What Exercise Fits You Best?

April 22, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Debbie Davis

“What exercise fits you best?” is a pretty straight forward question with an even more straight forward answer. It’s simply the kind of exercises that you like and are more likely to do! The bigger issue here is that our preferred exercise is usually not enough. Our guests at Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts tell us all the time, “I love Zumba but I hate cardio, weights etc.” Rarely do they incorporate strength training, stretching and cardio into what would be a more balanced, effective workout regime.

Personal_trainer_showing_a_client_how_to_exercise_the_right_way_and_educating_them_along_the_way

The exercise that fits you best is clearly the exercise you will do. If you enjoy it, you’re more inclined to do it with more consistency. But the key point to remember is to make sure you are including a balance of all exercises. You may never love stretching but it is imperative for overall performance that you stretch your muscles. You may never run a 10K, but cardio training is critical for your overall heart and lung health. Many won’t be entering Strong Man competitions, but strength training is critical for bone and muscle preservation, which additionally benefits your quality of life as you age.

So, by all means begin with the exercise you most enjoy doing, take that exercise and excel, practice, train and challenge yourself. Then take the forms of the exercise that are not your favorite and implement them into your routine in an effective way. If cardio is your thing and you perform cardio 5 days a week, consider taking that to 4 days a week and adding 2 days of strength training (one of which can be included on a cardio day). Another idea is possibly taking two days a week to perform a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout which has a cardio component as well as a strength training component. Stretching for better range of motion and flexibility should be included in your daily workout routine. As a personal trainer for over 15 years, I understand loving some forms of exercise and hating others. I would like to challenge you, though, to continue to excel at what you enjoy but to also consider taking your challenge one step further and adding what you’re not so comfortable with for better overall physical health. Your body will thank you!

Below is a link to a fun quiz that reveals your exercise personality type, it takes 1 minute. See how accurate it is for yourself and then post it on our Facebook page. Happy Fitness!

http://exercise.about.com/library/blfitnesspersonalityquiz.htm

13 Things I Learned At Weight Loss Camp

April 15, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Eugenia Correa, @eucorrea
Originally Published: April 11, 2014 on ‘Blog de BabyCenter’
(translation: Miranda Southwell)

A month ago I was invited to spend a week at a weight loss camp in San Antonio, Texas. Even though I don’t consider myself overweight, I will admit that since the birth of my baby, it’s been much more difficult for me to control my diet, do exercise and keep myself in shape. It was a hard week because it made me realize that I’m very far from my ideal physical condition. Additionally, my daily meal portions tended to be much larger than they ought to have been.

weight loss camp

A week in this resort was enough to make me see that I can improve, day-by-day and that daily habits are the ones that make a difference in your desire to lose weight. This experience granted me the tools for transformation that I needed to create substantial change in my daily life. While I was there, I lost a kilo (approx. 2.2 lbs.), and after one month at home, I lost two more by making simple changes to my routine. Here are some of the things that I learned during my stint in the program that have helped me keep the weight off:

