Hey healthy people,

Sitting on a flight to Spain has got me thinking: “How do you keep up all that good work on holiday, without losing that holiday feeling?!”

Firstly, how do you avoid falling into the trap of eating crap food on your journey? (the ‘crap trap’ if you will…)

Step 1. Begin your day by hydrating properly

I go for 2 pints of water within the first half an hour after you wake up, then 500ml every hour after that. Travelling long distances, especially when taking flights, is very dehydrating due to the dry air in the cabin and excessive air conditioning (why do we have to feel as if we’re flying in a fridge?!) You want to pre-empt this by getting ahead with your hydration.

Step 2. Prepare your first meal and snack(s) for the journey in advance.       

Staying out of the ‘crap trap’ means making sure that when you’re hungry and need to re-fuel, you don’t get stuck deciding between a bad choice and a terrible choice. I tend to make healthy wraps with hummus or leftovers from the night before, with salad leaves and tomatoes. Wrapped in foil, this makes for an easy and light (and Tupperware-free!) option when you’re on the move. My wife, Suzi, often makes healthy banana, nut and oat slices as snacks to avoid the inevitable sugar cravings you experience while you’re on the move through the airport stressed and beginning to flag. This way, the temptation to give in to “why not, I’m on holiday!” and pick up those bags of sweets, meal deals and vegan cookies is nicely avoided.

Step 3. Make contact with your destination.

After landing or arriving in your destination the last thing any normal person wants to do is start prepping a meal that takes anything longer than 10 minutes to make…I don’t think I’m speaking just for myself when I say all I want to do when I arrive at my holiday destination after a long travel is put my feet up! We’re lucky as we are visiting family on this trip, so we spoke to our hosts a few days ago and asked if they could pick up a few plant-based essentials for when we arrived. Tinned chickpeas and black beans, some bananas, avocados, mushrooms and some local gazpacho for quick snacks and our first breakfast. If you’re not travelling to a place where family are, you can often get in touch with your host in advance and organize such things with relative ease. Trust me, this makes a big difference!

Step 4. Plan some ‘Intermittent Fasting’.

So starving yourself if clearly not everyone’s ideal start to a holiday…luckily for you that is not what I’m suggesting! Taking the opportunity to (deservedly) put your feet up means a decrease in energy expenditure. As a result, your food intake needs to match your change in activity levels – if you want to maintain your healthy results from exercise routines you’ve honoured at home. A great way to approach that is to do some ‘intermittent fasting’. Intermittent fasting is an approach to eating which involves using an ‘eating window’ and ‘non-eating window’.

I apply this rule by having a non-eating window from the early evening into the late morning the next day. During that time I stick to water and non-calorie liquids (like coffee or herbal tea) and inside that window I would eat as normal. Thus, keeping some control over my energy balance.

Having said that, I’m lucky enough to not mind missing breakfast without feeling a massive drop in energy but my wife Suzi is a) not built like that and b) is pregnant, so it’s not a great idea for her to start starving herself. In cases such as hers, the aim is to try to keep the window to 12 hours, avoid snacking between meals and take full, nourishing meals rather than spending the day idly grazing. Before we part ways, I appreciate that holidays are just that…a holiday! A well deserved break from your usual routine and a chance to switch off. If relaxing your usual boundaries with eating and drinking is what you feel like doing then go for it. I’m just here to provide a few tips to keep you on track, a little motivation to stay true to your goals and an invitation to maybe not TOTALLY throw in the towel (pun most definitely intended!).

Holiday Prep

Daily Mobility Exercises to Relieve Neck and Back Pain

Here are a couple of videos that show exactly how I help my clients become more mobile and reduce painful joints, especially when they are suffering from neck and/or lower back pain.

The first set focuses on opening up the hip flexors and glutes, both key contributors to lower back pain when they become over tight. Each set can last between 5-10 minutes depending on how long/many you do of each one. Turn the sound up as it has useful cues to follow whilst doing these ones.

