Strength training means using resistance to work your muscles; that can be your bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells, sand bags, resistance bands, etc. The goal of this type of workout is to increase muscle mass. Getting stronger helps improve everyday performance (from sports to regular life), prevent injuries, and increase your metabolism. Need a primer on where to start? We’ve got you covered.
Are you new to the gym and not sure where to start? Looking to add more variety into your workout? Or are you wanting to master a move to perfection? Then look no further. Learn how to perform exercise moves safely and effectively with our exercise database, which includes top tips from our qualified trainers, video demonstrations, and a step by step guide.
Major findings: Within a few decades of the turn of the 20th century, a cluster of mind–body exercise methods emerged from at least six pioneering founders: Checkley, Müller, Alexander, Randell, Pilates, and Morris. Each was based upon a similar exercise philosophy and similar functional movement-harmonizing exercises. This renaissance of independent mind–body schools occurred in parallel with the demise of the 18th and 19th century gymnasium Physical Culture movement and the concurrent emergence of bodybuilding and strength training. Even though mostly forgotten today, Western mind–body exercise methods enjoyed celebrated success during the first half of the 20th century, were hailed by medical and allied health practitioners and practiced by millions from society’s elite to deprived minorities.

I must confess: the title of this section is misleading, because while most of us associate the first home workouts with fitness icons Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, they were not the first ones to bring workouts inside our homes. In fact, before there were VHS tapes, before there were even televised workouts, there were the audio-only vinyl record workouts, nicknamed vinylcise.
Degenhardt B [Internet]. Once upon a time: the evolution of Pilates mat work. 2012 Nov 21 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://benjamindegenhardt.com/once-upon-a-time/.  Pilates swiftly gained prominence with dancers and celebrities, which led to his notoriety as a New York City exercise personality. In 1932, Pilates taught Contrology exercises at the mythological Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival as he did every summer until 1951.42,43 Degenhardt B [Internet]. Once upon a time: the evolution of Pilates mat work. 2012 Nov 21 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://benjamindegenhardt.com/once-upon-a-time/.
^ Jump up to: a b Wilkinson DJ, Hossain T, Hill DS, Phillips BE, Crossland H, Williams J, Loughna P, Churchward-Venne TA, Breen L, Phillips SM, Etheridge T, Rathmacher JA, Smith K, Szewczyk NJ, Atherton PJ (June 2013). "Effects of leucine and its metabolite β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate on human skeletal muscle protein metabolism" (PDF). J. Physiol. 591 (11): 2911–2923. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2013.253203. PMC 3690694. PMID 23551944. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
Lose yourself in the high-energy rhythm of the Pound Rockout Results System, a five-disc sweatfest in which you wield drumsticks (aka Ripstix) instead of weights. "The drumming takes your mind off your muscles hurting!" one tester marveled. You'll "constantly tap the sticks" in each routine—core, upper body, lower body, intervals, tune-up and jam session—for a "totally unique" cardio blast.

It's important to note that you can spread your activity into intervals as short as 10 minutes. So if you have a very busy schedule, even doing three, 10-minute aerobic exercises per day, five days per week, will be sufficient. To get you started, here are the different types of exercise, how they benefit the body and what kind of activities they entail:


