The SparkPeople Blog

Sculpt Your Legs in 8 Minutes (at Home!)

By: , – Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer
8/31/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  3 comments   :  4,192 views

No equipment? No problem! This quick set of exercises is guaranteed to fry your thighs using just your body weight and a small amount of space (making this routine perfect for travel!). Try this lower-body circuit as its own workout (1, 2 or 3 times through depending on how much time and energy you have), add it to your strength routine or try it after a cardio session for one short, but serious, lower body sculpting session.
 
Keep an eye out for Peanut the French bulldog, who also joins us for this workout (well, sort of)!



Leave me a comment below and let me know if you tried the workout. What was your favorite (or least favorite!) move?
 
Want more? Click here to try more of our lower body routines on JESSICASMITHTV!
 
Like this workout? Be sure to subscribe at Youtube.com/JessicaSmithTV to access a full library of over 200 FREE full-length workout videos. New episodes air every Saturday at noon EST!

About the Author
Jessica Smith is co-author of the Thin in 10 Weight Loss Plan (Sunrise River Press, 2012), and a certified wellcoach, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Having started her own fitness journey more than 40 pounds ago, Jessica knows how challenging it can be to lose weight (and keep it off). Recently named one of Sharecare's Top 10 Online Influencers, she loves finding and sharing the latest info on weight loss, fitness, and healthy lifestyle habits. The star of several best-selling exercise DVDs, Jessica has over 13 years of experience in the industry, and holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from Fordham University.

Join SparkPeople On the Road This Fall!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/29/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  14 comments   :  3,922 views

Big news! This fall, SparkPeople will be sponsoring several races across the country—and we're going to be there to cheer you on! SparkPeople representatives are hitting the road to attend six different national events, kicking things off in our hometown of Cincinnati at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at Coney Island Park.  Chris Downie (SparkPeople Founder, CEO and author of The Spark) will also be with us at the Cincinnati race to autograph your book, answer questions and do what he does best: provide motivation! We are excited to take our show on the road to support fellow health enthusiasts as they come together to reach their goals. 

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5 Reasons Why It's Okay to Drink Diet Beverages

By: , – John Peters, PhD.
8/28/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  7,258 views

If you’re feeling confused by all of the headlines about diet beverages, you’re not alone. There’s a growing amount of misinformation about diet beverages. Here are some of the facts that we tell our patients who ask about drinking these popular drinks:   
 
1. They help satisfy your sweet tooth.
 
Diet beverages can help fulfill our innate desire for sweet – but without adding calories. In fact, University of North Carolina researchers8found that drinking diet beverages didn’t increase appetite or desire for sweets. Diet soda drinkers in their study actually ate less dessert.
 
2. Diet soda doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.
 
That’s a big deal for the 29 million Americans who have diabetes, not to mention the 86 million more with pre-diabetes. No wonder that the American Diabetes Association9recommends that people with this disease consume foods and beverages sweetened with low- and no-calorie sweeteners. 

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What Nobody Tells You about Getting Back into Shape after Baby

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/26/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  9 comments   :  7,540 views

You often hear people talk about how having kids changes your entire life.  I have to agree, having been through it more than a few times over.  I have four children ranging in age from nine months to seven years, and although they are exhausting, they are equally wonderful.  Pregnancy was never a walk in the park for me, but I tried to do all of the right things--eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and gain a healthy amount of weight.  Because of this, I assumed it would be pretty easy for me to bounce back into shape after baby arrived.  While that’s been true to a certain extent, there have definitely been some surprises along the way.

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Message Board and Site Header Changes Launched Today!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/25/2014  10:00:00 AM   :  21 comments   :  1,182 views

Hi, everyone! We launched a few changes to the site today that we wanted to let you know about:
  • An improved and cleaner design for our Message Boards and Team Message Boards
  • An improved and cleaner design for our SparkPoints, SparkMail, and some other pages
  • Moved ''Today on SparkPeople'' from the right side of the site to the top right of the site, in a new dropdown
  • Added a link on the very top right of the site to your Account Settings, SparkPoints, and SparkPage
We hope you like these changes! We made them to help new members easily navigate the site. We also think they are great additional features for our current members. About a month ago, we surveyed our SparkTeam leaders about the Board changes to the Community Team, and we got some great input that was incorporated into the design. This included creating more of a visual separation between posts. Additionally, we heard a lot of feedback that the ''Today on SparkPeople'' features were important to you, so we now have them available on every page of the site. SparkGuy, Coach Jen, and the rest of our team truly do appreciate the feedback and support of our members, and we love using this feedback as a tool to help us continually upgrade and improve your SparkPeople experience.
 
If you can’t find something or have any other feedback, please post a comment below. Thanks!
 
The SparkPeople Team

Do Diet Sodas Really Help with Weight Loss?

By: , – Holly Wyatt, MD
8/18/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  8,436 views

One of the questions that I am often asked by my patients at the Anschutz Center for Health and Wellness is this: ''Can I drink diet soda and still lose weight?'' The follow-up question is usually: ''Is it true that diet beverages can make me feel hungrier?''
 
That’s when I know that they are seeing some of the same confusing headlines about diet beverages that I often see in the local and national news media, and even more frequently on the web.
 
What I love about my job is that I get to try to find answers to some of these puzzling nutrition questions. To that end, my colleagues and I just completed a study that asked the question: what effect do diet beverages have on weight loss? We were surprised by the answers, which makes me think that you may be, too. 

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