Lead a Healthy and Active Lifestyle

Tips For Getting Fit In Today's Fast-Paced World

Three Things to Do Before and After a Workout

A truly healthy and active lifestyle does not rely on exercise alone. You must make sure you’re taking the right steps; this means making sure you’re doing the right thing before and after your exercises. To help you understand what we mean, here are three things you should do before and after a workout.

Before a Workout

  1. Make sure you’re well rested and well fed.

Before beginning your workout, you should ensure that you have sufficient energy. If you’re well-rested, you won’t feel the need to overfeed yourself throughout the day; overeating cancels out the workout you’ve done, so to get the most out of your effort, make sure to get enough sleep.

Additionally, have a pre-workout meal 60-90 minutes before your actual workout; this is a must especially for more intensive workouts. Food fuels you with the energy and stamina you need to complete your exercise. Even if it’s just oatmeal and orange juice, you’ll be good to go.

  1. Before warming up, use a foam roller.

A foam roller is a cylindrical object used to apply pressure on various parts of the body. Using a foam roller allows you to focus on certain points of your body with unusual amounts of tension. It acts as a self-massage tool that breaks up knots in your tissues. A common practice is to use the foam roller from the lower body, then make your way up limb by limb; however, make sure not to roll over your joints or lower back as this may cause injury.

  1. Do dynamic stretches.

Reserve the more static stretches for cooling down. Before your actual workout, you should do more dynamic stretches to warm your muscles thus making you feel more relaxed and ready. Moreover, some examples of dynamic stretches you can look into are walking lunges and knee pul

After a Workout

  1. Stretch, stretch, stretch!

Workouts usually leave you feeling breathless yet renewed; the pain doesn’t hit you until the next day. To save yourself from feeling this soreness and possible injury, make sure to cool down after your workout. As mentioned before, static stretches work best for cooling down. Focus on the parts of your body you think you exercised the most; remember to hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds. Never postpone your stretches; besides, it only takes 10-15 minutes!

  1. Cooldown – quite literally!

Take a cold shower after a very sweaty workout; this not only refreshes you, it also reduces the risk of inflammation and soreness. Lower water temperature speeds up your body’s healing process, but it doesn’t need to be ice cold! Turning the temperature lower than normal should be enough for you.

  1. Eat and drink up!

After working out, you should energize yourself once more with food and water. Think your pre-workout and post-workout meals through; make sure it’s delicious and nutritious enough. Additionally, you lose water and electrolytes during exercise, so remember to hydrate yourself with plenty of water.

These are precautions and practices done to ensure that you’ll have a safe journey towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. Follow through to minimize the pain and maximize your gain!



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Personal Health and Physical Fitness

If you are reading this, then congratulations! Merely taking an interest and searching up these words on the Internet is a step towards your ultimate goal. Furthermore, by reading through these articles, you’ll know whether or not you have the dedication and passion for pursuing a healthier and more active lifestyle.

These articles are designed to guide you from the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep. Achieving physical fitness is a full-time responsibility, so ensuring that your activities 24/7 contributes to better health is a must.

It does not matter whether you’re a beginner to physical fitness or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for more information. These articles explain the building blocks and basics of exercise, diets, and health habits for your browsing pleasure, or possible reference.

If you’re only just starting to live this lifestyle, you’ll find helpful tips and extensive explanations of exercise-related terms. Understanding these categories, activities, and the like is vital for you to be inspired and push forward to achieve your goal.

It may take more effort than usual to break out of your bad habits and live healthier, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Here are some possible benefits you can achieve from reading through these articles and attempting to follow through:

  • Lessen the risk of various diseases

A more active lifestyle constantly maintains and improves the state of your body.

  • Improves overall living

When you practice these activities continuously, you’ll find various tasks you find challenging immensely easier.

  • Lessen stress

Aside from not having to worry about disease, an active lifestyle also helps lessen stress; physical activities can be recreational, too!

  • Better self-esteem

Knowing that you’re doing all you can to take care of your body is a huge boost of self- confidence.