Remember, the real trick to getting stronger is to progressively move more and more weight, so keep in mind that these tricks and tips are meant to supplement that goal Fundamentals of resistance training: progression and exercise prescription. Kraemer, W.J., Ratamess, M.A. Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA; MEdicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; 2004 Apr;36(4):674-88.. Try out some new techniques and bulldoze that training plateau like a beast. Have you tried any of these techniques? What techniques help you build strength? Tell us in the comments below!
Leg muscle pain, defined as “the intensity of hurt that a subject feel in his quadriceps muscles only” [26], was measured during the incremental test (at the end of each minute) and during the time to exhaustion tests (at the end of the warm-up and every 30 s) using the Cook scale [26]. Standardized instructions for the scale were given to each subject before the warm-up. Briefly, subjects were asked to rate the feelings of pain specifically in their quadriceps and not to report other pains they may have experienced (e.g., seat discomfort). Subjects were also asked to not use this rating as an expression of perceived effort [24].
We not only offer a superior training protocol, SMX also uses state-of-the-art training tools. The majority of our equipment is MEDX Rehabilitative Exercise Equipment, one of the most respected and technologically-advanced fitness, sports, and medical/rehabilitation equipment brands. MedX products are developed through decades of experience and millions of dollars in independent, university-based research. MedX equipment achieves training efficiency through resistance curves matched to tested and proven strength profiles. They operate at a very low level of friction and offer a choice of resistance in 2-pound increments, ensuring a weight that is just right – not too heavy and not too light – for rapid and steady progress. We have also incorporated select Nautilus equipment. Nautilus is considered the gold standard in fitness and a cornerstone of the modern commercial gym.
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, and bend forward at the hips. Engage your abs without hunching your back. Hold weights beneath your shoulders, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and lift both hands toward the sides of your body. Pause, then slowly lower your hands to the starting position. Can perform with a bar or dumbbells.
Alert: Companies strictly follow their exercise rules and deadlines, and courts tend to side with them. See, for example, Deal v. Consumer Programs, Inc. (2006), decided by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the mere submission of a written notice to exercise stock options may be insufficient when the grant agreement states that the notice must be "accompanied by full payment of the purchase price of the shares."

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In the 1950s postwar period, American capitalism prospered and families began moving to the suburbs. This led to an increase in automobile sales, as driving became a more viable transportation option than walking or taking public transportation, which took a small toll on public health. At the same time, families increasingly owned televisions and stay-at-home mothers spent much of their time at home during the day. As such, stay-at-home mothers became television's primary audience during the day, and created a market for televised workouts.
Katy Fraggos, co-Owner and Head Trainer at Perspirology, says you can work your triceps, core, hip flexor, working leg quadriceps, and supporting leg hamstring in just 30 seconds a day with this move. “Start with your hands behind your back on the floor with fingertips pointed in. Working leg lifted with flexed foot. Butt is off the floor,” she says. “When elbows are bent, the knee is pulled into the chest. Arms will straighten as leg kicks outward to the front of the body in a ‘pumping’ action.” Try to complete as many as possible in 30 seconds and then if you have extra time, repeat for 30 seconds with the opposite leg lifted.
Exercise videos are probably one of the most purchased items when it comes to fitness. They are also one of the most likely to end up on the shelves of users due to many different reasons. In many cases, it’s because the user didn’t know what they were getting into when they purchased the exercise videos, so once they got them home and watched them, it turned out it wasn’t what they were looking for at all.
Raphael AJ. Natural childbirth in twentieth century England; PhD thesis. London: Queen Mary University of London; 2010.  To create the method, Randell, (whose brother Francis William Randell and wife Jessie experienced two failed births in 1907 and 1913)24 Wildings & Thurleys, Cantophers & McConnells [Internet]. Hatches, matches and dispatches only. 2008 Nov 11 [cited 2015 Sep 23]. Available from: http://website.lineone.net/~hstjw/p32.htm#i549. [Google Scholar] was inspired by Ling’s philosophy and exercises of preventative medicine.22 Polden M, Mantle J. Physiotherapy in obstetrics and gynaecology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann; 2004. [Google Scholar] Her repertoire included full-body movement exercises in the lying, sitting, and standing positions.25 Randell M. Training for childbirth from a mother's point of view. 4th ed. London: J. & A. Churchill Ltd.; 1949. [Google Scholar] The objectives of the pre-natal exercises were ‘to improve the physical and mental well being of the patient – encourage a cheerful and confident outlook towards her confinement and so to help herself effectively during labour’. Pre-natal training included education, stretching, relaxing, and deep breathing with many free arm movements to improve circulation. The daily home exercises were designed to improve muscle tone, increase flexibility, and control of movement. The post-natal exercises were designed to improve the condition of relaxed muscles, in particular the abdominal muscles, so that the figure is restored to normal after confinement.26 Wellcome Library [Internet]. Rodway H. Training for childbirth - and after (1940). 2015 Sep 24 [cited 2015 Oct 3]. Available from: http://wellcomelibrary.org/player/b16729006#?asi=0&ai=0. [Google Scholar] As a reflection of the women’s suffrage movement, Randell encouraged female students to use their knowledge and healthy physical ability to gain self-empowerment and help others to do the same. She encouraged women to teach spouses to perform and to teach the exercises calmly and confidently; to reinforce the teamwork between parents and to be of practical assistance during childbirth.25 Randell M. Training for childbirth from a mother's point of view. 4th ed. London: J. & A. Churchill Ltd.; 1949. [Google Scholar]
No one said it was going to be easy.........There is no doubt however, it could have been a lot easier , had it not been for the likes of Clegg, Blair and Heseltine trying to interfere and prevent the process of our leaving.......They have repeatedly tried , to put one obstacle after another in the way of Britain's departure, in a blatant attempt to stop the process......Clegg and his pals,would not recognise real democracy if they fell over it in the street..........

