Health

Practical Tips on Stretching After Completing a Round of Running

Running and striding are two of the most effective forms of workouts that have been vetted by health experts and medical specialists. When it comes to running a long distance in one go, say 3-4 miles, your body naturally gets thoroughly exhausted at the end of the run. When you find yourself huffing and puffing, trying to catch your breath, carrying out a few stretching exercises will go a long way in enabling you to calm down gradually.

At the same time, your nimbleness and flexibility will receive a boost as a result of stretching out your limbs and torso following a round of running. In order to make the most of your stretches, it is strongly recommended that you perform the same immediately after you’re through with running when the sinews and ligaments are agitated and more flexible. Exhale and inhale consistently and deeply while you stretch and the stretches should be done in a manner which makes you feel a wee bit uncomfortable and taut.
Normally, these stretch outs should not cause you any pain but in case you do, you should stop immediately and get in touch with a physician without delay.

Hip Stretch: Stay Put for 15 Seconds

Stand in an erect posture and bring your left leg ahead. At the same time, do not bend the right leg or thrust your butt out. Now, try bending the left leg (which is in forward position) while arching backwards and at the same time, drive the right buttock to the fore. Keep performing this stretching till you feel the stress on the right hip. Repeat this stretch exercise with the right leg.

Thigh Stretch for 15 Seconds

Take hold of the left foot from behind, and slowly try pushing the toe in the direction of the left buttock. This helps in drawing out the left thigh’s front. See to it that the knees mildly brush against each other and keep yourself perfectly ramrod while conducting the stretches. Follow the same stretching pattern with the other leg.

15 Seconds Hamstring Stretch

Put the right leg forward and place your wrists firmly on the hips. Raise the toes of your right leg and try bending the left leg. Arch towards the right leg without bending back. Repeat this exercise with the left leg.

15 Seconds Stretching of Iliotibial Band

Place the left leg in front of the right in order to stretch the right ITB and tilt towards the left while pushing out the right hip. Do not attempt to go forward or jut out your buttocks. Repeat the process with the right leg.

Calf Stretch: 15 Seconds

Bring the right leg forward and bend it all the time keeping the left leg straight so as to put the stress on the calf muscles at the left leg’s back. Repeat this stretch with the left leg.

Lower Back and Buttock Stretches: Each for 15 Seconds

Lie down on the floor in a supine position and keep both the legs straight. Slowly raise the right knee and pull it towards the chest in order to feel the stress on the lower back. Hold the position for 15 seconds, then repeat the procedure with the other knee, and finally do the exercise with the knees together.

For stretching the buttocks, raise the knees while lying on the floor with the leg positioned straight. Next, try crossing the left leg atop the left thigh, and firmly hold the left thigh’s back with both the hands, and bring the left leg in front of the chest. Do this same workout with the right leg.

If you want more tips on how to stretch after a running workout, get in touch with Douglas Powell who is a professional masseur or visit www.orlandomalemassage.com. You can also reach him at 407.325.8866

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7 ways in which you can benefit from exercising regularly

How Exercise Can Help YouThe numerous and varied benefits of exercising on a routine basis have long been known to mankind. Starting from fitness experts to medical professionals to sportspersons and even ordinary men and women are well aware of the health benefits of workouts. You can exercise in different ways including but not limited to walking, cycling, running, swimming, jogging, weightlifting, and bodybuilding for boosting your mood, keeping your weight under control, and sleeping soundly at night.

Following are some of the most significant health benefits that you can take advantage of when you maintain a workout regimen.

1. Exercises go a long way in combating diseases and keeping disorders at bay
Existing in the 21st century is tantamount to putting up with stress. Stress has become an inevitable and unavoidable factor in modern-day living and there’s hardly anybody who does not suffer from stress to a certain extent. Anxiety and tension contribute majorly towards our suffering from a host of lifestyle diseases like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

One time-honored and effective way of dealing with lifestyle diseases as well as preventing or delaying the onset of health conditions is to physically exerting yourself habitually. Exercising routinely will go a long way in preventing or coping with symptoms associated with heart attacks, strokes, depression, a range of cancers, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

2. Workouts help keep weight under control
Enough studies and researches have been conducted which have established that exercise helps keep you fit and slim. In fact, exercising customarily will enable you to burn excess calories thus keeping your from putting on weight which make you obese. You may not always find the time to hit the gym five or six times in a week, even if you have the inclination, owing to your busy schedule.

