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  • You Might Literally Be Freezing Your Butt Off Right Now

    Well, this means there's a positive side to all this freezing weather!We already know that sitting at our desks all day every day is doing us a big disservice when it comes to our weight loss goals. Seriously-how many people can actually say they get in 10,000 or more steps on an average workday? Studies have even shown that sitting for more than three hours per day can cut your life short. And now, a surprising January 2014 study gives us another reason to get up out of our cozy office chairs and venture outside-especially when it's cold.

    MORE: Should You Ditch Your Antiperspirant?

    According to researchers writing in the Cell Press publication Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, the warm indoor environments in which we spend most of our time could be partially to blame for our expanding waistlines. One of the article's authors, Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University Medical Center in The Netherlands, says that considering how much time we spend indoors, he and his team thought it was worth exploring how the thermostat-controlled

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  • 6 Simple Steps to Learn to Actually like Cooking

    Go from takeout queen to happy, healthy cook.I've always thought that cooking was like windsurfing: intimidating, laborious, and more fun to watch than actually do. Thankfully, living in New York City for years meant I didn't have to lift a saucepan-at the push of a button, I had access to every type of delicious takeout you could dream up. My husband and I enjoyed the U.N. of Eating most nights: Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Thai-you name it.

    MORE: Is This the Healthier Version of Butter?

    When our twins were born, though, I couldn't bring myself to buy prepackaged food and wanted to know exactly what my munchkins were eating. So I surprised myself by cooking their baby food from scratch as soon as they were able to eat purées and solids (thanks to the fantastic, easy recipes on Weelicious). Since my twins couldn't talk yet, they couldn't complain about my cooking, making them the perfect audience as I honed my skills.

    In November 2013, we moved cross-country from the heart of Manhattan to the suburbs of Northern

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  • This Favorite Playground Pastime is a Killer Cardio Workout

    Who knew working out could be so much fun?New workouts pop up every day, and wouldn't it be nice to try before you buy? In our "Last Night's Workout" series we sweat, stretch and shimmy our way through the latest exercise crazes and report back to you so you can find the best one for your skill level and fitness goals.

    The workout:
    Hula hooping isn't just a playground pastime anymore. This kind involves a much heavier hoop than the one you swung around your hips as a kid-which is what makes it a great high-energy, cardio workout. Hoopnotica Master Trainer Jacqui Becker describes it as a full-body, holistic workout program, since it hits everything from your arms to your core, while burning fat all over. Plus, it's actually fun and so low impact that anyone at any age can do it. "It appeals to people who don't like to work out," she adds, since it can actually feel more like play than work.

    MORE: The Best Butt-Lifting Workout

    But the biggest benefit of hula hooping lies in its accessibility. "A lot of people just want

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  • Are Acidic Foods Hurting Your Health?

    What you think is acidic, might actually not be once it enters your body.You may have heard of the alkaline diet thanks to its celebrity following-including fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who Tweeted that she loves the book "Honestly Healthy: Eat With Your Body in Mind, the Alkaline Way." But what exactly is it?

    MORE: The Best Butt-Lifting Workout

    The alkaline diet, which involves eating more alkaline foods-such as fruits and vegetables, with kale and raisins being particular alkaline powerhouses-and reducing your intake of high-acid foods-such as dairy, meat, wheat, fish and carbonated drinks, including soft drinks-claims to help followers reduce inflammation, lower the risk of diabetes, and lose weight. But what's acid and what's alkaline isn't always so obvious. Many vegetables and fruits are more alkaline-including certain foods you might think of as acidic, such as lemons and other citrus, which actually don't produce acid during digestion.

    MORE: Why You Should Keep Taking Vitamins

    So is there any proof that

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  • Why Won't Your Ears Pop After a Flight?

    Traveling is amazing.. the discomfort is not.We Asked: Jens Ponikau, M.D., an otolaryngologist at the University at Buffalo

    The Answer: When you're on a plane in ascent, the air pressure in the cabin decreases as you climb. (There is a limit: Planes are pressurized to the equivalent of an altitude of 5,000 feet, roughly like spending the day in Denver.) Now, behind your eardrum, in your middle ear, is a cavity that's filled with air. Whatever the air pressure was when you boarded your flight, that's the pressure inside this cavity. So, when the cabin pressure drops, the higher-pressure air in your head expands, pushing against your eardrum and causing it to bulge out like an inflated balloon. When the eardrum becomes taut it can't vibrate properly, which is why things sound muffled in midair. More importantly, the pressure build-up in you middle ear is uncomfortable and even painful.

    MORE: What Is Ghee?

    Your ear is rigged with a simple and elegant system for equalizing the air pressure on either side of your eardrum.

