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    Running with Allergies: 4 Tips to Treat Seasonal Allergies

    By Pouria Taheri,Head of Medical for adidas Runners and RUNBASE BerlinSpring draws us outdoors and may even spark the start of marathon training, but anyone with hay fever or other seasonal allergies has major limitations to deal with. Spring fever? I don’t think so. Early blooming trees, grasses, and pollen make life hard for those who suffer from allergies. “A training schedule that works can become a real challenge for athletes,” says Pouria Taheri, orthopedic specialist and trauma surgeon, sports physician and adidas Runners medical coach. The body resists any personal ambition. “Even in regular daily activities there is no end to the itchy nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Breathing becomes harder and the general performance level drops; exercising makes it even worse.”  Here are 4 tips on how to work out despite seasonal allergies: 1. Don’t give upThe fun in sports quickly evaporates when allergies prevent you from lacing up your running shoes. Frustration and the exhausting symptoms often make you want to take a break. “It’s understandable, but that’s exactly what I try to avoid as the attending physician. I encourage people to deal with the annoying problem,” says Pouria Taheri. Fortunately there are several approaches to running with allergies. Most people can hardly believe the most important tip: don’t give up! “Often the reason for the complaints is a lack of fresh air and exercise,” explains the sports physician. You have to gradually give your immune system the chance to adapt.2. Strengthen your immune systemDid you know that regular exercise outdoors is almost as effective as allergen immunotherapy? Carefully building up resilience actually stabilizes the immune system. There are a lot of ways to strengthen your immune system, and many of them involve food. Take a look at what you’re eating and see if you can make some healthy changes. 3. Use first aid for acute problemsIn the alternative above, however, a subjective evaluation of your limits is decisive. You should have medical support such as an inhaler within reach so that your drive doesn’t get you into trouble. “Taking allergy medicine like an antihistamine before your workout is advisable to treat constant problems.” Antihistamines prevent the allergies from causing difficulty breathing or serious reactions like shortness of breath. Alternating your workouts between outdoors and indoors is a smart way to gradually strengthen your immune system and create a smooth transition to resilience.4. Allergen immunotherapyYou should seek medical treatment for ongoing afflictions or tough problems that recur over the years. “Many people try to address the problem with allergen immunotherapy, in which regular exposure to allergens teaches your immune system to adapt. However, this requires patience; the therapy usually takes one to two years.”Good to know:This treatment is not right for everyone. Possible interactions with other substances or medications can lead to adverse reactions. It should be noted that medical supervision is critical in this process for recreational athletes as well as competitive athletes with conditions such as reactive airway disease or asthma.TakeawayAt the end of the day, the annoying sneezing and the many little obstacles of seasonal allergies shouldn’t keep you from reaching your goals. The benefits of combining endurance and strength training are immeasurable and can improve your health long term, so that you don’t have to sacrifice quality of life in old age. Perseverance and smart decisions are essential to reach this higher goal. *** More

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    How Important is Magnesium for Athletes?

