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Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’

A Wisconsin woman said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker “exploded” while she read a book, ABC News reported.

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Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks when the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm Tuesday night.

"I was literally just sitting and reading when my Fitbit exploded,” Mitchell told ABC News in an emailed statement Sunday. "It was either defective or really mad I was sitting still so long … I don’t know. Either way, it burned the heck out of my arm."

When the device began to burn, Mitchell said she ripped it off her arm and tossed it on the floor. She told ABC News that her doctor had to pick pieces of plastic and rubber out of her arm after the incident.

An emergency care provider in the Milwaukee area told KTRK that Mitchell was treated the day after she said the incident occurred.

Mitchell, who said she got the tracker as a birthday gift, said Fitbit offered her a free replacement device after she notified the company.

A Fitbit spokesman told ABC News that the company is investigating the issue. The company said it was unaware of any other similar complaints.

First woman to officially run Boston Marathon does it again, 50 years later

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer registered for the all-male Boston Marathon under the name K.V. Switzer — hiding her gender — and went on to become the first woman to officially run the race.

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Fifty years later, according to the New York Times, the 70-year-old Syracuse University grad returned to the starting line in the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17.

Switzer took to Facebook and Twitter to document her experience throughout the 26-mile trek from start to finish.

She stopped at the place where, 50 years ago, one of the Boston Marathon race organizers, Jock Semple, tried to force her off the course.

Switzer told NPR that Semple jumped off the media truck and began yelling at her.

"It took a body block from my boyfriend to knock the official off the course,” she penned in a New York Times essay 10 years ago.

She ended up finishing the race in four hours and 20 minutes, wearing the number 261.

Since then, the star athlete has competed in more than 30 marathons and won the New York marathon in 1974.

On Monday morning, Switzer donned the same three digits she wore in 1967, when she first shattered stereotypes about women and sports.

According to WFXT, the Boston Marathon will retire Bib No. 261 in honor of Switzer. 

The race has only retired one other number in its 121-year history. The No. 61 bib was retired in honor of John Kelley, who ran with the number, completing his 61st Boston Marathon in 1992 at the age of 84.

Read more at the New York Times.

Marathons linked to short-term kidney injury in new study

With the days ticking down to the 121st Boston Marathon, a new study from Yale University might give some runners pause about lacing up.

The study found that in a sample of healthy long-distance runners, more than 80 percent showed signs of acute kidney injury right after a marathon.

“We know that bouts of acute kidney injury in the hospital, such bouts of injury are not good. But the case may be completely different for healthy people,” lead author Dr. Chirag Parikh told Fox25Boston.com.

>> Watch the news report here 

The signs of kidney injury only last a few days, but the concern is that it might lead to long-term problems for long-distance runners.

“If somebody's running several marathons, over time, maybe it can lead to cumulative damage,” Parikh said.

Even the most experienced marathon runners know a race of 26.2 miles is no picnic.

“I've never finished one and said, oh, I feel great,” said one runner on a training run Wednesday.

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But the study raises special concerns for runners who may have pre-existing kidney issues they might not know about – especially if they're tackling a difficult course like Boston.

“We're kind of running downhill, flat and then you're up and down in the hills. So that puts a strain on the body,” Shane O’Hara from Marathon Sports said.

The study reinforces a simple rule many runners know all too well.

“Some of them run marathons without drinking fluids properly and they need to stay hydrated,” 2017 Boston Marathon entrant Christopher Battoo said.

Runners are taking the information in stride, but it won’t stop them from competing.

“Even knowing this study, I'm still going to run. It's something I love to do,” 2017 Boston Marathon entrant Meagan Kelly said.

Slaying of three female runners sparks safety concerns for others

SAFETY TIPS FOR FEMALE RUNNERS

  • Avoid running alone in the dark
  • If running in the dark, stay on populated, well-lit streets
  • Be sure someone (friend, relative, spouse) knows your intended route and when you should return
  • Change your route periodically
  • Always run with your cellphone and identification
  • Don’t wear noise-canceling headphones
  • Wear reflective clothing
  • Carry pepper spray

In recent weeks, the running community nationwide has been shocked by the slayings of three avid female runners -- all of whom were partaking in their daily training in broad daylight.

In order:

  • July 30: Alexandra Brueger, a nurse in Detroit, was shot and killed during a 10-mile run on a dirt trail
  • Aug. 2: Karina Vetrano was raped and killed while running on a trail in a Queens, New York, park.
  • Aug. 7: New York City resident Vanessa Marcotte was found dead, burned and possibly sexually assaulted after not returning from a run in her parents hometown of Princeton, Massachusetts.

As Gabriel Paiella wrote in New York Magazine, "These murders are notable because they've shattered the perception that this particular violent crime only takes place under certain circumstances, which was always a subtle way of suggesting that the victims were somehow complicit in their own attacks."

In other words, despite following all the common-sense precautions -- not being out late at night, not being provocatively attired, not being distracted by headphones, etc. -- tragically, these women were violently victimized anyway.

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These incidents have served as a reminder for local female runners how vigilant they need to be.

"I definitely have a healthy fear, so I try to trust my intuition when I am somewhere that potentially is unsafe," said Melissa Perlman, an avid runner and assistant track and cross-country coach at Spanish River High in Boca Raton, Florida.

She said she tries to run in groups when possible but advises those who exercise alone to "inform someone (friend, spouse, neighbor, roommate) of the route you are following and your expected return time."

At Fleet Street Sports in Delray Beach, Florida, husband-and-wife owners Nick and Mackenzie Stump counsel their customers about some of the best strategies and products to ensure their safety.

"Running safety, for me, is about communication," Mackenzie said. "It's important to unwind when you run, but a wave, a smile, the runner's nod and a 'hi' make you a familiar face that people look for on your routes."