  • Muscle and bone protection in the long run

Time passes by quicker than you think; by starting to live a healthier lifestyle now, you reduce the risk of bone and muscle diseases as you age.

It may take time for you to transition; however, bear in mind the countless benefits you’ll receive once you adjust. Take it slowly and with care – these articles are here to propel you towards the right direction.

You’ll learn bits and pieces of the road up ahead by perusing the following articles; you’ll learn more about what you should and should not consume. You’ll even be given tips about your water consumption! The everyday activities that you do, including sleeping and showering, are also shone light upon – you need to learn as much as you can to delve into this lifestyle prepared.

Moreover, the majority of these articles focus on exercise-related terms and exercises that are especially perfect for those seeking to begin. You may need to take baby steps – we aren’t all professional athletes – so the following articles should help you determine your next move, and how you’ll go about it.

Whether you want to lead a traditional active lifestyle or a more exciting one, read on; the main purpose of these writings is to provide you with the information you want and need.



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The Four Main Types of Exercise

Before fully delving into exercise, you need to know more about the kind of exercise you will need. Exercise is a broad term used to describe any activity that maintains or enhances the body’s physical fitness. In general, it has four categories. These categories are discussed extensively below to aid you in choosing and carrying out your perfect workout.

  1. Aerobic

Aerobic exercises can also be called endurance exercises. The purpose of these exercises is to give your heart and lungs a workout. At the end of these exercises, your heart may be beating loudly and breathing heavier than usual; however, this is fairly normal. These exercises challenge your heart and lungs to build up your endurance, which in turn makes everyday activities easier for you. Going up staircases will not be a problem if you focus on doing your aerobic exercises.

Some examples of this category include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  1. Flexibility

Your body’s flexibility deteriorates as you age; this increases the risk of muscle pain and cramps. Additionally, you may find it hard to do menial things such as tying your shoestrings or reaching to pick up a fallen pen. Through flexibility exercises, you work to maintain and enhance the current flexibility you have. You have to take care not to overstretch yourself, though; stretching until you are in pain does not contribute to your overall flexibility and rather, takes away from it.

Some examples of this category include:

  • Knee rotation
  • Yoga
  • Shoulder and upper arm stretch
  • Static stretches
  1. Balance

Another aspect of your body that declines over time is your balance. With balance exercises, you strengthen your core in order to lessen the risk of falls and slip-ups. Balance-focused classes are sometimes offered at gyms; additionally, you can consult a physical therapist to determine what specific exercises you should do to alleviate your weaknesses.

Some examples of this category include:

  • Tai Chi
  • Standing on one foot
  • Heel to toe walking
  • Sideways walking
  1. Strength

Strength training aids you in your everyday activities. If you do strength exercises continuously, your bones and muscles will be well maintained. Bringing all the groceries in one trip will not be a problem!

You may feel fatigued after a strength workout, but the fatigue is a sign that you have exercised your muscles effectively. You may also consult with a physical therapist if you want to train your body’s strength selectively

Some examples of this category include:

  • Weight-lifting
  • Squatting
  • Using resistance machines
  • Using resistance bands

Some activities may be a combination of two or more of these categories. Ideally, you should alternate between these categories. This makes every workout different and exciting while keeping all aspects of your body well exercised and maintained; additionally, it also reduces the risk of injury through overworking certain parts of your body. By keeping these categories and the benefits each has, you can personalize your workouts to a completely new level!



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Five Ways to Exercise Without Really Exercising

If you are a beginner to exercising, you might find gyms, workout guides, and the like extremely intimidating; additionally, you might want to start slow and work your way towards physical fitness at your own pace. Worry not, if “normal” exercise just does not cut it for you, here are five more out-of-the-box ways to exercise.

  1. Dancing

Enroll in a dance class! As you glide across the dance floor, your entire body will be exercised. In fact, several gyms offer dance classes to cater to those who want to burn their calories while jamming to the latest hits. If you are not comfortable dancing in front of other people, there are thousands of dance exercise tutorials online that you can follow through; you do not need to buy instructional DVDs anymore! Most videos are free and highly effective, especially in weight loss. Just make sure to dance continuously to get the best results out of your workout.

