8th November 2018
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What is HIIT?

HIIT training is an acronym for High intensity interval training. It is a broad term for workouts that involves short bursts of high intensity exercise with varying rest periods. This variation of training is ideal for those who live busy lives and feel they don’t have time to exercise as you can create an effective HIIT workout in less than 10 minutes. Despite the short duration of these sessions, if completed effectively they can produce health benefits up to twice as much as moderate intensity exercise. 

The exercise you choose to do can vary but  can include; rowing, cycling, jumping or sprinting. The variations are limitless. An example of a how a HIIT session may be structured is 30 seconds sprints on the stationary bike followed by 30 seconds rest, and this is repeated 8 to 10 times. The amount of time you exercise  depends on the exercise you choose and the 

This article will list some of the major health benefits of HIIT training and try to show you why this is something you should be building into you weekly exercise routine. 

1. HIIT can burn a lot of calories in a very short amount of time!

One scientific study compared the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running and biking. The researchers found that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise. In this study, a HIIT repetition consisted of 20 seconds of maximal effort, followed by 40 seconds of rest. This means that the participants were actually only exercising for 1/3 of the time that the running and biking groups were. Although each workout session was 30 minutes long in this study, it is common for HIIT workouts to be much shorter than traditional exercise sessions. This is because HIIT allows you to burn about the same amount of calories, but spend less time exercising.

2. Your metabolic rate is higher hours after exercise!

One of the ways HIIT helps you burn calories actually comes after you are done exercising. Several scientific studies have demonstrated HIIT’s impressive ability to increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. Some researchers have even found that HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more so than jogging and weight training. 

3. HIIT can be done anywhere!

No matter where you are a HIIT workout can be done without constraints. You don’t need any equipments and very little space to be able to do an effective workout. Check out our youtube channel for various home workouts you can try yourself!

4. You can build muscle!

In addition to helping with fat loss, HIIT could help increase muscle mass in certain individuals. However, the gain in muscle mass is primarily in the muscles being used the most, often the trunk and legs. Additionally, it’s important to note that increases in muscle mass are more likely to occur in individuals who were less active to begin with .

5. Improve the health of your heart!

They say that extreme training helps build extreme results. It’s hard for most people to push themselves to an anaerobic zone where you lose your breath and feel your heart pounding faster and faster. With interval training it’s easier to push yourself to that level because of the rest interval that comes right after you reach that point. This helps keep a healthy heart and helps blood flow effectively throughout your whole body.

Example of a basic HIIT workout with no equipment!!

Squat Jumps: 20 seconds 

Burpees: 20 seconds 

Press Ups: 20 seconds 

Plank: 20 seconds 

10 seconds rest between exercises

30 seconds rest after each round

Complete 3-4 rounds. 


1st November 2018
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So here are a list of our favourite bodyweight exercises that you can add to your workout. These exercises need no equipment at all so you can even complete them in the comfort of your own home! 

  1. Burpee:

Target Area: Full Body

Main Muscles Recruited: Most major muscle groups

Begin standing tall, then squat down to the floor, hopping your legs back into a plank position. Hop your legs back beneath you, then spring up, clapping your arms above your head as your feet leave the floor. Repeat. Beginners: You can perform “walking burpees” by first stepping back one leg, then another, into a plank position. Return to standing by stepping both feet back beneath you, then repeat.

 


  1. Press Up:

Target Area: Upper Body

Main Muscles Recruited: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Begin in a plank position, hands under your shoulders with your body in a straight line from head to toe. Lower your chest to the ground, being careful to keep your elbows in and to not drop your hips. Push back up to a plank, then repeat. Beginners: You can do wall, chair, or countertop pushups. Simply extend the feet behind you as you would a regular pushup, lowering your chest toward the surface you’re elevated on.

 

.

  1. Mountain Climbers:

Target Area: Full Body

Main Muscles Recruited: Most major muscle groups

Begin in a plank position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to toe. Engaging your core, draw in your right knee toward your chest, then extend it back to the starting position. Do the same with your left knee, and continue alternating knees. Beginners: You can modify this exercise by placing your hands on an elevated surface, such as a chair, and draw in your knees up to your chest.

