The SparkPeople Blog

Finding Inspiration with Juliet Kaska

By: , – SparkPeople Health & Fitness Writer
1/23/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  277 views

Inspirational women are all around us, teaching, motivating and leading others by example through the way they live their lives and inspire others. The Spark Your Life Series connects you to thought-provoking female leaders whose stories can help you achieve life balance, a health and fitness goal or a better state of mind.

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10 Functional & Flattering Black Leggings You Can Buy on Amazon

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/20/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  3 comments   :  12,471 views

The black legging is to exercise as the little black dress is to wedding season: an essential wardrobe staple. Tall, short, small or large, the black legging is flattering on practically every body shape and it's functional to boot. With a lot of stretch in the fabric, cuts and seams that accentuate your curves and muscles, lengths that keep you warm or comfortable depending on the season and the ability to seamlessly transition from gym to grocery, the black legging boasts endless reasons why it's is an absolute must no matter what your training schedule requires.

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50 Simple and Savory Single-Serving Meals

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/17/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  0 comments   :  11,831 views

If there's anything tougher than cooking for a crowd, it's cooking for one. When you have a single mouth to feed, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to shop for ingredients, prepare meals, cook and clean up—especially when most recipes yield multiple servings that will likely languish in the fridge before ultimately getting pitched. For many one-person households, the takeout menu often takes priority over the recipe book…but that convenience comes at a cost to your pocketbook and your waistline.

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Feel the Lower-Body Burn With This Quick Circuit Workout

By: , – Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer
1/16/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  1 comments   :  16,296 views

Love it or hate it, leg day or at least spending time flexing those leg muscles is a must for any strength training schedule. Lucky for you, you can get in a mile's worth of steps and a solid all-over leg burn in just 15 quick minutes.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Healthy Sugar Substitute?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/13/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  10 comments   :  18,137 views

These days, sugar can seem like a four-letter word, especially if you're trying to lose weight or adopt a healthier lifestyle. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an excess of added sugars is one of the main culprits behind not only weight gain and obesity, but also an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The FDA recommends consuming no more than six to 11 teaspoons of the sweet stuff each day.

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Steals & Splurges for 11 Workout Wardrobe Essentials

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/10/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  7 comments   :  10,938 views

Just as it's important to mix up your workouts, it's also good to freshen up your workout wardrobe every so often. Invest in the right staples and you'll be able to mix and match items that are equally appropriate for yoga or spin class." Plus, with three different price point options, you can choose to splurge on socks and save on shorts, or swap in a colorful, budget-friendly T-shirt to go along with your favorite-but-worth-every-penny black leggings. Now the only thing you'll have to worry about is proper plank form. 


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C9byChampion ($14.99),  Adidas ($19.99), Lucy ($45),

A staple of just about every workout, the t-shirt sure has come a long way from the cotton Garfield screen print of your youth. Most athletic shirts worth their weight are made of wicking material, which means they'll keep you cool when your body temperature rises.

Tank Tops 

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Tough Cookie Clothing ($15.50), Kohl's ($34), Alo ($46)

Whether you have two tickets for the gun show, loathe chafing or want to workout in comfort, there sure are no shortage of workout tanks on the market, and in a range of prices sure to fit any budget.


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90 Degree by Reflex
 ($18.99), Kohl's ($29.99) Athleta ($79)

Leggings win the gold medal for workout wardrobe staples. Short or tall, big or small, shiny, matte, stretchy, slouchy, bootcut or mesh, leggings come in nearly every color combination, print and price point imaginable.


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Old Navy ($16.50) MotoRun ($29.99), Victoria's Secret ($59.50)

Most workout jackets are lightweight, easy to take off and on for layering and great for going from gym to grocery. Half zip, full zip or pullover, owning a jacket you love can mean the difference between a meh workout and a great one.
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Kenz Laurenz ($9.98), itFit ($15), Nike ($20)

Nearly everyone can use help keeping stray hair out of their eyes and in place during a serious sweat sesh—and these three options get the job done. From basic to bold, slip one of these colorful bands on and head out the door—your hair will thank you. 

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G7 Explorer ($9.99), Under Armour ($24.99), Lululemon ($58)

Featuring sweat-wicking technology or the ability to keep you safe on nighttime runs with reflection protection, hats are a great way to keep your head warm, your hair back and the sweat away from your body so you can stay dry and cool, no matter your activity.
Long-Sleeved Shirts

Photo courtesy of JCPenney 

Xersion ($9.99) , Matymats ($21.95), Lululemon ($88)

A long-sleeved workout tee is great for wearing alone when the temperature is just a tiny bit cooler during the change of seasons or as a layering piece for colder-but-not-quite-yet-winter days. Some even extend beyond the wrist for keeping your hands warm as well as  your arms.

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Old Navy ($4.97), Champion ($10.69), Reebok ($30)

No matter the weather outside, put on your favorite workout shorts and soon you'll be thinking of warm summer days where the only sounds you hear are the birds chirping, children laughing at the pool and the "whoosh, whoosh" of your shorts as your legs pass furiously by each other.


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Asics ($9.77), Balega ($12), Feetures! ($16)

Ask anyone who's gotten blisters from running in ill-fitting cotton socks and they'll tell you that what you put on under your shoes are just as important as the shoes themselves. For runners, walkers, stair climbers and everyone in between, these high-performing socks come in the price range just for you.

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Balanced Tech ($13.99), Lululemon ($18), Patagonia ($24)

Let's face it, no one likes to Zumba (or do anything really) with a wedgie. And if you think you have to Spin in a thong to avoid granny panty lines, think again. Today's no-show, sweat-wicking undies are a modern miracle for this common workout woe. Can we just get an "amen"?

Sports Bras

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Old Navy ($15), Glamorise ($25.89), Under Armour ($39.99)

We saved the best for last—no workout is complete without the super support of a good sports bra. Not too tight, not too loose, sometimes you can feel like Goldilocks looking for one that has just the right fit. One of these should do the trick.

Do you have any high-performing workout staples that you love? Share them in the comments!

We hope you love these products as much as we do! SparkPeople may collect a small percentage of revenue from the links on this page. 

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