    Magnesium is probably one of the first minerals that comes to mind when you think of fitness. But, hardly anyone knows how essential magnesium truly is and how it can improve your physical performance. We have the facts for you!Magnesium performs numerous functionsMagnesium is a vital mineral: it is present in nearly every cell of your body. Approximately 30% of the magnesium in your body is stored in the muscles. The mineral performs numerous functions: it is needed for aerobic (= with oxygen) and anaerobic (= without oxygen) energy production. Magnesium is also required to form endogenous protein (protein of body origin, rather than dietary origin) and plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. The mineral is also essential to the formation of bone and teeth. In addition, it is involved in the activation of hundreds of enzymes.How important is magnesium for athletes?Studies show that the more active you are, the more magnesium you need.(1) Scientists have linked a high level of magnesium in blood to improved muscle performance, such as greater leg strength. This means that you can improve your performance by ensuring an adequate supply of this important mineral. What happens in your body? According to studies, magnesium appears to lower lactate levels in your blood.(2) Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is primarily produced by intense physical exercise. If it builds up, it can limit muscle performance and you will fatigue faster. Plus, exercising without sufficient magnesium will lead to increased oxygen consumption and heart rate. The mineral also plays a major role in strengthening your immune system. It works similar to an antioxidant by strengthening your defenses and protecting you from diseases.Increased magnesium intake can be helpfulAccording to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy adult females should get 310-320 mg per day and healthy adult males 400-420 mg per day.(3) A balanced diet is usually enough to satisfy this daily requirement. But, if you like to exercise or work a physically demanding job, your diet probably won’t cover your daily needs because you can lose a lot of magnesium through sweat. This loss has to be replaced, but the amount of magnesium required varies depending on the individual and should be discussed with a sports physician.You also need to consume more magnesium in the case of stress.(4)How can I tell if I’m getting enough magnesium?Pay attention to Magnesium Deficiency SymptomsLeg crampsDizzinessDigestive problemsFatigueAbnormal heart rhythmHeadachesConsult your doctor if you experience the magnesium deficiency symptoms listed above.Top 9 Magnesium Rich FoodsThe general rule is that getting nutrients through your food is the healthier option – as opposed to taking dietary supplements. The same holds true when it comes to magnesium for athletes. A balanced diet gives us (almost) all the nutrients we need. So which foods are highest in magnesium? Here are the 11 best sources of magnesium:Sunflower seeds (395 mg/100 g)Pumpkin seeds (402 mg/100 g)Sesame (347 mg/100 g)Flax seeds (350 mg/100 g)Cashews (270 mg/100 g)White kidney beans (140 mg/100 g)Chickpeas (115 mg/100 g)Oats (139 mg/100 g)Swiss chard (81 mg/100 g)Good to know:Mineral water also contains varying amounts of magnesium. You can find the nutrition facts on the label of the bottle.Magnesium Supplements – Good or Bad?If your doctor recommends magnesium supplements to treat a magnesium deficiency, it’s important to be careful about the dosage. You shouldn’t take more than 250 mg of supplemental magnesium per day.(5) Magnesium can act as a natural laxative; if you take too much, it may cause diarrhea.Takeaway:The more you workout, the more magnesium you need in your diet. Don’t underestimate the importance of magnesium for athletes and focus on meeting your daily requirements with a balanced healthy diet including magnesium rich foods. If you do experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, consult your doctor. Supplements could be a helpful solution. Keep in mind: if you are preparing for a race or competition, make sure to start integrating the supplements into your diet several weeks beforehand to give your body time to adjust. *** More

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    From Running on the Beach to a Running Track: What are the Best Surfaces to Run On?

    Most runs take us over a variety of surfaces. This adds variety to your training and makes it more effective by forcing your body to adjust to the changing terrain.But do you know how the different running surfaces affect your body? Learn about the most common surfaces and how to use them as an effective training tool.Top 7 Surfaces to Run On1. SandPros:When the sand is hard, running on the beach is easy on your joints. When it is soft, you have to pick up your knees, push off harder and apply more strength, which helps you improve your running technique and stamina.Cons: Running on the soft surface is very exhausting – therefore, you should incorporate regular breaks to avoid overuse injuries. On long runs, the slant of the beach can lead to pelvic obliquity. To avoid this, you should change directions regularly.Watch out for Achilles tendon problems:The rebound effect of the synthetic track puts a lot of stress on your calves and Achilles tendons. Switching to a cinder track can help with this problem.2. Synthetic trackPros:A running track is good for structured tempo and interval training. The springy surface of a synthetic track is also perfect for beginners or runners coming back from an injury.Cons:Runners are taught to run counterclockwise on the track. Over time, this can lead to muscle imbalances. Therefore, it is a good idea to change direction once in a while.3. TreadmillPros:Running on the treadmill is easy on your tendons and ligaments. It is a good, low-impact way to start training again after an injury or a break from running. Plus, you can select the pace and the incline of the surface.Cons:Treadmill running is not the same as running outdoors. The ground is literally being pulled underneath your feet, so you achieve a much smaller training effect. Plus, most of the stress during the push-off is on your calves and Achilles tendons. This can lead to overuse injuries.4. AsphaltPros:Asphalt provides perfect conditions for tempo workouts because you don’t have to pay attention to the surface. Nearly every step is identical, and you can achieve maximum propulsion. Road running allows you to run at a fast pace.Cons:The hard surface means more orthopedic stress (so be careful if you have joint issues). Your choice of shoe is crucial here: make sure to choose a well-cushioned model.5. Forest TrailsPros:Soft woodland or nature trails have the best cushioning and are excellent for joint-friendly training. Plus, they are ideal for a flexible and reactive running technique.Cons:The soft surface can sap your strength and slow your pace. Therefore, trails are not well-suited for running at a specific pace – the intensity is high even at slower speeds.6. GrassPros:Grass is ideal for barefoot running. It strengthens your foot muscles and improves your running technique. Plus, well-maintained grass provides the best cushioning.Cons:You have to be careful when training barefoot to run on well-groomed grass free of rocks and broken glass.7. Mountain trailsPros:The constantly changing conditions make mountain trails challenging and lots of fun. Thus, they are good for training your foot strike and running technique to match the terrain. Plus, the effort of compensating for the uneven surfaces and the regular changes in direction work your supporting and stabilizing deep muscles.Cons:Be careful – it’s easy to turn an ankle. Therefore, you should only run on mountain trails when you are well rested.TakeawayEach surface has pros and cons for your running training. You should choose the surface that is best for you based on your training goal and try to switch things up from time to time to keep your training fresh and exciting.*** More

