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46 Responses

  1. Chris
    Chris December 2, 2008 at 7:43 am |

    Mine is very simple but seems to be effective:

    Add layers and move FASTER!

    It may not be the most scientific or developed course of action but if you have a good routine to keep yourself active, the only thing you really need to do is to bundle up and keep the blood flowing.

  2. Holiday Survival Sweepstakes: Week 2 Winners, and Round 3 Question: Move It, Move It? | Pro Health News

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  3. Chris D
    Chris D December 2, 2008 at 8:51 am |

    I am a single mother of a 4 year old little girl who also works full time. Often- the only “me” time I get is on the elliptical. So- even though it’s the holidays, I keep going to maintain my sanity!

  4. Andrew
    Andrew December 2, 2008 at 9:27 am |

    Dogs. I hate working out, but I’ll play with my dogs in the snow, and no matter how awful it is outside, they still need to walk.

  5. joan
    joan December 2, 2008 at 9:35 am |

    I go to the gym and exercise for 45 minutes on the treadmill BEFORE work (gym opens at 5:00 a.m.). That way, It’s done, out of the way, energizes me for my job and I am ready to take on evening events, shopping and other holiday madness!

  6. ellisal
    ellisal December 2, 2008 at 10:16 am |

    well,i am not living in area where there is winter season, in fact i live in Malaysia..so,i’ll just write down a bit about how i maintain active.
    i am a boarding school student(high school),it is quite a horror to balance my time for exercising and studying. i have a very pack schedule. plus, i hold many positions in my extra-curricular activity.
    my day starts at 6am. 0730-1400 classes, 1500-1630 preparation class, 2000-2230 night preparation class. i only sleep at 0000,after revising subjects.
    mostly every evening,i went to play tennis with my friends at the tennis court from 5-6pm (this causes my skin to get tanned compared to the first time i step in this school).
    but of course, there were days when it rains heavily and i knew i shouldn’t expose myself to cold. it takes many days to heal.
    and when in holidays,i always accompany my dad to go jogging and do a brist walk for about 1hour daily, or just play badminton everytime after he come home from work. he has heart disease, so i think this will benefit him too.
    i also tend to help my mother cooking in the kitchen and help do the housechores on my holidays(the days i dont have to stay in boarding school).
    then, sometimes i go shopping with friends. well,isn’t it a kind of exercise too? hehehe..
    but the most important thing to do in everyday life is to keep warm at heart and feel that we ARE alive.
    savour your life!

  7. Molly
    Molly December 2, 2008 at 10:16 am |

    I take my diabetes-alert service dog, Dixie, for a brisk walk every morning. If I don’t, she pesters me the entire day. She won’t let me get away with skipping a walk, even if the temperature is -20 degrees. (She doesn’t care if it’s a holiday or not !)

    Having a service dog with me 24/7 keeps me active. During work, instead of using my break time to sit around, I use it to take Dixie outside for a quick walk.

    I use a ball chair at work to increase strength while sitting, too.

  8. AngelaC
    AngelaC December 2, 2008 at 10:26 am |

    During the winter months here in the northeast, where the snows can get quite deep, I am the one to volunteer to shovel the sidewalks and to dig out the cars — with traditional shovels. No snow blowers here! It can provide both aerobic and anerobic benefits (there’s a great incentive to keep moving as fast as you can when it’s below zero out there!), so that’s perhaps my favorite way of getting exercise during the winter. I’m outdoors, I’m moving and I’m doing something productive. I test before I start working and I make sure I keep my meter in a pocket inside my jacket, where it can stay warm, just in case I start feeling low

    I also break out exercise DVDs or tune to an exercise program on the TV if I can’t get out of the house or if there isn’t any snow to shovel. This year, I joined a gym that is closed for about 3 or 4 hours/week, so as long as the roads are open, I have no excuse to not exercise every day!

  9. tmana
    tmana December 2, 2008 at 11:15 am |

    During the party season? Don’t come off the dance floor except for a glass of seltzer or fruit-juice spritzer… unfortunately The Other Half doesn’t dance… does anyone have any good methods for picking up a dance or three (with no other obligations) when you’re with a non-dancer?

