Color us surprised when the KC Bear Fighters started their set on Stage 5 at Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival on Saturday afternoon and asked the crowd to get up off their bums. It wasn’t to dance, although there was plenty of that going on, but instead to do squats. By the end of their 30-minute (incredibly entertaining) set, the lead singer, Quinn, estimated we’d completed 70 squats. If you aren’t used to that kind of workout, you were most definitely feeling the burn on Sunday morning while tearing down your tent.
The show was part of the 42nd Walnut Valley Festival, the largest bluegrass and flat-picking championship in the world. It’s a music festival set the third weekend in September in south central Kansas and people flock with acoustic instruments, tents, and visions of peace and recharging dancing in their heads. Like any festival, over-consumption of any kind is bound to ensue. But we went in ready to come home mentally recharged without the weight of the weekend carrying around our waists.
The KC Bear Fighters’ squats workout helped. But so did a few other things that we either happened on or deliberately planned.
This is how we survived Winfield in a healthy way while having as much fun as everybody else.
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I am very aware that I have no rhythm. Despite that fact (and much to my husband’s chagrin) I still love to dance. I dance at weddings, concerts, in my living room, and even in the car. My motivation for being a self-proclaimed dancing queen is that it’s fun - but it doesn’t hurt that dancing also burns a ton of calories. According to Health.com, 30 minutes of dancing burns 221 calories (which would vary based on the individual, of course). I believe it too – just look at how much weight the contestants on Dancing With the Stars lose. To be a dancing queen, you’ve got to have the right music that gets you fired up. There’s no better music to bust out a move to than that made by my guiltiest of guilty pleasures: boy bands.
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My love of boy bands is very deep-rooted. As a child I was obsessed with New Kids on the Block (I was a Joey girl). In fact (at the tender age of 10-years-old) NKOTB was my very first concert. My appreciation for squeaky clean boys who performed choreographed dance moves while singing brilliant harmonies continued through grade school on in to college. I’m not ashamed to admit that I saw Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync in concert between the summer of my junior and senior years of college. To this day my heart beats a little faster when Quit Playing Games With My Heart or I Want You Back comes on the radio (and that results in some serious car dancing).
I recently conducted a little experiment in the privacy of my own basement to find out which boy band gets me the most pumped and results in the biggest calorie burn. To measure how many calories were burned during each song I relied on my trusty old Polar Heart Rate monitor. I selected eight different songs from eight different boy bands (ranging from NKOTB to One Direction) and put on my dancing shoes. Even though I am a little more partial to certain boy bands over others, I made sure to keep my dancing completely unbiased and consistent.
The results are shown below from lowest to highest calorie burn (based on average heart rate). Each band/song is listed followed by the length of time (of the song), total calories burned and average heart rate.
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Prepare yourselves now “Velvet Teddy Bear” fans, singer Ruben Studdard is a contestant on the upcoming season of The Biggest Loser, marking the first time in show history to have a celebrity. Studdard is best known as the winner of American Idol’s second season when he topped runner-up Clay Aiken. He will be part of a yet-to-be-named cast of new contestants losing weight together in the show’s fifteenth season, set to debut Tuesday, October 8.
It’s a later start than usual for the hit reality show, but no doubt the addition of Ruben will make it worth the wait. NBC is staying mum on pertinent details like Ruben’s starting weight, but we’ll surely see his story unfold as his journey begins alongside other men and women primed to change their own lives while inspiring others.
Essence Magazine reports that Ruben weighed upwards of 450 pounds in 2003 when his American Idol season debuted. Shortly after winning, he joined the Duke Diet where he lost 70 pounds, citing a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure as motivation. It was after that program that he became a vegetarian, and later a vegan, saying he doesn’t eat anything that has a parent. As best we can tell, Ruben remains a staunch vegetarian to this day, however, his health is still greatly at risk due to his obesity.
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For me, the best moments in running are those rare times when everything feels great, the pace is strong, and the soundtrack pulling me along is flawlessly jamming in my ears. Throughout my running career I’ve struggled to get all those elements to align. And typically the factor that screws everything up is an awkward headphone digging in my ear, a bud popping out causing me to fidget with it, or the sound cutting out because the product couldn’t handle actual sweat. I’m a skeptic when it comes to these products, especially the ones that say they’re made for working out. So, when KOSS introduced their Fit Series of headphones made for active women, I jumped at the chance to see if someone finally nailed the design.
KOSS recognized that women were being overlooked in the headphone demographic and teamed up with Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres to create a product that would actually work for active women. Together they created FitBuds and FitClips. The phones come in great colors and each model comes with three sizes of ear cushions to make sure the wearer gets the best fit for their ear. The product is created by KOSS, a high fidelity stereophone manufacturer, essentially giving you professional DJ quality in miniature form.
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The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival wrapped its first weekend and all the desert dwellers are packed up and drowsily headed back to real life until the bash kicks off again this weekend. The 12th reincarnation of the festival features a diverse group of artists The eclectic mix of performers include Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2 Chainz, and a reunited Postal Service.
Held in Indio, California, the festival spans six days over two consecutive weekends, each headlined by identical acts. Coachella has developed a psychedelic reputation, with a variety of substances being passed around in the desert sun. There were no serious health concerns during the first weekend, and the fans will be back in droves when the festival resumes this Friday.
For those who can’t make it to the festival, we’ve compiled a groovy sampler of some of our favorite Coachella bands. Download and plug into this playlist at the gym or on your run.
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