1357 W Grand Avenue | Chicago, IL 60642

312-829-VITA (8482)


Date: 9/21/2016 9:25 PM UTC

There's a reason that when you read about habits of successful people, fitness- and health-related rituals are almost always high on the list. How we feel, how we sleep, how much energy we have and our overall state of health affect every area in our lives.
If we want to fuel an active lifestyle, we must eat whole, nutrient-dense foods. If we want to focus at work, we must get proper rest. If we want to keep up with our kids on the playground, we must keep our workouts up so our bodies stay strong. Our physical health needs to be a daily priority if we seek success in our work, respect in our relationships and have a desire to pursue our passions.
Establishing healthy habits can teach us life lessons as well as benefit our overall well-being. The earlier we start, the more it becomes a part of who we are. What we experience in our fitness regimen can often be a metaphor for what we experience in our day-to-day lives and applied to how we handle what life may throw at us. Here are five skills you can sharpen with a daily sweat session – whether you are 8 or 80 years old:
1. Responsibility
Taking responsibility for your physical health is one of the biggest commitments you have to make over your lifetime. Good health is not something you can buy and no one can do it for you. You – and only you – are responsible for the food you put in your mouth, the time you go to bed and the amount of exercise you get. Taking on this type of responsibility can be very empowering and set the tone for how you take on responsibilities in other areas of your life. From making the right choices as a child to ensuring you hold yourself accountable in work and family life, taking ownership of your actions and your day-to-day health regimens are the most positive ways to achieve a productive lifestyle.
2. Discipline
We've all heard the phrase "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." This is not only true in life, but also in fitness. Our muscles only get stronger when we ask them to do something they can't do, and they'll only develop enough muscle to deal with the resistance placed upon them. In order to grow as athletes, we add resistance beyond what we think our bodies can handle, which results in them growing stronger. If we never push ourselves physically, we don't grow. This mentality can be applied to so many life situations where we resist change. For example, you may resist the idea of reporting to a new boss at work because of the fear of change. By participating and welcoming the change rather than fearing it, however, you can open up to the idea that change leads to progress. Where there is growth, there will be resistance. If you are able to stay dedicated and move past the resistance, you will always continue to grow as a person.
3. Creativity
Anyone who has had a good workout can attest to the clarity it can bring. Regular exercise can clear the mind, boost your mood and open up space for creativity. Ensuring proper "timeouts" for a workout – whether allocating 15 minutes for a mindful meditation or dedicating time after work, after school or even on vacation for a heart-pumping physical escape – will undoubtedly free the thought process and empower you to go forward in a more productive and positive way.
4. Determination
By definition, determination is "a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult." Simply put, if you want something, you have to put in the work for it. You are the only person who can determine what that goal is and what your personal limits are. Each year, thousands of people – many of whom have never been runners but who are intent on pushing their personal limits – commit to running a marathon. If you have ever been part of that training process or any physically-challenging task, you know it's determination that takes you through the last leg and keeps you on track toward accomplishing that goal. So, whether you're in pursuit of the dream job, saving for that once-in-a-lifetime trip or angling for a spot on the student council, set a goal, do the work and enjoy the results that come from your determination.
5. Confidence
Getting and staying fit is a surefire way to increase your confidence. People tend to be very self-conscious when they first begin a physical fitness program and can be embarrassed if they can't do a pushup or run for more than a few minutes at a time. But as they become more fit and their bodies become stronger (no matter the age), they build confidence and start to push themselves to do things they never believed they could do. This almost always carries over into other parts of their lives. Maybe you take on that project that scares you or you join that group that seemed too intimidating before. Like your fitness routine, as you dive further in, your confidence grows, your mental prep gets stronger and you are ready to tackle whatever is thrown your way.
The benefits of working up a sweat go beyond even the impactful physical attributes that we often associate with exercise. So lace up your sneakers, get your to-do lists ready and get moving! Sign up now for all of you classes for the week and make the commitment to yourself!  SIGN UP HERE

Posted by Marilyn D'Andrea | Post a Comment

Date: 2/11/2016 2:00 PM UTC

Strength training can be of enormous benefit to anyone pursuing a fitness regime, but unfortunately most men in the gym are not working on any sort of pre or post-workout mobility/flexibility session. Yoga is beneficial because it requires one to focus on the task at hand. 
When we train this capacity of the mind, we are learning to cultivate the space we need to make conscious decisions about how we spend our time.
 It is in this space that we can bring all of our experiences, education and inner wisdom to the moment.
 The more focus, the more one is truly present and therefore the greater the capacity for excellence. Yoga exercises, meditation, and postures also improve your balance, strength, and overall flexibility, making you more capable of pursuing a balanced fitness regimen.

