Meet the 2016 Health Hero Challenge Semifinalists!

health hero logoDrumroll, please! We are very excited to introduce you to the 16 semifinalists for this year’s Health Hero Challenge, our fifth annual search for Philly’s Health Hero. Once September 13th rolls around, we’ll be opening the contest up to reader voting here so that you — yes, you! — can select a winner.

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The Checkup: Trying to Lose Weight? Do These 6 Things Before Lunch 

• Earlier, I saw a headline that read something along the lines of “20 Things to Do to Have a Healthy Night.” I thought to myself, twenty things to do just so I can go to bed? Pass. But six things — six things seems manageable enough. And if you’re trying to lose weight, checking these six tasks off your to-do list in the hours leading up to lunch is a simple way to up your weight-loss game. [Men’s Health]

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Sit at a Desk All Day? Here’s How Much Exercise You Need, Study Suggests

As I type this, I am about to spend eight hours, more or less, in my desk chair. Previous studies have suggested that, given my job of choice — one that pretty much requires me to be glued to a computer chair — I should probably just accept the fact that sitting is slowly going to kill me. Yes: Even if I squeeze in a killer sweat session when I finally do get out of my chair.

But wait! There’s hope: As the Washington Post reports, a new study, published in The Lancet, found that us desk jockeys who sit in chairs for eight hours straight might have a chance of fighting death by sitting after all — as long as we squeeze in an hour of physical activity each day. Hallelujah!

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7 Science-Backed Reasons to Exercise That Have Zero to Do With Weight Loss

ferrantraite/iStock.com

ferrantraite/iStock.com

Sometimes, you need motivation aside from the promise of fitting into your skinny jeans to get your off your couch, outside of your pleasantly air-conditioned apartment, and exercising. If you’ve been at a loss to find any reasons (we’ve all been there), not to worry: We’ve got plenty for you.

We’ve rounded seven science-backed reasons to get off the couch and get moving—none of which have to do with weight loss—from the oh-so-wonderful runner’s high to the promise of a better night’s rest to improved skin to better sex and more. Read up, then get moving!  Read more »

The Checkup: The Body Part You Need to Start Properly Protecting From the Sun

• I’ll admit it, I am the biggest culprit when it comes to stocking up on cheap (but cute — I swear!) sunglasses so I don’t have to dish out a few hundos on a nice pair I will probably break or lose. But we should all reconsider making that investment. Not only are those cheap, dark-shaded sunglasses not protecting your eyes from UV light, but they could actually be doing you more harm than good. [SELF]

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The Checkup: Words for All the Emotions You’ve Never Been Able to Explain

• Humans are strange creatures and our brains are filled with all sorts of odd thoughts (“I wonder what Missy Elliot is doing today”) and emotions (“I’m not sad, exactly — my heart just feels like a train ran over it, then reversed back onto it, pressed the brakes and stayed there”), many of which we have a hard time describing. To help us out, the folks over at Science of Us have created a handy list of real words  from around the world — like pronoia and malu — for emotions you never knew how to describe before. Guarantee: The list will have you saying “Ahhhhh-ha!” for a good five minutes. [Science of Us] Read more »

The Checkup: How to Get Tons of Protein Into Your Diet — Without Eating Meat

• As a human who doesn’t eat meat, I get this question from friends, coworkers and near-strangers often: “I’m thinking of giving up meat. But HOW will I get protein??????” Fear-filled eyes are a given. Well, here, friends: 20 ways to get tons of protein into your dietwithout eating meat. (Tip: Add hemp seeds to the list and you’ve got 21 ways!) [Runner’s World] Read more »

This Is Exactly How Many More Calories You Burn By Standing at Your Desk

If you’ve resourcefully fashioned a standing desk for yourself out of found materials — magazines, boxes, encyclopedias no one actually uses because the internet exists — around the office in an effort to burn more calories while chained to your desk, I’ve got some depressing news to share with you: A new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that standing at work only burns eight or nine more calories per hour than sitting.

Womp, womp. Read more »

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