But if you are sincere about keeping your weight under control, then you will always find the time to climb the stairs, jog for a mile, and walk to the department store for fetching your daily necessities.

3. Exercises keep you energetic all through the day
Lifting weights, running on the treadmill or running for half an hour early in the morning will aid in keeping your bones, muscles, tissues, and bodily organs in perfect working order.

4. Exercises boost up your mood
Given the hectic lifestyles we lead nowadays, it is not uncommon to be stressed out at the end of the working day and feel dispirited. Engaging in some form of physical activity like brisk walking or running at a controlled pace even for just 20-30 minutes can recharge your batteries and make you feel refreshed.

5. Workouts help you to lead an active sexual life
Making the most of your sex life and exercising go hand in hand. Exercising every day will get you in the mood for enjoying an aggressive romp with your partner.

6. Exercises contribute greatly to sleeping soundly at night
Visiting the gym or exercising in the comfort of your home will let you fall asleep within 5-10 minutes of hitting the sack. However, do not exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime.

7. Exercises help to connect with nature and become sociable
Cycling, jogging or walking offers you the opportunity of connecting with nature and going on a hiking or camping trip help broaden your social network.

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Will Opting for Massages On a Regular Basis Help You Slim Down?

Will Opting for Massages On a Regular Basis Help You Slim Down?The effectiveness of time-honored strategy of blending a standardized workout regimen with a balanced dieting program has been overwhelmingly proved when it comes to losing weight. Nevertheless, for a significant proportion of individuals, this combo therapy has not been able to deliver the goods for reasons, the discussion of which is not the objective of this article. Unfortunately for these persons, the popular alternative weight loss techniques, more often than not, come to naught.
It won’t be an exaggeration to state in this context that in order to sustain a good quality of life, it becomes indispensable to lose excess weight and maintain a slim and trim physique. However, if conventional weight loss methods have not worked for you, you can still expect the desired results by trying out other means. For instance, you can hire a professional masseur who will massage your entire body in a manner that will eventually enable you to get rid of the excess flab around your abdomen, waist, and the thighs.

1. Massages can go a long way in stimulating metabolism
There are countless individuals that tend to put on weight inordinately owing to a metabolic rate which is slower than normal, eventually making them obese. A sluggish metabolic rate implies that your digestion is delayed which in turn delays the assimilation of nutrients by the body. Those with slow metabolism also tend to become fatty and the entire mechanism of gaining weight is exacerbated during periods of stress that has become unavoidable nowadays.
Significantly enough, a specialized massage that endeavors to melt the obstinately sitting fat by accelerating the calorie torching mechanism, can fast track a slow metabolic rate. Additionally, massages can be efficacious in getting relief from stress that causes one to binge and put on unwanted pounds.

2. Massages help shed flab and buildup of muscle mass
A massage can contribute significantly towards your losing the unwarranted fat that has the tendency to buildup primarily around the abdomen and waist regions. However a single or onetime massaging session will simply not be enough. If you wish to realize the outcome you are looking forward to then hiring an experienced masseur for multiple sessions will become imperative.
You’ll observe how a significant amount of the accumulated fat is transformed into muscle tissues once you have been through a few massaging sessions. A seasoned professional with several years of experience under his or her belt is well versed with the special kneading techniques for encouraging muscle growth and development. Massages, on the other hand, will also let your body weed out unwanted and damaging toxins.

3. Massages work great in helping drain out water from the body
Many individuals who are finding it difficult to melt fat by exploiting the traditional weight loss techniques will be pleasantly surprised to know a considerable proportion of the additional weight is comprised of water. Cells tend to absorb and retain the excessive water in the body that usually leads to cellulite. This is where a robust massage can work wonders activating the dermatological cells to give up the extra water and relieving cellulite.
Rounding up, it can be inferred that massaging sessions will work best (with respect to weight loss) when you stick to wholesome diets as well as persevere with your exercise program.
You can contact Douglas Powell at 407-325-8866 for scheduling a massaging therapy or log in at www.orlandomalemassage.com for complete details.

