Melissa Rudy

A lifelong Cincinnatian, Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of Cincinnati before breaking into the online content field in 2000. As a Digital Journalist for SparkPeople, she enjoys helping others meet their wellness goals by writing about all aspects of healthy living. An avid runner and group fitness addict, Melissa lives in Loveland with her guitarist husband and three feisty daughters.


Read More of Melissa's Blogs:

Can CBD Oil Help You Get More Out of Your Workouts?

Chances are you've used plenty of different oils—to add flavor to your food, to moisturize your hair and skin, and maybe even to infuse your home with delicious aromas. But there's one oil you may not be familiar with: cannabidiol oil, more commonly known as CBD oil. Although it's not entirely mainstream (yet), this substance is firing up controversy in some health and fitness circles. While some fitness professionals are skeptical of its risks and legality, many people claim that CBD oil helps to enhance not only their workouts, but their overall wellness.

Posted 7/18/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 0 comments   309 views

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How Many Calories Are Really Burned While Walking?

When it comes to low-impact cardio that burns calories while toning muscle, walking wins every time. Sticking to a regular walking program puts you on the fast track to a slew of health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, stronger bones and joints, improved mental health and accelerated weight loss. When combined with a healthy, well-balanced diet, walking can be a great way to lose or maintain weight—but do you know just how many calories all those steps are really burning? The actual number of calories burned walking may be more—or less—than you think.

Posted 7/13/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 54 comments   14,588 views

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What Things Weigh: Measure Your Progress With Real-World Items

"I need to lose a ton of weight!"
"I don't even know where to start."
"All that work and I've only lost three pounds?!"
 
If any of these sound familiar, you know how frustrating it can be when you have a lot of weight to lose—especially when the scale seems to be moving in slow motion. Instead of getting fixated on the number at your feet, try using visualization as another way to measure your progress. By comparing how much you've lost to actual, tangible items, suddenly those small steps forward will feel much larger.
 
We love the list that our member NUMD97 posted in her SparkPeople blog about what things weigh. Below, we've included many from her list, and thrown in a few others for good measure. Are any of these surprising to you?

Posted 6/27/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 72 comments   10,005 views

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9 Ways to Sit Safely & Comfortably at Your Work Desk

You may have heard the phrase "sitting is the new smoking." Sure, that might seem a little extreme—after all, the impacts of smoking are a lot more blatant and widely broadcasted—but experts agree that too much extended chair time can add up to some undesirable, and uncomfortable, effects.

Posted 6/21/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 36 comments   22,824 views

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Spark Spotlight: Patty (POHOUSE99)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

Posted 6/18/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 19 comments   4,568 views

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25 Hot-off-the-Grill Recipes for Carefree Outdoor Cooking

While there's no reason grilling can't be a year-round activity, there's just something about summer—balmy air, extended daylight, backyard BBQs—that has us reaching for the tongs and charcoal (or propane, depending on your grilling style) more often than usual. Whether you’re making a meal for the family or entertaining a large group of guests, grilling is a fun and easy way to prepare flavorful, healthy fare in the great outdoors. As an added bonus, the crumbs stay outside and there's no kitchen clean up!
 
If you’re searching for something beyond the same old burgers and brats, consider grabbing  some of these ideas and get grilling!

Posted 6/14/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 35 comments   54,959 views

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Spark Spotlight: Brenda (POGIRL17)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

Posted 6/11/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 33 comments   10,610 views

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12 Health Signs You Should Never Ignore

In our mile-a-minute, super-stressed world, it's all too easy to dismiss symptoms or allow them to be drowned out by the noise of life—especially if there's an underlying fear or anxiety of seeing a doctor. For those on weight-loss journeys, ailments are often chalked up to a side effect of being overweight or obese, when they actually could have more serious implications. In many cases, medical red flags go unheeded until they ultimately result in a more serious or even life-threatening emergency. If you notice any of these health signs, take action right away—your life could depend on it.

Posted 6/6/2018  1:00:00 PM By: Melissa Rudy : 129 comments   40,132 views

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Spark Spotlight: Amber (BABYSTEPS2015)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

Posted 6/4/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 31 comments   9,048 views

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15 Effective Exercises for Trimming & Strengthening Your Thighs

When standing naked in front of a mirror, each of us has that area (or areas) where our gaze naturally rests, as we silently ponder how to reduce, tone, strengthen or otherwise improve it. For some, it’s the belly or the butt. For others, it might be a "muffin top" or the flabby "bat wings" under the arms.
 