Do you have any health or physical limitations to consider? If you have back problems, knee issues, arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, or any kind of health or physical limitations, you need to consider these when looking at the array of exercise videos on the market. There are some that will push you to the very edges of your limits and others that can accommodate a necessity for lower impact and a slower pace yet are still effective. Ignoring health problems or physical limitations is very dangerous. Asking your doctor for any restrictions before shopping is a plus as well.
Wellcome Library [Internet]. Rodway H. Training for childbirth - and after (1940). 2015 Sep 24 [cited 2015 Oct 3]. Available from: http://wellcomelibrary.org/player/b16729006#?asi=0&ai=0.  Morris,33 Morris M. Basic physical training. London: Heinemann; 1937. [Google Scholar] and Vaughan,47 Youtube [Internet]. Vaughan, K. Childbirth as an athletic feat (1939). 2009 Feb 23 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9wRBWDxReY. [Google Scholar] Pilates emphasized breathing techniques, training in sunshine and fresh air. Pilates also advocated the use of minimal and light-fitting clothing, recommended cold exposure and the importance of bathing and treating the skin.45,46 Pilates J. Your health. Nevada: Presentation Dynamics; 1934.
Movement is essential during all stages of life, becoming a necessity during pregnancy. Through regular exercise and successful re-patterning of daily movements, many discomforts and fears associated with pregnancy can be eliminated while profound research shows that adopting the right fitness program during the 9 months of pregnancy provides endless benefits to both mom and baby.
In his new P90 DVD set, the supertrainer Tony Horton drops the "X" for an all-levels-welcome version of his wildly popular 90-day program. The 10 workouts—including total-body and core on the floor routines—are mapped out for you in a follow-along schedule. The modification options to the mix of cardio and resistance moves "make every set possible" for a gymlike intensity, testers said, all in 25 minutes. "It doesn't get much better than that," one reviewer raved.
Stand on right foot with left foot elevated and core tight. Hop 3 times then bend down and quickly walk hands out so you are in a high plank position with left foot still off ground. Do 3 push-ups, never putting left foot down. Walk hands back and stand up to return to starting position. Repeat for half the time on one side only, then switch sides.
Fran: Don't let the sweet name fool you. Perhaps CrossFit’s most famous workout, Fran is a 21-15-9 rep scheme of thrusters (95 pounds for men, 65 for women) and pull-ups. For those keeping track at home, that’s 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups, followed by 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups, and so on. Elite CrossFitters can finish this monstrosity in less than three minutes, but don’t expect to break twice that during the first try.
Instructor Leah Sarago offers moms-to-be six 15-minute workouts in Fit + Sleek Prenatal Physique. Choose from cardio (think lunge variations with leg and arm lifts), bump-friendly core sessions and upper-body mat exercises. String a few together for a longer workout, or "pick just one if you want to ease up as your pregnancy progresses," our due-any-day tester suggested.
One of the foundational moves of any strength program is the back squat. The back squat is performed with a barbell across the trapezius muscles, feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and feet slightly turned out. HOW TO DO IT: Take a big breath to brace the core, then send your buttocks back while keeping your chest big and proud. You should squat below parallel if your mobility allows. As you drive up, think of screwing your feet out and into the ground. This cue will fire the glutes so that you can get the most strength out of the movement. MUSCLES USED: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and core.
Bonds H. The politics of the male body in global sport - the Danish involvement. Oxon: Routledge; 2010.  During the 1920s, the method’s most popular decade, Müller’s books sold by the millions and his exercises were practiced extensively, including Franz Kafka and the Prince of Wales.16,17 Bonds H. The politics of the male body in global sport - the Danish involvement. Oxon: Routledge; 2010.

