By Michelle Stroffolino Schmidt, Ph.D., for SparkPeople
You may have heard the recent news about a school bus aide who was tormented to the point of tears by a group of middle school students. The appalling encounter was caught on video and went viral on YouTube. News stories, internet videos and even thousands of dollars of sympathy donations are among the reactions of shocked Americans across the country. The questions are rampant: How could the tormenters behave that way? How does a person sit idly while victimized? Could the bus aide have done anything to stop the boys? What did the parents do (or not do) to raise boys that would behave that way?
At some point, all of us have been the victim of someone's bad judgment, whether it be a comment or glare because of our age, weight, or some physical feature. It is wrong, but we cannot escape it. Why are we compelled to hurt other people? Even worse, why do some take pleasure in hurting others?
Why do people behave badly?
Blog Posts by SparkPeople.com
By Michelle Stroffolino Schmidt, Ph.D., for SparkPeopleRead More »from How Do We Raise Morally Healthy Children?
By Melinda Hershey, for BabyFitRead More »from A Floor-to-Ceiling Guide to Nursery Safety
When decorating your baby's nursery, there is more to consider than whether to choose animals or sailboats as the theme. While you want the room to be aesthetically pleasing to baby and mom, you also want it to be a haven for your little one. The most adorable furniture and decorations may be safety hazards in disguise, and even beloved hand-me-downs can pose dangers. Here are some tips to baby-proof your child's nursery.
Baby will spend the majority of her time sleeping and playing in the nursery; therefore, you want to ensure the room is as chemical-free as possible. Paint is the biggest potentially dangerous chemical culprit. Though it might cost more, choose paint that is water-based and low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful gases or vapors emitted by various solids or liquids, many of which have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are harmful for your child and may cause headaches, dizziness, and eye and
By Nicole Nichols, for SparkPeople
Forget about talk radio, research labs, late night TV, or a magazine rack full of scantily clad cover models. Everything you need to know about fitness and nutrition, you can learn from your kids.
Here are 11 things children can teach you about healthy living:
1. Everything can be a game. Why slog through the same workout routines in boredom, when you can add a little fun? Make up rules, shoot for personal records, and regain your competitive spirit.
2. Don't walk when you can run. Every day is full of opportunities to increase your fitness. This rule is closely related to "don't drive when you can walk."
3. If you don't like it, don't eat it. Chances are, your eating habits won't stick around long if you hate what you're eating. Healthy eating involves balance and moderation.
4. Laughter feels good. Kids seem to inherently know that laughter can ease blood pressure, help your brain function, give you energy, and helpRead More »from Sometimes the Littlest People Know the Most
SparkPeopleBy Stepfanie Romine, for Read More »from Could AC Be Making Us Fatter?
Air conditioning might be among the modern conveniences taking its toll on our waistlines.
In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, biostatistician David Allison, Ph.D., and colleagues suggest that America's reliance on AC might be a contributing factor in our obesity crisis.
Allison, a faculty member at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, found a significant "reduction in variability of ambient temperature." The use of AC is now widespread, especially in the South, where obesity rates are highest, and the human body is accustomed to being kept at a fairly steady temperature year-round. Allison and colleagues found that our reliance on central air and heat means we expend less energy, thus burning fewer calories, because we don't have to work as hard to heat up or cool down our bodies.
While climate control is just one of countless contributing factors that have led to the obesity crisis, it is interesting to note that of
- SparkPeople.com | Healthy Living – Thu, Jul 5, 2012 10:07 AM EDT
By Jennipher Walters, for SparkPeopleRead More »from What Your Personal Trainer Really Wants to Tell You
They may seem superhuman at times, but personal trainers are people, too. And although they love sharing their workout wisdom and helping people reach their goals, there are a few things that might get under their skin when they're training a client.
As a personal trainer myself, I've had a lot of conversations with other trainers about what irks them. While some clients' personalities may rub a trainer the wrong way, a good trainer will never let that get in the way of a good professional session. However, there are some client no-no's that are more than just personality quirks-they're detrimental to both a trainer's and client's success in the gym.