  10. Andrea O'Neal
    Andrea O'Neal December 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm |

    Turn the radio on! What’s your favorite music? Find it. Turn it up and move around. If its just me, I find some fun music and I just dance around the place. If someone else is there, I entertain them by dancing around. You will break a sweat by moving… and have lots of fun.
    Laughing works your abs! So I am helping myself and those Im entertaining! Either I put on my favorite itunes playlist or I turn on the radio. I’ll be goofy and act out the songs for people. Sometimes I make them join me. Or I just dance around by myself while Im getting ready to go out or during down time.
    Its great when you cant go to the gym or outside. Did I mention fun too?

  11. Andrea O'Neal
    Andrea O'Neal December 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm |

    Turn the radio on! What’s your favorite music? Find it. Turn it up and move around. If its just me, I find some fun music and I just dance around the place. If someone else is there, I entertain them by dancing around. You will break a sweat by moving… and have lots of fun.
    Laughing works your abs! So I am helping myself and those Im entertaining! Either I put on my favorite itunes playlist or I turn on the radio. I’ll be goofy and act out the songs for people. Sometimes I make them join me. Or I just dance around by myself while Im getting ready to go out or during down time.
    Its great when you cant go to the gym or outside. Did I mention fun too?

  12. Andrea O'Neal
    Andrea O'Neal December 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm |

    Turn the radio on! What’s your favorite music? Find it. Turn it up and move around. If its just me, I find some fun music and I just dance around the place. If someone else is there, I entertain them by dancing around. You will break a sweat by moving… and have lots of fun.
    Laughing works your abs! So I am helping myself and those Im entertaining! Either I put on my favorite itunes playlist or I turn on the radio. I’ll be goofy and act out the songs for people. Sometimes I make them join me. Or I just dance around by myself while Im getting ready to go out or during down time.
    Its great when you cant go to the gym or outside. Did I mention fun too?

  13. kdroberts
    kdroberts December 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm |

    Plan activities with other people. If you are trying to do things alone it’s very easy to put something off or just not do it. If you plan something with other people, be it swimming, a gym class, mall walking, sports team, whatever, it’s a lot harder to not do it. Firstly you have to let the other person or people know you are not going to be participating as planned which in itself can be an issue both in terms of letting somebody else down or just getting in contact with them. Then, since you are canceling the other people involved will most likely try to re-schedule.

    The other piece of advice is do something that you enjoy. If you don’t like doing something, you wont do it. If you like something, you will find ways to do it regardless of what the weather is like outside or what else is going on in your life.

  14. Brian
    Brian December 2, 2008 at 12:50 pm |

    The treadmill is in a freezing cold room, and I’m uncomfortably warm after 5 minutes of running, so it’s actually far easier and far more likely that I’ll work out on a winter morning, as opposed to a summer one. Also: Wii Fit. I can’t stress how great this is for diabetics – any and all comfort levels, low impact or high impact if you want it, built-in breaks, strength training and aerobics. It’s a great way to sneak in 15 to 20 minutes of exercise and not actually get low.

  15. emmy
    emmy December 2, 2008 at 1:01 pm |

    I live in the south, so the winters are relatively mild. But with shorter days, I start my morning commute to work in the dark and I end my evening commute in the dark. It’s not easy to get outside to walk or play with the dog or do any yard work on a daily basis. I work in the Corporate offices, and with three seven story buildings, each the length of football fields I have plenty of room to go roaming. I make an effort not to call or email anyone when I can walk to their cube, especially if going to their cube means I can take the stairs. I also take a twenty minute stretch break in the afternoon. I get up and just roam the halls, expecially the ones that go by the gorgeous windows. It helps me to have a goal that I’m trying to reach, and in the winter a pedometer to push toward 10,000 steps a day is always good. It keeps me reminded that I need to make the effort.

