SparkPeople Blog Most Recent Post
Many people opt for a vegan diet as a way of reducing their impact on the environment and to improve their health. Vegetables, seeds, nuts and other vegan foods contain a variety of compounds and nutrients that are often lacking in other foods. Furthermore, most vegan foods are easy to digest and contain plenty of calories to keep the stomach full, the mind nourished and the energy flowing. However, it is important to remember that a calorie is a calorie, whether those calories come from french fries or avocados, and consuming more calories than you burn, even on a healthy vegan diet, can cause weight gain. If you want to lose weight and maintain your vegan diet, try eating these nine foods.
Read More ›
The kids might be back in school and store shelves are filling with fall merchandise, but we’re not ready to let go of summer just yet. With the weather still warm and Labor Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to take advantage of one of summer’s favorite foods: the kabob! Popping meats, veggies, fruits and even whole sandwiches on a stick is a great way to add fun and variety to your meals and parties, no matter the time of year. Plus, presenting a meal on a stick will certainly grab the attention of little picky eaters.
Reflect on a summer of sun and fun by assembling and cooking up a few of these crowd-pleasing healthy kabobs.
Read More ›
Struggling to master a full push-up? You aren't alone. Push-ups are a great exercise that engages almost every muscle in your body, but they aren't exactly easy to do! The good news is there are several modifications you can use while you are building up into a full one. In this video I'll show you 4 easy ways to modify a push-up (shown from easiest to most challenging) to help you progress and build the strength and stamina you need to finally master a full push-up on your toes.
Here are the specific modifications we cover in the video, along with my reps/set recommendations for each to help you build proper form and functional strength:
Modification #1: Wall Push-Up
Try working up to 3 full sets of 15 repetitions before progressing to modification #2.
Modification #2: Incline Push-Up
Try working up to 3 full sets of 10-12 repetitions before progressing to modification #3.
Modification #3: Quadruped Push-Up
Try working up to 3 full sets of 10-12 repetitions before progressing to modification #4.
Modification #4: Bent Knee Push-Up
Once you have mastered 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the bent knee push-up, feel free to try adding in a few reps of full push-ups (on your toes). You can try to do as many full push-ups as you can with great form and then drop down to your knees to complete the set.
Oh, and keep an eye out for my workout partner Peanut in this video—she wanted to help me with my push-up form! Do you work out with your pets at home too?
Did you try the modifications? Let me know in the comments below which one you are working on right now and just remember no matter where you are starting out, practice makes progress!
Need an effective workout program without a single push up (or even any floor work)? Get our “WALK ON: 21 DAY WEIGHT LOSS PLAN” DVD Set! It features 4, 30-minute walking-based routines that include low-impact HIIT cardio, strength training, standing abs and even chair stretches to help you burn fat while building your energy!
About the Author
Jessica Smith is co-author of the Thin in 10 Weight Loss Plan (Sunrise River Press, 2012), and a certified wellcoach, and group instructor. Having started her own 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 , fitness, and lifestyle habits. The star of several best-selling exercise DVDs, Jessica has over 13 years of experience in the industry, and holds a in Communications from Fordham University.
Summer is winding down, and though we're sad to see it go, we won't miss the endless sugary summer festival food, ice cream and chili cheese dogs around every corner at outdoor events. Feeling a little out of sorts from a few too many seasonal indulgences? You're not alone! Luckily, sometimes all we need is a short reset to get our bodies (and minds) back on the right track. If you've been feeling a little "blah" lately, we've got just the thing to reboot your body's most important systems and give you a dose of self-care and motivation. Get a healthy tune-up with the 30-Day Fit & Fiber-Full Wellness Challenge! Think of it as a booster shot to help you feel your absolute best from the inside out, just in time for the busy fall season ahead.
What can I expect from the Fit & Fiber-Full Wellness Challenge?
Sounds great! How do I sign up?
Go to our Fit & Fiber-Full Wellness Challenge page and sign up by clicking the "Join Challenge Now" button to enter your email address. After you've signed up, you will receive one email per day for the next 30 days with a reminder to complete your daily challenge (and get your SparkPoints). Note that once you sign up, you should expect to receive your first challenge email the following day at 7 am EST.
When does it start?
RIGHT NOW. The challenge is open and ready for you to join—and you can start or join at any time. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll be on the path to a healthier, happier you!
What are you waiting for? Sign up right now to get started today—and feel happier, healthier and refreshed from the inside out in 30 days. (Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, too.) Let's do this!
Will you be participating in our 30-Day Fit & Fiber-Full Wellness Challenge? Let us know in the comments if you're up for the challenge!
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
Flowers and trees are pretty, but sometimes a walking workout needs a bit more than scenery to keep things interesting. Incorporating intervals and strength-training moves into a walk not only adds variety, but also challenges your muscles and can boost your metabolism. Dallas-based trainer Kim Truman developed this varied walking workout, which includes three different intervals and three body moves, for people looking to break up their usual walks.
Keep boredom at bay today with this fun, heart-pumping workout.
Read More ›