Salsa, sweat, socialize Comments Off on Salsa, sweat, socialize 74,040

Traveling makes for a hectic lifestyle often moving from city to city, country to country rapidly. With such a capricious lifestyle, making friends and keeping up with exercise can be difficult. The answer to both of these problems is dancing salsa. Salsa is an activity that can remain permanently in an inconsistent lifestyle. The evidence can be observed in any salsa club. On the surface, the crowded dance floor seems just to be filled with dancers spinning, swaying, and sweating to the beat of the music, but below the surface, the salsa club is much more than just dancing. Pay attention more carefully and the most impressive elements surrounding salsa will become evident. Notice dancers sweating, laughing, learning, and socializing; these are the elements that make salsa special. Salsa is not just a dance that happens to be an insane workout, but most importantly, it is a community. A supportive community that can be found in just about any city in the world, making it the ideal exercise for the world traveler.

While salsa music and dancing is important to many Latin American countries in the Caribbean, its roots are in Cuba. Salsa is a relatively new music, developed in the 1900s, heavily influenced by Afro-Caribbean culture. Salsa has been brought to many countries since its creation and today, many countries have their own style of salsa. In Cuba there is Cuban and Casino style dancing; in Colombia, there is Caleño style; in Puerto Rico, there is, of course, Puertorriqueña salsa; and in the USA there is New York style also known as Mambo and LA style salsa, just to name a few.

With such a vast number of styles, salsa dancing is the perfect exercise to take-up for those who get bored with the mundane easily. There is always something new to learn, it’s impossible to get bored. The health benefits are not just physical, but also beneficial in achieving happiness and mental health. Step into any salsa club to witness the intensity of this full-body workout. Inside watch dancers spend four to five hours per night dancing non-stop. To be a salsa dancer is also to be apart of a community of people who are always learning and helping each other. This community is a great resource to newcomers as friends, teachers, and guides to the salsa community in that area.

Salsa culture has permeated society in hundreds of countries, making it the perfect activity for the solo traveler. While traveling alone has its benefits, it also has its downfalls. Traveling alone sometimes can be, well, lonely. Going out alone is often awkward or looked at as strange by society. On the contrary, going to the salsa club alone is quite normal. Since it can be difficult to find friends that dance or have the desire to learn to dance salsa, many dancers start out by going to the salsa clubs alone to improve their dancing. In fact, due to the nature of social dancing, it is often better to go out dancing salsa alone. It’s normal to dance with total strangers. Dancers change partners with each song, therefore meeting someone new with each dance, making this one of the most social and mobile exercises in the world.

With so many free lessons offered around the world, getting started is easy. Usually, each salsa club has a night where they offer free lessons geared towards beginners, hoping these beginners will stay for the remainder of the evening. These free lessons are a great way to meet people in the salsa community. Staying for a few dances can gain you access to the dancers that have details on the best free classes and which places are best to dance each day of the week. After one night of dancing, it’s common to leave with a list of new friends that are eager to help you navigate the salsa scene.

Finding the best places to dance in a new city requires some research. With a little bit of creative Googling, finding an article about where to dance in each city is usually pretty easy. Typically there is even a website or Facebook group dedicated to posting Latin dance events each night. Here is a short reference of places to dance around the world to get you started.

Los Angeles, USA – Monday nights at El Floridita Cuban Restaurant. Each Monday, you can find some the best salsa bands and some of the best dancing in the city. Monday nights here are famous in LA. On Monday nights, it’s not uncommon to see someone famous here, spotting guests such as Wilder Valderrama, Jennifer Lopez, and Amber Heard. Free lessons start around 8:00 pm. Get there before 10:00 pm to avoid the line.

Medellín, Colombia – Wednesday through Saturday at Son Havana. On a quiet corner, a few blocks from the party district of La 70, Son Havana is a hidden gem. This simple salsa bar has great dancing Wednesdays and Thursdays, and live bands Fridays and Saturdays when the crowd doubles in size and dancing gets very intimate. It’s easy to spend the night dancing here until 4:00 am.

Quito, Ecuador – Thursdays through Saturdays at Salsateca Lavoe. From the outside, Lavoe seems unwelcoming, but when you walk through the door everything changes. Lavoe is a large salsa club with a huge dance floor and many new dancers. Throughout the night there are impressive performances from local salsa and bachata teams. Remember Quito is in high altitude so take breaks and drink plenty of water.

Montpellier, France – Friday Nights at The O’liver Pub. While it may seem to be in the middle of nowhere, making it to The O’liver Pub is well worth it. The massive dance floor is full of friendly dancers of all levels. Free classes start at 8:00 pm.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,289

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,503

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

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Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
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No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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