All Entries For spring
It's almost March, which means we've made it through the worst of winter (knock on wood!). Can you believe that spring is less than a month away? Although the arrival of spring promises warmer weather and better conditions for exercising outdoors, it might also make some of us realize that we hibernated a little too much over the winter. Maybe you skipped a few workouts due to bad weather or the flu, or the winter blues derailed even your best efforts to stay consistent. It can be hard to get active again after a lull in your exercise plan, but it's entirely possible to get back on your feet. And we're here to help you do it! Read More ›
One thing I love about spring weather is the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. While I run and walk my dog outside in rain, snow and even ice, it sure is a lot more pleasant when the temperature is moderate, the sun is shining, the flowers and trees are blooming, and other people (not just the equally crazy runner you occasionally see at 6 a.m. in the winter) are out and about, too.
Perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy the spring weather and scenery is to hit the trails and take a hike. My dog loves heading to our nearby park with an elaborate trail system. She gets a chance of scenery, meets many other four-legged friends (cautiously and only when on-leash, I'll add!), and gives her nose a workout, too. I love the trails because they get me away from the traffic and pavement I normally exercise on, but also provide a great workout.
If you haven't taken up hiking (or trail running, another of my favorites) yet, here are seven good reasons to put on your trail shoes and get closer to nature this weekend.
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This summer, take some time to rev up your workout. Make a new playlist and clean up your exercise equipment. Renew that gym membership. Take time to find fitness opportunities, because there are a lot of them! Here are ten fun suggestions, some for the mobile and some for the less mobile.
- Take some wild pictures of yourself doing active things for your Spark Page. Snap a few photos of yourself acting silly and running through the sprinkler with the kids, playing tag or walking the long treks of a zoo or amusement park. Get the souvenir photo where everyone is screaming on their way down on the ride!
- Aqua-cise. Yes, water is the perfect place to go for a low impact ouch-less workout and it's fun, too. Check with your local YMCA for lower-fee classes or even with your doctor to see if some classes are covered by insurance for a particular physical issue you may be having. Often times they will be covered under water physical therapy. Still, even without a class, water is a blast to play and work out in. I love going to water parks. The swimming and the balancing combined with the walking make it a great workout. Read More ›
Do you love spring as much as I do? It's so energizing to wake up when the sun is shining, enjoy the outdoors without wearing a coat, and see the green grass and tiny flower buds flanking the streets. Every sunny day, I lament that I'm in the office instead of outdoors, which is why I get outside as much as possible after work and each weekend. When the scenery is beautiful and the temperature perfect, almost any activity—including exercise—seems more fun and enjoyable. Here are 7 worthwhile pastimes that can help you get fit, burn calories and enjoy the outdoors this spring! Read More ›
The Spark Solution, the new book from the experts and members at SparkPeople.com, is now available! To celebrate the launch, we are hosting an exclusive one-time "Spark Solution Challenge" on the site!
From May 13-27, everyone who has purchased The Spark Solution is invited to go through the comprehensive two-week program TOGETHER for added motivation and enthusiasm. The book's authors and contributors will be offering additional support and tips ONLY in the exclusive, official Spark Solution team during the challenge. Don’t have your copy yet? It’s now available in stores and online – hurry to get your copy before May 13!
Each day will have its own thread in the team, with additional motivational resources, more tips to make meal planning and workouts a breeze, and--the best part--support from those who are going through the program right alongside you. We will also send "reminder" SparkMails throughout the two weeks to help you stay motivated.
Who's ready to get started?
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Spring gardens are in full bloom and the beauty of the season is reaching its peak. It's as if the gardens themselves are working overtime for Mother's Day, celebrating the proverbial "busy bees" in our lives, our moms.
Mother's Day brunch is a tradition for many families, but it often includes endless buffet tables chock-full of high fat, salt saturated, and sugar laden dishes. The high price tag of these "all you can eat affairs" wreak havoc on our common sense, leading us to rationalize eating more than we our stomachs are designed to hold. We enjoy the company of our loved ones, yes, but do we welcome the bathroom scale the following morning?
Give Mom the gift of love through a healthy and fun meal. I've gathered our best brunch recipes for you to enjoy. Many of these are from our Chef Meg. Her gourmet recipes are simple to prepare and don't require an endless list of ingredients, highlighting spring fruits and vegetables. They are perfect for dads and children to prepare together too, making the cooking as fun as the eating, if not more. Here are some other ideas to make this Mother's Day memorable: visit your local farmer's market; create a customized playlist with songs that celebrate memories with Mom; pick some fresh flowers from the garden; and adorn the table with china. Most importantly, don't forget to clean up the kitchen so Mom can spend the evening basking in the love of her loved ones. Read More ›
Dear Old Man Winter,
Why do you keep hanging around? You go away for a few days, letting sunny skies and warm breezes fill your place, making us all very happy. And just when I think you're gone for good, you come back with a vengeance, bringing snow, cold rains, grey skies, and miserable temperatures. Not cool...