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‘Thinking’ Your Way To Improved Fitness

'Thinking' Your Way To Improved FitnessScientists at Stanford University in California have recently found that physical fitness and exercise are not only reliant on your physical activities and performance, but also your psychological activities and well being.

Trusted study author Octavia Zahrt, Ph.D., noted that perception can either positively or negatively influence your fitness levels and mental health. In other words, experts are realizing, through clinical trials of studying human subjects that not only do people underestimate their current activity levels, but also the roles everyday activities might play in improving your health.

Experts say that often, people will perceive themselves as ‘underperforming’ or not meeting the necessary daily exercise based on the people they commonly surround themselves with or observe in their everyday environment. And, in many studies over the years it has been proven time and time again that the anxiety or stress related to worries of a lack of sufficient fitness can likewise negatively impact your health  and even weight.

For many people, just working every day, or taking care of your home and kids around the house can easily be at least half, if not 100% of the recommended levels of physical activities, according to the American Heart Association.

Drs. Zahrt and Crum also recently published findings in the weekly Health Psychology journal that illustrates that at least 80 percent of Americans do not get the required amount of recommended daily exercise. This, however, does not mean that they aren’t ‘close’ to doing so, as often individuals are unaware of just how much is ‘enough.’

A recent clinical study at Stanford University included the observation of 87 hotel room attendants, across seven different hotels to observe their BMI, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure, and weight loss over the course of just four weeks. Ironically enough, all of the participants showed tremendous improvements in their physical health, just based on the exercise they get at work every day alone.

Another concept that scientific researchers are trying to push more to the public is, if and when you are made aware of ‘ or research ‘ your current activity and exercise levels, doing so may very well effectively motivate you to work out MORE!

Positive thinking also goes a long way, as the stress and anxiety of everyday work, school, or family can quickly land people into unwanted spouts of depression, overeating, under eating, and overall missing sufficient sleep necessary to be healthy and efficiently manage their weight.

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A Relaxing Massage is all you Need to Shake the Stress Away

A Relaxing Massage is all you Need to Shake the Stress AwayPeople live a very busy life these days. As a result, they find little or no time at all for themselves. Time constraints and financial considerations often lead to a point where people forget their own needs over others.

Excuses about why one shouldn’t get a massage often revolve around some of the following factors.

An activity for the niche

An idea that has planted itself in the minds of the average Jane and Joe is that massage is not for everyone. It is an activity for the niche and elite. This is completely wrong, as massage is an activity or rather a service that is suited for everyone. Different techniques are applied by masseurs these days that serves to all body types and needs.

Time constraints

People these days are pretty busy and they think that making time for a massage session is a luxury they can’t afford! The truth is actually the opposite, they can take out some time for relaxing they are stressed out muscles as the modern day masseur won’t take much time to complete their massage session. If a person can make time for an appointment to the dentist, a piano lesson then they can make time for a massage session as well.

It’s expensive

Careful evaluation of an individual’s weekly expenses can often reveal some activities or transactions that they can do without. This will surely leave some dough left over for taking a trip to the massage studio. The best part of the deal is that once a person gets the taste of a soothing and relaxing massage session, they won’t leave much room for other unnecessary activities like taking a trip to the local pub for some drinks!

Responsibilities of the family

An individual who has taken up the responsibility of a family on his/her shoulder is already doing a noble deed and for that reason, they often find little to no time at all for themselves. This should be kept in mind that the responsibilities of the family can only be carried out if the person is at their full potential. Prioritizing self well being over other things is indeed a great lesson that can be passed on to the next generation.

Making excuses for not getting a massage is easy. This particular mindset is bound to change as soon as an individual who was reluctant and fussy at first, get down for a massage session. In almost all the cases, the most common response from a person is that why didn’t they settle for a massage session sooner.

The relaxed muscles, the toned joints and the overall feeling of happiness all adds t o the appeal for a massage.