  • You don’t have to wait until you become what you believe to be the worst version of yourself to join one of these programs. It’s a program of behavior modification that can help you far sooner.
  • Involving yourself in one of these programs is a decision rooted in self-love. No one can be obligated to go. It only works for those who are thoroughly convinced that they need a vital change to improve their lives.
  • It’s never too late to change your eating or fitness habits. Every day is a good day to start to work toward better health. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about changing your habits in ways that you can keep up with over time.
  • Doing exercise is a habit we can all acquire. In a weight loss program, you simply show yourself that it’s just a matter of taking that first step and discovering that exercise can be a fun habit, which also changes your energy levels and outlook on life for the better.
  • One of the most valuable tips that I learned is that you should stop drinking your calories! Sugary drinks are not your friend. There are lots of drinks disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” when in reality they’re anything but. There’s no healthier substitute out there for you than that clean, natural old staple…water.
  • There isn’t a better way to know what you’re really eating than by cooking it for yourself and choosing all your own ingredients. By avoiding processed products or fast food, you’re saving both yourself and your family, a boatload of calories and unnecessary toxins.
  • When exercise is a daily habit, your body starts craving healthier, lighter foods instead of greasy, heavy ones.
  • Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! My favorite: a blueberry muffin recipe is one of many you can learn to make during your stay at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, since healthy cooking classes are included in the program.
  • Eating slowly and enjoying each bite makes you feel full faster. Eating quickly is one of your enemies when trying to lose weight.
  • Upon arriving at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, you quickly realize that you’re not alone. There are lots of other people who deal with many of the same battles you’re facing. Being able to discuss and listen to common experiences allows you to put your life (and your weight) into perspective.
  • In many cases, the way you feel in the clothes you wear has a direct impact on your self-esteem. In the Shane Diet & Fitness program, fashionable fitness accessories are provided to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • The program at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort offers you a short, daily exercise program that you can complete in just a half-hour. This makes continuing the process at home much easier.
  • Temptations will always be around. They’re in the supermarket, on TV, at the movie theater and even in your own pantry. A behavior modification program gives you the tools you need to keep those temptations from overpowering you.

The program I went to is the Shane Diet & Fitness Resort. There, you’ll find programs for adults, children and entire families; although there are also many other weight loss camps out there to suit your own unique needs.

Sleep & Weight, The Connection

April 11, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By Amber Ketchum

We all hear that sleep is important, but the reality is that most of us just don’t get enough of it. One important aspect of health people often overlook is the connection between weight and sleep. Let’s look at a few factors that can create a cycle of poor health habits:

Not getting enough sleep makes you tired. This sounds pretty obvious, but being tired is one of the biggest reasons that keep people from exercising, which is an important component to weight loss and overall health. Ironically, exercise can also help improve sleep.

Sleep1

Many of us are also much more likely to swap out healthy snacks for sugary, caffeinated foods and beverages to get enough energy to make it through the rest of the day after an insufficient night of sleep. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, so while it helps provide a quick boost of energy, its effects often linger later in the day, making it hard to fall asleep. This results in staying up late, which can create several extra hours of opportunity to eat/snack. Many people consume hundreds of extra calories in the evenings simply because they are up late and more likely to eat at that time.

One more factor to consider is the effect that a lack of sleep can have on our hormones. Insufficient sleep has been found to alter the balance of our appetite-regulating hormones. This basically means that people often feel hungrier as a result of poor sleep. Similar to how we often mistake thirst for hunger, we can interpret the need for sleep as hunger.

All of these create a cycle starting with bad sleep, which leads to exercising less, eating more, and sleeping worse, bringing us right back to the beginning of the cycle. If you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s important to evaluate your day and sleep patterns. Fist, cut out stimulants like caffeine after lunch. Focus on eating fresh, healthy foods at regular times throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, and fitting some kind of exercise into most days. You might consider stopping the use of electronics (computers, phones, TV) about an hour before bed, as well as going to bed earlier. Sleep is essential to the body repairing and rejuvenating, so start making these changes for a better night’s rest, improved control over your lifestyle habits, and a more energized life!

Compound Movements, or, Exercise for the Overwhelmed!

April 8, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Everywhere you turn, people are multitasking at work, at home, on their computers (current number of tabs open: 14) and even while ‘on the go.’ Yeah, we get it. Fitness is one of those things that requires a great deal of active participation from your deepest reservoirs of energy. Most days, a lot of us are sadly just tapped out and when we do attempt working out, it’s half-hearted and quit shortly after starting.

DumbbellDeadlift

What’s the solution? How do you fit in those sorely-needed crunches during the pre-bathing suit season crunch time that is Spring? As ridiculous as it might sound to you bogged-down multitaskers, the solution is more multitasking! Compound movements are a quick, simple way to maximize your workouts. So what is a compound movement? Well, simply put, it’s any exercise (typically involving weights) that use more than one joint and muscle group at a single time. But, don’t just read about them. The easiest way to learn how to incorporate compound movements into your daily (we’re hoping!) exercise regimen is by seeing the experts in action. Here are our very own Coaches Fiore and Mitchell to demonstrate!

Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 5

March 25, 2014 By: consultant 1 Comment

As this week comes to a close I am able to look back to when I first started interning at Shane weight loss camp for adults and I feel like I can see a huge difference.  Not necessarily physically (although I can now fit into a new pair of paints that I wasn’t able to a few weeks ago, and my stomach looks a little smaller) but more in the sense of nutrition wise. 

Usually when I go to the grocery store I have a list of all the food that I feel like I could use to make different meals (fruit, black beans, corn tortillas, vegetables, crushed tomatoes, tofu, eggs, etc…). I don’t really have a set meal plan but I can make a bunch of different meals from these random ingredients. And while this system worked for a while, my nutrition was all over the place and it would become really stressful because I would eat really health for the first few days (I try to only go to the grocery store about twice a month) but by day 5 I would run out of vegetables or cheese and then my meals would just be a concoction of whatever was in the pantry.

Now (thanks to our amazing Shane staff) I have realized the beauty that is meal preparation. Yesterday morning I made a small list of all the recipes I would like to make and from that I broke them down into all the ingredients I would need.  After that I went and got all I would need, so the plan for tonight is to do most of my meal preparation for the 10-15 days.

As far as workouts go, I had a great chat with Debbie (our program director) the other day while I was on the treadmill and we talked all about my workouts and I realized that not only do I not track my workouts but also that my workouts are not effective. I shouldn’t be spending an hour doing cardio and then another hour doing weight lifting and not seeing any results. So that day, I went to the store and bought a small notebook and now I am tracking my eating and my workouts. I am still getting the hang out of it but I haven’t missed a day yet.

School is going well but as the semester is in full swing that means exams and projects.  Sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When your day starts at 4:30 am and doesn’t usually end until 10 pm it leaves very little time for homework but since school needs to be my priority sometimes my workouts get put on the back burner.  But like I said in the last blog post, I schedule my workouts and try to always at least get a small workout in.

As the spring slowly rolls into summer, what are some of the struggles that you find with keeping up your workout routine or maybe some struggles that you have in regards to nutrition?

Weight Loss Camp Trainer, Discusses Excuses

November 12, 2013 By: consultant Post a Comment

Liz-Team-PhotoAs a trainer, I hear “I don’t have enough time to workout” quite a bit and that is one of the biggest obstacles guests at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp ask me how to overcome. Work, kids, job, school, errands, the list goes on. But I promise you there are ways to make time! Here are a few suggestions for you to be able to fit exercise into your daily life.

1. Take 10! 

For those of you that really can’t dedicate a full block of time for exercise, just commit to 10 minute exercise breaks.

The recommended amount of exercise for adults is a moderate to intense cardio respiratory exercise, 30-60 minutes; five times a week minimum and strength guidelines are to work each major muscle group two to three days a week. ACSM guidelines say this time can be divided up throughout the day with smaller bouts of exercise. For example you could complete 10 minutes when you wake up, 10 minutes on your lunch break, and 10 minutes when you get home from work and you have the recommended amount of exercise checked off for that day.

2. Plan ahead.

Here are a few ways to plan ahead:

  • First, plan what time you will exercise. Morning, lunch break, after dinner?
  • Second, schedule the time in your calendar just like an appointment you wouldn’t want to miss and keep that same schedule and time so it becomes a habit.
  • Third, set out your clothes, gym bag, water, iPod, shoes, pre or post workout snack, and whatever else you may need the night before so you can grab it and go the next day.

