The SparkPeople Blog

Why Friendly Competition Should Be Built Into Your Action Plan

By: , – Chris
7/21/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  2 comments   :  299 views

Chris "SparkGuy" Downie regularly writes blogs on his personal SparkPage and it's about time we start sharing them on the main SparkPeople blog! Chris really cares about helping people reach their goals, and his blogs are another way he stays connected to members. Within these blogs, you'll find highlights from Chris's day, his thoughts on various health and motivational topics, and announcements about new activities and lessons on his Small Goals Commitment Challenge. We hope you enjoy!
This is Part Two of a blog series from SparkPeople founder, Chris "SparkGuy" Downie. You can read Part One here.
After the Beatles released "Rubber Soul" in 1965, Beach Boys songwriter was inspired. As one of the first full albums filled with strong songs, Wilson used the genius of "Rubber Soul" as fuel to create the Beach Boys album "Pet Sounds," an album with several classic songs brilliantly woven together.

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300 Pounds and Counting: Greg's Two-Year Transformation

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
7/20/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  25 comments   :  8,647 views

Imagine carrying around three large Labrador dogs, nine cinderblocks or 36 gallons of water—constantly, for many, many years. Think about how difficult (or downright impossible) it would be to walk, run, play with your kids or grandkids, or even just climb a few stairs. Now, imagine finally being able to set down that weight, and how light and free you would feel. Greg Palmer (GPALMER) knows a thing or two about shedding that type of heavy burden. In just a little over two years, he has lost more than 300 pounds. Since his amazing transformation, Greg  has become a motivating presence here at SparkPeople, as he shares his inspiring messages and photos on our Community Feed.

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New Updates Bring Fun--and Magic--to SparkPeople Mobile

By: , – Health & Fitness Houdini
7/19/2017  5:00:00 PM   :  14 comments   :  4,213 views

Hi there, SparkPeople. We’re back with more exciting app-related news that’s sure to make you "appy!" :)
As you might remember from a blog we wrote a few weeks ago, we've been changing how we approach mobile apps by cleaning up some of our lesser-used apps so we could spend more time bringing you new and awesome features in the apps you use the most. Today we want to tell you about some of the new things your SparkPeople Mobile app can do. We think you’ll be as excited as we are, so let’s get to it:

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8 Low-Impact Barre Moves You Can Do Anywhere

By: , – Alicia Capetillo, Editor at SparkPeople
7/18/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  44 comments   :  8,669 views

If you've ever gotten out of bed the day after a workout, grimaced and thought to yourself, "I didn't even know I had a muscle there!" you're probably experiencing a post-barre-based class soreness. The trendy ballet-based workout that utilizes a barre for deeper muscle-burning moves continues to attract new devotees due to its body-transforming powers and hurts-so-good tiny, pulsing movements that leave your muscles feeling shaky yet strong. You've never felt isometric moves quite like these.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, The Bar Method wants you to know it's different than the other barre-based classes out there. While the technique is also based on the Lotte Berk technique, The Bar Method was created with the help of physical therapists to accommodate and challenge students of all ages and body types, even those with physical limitations. "Every new exercise and/or variation is vetted according to high standards," Kiesha Ramey-Presner, a Bar Method master instructor and trainer, says. "The technique itself has evolved over many years to provide an even safer and more effective workout that includes modifications for a multitude of injuries and ailments."

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The Stock Photo Struggle: ''Why Don't SparkPeople's Images Look Like Me?''

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
7/17/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  118 comments   :  9,430 views

"We're looking for women who have a shape like the rest of us in reality. We're not the size 4. REAL LIFE MODELS, PLEASE."

"A little disappointed that SparkPeople chose this image to accompany the article. That woman is strong, beautiful, and probably around a size medium, which is well below the average size in the U.S. I'm happy you published the content of this article, but please be cognizant of images and the messages they send."
"I wish SparkPeople would do a better job of using "real people" photos for their articles, and modifications for the less fit, less flexible and older members." 

"What in the world happened to that woman? She is so thin she doesn't look like she could stand, let alone cook. Is this SparkPeople's idea of a good role model? Even the runways now are requiring models be a healthy weight. How about SparkPeople following this trend?" 
When SparkPeople members speak, we listen. We've made many changes over the years based on suggestions and feedback from our members, and we take pride in the fact that we care about the user experience and are constantly working to improve. If you've ever thought or commented on an article with sentiments similar to the real member comments above, you too might be wondering why we consistently feature average-sized or even thin models in our article and blog images. We're not ignoring your feedback—the root cause is actually a bigger problem with stock photos in general and it is one that we struggle with regularly.

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36 Easy, Breezy No-Cook Summer Recipes

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
7/13/2017  12:00:00 PM   :  40 comments   :  14,046 views

When stepping outside is like walking into an oven, the last thing you want to do is turn on the one in your kitchen. But mealtimes don't stop for summer, and all those hot days spent swimming, playing, working and driving here, there and everywhere tend to work up quite an appetite. When dinner looms and the family is headed to hangry-town, skip the stove and throw together one of these insanely easy, no-cook dishes—and save the sweating for the pool.

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