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    Inside adidas Runners: How Rituals Help Runners Meet Their Goals

    From what we wear to what we eat, the mantras we repeat to ourselves, or how we tie our shoelaces on race day, running rituals give us a sense of control in a world filled with uncertainties. Studies show that practicing rituals before doing sports regulates the brain’s response to performance failure, which thereby reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mental toughness. (1) Rituals can help athletes focus their minds and calm their nerves, while also building trust within a running community when practiced in a group.What are running rituals and why do we use them? “A ritual is a predefined sequence of symbolic actions often characterized by formality and repetition that lacks direct instrumental purpose.”(2)What does this mean for runners? The knot in your stomach on race day loosens a bit if you lay out your race kit the night before. Worried about getting stomach cramps during a run? Always eat the same pre-run snack to prevent any surprises. For some, these are habits or traditions; often these actions have a ritual-like pattern to them. Since the dawn of our existence, human beings have used rituals to improve performance in many different areas. Today these can be competitive sports, public speaking, taking exams, or even first dates. Although rituals do not have a “direct instrumental purpose”, any situation that creates anxiety or stress can be managed better by using them.In a 2016 study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, researchers found that rituals consistently decreased anxiety across different performance tasks as assessed by subjective reporting from those participating in the study as well as physiological evidence: heart rate. Rituals are coping strategies that can have a powerful effect on performance. Using a common saying or action or a lucky charm has been shown to improve athletic performance and motor dexterity. (3) It’s not surprising that many runners use rituals to give themselves structure, boost their performance, and relieve pre-race anxiety.  What are your rituals?We asked adidas Runners (AR) members around the world to share their running rituals with us. Here are some of the highlights:Race Day Rituals in adidas RunnersCurious about how adidas Runners members handle race day jitters and how rituals help them reach their goal? Here’s what they said: Running Mantras for Mental ToughnessIf you’ve never tried adopting a mantra to help you achieve your goals, take a lesson from running legend Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon in 1967. Her mantra? “Be fearless, be free, be grateful.” AR runners know the power of mantras to help them maintain mental toughness when the pressure is on. Running CommunitiesThe examples above show how rituals can help individuals reach their goals. adidas Runners communities also find them helpful for groups, particularly if the running community is virtual. Reeti Sahai, Captain of AR Delhi, told us how thinking about her post-race Instagram pic is something that motivates her to keep going during a marathon. And she’s not the only one who gets motivated. Sharing achievements on social media networks inspires other runners to set new goals and strengthens the bond within the running community. Join an adidas Runners digital accountability group from March 29 on to keep you committed to your goals. Find everything you need to know about how to join on the AR Instagram account. Ready for a new challenge in April? Check out the Run with AR: Go for 30! challenge in the adidas Running app.Interested in more information about running rituals in the adidas Runners community? Listen to episode 1 of the adidas Runners mini-podcast series on mindset and movement here. TakeawayThere are many different ways to improve your running. Muscle growth and endurance training are only part of the equation. Focusing your mind and quelling any doubts you may have about achieving your goals is critical to success. What you wear, what you eat, how you talk to yourself – these are all examples of how rituals are used to give you the extra edge you need to set that PR or cross the finish line. The AR community is an empowering environment in which you can find motivation, inspiration, and support. The trust that is built within a running community like adidas Runners can carry you through when you doubt yourself. *** More