  1. Walking

If running and jogging are activities that are too tiring for you, try walking! Instead of driving to the grocery store, you can try walking. Even short fifteen-minute walks are steps towards your fitness goal. In addition to being a viable workout, walking is also a wallet-friendly workout! Walking is great cardio and has most benefits of running and jogging without the added strain.

  1.  Swimming

Who doesn’t want to splash in a pool during hot summer days? Aside from being a nice way to cool off, swimming is also a good workout and aids in weight loss. There is a term coined for aerobics done underwater – aqua-aerobics or “swimnastics”; some public pools offer this class to help swimmers work off their calories. It’s a fun way to exercise and especially preferable for older people to maintain their cardiovascular health.

  1. Play

Playing sports is a surefire way to exercise anyone; however, I am not merely referring to sports. Even childhood games such as tag, hide-and-seek, and treasure hunts are enough to make you sweat! Get a few friends together to make it a group effort – the more, the merrier. If you’re one to ride solo, try various toys to make your exercise fun; for example, jump ropes and hula-hoops can be used in many different exercises!

  1. Active Vacations

Instead of spending your vacation cooped up in a hotel room, opt for more active locations! Perhaps you can book a room at a skiing place. Exercise by skiing down slopes or sledding through the snow. On the other hand, if you prefer sunnier places, take a brisk walk along the shore or join a game of beach volleyball!

Exercise does not have to mean a solid hour by yourself, counting reps; its challenge can also be fun and engaging. If a physical activity sounds interesting to you, don’t be afraid to try it! Rock-climbing, martial arts, etcetera – there are a lot of exciting ways to work your body, and you have all the time in the world to find your “unexercise” exercise!




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Three Benefits of Waking Up Early

The first step you need to take to improve your overall health is to wake up early. For some, this may not be an option because of work shifts or late night activities; however, to those who want to press on with their best foot forward, here are three benefits of waking up early.

  1. You get to eat breakfast.

Some people who wake up late don’t have time to eat breakfast. The nourishment you get from your breakfast fuels you throughout the entire day. Even if it’s just a simple sandwich, a bowl of cereal, or fruit, eating breakfast is a surefire way to get you energized and ready for anything.

  1. You won’t need to rush your morning routine.

Mornings entail very stressful activities; you might need to iron your shirt, get your make-up done, or drive through traffic-packed streets to get to work. You won’t get trapped in time crunches if you wake up early – you get more tim297e to do the activities you need and more.

  1. You have more time for exercise.

Aside from minimized stress, early mornings give you more time to exercise. You might not find time to incorporate workouts later in the day, so take your extra fifteen minutes in the morning to jog around the block! Effective workouts need to be done consistently so be sure not to skip!

Waking up early is not a simple process, no matter how basic it sounds. If you aspire to wake up earlier than your usual routine, here are a few tips you may find helpful.

Do not rush it!

Start small; if you usually wake up at 10 AM, it is a bad idea to immediately start waking up at 6 AM. Make small increments in your sleeping schedule – ten to fifteen minutes is a good balance. Sleep ten minutes earlier and wake up ten minutes earlier; by doing this continuously, you can achieve your time-goal without feeling too much like a zombie.

Place your alarm clock far from your reach.

You probably know how annoying alarm clocks are; its high-pitched noises make us want to hit “Snooze” all the more. To keep yourself from falling into this dangerous trap, place your alarm clock on a surface far from your bedside; this forces you to get out of bed to shut the alarm off. Once you are up, don’t stay anywhere near the bed – it has unexplained allure, especially on workdays.

Reward yourself from time to time.

It may be hard to convince yourself to get out of bed; you should come up with a strong reason why you need to. Even if it’s just to make yourself a nice cup of tea before breakfast, reward yourself with tasks you find fulfilling. Walk your dog, read the newspaper, do a few minutes of yoga – find the perfect activity to keep you refreshed and optimistic.