You can't keep doing this to us. I think you have outworn your welcome. Time to go away until next year so my friends spring and summer can run the show for a little while. OK? Thanks for your cooperation,
Do you feel like I do, waiting impatiently for spring to arrive? Are you tired of winter and ready for some sun? Then put a little spring into your step—and your workouts—with these sunny workout songs. Even if it's cold outside, you can enjoy some warm thoughts with these fun tunes! Read More ›
Asparagus is delicious when prepared simply: steamed, roasted or grilled. I like to blanch and shock the asparagus before grilling. Boil the asparagus for 1 minute (this is the "blanch" part of the process). Immediately plunge the asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process (this is the "shock"). The asparagus will turn bright green and retain all its taste and nutrition. Dry it off and then grill it. Serve alone or on a pizza. Or serve it cold with vinaigrette.
How do you prepare it? Easy--Mother Nature gave you a guide. Pick up a spear, hold one end in each hand, and snap it. It will naturally break at the spot where it turns from woody to tender. You can either snap each spear or use the first one as a guide and cut them all off at the same spot.
Don't throw away those tough ends. You can simmer them for stocks or puree and use in soups. If all your spears are thick and woody, use a vegetable peeler to trim the outside and expose the tender interior.
You'll love these easy asparagus recipes: Read More ›
Raise your hand if you're a morning person!
Ok, so waking up in the morning is tough for most of us. However, when you make an effort to do so consistently, it's entirely possible to make it a habit—which is a great way to build more fitness and productivity into your day. So, how would you like a little extra boost of motivation to A) Get up in the wee hours, and B) Make strides toward your healthy lifestyle goals at the same time?
We're going to help you do just that with our ''Rise and Shine'' Challenge! Read More ›
Can you believe that spring is finally here? (Officially, anyway.) Here in Cincinnati we've received a few little tastes of spring-like sunshine and temperatures over the past couple of weeks, but it's been enough to get all of us excited about the changing seasons. I can't wait to break out the grill, get my hands dirty with a new vegetable garden, and go for a run without wearing an extra 20 pounds of insulating gear. How about you?
To celebrate spring, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things right now, from new running shoes to my favorite protein powder to new apparel that supports your active, healthy lifestyle. Read More ›
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.
As I strategically plan my upcoming cleaning project, I start to wonder if my body is also in need of a cleaning, so to speak.
Like many of you, I tend to go into hibernation mode during the winter months. With less daylight hours and physical work to do outside, along with an influx of sugary treats and comfort foods, my body has been insulated by an added layer of fat. I'm surely not alone in feeling this way, judging from the number of questions we field on the site about detox diets this time of year.
While the idea of cleaning out harmful toxins in your body or removing body fat quickly may sound tempting and even beneficial, is a detox the answer? Read More ›
When California designer Jennifer DeLonge fashions an inviting patio, she believes the sky's the limit. "The trick is to apply indoor decorating rules outdoors," says DeLonge, mother of two and creator of a children's furniture line. That means composing seating areas using comfy, indoor/outdoor furnishings. DeLonge favors versatile pieces and personal touches that make the backyard feel more homey. And she isn't afraid to use bold pops of color. DeLonge transforms her patio into a living area, a place for dining and a cheery play spot for kids Ava, 7, and Jonas, 3. Who says a room needs a ceiling? Read More ›
What was cooking in Chef Meg's kitchen last month?
After last month's asparagus feast and Derby Day party, our healthy cooking expert started looking ahead to summer. She served up 6 sweet and savory brunch recipes, then fired up the grill for a super-simple side dish for all you potato lovers out there. Chef Meg made scones for weekend guests and devised a way to get us to actually like anchovies!
Keep reading to see photos of her creations--and get the recipes!
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We've gathered a list of some of the newest content on SparkPeople.com! Take a look at this month's top headlines.
7 Ways to Create a 25th Hour
No, we haven't discovered a way to extend the hours in a day (yet!). Until that happens, here are some tips to help you gain back 420 precious minutes every week.
What's Really Making Your Back Hurt?
It can be a huge pain to figure out the cause of your back problems. Look no farther: These facts will help you stop the cycle for good.
How to Grocery Shop for 1 or 2
In a world of family-size packaging, it's hard for a small household to avoid throwing away food. Use these strategies to downsize your shopping--and your waste.
5-Ingredient Fruit Desserts
These treats make it easy as pie to meet your daily fruit quota.
5 Smart Beverage Swaps That Save Calories
Could you be sipping a meal's worth of calories at snacktime? Avoid the liquid calorie trap with these simple switches.
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I’m lucky that I’ve never had to deal with seasonal allergies, but I know a lot of people who do. When springtime hits and there’s a thick layer of pollen on the open windowsills in my house, it’s only a matter of time before some of my family members are affected. My husband has trouble cutting the grass without fits of sneezing for hours afterward, and my daughter always has a runny nose when she comes in from playing. This year we experienced a very mild winter in my area and spring seemed to come earlier than usual. As a result, their symptoms showed up earlier as well. Read More ›