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    4 Common Causes of Headaches after Workouts

    Piercing pain at your temples, a throbbing ache in your forehead – we’ve all suffered the agony of headaches, and there are plenty of causes. Some of us are more likely to get them during or after exercise. Good to know:Headaches are divided into two types: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are triggered by exertion, tension, or not enough sleep. Secondary headaches, however, are a symptom of another more serious underlying condition like high blood pressure, an infection, substance withdrawal, or a stroke. In this article we’ll identify 4 common causes of headaches after exercise and tell you how to treat them and prevent them. We’ll also tell you whether exercise can trigger migraines.#1: Poor postureBad posture, stress, and poor form when you work out can cause tension, which can lead to headaches. Tension headaches are described as a constant ache that is usually felt on both sides of the head.(1)Headache preventionCheck your form during workouts and your posture throughout the day. Review these tips on proper running form and be aware of the most common mistakes made during bodyweight exercises. Try using heat, massage, or doing exercises to relieve neck pain to relax your muscles if you get a headache after workouts. #2: DehydrationWhether it’s from exercise or just not drinking enough fluids, dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches. Calculate exactly how much water you should drink each day with our liquid requirement calculator. Headache preventionMake sure you are drinking enough throughout the day. To add variety, you can include special sports drinks that keep you hydrated and provide your body with important micronutrients. #3: Low blood sugarIt’s not just the headaches after exercise; you also feel weak, shaky, dizzy, and sometimes even nauseous? These symptoms indicate low blood sugar and depleted energy stores. Always ensure that your body has enough energy to work out.  Headache preventionIf you notice the symptoms listed above when you’re exercising, you should take a break. You can refill your energy and increase your blood sugar by eating more carbohydrates. There are also a few foods that can trigger headaches and migraines or make them worse – usually in combination with other causes. Avoid these potential headache triggers (2): alcohol (especially wine or beer) chocolatecaffeinaged cheesefoods high inmonosodium glutamateartificial sweetenersand preservatives like nitrates or nitrites #4: Exercise headachesPrimary headaches caused by strenuous physical activity are called exertional or exercise headaches. These are described as throbbing, migraine-like pain across the whole head (bilateral headaches) and last between 5 minutes and 48 hours. (3, 4) An extreme exercise headache can also cause vomiting and vision problems. It’s important to take exercise-induced headaches seriously. Headache preventionExercise headaches often develop if you skip your warm up, your workout is too strenuous, or it’s too hot. These might also occur when you are at high altitudes, like on a tough hike in the mountains. One way to prevent exercise headaches is to reduce the intensity of your workouts. These tips for running in the summer can help you cope with the heat and avoid dehydration. Important:If headaches last for days or if there are more days in a month with headaches than without, you should consult a specialist. A medical professional can check whether you are suffering from primary or secondary headaches, which may be caused by an underlying condition. Can exercise trigger migraines?First of all, research on the connection between migraines and exercise is not yet as extensive as it could be. However, there are studies which show that migraineurs (people who frequently suffer from migraines) can experience exercise-triggered migraines. It is believed that the exertional headaches and tension headaches mentioned above are more likely to lead to a migraine.(5) If you are at risk of migraines, it is even more important that you prevent the 4 causes of headaches after exercise. The good news: studies also show that regular exercise can help prevent migraines or at least reduce the intensity of the pain. This is thanks to the endorphins produced during sports. (6, 7)TakeawayBefore you start working out, make sure you are hydrated and your energy stores are full. Pay attention to your form and good posture while exercising. If you have a bad headache combined with dizziness, nausea, shakiness and/or vomiting, take a break immediately and consult your physician. The same applies for headaches that last several days.*** More

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    adidas Runtastic Premium Membership: Top Features & Benefits

    Are you ready to build healthier habits and lead a fit lifestyle? No matter your goals, with the adidas Runtastic apps and Premium Membership, you’ll find tips from experts, loads of motivation, as well as unlimited individual training plans both in the adidas Training and Running app. Choose your ideal plan, get started, and reach your goals one step at a time!