Waking up in the morning may seem like a very minute tip towards a healthy lifestyle. Even though it sounds simple, it paves way for you to accomplish more complicated tasks that contribute to the bigger picture. It may be a struggle to start and get through but in the long run, it’s a huge boost towards better health and fitness.

Don’t forget to go to bed early as well as waking up early, to get enough hours of sleep. Sleep has been shown in many studies, as shown in this New York Times Article entitled Cheating Ourselves On Sleep, to be extremely important for your health


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Four Quick and Easy Exercises to Begin Your Day

Fitting workouts into your busy schedule may not be easy; however, there are quite a few exercises that you can easily do in mere minutes. Here are four of these exercises which are perfect for busybodies who want to lead a more active lifestyle.

  1. Running, jogging, or walking

If you have a few minutes to spare before leaving for work, take a quick jog around your block. You can set your own pace – run, jog, or walk! Running puts more strain on your muscles but is very effective if you want to lose weight; on the other hand, walking reduces the risk of injury but does not burn as many calories as running or jogging. Jogging is a good balance between the two. All three activities keep your heart healthy, improves your overall immunity to sickness, and leaves you feeling energized and refreshed!

  1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are classic exercises anybody can try! It is simple enough to learn; first, you need to stand with your feet together and your hands at your side. Next, you jump, raising your arms above your head and spreading your feet wide at the same time. It is a cardio exercise that requires constant repetition. Jumping jacks improve your flexibility, increase your stamina, and also reduce the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

  1. Crunches

Crunches have many variations that focus on certain muscles. For toning the obliques, for example, the reverse crunch may be preferable. To do a reverse crunch, lie with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the floor and keep your knees together at a 90-degree angle. You should then lift your shoulders off the ground while pulling your knees towards you, slightly raising your hips in the process.

Repeat this procedure, and you will have well-toned lower abs in no time. If you are looking to tone different parts of your core, there are many other variations available for you to peruse on the Internet; with your developed core, you will gain improved balance, better posture, and reduced risk of muscle and back injury.

  1. Squats

Squats involve not only one’s legs but their hips and knees as well. Your muscles will be developed through this exercise but only if done correctly. First, stand with your feet a little over shoulder-width apart while keeping your back straight. Next, slowly bend your knees until you reach a 90-degree angle. Breathe in as you bend, and out as you return to your earlier position. For beginners, 2-3 sets of 20 squats are recommended.

Indeed, these exercises are easy to do and follow. If you require additional assistance or want more variety, there are workout tutorials readily available on YouTube. You will probably find it challenging – maybe even tedious! – to repeat these exercises over and over, but healthy living and physical fitness call for that additional effort. It may only take fifteen minutes, but it is a huge step towards your fitness goal!



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Five Things to Consider When Planning Your Meal

Living an active lifestyle entails a good diet and continuous physical activity; you need to juggle these two things simultaneously. Exercise is made easy through various tutorials on the Internet; however, meal planning may require more effort. To help you in deciding what to eat and when here are five things to consider while planning your meal.

  1. Are there enough carbs?

Grains, pasta, bread, and cereals are the body’s main source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide the body with the power you need to accomplish day-to-day tasks. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to determining your carbohydrate intake; if you’re going to do more intense workouts for muscle buildup, make sure to consume more carbohydrates earlier on to keep yourself full and energized. On the other hand, stick to a lower carb diet if you want to lose weight.

  1. Are there enough proteins?

If you’re constantly working out, you should make sure you’re eating enough food with protein. Protein, usually found in meats, aids in muscle buildup and recovery. To ensure you’re eating healthy even while consuming meat, choose low-fat cuts of beef and pork. Remove the skin from your chicken and turkey; additionally, you can get protein from seafood too! If you do not want to eat meat, consider plant-based alternatives such as quinoa and lentils that also offer high amounts of protein.

  1. Is there enough variety?

Don’t stick to one type of fruit or one type of vegetable; don’t be afraid to mix it up! Make your plate into a canvas by experimenting with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Swap out your usual blueberries for blackberries or replace your red pepper with yellow pepper. A more natural and colorful plate is guaranteed to be healthier.