  1. Walk Out Press Ups: 

Target Area: Full Body 

Main Muscles Recruited: Most major muscle groups, focus on Chest, Shoulders and Triceps with Press up

Begin standing tall. Reach for the floor and with your legs as straight as possible, crawl forward until you reach the plank position. Once in the plank position perform a press up (second on this list). Then crawl back up to a standing position, again keeping the legs as straight as possible. Repeat. Beginners: You can remove the press up from this movement to simplify the exercise or simply drop to your knees in order to perform a effective press up.

  1. Broad Jump:

Target Area: Lower Body 

Main Muscles Recruited: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calfs

Begin standing tall. Rapidly drop into a squat position, keeping your chest high and hips back. Explode from the squat position as fast as possible, extending the ankle, knee and hip. Leap horizontally as far as possible. When you land it is essential that you immediately drop into a squat (soft landing) to keep the exercise as safe as possible. Beginners: My variation for this exercise is to jump vertically rather than horizontally (squat jump)

  1. Plank Transitions: 

Target Area: Core

Main Muscles Recruited : Abdominals, Obliques

Begin holding the press up position (straight arm plank). Your back must be straight at all times and your hands should be below your chest. One arm at a time drop from your hands to your forearms whilst keeping your back straight and limiting any rotation at the hips. Beginners: Simply hold either a straight arm plank or forearm plank without adding the transitions.

Home Workout:

Here is a workout you can complete at home using these 6 exercises. No equipment and only a small amount of space is needed to complete these routine. 

Round 1: 

Burpee: 20 seconds 

Press Up: 20 seconds 

Mountain Climbers: 20 Seconds 

Rest: 30 seconds and Repeat 

Round 2:

Walk Out Press Up: 20 seconds 

Broad Jump: 20 seconds 

Plank Transitions: 20 seconds 

Rest: 30 Seconds and Repeat

Round 3:

All 6 Exercises back to back: 20 seconds work on each!

This workout only take you around 10 mins to complete so give it a try!!


19th October 2018
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The Christmas season is fast approaching! Now Christmas can be a stressful time with all the planning, preparation and rushing around. At some points you may find yourself wondering if it is all worth it! Throughout this period the temptation to indulge and risk of deviating from your fitness routine is high! So this article is here to give you 12 helpful tips to help keep you on track whilst still being able to enjoy the celebrations.

1. Create a Christmas mantra

A  mantra is an affirmation to motivate and inspire you to be your best self. It is typically a positive phrase or statement that you use to affirm the way you want to live your life. Its purpose is to provide motivation and encouragement to you when you need to focus your mind to achieve a goal. You should create yourself a mantra which is personal and specific to you and your goals. You could even try to make this mantra festive and Christmas related. An example could be “I am going to gift myself with the body I want this Christmas”

2. Fail to plan, plan to fail

You should always plan in order to limit the decisions you have to make throughout the day and give you clarity and structure! This will help you stick to your diet and fitness routine and limit the risk of decision fatigue. 

Firstly you should plan your meals. Planning your meals takes away the stress of having to figure out what you are going to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. 

Planning for meals also allows you to incorporate healthy eating within what you can afford. It is important to take into account your lifestyle/schedule/commitment. If you are not willing or do not have have time to make an elaborate healthy dish, then do not plan for that dish and buy groceries for that dish if it is unlikely or unrealistic for you to have or make that dish. 

For example, I know that I have a busy life and that I do not always have time to make breakfast/lunch/dinner so I try to plan meals that are healthy and easy to make, but also affordable, durable, and that will last a certain amount of time, and and I only buy groceries that fit into this plan. 

Secondly you should plan your exercise. Your should set clear routines and goals when exercising. You should know at the start of the week what exercise you intend to do. Whether this be go for a run, swim, attend the gym etc. This can then be even more specific as you should never walk into the gym and not know what you are going to do or go for a run without a distance or time in mind. You will rarely exercise effectively if you don’t plan your workout or set goals for your session. 

