Feeling Cold: Why Do You Feel Colder Than Others?

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I’m freezing,” has to be my most used phrase. I’m not even talking about during winter, when everyone’s cold, but all year round. You can find me complaining about the fact that I can’t feel my fingers in mild March or that I need a jacket during July’s heatwave evenings. I won’t even begin to tell you how many layers I wear when I go skiing.

The Stylist team’s morning call is also a never-ending chorus of complaints about temperature (yes, our editor was wrapped up in a puffer jacket this morning). Yet, my housemate can walk down the street in shorts in December, and others sweat the second they put a coat on.

So why do some people just seem to feel the cold more than others – and what does it mean?

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Finding out what is ‘normal’ when it comes to our temperature is pretty tricky though, explains Dr Clare Eglin from the Extreme Environments Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science department at the University of Portsmouth. While our core temperature should ideally not change, “our perception of whether we find somewhere warm or cool is very individual and usually down to our skin temperature,” Dr Eglin says. “This is what gives our body feedback, and lots of things can affect that from the clothes that we are wearing to the activities we are doing – and also the wind and dampness of the environment.”

However, there are genetic and personal factors that can mean that two people, wearing the same thing, in the same environment feel different temperatures.

Why do some people feel colder than others?

There are many factors to this, including:

  • Overall body size can impact how cold you feel, as smaller people have less cells in their body that produce heat
  • People with higher levels of body fat and/or muscle mass have more insulation and a higher resting metabolic rate so burn energy faster
  • Being active not only warms the body immediately but can have a long-term effect on temperature regulation
  • Older people also tend to have a slower resting metabolic rate, so may feel the cold more

These factors do mean that gender is a big divider, as women are generally smaller than men and carry less muscle mass. We’ve all fought over the thermostat in the office (or central heating while at home) but the fact is that “the temperature deemed comfortable for most people is meant to be about 21 degrees. Actually, that’s ideal for a man in a suit, but women generally do better with a higher temperature,” says Dr Eglin.

Interestingly, we feel this disparity internally too. “Estrogen and progesterone, which change throughout the menstrual cycle, affect how quickly our blood vessels constrict to the cold. So depending what part of the menstrual cycle you’re in, you might find your hands and feet get colder, affecting your overall temperature perception,” says Dr Eglin.

Plus, your temperature perception can change throughout the day. “For instance, at six o’clock in the morning your core temperature is at its lowest, and from midday to mid-afternoon, it’s at its highest,” she adds.

Why do my hands feel cold?

Don’t panic if, like me, you have hands like ice cubes on a summer’s day. “It is a very typical thing, particularly for women, as our hands are really good for regulation,” says Dr Eglin. Our hands have a large surface area but a small volume and are filled with lots of blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin. “They’re very good for losing heat and so therefore, when you’re slightly cool, the blood flow shuts down,” she says.

While “peripheral temperature is generally nothing to worry about”, it can be a sign of Raynaud’s syndrome, an extreme response to cold or stress where arteries narrow to the point that fingers and toes turn white or blue and feel cold and numb – but circulation returns to normal when warm again.

Is it bad to be cold all the time?

Generally, being cold is simply down to our body type, and as long as we take precautions it’s not a bad thing. But if constant coldness is mixed with other symptoms it could be a sign of something more serious. For example, coldness paired with tiredness or dizziness could be a symptom of an iron or B12 deficiency, or even anaemia. Constantly being cold coupled with hair loss, a change in your digestive system and weight gain could also be a sign of a low thyroid – when the gland stops producing enough thyroxine (a hormone which regulates your metabolism).

Ultimately, your body is pretty good at regulating itself, so trust what it’s telling you. “Our behaviour is the most important thing when it comes to keeping warm. I think quite often we underestimate the weather in the UK. You always hear people say ‘It’s not that bad, it’s not like we’re in the Arctic!’, but with the windchill and dampness it can be very cold. We don’t pay enough attention to that,” says Dr Eglin. So, bundle up when you’re feeling the chill.

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Source: Feeling cold: why do you feel colder than others?

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How To Lower Resting Heart Rate: 5 Practical Steps To Take Today

How to lower resting heart rate

Wondering how to lower resting heart rate but not sure where to start? We’ve got the expert answers you’re looking for. Heart rate is a great key indicator of overall health and fitness levels. The heart is one of the hardest working muscles in the body so making sure it’s functioning properly is key.

