The SparkPeople Blog

Memphis and Meta Take Small Steps for Big Health Changes

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/16/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  1,511 views

Here at SparkPeople, we love seeing other companies help communities reach healthy, positive goals—and Meta is doing just that! This summer, Metamucil® underwent an evolution to become part of a full line of wellness products called Meta, which aims to give people simple solutions to help them live their best, healthiest lives. The folks at Meta believe that making small, everyday changes can lead to long-term health and wellness results (a philosophy that mirrors our own). Now, Meta is challenging Americans in Memphis, TN—which is currently ranked as the unhealthiest city in the United States*--to make strides toward more healthful living, one step at a time. Memphis is up for the challenge, and the city is making better health more attainable for everyone with a year-long partnership with Meta and national sweepstakes** hosted on the Meta Facebook page

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Scare Away Candy Calories with the Halloween Workout!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/13/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  15 comments   :  26,401 views

Boo! Don't be scared of Halloween candy calories! Burn them off the fun way with this fast Halloween-themed cardio circuit workout. Perform each movement in the circuit for one minute straight before moving on to the next move. (If you need a demo for any of the movements, scroll down and click on its corresponding link below the image.) There are a total of ten moves, so the whole workout should take you exactly ten minutes. If you want an extra challenge, you can do the circuit 2-3 times through for a real calorie-scorching session! You can make this as low-intensity or high-intensity as you want, depending on how quickly you move during each exercise. Bonus: There is no equipment required, and it's great for small spaces!

Note: For the single-leg movements ("Boo-ty Blaster" and "Spooky Side Kick"), work one leg for 30 seconds and switch to the other leg for the remaining 30 seconds. 

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Quiz: What's Your Breakfast Food Personality?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/12/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  30 comments   :  9,441 views

What you eat for breakfast can say a lot about your personality. Which breakfast food are you? Take this fun quiz to find out--and let us know which food you are in the comments!

Peek Inside the Mind of a Health Coach

By: , – Presented by Humana
10/10/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  9,735 views

These days, getting and staying healthy is becoming a bigger concern with diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease on the rise. But it can be hard to know where to start or who to ask for help beyond your primary care physician. Where do you turn when you just want someone to help you put together a plan to help you reach basic healthy lifestyle goals?

This is where Health Coaches come in! These professionals are fairly new faces in the healthcare world, but their impact has been growing rapidly. Health Coaches can help tailor a plan specific to your goals, whether you would like to lose weight or simply start building healthier habits. We've interviewed two Humana Health Coaches, Melina and Kristina, to give you a peek into the world of these professionals--and why you should consider giving Health Coaching a try to take your healthy lifestyle commitment to the next level. 

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Michael Strahan's Top 5 Motivational Tips

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/10/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  12,509 views

Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, ''A Minute with Michael.'' 

Getting and staying motivated to reach goals, whether health-focused or otherwise, is a struggle for almost everyone. It can be all too easy to choose instant gratification and immediate comfort (like relaxing on the couch) over the choice that will make us happier in the long run (like hitting the gym). But guess what? You're not alone! Even the people who seem to have it all figured out have difficulty mustering up the motivation to stick to their long-term goals. The only difference is that they've found a system that works for them—and they make it a priority to stick to their own rules. Michael Strahan, television star and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, knows all about keeping the eye on the prize in the face of temptation. Read on for Michael's advice on how to stay motivated when life has every intention of getting in the way. 

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5 Smart Exercises to Support Your Knees

By: , – Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD
10/9/2014  12:00:00 AM   :  9 comments   :  37,687 views

Perhaps the most common question I receive from patients is, ''I can’t exercise because of knee arthritis. What do I do?'' Over 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffer from knee arthritis. This can make exercising more challenging. As a result, many people with knee pain from arthritis just stop exercising. This can lead to obesity, loss of muscle tone, worsening of the arthritis and depression. You heard that right--exercise improves knee arthritis, and lack of exercise makes it worse!  If you have knee arthritis, there are some moves you may wish to avoid until your symptoms improve:

1. Bending  the knee while bearing weight
2. Flexing the knee past ninety degrees
3. Stressing the ligaments by leaping from side to side

If the above moves cause you discomfort, below are some alternative exercises that will move the knee joint safely while strengthening all the supporting muscles.
You will want to be on the floor for most of these exercises, so take your time getting down and back up again. Use a thick rug or exercise mat for comfort. If you have a firm mattress, you can even do some of these moves in bed. 

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