  1. What are you drinking?

Aside from the solids, you also have to consider what you’re going to wash your meal down with. Water, of course, is the most viable option; however, small amounts of caffeine and tea won’t hurt. Green tea, especially, is said to aid in weight loss. What you need to avoid are sugary drinks such as soft drinks and cola; on the other hand, fruit juices may be consumed in moderation – as a supplement, but not to quench thirst.

  1. Are you eating enough?

As mentioned earlier, there is no perfect diet for all. You have to eat and drink depending on your age, gender, height, weight, and current physical activity. Several charts depict the right amount of food you should consume. Peruse through this information carefully to make sure you are not overeating or under eating; both pose a serious threat to your health.

As a general rule, eat when you feel hungry, and drink when you are thirsty. Listen to your body but bare these guidelines in mind before you chow; it’s not required of you to eat healthy every single day of your life. Even professional athletes have cheat days to satisfy their cravings; however, you have to keep your food cheats in that single day. The next day, you have to bound right back and continue living as the improved, healthier you.



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Five Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Meals

You need to eat before and after a workout – it is a known fact. To truly live a healthy and active life, you should ensure that the food you eat is nutritious too; however, nutritious does not have to mean bad tasting. To prove our point, here are five pre-workout and post-workout meals that you can try.

  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Who would not want to be energized by a smoothie this good? You can make this scrumptious smoothie by blending ice, bananas, a teaspoon of peanut butter, and almond milk. Customize the flavor of your drink by adding cinnamon or vanilla extract – it is entirely up to personal preference.

Bananas, in general, are a good source of energy; this amazing fruit boosts your glycogen and sugar levels. It is best to consume this 30 minutes-1 hour before the workout; additionally, it is also a nice pick-me-up after a particularly intense workout!

  1. Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit

To perform your best at a workout, you need to consume a certain amount of sugar. Greek yogurt with dried fruit is enough to provide you with that boost; moreover, it has enough protein and sugar to keep you feeling full without the unnecessary calories! Preparation of this meal is easy; you just mix your preferred fruits into the Greek yogurt. Some people also include a dash of honey or nuts to spruce up their snack.

  1. Protein Shakes

If you are in a bit of a hurry, protein shakes can solve your time crunch. Proteins help prevent the muscles in your body from breaking down while at the same time, aiding in muscle recovery. You just need to blend your base liquid – either milk or juice – with your whey protein mix; you can also add fruits to enhance your shake’s flavor further! It is an easy way to get you up and running.

  1. Omelet

If you’re looking to whip up a nutritious meal quickly, make some omelets. Egg omelets are rich in protein, which are a huge help to your body’s muscles; however, consumption of protein should be done 2-3 hours before the actual workout for best performance. To make your omelets even healthier, you can include veggies in your mix, or pair your omelet with whole grain toast.

  1. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a staple food for most bodybuilders. It has lower calories than regular white potatoes, but taste just as good! Sweet potatoes also contain lots of fiber, which helps you maintain your appetite and build up your muscles; in addition to this, sweet potato also contains carbohydrates that provide you with energy to carry out your exercise – and help you recover afterward! A common way to serve sweet potato is to cut them up into wedges and serve them; a healthier alternative to french fries!

Indeed, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds just to eat nutritious food. A healthy lifestyle also means having to use your creativity to find the perfect balance between healthy and yummy!



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Five Healthy Habits You Should Pick Up

Diets and exercise are not the only aspects of an active lifestyle; in addition to these two, there are also certain habits that you need to learn to integrate into day-to-day living. Below are five healthy habits you may not be practicing – but should!

  1. Take cold showers.

Although hot showers are considered to be more relaxing, cold showers have more health benefits. Taking a cold shower in the morning greatly increases your energy; you will be more ready to face your day! In addition to this, cold showers help activate the good kind of fat in our bodies; in turn, this aids in weight loss. Cooling yourself in cold water after a workout also speeds up your muscle recovery and eases stress; just ignore the first icy splash of water, and you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Eat until you are satisfied, not full.

