Melissa Rudy

A lifelong Cincinnatian, Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of Cincinnati before breaking into the online content field in 2000. As a Digital Journalist for SparkPeople, she enjoys helping others meet their wellness goals by writing about all aspects of healthy living. An avid runner and group fitness addict, Melissa lives in Loveland with her guitarist husband and three feisty daughters.


Read More of Melissa's Blogs:

How to Make Exercising in Glasses Less of an Annoyance

Workout clothes? Check. Running shoes? Got 'em. Water bottle? Filled and ready to hydrate.

And if you need a little help in the vision department, eyeglasses might also be on your gym bag checklist. But while they might make it easier to see the treadmill monitor or your Zumba instructor's demonstrations, frames and lenses aren't exactly conducive to a hard-core sweat session.

Posted 4/16/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 28 comments   1,605 views

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Brighten Your Brunch With 20 Rejuvenating Recipes

Most people are raised on the traditional “three square meals” philosophy of eating. There’s breakfast, lunch and dinner—in that order, and each at its own fairly fixed time. But some people—particularly those who are not typically hungry right when they wake up, who are practicing intermittent fasting or simply don’t have time to eat in the mornings—prefer to eat their first meal a little later than most. And, of course, there are those lovely weekend mornings when you have the luxury of sleeping in and then enjoying a leisurely meal somewhere in that relaxed, slow-paced window between breakfast and lunch.
 
Which brings us to brunch.

Posted 4/8/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 40 comments   57,994 views

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20 Weeknight Meals That Are Ready in 20 Minutes or Less

“I have a bunch of extra time today, so maybe I’ll spend a couple of hours in the kitchen,”
said no busy person ever.
 
There are plenty of excuses for not cooking at home, but topping the list is lack of time. Between earning a paycheck, tackling the never-ending laundry, driving the non-drivers to wherever they need to be and tending to the constantly unfurling list of to-dos, finding a window in which you can shop for, prep, cook and serve a healthy meal that everyone will actually eat can seem like a recipe for frustration. Time is precious, so might as well order takeout, right?
 
But wait! What if we told you there are plenty of easy, hassle-free weeknight meals that can go from the pantry to the table in less time than it would take for the Uber Eats driver to reach your door?
 
Still skeptical? These 20 simple, speedy recipes come together beautifully (and deliciously) in 20 minutes or less.

Posted 4/3/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 41 comments   16,236 views

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Why EMOM Workouts Are Perfect for Anyone Short on Time

Every minute counts. It’s a philosophy that can be applied to all areas of life—particularly to exercise and fitness. Whether you have 10 minutes or a full hour to devote to physical activity, making the most of that time is essential to achieving the results you want and staying motivated along the way.
 
Of course, how you choose to spend those minutes will also determine how enjoyable (or grueling) they feel. If you hate the treadmill, half an hour will feel like half a day. Similarly, doing the same exercise for an entire workout, day in and day out, could be a recipe for burnout (not to mention the fact that it's an ineffective way to work your body).
 
Enter the EMOM workout. Short for “Every Minute on the Minute,” EMOM essentially involves doing a fixed number of reps of one exercise for a 60-second period, then moving on to the next exercise. If the reps are completed in less than a minute, the remaining time can be used for rest.

Posted 3/28/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 54 comments   9,267 views

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9 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump That Have Nothing to Do with Coffee

You woke up fairly bright-eyed, fueled up with a healthy breakfast, maybe squeezed in an energizing workout and then cruised through the morning with a decent amount of energy to spare.
 
Then came lunch.
 
There's something about the mid-day meal that seems to drain the energy reserves, leaving you feeling sluggish and sleepy. You might notice your productivity slowing down or screeching to a halt, maybe taking your motivation along with it. As the clock crawls toward 2 or 3 p.m., it could even become a struggle to keep your eyes open. But whether you're juggling work tasks, demanding kiddos or other responsibilities, you probably don't have the luxury of calling a "time-out" on life and crawling into bed for a nap.
 
Time for a trip to the coffee machine? Not necessarily. While it's fine to enjoy an occasional mug of that magical bean-derived elixir, there are other, healthier ways to pull yourself out of the afternoon slump.

Posted 3/26/2019  12:00:00 PM By: Melissa Rudy : 69 comments   139,200 views

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20 Meat-Free Recipes That Won’t Leave You Feeling Hungry

According to a recent poll, around 5 percent of Americans are vegetarian and 3 percent are vegan. But you don’t have to fall into one of those categories to enjoy the benefits of the occasional meatless meal. Including more plant-based foods in your diet can help to reduce your cholesterol and saturated fat intake, improve heart health, elevate energy levels and reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. Plus, studies show that plant-based diets are more conducive to weight loss, as meatless meals usually contain fewer calories.