3. Don’t go places hungry

The truth is, we are not our ideal, best- thinking, balanced selves when we are hungry. We overestimate how much we need to eat (“eat with our eyes”), we overeat, we eat things we shouldn’t eat, we say things we don’t mean, etc. Our primal instinct and drive to eat takes over and nothing else really matters. 

So it is good to not go places hungry, even if there will be food at the place you are going to. Generally, it takes time for food to arrive at the table, for people to decide what they want to eat, for hosts to have things ready to roll, for social and interpersonal activities to take place, etc. which means that going hungry to any place makes you more likely to be irritable and on a one-track mind to get your physiological needs met. Going to places hungry also doesn’t support the best decision-making so it’s good practice to eat something before you go. 

4. Decide on indulgences beforehand

Throughout the Christmas period it is easy to over indulge. While this can be avoided with the will of steel, sometimes we will decide to give our wills of steel a day (or two? Or more?) off. 

When this happens or when you decide to eat as you should not be eating, be selective in what you are eating and when you are eating it. A treat does not hurt every now and then, but it is a waste to eat a sweet or food item that we do not really care for just because we can. 

If you are going to cheat, cheat sparingly and selectively.  Do not waste your cheating opportunities on stuff that you do not really want to eat and are only eating because you are craving something sweet/salty/etc. or because it happens to be around. 

5. Be decisive

Indecision can be exhausting so decisiveness conserves both our physical and our emotional energy. It helps us to reduce procrastination, become more productive and organised, and gives us a greater peace of mind by eliminating anxiety and improving our confidence. When setting goals and making food choices your should be decisive and make a firm decision, then stick to this decision. You will gain so much more control over your life and your confidence will dramatically increase from simply being decisive. 

6. Drink lots of water

Water is healthy for you and necessary for our bodies to survive. Our bodies are 50- 70% water and the rest blood. You can survive up to eight weeks without food as long as you have water. I do not recommend trying this out unless your life is such that this is unavoidable but rather include this to highlight the importance of water. For many cultures, water is life or is associated with life.

You should be drinking water throughout the day, whenever you are hungry, whenever you are bored, whenever you remember, and before meals. In fact, you should be drinking water right now. Your body needs an average of 8-10 cups of water to replenish the water that our bodies lose each day a n d it takes more water to replenish our water stores when we are involved in activities, heat, etc. It also takes time for your body to absorb the water that you take in and your body cannot take in all the water that it needs in one sitting.

7. Lower expectations

Expecting too much of yourself is a sure-fire way to increase stress levels. Ask yourself what you think you should or must be doing. Sometimes the expectations we have aren’t helpful, especially if we feel others might judge us.  SO throughout this busy time don’t try and cram in too much. Taking a break will give you time to recharge your batteries before the New Year starts. 

8. Remember what Christmas is about

Among the Christmas panic and stress you should always keep in mind what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about having fun, celebrating the year gone by and spending time with the people you love. Try to enjoy yourself and relax,  stay positive and think about what makes Christmas great. 

9. Routine is key

The word routine can often be frown upon and seen as being restrictive and boring. However routines can be fun and having one can lead to many health benefits. With the Christmas period being hectic and stressful a routine will be especially beneficial. A solid routine can result in:

  • Better stress levels lead to improved mental health, more time to relax and less anxiety. A lack of healthy stress management techniques can put you at greater risk for heart disease and negatively impact your overall health.
  • Better sleep will leave you refreshed. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest. Your sleep scehdule and bedtime habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. It’s best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed. 
  • Better health is a result of just a little extra planning. Set the alarm a little earlier and you’ll have time to exercise and eat breakfast, fuelling your body for the day. Even a quick (and healthy) breakfast will get you energised. Whether you like to just go for a run or go to the gym for a bigger workout, it’s important make time for exercise.

10. Learn to say no

This one can be a hard one, especially around the holidays, festive days, celebratory days, or any days with food outside of your healthy eating plan, but the truth is that in order to lose weight and to maintain weight loss, you will have to say “no” to a lot of things that you want to say “yes” to. 