Douglas Powell is a licensed massage therapist. Douglas provides his services in the Winter Park area within the state of Florida. He can be contacted at 407 – 325 – 8866 or by visiting his business center at Crealde Business Center, 2431 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792.

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Mixing It Up For A Men’s Health Workout Regimen

Mixing It Up For A Men's Health Workout RegimenDepending on what you wish to achieve regarding your health, men should know that the most basic of goals, losing fat, can be achieved but best by mixing your exercise health regimen.

What we mean by mixing it up, is that men need two different types of exercise to build muscle and burn fat. Sure, basic cardio will burn off excess calories, but resistance training will not only burn off calories but do so more efficiently in the long run. The reason being that cardio burns excess calories during the exercise and well after the exercise. Building muscle burns up excess calories during exercise and longer than cardio because muscle needs calories 24/7. This means while at rest, your muscles are still burning calories while they repair themselves.

A good schedule would be to do cardio alternated with resistance training on a daily basis. Muscle needs time to heal. When you do resistance training you’re tearing muscle fiber which needs to build itself back up thus increasing muscle mass and strength. Cardio also needs a rest which is why alternating the different approaches is so efficient. While one is resting, the other is being conditioned. This will keep the metabolic rate cooking far longer and efficiently thus leading to a rapid fat loss.

You should consult a physician before doing any new or changing workout routines just to make sure you don’t injure yourself. Nutrition comes in big here too. You’ll need the calories from food to have energy, but you’ll need more vitamins and minerals, rest, and a good outlook.

So the detail is this: Coordinate your workouts. Here’s another good reason depending on what you’re trying to achieve. In order to build muscle, you need to lift heavy weights at low repetitions. To get that ‘cut’ look, you need to lift lighter weights at higher repetitions. Low weights and higher reps are more like cardio, so if you instead do full out cardio on one day and weight training the next day, you’ll meet your caloric burn goals and build muscle that looks good too.

Now, with weight lifting, you must also alternate which muscle groups to work on during a workout. You’ll need to work for each muscle group twice a week, so scheduling can be tricky if on off days you’re doing cardio. Six days a week or doing split sessions may be too much for some people. It’s all on a case by case basis. It also depends on how intense your cardio training is. Jogging will wear you out unless you’re doing power runs which build up leg muscles and lung capacity. If this is the case then you’ll not need to do as much resistance training on your legs, leaving you more time for other muscle groups. If you choose swimming as your cardio choice, you’ll be working for all the muscle groups at the same time and increased respiration and all that will burn plenty of calories fast. Then on off days, you pump iron.

It’s rather simple, but it takes planning and discipline. You should keep statistics regarding your progress and watch them carefully. They will show you what you’re doing right and wrong. In the end you should see results the first week easily.

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Consuming Too Much Refined Sugars Could Cause Death from Heart Disease

Consuming Too Much Refined Sugars Could Cause Death From Heart DiseaseConsuming added or refined sugars in copious amounts on a daily basis could be fatal. Adding two teaspoons of sugar every time you consume a cup of coffee or tea or add spoonfuls to your milkshake during breakfast increases your chances of dying prematurely from heart disease. And it is not that only obese people were exposed to death risks resulting from consumption of high amounts of processed sugars.

Even people with normal weights who ordinarily consume 2000 calories every day were at high risk of jeopardizing their health if they drank too many cups of tea or coffee laced with sugars or consumed sweetened colas. A report on a groundbreaking study which appeared in an issue of the ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’ corroborated the above claim. The calories in the added sugars that a typical American consumes each constitute nothing less than 10% of his total calorific intake on a daily basis.

However, one out of every ten Americans takes added sugars whose calorie content makes up 25% of their total calorie consumption. The study which was spread over a 15-year period endeavored to establish a correlation between heart disease and intake rate of added sugars. The researchers came up with findings that were revealing and had substantial evidence to back up their claims.

