All Entries For fun
This year, let’s do Mother’s Day the healthy way. We love delicious, leisurely brunches just as much as the next person, but how did long lines and too many pancakes become the best way to honor all that mom does? Why not show mom you love her by treating her to a healthy outing, instead? No matter where you live, there are plenty of active activities that will get your blood pumping while you spend quality time with the woman who always remembered to cut the crusts off your PB&J. (Or, if you’re a mom yourself, suggest that your kids take you out for one of these fun and healthy events this Sunday.)
Kayak or Canoe If the weather cooperates, seek out the nearest body of water and rent a two-person kayak or canoe. Gliding down a river or through a lake as you admire the great outdoors will be so enjoyable you won’t even notice that you’re exercising your arm muscles and core. You’ll burn over 200 calories in under 30 minutes with this fun warm-weather activity. Plus, there’s no better place to talk about life and love and dreams than out on the quiet water.
Fitness Class Between TRX, barre, Zumba, hula hooping, SoulCycle and others, there’s probably a fitness trend that has caught your eye. Indulge your curiosity and try something new together this Mother’s Day. Grab mom, pick out a class she’s always wanted to try and head out for a morning workout. If you’re not into paying for a class, try an at-home video like this 17-Minute Barre Workout or the 20-Minute Fat Blaster, instead. After you get your sweat on, whip up a batch of smoothies to reward yourself and spend some time laughing about those crazy Zumba moves.
Bike Ride Hop on two wheels and spend an afternoon looping through your local bike trail together. Even on a leisurely ride, you’ll still burn major calories without even realizing. In just 30 minutes riding casually, you can burn almost 200 calories. Pick a scenic trail for maximum enjoyment.
Park Your local park is a great place to spend an afternoon and is especially fun with the family. Challenge your family to a basketball game or see who can swing the highest. You’re all sure to feel like kids again as you work your way across the monkey bars. Make a whole day of it by packing a healthy picnic!
Hike Break out your hiking shoes and water bottle and hit a trail in the woods together. Hike up hills and over uneven terrain to challenge yourself, or find an easy trail where you can work to spot wildlife or identify birds. Thirty minutes on the trail with hills will burn up to 170 calories. Pack some homemade, no-bake protein bars for a mid-hike break to enjoy your surroundings and your company, of course.
Golf Skip the golf cart and carry your own clubs for an extra challenge at the golf course. Walking from hole to hole is a great workout for your legs, and you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on life events as you stroll together. If your long game is a little rusty, head to the driving range for an afternoon in the sun competing to see who can make the ball fly farthest. After exerting so much energy, you’ll enjoy that lunch at the club even more.
Run Many cities host Mother’s Day races, so check your local events guide to see if you can sign up together. If you’re not in prime racing form, why not make Mother’s Day the first day of training? Pick from one of the many exciting or wacky 5Ks out there and draw up a training schedule. Not only will you be building up your endurance and fitness levels, but at the end you get to share another special day with one another. Don’t know where to start? Try one of these flexible 5K training plans.
Garden Sounds leisurely, but any real gardener will tell you that working in the yard can be a full-body workout. Between squatting, raking and digging, a typical day of gardening will challenge all your muscle groups. Plus, the end result will yield beautiful plants and vegetables that mom can enjoy all year round. Get some ideas for gardening in the city, easy vegetables to plant and more in our Gardening Guide.
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It seems like almost every time you turn on the TV there is another award show coming. In January alone, there are the Golden Globes, People's Choice, Critic's Choice, Grammy's (this weekend!) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. Later in winter, the always-hilarious Golden Raspberry (Razzes) Awards take place around the same time as the more serious Academy Awards. And throughout the year, there's a host of music related award shows (like the Country Music Awards) and even MTV has their own Video Music Awards and Movie Awards shows. I'm sure I haven't even listed them all...
If you love fashion, celebrity news, or simply think of yourself as a music or movie buff, you'll probably catch at least one of these shows. The performances are entertaining, the jokes and hosts often funny, and the fashion is usually worth seeing.
Many people have dress-up parties or get-togethers to watch these shows with friends, often with lots of drinks and appetizers. But you can enjoy the show—and work toward your healthy goals, too—by incorporating SparkPeople's "Award Show Workout Game" at home or with your friends. This workout plan works with any televised award show! It allows you to watch and enjoy the show while also fitting in a serious workout! Read More ›
Once you've planned the perfect tailgate party, you'll want to stock up on gear to help you celebrate your favorite team and serve up delicious snacks in style.
We've rounded up 10 of our favorite products to make your party even more fun.
(We're showcasing Bengals gear here, since SparkPeople's hometown is Cincinnati, but all the team products listed are available for your favorite NFL teams.) Read More ›
Since your closet is full of workout clothes anyway, why not use this Halloween as an excuse to celebrate your healthy lifestyle by dressing as your favorite fitness personality? There are tons of possibilities, but here are 10 that are pretty easy to pull off. Read More ›
Perhaps you’ve considered training for a 5K, but the idea of running or walking a traditional race just isn’t motivating enough to get you off the couch and out the door. These days, there are a wide variety of races to participate in, from the local run through your neighborhood to some of the more entertaining (and crazy!) runs popping up across the country. Have you ever thought about running from zombies, crawling through mud or sprinting through glowing trees and tunnels?
Fun runs like these can break up the monotony of traditional races, and can also be motivation to pick up the running habit even if you’re not that into it. Here’s a guide to some of the races gaining popularity as people look for fun ways to get up and moving. Read More ›
In 1958 WHAM-O introduced the world to a new toy after Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr observed children in Australia playing with bamboo hoops in their exercise class. Upon their return to the States they took what they had seen and invented the plastic hoop, what we now know as the Hula Hoop. What started out as a fad in the late 1950's for kids has now turned into a fitness frenzy 53 years later. And if you don't believe swirling your hips can burn calories and tone your body, think again.
Researchers at the Exercise and Health Program at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse led by Jordan Holthusen, M.S. and John Porcari, Ph.D conducted a study of 16 advanced to intermediate female hoopers. And to their amazement, hula hooping expended similar calorie rates and raised heart rates similar to cardio kickboxing, step aerobics and boot camp classes. Although the researchers state that more studies need to be done to determine what the long-term fitness benefits to hooping will bring, one thing is for certain, when we have fun doing an activity we are more likely to participate in it. I always say something always trumps nothing, especially when it comes to exercise.
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More and more people these days are turning to workouts that feel less like work and more like play. Dodge ball leagues for adults are increasingly popular, and out-of-the-box exercise classes like aerial yoga, circus arts and trampolining (rebounding) are almost as commonplace as kickboxing. Another fun pursuit on the list of fun fitness trends is hooping—as in hula hooping—which you probably used to do as a kid.
SparkPeople alone has almost 600 hoopers in one SparkTeam, and the website hooping.org has nearly 8,000 registered members. Celebrities rave about the benefits of hooping workouts, and actress Marissa Tomei even released a series of hooping workout DVDs through Gaiam in 2010.
With the popularity of hooping on the rise, we've received a lot of questions about how many calories it burns and whether hooping can actually take the place of more traditional workouts. There has been very little scientific research on this subject, but I always find that it's best to answer these questions not just with the research available, but also personal experience.
So I gathered several of my SparkPeople co-workers to investigate hooping firsthand. We took a class at Shine Yoga Center in Cincinnati, led by hooping instructor Leslie Kreines, and were joined by SparkPeople's most famous hooper, member Shelli (MOSTMOM1), who regularly blogs about her hooping adventures.
What did we discover? Read More ›