The world population is ageing and the number of older adults with chronic health conditions and physical limitations is expected to increase. This, in turn, could lead to an increased burden on healthcare services [1]. Regular physical activity is an important component of successful ageing and reduces the risk of developing several age- and lifestyle related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, dementia and type 2 diabetes [2–7]. However, making older adults exercise and keeping them in exercise programs is a major challenge [8]. Understanding how older adults prefer to exercise may help developing tailored exercise programs and increase sustained exercise participation in ageing populations.


An opposite arm to leg crunch will tone the abs and improves posture by strengthening the back. Duhamel says to “lay down flat on your back raise your right arm above your head and then lift the left leg up. While the leg is lifting, you lift the right arm and reach the hand to meet the outer corner of the left foot.” Be sure to focus on finding that rotation and do not let the foot or hand touch the ground. Do this move on each side for 30 seconds per side.


Wall sit while you brush your teeth. You should be brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, so take advantage of that precious time by doing some wall sits. At first, you'll probably only last for around 20 seconds, but make it a goal to work up to wall sitting for the whole two minutes that you're brushing your teeth. You might surprise yourself!
The Alfredson protocol should be continued for 12 weeks to see optimal results.  During that time, you may wish to consult with a physical therapist who can offer advice on when to return to normal activities, such as running.  Your physical therapist can prescribe balance exercises with a BAPS board and plyometric exercises to ensure that you will be able to run and jump without suffering a re-injury to your Achilles' tendon.
The split jerk is a very powerful and fast move. HOW TO DO IT: The bar starts in the front rack position with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big breath to tighten your core, then dip straight down just a few inches to get more power. Next, drive the bar up overhead while splitting your legs into a lunge position. The goal is to get under the bar as fast as possible while driving the bar up overhead. MUSCLES USED: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, core, shoulders, back and triceps.
Sample characteristics are presented as mean ± standard deviation for continuous variables and proportions for categorical variables. Pearson Chi-square test and independent samples t-test were used to assess potential sex differences. For BMI and weight, a non-parametric test (Mann-Whitney U) was conducted due to the lack of normal distribution. Data from the exercise logs are presented as proportions of the total number of exercise logs. Pearson Chi-square tests were run to assess the associations between frequency, intensity, type, location and social setting of exercise with sex and training group. The results were considered statistically significant if the p-value was less than 0.05. All statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 22 (Statistical Package for Social Science, Chicago, IL, USA).
These leisurely pursuits have their place, but there’s no substitute for the intensity of intervals and strength training or plyometrics. “When you reduce your intensity, athletic performance declines,” he says. “Cardiovascular fitness and other physiological metrics drop off.” Bone density suffers, too — particularly in women. In short, when you stop pushing yourself, you’ll become less fit, less healthy.

Seven minutes of exercise per day a few times a week though isn’t a magical elixir that will give you a bikini-ready body in a few weeks. Michelle Golla, of Denver-based Boost 180 Fitness, says, “it's important not to set unrealistic expectations for a 7-minute workout. It will not completely transform your body, but it is a great way to get your heart pumping and burn calories all day long when you're pressed for time.”  
Raphael AJ. Natural childbirth in twentieth century England; PhD thesis. London: Queen Mary University of London; 2010.  In the sub-continent, Vaughan was amazed that mostly affluent women suffered physically and mentally from childbirth, while poor women typically gave birth with relative ease. She explained that the active indigenous Indian lifestyle and regular exercises that maintain a functional pelvic anatomy were abandoned by the affluent.27 Vaughan K. The shape of the pelvic brim as the determining factor in childbirth. BMJ. 1931;2(3698):939–41.10.1136/bmj.2.3698.939[Crossref], [PubMed] [Google Scholar] Vaughan also observed that traditional Indian women, who covered their entire body with garments, were at risk of medical dangers including osteopenia due to sunlight deprivation.28 Vaughan KO. The purdah system and its effect on motherhood. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Limited; 1928. [Google Scholar]