And for many, the top trouble spot is the thighs.

Posted 6/4/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 47 comments   32,274 views

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Should You Exercise Without Underwear?

Have you ever pulled on a pair of compression leggings, only to find your underwear uncomfortably bunched or twisted? Or worried that your panty lines might be visible to the person behind you in yoga class? Maybe you're just tired of stopping to make not-so-subtle adjustments during your run or walk. Whether it's due to comfort, aesthetics or ventilation, the "unmentionable" question may have crossed your mind at some point. And it's about to get, well, mentioned: Do you really need to wear underwear while working out, or is it ever okay to go commando?

Posted 5/31/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 84 comments   24,873 views

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Spark Spotlight: Nora (TROPICALCHANGE)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

This Week's Spotlight: Nora H. (TROPICALCHANGE)
Age: 52
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
 

Nora's Small Success of the Week

Hitting 10,000 steps for the first time!

What's your overall goal? 

My overall goal is to weigh 130 pounds, but to do it with exercise and healthier eating habits--not my old habit of Cheetos with a soda.
 
How is SparkPeople helping you get there? 

SparkPeople is helping me by providing encouragement every day, whether it's for my little victories or my setbacks. It also helps me by logging everything I eat and do every day. 

What's your biggest challenge right now? 

My biggest challenge is that I am diabetic and it seems to take me longer to lose weight. This can be discouraging sometimes, but SparkPeople is there to pick me up. 

What advice do you have for someone who just joined SparkPeople? 

My advice would be to set a reasonable goal at first. Make sure to log all your food and exercises. If you fall off the diet horse for the day, just pick yourself up, dust off and start fresh the next day. We all have moments of weakness. 

Want to be the next small success we spotlight? Share your successes on the goal feed or in the comments below, and you might be the next person we contact!

Posted 5/28/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 51 comments   8,989 views

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Is Your Morning Coffee Affecting Your Weight?

Every day, all around the world, millions of people start their days with a cup (or two, or three…) of joe. Whether you prefer yours with cream and sugar, flavored or straight-up black, your coffee is probably more than just a good-tasting source of hydration. It's a morning pick-me-up, a quick energy boost, a source of comfort and, sometimes, a social beverage. In winter, it might be a way to warm up, and on hot days, iced coffee can be a refreshing cool down. There are even SparkTeams devoted to coffee lovers.
 
But have you considered how the caffeine in your daily java habit might be affecting your weight? A single 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine. That means four cups is roughly equivalent to the "safe" daily amount for healthy adults, which is 400 milligrams. Even if your cuppa is calorie-free, could the caffeine be wreaking havoc on your weight without you realizing it?

Posted 5/28/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 80 comments   24,958 views

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How Ditching Sugar and Sticking with SparkPeople Turned Karen's Life Around

Healing and recovery are tough for someone at a healthy weight, but for someone who is close to 300 pounds, it's even more difficult. Karen discovered this in the fall of 2010, when she was in an accident that left her in a wheelchair with two broken legs.
 
Her "a-ha" moment came in the doctor's office shortly after the accident, when her physician looked at Karen's chart, looked her in the eye and said, "You do know that you are obese, right? That means your recovery won't be easy."
 
She was determined to prove him wrong.

Posted 5/24/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 58 comments   18,955 views

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Spark Spotlight: Sue (SOUTHTXXRNNR)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

This Week's Spotlight: Sue Robinson (SOUTHTXXRNNR)
Age: 51
Location: Corpus Christi
 

Sue's Small Success of the Week

Trying Zumba for the first time!

What's your overall goal? 

Having gone from 262 pounds to my current weight of 144, my overall goal is to tone and firm my body and build strength in order to make an easier transition to maintenance. 
 
How is SparkPeople helping you get there? 

SparkPeople helps me be aware of what I am eating, and the support and ideas I get from the community are invaluable on this journey. 

What's your biggest challenge right now? 

My biggest challenge right now is the same thing that has been my biggest challenge from the beginning: FOOD!

What advice do you have for someone who just joined SparkPeople? 

Reach out to the community that is available on SparkPeople. For me, tracking everything I eat is the most important key to success, but the support, advice and knowledge of others on the same journey is a very close second.

Want to be the next small success we spotlight? Share your successes on the goal feed or in the comments below, and you might be the next person we contact!

Posted 5/21/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 22 comments   7,704 views

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