The food will look great, smell great, and everyone around you will look happy as they eat the food that you too would like to be eating. It takes strength and willpower, but you have to implement the “no” and the self-control if you want to lose weight and maintain weight loss. 

11. Get up and make movement your “modus operandi”

You may feel like throughout the Christmas period that you do not have time to exercise and that there is simply too much else to do. However it is essential to exercise, even if it is simply taking the stairs instead of the lift in the shops, as our bodies were made to be in motion and we suffer mental, physical, and spiritual effects when we are not moving sufficiently and when we are not getting enough activity in our daily lives. There are numerous articles and research that has been done highlighting the detrimental health. 

So get moving and find and way that works for you to track it. It can be with a pedometer, an activity log, a daily break checklist, or a hybrid of methods but you’ll want to hold yourself accountable and want to see that activity “add up.” It also helps with consistency and routine in making movement part of your “modus operandi.” 

12. Reduce sugars in your diet 

Now throughout the Christmas period there is so much more sugary foods which are put right in front of you, whether this be a advent calendar, box of celebrations or a bowl of Christmas pudding. A high sugar diet can lead to health conditions such as:

  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Dental plaque and cavities

Reducing the amount of sugar in the diet can help reduce the risks for these conditions. Replacing sugary foods with healthful ones can help a person get all of their essential vitamins and minerals. It may also help a person lose weight. To help you do this you should try:

  • Reading food labels
  • Avoid simple carbs such as white rice and white pasta
  • Avoid artificial sugars and sweeteners
  • Do not drink sugar (fizzy drinks etc)
  • Plan your meals 
  • Focus and unprocessed whole foods

So there you have it! Try use these tips to help you get through the Christmas period and help you stick to your goals. Merry Christmas from all of us here at Podfit!!!


18th October 2018

While the so-called “Santa Diet” (putting on 10 pounds over the Christmas period) has been shown to be somewhat exaggerated, scientific studies do suggest that on average 3.5 pounds is what most of us gain between Christmas and New Year.

While this may not sound like a lot, for most of us only half this weight is ever lost, meaning a decade of Christmases can have a huge impact on your waistline.

These are the 5 Big Things that cause weight gain at Christmas

  •  Stress:

Secret Santa gifts, the last minute rush for the must-have kiddie toy, or simply the pressure of clearing your workload

before the New Year all add to the extra stress most of us feel around the holiday period. Sadly when it comes to coping with

stress, the first thing many of us reach for is a snack. Whether it’s your favourite chocolate bar, fast food burger, packet of

crisps or gooey cake, overeating and stress seem to come hand in hand over the holiday period. This unhealthy friendship is

only made worse by the release of stress hormone Cortisol that promotes weight gain – especially belly fat.

  • Broken Routines:

    When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, getting into positive routines helps. Gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday, cooking for the week on Sunday, preparing healthy snacks first thing on Monday and taking time out to meditate can all be achieved if we stay in routine, even when they have to be fitted around the school run, morning meetings, afternoon clubs and late night events. So why does routine seem to fly out of the window the moment the first Advent Calendar is opened?

    Holiday visits, changes in office routines, Christmas parties at work, at school, with friends, with family, with the dog walking club, you name it, means something has to give and too often it’s the healthy routines.

  • Emotional Associations:

    So you have been good and spent December saying no to the box of chocolate that has done more loops of the office than the Mexican wave during the Olympics, but you simply can’t say no to Granny’s home made mince pies? Don’t worry; you are not alone. One of the toughest challenges most December dieters face is the emotional ties they have to certain foods, whether it’s Granny’s mince pies, Dad’s supersized Sunday roast or the box of special chocs you always share with loved ones while watching a Christmas movie.