The study found that participants who received one-fourth of their daily calorie requirement from added sugars were twice as vulnerable to die from a heart attack compared to those who took less than 10% sugar with their meals. Taken as a whole, an individual’s chances of dying from infarction (heart attack) went up concomitantly with a corresponding rise in added sugar intake. This assertion or finding was not affected by an individual’s sex, age, level of physical activity, and weight. A majority of Americans tend to obtain a substantial quantity of added sugar from energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened colas and sodas which they consume heavily.

Of the total amount of refined sugars that all the Americans consume on a cumulative or collective basis, cold beverages sweetened with sugar represent over 33%. Breakfast cereals, cakes, ice-creams, cookies, biscuits, fruit juices and drinks, caramelized toffees, chocolates, frozen yogurts, and a host of other sweetened food items also accounted for intake of added sugar. Nutritionists, dieticians and health experts always suggest people consume a minimal quantity of added sugars and for good reasons.

Firstly, a high intake of processed sugars increases one’s weight abnormally leading to obesity and causes cavities in the teeth. Secondly, sugar supplies calories to your body that do not have any nutritional value. In other words, added sugars do not contain any mineral, fiber or vitamin. Taking a high amount of added sugar elbows out wholesome and healthy food items from your diet depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs every day to keep you in the pink of health.

Was there a possibility that researchers involved in the trial may have erred at some stage while carrying out the study implying that added sugar wasn’t as harmful as it was made out to be? Chances of the scientists faltering were negligible as they took note of the ‘healthy eating index’ of the participants. The index was a measure or indicator of the conformity of their diets with nutritional guidelines outlined by the US federal authorities.

Dr. Teresa Fung of the Harvard School of Public Health opened ‘regardless of their ‘healthy eating index’ scores, people who ate more sugar still had higher cardiovascular mortality’. Nevertheless, the researchers have not been able to figure out in what way or ways could intake of excess added sugar could adversely affect the normal functioning of a heart. Dr. Fung advises you to include fresh fruits in your everyday diet without adding sugar if you wish to keep your heart in good health.

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Exercising for Better Brain Health

Exercising for Better Brain HealthThere is an increasing body of scientific literature which shows that exercising is not only good for your physical fitness, but also for your mental health as well. A recent review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows this effect in the 50+ year old population in particular. The results were seen in groups which had a previous cognitive decline in their medical histories as well as those who were healthy with no mental notes in their medical history. In total, the review looked at 39 different studies published over the last 25 years and looked at the impact of moderate or high-intensity exercise done over a 45 to 60-minute period.

The review hypothesizes that the reason for this benefit may be due to increased blood vessel and brain cell density which comes with exercise in certain parts of the brain. This would make sense from a physiological standpoint and is perhaps explained by the increased blood flow attributed to exercise including blood flowing to the head and brain. However, no conclusions can be made on the physiological impact that exercise has without further study specifically looking at that.

It is important to critically evaluate the review as well as the studies included in it before coming to any conclusions as there are different methodologies, each with its own ups and downs. Furthermore, some of the control groups displayed changes in their mental health as well, suggesting potential impact from extraneous variables too. This study is really good from a hypothesis-generation standpoint, however, and may lead to more conclusive support in the future.

Based on the review, and if the findings hold true, there are several tips that may eventually be of benefit for patients to follow. One is to opt for aerobic exercise which can not only help the brain but also the heart- the latter which has a strong body of evidence behind it. Aerobic exercise includes things like running, walking, and swimming. Incorporating any of these activities into your schedule in a regimented and regular way can have a very big positive impact on your health. In addition, doing some resistance-based exercise can help too. Tai chi may be a gentler option for someone looking for a more meditative experience. This may have other positive mental effects too and help reduce stress, etc. It is also great for people who may not be able to do very strenuous exercises due to other conditions or limitations. Finally, combining exercises is the best option if possible as you are likely to get something different from each type of exercise. Again, this should be catered to your personal goals as well as medical limitations. Consulting your doctor on a new workout plan is the best route if you have that option.

Exercising can have many health benefits from improving your cognitive function to cardiovascular benefit to potentially even increasing strength and reducing the risk of accidental injuries. Try to find something you like and stick with it and you are bound to see some sort of results.

