The SparkPeople Blog

The 9 Most Common Mistakes People Make in Group Exercise Classes

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/18/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  9 comments   :  1,974 views

Trying a group exercise class for the first time can feel a little like that reoccurring nightmare where you forget to wear pants to school and it's your day to give a speech detailing how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has that dream on occasion.)

The point is that walking into a class full of people who save mat space for their friends or seem to be best buddies with the instructor can be very intimidating. Feeling like all eyes are on you is enough pressure, so it helps to be aware of common newbie mistakes so you can come prepared and feel as comfortable as possible. That way, if you accidentally do a lunge instead of a squat, it will be easier to shake it off and just keep going.

No matter if you're hitting boxing or barre, group exercise instructors and other fitness professionals say they see a lot of the same mistakes over and over again. Familiarize yourself with these nine common errors now, before you set foot in your first group class, and you'll be able to focus on your killer workout instead of worrying you have "newbie" stamped on your forehead for all to see.

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Spark Spotlight: Brian (BMCGRAW)

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/17/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  11 comments   :  1,899 views

Spark Spotlight: Brian (BMCGRAW)
 
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: Brian (BMCGRAW)
Age: 47
Location: Hoover, Alabama
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Brian recently conquered a feat he had never completed before: running a 5K without walking. "[I] ran the Magic City 5K today," he reported to the Community Goal Feed. "I did not walk at all, so even though I was slow, I count it as a huge win."
 
What's your overall goal?
 
This past summer, I weighed in at 265 pounds. My youngest son graduates this upcoming May, so I set a goal to weigh 200 pounds by then, [which] would put me at my lowest weight since 2007. I have a "stretch" goal to hit 180 pounds next summer, but I'm taking it one step at a time.
 
How is SparkPeople helping you get there?

I have been a SparkPeople user on and off since 2007. I use it to track my daily calorie intake, and I use its integration with my Apple Watch to track exercise. Tracking calories keeps me accountable and helps me make informed decisions about what I'm putting into my body. I also used the 5K Your Way Running Challenge to get ready for my 5K. Back in September, I could not walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded—to go from that to running the 5K feels great!
 
What's your biggest challenge right now?
 
My biggest challenge right now is that I travel for business a good bit and finding healthy food on the road is a challenge. I also like a lot of variety in my food, so ordering the same entree of salmon and salad can get boring.
 
What advice do you have for someone who just joined SparkPeople today?
 
Stay with it. I can look back on my long SparkPeople history and see that when I track my calories, I am able to hit my fitness goals. Don't worry so much about short-term gains or setbacks. You're in this for the long haul!
 
Want to be the next small success we spotlight? Share your successes on the goal feed or in the comments below, and you might be the next person we contact!

30 Things to Say to Yourself to Avoid Sleeping Through Your Morning Workout

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/14/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  48 comments   :  4,597 views

You meant well at bedtime. You registered online for spin class, set out your gym clothes, shared your intentions with your significant other and drifted off to sleep with visions of strong, sculpted legs and glutes dancing in your head.
 
But that was eight hours ago.
 
Now, jolted into reality by the very loud, very rude alarm, that early-morning workout isn't quite so appealing. On the contrary, it seems like cruel and unusual punishment. And you'd be willing to trade pretty much anything—money, chocolate, even a couple of the pounds you've already lost—to sink back into the dream you were just enjoying.
 
But wait! Before turning off the alarm and nestling back under the covers, borrow one (or more) of these quick-but-effective motivators to make sure your sleepy 6 a.m. brain won't do something you'll spend all day regretting. And if you’re worried you won't be able to remember any of these mantras in the morning, write your favorite ones down right next to your bed where you will see them first thing.

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These Health Trends Will Be All the Rage in 2019

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By: , – Kirsten Nunez
12/12/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  47 comments   :  6,920 views

The last "Auld Lang Syne" has been sung, every empty bottle of champagne has been tossed in the recycling and we've got another great year under our belts. What now? It's time to look ahead and get ready for new beginnings, resolutions and fresh list of health and wellness trends, of course! After all, as these trends pick up steam, they'll also become more accessible so why not get ahead of the curve now? What better way to find new methods for crushing your goals?

To find out what's hot in 2019, we turned to the experts for the insider's scoop. Their predictions range from things you'll soon be stocking in your kitchen to the exercises you'll love to hate and everything in between. Get ready to see these things all over your social media feed.

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Spark Spotlight: Michelle (MSMITCHELL2696)

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/10/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  32 comments   :  4,802 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: Michelle (MSMITCHELL2696)
Age: 44
Location: Athol, Massachusetts
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Michelle recently announced in the Community Goal Feed that she was celebrating a major milestone: hitting her one year anniversary of making healthy lifestyle changes. While she did hit her weight-loss goal, she gained some things as well.

"I have gained a level of fitness I have never known, a deeper love of nature, a strength to believe in myself and know that I can overcome my obstacles as long as I keep fighting for what I want," she says. "I learned I don't need to be perfect but I do need to be persistent and mindful. I have learned to believe in the process, even through months of no-scale movement, [and] to believe that it all falls together if we are patient and just keep trying."

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Hit the Finish Line Stronger and More Motivated Than You Started

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By: , – Alicia Capetillo, Editor-in-Chief
12/7/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  53 comments   :  5,078 views

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: Who's Hiding in Your Head?

 
If you're not already following SparkPeople's Daily Motivation group on Facebook, stop reading this post right now, click here, hit "+ Join Group" and get ready for some serious motivation to come your way. You in? Okay, good, now that we got that out of the way, I'm going to hit you with this:

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