3. Daily lifestyle and activities

Here are a few options to increase your caloric burn and fit in extra mini workouts:

  • Take the stairs wherever you can. This will increase your heart rate and calorie burn as well as build your backside.
  • Find a parking spot farther away from the entrance.
  • Take 10! Run around with your kids or dog, or take a short walk around the block.
  • Skip the chair. Standing may burn somewhere between 20-50 calories more per hour than sitting. This may not seem like much but over the course of the day it can definitely add up!

 

Most importantly, everyone is different!  See which workout-timing strategies work better for you then keep up the hard work for amazing results!

 

Written by: Liz Mitchell, BS, CPT, NASM WLS

Weight Loss Camps Pre & Post Workout Meals/Snacks

October 2, 2013 By: consultant 3 Comments

At our weight loss camps, we know there is more to losing weight, getting fit and staying healthy than just exercising and eating nutritious foods. It’s making sure that you are getting the proper foods before and after a work out to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to make sure that you have a good workout.

Pre-Workout Meals and Snacks

Making sure you are properly fueled before working out is crucial to having a successful workout in which you can push yourself to a good level of intensity and have enough energy to get through without feeling overly fatigued.

The timing of a pre-workout can vary from person to person so it might take time to find out what works best for you specifically.  A good general rule of thumb is to have a snack about 10-15 minutes prior to any workout.  If you’re having a full meal, you’ll want to give yourself 45 minutes to an hour to digest before starting to exercise.

For a pre-workout snack you’re going to want to make sure you have some simple carbohydrates that will break down quickly so you have an immediate source of energy to utilize. This can be anything from a piece of fruit to a small granola bar- something mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein.

For a pre-workout meal, make sure you have some complex carbohydrates and a serving of protein in your meal. If you consume your meal about an hour before working out, it will provide your stomach enough time to break down the food and have that energy available to you while working out.

 

Post-Workout Meals and Snacks

The body’s ability to recover properly after a workout depends significantly on getting appropriate nutrition it needs.  During your workout, you are putting a lot of tiny tears in your muscles and it is extremely important to refuel properly afterwards so that those muscles can recover and heal as quickly as possible.

It’s important to make sure that you have your post-workout meal or snack with carbohydrates and protein 15-30 minutes after working out. This is the best way to optimize nutrient absorption.  If you’re worried about caloric intake, a great way to stay on track would be to make your post-workout meal one of your main meals of the day. For a post-workout snack a banana with chocolate milk, or a peanut butter sandwich are great options.  You put the hard work in during the workout, make sure to reap all of the benefits from it!

 

Healthy Snacking

Planning and sticking with your healthy snacks can be even harder than meals sometimes.  You can get caught in the middle of an office party, have an after school snack with the kids, or get sucked into that before bed binge.  Before you know it, your 100-200 calorie snack has turned into an extra meal…or two!

Knowing the times that you’re most likely to fall prey to over snacking means you can now come up with a plan to avoid it in the future.  Whatever your favorite time to snack is, make sure you allot yourself enough calories to have your snack and feel satisfied.  Also be sure to include at least two food groups in order for your body to feel full.

If you’re a person who likes to snack throughout the entire day, five to six small meals as opposed to three larger ones might be a better way to stay within your caloric range without feeling deprived.  If there is only one time where you really get caught over eating, make sure you have a plan where you have a small snack that you enjoy every day during that time.  Just knowing that you will be able to have something that you enjoy again the next day will help to avoid the need to binge on it. Need some ideas? Take a look at a few of our recipes or buy our cookbook Meal Simple.

How to Ride Out Dangerous Heat Waves While At Weight Loss Camp or Working Out

June 5, 2013 By: office 6 Comments

Expert Offers Tips on Using The Body’s Own Cooling Mechanisms To Stay Safe During Hot Weather

How-to-Avoid-Summer-Heat(HealthDay News) — Extreme summer heat can be more than uncomfortable, it can be deadly, especially when you are working out or attending a weight loss camp.

Since 1979, about 8,000 Americans have died from heat exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those most susceptible to extreme heat include the elderly and the very young, people with chronic diseases or mental illness, and those taking diuretics or blood pressure medications.