Although your Grandmother might think otherwise, it’s alright to stop eating once you feel satisfied. Eating until you feel completely full is a no-no especially if you’re trying to lose weight. To help monitor your portions and prevent overeating make sure to eat from a plate; your body will easily recognize that you have indeed eaten.

Also, do not eat for no reason – sometimes you’ll find yourself bored and reaching for that cookie jar. Learn how to control and discipline yourself around food.

  1. Consult with medical professionals.

You should strive to visit a doctor for a check-up at least annually. Get tests done to determine whether or not you have certain deficiencies; consult a dietician to adjust your food plans accordingly. In leading an active lifestyle, you should also consult a physical therapist if the exercise and workout of your choice are what’s best for you. Medical professionals have studied extensively about health-related information while you can only search on Google; ask for their educated opinions to have a more solid approach to your personal healthy living.

  1. Learn to relax.

All work and no play makes Jack have a weakened immune system. Don’t work yourself to the bone without leaving time for you to relax! Engage in a physical activity that you find recreational to find the perfect balance between healthy and fun. Common choices for working individuals include dancing or yoga. If you’re more of an outdoors person, you can opt to spend your free hours outside – walk, run, cycle, or hike; it does not matter what activity you do, as long as you burn calories and relax in the process.

  1. Have rest days.

Aside from resting from your job, you also have to rest your body with your everyday workouts. Experts suggest exercising for two consecutive days then resting on the third to give your body time to cope.

These are not the only tips you should learn for you to become fit and healthy; however, this much information is enough to get you up and running. Indeed, the road to health is a long journey where you will learn as you go.


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Everything You Need to Know About Water Consumption

It’s no secret that water is a vital part of living; all living things need water to survive; however, you may be confused about certain aspects of water consumption. This article aims to answer most – if not all – the questions you have about water.

  1. Why is water important?

Sixty percent of your body is composed of water; its main purpose in your body is to regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. It acts as a cushion and lubricant for your joints, thus protecting your tissues and spinal cord; additionally, it also aids in digestion and waste removal.

  1. How much water do I need to drink?

The general rule is to drink 6-8 glasses – or one liter – of water per day. If you live in hotter climates, you may need more. There is no concrete answer to this question; moreover, if you really want to make sure if you’re well hydrated, monitor your urine. If your urine is clear, then you have nothing to worry about; on the other hand, if it’s dark-colored, you should opt to drink more water. Symptoms of dehydration may include tiredness, headache, dry skin, and dizziness.

  1. What are the benefits of drinking water?

Drinking enough water keeps your digestive system at peak condition; fast metabolism leads to weight loss especially if coupled with continuous exercise. Water is the main fuel of an active lifestyle and helps in improving your overall fitness.

  1. When should you drink water?

There are suggestions as to when you should drink your eight glasses of water; you should drink water first thing in the morning to activate your internal organs. Next, you should drink another glass 30 minutes before a meal to prevent indigestion. Before taking a shower, drink a glass of water to lower your blood pressure. You should also drink an hour before you sleep to replenish the water lost during your slumber; however, as a general rule, you should drink when you feel thirsty. You don’t need to schedule exact times of when to drink your glass of water.  Rather, bear these tips as added information.

  1. Is there a difference between hot and cold water?

Hot and cold water both have its benefits. If you want to drink water directly after waking up, choose hot water. Hot water is said to prevent indigestion and constipation; additionally, it also removes harmful toxins from your body. If you’re experiencing pain – like cramps, for example, hot water also acts as a viable pain reliever.

On the other hand, cold water is preferred after heavy workouts. It’s a huge help in hot summer days and also speeds up your metabolism. The recipe for weight loss includes cold water after solid workouts!

An active lifestyle does not mean you need to drink water alone! Only drinking water keeps you safe from diabetes and like diseases, but if you can’t stay far from your cup of tea, don’t force yourself to. Living healthily just entails proper discipline and self-control.


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