  16. Joe_h
    Joe_h December 2, 2008 at 1:29 pm |

    I either have a race lined up and paid for ($ is always a big motivator) and I have a lot of training partners it’s a lot harder to stay in your nice cozy warm bed on a cold dark sunday morning when you know you have one or two friends out there waiting on you (and have they have cell phones to give me hell if I dont make it)

  17. Scott Strange
    Scott Strange December 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm |

    There is a group at work I normally got to the Y with at lunchtime. I haven’t recently because I just started pumping. Usually I tell them to make me feel, to borrow a line from SNL, like a “sissy girl” when I skip more than a day for whatever reason

  18. Dawn
    Dawn December 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm |

    It’s not always easy, but I remind myself that being physically active releases endorphins which have narcotic qualities–the more you do, the more likely you will continue doing it. Even if it’s just a walk around the block, you’ll feel better for doing it, and it costs only a little time. Also, even the humblest person is vain, and if you stand up straight and pull in your gut, you erase years from your age. Try that and you already feel better. Just a step away from that is putting on your walking shoes. What? You live in a high-crime district and it’s already dark outside and you don’t have a car or babysitter or money to take you to the gym? I found an incredibly cheap trampoline at a discount store. That’ll get your heart racing. Or use the steps. Or pump cans of food–anything. Get into a routine. Use music to motivate yourself. Don’t do anything that will throw you into a spiral of self-pity and anxiety (like constantly weighing yourself), and DO reward yourself in small ways.

  19. Ron
    Ron December 2, 2008 at 2:32 pm |

    This year staying physically active will not be a problem as my sister-in-law is moving and between my wife and I and her parents I will be doing a bunch of the moving from her second floor apt to her folks house. Nothing keeps the blood moving like lifting boxes of books and dishes up and down stairs. This move will go from now till late December and then I will be on my honeymoon in St Lucia where swimming every day will do all the cardio I need. Also with all the holiday shopping I do not park close just to take those extra few steps. I take the stairs instead of escalators. I keep a bottle of water with me when shopping it helps to resist all the extra stands in the mall selling food. Good luck to one and all and have a happy and safe holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Pubsgal
    Pubsgal December 2, 2008 at 2:35 pm |

    I live by the coast in California, so we have relatively mild, cool weather year round. I have no excuse to not get out and exercise. For awhile there, the dark, cold mornings were getting me down, so I would do some exercise in the morning and a good 30-minute walk at lunchtime. I run 3 days and do a combo of cardio DVD and strength training on the other 2 days. We have Netflix and there are lots of workout videos available for “on demand” viewing, so I usually do my favorites from those (especially the “Kickboxing Bootcamp” one) or I have a walking fitness DVD for when my Netflix connection is wonky. Libraries are a great, free resource for workout videos and DVDs; some library systems enable you to go online and put a “hold” on the title, so for a small fee it gets delivered to the library branch of your choice. And second hand stores or garage sales are a great place to pick up hand weights or other exercise equipment inexpensively. Oh, and spontaneous “family dance parties” help get the wiggles out in the evening.

  21. Ashley
    Ashley December 2, 2008 at 2:46 pm |

    Over the holidays I have a couple methods of exercise. For one, I live on a farm then. My uncle’s hired guys take mid-December to mid-January off. So I do barn work. But I know not everyone has that option.

    So this is my other thing that I do. At noon and 5:30 pm, Paula Deen comes on TV. I hop on the treadmill, tune into Best Dishes, and I jog while wishing I was eating what she’s making. My favorite part is how she always holds out a spoonful of whatever glorious ambrosia she’s concocted, I chase it like the donkey chases the carrot.

    Wishing you love and best dishes from mah diabetes to yers!

  22. David
    David December 2, 2008 at 4:23 pm |

    I think the key word is physically active

    “Bad” weather is relative. When I lived in Miami, I there were times during the Winter where all the natives were bundled up in heavy coats (because it was below 50 degrees) and all the tourists were on the beach sunning themselves and playing in the water. At the same time, I have been in Calgary with weather I considered freezing, and I was the only one wearing a a heavy coat.

    One of the biggest surprises I discovered after being a PWD is how important being physically active has on my numbers. In one of the diabetic education classes, they had us take our BG number, then we walked in place along with a video for about 15 minutes. It was not the same as walking and I was bored but played along. I was very surprised to find my number drop almost 50 points.

    Since then I make it a goal to move and stay active daily. i keep a pedometer on me all the time and have a daily goal of 10,000 steps. I find this little meter really helps me get going. I find that by doing the small stuff like parking the car further away, walking the shopping cart back to the store, taking the stairs, walking around the house while talking on the phone really makes these steps add up. Some days I just do not make it, but having the meter on me, during the day, I can look down and see how much more I need to do to get to my goal.

