The SparkPeople Blog

Spark Spotlight: Robin (RASAYLOR)

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/25/2019  12:00:00 AM   :  24 comments   :  2,164 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Robin (RASAYLOR)
Age: 28
Location: Morgan City, Louisiana
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Robin has gone from barely walking six months ago to walking a lot more now, while also cutting down her time for a 5K by about two and a half minutes. She's also celebrating a loss of 14 pounds since January, which will help her reach her ultimate goal! 

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9 Things to Do Sunday To Set Yourself up for a Healthy Week

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By: , – Kirsten Nunez
3/22/2019  12:00:00 AM   :  32 comments   :  1,927 views

We all know what it's like to have one of "those" weeks. Day after day, you wake up late and rush out the door. When it's time to head home, you order takeout before you can even say "5 p.m." You eventually doze off next to clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away, dreaming of that workout you meant to do.

For many, the work week is pure chaos. As a result, it's common for healthy habits to take a back seat.

With the right approach, though, it's possible to set yourself up for a healthier, more balanced work week. The key is to use Sunday—or whatever day you have off—to create future opportunities for positive behaviors. You'd be amazed at what a couple hours of prep work can do for your physical, mental and emotional health during the next few days.

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

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/19/2019  12:00:00 AM   :  26 comments   :  29,340 views

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.

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Spark Spotlight: Jen (JENNMT)

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/18/2019  12:00:00 AM   :  46 comments   :  5,346 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Jen (JENNMT)
Age: 49
Location: Silver Bow County, Montana 
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Jen is celebrating her first month of using SparkPeople with the loss of 11.4 pounds and 15.5 inches! 

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The Missing Link: Routine

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By: , – Justin Ochoa, Personal Trainer
3/15/2019  12:00:00 AM   :  65 comments   :  8,066 views

Every month in "The Missing Link," personal trainer and gym owner Justin Ochoa breaks down essential elements that you might be overlooking in your own journey to health. In his years in the industry, he's noticed glaring omissions, omissions which often play a crucial role in the pursuit of success. Your routine should be well-rounded, effective and fun, and Justin has the expertise and experience to ensure that you're covering all your bases in the pursuit of your goals.
 
What is a routine, anyway? By definition, a routine is "a regular course of procedure; habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure". Anything you do consistently in your life can be part of your routine, for better or worse. Your routine is what you do every morning when you wake up; it's what how you prepare yourself for the next day, week or month; and it's how you manage money, relationships, exercise, nutrition and many other factors in your life.
 
The importance of having a routine for your eating, fitness, sleep and/or work has been studied over time and the research is clearly in favor of developing healthy habits in your life. With benefits ranging from freeing up your mind for more creative thinking and decreasing stress to improving sleep, if your life is lacking some order, you're missing out on benefits that can improve your daily living. Of the many health benefits, there are three that stand out among the crowd: time efficiency, the opportunity to instill good habits and the confidence boost.

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When Exercise Burnout Sets In, Here's How to Get Motivated Again

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/13/2019  12:00:00 AM   :  37 comments   :  12,916 views

Whether you've been a regular exerciser for three weeks or three years, motivation levels tend to ebb and flow. You go through periods where it feels empowering to get off the couch and head to the gym because you're seeing fitness gains and feeling strong; then there are other times when it's a challenge to drag yourself out of bed and working out feels like a chore. It's normal to have those lazy days here and there, but what if low motivation becomes a pattern you can't seem to shake?

If you're fairly new to exercise and feelings of burnout are tempting you to quit, consider first whether or not you're doing too much too soon. If your workouts are too frequent or too long, they can leave you feeling physically drained. No one likes feeling run down all the time, and regularly experiencing this can allow thoughts of quitting to start infiltrating your brain. Also consider whether or not you enjoy the activities you're doing. If you don't, you're not likely to stick with them long-term. Don't be afraid to try new things until you find activities that you like and seem to be a good fit.

If you've been a regular exerciser for years, feelings of burnout can be more difficult to understand. You likely know your limits and have found things you enjoy doing, which is why you've stuck with them for so long in the first place. It can be difficult and even frustrating to pinpoint what has changed and why, suddenly, your workout just isn't working for you.

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