in the rain... Running my first half marathon on Sunday. It is supposed to be 40 and RAINING in Charlotte. Any suggestions or advice for running a half in the rain? I have not been running/training in the rain, and it will be cold. Not sure how to prepare! Fri, 22 Mar 2013 11:19:32 EST Manage Yourself in No Time.... Manage Yourself in No Time <BR> Tips to Fit More Into Your Day <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As the world of technology evolves, there are more and more devices to make life easier for us. Think of all the time we save with things like garage door openers, snow blowers, remote controls, dishwashers, elevators, high speed internet, digital everything, laundry and cleaning services, gas powered mowers, online shopping… <BR> <BR> It seems like no matter how many ... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:56:21 EST Throw a Fitness Party!.... Throw a Fitness Party! <BR> Burn Calories While You Bond <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I needed to get a social life. This revelation hit me late on a Friday night when I realized I had spent another evening knee-deep in laundry when I really wanted to be out having some fun. Busy with work and family, I hadn’t seen my girlfriends for weeks. I was so overwhelmed with housework and children’s activities that I couldn’t remember the last time I had pi... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 08:58:37 EST 5 Signs It's Time to Get Serious about Weight Loss 5 Signs It's Time to Get Serious about Weight Loss <BR> The Time to Commit to Losing Weight is Now <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> It's easy to say that you want to lose weight. It's also easy to find the motivation to hit the gym regularly and choose the right foods in the beginning. After a few weeks, our motivation seems to wane and those old, unhealthy habits of yours start to creep back in. What seemed so easy at firs... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 04:35:05 EST Top Mileage Hi! I'm training for my first half in Boston on Memorial Day :). I've been back and forth with a couple different training plans - including my own. My One question is how many miles do you think you should Run before the half. Obviously anything 13 or more would be ideal. But my one plan only has my higest run at 10 miles - is that enough? I would love it to be, lol. But if i wind up only topping at 10 before my Half I want to know it is. Any Advice would be great!! Tue, 19 Mar 2013 20:38:45 EST Garlic: The Big Flavor with Benefits..... Garlic: The Big Flavor with Benefits <BR> Behind Garlic's Bold Taste is a Healthy Nutritional Profile <BR> -- By Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Garlic is a great way to add bold taste to your cooking without extra calories or sodium. But did you know that garlic offers more than big flavor? It's such a common ingredient in so many dishes that it's easy to overlook its health benefits. <BR> <BR> Garlic is a member of the Allium family, along with onions, leeks and ... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:05:44 EST Going Through the Emotions... Going Through the Emotions <BR> Why It's Worth the Trouble <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The world can be a beautiful place, full of possibilities and life. You can feel invincible and in control. But it’s not always like that, is it? The world can also be a stressful, upsetting, confidence-crushing place. At times, it seems like even something as clear-cut as weight loss is harder than it really needs to be. Is it worth the trouble, you ask. Why am I banging my ... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 13:51:15 EST Vacations: The Perfect Reward? Vacations: The Perfect Reward? <BR> Planning a Quick Trip Can Hold the Answers <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You’ve tried every reward you can think of to keep yourself motivated. You’ve coaxed yourself with new clothes, rewarded yourself with nights out or days off, even promised yourself a new CD if you would (please, please, please) just get up this once, lace on those shoes and go jogging this morning in the rain. <BR> <BR> Hopefully, the rewards are worki... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 08:12:09 EST Encouragement Eases Exercise.... Encouragement Eases Exercise <BR> Fitness News Flash <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A Bloomsburg University study found that women reported that their treadmill workouts seemed easier when they received positive feedback from another person. Encouraging words like "You can do it," "Good job," or "Keep going" can come from a friend, trainer, instructor, or buddy. Researchers aren't sure why the words have such an impact—whether the commen... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 08:13:24 EST The New Guy Morning everyone!! <BR> <BR> My name is Steve and I've been a member here at SparkPeople for quite some time now. I've been running for a couple of years on and off and so far I've completed several 5k and 10k races. I wanted a new challenge so I've signed up for the Bupa Birmingham Great Run in October. <BR> <BR> Just my luck as soon as I signed up for it I've been hit by a really bad chest cold. I've had it now for almost 3 weeks so that means I've done no cardio (other than walking) in t... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 07:13:09 EST former runner, now walker I'm Marilyn, 57, and a former runner, marathoner, triathlete. Two years ago I had knee surgery, last year I had foot surgery, and this year I will have foot surgery. My running days are over but I'm trying to maintain a walking routine despite continuing problems with my foot. My doctor encourages me to do as much as I can since we aren't sure the problem is fixable and resting doesn't make it better. <BR> <BR> I can consistently walk 5-7 miles regularly. Not sure I'll make it to 13.1 but I... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 14:06:14 EST How to Get Ripped Off....Gua aranteed!! How to Get Ripped Off - Guaranteed! <BR> Tips for Consumers <BR> -- By Christopher Stormann, Ph.D. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Bogus exercise equipment and nutrition scams have been assaulting us for about as long as anyone can remember. According to author Dr. James Harvey Young, the scams date back as early as 1630. That was the year Nicholas Knopp of Massachusetts Bay was fined five pounds for vending, as a cure for scurvy, nothing more than high-priced water. <BR> <BR> Flash forward to 2007 a... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 08:31:15 EST Post Marathon Recovery Tips..... Post-Marathon Recovery Tips <BR> Rest and Feel Better after the Big Race <BR> -- By Julie Isphording, Former Olympian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You've just had your Disney-like moment. You ran your marathon – 26.2 miles of bliss (liar!). Or rather, you finished the race with a smile, four blisters, wobbly legs and a good time. You still remember the cheering fans as you came across the finish line. In fact, the last time someone cheered for you was when you won a spelling bee in second grade. ... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 08:27:27 EST 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward.... 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward <BR> Don't Let a Setback Stop You from Pushing Ahead <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb <BR> "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams <BR> "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." - Chinese Proverb <BR> "Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never." - Winston Churc... Thu, 14 Mar 2013 09:06:17 EST Tools for a Healthy Kitchen... Tools for a Healthy Kitchen <BR> Save Time & Eat Healthy with these Small Appliances <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Standard kitchen appliances like ranges, ovens, and refrigerators undoubtedly revolutionized the way we prepare food. Chances are you probably have all three, and use them constantly. But there’s a whole world of gadgets and small appliances that can further reduce the time and effort you have spend creating delicious and healthy cuisine. These ga... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 09:00:58 EST Wake Up to a More Energized Day... Wake Up Naturally to a More Energized Day <BR> <BR> Small Changes, Real BIG Energy <BR> <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> 7:00 a.m.: An infuriating alarm jolts you awake. <BR> 7:30 a.m.: After three snooze delays you finally turn it off and force yourself to jump out of bed. <BR> 8:15 a.m.: Two cups of coffee later, you're stuck in maddening morning traffic. <BR> 2:30 p.m.: You practically fall asleep at your desk. <BR> <BR> "I got eight hours of sleep last night," ... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 08:21:05 EST Causes of High Blood Pressure <BR> The Causes of High Blood Pressure <BR> <BR> Learn Which Risk Factors You Can Control <BR> <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> Lowering your blood pressure isn't always as simple as eating fewer high-sodium foods. The fact is that multiple factors combined affect your blood pressure. There are two main categories of risks that contribute to hypertension—those that you can't change, and those that you can. <BR> <BR> Uncontrollable Risk Fac... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:03:48 EST Feeling a Little Mixed Up About Your Diet? Feeling a Little Mixed Up about Your Diet? <BR> Here's a Fun Game that Will Straighten Things Out <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> Let’s take a break and have a little fun! <BR> <BR> Dieting is important business, but that doesn’t mean we have to take it so darned seriously. Time to play a game! <BR> <BR> Below are some jumbled up words and short phrases. See how long it takes you to solve the puzzles (answers are below with a short explanation). <BR> <BR> Hint: Each word sp... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 09:44:37 EST Empty Nesters Find Purpose and Motivation... Empty Nesters Find Purpose and Motivation <BR> The Action Step Guide Once the Children Leave <BR> -- By Life Coach Mary Guarino, Ph.D <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What will you do with your time once your children leave the nest? You may not have thought about it, but a new career path could be your best option. The years of parenting are spent focusing on other people’s needs, often with little time for self-reflection. Career exploration is a wonderful opportunity for self-discovery and personal ... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 09:30:29 EST 4 Good Reasons to Buy Local Food..... 4 Good Reasons to Buy Local Food <BR> The Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Produce <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you’re buying California-grown organic strawberries because you know organic food is better for the environment, then you might want to reconsider your purchase—or at least your motivations. While choosing organic over "conventional" does reduce the pesticide burden on the ecosystem, shipping organic food thousands of miles across the country cre... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 07:38:29 EST What is Cholesterol? What Is Cholesterol? <BR> Get the Facts & Improve Your Numbers <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance. It is a building block of body cells and hormones, makes up 50 percent of your nervous system, and is necessary for metabolism. In moderate amounts, it is essential to good health. But the dangers of high cholesterol, including artery blockage and damage, are well-documented. Other studies suggest that very low ... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 04:12:13 EST 7 Things ...Separate Weight-Loss Winners & Losers. 7 Things that Separate Weight-Loss Winners & Losers <BR> How to Stay on Top of Your Game <BR> -- By Megan Coatley, Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> As you've probably figured out, winning at weight loss is about making long-lasting, life-altering change. Just like any sport or skill, you might start out a little rocky. Choosing healthy foods, trying different workouts, and finding the strategies that work for you will take a lit... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 08:02:13 EST hate-hate relationship with the treadmill?? are there any others out there that really ( and i mean REALLY) hate the treadmill, but are unable to run outside? <BR> i live in ontario, where it is still freezing cold and there is ice and snow covering every surface, so running outside is not an option for me until it melts. <BR> i am lucky enough to have my own treadmill, so i should have no excuse to ever miss a run... but the treadmill and i are NOT friends :( <BR> i have an incredibly hard time not holding onto the handlebars, i get o... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 12:37:55 EST Is Your Car Making You Fat?..... Is Your Car Making You Fat? <BR> More Drive Time May Mean More Unwanted Pounds <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You needed a few things from the store, so you drove a couple blocks to pick them up. Then you were hungry (but in a hurry), so you pulled through Big Burger. And now, ready for your requisite workout at the gym, you’re repeatedly rounding the parking lot trying to find a spot near the door. <BR> <BR> What’s wrong with this picture? More to the point, w... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 08:00:26 EST Another newbie Hi I'm Melissa and from Louisiana. I've done a few 10k's and several 5k's and now I'm ready to go for my first half in December. I've never run 13.1 miles but I'm hoping to get there with some supportive new friends! <BR> Mon, 4 Mar 2013 21:34:52 EST Chew Slowly to Prevent Heartburn.... Chew Slowly to Prevent Heartburn <BR> Nutrition News Flash <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Heartburn may feel like your heart is on fire, but what’s “burning” is actually your esophagus. Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the stomach acids enter the esophagus, causing pain and burning sensations. Left untreated, GERD can lead to serious medical consequences, including narrowing of the esophagus, bleeding, or even a condition call... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 06:56:30 EST Shoe Recommen dations? Hi all, <BR> I'm training for my first half marathon, and for the most part I'm loving it! But my feet HATE it. I'm completely flat-footed and run in minimalist shoes (which have no arch support, since I don't have arches), but every time I increase distance or speed, I get horrible painful blisters towards the front of where my arch should be. My feet adjust and the blisters heal after a while, but then I increase speed or distance again. Are there better shoes I should be wearing? Some kind... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 04:20:50 EST Goal Buddies are Golden.... Goal Buddies are Golden <BR> Who's Your Buddy? Anybody! <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, SparkPeople Contributor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What would you call people who can help keep the weight off, boost your confidence, and help make fitness fun? You might call them "miracle workers." <BR> <BR> We call them Goal Buddies. <BR> <BR> Most people make the mistake of going it alone. Sometimes, it’s just too tough to stay consistent by yourself. But a good fitness buddy won’t let you quit. <BR> <BR> Fitn... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 07:53:16 EST "Free" Foods for Diabetes... ''Free'' Foods for Diabetes <BR> A List of Foods That Don't Impact Blood Sugar <BR> -- By Amy Poetker, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> In diabetes meal planning, blood sugar control is the main goal. Typically, people with diabetes are advised to follow carbohydrate-controlled diets in order to minimize blood sugar spikes and manage their disease. Since many foods contain carbohydrates, this can be a challenge. One must learn not only which foods co... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 08:44:14 EST MAR. CHALLENG .....EAT A RAINBOW <em>437</em> Since March is the month for eating healthy diet why not make it more fun by doing this challenge. <BR> <BR> <BR> We all know the importance of eating fruit & vegetables, but how many of us actually get our 5 a day. With this challenge we will be able to eat a variety of fruit & veg and maybe try something we haven't tried before. <BR> <BR> Rules:- <BR> *Eat as many fruits & veggies as you like. <BR> *If you only eat the inside of a piece of fruit or veg, you don't count th... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 07:03:47 EST The Surpising Benefits of Being in Love... The Surprising Health Benefits of Being in Love <BR> How Positive Relationships Boost Wellness <BR> -- By Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When I was newly home from graduate school and working my first full-time job, finding a husband and starting a family seemed to be the next expected step in the progression toward adulthood. I was looking forward to having someone to share my life with—someone to be a steady roommate, a sharer of responsibilities, and a t... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 06:54:19 EST Emoticon, something healthy or something green... <em>368</em> Fri, 1 Mar 2013 06:31:25 EST 31 DAYS....TO A HEALTHIER DIET... This month I will post a daily tip on how to work towards a Healthier Diet. <BR> <BR> <BR> You've probably heard the phrase "you are what you eat."While it's true that food is fuel, it's also true that food is broken down and transformed into cells, hormones, muscles and YOU! When you think of food in this light, it can make it easier to make healthy and nutritious choices for your body. March is National Nutrition Month--a time to focus on making informed food choices for a balanced and he... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 06:04:53 EST Alternative Therapies for IBS...... Alternative Therapies for IBS <BR> Relieve Symptoms Naturally <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes uncomfortable and painful symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. In the U.S., this condition affects between 10% and 30% of the population. Traditional treatment for IBS usually involves medication, which is effective, but often causes undesirable side-effects. However, according the National I... Thu, 28 Feb 2013 07:28:42 EST Choosing a Walking or Running Route... Choosing a Walking or Running Route <BR> On the Road to Fitness <BR> -- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fitness can be incredibly simple. Sometimes, the most effective workouts don't need celebrity spokespeople or a payment plan. Walking and running are excellent ways to stay in shape year-round. These basic workouts are convenient, feasible almost anywhere, and require only a good pair of shoes- all you need is a place to go! <BR> <BR> Depending on the time of year, as... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:20:04 EST He Did What He Had No Business Doing... He Did What He Had No Business Doing <BR> The Story of Art Tatum <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Cheers to a boy who didn’t know any better. <BR> <BR> Cheers to a man who didn’t let a little thing like reality stand in his way. <BR> <BR> Cheers to a self-taught musician whose creativity and skill is the stuff of legend. <BR> <BR> Cheers to Art Tatum, maybe the greatest jazz piano player who ever lived. <BR> <BR> Art Tatum was remarkable before he was good. Blin... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 07:35:23 EST Your Fitness Plan for Weight Maintenance.... Your Fitness Plan for Weight Maintenance <BR> How to Adjust Your Fitness Program after Reaching Your Weight Loss Goal <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you’re thinking that reaching your goal weight means you can finally slack off when it comes to exercise, then it’s time to change that thinking right now. The fact is that people who are successful at maintaining their weight loss over time do as much or more physical activity than they did while lo... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 07:50:23 EST DID YOUR TRACK YOUR NUTRITION and/or EXERCISES ... <em>248</em> Sun, 24 Feb 2013 08:13:25 EST A Little Imagination Can Boost Your Motivation.... A Little Imagination Can Boost Your Motivation <BR> Building a Better Body Image <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> “I really want to lose weight. I hate the way I look and feel, and I know things will be much better when I get the weight off. But I just can’t stay motivated to do it. I think there must be something wrong with me.” <BR> <BR> If this sounds like something you say to yourself, I’ve got good news for you. There probably isn't anything ... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 07:48:46 EST How to Choose and Use a Pedometer... How to Choose and Use a Pedometer <BR> Get Fit the Right-Left-Right Way <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A recent study from the RAND Corporation found that people who live in the suburbs are more prone to chronic physical health problems than people living in compact urban areas. The theory is that "suburban sprawl" reduces the time people spend walking, thus increasing the time they spend sitting in cars, which is associated with higher rates of obesity, high b... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 08:50:11 EST 7 Secrets to Outsmart Your Supermarket... 7 Secrets to Outsmart Your Supermarket <BR> Look Past the Super Marketing to Protect Your Wallet and Your Waistline <BR> -- By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Conniving. Manipulative. Scheming. I’m not talking about your ex; I’m talking about your grocery store. On your next trip, be prepared to fight back against the tactics most supermarket chains use to get you to spend more money on "extras" that you don't really need—tactics that affect your wallet and your health... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 08:15:49 EST Are You a Workaholic? Are You a Workaholic? <BR> How Overworking Can Hurt Your Health <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> We live in a culture that's always on the go. We are constantly plugged in to the Internet and are accessible to everyone all the time. We eat in our cars, rushing from must-dos to have-tos. We get in to the office early. We stay late. We take care of our families. We d... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 08:48:36 EST Yoga Helps Prevent Middle-Age Spread.... Yoga Helps Prevent Middle-Age Spread <BR> Fitness News Flash <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A new study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington has found that regular yoga practice may help normal-weight people prevent middle-age spread and may promote weight loss among those who are overweight. <BR> <BR> The study involved 15,500 healthy, middle-aged men and women (between the ages of 45 and 55) and measured ... Wed, 20 Feb 2013 07:22:43 EST Gender : How Your Sex Affects Your Success.... Gender and Weight Loss: How Your Sex Affects Your Success <BR> Fitness and Weight Loss Differences Among Men and Women <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> No, this is not an article on that ever-popular question about whether sex counts as aerobic exercise. (It doesn't. Get over it.) <BR> <BR> This article is about gender differences in exercise and weight loss. This is your chance to get the facts you need to answer such burning questions as: <BR> Does... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 07:49:23 EST Did you know that some of these are REAL FRUITS... As I was eating my share of Avacado today...I asked my DH if avacados are considered a fruit or a vegetable. He didn't know for sure so I looked up on the internet for some answers. I guess I'm using some fruits as vegetables such as....peas, beans, cucumbers and much more. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A: Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Abiu, Acai, Acerola, Ackee, Arhat, American Mayapple, African Cherry Orange, Amazon grape, Araza, Alligator apple, Ambarella <BR> <BR> B: Banana, Berry, Bayberry, Blueb... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 11:08:06 EST Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise... Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise <BR> Use Fitness, Not Food, to Change Your State of Mind <BR> -- By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Some days, I am just in a mood. I don’t know what you call it, maybe stressed, bored, lonely, angry, sad, anxious, or tired. I call it "getting into a funk." When it happens, I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my attitude and my thinking and then—bam! Before I know what hit me, I’m in a full-blown funk. While I like to e... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 08:22:56 EST Slip into a Steady Slumber.... Slip into a Steady Slumber <BR> Tips for Curing Insomnia <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sleep is something that your body craves, but also something that everybody struggles with periodically. You’ve tried to cure it the right way. You stopped drinking caffeine late in the day; you didn’t eat a heavy meal right before bed; you made sure that the lights were off; you’ve tried to keep a definite bedtime schedule consistently. And yet, as you lie in bed sleepless and... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 08:56:41 EST 7 Good Reasons to Smile..... 7 Good Reasons to Smile <BR> When You Smile, the World Smiles Back <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Health and Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> Smiling happens without much thought. When you watch a friend do something silly or embarrassing, you smirk. When a police officer lets you off without a ticket, you grin. And when you are recognized for your top performance in academics or at work, you beam. Smiling is a very natural response that shares our happiness with others. <BR> <BR> But did you ... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 08:31:46 EST Smart Ways to Soothe Sore Muscles.... Smart Ways to Soothe Sore Muscles <BR> Decode, Treat and Prevent 5 Common Types of Post-Workout Pain <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Pain is a real, well, pain! How many times have you been gung-ho to start a new workout routine only to feel like you've been hit by a ton of bricks on day two? Something as simple as walking down the stairs can feel like torture. Most of us have "been there, done that" when it comes to musc... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 07:20:53 EST 7 Reasons for Eating Chocolate Today..... 7 Reasons You Can Feel Good about Eating Chocolate Today <BR> <BR> By: Stepfanie Romine, DailySpark Blogger <BR> 2/14/2013 6:00 AM : 4 comments : 958 Views <BR> See More: chocolate, health, treats, valentine's day, <BR> <BR> Chances are good that you'll encounter chocolate at some point today. Chocolate has earned a bad rap as a guilty pleasure, but this superfood has some pretty amazing health benefits. We think you should feel good about eating chocolate--the dark variety, in moder... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 08:34:16 EST Soda Drinkers Beware! Soda Drinkers Beware! <BR> Nutrition News Flash <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Studies now correlate an increase in certain health risks with soda consumption. For four years researchers tracked the soda drinking habits of 50,000 women. When women went from drinking one regular soda drink a week to at least one a day, they gained an average of 10 pounds over the 4-year period. An increase in body weight was also seen when using fruit drinks, but ... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:56:45 EST Whole Grains are the Whole Package... Whole Grains are the Whole Package <BR> These Natural Grains Pack a Nutritional Punch <BR> -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Health experts agree that we need to eat more whole grains for optimal health. But most people don’t know what whole grains are. They have been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity, but knowing the health benefits doesn't help you find them in your local grocery store or learn how to cook wit... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 08:03:56 EST Use Smart Goal-Setting Techniques.... Use Smart Goal-Setting Techniques <BR> All Weight Loss Goals are Not Created Equal <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What is the most important factor of success and achievement? IQ, self-confidence, perseverance? <BR> <BR> Actually, that's a trick question. According to intelligence studies, the answer would be none of the above. In fact, the tendency to set goals is the #1 predictor of success. <BR> <BR> Your SparkPeople program is based on a goal. You've already... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 07:32:56 EST What to Do After a Workout..... What to Do After a Workout <BR> When Exercise is Over, the Work Isn't <BR> -- By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Many of us have a great pre-workout and workout routine. We drink plenty of water before and during exercise, warm up, stretch, work the entire body, and even get in some cardio training as well. Then, after the last exercise, we promptly head back to the locker room, change, and journey home. <BR> <BR> What so many out there do not realize is the importance of ... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:32:08 EST Give Yourself a Reality Check-up.... Give Yourself a Reality Check-Up <BR> Are Your Weight-Loss Expectations Realistic? <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Perhaps the biggest reason that permanent weight loss is so difficult is that it is stressful—for your mind and your body. And when you're stressed out, you just don’t function at your best, mentally, emotionally, or physically. In fact, chronic stress tends to make you into your own worst enemy, impairing your judgment, making you em... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 09:05:58 EST What is your take on these Valentine Treats ? How Many Calories Are in Your Favorite Valentine's Treats? <BR> <BR> <BR> By: Melinda Hershey : 2/9/2013 6:00 AM 2 comments : 659 Views <BR> <BR> Whether you're single, taken, or somewhere in-between this Valentine's Day, one thing is for certain: You're bound to be bombarded with chocolate. From the office candy jar, to the red and pink display in the grocery store, there's no escaping decadent truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries, and other pretty, sugary delights. The good news is t... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 08:13:09 EST 8 Lessons from "The Biggest Loser" 8 Lessons from ''The Biggest Loser'' <BR> Advice to Take Away from the Show <BR> -- By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> They say that people love a winner. Well, I love losers! In October 2004, NBC introduced the reality show called "The Biggest Loser." Today, after completing its fifth season, it is a fan favorite. The show features individuals, couples, and — coming next season — families, who sign on to get fit and lose weight. These individuals are assigne... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 07:39:55 EST A Guide to Walking Meditation..... A Guide to Walking Meditation <BR> Zen and the Art of Multitasking <BR> -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The word "meditation" is likely to conjure up a mental image of a cross-legged person sitting still in a quiet, peaceful room. While this is the method of choice for many who meditate, others choose a more active route to mindfulness. It's called walking meditation, and by doing it, you get to enjoy the benefits of walking (health and endurance) and meditation (awa... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 07:25:55 EST Meditate Daily to Reduce Blood Pressure... Meditate Daily to Reduce Blood Pressure <BR> Health News Flash <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> In the United States, hypertension (chronic high blood pressure that can lead to heart disease and stroke) is most prevalent among African Americans. In fact, 34 percent of the African American population has high blood pressure—a rate higher than any other racial or ethnic group. A year-long study, reported in the American Journal of Hypertensi... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 06:36:20 EST The 10% Solution.... The 10% Solution <BR> You May Not Need to Lose as Much as You Thought <BR> -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Are you a weight loss failure? <BR> <BR> Before you answer that question, let’s talk about what failure means. <BR> <BR> A recent study found that, in the nonsensical weight loss world, most failure has more to do with failing to meet faulty expectations than with failing to lose weight. This may not seem like a big difference, but in reality, it’s HUGE. <BR> <B... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 07:28:58 EST Get Fit Without Leaving the House... Get Fit Without Leaving the House <BR> <BR> Home Gyms are Practical and Affordable <BR> <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Imagine a gym you can commute to in seconds. It’s open 24-hours, so you can come and go as you please—on your time. It’s comfortable, and you feel completely at ease when you work out there. Oh, and membership is free. You may be daydreaming, but the perfect gym is a dream that can come true…in your own home. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> There is no ... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 09:08:04 EST Goals that Help, Goals that Hurt... Goals that Help, Goals that Hurt <BR> Remember to Think Positive <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Whether you’re brand new to SparkPeople, or a seasoned veteran, you have no doubt noticed that we put a lot of emphasis on setting goals. From the small first steps you take during the "Fast Break" phase, to the long-range visions that shape the new lifestyle you are trying to create, we know that the people who succeed at permanent weight loss are the on... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 07:45:48 EST Waist-to-Hip Ratio Estimates Health Risk <BR> Waist-to-Hip Ratio Estimates Health Risk <BR> <BR> Are You an Apple or a Pear? <BR> <BR> -- By Jen Mueller & Nicole Nichols, Fitness Experts <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Ever notice how some people can have big bellies but lean legs, or how women tend to store most of their fat in their thighs, hips, and butt? These are examples of fat distribution, which refers to where your b... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 18:30:13 EST Calf stretchers I came across "calf stretchers" on a fitness website. Has anyone used them? I am wondering if I should get them or if they are a waste of money <BR> <BR> Thanks!! Fri, 1 Feb 2013 16:46:49 EST computer <BR> Gaye for posting this message. Right now I'm on DH iPad. It,s taking me along time to cut and paste information. So please be patient with me as I figure out DH iPad usage. I may not be able to reach all forums in the next couple of days. Thanks for you patience everyone. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Marj <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 09:14:32 EST My Knee... I am training for my first half marathon that I am running in March. I took the weekend off and went on a 14 mile backpacking trip, so much fun. I seem to have hurt my knee though. Not seriously, at least I hope not, but just hurts a little to run. I know I shouldn't run on it, and make it worse, but you think it would be okay to ride a bike at the gym or something low-impact? I don't want to hurt it more, but I hate not to do anything... suggestions :-( Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:38:38 EST Time to reset Hey all, <BR> <BR> Just looking for support and advice. <BR> <BR> When I first joined Sparkpeople 22 months ago, I was full force with my dedication to my lifestyle change. Then 2 major life changes happened, and I lost myself and my motivation. <BR> <BR> I've remained active on the site, and have managed to keep off 30 of the 38 I had lost a year ago. <BR> <BR> Now I need to get back. I ran my second half marathon back in October, and one of my original goals back in April of 2011 wa... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 10:02:20 EST Shoot For The Moon.... Shoot for the Moon <BR> Harnessing a Child's Enthusiasm to Achieve Your Goals <BR> -- By Sue Dickinson <BR> <BR> <BR> Whoooosh! As I relaxed in a lawn chair, my six-year-old sank yet another basket. Watching his skill develop, I couldn’t help but dream about him becoming an NBA star some day. I could just picture it…I, his proud mama in the stands adorned in the appropriate team sweatshirt. After the game - a big hug and kiss for his mom while fans surround him and scream "We’re Number One!... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 08:20:10 EST Smart Shopping Tips For Small Households.... Smart Shopping Tips for Small Households <BR> 11 Ways to Save Money and Stop Food Waste <BR> -- By Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Ever notice how the grocery shopping experience seems specifically designed to entice us to buy more? With all of the family-size packaging, buy-one-get-one sales and better deals for bigger quantities, food shopping can be particularly challenging for small households. Those of us who live alone or with one other person often end up buy... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 09:11:50 EST Killer Shin Splints Had my 1st long run on sunday, with tight calves. Each leg felt like there was a tennis ball in my calf they were so tight and painful (partly due to the cold weather as well, i was tensing up) <BR> <BR> My coach stayed with me b/c i was much slower than the group due to the pain, encouraging me...walking when i needed and letting me stretch. He was great (no shin splints at that point, just tight calves) I wear compression socks when running b/c I always seem to be nursing one form of pain ... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 20:37:42 EST 10 Signs You're Watching Too Much Television.... 10 Signs You're Watching Too Much Television <BR> Is Your TV Habit Interfering with Your Healthy Habits? <BR> -- By Erin Whitehead, Health and Fitness Writer <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Many people claim that they don't have time to work out or cook healthy meals, yet they do find the time to park themselves in front of the TV. In fact, the average American watches 31.5 hours of TV per week, according to a 2010 Nielsen report. That's almost as many hours as most of us spend working! That's a lot o... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 08:11:39 EST 10 Ways to Save Money at the Gym..... 10 Ways to Save Money at the Gym <BR> Get Insider Tips from a Gym Expert! <BR> -- By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer <BR> <BR> SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more <BR> <BR> Joining a gym is not a decision you should take lightly—especially since it affects your wallet. Fitness centers come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges, offering everything from basic workout equipment to upgrades like massages, tanning, and even laundry service! But most of us are... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 08:40:11 EST What is "Normal Eating "?.....Part 3 What is ''Normal Eating''? --Part 3 <BR> Eat Mindfully, Lose Weight, Be Happy <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you often feel like your weight loss efforts are a constant battle, with as many defeats as victories? Are you plagued by frequent cravings when you stick to your diet, and by guilt or shame when you don’t? Do you even remember what real hunger feels like? How much time do you spend thinking about food, counting calories, and worrying a... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 08:16:21 EST What is "Normal Eating"? ....Part 2 What is ''Normal Eating''? --Part 2 <BR> Checklist of Disordered Behaviors & Attitudes <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you often wonder how “normal” your eating habits are, or how they compare to what experts consider to be a “healthy” approach? <BR> <BR> If you’ve adopted SparkPeople's "lifestyle” approach to weight loss, then you know that a crash diet—or any other temporary diet—isn’t a good idea. But what does “normal” eating look like, es... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 08:10:15 EST What is "Normal Eating"? ....Part 1 What is ''Normal Eating''? --Part 1 <BR> Test Your Knowledge with the Normal Eating Quiz <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you often wonder how “normal” your eating habits are, or how they compare to what experts consider to be a “healthy” approach? <BR> <BR> If you’ve adopted SparkPeople's philosophy of a "lifestyle” approach to weight loss, then you know that a crash diet—or any other temporary diet—isn’t a good idea. But what does “normal” ea... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 08:06:04 EST 3 Simple Ways to Build Consistency.... 3 Simple Ways to Build Consistency <BR> Because Consistency is the Key to Success! <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You don’t have to be an expert to figure out that consistency is pretty essential to successfully change your life, your health, and your weight. But it’s also pretty clear that building a consistent routine of regular exercise and healthy eating is not an easy thing to do. <BR> <BR> You start off the day with the best intentions—to exe... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:12:48 EST Busting the Top 4 Cardio Machine Myths..... Busting the Top 4 Cardio Machine Myths <BR> Don't Let These Myths Get in the Way of Your Success <BR> -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Spending a good 60 minutes on the treadmill is a surefire way to make you feel accomplished. After completing the machine's fat-burning workout, you feel great and quite proud of yourself as you stare at the number flashing on the screen: 752 calories burned. "Wow," you think. "That's enough to s... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 08:02:43 EST Eating to Prevent Osteopor sis..... Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis <BR> Early, Continuous Prevention is Key <BR> -- By Jennifer Putnam, Nutritionist <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Good eating habits are directly related to the prevention of osteoporosis in both men and women. It is often thought that only women suffer from this disease, but this is not true. While women are more prone to develop osteoporosis, men also suffer from this preventable disease. <BR> <BR> Osteoporosis causes bones to lose mass and density. As the bones becom... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 08:00:50 EST Talk Yourself into Reaching Your Goals..... Talk Yourself into Reaching Your Goals <BR> How Self-Talk Can Help (or Hinder) Your Progress <BR> -- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> We all know that getting support and encouragement is crucial to losing weight and becoming healthier. That’s why the Message Boards, SparkPages, SparkMail, and SparkTeams are such important components of the SparkPeople program. <BR> <BR> But getting support from others is only one part of the formula for success. Equally ... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 08:18:37 EST 12 Tips to Drink 8 Cups a Day... 12 Tips to Drink 8 Cups a Day <BR> Water Tactics that Make Every Day an 8-cup Success <BR> -- By Cindy Dyson, SparkPeople member <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Eight glasses of water every day? No matter how you pour them, that’s a lot of liquid. We're talking cups and cups…and cups. Even knowing about the many benefits of meeting your daily quota—increased fat burning, healthier skin, more energy, better digestion, fewer cravings—doesn't make drinking it (or dealing with increased bathroom visits) a... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 07:39:13 EST What Are Sugar Alcohols?.... What Are Sugar Alcohols? <BR> What You Need to Know <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If you spend any time looking at nutrition labels, you’ve probably noticed some intriguing ingredients in sweet foods that are touted as diet-friendly, sugar-free, low-carb, or even formulated for people with diabetes. One ingredient, known as sugar alcohol, is a special type of sugar replacement that is frequently found in soft drinks, gums, cookies, and sugar-fre... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 08:45:56 EST Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks...... Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks <BR> Take Risks to Take Your Life to the Next Level <BR> -- By Ellen G. Goldman, Certified Wellness Coach <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> One of life's biggest ironies is how often people complain about their circumstances, yet rarely do anything about them. It's not that they don't have good intentions, or the desire for change isn't great. It's that change is scary and risky. Even when we're unhappy with our current situation, we are familiar with it. Change is just ... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 09:37:32 EST Coaching for half marathon My half marathon is scheduled for May 4, 2013. I am looking for a coaching program to help me get there. Any suggestions? Sat, 19 Jan 2013 02:47:58 EST Hi, just stnarted training for my second half Hi, I saw this team and had to join. My name is Nancy and I am 54. I just started training for my second half and I am already asking myself "What was I thinking?" Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:31:36 EST Lessons for All Walks of Life..... Lessons for All Walks of Life <BR> Basics for Success <BR> -- By Julie Isphording, former Olympian <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> If there were dreams for sale, what would you try to buy? No matter what you "purchase" – find a better job, run a marathon, lose ten pounds, learn a new skill – motivation usually makes the difference between success and failure, misery and fun. These tips will help get you started: <BR> Surround yourself with friends who think positive. The beliefs and attitudes of your ... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 07:34:38 EST Small Bits of Fitness Add Up.... Small Bits of Fitness Add Up <BR> Exercise Comes in All Shapes and Sizes <BR> -- By Liz Noelcke, SparkPeople Contributor <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "Where did the day go?" <BR> <BR> Is this a common question in your life? Many of us jam-pack so much stuff into our daily routines, seemingly there’s no time to relax for just one minute, let alone exercise. Lack of time is one of the most common excuses for not having a decent fitness regimen. But do you realize that in the time it might take you t... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 03:30:50 EST Probiotics: A Billion Good Bugs..... Probiotics: A Billion Good Bugs <BR> Friendly Bacteria for Your Digestive System <BR> -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian <BR> <BR> <BR> Did you know that your digestive tract contains more than 400 types of “friendly” bacteria? These little guys, commonly referred to as probiotics (which means "pro-life"), help reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. That’s right! Probiotics are live bacteria with clinically-documented health benefits. <B... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 08:36:46 EST 15 Easy Ways to Go Green on the Cheap.... 15 Easy Ways to Go Green on the Cheap <BR> <BR> Save Money and the Planet at the Same Time <BR> <BR> -- By Nicole Nichols, SparkSavings Staff Writer <BR> During the past few years, "green" living has gone mainstream. Words like "carbon footprint" are commonplace and many companies are trying to highlight (sometimes even fabricate) how eco-friendly they are so that consumers will view them more favorably. <BR> <BR> I have long considered myself an environmentalist, and the fact that eco-fr... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 08:33:31 EST