    If the weather is terrible outside. I make it a point to go to the food court or mall and walk around. I try to have a “Plan B” In some cases, when it is not possible, I end up using the treadmill. I also find that having a plan like taking a 10 minute walking break during the morning, afternoon, and at lunch really helps.

    When the weather is just cold, I bundle up in layers and make sure my feet are protected and make the plunge.

    I was surprised to find how much having this meter has encouraged me. There are some days I have exceeded 17,000 steps. Yesterday, I was very busy and I thought I had done a lot of walking and I looked down to discover that my pedometer had given up the ghost. (Boy was I bummed).
    I planned to go buy another one ($5.00) today, and I found myself through out the day looking down to see how I was doing, forgetting that the meter was broken.

    I look forward to the spring when there is more daylight and better weather and I can ride my bike, but until then pedometer really helps me keep on target.

  23. Lesli
    Lesli December 2, 2008 at 5:06 pm |

    This sounds a little crazy, but during cold weather (especially around the holidays) my friends and I do walking laps around the mall. Just dodging the people makes for a workout, plus we have a “large track” to go around. People watching, and the cool items in the store windows keep us completely entertained for at least an hour, and every day is different.

    For a little while, we had even staked out the Walmart. With it being open 24 hours, it allowed a little flexibility in coordinating all our crazy schedules. Then when your done, you can get some everyday shopping done, not to mention, you’re always prepared for a low.

  24. Julie H
    Julie H December 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm |

    Does running our mouths count?! I seem to talk more around the holidays than the rest of the year combined. Living in FL, it’s nice most of the year (but I am freezing right now), so getting outside to walk or play with my dog is easy. No more snow for this former midwestern girl! Lots of sunshine and warmer weather help with the mood and the fitness level….so everyone move to FL!! :)

  25. June S.
    June S. December 2, 2008 at 8:13 pm |

    Here in suburban NJ, where I reside, there are shopping malls everywhere. If “holiday madness” includes shopping for Chanukah or Christmas gifts, you can get your daily exercise walking around the malls! If you’re an “online” shopper exclusively, then hit the gym. If it’s too cold for you to venture outdoors to drive to the gym, use an indoor exercise bicycle. If you don’t yet have one of those, put it on your “wish list” for the holidays, and perhaps one of your loved ones will get one for you!!!!

  26. Zazzy
    Zazzy December 2, 2008 at 8:33 pm |

    Thank you very much Amy, Scott and Allison! Happy Holidays to all!

  27. Megan
    Megan December 3, 2008 at 3:20 am |

    I’m not someone who does well sticking to an exercise routine, but I find that when I can sneak physical activity into things I’m already doing, moving more becomes second nature. For example:

    1. I don’t have a car, so I take public transit and/or walk to wherever I need to go. (I’m also lucky enough to live in a city with good buses and a neighborhood where there are lots of things to walk to.) This automatically adds at least a mile or two of walking to my day, without my having to think about it very hard at all. Even for people who have cars, leaving the automobile at home and taking alternate transit can be good for the environment *and* their health.

    2. I have a very active dog. Caring for her means that either my partner or I (or, on weekends, both of us) have to take her out for at least 20 minutes 3 times a day. When we have time, her walks can be longer and involve ball-throwing and lots of running around.

  28. Kathy
    Kathy December 3, 2008 at 3:21 am |

    I walk the local mall for one complete circuit, at a fast pace, checking out new stores, or closing ones (for bargains, naturally). I do this in the morning before the mall opens so I won’t be tempted to buy things I don’t need right now. Then I ride my stationary bike for 1/2 hour every afternoon at 16 mph. I also do strength training in my home most days. My husband usually joins me in this and is a big encourager in this endeavor.

  29. Kathy
    Kathy December 3, 2008 at 3:23 am |

    I make myself go mall walking in the morning before it opens. Then I ride my stationary bike for one-half hour. I also do some strength training most days of the week with my husband as a cheerleader.

