Melinda Hershey (SP_MELINDA)
SparkPeople Editor and Health Educator
Melinda has a bachelorís degree in health promotion and education and is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer. Before working as an editor for SparkPeople, she developed and taught health programs for several non-profit organizations. She enjoys writing, interval training, yoga, and cooking with friends.
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Posted 9/1/2015 12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 4 comments 54,827 views
Hopefully, you’ve fallen in love with SparkPoints and use them to help motivate you along your healthy-living journey (you can see all the different ways to earn them here). To make SparkPoints even more fun, we’re going to have a contest most months where you can win prizes for reaching certain SparkPoints levels. We also added a handy progress bar on your Start and SparkPoints pages to help you see how you are doing each month.
For September, we’re going to do a drawing out of everyone who earns at least 300 points. We’ll be giving away:
- A $100 Amazon gift card
- 5 Spark Activity Trackers
You don’t need to do anything to enter, other than earn SparkPoints! Click here for contest rules. Good luck, and have fun!
The SparkPeople Team
Posted 9/1/2015 12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 17 comments 12,134 views
This morning, we rolled out a new version of our member Challenges feature, which is available from both your Start page and the Challenge Central dropdown in our Community header. (If you remember, we gave you a sneak peek about a month ago.) We are very excited about this new Challenge format! We took what members loved most about our older challenges--including daily and weekly guidance on working toward a particular goal--and added in an easier-to-use interface, plus new features like a Team Wall. You can take any of the following Challenges to start with (we will be adding plenty more after launch!):
Posted 8/26/2015 9:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 72 comments 11,826 views
After months of hard work from our awesome SparkPeople team, we’ve now released the newest update to our SparkPeople Mobile app! As of today, you can download the app either at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
This version of our free app is easier to use than ever before! Check out the highlights:
Get the powerful fitness and diet tools that you’ve come to use on the site, right in your app.
Read articles by our healthy-living, fitness and nutrition experts while on the go.
Keep up with your SparkFriends when you’re not in front of your computer.
Discover even more ways to earn SparkPoints to keep you motivated on your journey to living a healthier, happier life.
If you’ve already used our app and are wondering what’s different, you can find a full list of the changes we made by clicking here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=sparkpeople_mobile_gets_a_makeover
Thanks for using our app and for supporting SparkPeople! If you have any questions or concerns about the app, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below.
The SparkPeople Team
Posted 8/11/2015 7:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 18 comments 18,683 views
Today we released a new update for our iOS users that should fix the issues some of you have been having with the app. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a complete list of changes we made in this most recent version of the app.
You might have noticed something a little different about your SparkPeople Mobile app recently! Our goal for this most recent update was to make the app easier and more fun to use--and we think we achieved that!
Posted 8/4/2015 10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 35 comments 52,805 views
Hey, SparkPeople Members!
We've gotten a lot of great feedback from you about our member challenges--they are a great way to focus on a specific goal or topic for a set period of time. We're very excited to announce that we will be releasing a brand new format for this feature! We wanted to give you a sneak peek of the newer challenges while we're still in development. (Note that our existing challenges will still be available at Challenge Central for now.)
Our new format takes a lot of what you all loved from the old format, and added in new features and options. Among other things, there is a stronger community element with the new challenges.
As of now, we have two challenges you can try in this updated format. You can click below to visit or join:
While you are trying out these two new challenges, we will be developing more challenge topics in this updated format that we think you will love! In the meantime, please post any feedback on the challenges in the comments below.
Thanks for testing. SparkCheers!
The SparkPeople Team
Posted 7/13/2015 3:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 16 comments 11,655 views
Hey, Sparkers! If you've been following along with us this month, you might know that we ran a "Streak Into Summer" challenge on our Facebook page from June 1st-June 21st. We're happy to say that this format was incredibly successful—over 2,000 of you participated in the challenge! WooHoo! We've been getting tons of requests for more Facebook challenges, so we're delivering a brand new one for July: the Bodyweight Blast Boot Camp Challenge! Here's how it's going to work:
Posted 6/29/2015 3:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 26 comments 16,806 views
If you've been around SparkPeople for a while, you might remember when we created a list of the Top 100 Running Songs of All Time a few years back. Since more great running tracks have come out in the meantime, we decided we were due to create a Top 100 Running Songs of All Time: Volume 2!
Based on your suggestions for songs and artists that we missed in the first list, plus newer tracks that have come out in the past three years, we've created a list of songs for you to vote on (you can also write in your own favorite picks that we might have missed). The top 12 songs of the bunch will be made into a continuous playlist that's re-mixed at exactly the right BPM for running to help you become a faster, stronger runner!
Let your voice be heard: Vote for your favorite running songs here! Thanks for helping us put together another great list!
What's your favorite running song right this second?
Posted 6/6/2015 12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 11 comments 16,924 views
June is coming up fast, which means sweet, sweet summer is almost officially here! With its gorgeous weather, abundant produce and huge variety of outdoor activities, summer is the perfect time for reaching new health and fitness milestones. If you've been looking for a little extra push to get a leg-up on your healthy-living goals for summer, look no further! We're here for you with a new challenge to help you build up some seriously strong momentum as we dive into the season.
From June 1 through June 21 (the official first day of summer!), we're challenging YOU to ''Streak into Summer" with us. For these next 21 days, we'll give you one simple daily action to help you get on the fast track to a healthier, happier you this summer.