Your heart rate will naturally spike throughout the day depending on how much you move and other factors such as stress levels and stimulants such as coffee, but it’s your resting heart rate that’s most important.

Resting heart rate simply refers to how many times your heart beats per minute whilst in a rested state. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends taking your resting heart rate when you wake after a good night’s sleep.

You can check your resting heart rate by holding two fingers against one of your pulse points for a minute and counting the number of beats. However, technology can help provide a more accurate reading. The best heart rate monitors can be used in a resting state as well as during physical activity to help you monitor your heart rate zones, whilst today’s best fitness trackers (which include the best Fitbits) also provide heart-rate stats.

Generally speaking, the lower resting heart rate you have, the healthier your heart is and the fitter you are – although factors such as age can play a role. The AHA advises that for most people, a normal resting heart rate should be between 60 – 100. However, for those who are particularly active – professional athletes, for example – it’s okay for it to be between 50 and 60.

Studies have shown that elevated resting heart rates are linked with higher body weight and blood pressure, along with lower levels of physical fitness. If yours is above the recommended range, then there are steps you can take to reduce your resting heart rate. Here are five practical ways to make a start…

Increase your activity levels

There’s a reason that professional athletes have a very low resting heart rate – exercise strengthens the heart muscle. So just like when we get stronger if we increase other muscles, when the heart muscle gets stronger it means it works more efficiently – pumping blood quicker around the body.

Dr Zoe Williams, an NHS GP and wellness ambassador for Garminagrees: “There are a variety of ways you can lower your resting HR, but fitness is a great way to start.  “While it might seem counterintuitive to exercise, as this usually brings your heart rate up, the more frequently you exercise the more your heart will learn to be stronger and be more efficient at pumping blood. Then, when you’re in rest mode, your heart is more easily able to maintain a lower heart rate.”

If you are new to exercise, start slow. You could try walking to lose weight, download one of the best fitness apps, or try the Couch to 5k beginner’s running plan. Alternatively, work with a personal trainer to build a workout routine that is tailored to you. The key is to find something you enjoy doing to ensure you stick with it.

Eat a balanced diet

Of course, one of the main benefits that people talk about when cleaning up their diet is weight loss – but when you start to eat healthily, it has a major effect on how your heart performs too.

Brad Emmott, a personal trainer and Head of Recovery at Manor London explains: “If you’re someone who carries excess weight, your heart is having to work harder to pump blood through it. If you lose that excess weight, it won’t need to work as hard.”

Rather than drastically changing your diet overnight and restricting entire food groups (which is never usually a good idea), take it one step at a time. Try to see it as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet.Start small by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat every day – five is the recommended daily intake. This will naturally decrease your consumption of processed foods, which are typically high in salt and saturated fat.

From here, start to ‘balance’ your plate at every meal, roughly aiming for half vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter carbohydrates – the perfect mix for feeling full and fueled. See our portion size guide for more information.

Decrease alcohol and sugar consumption

Most of us like to enjoy the odd glass of wine or gin and tonic with friends. But the effects of regular drinking – especially above the recommended guidelines (14 units a week for Brits, two drinks a day for US men and one drink a day for US women) – can result in an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure and the weakening of the heart muscle over time.

Williams says that too much sugar can have similar effects: “For some, eating sugar in excess can mean the body interprets this significant rise in sugar and energy as the result of stress, and releases cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause the heart rate to increase, which will in turn cause blood pressure to rise.”

The guidance in the UK is that adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day. In the US, the recommended daily limit is 10 teaspoons.

Get more sleep

Williams says creating better sleeping habits is key to lowering your resting heart rate. “One of the best ways to promote consistent sleep is having a healthy sleep routine. By following a standard schedule, the mind and body become accustomed to a healthy sleep pattern.”Many of the best fitness watches now also have sleep monitoring, which can be a useful tool in understanding your existing sleep patterns.

“By monitoring your sleep you can track improvements and adjust your bedtime accordingly to ensure you are getting between seven- and nine-hours sleep, which should ultimately help lower your resting heart rate overtime,” advises Williams. The best sunrise alarm clocks can also help to establish healthy and regular sleep patterns.

Manage your stress levels

Whether it’s down to your job, home life or personal issues, stress will take its toll on your health. Emmott believes we need to learn to manage it so it doesn’t negatively impact our resting heart rate and overall health.“Stress of any kind, physical or emotional does increase heart rate and can have long-term adverse effects on your health,” he says.

