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Fitness



6 Health Habits to Take Home from Japan

japan

Recently I was  lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:

 

sashimi

Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!


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Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Update: Who is in the Lead?

It has been a couple of weeks since we have checked in with our Dancing With the Stars crew, so let’s get to it! Exciting things are happening on the dance show, including some switch-ups!

For those of you who have not previously watched Dancing With the Stars, first of all, you’re missing out. Secondly, a “switch-up” is when the partners—celebrity and dancer—have to mix up their duos. It’s often tragic because some people just go so well together (and sometimes the new pairings feel like a major miss-match)! But enough of that, let’s check in on how the couples are doing.

Billy Dee Williams quit the dancing competition due to medical reasons, and Sean Avery has also been eliminated at this point. Besides those two, everyone else is still dancing strong.

This week, Meryl Davis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy led the highest scorers with their killer Argentine Tango. They wowed the crowd and the judges alike. In fact, Davis is leading the whole pack with the highest point total, so apparently switching it up didn’t shake her success at all.
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America the Fat? Nationwide Obesity Rates are at Highest Levels Since 2008

Obesity rates are above 15 percent in all but one of the 189 communities surveyed by Gallup and Healthways, despite the goal set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 program.

fat

In fact, according to their survey, the U.S. obesity rate as a whole rose to 27.1 percent, which is the highest rate recorded nationwide since Gallup and Healthways began tracking in 2008.


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Work Out in the Water! 5 Hot New Reasons to Make a Splash

We all know that swimming is a great, low-impact, full-body workout. But it’s not the only way to get in shape in the water. Over the last few years, traditional strength training, cardio workouts, and even yoga have taken to the water to deliver a form of exercise that is easy on the joints and effective at toning and strengthening the muscles. Sure, there’s water aerobics. But there are also a handful of other fitness styles that have taken the plunge into the pool, creating an entirely new experience for some of your favorite group exercises classes. 

aqua cycling

Here’s an introduction to five popular group fitness classes that you wouldn’t expect to take place in a pool:

Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba adds a fun challenge to one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The concept and moves are the same as in a  traditional Zumba class, but the extra resistance created by pushing against the water adds a great strength-training element to the workout. The class is held in shallow water (about chest height for the average participant) and the instructor is positioned near the ledge of the pool (so that everyone can see her movements and follow instruction). Aqua Zumba is described as a fun pool party- where you don’t even realize that you get a great workout.


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5 Videos with the Wackiest Ways to Workout with Cats, Dogs, and Horses

We couch potato-loving humans watch longingly as our dogs, cats, and other pets seemingly lounge and nap the day away, but that’s hardly the full picture. Animals are incredibly active beasts. Not too unlike children, the more exercise and playtime they get, the more likely they are to behave. And not too unlike their adult human caretakers, the better shape they’re in, too!

Everyone needs a bit more motivation to get up and get moving, so let your pet be your guide. From cats and dogs to even horses, these four-legged friends make it more fun than ever to drop on your own two legs and give 5, or 10, or 20.

The Weirdest Poodle Workout Video Ever

We recently discovered this ultra bizarre Exercising Poodles video and want to make sure we’re not the only ones enjoying this kind of nonsense.

Mariko Takahashi, who is an actress playing an exercise video star, takes us through different exercise routines alongside poodles. . It is quite the sight–slightly disturbing, but hilarious nonetheless. More so when you realize those are humans in dog suits with superimposed poodle heads.
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