    One membership – all the benefits:
    Everything is completely unlocked in our two apps for those who choose to upgrade to Premium.

    Reach Your Running Goals: Premium Benefits in the adidas Running App
    Run your first 5K, challenge yourself with a half marathon or marathon, lose weight or get fitter: no matter what your goal might be, there are unlimited training plans available in adidas Running.
    As an adidas Runtastic Premium member, you have access to all of our features in the adidas Running app, including:
    Training Plans
    Interval Training
    Story Runs
    Activity Detail
    Routes
    Records
    Auto-Pause
    Challenge an Activity
    Target Pace
    Powersong
    Workout Goal (Distance & Duration, Calories)
    History (Sorting by week/month/year/all)
    Advanced Statistics (Sort and compare by week/month/year/all)
    Detailed Goal Statistics
    Edit Heart Rate Zones
    Session Detail expanded Map (colored traces – pace/elevation/grade)
    Split table – segment by different distances/durations

    Get in Shape With Bodyweight Training: Premium Benefits in the adidas Training App
    Do you want to build muscle by working out at home, get strong, defined abs, or just stay fit? Then the adidas Training app for bodyweight training is ideal for you. 
    As an adidas Runtastic Premium member, you have access to all of our features in the adidas Training app, including:
    12-Week Body Transformation Training Plan
    6-Week Shape Up Training Plan
    Push Your Limits Training Plan
    Health & Nutrition Guide
    Bookmark Workouts           
    Access previous Featured Workouts 
    You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to transform your body, and we have the success stories to prove it!

    Do You Want to Enjoy More adidas Runtastic Premium Membership Features?
    As well as the Premium features in the adidas Runtastic apps, you also can enjoy the following benefits:
    Weekly fitness report via email
    Premium has helped ordinary people of all levels achieve their individual health and fitness goals over years. As a Premium Member, you’ll receive a weekly fitness report including an overview of your past week’s activities as well as a comparison with your stats from the week before. This way, you can see what you’ve accomplished and be motivated by your success.
    Exclusive Premium support
    With your Premium Membership, you can enjoy top-of-the-line support from our Customer Happiness Team.

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    Looking for a Running Alternative? How to Increase Stamina with Low Impact Cardio + 5 Tips

    If you want to increase your running endurance, there’s more than one way to do it. We’ve put together some suggestions for running alternatives, so you can boost your endurance and give your joints a break with low impact workouts. 
    3 Low Impact Cardio 
    The impact of running puts a lot of stress on your knees and hips. If you want to run farther and faster, you’ve got to improve your stamina. But how can you get there without pounding the pavement for hours? Here are three workouts to get you running better without running more. 
    1. Deep-Water Running
    If you’ve got access to a pool and a flotation belt, there’s nothing better than deep-water running to crank up your cardio and be kind to your joints. A study on the physiology of deep-water running shows that endurance athletes maintain their cardiovascular fitness level for up to 6 weeks with deep-water running workouts. (1)This is also an effective way to stay in shape after an injury and promote active recovery.  
    2. Dance Workouts

    Perhaps you’re missing a bit of fun in your life these days. Have you ever tried a dance workout? Dancing is an energizing way to combine a cardio workout and strength training, increase coordination, and work on your sense of rhythm. Studies have shown that dancing also has great benefits for older adults, improving balance and memory. (2)
    3. Cycling
    Hop on your bike for another great low impact workout. If you’re pedaling at the right intensity, you can get a solid cardio workout, explore the region you live in, and strengthen different muscles than those used for running.