Lisa Avellino, Fitness Director at NY Health and Wellness, says to grab a kitchen towel and engage in just 30 seconds of isometric motion with it. “Thirty seconds of opposing pull—like a human tug-a-war—will take any muscle to its maximum potential because you use your own bodyweight as resistance,” she explains. “The best part is that the stronger you are the more challenging the workout is, so you can never surpass maximum potential.” Speaking of the kitchen, check out these 25 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen for Weight Loss!
In his new P90 DVD set, the supertrainer Tony Horton drops the "X" for an all-levels-welcome version of his wildly popular 90-day program. The 10 workouts—including total-body and core on the floor routines—are mapped out for you in a follow-along schedule. The modification options to the mix of cardio and resistance moves "make every set possible" for a gymlike intensity, testers said, all in 25 minutes. "It doesn't get much better than that," one reviewer raved.
Just shy of an hour long, this video is a killer aerobic kickboxing workout. You’ll throw punches and kicks in supercharged sequences as you follow along with the ebullient Billy Blanks. Don’t be surprised if you start talking back to the screen, especially when Blanks looks straight into the camera and declares, “I see you at home! Keep going!” Talk about motivation.

Circuit training tips for beginners: my advice here depends on how physically demanding the circuit is. If you’re just getting into working out and you want to circuit train, start with some less challenging exercises as part of your circuit and consider decreasing the time from a minute for each circuit to 30 seconds (or whatever you’re comfortable and able to finish the circuit with). The same advice applies here as in some of the other sections above: it’s good to build a baseline level of strength and aerobic fitness before circuit training, but it also depends on your level of fitness when you start.
There are two other studies that have measured prolactin in relation to overtraining. Lehmann et al23 showed that an increase in training volume, rather than intensity, led to more symptoms associated with overtraining. They also observed a close-to-significant exercise-induced decrease in plasma prolactin in the increased intensity group but no change because of increased volume. Budgett et al24 observed a more marked plasma prolactin response to a neuroendocrine challenge in athletes with unexplained underperformance syndrome. They also observed a higher resting plasma prolactin in unexplained underperformance syndrome athletes than healthy controls. These authors also state that prolactin could prove useful in monitoring the individual response to training and recovery.
Torque signal and knee angle signal were recorded using the same dynamometer as for the OLDE (Cybex NORM isokinetic dynamometer, CMSi, Computer Sports Medicine Inc., Stoughton, USA). During the tests a two shoulder harnesses and a belt across the abdomen limited extraneous movement of the upper body. Torque signal and knee angle signal were digitized on-line at a sampling frequency of 1 kHz using a computer, and stored for analysis with commercially available software. Torque signal was filtered prior to data analysis (Butterworth low-pass filter at 100 Hz). Torque signal, knee angle signal and EMG signal were recorded with the same device (MP150, Biopac Systems Inc., Goleta, USA) and analyzed with the same commercially available software (Acqknowledge 4.2 for MP Systems, Biopac Systems Inc., Goleta, USA).
In total, 1567 participants (790 women) met the inclusion criteria, fulfilled baseline testing and were randomized 1:1 into an exercise training group or to a control group. The exercise training group was further randomized 1:1 to either MCT or HIIT. Participants in the exercise groups were instructed to fill in exercise logs after each exercise session they performed. Data in the present study is based on the exercise logs from the first year of the intervention. Therefore, only participants in the exercise groups were included in the present study (n = 787). Dropouts in the exercise groups during the first year (n = 123) and those with no exercise logs (n = 46) were excluded. A total of 618 participants (291 women) were included in the analyses (Fig. 1). The study was approved by the Regional Committee for Medical Research Ethics (REK sør-øst B: 2015/945) and all participants gave their written informed consent before participation.
