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60-Second Health and Fitness Boosters

When it comes to losing weight or making healthy choices, you probably think that it takes hours at a gym plus long nights preparing and planning nutritious meals. What you may not realize is that quick and easy changes can really improve your immediate health and wellness. So just how quick is quick? One minute—that’s it! Try any one of these 60-second activities to easily reap the healthy benefits. 1. Drink a tall glass of water. We all know the many health benefits of drinking water, but did you also know that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue? So, the next time you feel your energy waning, grab a glass of cold water and guzzle it down! 2. Twist it out. So many of us spend every weekday seated in front of a computer. Not only can sitting all day wreak havoc on your posture, but it can also compress your spine and exaggerate its curvature. Not fun. A simple twist can help undo this. As you sit in your desk chair, simply twist your upper-body to one side, hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. If you have the space to sit on the floor, try this torso twist stretch. It’s guaranteed to make you feel better! 3. Take a deep breath. How often do you think about breathing? If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about it often enough. For a quick pick-me-up, simply take five deep breaths. Slowly inhale for at least five seconds and exhale for 10 seconds each time. Your body will thank you for the extra oxygen. 4. Do 20 jumping jacks. Research has shown that long periods of sitting can be detrimental to the body and our overall health. So get up out of that chair and jack it out! Just one minute of jumping jacks is an easy way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. 5. Smile. Smiling can actually make you happier. So go ahead—smile! 6. Go outside. You’ve probably heard the health buzz about vitamin D lately. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D helps regulate the immune system, supports heart health, can help normalize blood pressure and promotes healthy aging. Vitamin D has also been linked to improved mood. If you have a minute to spare, step out into the sunshine! 7. Put on a favorite song. There’s nothing quite like your favorite music to perk you up and get you feeling good. Listening to music has been shown to improve immunity and release endorphins. Bonus points if you dance along! 8. Sit up straighter. Did you know that bad posture can put unnecessary stress on your low back? Take a minute to focus on sitting up straight with your shoulders down and back. Don’t you feel better already? 9. Be grateful. Write down five things you’re grateful for, no matter how large or small (your hair, your family, your morning cup of Joe—whatever). Do you feel more thankful, generous and overall happier after? Funny how a little reminder of what we have can turn a frown into a smile. 10. Tell a joke. Awake your inner child and tell a silly joke—whether it’s a knock-knock joke or even a funny line from a movie. Anything that gets you laughing is enough to get your happy endorphins flowing! 11. Do 10 pushups. Being strong is important, but having functional strength is even more important because it makes everyday activities easier to accomplish. A push-up is a great, quick exercise for building functional strength. Drop down and give me 10—or as many as you can do in 1 minute. 12. Encourage someone. Isn’t it interesting how you always seem to feel better after helping someone else feel better? Whether you post a supportive comment on a SparkFriend’s page or write a few kind words in a card or an email, taking a minute out to help someone can quickly boost your mood. 13. Set a goal for the day. Fact: People who set goals have more success than people who don’t. So why not take a few seconds and write down what you want to do today? Then, just commit to making it happen! 14. Focus on one thing you love about yourself. At times, we put so much effort in focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves that we fail to see the good. Take 60 seconds to think about what you like about you. Is it your eyes? Your strong legs? Your giving nature? Thinking about how great you are will instantly increase self-confidence. 15. Wash your hands. It seems like cold and flu season is always in full force (or just around the corner).  One of the simplest and easiest ways to stay well year round is to wash your hands. All you need is warm water, soap and 20 seconds of rubbing to rid your hands of unwanted germs. 16. Compliment a stranger. What better way to make yourself feel good than to unexpectedly brighten someone else’s day? The next time you admire someone’s clothes, positive attitude or eyes—say so! 17. Try aromatherapy. A number of different smells can have a positive effect on your mind and body. For example, peppermint is known to calm the stomach while its smell can energize you through a workout. And the scent of jasmine has been shown to reduce anxiety. To benefit, grab some scented lotion and either take a whiff from the bottle or rub some on your hands. 18. Salute the sun. Sun salutations are a well-known set of yoga poses that are said to warm up the body and increase blood flow and flexibility. So grab your mat and do one or two sets—rain or shine! 19. Give yourself a mini-massage. Massage has a number of health benefits, including reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and speeding muscle repair. While you may not be able to spend the time or money getting one at a spa, pampering yourself with just 1 minute of self-massage by rubbing your own hands, feet or shoulders can do wonders. 20. Be absolutely present. When we are wrapped up with work, to-do lists, and just getting by, sometimes we can forget to focus on what we are doing in the here and now. Try spending a minute just being. Focus on sounds, smells and whatever else is going on around you; instead of thinking ahead to what you'll do next, think about what you're doing right now. You’ll be amazed at how peaceful you feel. Just be! See? In the quest to be healthier, you don't have to spend a lot of time. Even if all you have is a few spare seconds here and there, you can make a positive difference in your overall health! Sources: Clean Hands Save Lives, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fight Fatigue with Your Fork, from Psychology Today Here Comes the Sun, from Yoga Journal Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, from University of California, Davis Peppermint, from University of Maryland Medical Center Research Briefs: Did You Know? from NammFoundation.org Vitamin D Research, from National Fluid Milk Processor Education Board, GetYourD.comArticle Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1557

Dog chained up for 15 years gets new forever home

A dog named Bear spent most of his 15 years of life chained in a yard, until a non-profit animal rescue organization stepped in.

