Fitness Buzz: Dog Yoga, Soda Tax, and More

Teaching dogs the sun salutation and the ongoing soda tax wars, plus online fitness tools


Too busy to catch all the week's fitness, diet, and workout news as it happened? Here's a quick wrap-up of what was getting buzz.

The " Upward-Paw Pose " Gains Pup-ularity

Dogs certainly live in the moment, and we all know they're capable of assuming twisty (and often disgusting) positions in pursuit of a good self-lick, so I suppose it was inevitable that someone would find them ideal candidates for yoga. The New York Times reports that doga—yoga with dogs—is attracting adherents. You too, can pay $15 to $25 for the privilege of rolling around on the floor with your pooch! (Or you can take him for a walk and then nap together afterward, which costs exactly nothing.) Even if you think it's silly, the accompanying slide show, mostly showing befuddled or sleeping dogs, is a hoot. (Watch for the miniature schnauzer doing the chaturanga pose.) Fishmonger, Just Tell Me What to Eat!

I love fish, but I just want to know what kind to eat, taking into account nutrition, mercury content, and sustainability. It's a lot to swallow, and this week there was a hearty online debate on the topic. wrote about a Mark Bittman column endorsing the consumption of red snapper, apparently a threatened species. Commenters, including a gracious Bittman, weigh in on the confusion over which fish are most acceptable to eat. Here are 11 easy ways to load up on omega-3 fats, but be warned; these fish recommendations were vetted purely on health value, not for their sustainability quotient. And here's a primer on the tricky issue of balancing omega-3 with omega-6 fatty acids. Diet Books Dissected

NPR looks into the phenomenon of the diet book. We probably know that there's no silver bullet for losing weight, yet we continue to buy diet books that promise—or at least insinuate—that there is one and that it can be yours for $24.95. NPR talks to two authors who claim to have written nondiet books: One recommends tracking every calorie that enters your mouth, the other one goes with journaling. Losing weight is certainly difficult for individuals. Here are 7 practical, nonextreme tips to shed pounds, from our greatest-hits file. Food Fight Over Soda Tax Proposal

Want to get an industry peeved? Suggest, as two public health experts did in the New England Journal of Medicine, that its products—in this case, sugary sodas and energy drinks—be taxed because of their health impact. The beverage industry's trade group fired back. First it assailed the idea of the tax, and then it got personal and turned its sights on the two authors (one a Yale professor specializing in obesity, the other the health commissioner for New York City). The industry's main criticisms boil down to the fact that the two men have their own political, financial, and ideological agendas. (Unlike the soft drink industry, I suppose?) Whether you think a soda tax smacks of the nanny state or is a great idea, if you're overweight, one easy way to cut calories might be to restrict or simply eliminate caloric beverages. Yep, you could also eliminate Easter candy or any other treat category, but studies suggest caloric beverages are particularly insidious because your body doesn't compensate later for the added calories as it does with calories in solid form. Geek Out to Get Fit

Finally, the Fit Bottomed girls added to their list of favorite online fitness tools. Some of their suggestions include tools to track your daily exercise activity and food intake, easily map your runs or walks, and find healthful food in your neighborhood. Be on the lookout for U.S. News's own 10-Week Workout, which will help you establish an activity routine you can keep up for a lifetime. You'll have a chance to ask questions and share tips and ideas on this very On Fitness blog, so stay tuned.