But young and healthy people are also at risk if they do physically strenuous activities in hot weather, according to researchers.

There are a number of ways to prevent overheating and protecting yourself and others from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, said Dr. Larry Mellick of the emergency department at MCGHealth, an academic medical center of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta:

 

  • Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or early evening.
  • Take regular breaks in shady areas or indoors so that your body’s thermostat has a chance to recover.
  • Avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. Always use sunscreen to reduce the heat your body absorbs and to limit moisture loss. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. People who work in the sun should take frequent breaks and not push themselves too hard.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you’re doing heavy exercise in the heat, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Even when you’re swimming, you need to drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t eat a heavy or hot meal before going outside in hot weather. Doing so will heat your body faster.
  • Avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — they may cause you to lose more body fluids.
  • If you’re not used to exercising in hot weather, begin slowly and gradually increase your pace. If your heart starts to pound and you’re gasping for breath, stop your activity; find a cool or shady area and rest.
  • During hot weather, monitor the condition of family, friends and co-workers, and have someone do the same for you. During a heat wave, relatives and friends should call elderly people twice a day to ask how they’re doing.
  • If you have air conditioning, try to stay inside. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a public place that does have it. If you don’t have air conditioning and can’t leave your home, a cool shower or bath can help keep your body temperature cool.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, avoid running the stove or oven on hot days.
  • Call 911 immediately if you suspect that you or someone else has had a heat stroke, marked by a high body temperature, a rapid pulse, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, headache, seizure and/or hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty.

 

For more information visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about preventing heat-related illnesses. As Shane’s weight loss camp we make sure that the safety of our guests comes first. Have other fitness safety tips? Find us on Facebook and ask us, we’d be happy to answer.

 

SOURCE: MCGHealth, June 2010, news release

Are You Succeeding With Your Exercise and Weight Loss Resolutions?

May 8, 2013 By: consultant 74 Comments

gymEvery year exercise and weight loss are ranked as the top New Year resolutions that people make. Were you one of them? Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds, tone up those muscles or improve your overall health, creating a gym in your house can give you the comforts of home while not having to worry that you don’t have time to get to the gym.

Here are some low cost items that are handy to have around the house as well as ideas on how to use items you may already have.

Cardio
Pick up a good sturdy and fairly heavy jump rope at your local sports retailer. If you are planning on jumping rope indoors, make sure you have at least a nine foot ceiling, if not, head outside! Jumping rope burns approximately 110 calories in just 10 minutes. Change the speed at which you’re jumping to create interval training and to ramp up your cardio experience.

If you are looking for a lower impact cardio workout, head out doors. It is recommended that people walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain their weight. By clipping a pedometer to your belt will help you know how close you are to the 10,000 steps a day. Take the jump rope with you and try connecting with your inner child and skip down the street; trust me, it’s fun.

Building Strength
While you are out grabbing the jump rope you can pick up a few low cost free weights and they can be easily stored under your bed. For a change from weights, get a kettle bell. In just 20 minutes, you can burn up to 400 calories and get firm all over. There are plenty of online videos to assist you in creating a routine.

If weights just aren’t your thing, a rubber resistance band, which mimics machine moves, can help target back, hip and inner thigh muscles as well as biceps, triceps and shoulders. Most come with a door attachment or handles for you to change up your routine.

Many household items can easily be used for exercise too. Rather than purchasing hand weights, use gallon sized milk jugs filled with water and that can be used for any exercise that requires dumbbells. Adjust the amount of water in the bottles and you can change how heavy the weight is.

One of my all time favorite pieces of equipment is a stability ball. You can get creative and do many different exercises to flatten the belly, work out the back muscles, do pushups and much more. Of course, when all else fails, there are always the basic body-weight exercises, most of which only require a bit of empty space on the floor or wall. Squats, push-ups and jogging in place are all great ways to work up a sweat and burn calories and they don’t cost a penny to do.