"We are all about the buddy system for both training and group runs," Nick said. "But when you can't be with a partner or group, awareness is the most important aspect of running safely."

Among the safety gear that the Stumps recommend for all runners:

  • Mini-clip strobe lights for nighttime visibility
  • High-visibility running vest for nighttime reflectivity for others to see you
  • Handheld flashlight with siren
  • Handheld pepper spray
  • Waist belt to easily carry cellphone and other emergency gear

In addition, safety experts recommend downloading a free safety app such as bSafe to your cellphone. With the bSafe app, you can activate an audible alarm that immediately starts broadcasting to your contacts video captured by your phone, as well as your GPS location. This data is continually collected, updated and recorded and can be shared with the authorities if the need arises.

Whitney Cherner, of Lake Worth, Florida, told the Palm Beach Post about the frustration that many female runners feel in needing to take precautions that male counterparts rarely, if ever, think about: "As a woman, it makes me angry that I have to think about safety so much when I run. I want to just go out and enjoy my run. But as a mother of four, I value my safety even more because I have to be there for my kids ... Now if I get a weird feeling in my gut about a white van passing by me too many times, I turn around and run home."

WATCH: 78-year-old grandmother deadlifts 225 pounds, becomes viral sensation

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A 78-year-old grandmother has become a viral sensation after a video of her lifting 225 pounds made the rounds on social media this week.

According to ABC News, Shirley Webb of East Alton, Illinois, had never powerlifted before she joined Club Fitness in nearby Wood Lawn two years ago. She started out lifting just 40 pounds. And now?

"About four to five weeks ago, she was actually able to hit 245 pounds," Webb's trainer, John Wright, told ABC News. "Shirley can definitely outdo and lift more than, I'd say, over 90 percent of the people who come to this gym."

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Webb has even entered competitions, winning her division at last year's Missouri State Powerlifting and Midwest Open and setting a state record for her age at another event in Belleville, according to "Today." She plans to compete in another event in June.

"I've just always wanted to do the best I could in anything I've ever done," Webb told ABC News. "I hope my story encourages others to want to do the same."

Read more here and here.

>> Click here to watch the viral video

This woman's 'wine workout' will motivate you to exercise

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A 24-year-old California woman just made working out a lot more fun.

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April Storey, a health educator and fitness blogger, posted a 15-second video now called “The Wine Workout” on her Facebook page in January. The video shows Storey creatively using wine bottles and wine glasses in a simple exercise routine. 

"I was getting ready to do a workout, a video like I normally do - posting workout videos. I saw the wine there and I'm like, 'You know, that would be kind of funny to incorporate wine into this workout video,’” she said.

According to KRCR, the video went viral after former Star Trek star George Takei shared the video to his nine million followers.

Storey has posted dozens of workout videos on social media. Most of them are exercise routines that can be performed in one's home and don't involve alcohol.

"What I want to show people with my videos is that fitness is something you can do every day, you can do it anywhere, and you can use anything,” she said. "You don't have to have equipment. You don't have to spend a lot of money."

Despite the attention and funny comments The Wine Workout has garnered, Storey reminds people to drink their workout wine responsibly and in moderation. She told KRCR she only used one glass of wine in her video and said she didn't even drink the full contents of that glass. She also warned against drinking multiple glasses of wine per workout.

For all the wine and fitness lovers out there❤️𾦆 thanks for all of the shares, positive feedback, and encouraging comments!Posted by April Storey on Monday, February 22, 2016

Since today is #nationalwineday I thought it was only fitting to post another #wineworkout - this time focusing on...Posted by April Storey on Thursday, February 18, 2016

CrossFit athlete shows weightlifting strength while dancing to Beyonce hit

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CrossFit competitor Khan Porter is known for showing out in the weight room. 

Usually he's talked about for his ability to lift excess poundage, but this time, he's gaining attention for his graceful dance moves. 

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In a video posted to his Facebook page, Porter, an Australian native, shows gym-goers the best way to lift a loaded barbell -- dance over to it.

While dancing to Beyonce's "Single Ladies," Porter approaches the barbell. He pauses to lift it gracefully and with ease and then drops it -- still dancing.

If Porter's performance is any indication of what women can expect to see at the gym, chances are memberships will be increasing in no time.

The clip has been viewed more than 240,000 times on Facebook.

Watch it in its entirety below. 

Seeing as Instagram only allows 15 seconds of dancing and apparently the interwebs doesn't mind a bit of Beyoncé, here is the full version of my pre snatch boogie.Channing Tatum Khan at me bah Bar at 120kg/264lbswww.iamkhanporter.comPosted by Khan Porter on Monday, January 11, 2016

The world's first 'smart bra' is finally here

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Move over Apple Watch and Fitbit. There's new biometric technology on the market.

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A Canadian-based company is promoting what it's calling the world's first smart bra.

The OMbra, made by OMsignal, has built in sensors that track heart rate, breathing rate and calories burned, among other metrics. The data is then accessed through a mobile app.

"Women gravitate towards wearables, but they don't want an item they have to put on or worry about every day," said OMsignal chief marketing officer Shaz Khang. "If they're going to be wearing it all day, they want to get more information."

In 2014, the company released a line of smart shirts for men. Now, OMsignal is expanding its product line.

"After much applause and a plethora of requests from eager women who wanted in on the action too, the day has finally come for us to reveal the OMbra," the company's site reads. 

According to CBS News, a team of sports bra designers, scientists and engineers worked to produce the final design after testing at least 1,633 prototypes.

The smart bra is set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas.

It will begin shipping in the spring with a price point of about $150.

Read more or preorder the garment here.

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