    5 Tips to Maximize your Workouts
    Learn how to get the most out of your workouts with these 5 helpful tips:
    1. Shorten breaks in your strength workouts
    Bodyweight training will help you build strength and if you cut down on the length of your breaks and really push yourself to the limit, you can turn those workouts into a cardio booster, too. Try a workout in the adidas Training app and see if you can shave a few seconds of the breaks to get your heart rate up.
    2. Add variety
    Runners used to train for long races by running, running, and more running. Research on race performance has shown that adding variety to your training routine will not only reduce your risk of overuse injuries, but also prevent boredom. So try the workouts listed above and then try yoga for runners. Yoga’s not your thing? How about speed walking? Look around and see what interests you. Maybe it’s time to take up a new sport. 
    3. Adjust nutrition
    Don’t forget about your diet. To get your body in top form, you’ve got to give it the fuel it needs. The energy for endurance training – whatever form you choose – comes from macronutrients, especially carbohydrates. Cut down on your sugar intake and make sure you’re getting healthy fats and lean protein. Give your body what it needs, when it needs it.

    4. Improve your sleep
    Sleep health is an – often minimized – essential part of physical and mental health. You’ve probably heard the basics: no screens in the bedroom, don’t work out late in the evening, hit the sack before midnight. It’s important to prioritize sleep and change bad habits before you develop a chronic sleep disorder. Did you know that long-term sleep deprivation can put you at risk of diabetes melitus, obesity, and heart disease?(3)In addition to being important for our health and longevity, good sleep habits improve our wellbeing and increase our stamina when we exercise. 
    5. Steady state cardio
    Cardio workouts used to mainly be steady state: get on the treadmill, elliptical, or hit the road and maintain a moderate intensity for the duration of the workout. Then came HIIT, Tabata, and other interval training that can lead to more results in a shorter time. But does that mean you shouldn’t bother with steady state anymore? Not necessarily; it depends on what your goal is. Yes, there are certainly great benefits to high intensity workouts, such as high calorie burn. But if you’re looking to relieve stress and quiet the neverending spinning of your thoughts, steady state can add that meditative element to your exercise routine that helps calm your nerves and improves your sleep. 
    Takeaway
    Running faster or longer is not the only way to improve your running performance. Low impact cardio workouts can really increase your stamina, especially if you combine these running alternatives with some of the adjustments listed above. So if you’re ready for some variety, give your knees a break and change gears for a long bike ride or hop in a pool and try deep-water running.
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    Sports and Your Libido: How Exercising (Together) Leads to Better Sex

    Are you looking for a way to boost your motivation to work out? How about this: couples who work out together not only have more, but better sex. Regular exercise also leads to a better sex life for single people. 
    Improve your self esteem and self awareness
    Exercise and sports are good for your body and your mind. If you feel like you’re in shape and are satisfied with your athletic performance, this satisfaction also affects other parts of your life. One study found that regular physical activities and a higher fitness level make people feel more attractive and energetic. Sports boost self esteem which makes people feel more desirable. This can have a positive effect on sexual performance.

    Boost your libido
    The benefits don’t stop at self esteem; exercise also increases our libido.
    Regular exercise intensifies sexual arousal and physical sensitivity. (1, 2) Sufficient blood flow to the genitals is an important part of sexual desire and the ability to reach an orgasm. Overall circulation improves with better cardiovascular fitness. Plus, when you run, your body releases some of the same hormones it does during sex. Endorphins, also known as “happy hormones,” help relieve pain, lower anxiety, and give you a euphoric feeling. And also not surprising, if you feel better about yourself in general, it improves your sex drive. Not only is the quality of the sex higher, but also the quantity – we become more sexually active. (3) 

    Good to know:
    In 2017 a study was published showing too much high-intensity endurance training can lead to a decline in libido for men. One possible reason behind this is overtraining.

    Strengthen your relationship and reignite passion
    Couples can enjoy all the benefits of exercise in their relationship and sex life. Working out together adds variety to your relationship and builds intimacy and trust. Working up a sweat together and celebrating success releases endorphins and brings you closer together. You get to know each other on a different level – both physically and emotionally. All in all, couples who share hobbies are happier long term, which has a positive influence on their sex lives. (4)

    Workouts for better sex
    From theory to practice – check out these workouts for every fitness level as well as fun partner workouts: 
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