Spark Your Weight Loss & Healthy Lifestyle with SPARKPEOPLE.COM

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

SparkPeople.com is a FREE website that offers you a community that can help you lose weight by getting fitter and making better food choices. Chris Downie, the CEO and developer of SparkPeople.com, developed the site so that people could have a FREE resource to help them become healthier. Business Week named SparkPeople.com as the Best Health Website. Check out this video about what SparkPeople.com can do for you:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/foxnews.asp

 

SparkPeople.com is like having your own dietitian and your own personal trainer.  To get started, there is a 4-minute easy-to-follow video to explain how the website is developed.  Each specific area also has an effective 3-minute video to explain how each tracker and section works.

 

Nutrition Tracker

The Nutrition Tracker helps you to keep track of your daily calories.  You can change the options based on what type of information you want to receive. You can add favorite foods which you typically eat to make the tracking of your daily diet easier. Keeping track of your daily intake has been shown to be an effective tool for weight loss.

Nutrition Tracker:

  • Daily Calorie Breakdown
  • Daily Nutrition Report
  • Calorie & Nutrients Over Time
  • Calorie Differential Over Time
  • Daily Nutrition Feedback
  • Daily Calorie Differential

Fitness Tracker

The Strength Training Tracker of SparkPeople.com sets up your strength training for Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  There are animated demonstrations which help teach proper form. You can swap or remove the specific routines. In addition you can print your daily exercise program.  The Cardio Tracker sets up the cardio program for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can set your personal goals and track how many calories are being burned in each exercise section.  In addition, you can add pedometer and running/cycling mileage as well.

Fitness Tracker:

  • Fitness Minutes Over Time
  • Strength Training Over Time
  • Cardio Report Over Time
  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly Calories Burned

Community Resources Can Help Keep You on Track

The SparkPeople.com community allows you to seek help and possibly a buddy if that makes staying on track work for you. You can develop your own blog which can help you reach other Spark People. Maybe a recipe or a tip that works for you may help others or maybe you can gain some insights and tips that might work for you. A Message Board is an effective way to reach out to SparkPeople.com’s experts like registered dietitians and certified personal trainers.

Community Resources:

  • Spark Teams
  • Challenge Central
  • Spark Pages
  • Success Stories
  • Message Boards
  • Secrets of Success
  • Member Blogs
  • Community Highlights

Educational Information

The SparkPeople.com site also discusses health conditions from A – Z. In addition, the site also contains up-to-date health information and health news. In addition, there is a special section on Condition Centers and Diabetes Program.  The Condition Centers section contains in-depth guides for the most common health issues the members of SparkPeople.com have.

Jump Start Your Health with SparkPeople.com

I highly recommend this health site. It’s FREE and has lots of excellent tools to help keep you on task with weight loss and taking your health seriously!

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHEALTHWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 11 grandchildren.    

 

Become Heart Smart for Your Heart: Learn Heart Lifestyle Strategies for Keeping Your Heart Healthy

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

The Southeast Christian Church Sport and Fitness Ministry, located at 920 Blankenbaker Parkway, will offer a 4-week Heart Smart for Your Heart Empowerment Program.  The program begins  on Monday, November 7 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Sport and Fitness Center and continue on Monday evenings throughout November. The Heart Smart Empowerment Program will teach  you how to become more Heart Smart for Your Heart by learning lifestyle strategies which will help keep your heart and body healthy. There are three lifestyle strategies which are effective  at keeping your heart healthy: what you eat, how active you are and managing stress before it manages you!  In this information-packed program, you will learn what your lab numbers mean and what you can do to alter the numbers;  how to become nutrition smart – how to shop, what and how to cook and how to choose carefully when eating out;  what exercises and activities are most effective at helping to strengthen your heart;  and specific  strategies  that can help you to help manage your stress levels. The program was developed by Lifestyle Nutrition and Wellness Specialist, Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N. Day will be using a Power Point presentation format.   The cost of the program is $25. Each participant will receive a binder to keep the handouts from each session along with menus and recipes. Online registration will begin Wednesday, October 12th  at www.SoutheastSportsandFitness.org. Class size limited to 50. You do not have to be a member of Southeast Christian Church to attend this program.