“There is no way to eliminate stress in daily life, but managing it is important to keeping a healthy heart.”In addition to the action points outlined above, he recommends that meditation, social interaction (virtual included) and being in nature can help manage stress levels.

Once again, using a fitness tracker to help assess your stress levels is also a good idea. “Knowing your stress level can help you identify stressful moments throughout your day and could help identify triggers of your stress, so you can begin to eliminate and manage stressful situations,” Williams says.

“For example, if your stress scores were high, it would be a great time to take five minutes away from what you were doing to do some deep breathing. This doesn’t have to impact your day, you can do it while boiling the kettle, but breaking the chronic stress cycle is so important for your long-term health and short-term mental wellbeing.”

 

 

Source: How to lower resting heart rate: 5 practical steps to take today | Fit&Well

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10,000 Steps A Day? How Many You Really Need To Boost Longevity

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There’s nothing magical about the number 10,000. In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It’s often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what’s it really based on?

“The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined,” says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

She was curious to know how many steps you need to take a day to maintain good health and live a long life, so she and her colleagues designed a study that included about 17,000 older women. Their average age was 72. The women all agreed to clip on wearable devices to track their steps as they went about their day-to-day activities.

It turns out that women who took about 4,000 steps per day got a boost in longevity, compared with women who took fewer steps. “It was sort of surprising,” Lee says.

In fact, women who took 4,400 steps per day, on average, were about 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period of about four years compared with women who took 2,700 steps. The findings were published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Another surprise: The benefits of walking maxed out at about 7,500 steps. In other words, women who walked more than 7,500 steps per day saw no additional boost in longevity.

“I love this study. I think it’s really good news for women who may not be particularly active,” says Kathleen Janz, who studies how physical activity influences health at the University of Iowa. She was not involved in this study.

Janz, who helped shape the new federal exercise recommendations released last November, says the message that comes from this study is that older women can benefit from just light walking.

“They didn’t need to go the gym or invest in a personal trainer or exercise equipment,” she says. All they had to do was walk.

And Janz says that’s encouraging.

“To me, this study suggests there’s more benefit to light activity than we were previously thinking there might be,” she says.

Of course, the researchers point out, they would like to know much more about how walking may affect other health parameters such as quality of life and memory and cognitive function. It’s possible that walking a greater number of steps each day could influence these outcomes.

Another thing Janz notes is that this study only measures walking. It didn’t measure things that many of us do that don’t require steps, things like gardening, swimming or biking. And it’s safe to assume some women in the study were doing these other things that can influence health as well.

And Janz says to remember the federal exercise guidelines call for 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity, which includes all kinds of daily movement, not just steps.

So, if 10,000 steps has been feeling out of reach to you, it may be time reset those factory settings on your fitness tracker. Instead, try to hit at least 4,400 a day, along with daily activities that you enjoy. And stick to it.

Source: https://www.npr.org

New research shows coffee may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups daily. In a study of nearly half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years than abstainers. The apparent longevity boost was seen with instant, ground and decaffeinated, results that echo U.S. research. It’s the first large study to suggest a benefit even in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine.
Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal. The results don’t prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research. But she said the results reinforce previous research and add additional reassurance for coffee drinkers.
Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

Five Last Minute Tips For First Time Marathoners Tackling The Auckland Marathon – Vera Alves

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With thousands of people gearing up to run the iconic Auckland Marathon this Sunday, there’ll be a lot of pasta-eating and nervous scrambling happening in Kiwi homes on Saturday night. You’ve done your training, now it’s time to relax. Trust the hard work you’ve put into this over the last few months. Here are five last minute tips before you toe the start line on Sunday morning…….

Read more: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12149559

 

 

 

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Inherited Trauma Shapes Your Health – Olga Khazan

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Often when I complain to my therapist about how stressed out I am by a problem I’m having, she says a variation on the same thing: “Well, like all Ashkenazi, you have a lot of inter generational trauma. You know, because of everything that’s … happened.”The effects on longevity showed up for the sons of men who were imprisoned in 1863 and 1864, when conditions in POW camps were especially bad. Crowding was extreme—each man was said to have had a grave’s worth of square footage to himself—and deaths from diarrhea and scurvy were common…….