  30. Dave
    Dave December 3, 2008 at 7:23 am |

    I have found that finding a workout partner works besat for me. If I don’t feel like working out the pressure of not being there for my workout partner gets me out the door and to the gym. It also seems to work best for me to hit the gym before I get home from work, I am tired but after working out I don’t eat as much and I sleep like a baby! If I go home before I workout, it is hard to go back out to the gym and if I eat before I workout my energy is gone! It is really tough during all the yummy holidays but it is easier to not put on the xtra wieght then try and take off the un-wanted pounds! Happy Holidays!

  31. Tarra
    Tarra December 3, 2008 at 7:30 am |

    MY key to keep exercising during the winter is a reward system. I love to have pedicures and my nails done. I like to get massages. I set up a system where if i exercise consistently for 2 weeks i get to have a pedicure/ manicure or a massage. I try to switch the prize up for myself. Usually once i start exercising im great the hard part is always staying motivated and my rewards system works for me.

  32. Annie
    Annie December 3, 2008 at 9:45 am |

    I like to have a goal and a reward. This year I am signed up for the inaugural Disney Princess Half Marathon in March. The goal to finish the half marathon pushes me to train through the winter. The reward is enjoying the weekend in Florida with my training partners. This will be my first long run since diagnosis and they have supported me throughout.

  33. maureen
    maureen December 3, 2008 at 10:34 am |

    We built an ice rink in our yard for my son to play hockey on. He comes home from school and is right outside to skate. Of course we live in the mountains of Pennsylvania. And it’s good for the rest of us also. Thank heavens for nicerink.com!

  34. meg
    meg December 3, 2008 at 11:38 am |

    It’s not a secret to any of my neighbors, my dog NEVER misses her morning walk. (and I almost always go along!) She is up and ready to go early and her favorite route is around 4 miles. She is a very active herding dog, so you skip her walk at your own peril! She really keeps me in shape throughout the year.
    In addition, I sign up for several shifts a week walking dogs at the local animal shelter. The holidays are all about helping the less fortunate and homeless animals are so deserving of our time. I would feel really guilty if I took the holidays off, so I keep volunteering even when I’m extra busy.

  35. Diane Rhodes
    Diane Rhodes December 3, 2008 at 1:07 pm |

    It will be very easy for me. I live alone and have a treadmill. So I can get exercise anytime and in any weather.

  36. Kelly Rawlings, PWD type 1
    Kelly Rawlings, PWD type 1 December 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm |

    What’s my secret for staying physically active during cold Midwestern winters?

    I want to wear smaller pants.

    OK, I know I’m supposed to exercise to improve my blood sugars, help burn excess calories, and enhance the health of my veins, arteries, and heart. But somehow, those reasons just don’t thrill me.

    It’s pure, shameful, vanity that keeps me plodding along on the elliptical machine (or walking outside when the temperature is above freezing), which I do first thing in the morning before I’m truly awake. It’s not a pretty picture: Bed head, sleep-encrusted eyes, vocal chords unable to make any sound but a croak.

    This time of year, I’m motivated every time I open my mailbox to stacks and stacks of holiday catalogs featuring size 0 models.

    I’m definitely not size 0. Never will be. But each step gets me closer to wearing smaller pants?the kind with sturdy waistbands that make it easy to clip on my insulin pump.

  37. Ted Martin
    Ted Martin December 3, 2008 at 3:07 pm |

    Twice around the mall (inside) and the Total Gym.

  38. Nikki
    Nikki December 3, 2008 at 9:56 pm |

    Go to the mall and shop of course! What better way to exercise while at the same time get Christmas shopping done then going to the mall and walking around for a few hours? You would be surprised how much exercise this actually is, I usually wake up sore the next day!

  39. Jill
    Jill December 4, 2008 at 5:29 am |

    Who would of thought the Wii could drop blood sugars from 188 to 127 in an hour and that was AFTER a Thanksgiving meal?!?! LOL…

    I must admit that trying to keep an 8 year old active active during the winter months is hard. All Kacey wants to do is watch movies and read books…tons and tons of books! During the summer, she out riding her bike, playing soccer, playing softball and then when cold hits she shuts down.

    I think we found a solution though and its just gonna cost us $250! LOL! When she was playing it, within 20min she was in a full blown sweat BUT she was laughing and having fun (which is most important) so as much as I hate video games….it looks like Santa is bringing a Wii! Ho!Ho!Ho!