Developed & Presented by

Lifestyle Nutrition &

Wellness Specialist:     Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

Powerpoint

Presentation:                  60 minutes

15 minutes questions & answers

 

Fee:                $25 for binder and handouts for each session.

 

Class One:             Heart Disease: What Numbers Count?

What the numbers mean.

Becoming Nutrition Smart for Your Heart.

Fat and Triglycerides.

 

Class Two:             Be Wise & Exercise.

Types of Heart Smart Exercise.

Managing Stress before it Manages You.

Class Three:          Heart Smart Shopping Cart

Reading food labels and making shopping lists.

The ABCs of Food & Drug Interactions.

 

Class Four:            Cooking for Your Heart.

Cooking strategies and cookbooks.

Nutritional Supplements: What works what doesn’t.

Restaurant strategies for eating in the fastlane.

 

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHEALTHWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 11 grandchildren.    

 

Working Inwardly To Find Your Outer & Inner Health

 

By Paul Salmon, Ph.D., M.S.

 

 

Whether the topic is exercise, flexibility, diet, fitness,
intelligence, hair color, or practically anything else, making
comparisons between ourselves and other seems to be the rule, rather
than the exception. Working out at the local fitness center not only
provides an opportunity to get or stay in shape, but also as I recently
heard someone say, a chance to ‘size up the competition’. What struck me
about this comment was how pervasive this theme is in so much of what we
do day-to-day. There seem to be very few circumstances anymore that
don’t invoke competitive aspirations. And in the realm of health and
fitness, it’s not uncommon for competition to be used as a motivational
strategy to promote the attainment of fitness. “If I can do it, so can
you” is a friendly way to challenge someone whom you feel needs a bit of
a push, and there are many other variations on this theme.

People often lose sight of the fact that the inspirational qualities of
others really have more to do with an appreciation of what they have
done with what they have, rather than on the specifics of their
accomplishments. Think of someone you really admire, and you will
probably be aware that your attitude is shaped as much by an
appreciation of the circumstances of their lives as their actual
accomplishments. Lance Armstrong is probably admired more for having
persevered in the face of cancer than for the fact that he routinely won
the Tour de France.  Does it make sense to aspire to be Lance Armstrong
and fantasize about winning the Tour? To me, this is a prescription for
envy and futility.  On the other hand, drawing inspiration from the way
he accepted the reality of his situation, and persevered in the face of
a life-threatening challenge can be applied by all of us in the context
of our personal circumstances, which are as unique and individualized as
those of Lance Armstrong.

In terms of health and wellness, although the inspirational qualities
of other people can serve to some extent as a guide or beacon, it’s
important that they not detract from an understanding and appreciation
of the qualities that we bring to the table as we are, in the present
moment. The idea here is to be like a good cook, who can take whatever
is on hand and prepare a satisfying, even in the absence of exotic
ingredients, expensive equipment, and the latest kitchen gadgetry.
Working with what we have — and who we are — is one of the most
fundamental ideas underlying many meditative and contemplative
practices. Related to this is cultivating a heightened sense of
awareness of personal circumstances as they develop and change on a
moment-by-moment basis.

One exercise-related application of this principle comes from the
Heritage Family Study, a multi-site study undertaken in the early 1990’s
that evaluated the impact of exercise and physical activity on oxygen
uptake and various metabolic indices. A key stimulus for the study was
prior evidence of significant individual differences in response to the
same exercise stimulus. That is, any two people participating in exactly
the same exercise program are likely to attain different results.
Results of this study confirmed that individual difference factors in
response to exercise are substantial, and should be taken into account
in designing and assessing fitness programs. Finding out where you fit
on a broad response continuum is a vital aspect of self-knowledge and
self-understanding. So the next time you notice yourself making
comparisons with others about fitness, flexibility, or strength, keep in
mind the importance of finding your own path and staying on it.

Paul Salmon, Ph.D., M.S., is a faculty member in the Psychology
Department at UofL, a  certified Health Fitness (ACSM) and Yoga
(RYT/200) instructor. He can be contacted at psalmon@louisville.edu