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Ups and Downs for Massages for Runners

Ups and Downs for Massages for RunnersThere are many benefits and downsides of getting massages for runners or for any athlete. Amongst the upsides are that they can feel great for most people so the relaxation that comes with that can be a great mental benefit after a strenuous run or workout. Many surveys have been conducted of runners’ post run who get a massage compared to those who do not and those who did report reduced muscle tension and a great range of motion which leads to the mental benefit. The recovery times seem to be lower with massages, but it is hard to say if it is just a placebo effect or something real. Either way, it can be a great way to increase blood flow which theoretically should allow nutrients to get to muscles more efficiently and allow the body to get rid of waste easier as well, which would make the perceived effect make sense.

While the upsides of a massage have been discussed extensively in the literature and through various reports, there are some downsides that should not be overlooked. For one, the cost can be high if you are hiring a professional. This should always be a key consideration in whether or not to make the investment- the expected return on the cost. Also, as stated before if it is just a placebo effect then it really may not be worth it, especially if you can find something else that gives you a similar impact. In fact, Dr. Justin Crame of McMaster University says that there is not really much strong evidence to support the conclusion that massages help recovery or feeling better after a run. There are many claims floating about dating back to various “experts” and even ancient times, but nothing that has really been showing through rigorous scientific study. There are many studies out there but they are not of strong scientific design or they are very small in terms of people included so they cannot be generalized or really even used to describe any effect.

By applying pressure to tissues as you do in a massage, the tissue can soften so that clenched muscles can, in turn, relax according to a kinesiology professor from Auburn. She does not buy the notion that toxins, etc. can be removed from the body because of massage, but she does see the difference in muscle relaxation.

Ultimately the jury is still out on whether or not massages can help drive recovery or if they are just an amusing nice to have. More robust studies are really the only thing that can solve the debate, but true randomized controlled trials with large enough samples sizes can be expensive to run. Also, with massages, control groups are a bit hard since it is easy to tell who is and is not getting a massage. Despite these challenges, it is still possible to create strong scientific studies for us to gain a better understanding into whether many athletes are actually helping their bodies or just buying into a fad.

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Why You Should Join a Gym

Why You Should Join a GymThere are tons and tons of fad diets, lose weight quick, and get fit fast schemes out there, but the truth is that most of them are just that- schemes. They are often put out to sell products or to increase clicks, but in reality, generate little to no long-term returns for prospective dieters. The keep to staying fit and maintaining your health is really in watching what you eat and in exercising to keep your strength up and body trim. Step one for the latter part: sign up for the gym.

People who have gym memberships exercise more and do better on a number of health tests. This is pretty obvious and potentially subject to selection bias, but the correlation likely also holds in the direction which we would think to some degree: signing up for the gym likely does make you more likely to exercise. Once you sign up for the gym, you should figure out a workout plan that works for you and one that involves both strength training as well as aerobic activity. The amount and time you spend on exercising or at the gym really depends on your goals and is not really the point of this piece, but there are many guides and workout plans freely available online or even on Youtube. Many of these do a great job of demonstrating proper form and how to cater your workouts to your end goals.

Going to the gym has many benefits downstream from the actual workouts you get. You are much more likely to have better cardiovascular health, less likely to get injured, and also more likely to have better mental health. The aerobic exercise is what will really help you with the cardiovascular effect as it helps build a strong heart and can help reduce blood pressure and heart attacks over the long-run. The only thing to be careful with here is to make sure you are not doing something you should not be if you already have a heart condition. Strength training really helps build up your core strength so that you are less likely to get injured in the daily course of life- particularly if you are doing something physically rigorous. A keep thinks to keep in mind here is to stretch before lifting and to make sure you are lifting with proper form as not doing those things puts you at risk of injury from the exercises themselves. Finally, any form of exercise is likely to leave you feeling more confident and with your mind cleared. There have been numerous scientific studies that show that regular exercising leads to better mental health outcomes and lower incidence of mental health disease including depression.

Going to the gym can seem like a pain, but it can literally extend your life and make you happier. It typically is not very expensive and if you incorporate it into your daily routine you may find yourself living a much better life. Hope this helps and good luck on your men’s health journey.

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