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USA Today reported Friday that a lab mix named Bear was rescued by Guardians of Rescue, which was able to convince the dog's owners to surrender him.

"We received a call about a dog in need of a dog house," Robert Misseri, the founder and president of GOR, said in a statement, according to ABC News."But when we got there, it was even worse than that."

WNBC reported Jan. 23 that as the rescue group broke Bear's chain, he walked up to his rescuers wagging his tail. Soon after, the dog, who a spokesperson for GOR told ABC News had arthritis and heartworms, was taken to a vet for treatment and groomed.

A post shared by Bear The Dog: Unchained (@bear_the_dog_unchained) on Feb 7, 2017 at 11:08am PST

His rescuers took Bear to the beach for the first time and treated him to a puppuccino after he was groomed and vetted.

Kerrie Rosenfeld adopted Bear Jan. 29 and posted a Facebook video with her new pup, beaming with pride and gratitude.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"I'm so happy to welcome him into my family. I'm going to spoil him and love him for the rest of his days," Rosenfeld said. "He deserves the best life ever and I am blessed to be his new mommy and get to show him what it's liked to be loved and wanted and needed."

Rosenfeld gives Bear the love, attention and safety he needs and shares their adventures on his Instagram page called Bear The Dog: Unchained.

YAY Mommy's on mid-winter recess!! She's spending the whole week with me! Starting... NOW!! #vacation #friday #presidentsday #tgif #dogsmile #dogsmilesarethebest #rescuedog #adoptdontshop #rescuedogsofinstagram #rescuedismyfavoritebreed #blacklabmix #blacklab #blacklabsofinstagram #longislanddogsofinstagram A post shared by Bear The Dog: Unchained (@bear_the_dog_unchained) on Feb 17, 2017 at 2:36pm PST

Hugh Jackman has no idea how to react to Patrick Stewart’s circumcision story from hell

The Graham Norton Show has a reputation for evoking the wildest stories from the guests on the show. A few weeks ago, GNorton egged Whoopi Goldberg into sharing a story about aging and the “balding pudenda” and the tale had Keanu Reeves grimacing. But Sir Patrick Stewart might have just outdone Goldberg on last night’s show when he told a story about circumcision that gave everybody the willies.

RELATED: We seriously can’t get enough of Patrick Stewart narrating disastrous one-star reviews

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We knew it was going to be an interesting tale when Stewart introduced the story with the prologue, “one night, as you do, we [Stewart and his wife] were talking about stuff…” However, their night-time conversation took an odd turn when the actor mentioned that he was circumcised and his wife said “you’re not circumcised” to which he replied, “that’s ridiculous, I should know if I’m circumcised or not.” Of course, the next day when he saw his doctor, his physician confirmed his wife’s suspicions.

RELATED: Hugh Jackman bravely battles another round of skin cancer and reminds us all to take this critical precaution

Johnny Carson’s Reagan impersonation in this classic “Who’s on First” spoof has us missing the golden age of late night

For the last half-century, late night television has been one of the staples of American society. Perhaps no late night host (except maybe Letterman) has had such a grip on the American consciousness as Johnny Carson. Carson was the host of the “Tonight Show” for thirty years before handing the reins over to Jay Leno and is currently hosted by the marvelous Jimmy Fallon.

RELATED: Don Rickles had Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson cracking up during the golden age of late-night TV

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While the show has undergone a number of different hosts, it has stuck was a simple scheme when lampooning politicians–impersonate them and don’t take too many shots below the belt. During the tenure of Ronald Reagan, Johnny Carson donned his presidential impression on several occasions and each time brought the audience to stitches. However, through all his impressions, no skit was more memorable or hilarious than his take on the classic “Abbott and Costello” bit “Who’s on First?”

RELATED: See Johnny Carson interview a man in the golden age of late-night television

Girl feeds seagulls at the beach and instantly learns her lesson

Anybody who has spent even a reasonable amount of time at the beach can tell you that seagulls are the rats of the sky. The more dastardly ones will swoop down as your French fry is entering your mouth and snatch it from your fingers.

RELATED: With all eyes on him, a not-so-stealthy seagull robbed a beachside cafe in broad daylight

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Locals know that you never, ever, ever feed the seagulls. Letting those wretches of the clouds get even a bit of discarded bread will have them following you for the rest of the day.

RELATED: Hassled by seagulls, this Alaska bald eagle tries to fight back

When this teenager gives the creatures a taste of her lunch, they instantly attach themselves to her and, like a scene straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” try and dive-bomb for that next piece of food.

