SparkPeople was created to encourage people to live healthier lives. The site has built an entire community that helps users stick with their fitness plans and achieve their health related goals. The site offers users many free tools to gain information, come up with a plan of action and find an outlet for support while trying to live healthier. Users can build personalized diet fitness plans, utilize calorie counters, watch exercise demos and videos, and monitor progress with a workout tracker. SparkPeople also provides users with a message board to get in touch with professional trainers and dietitians that can answer questions and provide guidance. The social networking aspect helps add another level of interaction to the personal improvement process.
Based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, SparkPeople was founded in 2000. The creators wanted to offer a free, useful tool that would assist users in meeting their fitness goals. The current team includes COO Dave Heilmann and board member Tige Savage. SparkPeople has grown to include a large community of health conscious users and many valuable tools and resources that help them reach and maintain optimum fitness levels. The site is easy to use and welcomes new users with free access to a wealth of information.
SparkPeople stands out because of the many tools it offers to all members who create an account. There are functional tools like calorie counters, workout trackers, and video clips to help guide users through fitness routines. Message boards make it easy for users to get expert insight into the best approach to weight loss, body building or general health topics. The SparkPeople community also entices users with interaction and a way to find support while working towards their goals.
The SparkPeople website includes a bright orange color scheme that gives the design an energetic feel. Color images of before and after photos along with links to access SparkPeople resources help highlight the site’s purpose. The tools are easy to use although the site may take a little time to get used to because of the many different components included on it. There are advertisements for SparkPeople and related sites as well as highlights of all the available features total fitness counters that display calories burned, pounds lost, fitness minutes spent and cups of water consumed and many other items. Although each component is relevant, it may overwhelm a new visitor until they have visited the site a couple times.
To become a SparkPeople member, users can click the large blue “Click Here to Start Now” button along the right hand side of the homepage. The colorful registration form asks the user for an email address, SparkPeople username, password, country location, zip code, date of birth, and gender. The form also asks if the user was referred by someone else, whether they are pregnant or breastfeed, and how they heard about SparkPeople. Additional check boxes allow the user to opt in to receive Spark People related email updates, such as daily exercise tips, food showdown, recipe of the day, and special offers. Users can also register through Facebook.
One of the beautiful things about SparkPeople is the free membership. Anyone can visit the website and create an account with out paying a dime. SparkPeople claims the site will never ask for billing information because access it offered entirely for free. Users can return as much as possible to work on improving health without paying for the service.
SparkPeople is ideal for anyone that has set fitness goals for themselves. Even healthy individuals can use SparkPeople to maintain their good health or learn about new developments in the health industry.