Posted 5/29/2015 12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 53 comments 22,630 views
Hi, SparkPeople members! We wanted to let you know about some great changes our team has made to the site over the past few weeks to make it easier for you to use on mobile devices.
As you know, you can get many of your favorite food and fitness tracking tools through the SparkPeople Mobile app and can find new recipes and save them with our Healthy Recipes app. But there are so many awesome features on SparkPeople that it’s hard to fit it all into one or two apps (though we do try our best and are releasing some new features soon!). So, instead of making our apps replicate exactly what we offer on our site, we’ve built our apps with the features that we think will work best for the best possible user experience for you. The rest of SparkPeople’s features are kept on the site only.
Since we can’t fit the entirety of SparkPeople into an app, our team has gone through our site piece by piece, making all of the pages more friendly for mobile devices. The font is bigger, and the layout of the pages automatically resizes for whatever device you’re on, so there’s no more pinching and scrolling.
Once you’ve logged in, the new mobile web design makes it easy to:
Track from your phone. This is great if you have a Windows Phone, or don’t have one of our great apps installed. You can use all of our tracking tools: nutrition, fitness, weight, sparkpoints and more!
Access articles, blogs and videos. All article, video and blog pages have been redesigned to make them easy to browse on your phone.
Interact with fellow SparkTeam members. You can now post to walls and forums, find new teams and see blogs from your team members, all from your phone.
Browse and post to message boards. Ask and answer questions on the go!
Click on links in our emails and see them on your phone. Click on links to community notifications and go right to your desired page.
Find great recipes and save them. Now you can find new, favorite recipes on SparkRecipes.com and save them right to your account from any device you happen to be using.
It’s easy to get started with our new mobile web experience. Go to SparkPeople.com on your mobile device, and click on the orange ''Login'' button in the middle of the screen. On the next page, enter your SparkPeople Username and Password and you’ll be ready to use all our site has to offer. You can navigate around the site by clicking the button at the top right of every page--it’s the square button with three horizontal lines on it.
Let us know what you think! If you have any ideas for how we can improve our mobile web pages, we want to hear about them in the comments below.
SparkCheers!The SparkPeople Team
Posted 5/27/2015 11:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 8 comments 6,258 views
Posted 4/16/2015 9:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 30 comments 16,495 views
Easter is synonymous with bright pastel-colored candy eggs, marshmallow chicks and creme-filled chocolates--which aren't exactly the most waistline-friendly treats. But you can still partake in the goodies without derailing your healthy habits. If you're looking for some alternatives to the usual fare, here are some small tweaks you can make to lighten up your Easter baskets this year (while still having fun)!
Posted 4/1/2015 12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 7 comments 14,284 views
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve made another update to the SparkPeople Mobile app! This update is for iOS users, and if you’ve updated your app today, you’ve already seen the changes. (Note: we rolled out these changes to the Android version of our app a few weeks ago.) We made a good number of tweaks to help improve the app, but there are two major changes we wanted to mention.
Change #1: We simplified and cleaned up the homescreen. When we asked our members what they most wanted on the homescreen, almost all of you asked for better, easier food and fitness tracking. With our new design, you can track your food and exercise even faster!
Change #2: You can now add images to your blog and status updates, right from the app! Lately, you may have seen more images in SparkPeople Mobile from other SparkPeople members who are using our newest motivational tool, pep. We wanted to make sure that our SparkPeople Mobile users could join in the image-sharing fun, too!
Check out the app here and let us know what you think! We love hearing your ideas for how we can improve our tools to make it easier to reach your goals.
The SparkPeople Team
Posted 3/17/2015 5:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 3 comments 11,366 views
St. Patrick's Day is usually synonymous with corned beef, cabbage and pints upon pints of green beer (not to mention other unnaturally-dyed foods). But this year, we're celebrating in a way that's both fun and good for you! Starting tomorrow and leading up to the day before St. Patrick's Day, we'll be challenging ourselves to get in five servings of green fruits and veggies every day—and we want you to join us on Instagram! Even if you don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day, this is still a fun challenge to help you eat those freggies. (And if you are celebrating St. Paddy's in the usual ways, it's a nice way to get in some nutrients before indulging in all that green beer!)
Posted 3/8/2015 12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 13 comments 12,664 views
Sometimes, you see something that makes you feel happy, inspired, or strong. It could be a delicious healthy meal you made, or the view from the top of that hill you just ran up. Images are powerful motivators, and we wanted to make a tool that would allow our members to easily capture, save and share their healthiest life snapshots to help them reach their goals alongside a community of like-minded people.
Enter our newest app: pep!
pep lets you record and share the images that make you feel proud and inspired. You can add custom filters, stickers, text and more to your pictures to get just the right look before sharing them within your community right within the app. See what other health-minded people are posting and motivate each other with just one snap of a picture! Best of all, the photos you take within pep will automatically feed over to your SparkPeople account, so your SparkFriends will be able to see them, too.
pep is currently available for iOS devices. If you click on the App Store button below, you can download pep right away and get started finding your friends and building your motivational community.
Try the app and let us know what you think! If you have an idea about how we can make the app better, let us know in the comments; we always love to hear what you think.
The SparkPeople Team
Posted 3/2/2015 1:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 22 comments 18,384 views
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