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Try Workouts from Around the World with These International Fitness Trends

Here in the States, we not only like to keep up with the Joneses, but also the Juans in Mexico, the Martins in France, and the Satous in Japan. In other words, we don’t like to be left out or behind even on a global scale.

This is the case with food – whose is better? – and fashion – who looks the best? But it’s also the case with fitness. Just as every other aspect of our lives differs culturally, you can believe that’s the case when it comes to working out, too. Grab your gym-going passport and take a look at what’s popular beyond our borders. You may be inspired to try something new!

walking in spain
SPAIN

The carefree lifestyle of the Spanish seems to translate to their approach to fitness, too. As a whole, they don’t seem to worry themselves too much with getting in to the gym. Their inherent lifestyle does a body good! “The majority of them eat a healthy enough diet (Mediterranean diet at its finest) and walk almost everywhere (if they live in a big city), so obesity isn’t that big of a concern,” said Kelsey Murray, an American teacher who travels to Seville to teach English. They certainly don’t give exercise the chore status that Americans do, as it’s naturally just a part of their lives.

cycling in france
FRANCE

These Euros are also not sweating out their evenings in the gym, rather they prefer to get out en plein air. Translation: They enjoy the outdoors. And why wouldn’t they? Beautiful scenery from nature and architecture provide an inspired background to walk, run, cycle, or even row. Because they are “discreet but effective,” Mireille Guiliano, author of the French Women Don’t Get Fat series of books, told Yahoo! that isometric exercises are very French. With a straight back, contract your abs for 12 seconds, hold, release, and repeat. You can do this on the subway, in your desk chair, in your office, or even at a fancy dinner date.
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Best Yoga Vacations Around the World

Relaxation is probably the number one reason why we go on a vacation- and stress reduction is one of the most popular reasons why people turn to yoga. So what happens when you combine the calming effects of yoga with the tranquility of a beach resort? A very memorable, peaceful and healthy vacation.

Thanks to the rise of yoga, a complete yoga-inspired culture has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. So it should come as no surprise that where we choose to go for some rest and repose also has some space for sticky mats, incense and vegetarian fare.

For those who want to stay in the country or for those who want to venture abroad, when it comes to taking a yoga vacation, you have a tremendous number of options available to you.

Here are some of the hottest destinations for a yoga vacation.
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5 Odd Fast Foods from Around the Globe

Most of us know about the entertaining world of strange language translation goofs, particularly from Asian languages into English. There are entire websites dedicated to the phenomenon, and I think they are generally done with good-natured humor and not condescension or racism.

But, can food concepts get lost in translation? Maybe you can just chalk it up to cultural differences, but either way, the following fast food items from around the globe are sure to raise a few eyebrows, if not turn a few stomachs.

(Note:the list is largely skewed towards McDonald’s food. It’s not a conspiracy on my part, just how the cards fell in my research on global fast food items.)

1. Winter Double King Pizza at Pizza Hut (Japan)

I’ve heard of some strange pizza topping, but this one from Pizza Hut Japan takes the cake. With the cryptically named Winter Double King Pizza, you get crab, shrimp, beef, broccoli, corn, onion, mayonnaise, and potato. What do you think? Did they leave anything out?
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Lessons Learned in Eat Pray Love

In the book Eat Pray Love, a true story based on one woman’s journey across the globe, we get to follow along as she eats, prays and loves her way through three very distinct countries. Starting August 13, women will be flocking to theaters to see and experience what this journey was really like as the film opens nationwide, starring Julia Roberts.

While we may not all be as carefree or brave as Elizabeth Gilbert, played by Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love has its share of lessons that many of us can benefit from. In keeping with the three main themes of the book, which I myself read and loved, I wanted to share my advice and lessons that I gathered:

Eat:

Elizabeth begins her journey in Italy. This is where she works through a large portion of her emotional turmoil and turns to food as many of us do to help her through the difficult time.

The fact that she is in Italy with delicious food surrounding her could only have made it that much easier. While food should never be your crutch, pasta and pizza are not the enemy. Carbohydrates are an essential part of one’s diet and by including whole grains and loads of fresh veggies, this hearty meal will keep you feeling full and happy!
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The More We Have, the More We Consume

man grocery shoppingTake a stroll through your grocery store and do a quick survey of how many choices you have for a variety of different items. Mayonnaise- low-fat, full-fat, fat-free, wasabi, lemon, olive oil. Pretzels – rods, sticks, braids, twists, nuggets, cheddar, sour cream and onion, honey mustard. Frozen waffles – egg, multi-grain, low-fat, high fiber, strawberry, flax, blueberry, wheat-free. The array of foods is just as dizzyingly endless as their varieties and flavors.

Maybe this is part of our problem: The sheer abundance of choices provided at any given grocery store in any given town in the country. From pretzels to yogurt and from frozen pizzas to waffles, perhaps it is no wonder why our enormous selection of foods has also bestowed upon us enormous bums.
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