5 benefits of including yoga into your strength training: 

Yoga Benefit #1: Decompression
In order to keep your connective and supportive tissues healthy, decompression is essential. Tension in these areas restricts crucial blood flow, reducing the rate of healing and nutrient delivery. We want our soft tissues to remain just that, soft. The pressure of strength training introduces retain forces some part within your soft tissues. An equal but opposing force will release that tension. 

Yoga Benefit #2: Change of Scenery 
The repetitive nature of strength training can lead to some boredom with the practice. Yoga is normally practiced in a group-training environment that is completely different from your normal lifting routine. This change in setting can keep your routine fresh!

Yoga Benefit #3: Alignment Practice
There are no barbells lifted in a Yoga class. All you need is your body. Sometimes we can get so involved in our heavy weights that any body weight movements seem like a waste of time and energy. However, the postures visited in a typical yoga class all work on fundamental alignment and engagement that is essential to strength training.

Yoga Benefit #4: Brain Day
We’ve got a separate day for all the parts of the body when it comes to strength training. Seemingly absent from that list is brain day. We don’t get the term meatheads from having buff brains. Instead, it is our lack of focus on mental and emotional development that makes folks think we’re just a big hunk of meat with two eyes. We’ve all got a soft side, whether you want to admit it or not!

Yoga Benefit #5: Cleansing
When done right, strength training has some residual damage in your muscular system that repairs over the passing days after the session. Removing the resulting damaged tissue takes time, but this process is sped up with a faster flow of fluids through your body.

Some Yoga classes are in a heated environment that encourages profuse sweating. The heated environment helps with mobilizing soft tissues, allowing you to get deeper into the poses. It also makes you sweat buckets! Seriously, you’ll be left in a pool of sweat from just an hour of Yoga, so be sure to bring a towel! 

Try Yoga at Sana Vita Studio!
We offer group classes and private yoga instruction!
First time private instruction offer 2 Private Sessions for $110! 



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Date: 1/13/2016 11:52 PM UTC

Chances are at some time in your life you’ve made a New Year’s resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get healthy, you will have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are 10 tips to help you get started. 
1.  Be Realistic
The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
2.  Plan Ahead
Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.
3.  Outline Your Plan
Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.
4.  Make a “Pros” and “Cons” List
It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5.  Talk About It
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
6.  Reward Yourself
This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.
7.  Track Your Progress
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.
8.  Dont Beat Yourself Up
Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.
9.  Stick to It
Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!
10. Keep Trying
If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.

Turn your goal action plan into ACTION! Sign up for Private instruction or join in on NEW classes! And enjoy the January special 10% OFF 10 class packages 


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Date: 12/17/2015 12:41 AM UTC

5 Health Tips for the Holiday Season

December is usually synonymous with an abundance of eating and a lack of exercise. We want to encourage you to start this New Year on the right foot. The holidays are a time for celebration and family, not to put on weight. It's almost as if we've come to accept that we are going to put on 10 pounds during each holiday season.

Celebration doesn't have to mean gluttonous eating, or deprivation for that matter. It's time to bring the focus back to the purpose of the holiday. Enjoy your friends and family, the time off and the traditions of the holidays. 

The holiday season might not be a time to lose weight, but it doesn't have to be a time to lose your health. The key is to go into the holidays with a plan. Here are five ways to keep your health over the holidays. 

Tip #1: Shop Well For Yourself 
 It is more important then ever to stock your kitchen with healthy foods. Have healthy snacks handy. The more convenient they are, the more likely you are to eat them. Instead of thinking about what you shouldn't eat, promise to eat your 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day.

Tips #2: Schedule Your Exercise 
Your schedule will be very hectic this holiday season. Schedule your workouts just as you would any other appointment. It's ok if you can't make it to class, but make sure that you get some activity in at least three days per week. 
Tip #3: Just Say No
You probably aren't aware how much extra food you consume just from people offering it to you. A sample at the market here, an extra cookie at an office party there and it all adds up. Just think twice before you take that food and decide if you really want it. 

