5 Ways to Have the Best Weekend Ever

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The weekend is officially upon us, friends! We can almost taste the freedom.

If you’re about to head into the days ahead without a plan of attack, allow us to offer some suggestions. See, last weekend, we posted a guide for how to use your Sunday wisely to set yourself up for a great week ahead. So while you’re fresh off the high of an awesome week, we thought we’d gin up a companion piece for your weekend. To wit: Our advice for five ways to have the best weekend ever.

We’re not talking about specific things to do. (For this weekend’s events, check out our guide here.) We’re talking about measures you can take and advice you can heed to create for yourself a few relaxing, yet productive days off. And while you don’t have to hit all these points in one fell swoop, working one or two or three of these tips into your weekend will help you maximize your off-time.

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The Checkup: How to Beat the Winter Blues Once and for All 

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• It’s almost the weekend, people! Finally! If you have a bad case of the winter blues, you’re probably looking forward to holing up in your house with Friends (the show, not to be confused with real human beings), but you might want to try doing a few of these things instead: Here, four doctor-approved tricks for beating the winter blues. [Well + Good]

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The Be Well Philly Wish List: Let’s Make Philly the Best City for Fitness in 2015

Be Well Philly Cross-Training Run, summer 2014

Be Well Philly Cross-Training Run, summer 2014

Over here in Be Well Philly Land, we’re pretty much always talking about what we absolutely love about Philly’s fitness-and-health-food scene (The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk! HipCityVeg!) or, on the flip side, what we feel like it’s missing. I mean, after all, it is kind of our job to talk about this stuff all day.

Today, we got to talking about what we wish we had more of (or less of, in some cases)—the kinds of things that, if we did have more of them, could be just what we need to make Philly the greatest city for fitness in the world. It’s a lofty goal, I know. But Philly was just ranked the second best shopping city in the world (puzzlingly, but still) and third on a list of the year’s best travel destinations. Who’s to say we can’t be the be-all-end-all city for fitness, too?

Below, 10 things we think would make Philly the best city for fitness in 2015. And the best part about this list? A lot of these things, like more trail-running groups and more free fitness classes, are totally in our control. So consider this our rallying cry: Let’s make it happen, people!

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No Matter How Much You Exercise, This Is Still Killing You, Science Says

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As I type this, after sitting for nearly four consecutive hours in my desk chair, I’m thinking: I should really start hoarding discarded boxes I find lying around the office and build my own makeshift standing desk. Why? Because according to a new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, if you spend the majority of your day sitting, the chances that you’ll develop health problems, like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, skyrocket—even if you work out regularly.

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The Biggest Loser: A Lesson in How NOT to Lose Weight?

Biggest Loser/NBC

Rachel Frederickson on Biggest Loser/NBC

It’s no secret that The Biggest Loser is home to some questionable weight-loss tactics. About a year ago, we posted a piece questioning a slew of techniques employed by the show, from the insanely harsh training schedules to the encouragement of radical weight-loss each and every week, to the nutritionally poor foods it promotes.

Shortly thereafter, the show weathered another round of criticism when winner Rachel Frederickson went from 260 pounds to a very-tiny 105 pounds in just a matter of months. Hordes of viewers and weight-loss professionals chimed in, arguing there was no way such dramatic weight loss could have been achieved in a healthy way.

And now a different contestant, Kai Hibbard, who competed on season three of the show, is saying it might be worse than we all suspected: According to her claims, the contestants’ physical and mental health are often sacrificed on the altar of ratings and sponsorships.

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71 Pennsylvanians Killed by Flu So Far This Season

Seventy-one Pennsylvanians have been killed by the flu since late September.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health tracks influenza during flu season and updates totals every week. This season, the state began tracking the flu on September 28th of last year and will stop tracking on May 23rd.

The state has recorded 25,201 instances of the flu this season already, though only 514 in Philadelphia County — almost all due to the influenza A virus. In contrast, Allegheny County, home of Pittsburgh, has 3,300 recorded cases.

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Why Your Desk Job Is Causing You So Much Pain (And How to Fix It)

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It’s a fact that most of us sit at a computer for our jobs. In fact, I’m willing to bet most (if not all) of you reading this article are sitting right now. And as we all know by now, studies overwhelmingly show that sitting all day at a desk isn’t good for you. Not only is sitting all day responsible for things like high blood pressure and heart disease, it’s also responsible for a lot of the pain you may be experiencing.

These pains are most likely due to muscular imbalances in your body. Muscle imbalances are very common and are a big cause of daily aches and pains and overuse injuries. Common symptoms are muscle tightness, limited range of motion, low back aches and knee pain. Sitting all day can cause tight hamstrings, pectoral muscles and hip flexors, which is a recipe for back pain and bad posture.

Here’s why.

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Fact: You Probably Did Not Need to Shower Today, Experts Say

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If you, like me, hate showering (because hellooo, that 20 minutes of my life could be better spent re-watching Beyoncé’s Year of 4 for the 142nd time), then prepare to squeal with joy: The folks over at BuzzFeed chatted with a couple of dermatologists to get the lowdown on how often we really need to shower, and turns out, if you’re showering daily, you’re showering too often.

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