  • Social pressure:
    Christmas is seen as a time to relax, kick back and enjoy all the things we have been so diligently staying away from the rest of the year. As a result there is often a lot of associated guilt, which is elevated if everyone is seen to be joining in. As a result, studies have shown we tend to eat more than the average, with office workers often matching the sugary intake of their colleagues fuelling the constant psychological cue to overeat.
  • The New Year Cop-out:

    How many of us have used the excuse, “I’ll hit the gym in the New Year”? According to reports this is one of the most popular resolutions every year, allowing us to stuff our face with our favourite sweets, biscuits, chocolates and cakes. Sadly while it will be top of the resolution list for many of us before Big Ben chimes in the New Year, far fewer will see it through.


18th October 2018
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The Christmas season is fast approaching! Now Christmas can be a stressful time with all the planning, preparation and rushing around. At some points you may find yourself wondering if it is all worth it! Throughout this period the temptation to indulge and risk of deviating from your fitness routine is high! So this article is here to give you 12 helpful tips to help keep you on track whilst still being able to enjoy the celebrations.

1. Create a Christmas mantra

A  mantra is an affirmation to motivate and inspire you to be your best self. It is typically a positive phrase or statement that you use to affirm the way you want to live your life. Its purpose is to provide motivation and encouragement to you when you need to focus your mind to achieve a goal. You should create yourself a mantra which is personal and specific to you and your goals. You could even try to make this mantra festive and Christmas related. An example could be “I am going to gift myself with the body I want this Christmas”

2. Fail to plan, plan to fail

You should always plan in order to limit the decisions you have to make throughout the day and give you clarity and structure! This will help you stick to your diet and fitness routine and limit the risk of decision fatigue.

Firstly you should plan your meals. Planning your meals takes away the stress of having to figure out what you are going to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Planning for meals also allows you to incorporate healthy eating within what you can afford. It is important to take into account your lifestyle/schedule/commitment. If you are not willing or do not have have time to make an elaborate healthy dish, then do not plan for that dish and buy groceries for that dish if it is unlikely or unrealistic for you to have or make that dish.

For example, I know that I have a busy life and that I do not always have time to make breakfast/lunch/dinner so I try to plan meals that are healthy and easy to make, but also affordable, durable, and that will last a certain amount of time, and and I only buy groceries that fit into this plan.

Secondly you should plan your exercise. Your should set clear routines and goals when exercising. You should know at the start of the week what exercise you intend to do. Whether this be go for a run, swim, attend the gym etc. This can then be even more specific as you should never walk into the gym and not know what you are going to do or go for a run without a distance or time in mind. You will rarely exercise effectively if you don’t plan your workout or set goals for your session.

3. Don’t go places hungry

The truth is, we are not our ideal, best- thinking, balanced selves when we are hungry. We overestimate how much we need to eat (“eat with our eyes”), we overeat, we eat things we shouldn’t eat, we say things we don’t mean, etc. Our primal instinct and drive to eat takes over and nothing else really matters.

So it is good to not go places hungry, even if there will be food at the place you are going to. Generally, it takes time for food to arrive at the table, for people to decide what they want to eat, for hosts to have things ready to roll, for social and interpersonal activities to take place, etc. which means that going hungry to any place makes you more likely to be irritable and on a one-track mind to get your physiological needs met. Going to places hungry also doesn’t support the best decision-making so it’s good practice to eat something before you go.

4. Decide on indulgences beforehand

Throughout the Christmas period it is easy to over indulge. While this can be avoided with the will of steel, sometimes we will decide to give our wills of steel a day (or two? Or more?) off.

When this happens or when you decide to eat as you should not be eating, be selective in what you are eating and when you are eating it. A treat does not hurt every now and then, but it is a waste to eat a sweet or food item that we do not really care for just because we can.

If you are going to cheat, cheat sparingly and selectively.  Do not waste your cheating opportunities on stuff that you do not really want to eat and are only eating because you are craving something sweet/salty/etc. or because it happens to be around.

5. Be decisive

Indecision can be exhausting so decisiveness conserves both our physical and our emotional energy. It helps us to reduce procrastination, become more productive and organised, and gives us a greater peace of mind by eliminating anxiety and improving our confidence. When setting goals and making food choices your should be decisive and make a firm decision, then stick to this decision. You will gain so much more control over your life and your confidence will dramatically increase from simply being decisive.

