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Danni Allen Saves Jillian Michaels from Biggest Loser Elimination in Week 5

Episode five opens with the question, “Could this be the end of the White Team?”. The score is Blue Team: 5, Red Team: 4, White Team: 1. If I go home this week, Jillian does, too. The pressure is on!

I was SO nervous going into this first workout. There is no one else for Jillian Michaels to focus on; it’s one on one now. Can I keep up with Jillian’s expectations? Jillian and I took on a new approach this week – she is putting it in my hands. I will decide when and where she needed to push; it is up to me.

The Challenge: each team had a “Wishing Fountain” and on the other side of the pond were five-pound coins. Each person on each team needed to get ten coins in their respective fountain. The winning team would receive 10 one-year memberships to Planet Fitness AND the choice of a two pound advantage on the scale or the opportunity to call home! With my background in swimming and water polo, this challenge was mine to win! The challenge starts and I burst off the gate. My swimming days came back to me, but it was a lot harder.  These coins are HEAVY but I knew I had to win. AND I DID! I chose the advantage; I NEED to stay on the Ranch.
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Aquabikes May Provide the Most Efficient Workout Yet

Every year the gyms seem to get a new hot workout that fills the studios. This year, the studio equipment is getting anchors at the bottom of the pool and people are flocking to get in. Even better, this new fad may actually be one of the best workouts to hit the scene.

CNN covered the research that the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress just published, which explored the new aquabike craze. Aquabikes, or hydro-riders, are stationary bikes that have been anchored to a pool floor. The rider ends up being about chest deep while riding. Many classes are lead similar to the popular spin classes with an instructor calling out different drills, this is just done in water. The water obviously offers a difference in resistance than land, but the research is saying it’s also offering the heart a tremendous bonus.

The study was authored by Dr. Martin Janeau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute. Dr. Janeau and his fellow researchers took 33 healthy participants and compared their stats after doing the same workout on land and then in water. The results found that the participants’ cardiovascular systems worked more efficiently in the water, even though the exercise routine was the same.
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Dana Vollmer Stays Fit after Olympics with a Gluten-Free Diet and Hip Hop Workouts

By Chrissa Hardy for HelloGiggles.com

Dana Vollmer spent her summer training for London Olympic Games, competing in London and celebrating her gold-medal-winning, record-breaking time in London. Would any of these things have happened, had she not discovered her gluten allergy in the spring of 2011? She’s not so sure. After years of daily stomach aches brought on by her food choices, Dana feels better than ever before and could not imagine returning to a life with gluten.

Gluten-free has become a trend, a buzz word that has taken up prime real estate on food labels everywhere. What does it mean exactly? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Those who are intolerant of it, allergic or sensitive to it, need to adopt a lifestyle of paying close attention to food labels. I sat down with Dana at the Gluten-Free Pizza Event, put on by The Venice Bakery in Los Angeles, CA, to discuss her new life and how going gluten-free changed everything.


Chrissa Hardy: First of all, congrats on your gold medal win! Has your life returned to normal or is it still pretty hectic?

Dana Vollmer: It’s still pretty hectic. I’m enjoying it a lot. Initially, I was planning to go back to my hometown in Texas to visit with my family and sort of relax, but I’ve just been traveling non stop and I love it. It’s been really great. It’s one thing to have the excitement of the Olympics but, now it’s so great to see the kids and how their faces light up when they get to wear the gold medal. I remember when I was 12 and I saw my first gold medal, that’s when I decided that I wanted to become an Olympian.
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Fit in 5: Best Exercises for a Lower Body Injury

By Pamela Hernandez

Whether it comes from a workout or simply stepping off the curb the wrong way, a lower body injury is bound to occur at some point or another in our athletic lives. Injury, of any kind, can be extremely frustrating. Some injuries can be mild, like an ankle sprain, and simply require a few days of rest. Others, like a broken foot, can mean weeks off your feet.

Our bodies feel the effects of not working out very quickly. While your body does need extra nutrients to heal, it’s often not as many as you burn with your workout. Energy goes down and we can feel more “jiggly” and less strong. When we’re sidelined we can also feel the effects mentally, not only losing the post workout endorphin rush but also a part of our routine and identity.

The good news is, unless specifically forbidden by your doctor, there are exercises and activities you can do to keep working without aggravating conditions such as plantar fasciitis or a sprained ankle. The following exercises are my top picks for those fighting a lower body injury. Just remember, when healing especially, rest is important, too. Take your intensity and frequency down a bit until your body is ready to take on more.
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Olympic Swimmer Dana Vollmer Cuts Gluten and Wins Gold

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer made history this week when she won Olympic gold in the 100-meter butterfly and set a new world record with a time of 55.98 seconds. While this achievement was a huge breakthrough for the swimmer, it wouldn’t have been possible without a major diet modification she made just last year: Going gluten free.

As reported by CNN, Vollmer always had something holding her back from her goals, be it a heart condition, ACL or shoulder injury, or chronic back pain. But another obstacle the swimmer was facing was frequent debilitating stomach aches, which, coupled with her other conditions, inevitably led to her failed effort to qualify for the Olympic trials four years ago.

Vollmer and her doctors weren’t able to identify the cause of the stomach aches as they continued to grow worse and even resulted in multiple trips to the emergency room. And because Vollmer had already received so much care for her other conditions, she tried to ignore the symptoms and rarely shared how much pain she was actually enduring. “I’d always had either knee or shoulder problems,” she said, “so I didn’t want to say ‘Oh, I have a tummy ache today.’”
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