Read on for the six biggest faux pas that are could be driving your personal trainer crazy but are also hampering your fitness progress.
Withholding Health Information
Are you on any medications? Did your recent bone scan reveal thinning bones? Did you injure your knee or have back surgery five
By Melinda Hershey, for SparkPeople
This summer, the odds are high that someone will ask you the classic cookout question: Hamburger or hot dog? These two grilling staples are equally tasty, hearty and nostalgic, but what about the calories? Is one more waistline-friendly than the other? Today, we put the debate to rest.
When choosing an entrée hot off the grill this summer, which should you choose to keep your weight in check: A hamburger or a hot dog?
Click here to find out the winner!
Food Showdown: Battle of the Creamy Side Dishes
Beyond Burgers: Fun Foods You Can Grill
Your Summer Party Survival Guide
Read More »from Food Showdown: Burgers or Dogs?
By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com
One of my favorite classes to teach is the art of sauce making, which is one of the foundations of the kitchen. I believe it's so important that I require all my students to write a paper on the history of sauces. I get the occasional frown, squinty eyes, but often after my lecture, a smile. All my students are amazed by the vast history of sauces.
Did you know that sauces have been used for thousands of years? Many of the early sauces were called relishes or salsa, and salt and fish entrails were common ingredients. Back in the day, sauces were used to cover the taste of not-so-fresh meat. Some things have changed, thank goodness, and some have not.
Although the ingredients have somewhat changed over the centuries and our freshness standards have improved, we still prepare most salsas the same way.
Some traditional salsas are cooked while some other versions, like pico de gallo, are eaten raw.
By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com
I love a good burger--turkey, beef, pork, chicken, veggies, you name it! With my current focus on weight training, I think my body is craving extra protein. For me a lean burger is a quick, easy meal that, with added toppings, will never look or taste the same twice It's one of those "crowd pleaser" meals because the every member of the family can make each his or her own signature meal.
My slim-it-down tip (without taking out the taste) is that I usually do not eat hamburgers with my fingers. I use a fork because I almost always only eat one half of the whole grain bun. By doing this I trim close to 60 calories, and the fork forces me to slow down and enjoy the meal. (If I really want to use my fingers, I choose a low calorie thin whole grain bun.)
Though you can't go wrong with the classics, I like to get creative with my burgers. Here are some of my favorite toppings. Try them at your cookouts today!
- Corn and
- SparkPeople.com | Shine Food – Fri, Jun 29, 2012 8:24 AM EDT
By Sarah Haan, for SparkPeopleRead More »from Supermarket Secrets: Show Seasonal Spirit Who's Boss
There is always some holiday or another right around the corner and you can bet your buttons the local grocer won't let you forget it! Decorations, party favors and supplies are mixed in with fat- and sugar-laden desserts and snacks, all in one convenient center aisle display. Grocery stores play on your holiday spirit, enticing you to pick up extra goodies on a whim! These add-ons amp up your bill at the check out and can add loads of calories to your stash very quickly.
Battle plan: Plan your celebration, complete with healthy snacks and recipes, and stick to it. Ditch the "we just might need" mentality. Simplicity is best (and healthiest) during these times of year!
Click here for more secrets to outsmart your supermarket!
Shopping Cart Essentials
Grocery Store Steals and Tips
Meal Planning Made Simple
By Liza Barnes, for SparkPeopleRead More »from Outdoor Adventures Fit for Families
Have you thought about how great it would be to include your family in your pursuit to exercise more regularly? Family exercise will improve the health of your loved ones, make exercise more fun, and at the same time develop stronger connections between all of you. With a little creativity, you can find a way to make it work for everyone.
Here are a few outdoor ideas to get your family focused on fitness:
Get out in the yard. Sunshine, fresh air, soft breezes, and the smells of nature-what could be better? Still, many people rank outside yard work right up there with filing tax returns. Hundreds of gas and electric yard tools were invented so you could stay inactive and indoors more often. People are putting a lot of effort into these products so you don't have to use any effort at all.
Self-powered yard work can be an incredible source of fun, relaxing exercise. It might be a time-saver too, if you can use it to offset some gym time. The whole family