Sometimes the terms 'dynamic' and 'static' are used.[citation needed] 'Dynamic' exercises such as steady running, tend to produce a lowering of the diastolic blood pressure during exercise, due to the improved blood flow. Conversely, static exercise (such as weight-lifting) can cause the systolic pressure to rise significantly, albeit transiently, during the performance of the exercise.[8]
Exercising in early adulthood is your first step toward staving off osteoporosis, a major risk factor for fractures and frailty. “Your bone density at 30 determines your bone density later in life,” explains Balachandran, whose research focuses on improving physical function in older adults. Sprinting, dancing, and strength training in your teens and 20s stimulate bone growth so you have a larger store to draw from as you age.
One way repeated ANOVA was used to compare pre-exercise neuromuscular parameters between sessions (S1, S2 and S3). As no pre-exercise (pre) neuromuscular parameters differed between sessions (except EMG RMS RF at 60 deg/s), all pre-exercise parameters (except EMG RMS RF at 60 deg/s) were averaged. Neuromuscular parameters were then analyzed with one-way repeated measures ANOVA (time: pre, exhaustion, P20 and P40). Significant effect of time was explored with planned comparison (pre vs exhaustion, exhaustion vs P20, P20 vs P40) adjusted with Holm-Bonferonni correction. Cohen’s effect size f(V) was also calculated.
An opposite arm to leg crunch will tone the abs and improves posture by strengthening the back. Duhamel says to “lay down flat on your back raise your right arm above your head and then lift the left leg up. While the leg is lifting, you lift the right arm and reach the hand to meet the outer corner of the left foot.” Be sure to focus on finding that rotation and do not let the foot or hand touch the ground. Do this move on each side for 30 seconds per side.
Here’s how Chickedantz says to do it: Lay on a flat surface with your knees bent. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly, just below your rib cage. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that you can feel your stomach move out against your hand. There should be little to no movement in the hand resting on your chest. Open your mouth slightly and slowly exhale completely until you feel your stomach fall and ribcage depress. Pause for two counts and inhale again.
The lateral raise (or shoulder fly) is performed while standing or seated, with hands hanging down holding weights, by lifting them out to the sides until just below the level of the shoulders. A slight variation in the lifts can hit the deltoids even harder, while moving upwards, just turn the hands slightly downwards, keeping the last finger higher than the thumb. This is an isolation exercise for the deltoids. Also works the forearms and traps.
Begin this starter sit-up with your legs straight in front of you. Extend your arms over your legs and lower your head between your arms. Curl backward, bending your knees, and stop halfway down. Raise your arms straight up and pull your abs in tightly. Exhale and lower your arms as you curl back up. Do 6-8 reps at a moderate pace. As you become more advanced, try lowering all the way to the floor.

Tracing the origins of Western MMB training suggests that the regular practice of movement-harmonizing exercises was embedded in ancient Greek culture.1 Herodotis. The history of Herodotus. New York (NY): Appleman and Company; 1885. [Google Scholar] Calisthenics in Greek means strength and beauty, a combination highlighted in Greek mythology and everyday life. This philosophy engendered sporting activities that were practiced to facilitate self-empowerment and prepare for events such as the Olympic Games or military actions.2 The Atlantic [Internet]. Cheever DW. The Gymnasium (1859). 2015 Aug 30 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1859/05/the-gymnasium/305407/. [Google Scholar] Today, Calisthenics refers to full-body movement exercises benefiting the body and mind by employing functional motions such as bending, stretching, twisting, kicking, jumping, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.3 Greek Calisthenics Movement [Internet]. History. 2015 Jun 25 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://calisthenics.gr/en/index.html. [Google Scholar]


* After you reach your peak of development, you lose muscle tissue every day up until your death. The rate at which you lose muscle tissue significantly affects how fast you "age". Strength building exercise will slow this natural loss of muscle tissue. Would you rather age quickly or slowly? What kind of shape would you prefer to be in when you're in the Fall and Winter of your life?
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