Posted 3/19/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 58 comments   43,634 views

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8 Challenging Bodyweight Exercises for When You Can’t Hit the Gym

Many people love going to the gym, spending hours each week making use of the abundant collection of weights and equipment. Others prefer to build their own fully equipped gyms, investing in dumbbells and other gear to replicate the experience at home.

But those aren’t your only options.

f your membership has grown dusty with neglect (or never existed to begin with), and you don’t have the extra money or time to purchase your own fitness equipment, you have everything you need to get a full-body workout in the comfort and privacy of home—and you’re already carrying it everywhere you go.

Posted 3/8/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 51 comments   13,066 views

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25 Healthy Recipes Absolutely Anyone Can Cook

“I don’t have time to cook.”
 
“Recipes are too complicated to follow.”
 
“Meal prep takes way too long.”
 
“I’m afraid I’ll mess something up.”
 
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most people who eschew cooking do so because they assume it’s too difficult or too time-consuming. Maybe they peruse a few recipes with the best of cooking intentions, only to be scared off by complicated lists of ingredients and instructions.
 
But we’ve got some good news: You don’t have to choose between mastering culinary rocket science and waving the white flag for pizza delivery. There is a middle ground, and it’s home to plenty of nutritious and delicious recipes that require little to no kitchen expertise.
 
Still skeptical? Take a spin through some of our favorite easy-peasy, hassle-free, virtually failproof meals that you can whip together without breaking a sweat (or a dish).

Posted 3/5/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 54 comments   29,719 views

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20 Satisfying Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers are the busy home chef’s secret weapon when it comes to streamlining meal prep. When life feels like a nonstop race against the clock, simply toss a few ingredients into this versatile countertop appliance on your way out the door. You'll be grateful dinner is already done when you come home to a simmering, savory, ready-to-eat meal.

Posted 2/27/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 42 comments   584,726 views

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This 30-Day Challenge Is All About Improving Workplace Wellness

You know what they say about "all work and no play." As it turns out, "all work and no wellness" might be the bigger culprit. Are you too busy at the office (or wherever your job takes you) to invest in the movement and meal planning your health deserves?

Posted 2/22/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 68 comments   21,166 views

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30 Things Exercise Can Teach You About Life

Exercise gets plenty of credit for burning calories, building stronger muscles, boosting mood levels and improving overall health and wellness. But beyond whittling away pounds and inches, did you know that daily activity can also impart some inspiring life lessons? Long after the last step or rep, these nuggets of wisdom can be applied all throughout your day—consider it therapy with (physical) benefits.

Posted 2/20/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 51 comments   13,287 views

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5 Fitness Benchmarks to Abandon

We all have different bodies, different sets of goals and different definitions of the best versions of ourselves. We run or walk at varying paces, lift heavier or lighter weights, deal with unique physical challenges and struggle to schedule workouts around diverse schedules and fluctuating motivations.
 
So why should we all aspire to reach the same benchmarks of success?

Posted 2/11/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 80 comments   21,578 views

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The Power of Positive People

You wake up with every intention of going to spin class straight from the office. But then you have lunch with your co-worker, who wrinkles her nose at your exercise plans and launches into a monologue about how much time and money she has wasted on workouts that don't, well, work.
 
Meanwhile, she orders the loaded cheese fries and complains that healthy foods are too expensive and don't fill her up. Every time you try to counter one of her complaints, there's another one right behind it—sort of like peeling away the layers of a very pungent-smelling onion.
 
By the time lunch is over, your motivation has taken a nosedive, and you're seriously considering canceling spin class is favor of happy hour. Besides, after all the cheese fries you just ate, what's the point?
 
Negativity is a powerful thing—and it's extremely contagious. If you let them, the Debbie and Donnie Downers of the world will lead you astray from your good intentions and into their world of grumbles, groans and excuses. As the old saying goes, "misery loves company."
 
On the other hand, if you'd been dining with an upbeat, positive co-worker who encouraged your dedication to spin class, and didn't scoff at your choice of a healthy soup and salad, you likely would have returned to the office feeling excited about your workout and proud of your lunchtime choices.

Posted 2/8/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 64 comments   14,999 views

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Why You Need to Be Eating Chia Seeds—And 23 Ways to Do It

Don’t let their size fool you. Small but mighty, chia seeds pack plenty of nutrition into a tiny package. Derived from a plant called Salvia hispanica, they were originally a primary energy source for the Aztecs and Mayans, who named them after the Mayan word for “strength.”

Posted 2/6/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 147 comments   722,577 views

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10 Bodyweight Training Exercises You Can Try at Home

You know you should exercise, but that gym membership you’ve been thinking about hasn’t yet materialized. Maybe you’re not quite ready to venture outside to run or walk in public. The good news? You can get a full-body workout in the comfort and privacy of home—and it won’t cost you a dime.

Posted 1/29/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Melissa Rudy : 136 comments   608,424 views

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