Tip #4: Skip the Baking
Do you make baked goods for giving? Chances are you eat much of what you bake. Who wouldn't? Instead make non-food gifts, or prepare ingredients for baked goods and put them in pretty jars--let your gift recipient bake it up. That way, they can eat it when they want it and you don't have to be tempted in the kitchen. 

Tip #5: Hydrate
Keep your water bottle with you at all times. You should be drinking eight, 8-oz glasses of water each day. One handy trick is to buy a 64 ounce water jug. Fill it up in the morning and know that you need to finish it by the end of the day.


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Date: 11/19/2015 11:49 PM UTC

 More Reasons For Pregnant Women To Hit The Yoga Mat

We already know there are a ton of benefits to practicing yoga during pregnancy — from easing lower back pain to decreasing the risk of preterm birth. But how advanced can a pregnant woman really get with her poses?
According to a new study published in the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, even the seemingly more exotic yoga poses are actually perfectly safe for both pregnant mamas and their little ones.
Previously, many expecting moms have been discouraged from doing certain poses later in pregnancy, like downward-facing dog, happy baby pose and corpse pose. But there have been few scientific studies that have looked into what's actually safe.

So a team of researchers decided to follow a group of 25 healthy women in their third trimesters. Some of the participants regularly practiced yoga, while others were complete novices.
In the study, the women performed a wide range of 26 poses — from one-legged balances to downward-facing dog. The only poses they were told to avoid were inversions like headstands and anything that meant lying on their bellies (for obvious reasons). Meanwhile, the researchers monitored vital signs, like the woman's blood pressure and the baby's heart rate.

The result? Every position was found to be safe — there was no decrease in fetal movement, no contractions, no decrease in any of the vital signs (for either mama or infant), and in a follow-up, no one reported leakage or vaginal bleeding. Plus, there were zero falls or injures. "This is preliminary information, but I think it's exciting and reassuring to know there were no adverse changes for both mom or baby," Dr. Rachael Polis, the study's lead researcher told NPR. In other words: As long as your pregnancy is low-risk and you aren't, say, attempting headstands during hot yoga sessions, feel free to hit the mat, mamas!

Enjoy more yoga with our November Special of 3 Yoga Classes for $30!



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Date: 6/25/2015 10:53 PM UTC

Change your Posture and Change your Life
Poor posture can lead to neck and shoulder aches but recent studies are showing that slouching can lead to much more than aches and pain! Poor posture can increase depression, decrease circulation, increase stress and can reduce life expectancy! How can you get out of this slump? Come try our new class Posture and Functional Exercise! This class consists of exercises that restore, stabilize, and strengthen working parts of your anatomy.  The class will begin with movement to neutralize your posture, working toward muscle restoration, then stabilizing and strengthening. You will see dramatic improvements in flexibility, coordination, and movement.  JUNE SPECIAL 3 CLASSES FOR $60 ($105 Value)

Surprising Ways your Posture Affects your Health
Deepens Depression
In a recent study from San Francisco State University, students were told to either walk down a hall in a slouched position or to skip. The slouchers reported increased feelings of depression and lower energy than skippers.
The fix: Imagine there’s a headlight right in the middle of your chest at the sternum (breast bone), says Krucoff. Sitting or standing, your headlight should always shine forward. Now, keeping your head centered over your shoulders, extend your head toward the ceiling without lifting your chin.

Causes Career Problems
Slouching doesn’t just hurt your attitude—it can affect how people see you. “You don’t want to walk into somebody’s office slouching and bent over, because people really do perceive you as not as vital,” says Janice Novak, author of Posture, Get it Straight and director of improveyourposture.com. “To improve posture long term, you need to strengthen muscles mid-back,” she says.
The fix: To avoid being a slouch on the job, Novak recommends doing this exercise at your desk: Lift the bottom of your ribcage an inch or two off your hipbone, pulling your shoulder blades back and down. To make sure you maintain the position, pin a ribbon to top and to bottom of your shirt and keep it taut for 10 minutes at a time.

Increased risk of Disease and Death

A recent Australian study found that after the age of 25, every single hour of television—i.e., slouching on the couch—reduced the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. Plus, when English researchers cross-referenced sitting time with health outcomes in a different study, they found that those people who sat the most more than doubled their risk of developing diabetes and had a 147 % increase in their risk for cardiovascular disease, even if they exercised.
The fix: Don’t let the box beat you. Novak suggests doing the TV Stand: Stand up from chair without using arms and sit down in a smooth and controlled motion. “Just doing this simple move can keep your lower body muscles very strong,” says Novak.