We seriously can’t get enough of Patrick Stewart narrating disastrous one-star reviews

Patrick Stewart, like Christopher Walken and Morgan Freeman, has a voice that is recognizable in an instant. It’s the type of voice that you wouldn’t mind having narrate your life, and when he sat down with GQ to narrate one-star reviews of famous monuments, it was the stuff of magic.

RELATED: Sir Patrick Stewart and the most stoic ice bucket challenge video yet

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Perhaps the best was a review for the Hoover Dam, which read, “More like the Hoover ‘damn, this is disappointing.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but anybody can build a wall to hold water. It’s called a bath tub.”

RELATED: Patrick Stewart surprises sick child with heartwarming visit

But the most brutal moment of all came with a review declaring, “Do you know who loved he Eiffel Tower? Hitler.”

Sensational rumors emerge about the circumstances surrounding the death of Patton Oswalt’s wife

On Friday morning, celebrity gossip website RadarOnline published a story claiming that the death of comedian Patton Oswalt’s wife, Michelle McNamara, was not the tragic accident he claimed, but a sensational overdose.

In a recent Associated Press story, Oswalt said his wife died in April 2016 from a combination of “Adderall, Xanax and the pain medication fentanyl.” He also said that a “health condition we were unaware of,” presumably a heart condition, was in part responsible.

RELATED: Patton Oswalt delivers a hilariously dark opening monologue at the 2017 Writers Guild Awards

The Radar story claims that “investigators found cocaine and piles of pills at the scene!” The site also noted that the “powerful narcotic fentanyl, antidepressant alprazolam (Xanax), and amphetamines” were all found in Oswalt’s wife’s system, which is in line with the story published by the Associated Press.

But Radar also claims that “authorities found five prescription bottles, multiple plastic baggies filled with pills, and two clear plastic bags, ‘each containing a smaller, clear plastic bag, containing a small brown vial containing apparent white powder.'”

RELATED: Patton Oswalt reveals the heartbreaking cause behind his sudden wife’s death

While McNamara’s death does appear to be the result of a deadly cocktail of prescribed medication, the Radar story seems oddly sourced. Radar, like TMZ and a few other gossip websites, pays for “juicy info” — a practice that is generally considered to be outside typical journalistic standards.

They claim that to have obtained a “new autopsy report,” but that hyperlink only redirects to a recent story about Michael Jackson’s autopsy. Another hyperlink, which seems to promise images of the “drug-riddled death scene,” redirects to a story about the death of producer Matthew Lamothe; there are no pictures of a final resting place in that story, either.

Oswalt has not commented on RadarOnline’s story.

George Lopez upset his fanbase again with his latest political social media post

Comedian and actor George Lopez is using social media to criticize the widespread deportations taking place across the nation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On Thursday, president Trump called the deportations “a military operation.”

Lopez, who was born in Los Angeles but is of Mexican heritage, recently uploaded a video of a couple singing “Love is an Open Door” to his Instagram with the caption “Parents sing Disney’s Frozen ‘Love is an Open Door’ while I.C.E. is conducting raids.”

RELATED: When one of his jokes didn’t go over well, George Lopez blew his top

On the post, Lopez wrote, “#notacare While our #government continues to harass #nativeamerican community.”

The post has received over 65,000 views since it was uploaded on Thursday evening, but not all of his fans enjoyed the sentiment. In fact, most of the comments on the video were negative reviews of the video, including “I’m done with you George” and “I love your TV shows. However, this post is ridiculous.”

RELATED: George Lopez may not like Donald Trump, but he has a few words for the person who disrespected Ivanka

Lopez has been critical of the Trump administration since the beginning of the president’s tenure.

10 Tech Things You Need to Know Today

Good morning! Here's the tech news you need to know this Tuesday. 1. Uber has hired ex-US attorney general Eric Holder to investigate allegations of sexual harassment at the company, USA Today...

'Father of the selfie' has taken daily photo of himself for 30 years

A Boston College professor has become the unofficial "father of the selfie" after leading a creative project in which he has taken a photo of himself daily for the last 30 years.Karl Baden, 64, launched the project on Feb. 23, 1987, according to The Associated Press. He uses the same 35mm camera, tripod, backdrop and lighting for each photo, and tries to maintain the same expression. Baden said taking the photo has become part of his daily ritual.  

Baden said the project touches on the notions of mortality, obsession, incremental change and perfection, according to The Associated Press.

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"As much as I try to make every picture the same, I fail every day," Baden said. "There's always something that's a little different, aside from the aging process."

The photo project is now approaching 11,000 photos and has been featured in gallery exhibits.While Baden has taken care to maintain his appearance over the years, he underwent chemotherapy in 2001 to treat prostate cancer, which altered his appearance temporarily.

Even while battling cancer, he managed to take his daily selfie. Baden admitted that over the 30-year span, there was one day where he forgot to take a photo: Oct. 15, 1991. He didn't have a good excuse, calling it a "dumb moment of forgetfulness."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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