  40. Melissa
    Melissa December 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |

    I live in Scotland so the weather right now up until about February is freeeezing!

    My main way of staying active (and warm!) in the winter is that I walk back from university to the train station.

    Sounds simple enough, but it’s a two mile walk, and usually takes around 40-45 minutes. After the first ten minutes, I’m so warm that I need to take off my scarf and gloves. And by the time I get to the station I’m not feeling any cold at all. Doing this 3-4 times a week,I’ve really noticed a difference in my counts. It’s helping me get a bit fitter as well, so marching up Edinburgh’s hills in the morning doesn’t seem that scary anymore!

    Another plus; it saves me spending money on buses as often, which gives me a little more money for christmas gifts etc.

    Also, it’s nice to walk through the city in the evenings and see all the lovely sights :]

  41. Suzanne
    Suzanne December 5, 2008 at 10:27 am |

    Make all the little things I do count!

    That is my motto and during the holidays it is so easy to sneak in little work outs with all the shopping and errands I have to run! If I have to run to the grocery store, I use a carry basket instead of a rolling cart; I carry my bags through the mall; I walk the mall instead of driving around; I take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator at work and when shopping or I walk up the escalator if it is just too darn convenient to pass up. I eat before I head to the mall so all of those yummy smells don’t tempt me as much. At parties when someone asks if I want something, I say ‘sure, I’ll go with you to help you carry it’ instead of just sitting there waiting for my food/drink to arrive. Even when decorating the house or tree, I try to focus on my muscles and do things myself instead of getting my husband to do it all for me.

    There are TONS of things you can do to get up and move or work out your muscles… in fact sometimes I think I am more active during teh holidays than I am during the summer! Just get creative :)

  42. David
    David December 5, 2008 at 11:06 am |

    It got really cold the other day, and as I went out to walk, I realized that no one has mentioned the following suggestion.

    In addition to putting on layers, do what your mother said. Wear a hat or some type of covering on your head. I understand, that an uncovered head can release as much as one quarter of your body heat. People (especially those of us in the south who are not familiar with bundling up) forget that an head covering is important.

    Furthermore, If any of you are walking, running, beyond your immediate area, be sure to wear something that is bright or reflective. Many drivers find it hard to see people bundled up in dark clothing. There are reflective vests you can get at most Bike shops that are inexpensive and easy to slip on over anything. Also, tell someone else you are going out and when you expect to be back.

    Finally, if you are on the roads, be sure you have some type of medical alert on your person. There are some that attach to your shoes, if you do not want to wear one on your neck or arm. My brother-in-law is a captain with the fire-department and he cannot say enough about these.

  43. Randee
    Randee December 5, 2008 at 3:49 pm |

    To keep myself motivated during the entire year I always focus on the positive benefits that exercising will have, including a longer, healthier life, & the stablizing effect it has on my blood sugar. During the holidays, when it gets hectic, I use the gym time as a break time (a stress free hour). Plus, another motivator is that my regular workout routine helps to eliminate any guilt when endulging in a few holiday treats!

  44. Susan D.
    Susan D. December 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm |

    We just bought a Wii with the Wii Fit balance board. I THOUGHT I didn’t have a competitive bone in my body. Hah! After my hubby and I got started, I realized I needed to attempt to beat him at soccer heading, ski jumping and certainly the Hula Hoop! It was really only after the step aerobic part that I decided this means War. How could an out-of-shape hubby beat an experienced exerciser? He still beats me at soccer and I’m getting tired of cleats and panda heads bonking me on the head, but I’m still having fun trying to stay clear of them. Meanwhile, I’m the champ of Super Hula Hooping!

    At Thanksgiving, we brought the Wii to our relatives and had a ball watching them look just as foolish as we did at home. BTW – I would highly recommend the Wii if you want to mix it up a bit and have fun while exercising.

  45. » Holiday Survival Sweepstakes: Ten Winners on Exercise, and Question 4 - Hitting the Road? - DiabetesMine: diabetes, life, health, community

    [...] This was of course last week’s contest question, to which we again received nearly 60 informative [...]

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