Makes you look Heavier
Does this chair make me look fat? Well, yes, says Novak. “We’ve become a nation of professional sitters,” she says. “But when you are slouched over, your internal organs have nowhere to go but down and out—you immediately look fatter.”
The fix: The solution for this one is simple. “Get up and move,” says Novak. “When we stand as opposed to sit, we burn 20% more calories and strengthen our muscles, boost metabolism and increase bone density.”

Come try Posture and Functional Exercise classes 
Tuesdays at 11:00 AM and Thursday at 5:00PM

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Date: 5/5/2015 11:23 PM UTC

What should you be snacking on? If you are looking to improve your health and shrink your waistline the answer is almonds! A new study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association offers up some compelling reasons why almonds should be our go to snack.

During the study two groups of participants who all had high LDL (bad cholesterol) levels each followed a healthy diet for 12 weeks. During the first six weeks, one group enjoyed a 1.5-ounce portion of almonds for a snack, while the other group ate a carbohydrate-rich muffin for a snack. Aside from the snack, the two groups had the same diet. The groups switched snacks for the second six weeks but again otherwise followed the same diet. Researchers found that when the two groups snacked on the almonds rather than the muffins, they reduced both their LDL and total cholesterol levels. Plus, eating the almonds raised their HDL (good) cholesterol levels, while eating the muffin decreased HDL levels.

What’s more is that even though overall body weight did not change when participants were snacking on almonds versus muffins, their belly fat and waist circumference went down.

And get this: both the muffin and the portion of almonds contained nearly the same number of calories (273 and 253, respectively) and both diets had the same overall number of calories. This evidence shows strong support for the argument that it’s the quality of calories that make for a healthy diet, not just quantity. The fact that almonds are rich in protein, fiber, and vitamin E —nutrients muffins score much lower in—most likely played a role in the results of this study. So next time you reach for a snack, think: nutrient-rich!

Want to learn more on how to make your diet fit your life and reach your goals?

Learn about a new 8 Week Program that starts May 6th thru June 24th! This includes nutrition coaching with in person weekly meetings and webinars. Take the challenge and get fit by JULY 4th. More info about Kelli's coaching services here click here.

REGISTER HERE - May 6th coaching at Sana Vita Studio

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Date: 3/26/2015 10:54 PM UTC

Meditation: Why it is good for your Mental and Physical Health

Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. In the area of mindfulness meditation we're starting to get a better understanding of why it seems to be beneficial for so many aspects of life, from disease and pain management, to sleep, to control of emotions. What is Mindfulness exactly, as described by Perspectives on Psychological Science Study mindfulness is a "the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment"

Here are 6 compelling reasons to begin a meditation practice:
  • IT LOWERS STRESS - LITERALLY - Research published in the journal of Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, its also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • IT CHANGES THE BRAIN IN A PROTECTIVE WAY - University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training -- which is a meditation technique -- can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.
  • IT MAKES MUSIC SOUND BETTER -  Mindfulness meditation improves our focused engagement in music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we're listening to, according to a study in the journal Psychology of Music. 
  • IT SUPPORTS YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS GOALS - Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight? Mindfulness could be your best friend, according to a survey of psychologists conducted by Consumer Reports and the American Psychological Association. Mindfulness training was considered an "excellent" or "good" strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in the survey. 
  • IT HELPS US EVEN WHEN WE'RE NOT ACTIVELY PRACTICING IT - You don't have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain's emotional processing. That's the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region's response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn't actively meditating.
  • IT MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON - Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. But it could also benefit people we interact with, by making us more compassionate, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, "do-good" behavior.
Interested in starting a meditation practice?  Be realistic in your expectations. Training or taming the mind is a skill to develop over a lifetime. Sure, there are some immediate benefits to be found, but some take longer than others. If expectations are too high then you may well feel disappointed and demotivated at some stage. So just take one day at a time. 
A wonderful method to try is simply breathing! Breathing Meditation: This technique takes those pre-yoga class "Oms" to the next level. Also called yogic breathing or Pranayama, this meditation style is all about controlling the inhales and exhales. Greatist Expert Dr. Jeffrey Rubin explains, "Longer exhales tend to be calming, while longer inhales are energizing. For meditative purposes either the ratio of exhale to inhale is even or the exhale is longer than the inhale for a calming effect."

