Motivation Articles

A Guide to Posting in SparkTeams & Message Boards

Get the Most Out of the SparkPeople Community

SparkPeople has a wide variety of resources to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Finding support from others who share common experiences and goals can be an important part of your success. The Community Message Boards and SparkTeams are two features that can help you connect with others like you.

When it comes to using the Community Message Boards versus joining SparkTeams, you might be unsure about which to use. What's the difference? How do you know where to post your questions? Where should you be spending your time? Understanding the purpose of each and the differences between them will help you get the most out of these important features.

Purpose of the Community Message Boards
The Message Boards cover a wide variety of topics, and many relate specifically to your program. For instance, if you have a question about your account, you would post that in the "Site/Technical Help" forum. If you want to know the best abdominal exercises, you would post that in the "Fitness and Exercise" forum. SparkPeople's Resident Experts are qualified to answer your questions and provide advice about your program. Our experts monitor most of the Community Message Board forums, and can answer your questions here. On top of that, using the Community Message Boards gives you access to the entire SparkPeople Community. No matter how large (or small) your Team is, you'll likely get more responses and ideas from members if you ask questions here.

For more information on how to use the Community Message Boards, check out The Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards.

Purpose of SparkTeams
SparkTeams are groups that are started by other members who share common interests or goals. For instance, there are Teams for vegetarians, single parents, and those trying to lose the last 10 pounds. Teams, which each have their own Team message board forum, are a place to talk about those common interests and share tips with your fellow members. The majority of the conversations in team threads should be related to the Team topic.  When joining a team, check for threads that explain the rules of the team.  Each team works a little differently, but often there is a sticky post at the top of the forum explaining how your team operates. 

For instance, if you had a question about your knee injury, you wouldn't want to ask members of your SparkTeam for advice because: 1) it's not related to the topic of the Team, and 2) Teams are not monitored by SparkPeople's Experts. A question like that should be posted in the "Fitness and Exercise" forum on the Community Message Boards, where other members and/or experts can respond. You might also find that when you go to the Community Message Boards to ask your question, someone else has already asked a similar question and you can find answers without needing to post.

Most Teams (with the exception of those started by a SparkPeople expert) are not monitored by our experts. Similarly, because our experts spend their time helping members on the Community Message Boards, they will not join Team threads to offer advice or answers. If one of your Team members asks a question that you think needs expert attention, please encourage her to re-post her question in the Community Message Boards. Although SparkPeople experts are not involved in Team threads, members can report any inappropriate activity, posts, or Team members by clicking the "Report Inappropriate Post" button at the bottom of any Team thread. This will alert the SparkPeople staff to investigate and handle any problems.

If you aren't sure about what is considered inappropriate, check out the SparkPeople Community Guidelines. These guidelines apply to both the Message Boards and SparkTeams.

Allocating Your Time
Most people find that it's helpful to use both features. The Community Message Boards are a place to interact with all of our members and experts on a wide variety of topics. SparkTeams are a place to interact with a smaller group of people who share a common interest or goal.

Members who post on the Community Message Boards or in SparkTeam forums tend to lose more weight than those who are not active in these areas. You'll find other members just like you who can share in the ups and downs that come with establishing a healthy lifestyle. We encourage you to take advantage of all of the resources the site has to offer. You'll find support and meet lots of great people—no matter where you post!

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Member Comments

  • I also would like to quit my teams and start over/ I've been gone a while and my goals are changed. Thank you!
  • I just joined this group and love this app. My goal is too loose 20 lbs and getting motivated to do some excersice. I am retired and have been living a sedentary life due to lower back pains. I am excited and looking forward to reaching my goals.
  • I, too, would like to know how to remove myself from a team? I'm no longer in
    my forties!
  • Can i set up a team for myself and co workers?
  • How do I remove myself from a team ??
    I have a treadclimber Imam going to try and use daily

    I need to lose 68.8 pounds but I will get there by 12-1-15. I have to prove it to myself that I am strong enough to do so. 2 pounds a week isn't very much.
  • KATHEY12
    I gotta find me a snapshot of me to post. Wait , I have ipad, better figure that out .... Later folks
  • KATHEY12
    Need to lose 35 lbs. and it sure is a PAIN!!! Trying to organize some recipes that won't be boring is quite a challenge. I not exactly a meat eater as it tends to slow my energy down, make me feel sluggish and ill. Always been that way, weird for a Tennessee farm girl,huh...LOL. Anyway, I am looking for some good recipes to try without meat or very little WHITE meat! Red meat just puts me down to much.
  • Feeling like I will never lose the weight. It was easier when I was younger. I am hoping that Sparkpeople will keep me motivated to eat healthy.
  • I am going to start over again. 2 years ago I had lost 70 pounds and was well on my way to losing another 70 but I sustained a head injury which put me off exercise and work for the next year. Now I just feel as if I can't get motivated to do ANYTHING! grrr I gained back 40 pounds and want the gain to stop.

    I am hoping Sparkpeople will be a valuable tool to help me on that path.
    Hi, Im new here I lost 30 lbs, but have put some back on, hoping u can help me, started my healthy eating habits 2 day again. Had cereal ( hot grape nuts cereal with low fat milk), this morning. lunch was a ( spinach wrap with ham , low fat cheese, mustard, water ) , snack ( frozen grapes dipped in carmel & water ) , good start I think, dinner not sure yet. I use to be 115 and I wanna get back down. so ned encouragement. I'm 212, and wanna get to 115 again. my small goal right now is 180. Smaller goals are easier. :)
    Hi, This is my first day. Setting up my planned food intake really was a heads up when I found that good for me avocado (guacamole) and sweet potato tortilla chips would have added 2000+ calories. Oops. Maybe that is why I kept losing and gaining the same 10 pounds for the last two years. My goal is 30 pounds off from where I am at 173, by October. I think the nutrition tracker is going to really help.
  • Thanks to each of you for your encouraging comments. To date I have lost 85 lbs; however, 4 months of doing nothing has led me several directions for help. The last 15 are the hardest to lose. Sometimes I just seem to forget there are others just like me struggling. God be with us all.
    For me it back on sparkpeople, was off for two years cause had a eighteen hours driving so me my eating was quick fast foods, but now I am back after a couple non-fault wrecks but did damage to parts of body and the exteme weight don't help.

About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist and behavior change specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

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