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  • 8 'Healthy' Foods that Are Secretly Loaded with Sugar

    Are you accidentally overdosing on sugar?When you're trying to eat right, there are a lot of obvious nutritional potholes to avoid. Packaged donuts. French fries. White bread. You might miss them, but you know it's worth it to steer clear. It's even more of a bummer to learn that some of the things you thought were good for you (or at least OK for you) are actually sabotaging your efforts.

    MORE: Is This the Healthier Version of Butter?

    Too much added sugar or added syrup (that is, added to foods rather than part of them) is bad for your body-and bad for your beauty, too. Sugar is quickly absorbed, and high levels of sugar in your blood can hamper the function of important proteins-for example, making hemoglobin unable to properly deliver oxygen to your tissues. Further, if you eat too much sugar and produce too much fat from that, your body can build up what's called insulin resistance, which is one step away from type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar also disrupts the lining of your arteries and causes dangerous

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  • Beauty Products You Should Never DIY

    Leave these ones to the pros.The DIY movement is amazing for many reasons. Making something with your own hands feels good and gives you an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved in making other products. In the best cases, when you create a genius product that all your friends want (we've mixed up a few great DIY skin recipes here) it's a path to financial freedom.

    MORE: Is This the Healthier Version of Butter?

    But in the worst cases, it's a path to cystic acne. There are a couple of misguided (though well-meaning) DIY tips being shared on social media sites that, for the sake of our skin, should not follow us into 2014, and here they are:

    1. Do Not Make Your Own Cleansing Oil
    I had a very enlightening conversation with a dermatologist friend who brought this topic to my attention. She was mortified by the number of patients with deep cystic acne from using DIY Cleansing Oils. Even people with no history of acne have experienced eruptions from this DIY project. I admit that there are many DIYers

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  • Is This the Healthier Version of Butter?

    Have we found the healthier—and still natural—version of butter?Like many Indians of his generation, Niraj "Raj" Patel, M.D., a collaborator on the book "The Healthy Indian Diet," grew up in a household that banned ghee-clarified butter that had been a staple of an Indian diet for centuries and was always an integral part of the ancient medical practice Ayurveda.

    Unless it was for very special occasions, ghee was a no-no-a victim, as it were, of the generalized, worldwide war on fats. But as science has evolved and shown that fat is less likely to cause heart disease and diabetes than previously believed, ghee is once again coming into the spotlight, Dr. Patel says, among Indians and a wider number of Americans. In fact, it's even used in some cleanses, such as The Whole30 Program.

    MORE: 3 Hot Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

    "Science has shown us that it isn't really the amount of fat in a diet that's a culprit of heart disease and diabetes, it is the high amount of carbs," he says. "Basically, more research has shown that the link between

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  • Good News for Coffee-Lovers: You're Not in Danger of Dehydration

    Coffee-lovers, rejoice!When it comes to healthy eating and nutrition, it's important (and sometimes difficult) to get past the myths and misconceptions that are drilled into our heads every day. (For instance, eating in moderation as an effective diet technique.) Or, the assumption that new research has shown to be false: that coffee dehydrates you.

    MORE: 33 Flu-Fighting Foods

    A January 2014 study published in the journal PLOS ONE has found that, contrary to what many people think is true, your morning cup (or cups) of Joe will not dehydrate you. In fact, moderate coffee consumption will keep you just as hydrated as if you were to drink water instead, the study concludes.

    So what counts as moderate consumption? According to the study, four cups. Researchers looked at a group of 50 male coffee drinkers taking in four mugs (200 milliliters each) of black coffee compared to those drinking the same amount of water, every day, for three days. After a 10-day break period, the groups switched roles.

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  • Why Sleep Talking Happens—and How to Silence It

    Sleep talkers say the craziest things...Sleep talking (also know as "somniloquy") is a sleep disorder that involves unconscious talking when you're asleep. The presentation can vary greatly between people, with some spontaneously talking while others notice it happens when someone talks to them in their sleep. Sleep talking can range from gibberish, nonsensical mumbles and rants, to complicated and totally coherent statements.

    MORE: The Doctors Who Say 'Keep Taking Vitamins'

    Sleep talking can happen to anyone, though it does appear to be somewhat inherited and affect males and children more often than women. The most common triggers are sleep deprivation, alcohol and drug use, fever, increased stress, anxiety and depression. It is also seen as a symptom in the context of other sleep disorders: night terrors, confusional arousals (waking up in a confused state), sleepwalking, sleep apnea and REM behavior disorder.

    Sleep talking can happen at any time during the night and during any stage of sleep. In the earlier part

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