Interested in exploring meditation a bit more, come try Candlelight Yin Yoga Sunday evenings 7:00PM-8:30PM at Sana Vita Studio.  This meditative style of yoga holds postures for longer lengths of time, increasing flexibility, melting away tension, decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety, and increasing a sense of calmness and peacefulness. CLICK HERE for more information of to sign up!


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Date: 3/19/2015 9:26 PM UTC

Do you wish you made better food choices? Interestingly enough, reading the latest book or scouring the internet is not the best way. Studies show the best way to change the way you eat is to talk to someone who you consider healthy and learn about their daily diet. You are more likely to stick with a new healthy lifestyle if you socially engaged with the person or group you consult. Good thing we offer group nutritional coaching classes at Sana Vita Studio!

Simply, we do not want be to told what to do, but want to be told what others do. Just think about it when you were young and began making choices about your wardrobe.... which one seemed like the better option: wearing what your mom told you was cool or wearing what friends valued as cool? Same difference when it comes to food choices. As soon as we can start making choices about what we eat, we become greatly impacted by the influence of others which we admire and by groups of people we dislike. For example, if you get happy hour cocktails and appetizers every Friday with your favorite co-workers, you probably look forward to it! You may associate happiness with this weekly feasting. On the flip side, if a group you dislike enjoys a certain kind of food, you adjust your tastes so you do not align with whatever they like, because you do not want to be associated with them.

Make a list of your favorite foods or frequented foods...

  • Are any of them something your family or friends enjoy? 
  • Are any of them well respected by a group of people you aspire to be like or associate with? Maybe from a publication, food source (store or restaurant), people or person you respect...
  • Are any new foods (healthy, think chia seeds or or unhealthy, think cronuts...) you enjoy that a friend or family member told you about?
I thought about my favorite foods: baked potatoes, pad thai, cookies, peas, collard greens, raspberries, tuna, tamales and lasagna.

Baked potatoes, tuna, peas, cookies, chef or chopped salads - all family favorites. And i'm constantly finding new ways of preparing all of them on food blogs and from publications. Pad thai, collard greens, tamales - all friend favorites and things we like to eat when we are together. Raspberries - my favorite fruit after I watched a family member incorporate them into her diet. They are low GI, full of antioxidants, and fun to eat. Lasagna - my idol, Garfield's favorite food.

All of my favorite foods neatly fit into a category above... how about yours?

We are socially engaged with food. We should consider the way the internet, specifically social media, impacts the foods we crave. Try following healthy people and blogs that will motivate you, instead of looking pictures of your friend's Sunday night football chicken wing platters. Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter give you the ability to discretely hide or mute posts by friends or family that may be throwing stones at your new healthy lifestyle.

Because healthy (and unhealthy) behavior is contagious try posting new recipes and exercises you have found tried and true that are actually good for you. You could change your love ones lives by being a positive food and fitness source! Posting pictures of Sana Vita Studio or a cute #healthie (like a #selfie... but when you are being engaging in something healthy) keeps you health-positive and motivated and in return may do the same for people that follow you on social media!

Click here to read more about our nutritional coaching services.
Be kind to yourself..follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Date: 3/11/2015 10:55 PM UTC

Exercising with a friend offers many benefits:
Friends hold each other accountable. Fewer skipped workouts mean you maintain and reach your fitness goals.

You will push yourself further. Working out with a friend pushes you to do the exercise and do it to the best of your ability. You are more willing to try something new. Friends provide the confidence boost to try new classes and enjoy the new experience together. Have your friend REGISTER HERE and select FREE SPRING FRIEND. Get fit and healthy together!

* Free Friend must be a new client to Sana Vita Studio. This offer is not valid with any other deal or a client registered under Class Pass. One class only and valid for Pilates Equipment, Pilates Mat, Power Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Yamuna Body Rolling.

New Classes - based on your feedback!

Monday's 7:00PM Pilates Mat with Kara
Thursday's 7:30PM Pilates Mat with Annette
Sunday's 7:00PM Candlelight Yin Yoga with Deanna
Sign up today!

Spring is almost here!
Stay motivated with a friend!

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