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/trauma-inherited-generations/573055/

 

 

 

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Hugs and kisses: The Health Impact of Affective Touch – Maria Cohut

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We seek affection, try to establish a connection, or attempt to communicate a need. Various cultures use touch in various ways to display tenderness or respect, and other non-human primates use it to create a connection and establish social hierarchies. Recently, however, some experts have expressed concern that Western societies are experiencing a moment of crisis,as physical touch becomes more strictly regulated and we are less and less likely to engage in social acts such as hugging…….

Read more: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323143.php

 

 

 

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Is Fasting The Fountain of Youth – Lisa Drayer

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For the past year and a half, Keith Taylor and his wife have adopted a lifestyle that includes fasting on a regular basis. “For six days per week we don’t eat until around 5 pm, but eat as much as we want and whatever we want from 5 pm until we go to bed. It is not a diet in the classic sense — we do not restrict WHAT we eat or HOW MUCH we eat, but rather just WHEN we eat,” Taylor said in an email. Since the Taylors have been intermittently fasting, often called just IF, they’ve maintained a healthy body weight, been more alert and energetic, experienced less stress, and are less prone to getting sick.While Taylor admits that whether or not he will live longer as a result of his eating pattern is a “good question,” but he feels optimistic…….

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/health/fasting-longevity-food-drayer/index.html

 

 

 

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50 Must Know Fitness Tips to Score Your Best Body – Cristina Goyanes

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If motivation is your hang-up, change your exercise routine every 14 days. A University of Florida study discovered that people who modified their workouts twice a month were more likely than to stick to their plans compared to those who changed their regimens whenever they wanted to. Boredom didn’t appear to be a factor; it seems people simply enjoyed the variety more……..

Read more: https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/50-must-know-fitness-tips-score-your-best-body

 

 

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Amazing Effects: Put Garlic In Your Mouth and Keep It There For 3 Minutes, The Results Are Unbelievable

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Garlic is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a number of ways to treat various health issues and enhance the condition of the entire body. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a very common ingredient in many remedies for fighting diseases and recovering.

A rather interesting fact is that Chinese people in the old days used to suck on for garlic as a candy for 3 minutes every morning.Namely, this procedure is extremely beneficial. Garlic contains a great number of healthy compounds, which, due to this method, enter your organism through saliva and clean the blood vessels.

After keeping it 3 minutes in the mouth, you should throw the garlic candy. Then, in order to lessen the strong smell, wash your teeth or chew on some coffee bean or parsley.

Resources: http://www.really-interesting.com/absolutely-amazing-effects-put-garlic-in-your-mouth-and-keep-it-there-for-3-minutes-the-results-are-unbelievable/

 

 

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Unlock Your Hip Flexors – The “Hidden Survival Muscle” In Your Body Missed By Modern Physicians That Keep Millions Of Men And Women Defeated By Pain

The shocking ways that tight hips are holding you back…that you won’t believe

Here’s the truth: Most people don’t realize the cause of their problems is tight hip flexors.

The impact the hips had on the whole body never occurred to me until I saw the effect of tight hip flexors had on the health and well-being of my wife after she gave birth.

It was only then that I truly understood the magnitude of the problem.

We’re not just talking about a bit of soreness; tight hip flexors are the root cause of problems such as:

  • Nagging joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips
  • Walking with discomfort
  • Hips locking up
  • Bad posture
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sluggishness in day to day life
  • High Anxiety
  • Digestive problems
  • Compromised Immune System
  • Circulatory issues
  • Loss of sexual performance
  • Lack of Explosiveness in the gym or sports

If any of these sound familiar to you, don’t worry because you’re not alone.

Tight hip flexors affect nearly everybody, but few realize the impact on your whole body.

Again, everything flows through the hips.

Think of the hips as a barometer. The health and flexibility of your hip muscles are an indicator of the strength and health of our whole body.

And at the very heart of this is the “hidden” most powerful survival Muscle. When this muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

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Introducing The Body’s Most Powerful, Primal Muscle… … That You’ve Never Heard Of

Your hips are the bridge between your upper body and lower body. They are at the center of your body’s movement.

Sitting within the well of your hip and lower spine is the psoas major muscle, one of the two muscles that makes up the iliopsoas.

It’s often called the “mighty” psoas (pronounced so-az) for the many important functions it plays in the movement of your body.

The psoas is the only muscle in the human body connecting the upper body to the lower body.

The muscle attaches to the vertebrae of the lower spine, moves through the pelvis and connects to a tendon at the top of the femur. It also attaches to the diaphragm, so it’s connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs.

A functioning psoas muscle creates a neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, supports the organs in the pelvic and abdominal cavity and gives you greater mobility and core strength.