6. Drink lots of water

Water is healthy for you and necessary for our bodies to survive. Our bodies are 50- 70% water and the rest blood. You can survive up to eight weeks without food as long as you have water. I do not recommend trying this out unless your life is such that this is unavoidable but rather include this to highlight the importance of water. For many cultures, water is life or is associated with life.

You should be drinking water throughout the day, whenever you are hungry, whenever you are bored, whenever you remember, and before meals. In fact, you should be drinking water right now. Your body needs an average of 8-10 cups of water to replenish the water that our bodies lose each day a n d it takes more water to replenish our water stores when we are involved in activities, heat, etc. It also takes time for your body to absorb the water that you take in and your body cannot take in all the water that it needs in one sitting.

7. Lower expectations

Expecting too much of yourself is a sure-fire way to increase stress levels. Ask yourself what you think you should or must be doing. Sometimes the expectations we have aren’t helpful, especially if we feel others might judge us.  SO throughout this busy time don’t try and cram in too much. Taking a break will give you time to recharge your batteries before the New Year starts.

8. Remember what Christmas is about

Among the Christmas panic and stress you should always keep in mind what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about having fun, celebrating the year gone by and spending time with the people you love. Try to enjoy yourself and relax,  stay positive and think about what makes Christmas great.

9. Routine is key

The word routine can often be frown upon and seen as being restrictive and boring. However routines can be fun and having one can lead to many health benefits. With the Christmas period being hectic and stressful a routine will be especially beneficial. A solid routine can result in:

  • Better stress levels lead to improved mental health, more time to relax and less anxiety. A lack of healthy stress management techniques can put you at greater risk for heart disease and negatively impact your overall health.
  • Better sleep will leave you refreshed. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest. Your sleep scehdule and bedtime habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. It’s best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed.
  • Better health is a result of just a little extra planning. Set the alarm a little earlier and you’ll have time to exercise and eat breakfast, fuelling your body for the day. Even a quick (and healthy) breakfast will get you energised. Whether you like to just go for a run or go to the gym for a bigger workout, it’s important make time for exercise.

10. Learn to say no

This one can be a hard one, especially around the holidays, festive days, celebratory days, or any days with food outside of your healthy eating plan, but the truth is that in order to lose weight and to maintain weight loss, you will have to say “no” to a lot of things that you want to say “yes” to.

The food will look great, smell great, and everyone around you will look happy as they eat the food that you too would like to be eating. It takes strength and willpower, but you have to implement the “no” and the self-control if you want to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

11. Get up and make movement your “modus operandi”

You may feel like throughout the Christmas period that you do not have time to exercise and that there is simply too much else to do. However it is essential to exercise, even if it is simply taking the stairs instead of the lift in the shops, as our bodies were made to be in motion and we suffer mental, physical, and spiritual effects when we are not moving sufficiently and when we are not getting enough activity in our daily lives. There are numerous articles and research that has been done highlighting the detrimental health.

So get moving and find and way that works for you to track it. It can be with a pedometer, an activity log, a daily break checklist, or a hybrid of methods but you’ll want to hold yourself accountable and want to see that activity “add up.” It also helps with consistency and routine in making movement part of your “modus operandi.”

12. Reduce sugars in your diet

Now throughout the Christmas period there is so much more sugary foods which are put right in front of you, whether this be a advent calendar, box of celebrations or a bowl of Christmas pudding. A high sugar diet can lead to health conditions such as:

  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Dental plaque and cavities

Reducing the amount of sugar in the diet can help reduce the risks for these conditions. Replacing sugary foods with healthful ones can help a person get all of their essential vitamins and minerals. It may also help a person lose weight. To help you do this you should try:

  • Reading food labels
  • Avoid simple carbs such as white rice and white pasta
  • Avoid artificial sugars and sweeteners
  • Do not drink sugar (fizzy drinks etc)
  • Plan your meals
  • Focus and unprocessed whole foods

So there you have it! Try use these tips to help you get through the Christmas period and help you stick to your goals. Merry Christmas from all of us here at Podfit!!!