Use these simple tips to help keep you on track with your exercising and weight loss resolutions. Have fun with your exercise routine, utilize free weight loss tools and there’s never any reason why you can’t succeed. If you have questions on how to make your home a gym and using things around your house, just ask! Our Fitness Coaches are always willing to help.

A Prescription for Better Health & Weight Loss

April 29, 2013 By: office Post a Comment

aaronyoga_page4outof16Most of us spend the vast majority of our time inside. According to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out. But is all this indoor time hurting our health and weight loss goals?

Spending time outdoors seems to have discernible benefits for physical and mental health. Granted, some are merely by association and can be achieved by other means, perhaps while indoors, but often only with a great deal more trouble and expense. Here are five potential benefits of spending more time outdoors:

1. Your vitamin D levels will go up

Exposing your skin to sunshine — actually, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays — enables the body to make vitamin D, which is why it’s also known as the “sunshine vitamin.” Research suggests vitamin D may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke.

Of course, it has to be sunny out, and there are some snags. Where you live, the season, and the time of day affect how much UVB reaches your skin. The farther you live from the equator, the less UVB radiation you receive. Vitamin D production is affected by age (people ages 65 and over generate about a fourth as much as people in their 20s) and skin color (African Americans have, on average, about half the levels of vitamin D in their blood as white Americans).

Another problem: sunscreens are most effective at blocking UVB light, the part of the spectrum that causes sunburn, but UVB also happens to be the kind of light that kick-starts the generation of vitamin D in the skin.

The either-or of sunscreen and sunshine vitamin has stirred up a lot of controversy and debate between pro-sunscreen dermatologists and the vitamin D camp. But there is plenty of middle ground here: some limited sun exposure on short walks, wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect sensitive areas and the like, supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, and liberal use of sunscreen when you are out for extended periods, particularly during the middle of the day.

2. You’ll get more exercise (especially if you’re a child)

Being outside isn’t a guarantee of being active. Still, there’s no question that being outdoors is associated with activity and indoor living is associated with being sedentary, particularly for children. According to some surveys, American children spend an average of 6½ hours a day with electronic media (video games, television, and so on), time that is spent mainly indoors and sitting down. British researchers found that children are more than doubly active when they are outside.

Adults can go to the gym. Many prefer the controlled environment there. But if you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking, biking, gardening, cleaning up the yard, and doing other things that put the body in motion. At the Shane Resorts we use the local playground for a fitness class. Give it a shot – do push-ups on a bench, pull-ups on the jungle gym, swing on the swing and really pump with your legs and abs, etc.

3. You’ll be happier (especially if your exercise is ‘green’)

Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and unless you live in a glass house or are using a light box to treat seasonal affective disorder, there’s usually more light available outside than inside. Physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles and laughter.

Researchers at the University of Essex in England are advancing the notion that exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, particularly for mental health. Their investigations into “green exercise,” as they are calling it, dovetail with research showing benefits from living in proximity to green, open spaces. So pack a healthy picnic in your backpack and go for a hike.

4. Your concentration will improve

A study published in 2008 found that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park than after a walk through a residential neighborhood or downtown area. Other ADHD studies have also suggested that outdoor exercise could have positive effects on the condition. Truth be told, this research has been done in children, so it’s a stretch to say it applies to adults, even those who have an ADHD diagnosis. But if you have trouble concentrating — as many do — you might see if some outdoor activity, the greener the better, helps. Take a break from work in the afternoon and walk around the block. It only takes a few minutes and it works a lot better than another cup of coffee.

5. You may heal faster

University of Pittsburgh researchers reported in 2005 that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) had an effect on patient recovery. Of course, windows and views are different than actually being outside, but we’re betting that adding a little fresh air to the equation couldn’t hurt and might help.

Take it from us, at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts we often try to find different fitness routines and activities that can be done outside. So take advantage of the warm weather and take your work and play outside. It will do you a world of good with your health and weight loss goals.

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