When it functions well, it has the power to…

  • … help you achieve peak performance day after day after day.
  • … rapidly drop ugly body fat that stubbornly clings to your body.
  • … train harder, heavier and gain strength faster than you thought possible.
  • … hit your peak of sexual health.
  • … flood your mind and body with renewed energy and vigor.

Put simply, this muscle is the core of activity in your body. So, when it’s out of balance or if the psoas tightens, there are serious consequences which flow throughout the body.

And there’s one activity, in particular, that’s the sworn enemy of your psoas muscle…

Loosening Your Hip Flexors Can Actually Be Easy
With the SEQUENTIAL FLOW Method

Like unfolding a sheet or unpacking a parcel, opening up the muscles in your hips requires it to be done in the right order.

Try to release one muscle before another and you’ll add to your tightness. Getting it wrong really can make it worse.

It’s why so many people give up trying to fix the problem themselves and believe incorrectly that they have to live with the problem. But hoping the problem will go away by not exercising is just as damaging.

To explain in more detail about this flow, let me introduce you to leading Kinesiologist and Injury Specialist Rick Kaselj, MS.

Rick is “THE” guy fitness professionals go to when they want to learn about the latest techniques to help their own clients. He’s given over 352 live presentations to more than 8,152 health professionals in the US and Canada.

Rick Kaselj

I first met Rick when he helped me fix a shoulder problem. He was one of the few injury specialists I met who helped athletes by focusing on getting them back to training, rather than avoiding workouts.

Rick showed me what so many other injury specialists hadn’t – how to work through the right sequence of techniques to unlock the tension and tightness in my muscles to properly solve the problem.

Courtney and Lincoln

He’s the guy I turned to when my wife, Courtney, was struggling with pain and discomfort in her hips after the birth of our son Lincoln.

In the days and months following the birth, she experienced pain in her legs and discomfort when walking and sitting. She was struggling to sleep.

In just 15 minutes working with Rick, he’d successfully unlocked her hip flexors so she no longer felt any pain or discomfort that day. She was able to walk without experiencing the nagging pain in her pelvic area. She could sleep better and could start enjoying those precious days with a little one at home.

But Rick’s “flow” technique doesn’t only help those in pain.

At Critical Bench, our Head Strength Coach Chris Wilson felt his hip flexors were a little tight (from sitting and answering training questions on facebook too much) and tried the same routine Rick had used with my wife. Within days, Chris successfully increased his deadlift by 35 pounds to finally hit that 500 pound pull he had been training for. All because he got to experience the sequential flow of movements that Rick developed to release his hip flexors.

It’s not about the exercises.

The power of Rick’s technique lies not only in what techniques are performed and how well, but in doing these in the proper sequence.

Done effectively, the sequential flow works with your body to
activate its natural healing process, improve flexibility
while adding strength and vitality.

While many of the techniques were ones I already knew, doing the movements in the right order unravels all the tissues including muscle, fascia, connective tissue, and the joint capsule while breaking up scar tissue.

Using the right sequence kick starts an increase in blood flow to the area to clean out metabolites and lactic acid and reduces inflammation while nourishing and rejuvenating the area.

I’ve seen, with my own eyes, the power of Rick’s techniques on my wife and our Head Strength Coach Chris Wilson.

That’s why I asked Rick to share with you the very same program so you too can help to unlock your hip flexors and gain all the benefits.

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We’ve shot these 10 exercises with explanations from Rick on perfect form and exactly how to target that hard-to-reach psoas muscle. The video content is split in two:

The first is a Coaching Instructional Video where Rick takes you in detail through each exercise, so you fully understand why you’re doing that exercise, the best form to take and how it should feel. The second video is a Follow Along format designed so you can perform the flow alongside the video without breaking for explanation.

You’ll receive a highly targeted manual with greater depth about the psoas muscle and the effects of its shortening on your health and well-being. It also includes detailed descriptions of the exact exercise movements with pictures.

You will experience immediate results the very first time you go through the program.

Only through learning how to do this properly will it enable you to start undoing some of the damage done to your psoas and start helping the body to naturally heal itself.

But first a warning…this isn’t for everyone.

As you can imagine, this is a hugely technical field. The last thing we wanted was to overload you with too much, so we’ve done our best to distill the program to the most essential elements so you can experience rapid results.

I guarantee you’ll not find an easier program to pick up and start using as part of your everyday routine or workout.

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