I get prepared before most workouts with some form of mobility and depending on what I have planned out. These videos are an easy and quick way to shortcut to the most important joints in the body.

This second video focuses on the shoulder girdle, you need a bar or broom handle to do this one. Keep the arms straight in all 3 exercises and please make sure that you move from the the shoulders. This can be such an easy and quick way to prepare for any upper body work in the gym – even after a day sitting all crunched up at the desk.

Good luck with these and comment below with any questions. Thanks

What motivates me to make the decisions I do?

When I take into account all the different types of lives people have to live in London it overwhelms me with such a feeling of insignificance that it makes it feel like it would be impossible to have the positive effect on my community in the way I would like to make. 

Many of you may think I mean this in the sense of ‘making a name’ for myself or ‘fame’. But actually, what I’m talking about is the desire to help create a change in my community that aligns with the change I would like to see in the world – the change that helps people live a healthier life and helps the world be better place at the same time. 

Sustainability. 

Ecology. 

Environmentalist. 

These words shoot through me up like drug and send me into a cascade of desires and wishes that end up making me feel like I’m not doing enough – reality is, it probably will never be enough. 

These words have been the driving forces behind the majority of my decisions and eventually to what pushed me to my chosen diet just over 2 years ago. “You can’t be an environmentalist and not be plant-based” – that one was like a thunderbolt to the heart and it worked on me immediately. 

Being a well-being ‘preacher’ when it comes to exercise and lifestyle, I’ve been careful not to fall into the trap of ‘activist’, although I have flirted with the boundaries a few times in the past. 

But, the word activist definitely has some, correctly or incorrectly, negative connotations for me. It suggests that I may be an extreme individual that is angry with the world or judgemental of others. 

Someone who you definitely do not want to invite round for dinner and probably not a person who you want to get as your personal trainer! 

After all, people don’t need more stressful conversations about the state of the world and all the things they could be doing to make it a better place – or do they?

People in my community can get confused by whether to eat breakfast or not, have juice or not and where’s ‘healthy’ to go for lunch let alone think about changing the world. But could we be more open minded? 

We – ‘Londoners’ – are always under an imaginary time pressure, often stressed and always loaded with responsibilities. Too many to start thinking about an upheaval of our entire diet, routine and shopping options…right?

It nags at the back of my mind, what more could we be doing? 

The definite truth is, you can’t force people to think like you. 

So, I never try to do that.  

But, if you can explain why you’ve decided to make a big decision, people may relate and that cause cause a healthy conversation to develop. 

This conversation started for me, as I mentioned before, when the question of the effect on our environment was raised. I had never thought eating chicken, beef or lamb as a question of damaging our environment. So I began to dig deeper. When I found out agriculture was responsible for more co2 production than every plane, train, car and motorbike put together (1) I started to really feel the pressure. 

Then the buddhist inside me started to find bigger holes in my approach until now, I realised I had been calling cows, pigs and sheep, “beef, pork and lamb” for 25 years. I had avoided calling the meat on my plate it’s animal name as, unknowingly, I had ignored the thought of it being an animal in the first place. 

I would never have even considered the idea of sitting down to a ‘leg of baby cat’, ‘fillet of horse’ or ‘breast of budgie’. 

But, the amount of times I made ‘cow stew’, ‘fried pig arse’ or ‘baby sheep leg’ in my life made me think more deeply than ever before. 

I simply couldn’t ignore it. You may disagree – I’m not here to tell you that what is a wrong or right thought. I’m just describing my own personal experience. It was an experience that just messed with my head, maybe it might make you open up to a different point of view.

You may feel while reading this that in order to eat the necessary amount of food (more specifically protein) for your body to stay strong, fit and be healthy that it would be near enough impossible to switch to a fully plant based diet – if you are, your are me. 

I wasn’t sure where to begin so I started with a primary consideration, how could I get the recommended amount of protein for someone of my age, weight and activity level? 

On the back of my research i found that any protein intake over 1.6g per kg of bodyweight made a negligible effect on strength and muscle mass gains (2).

I found that plant based protein rich sources like tempeh, hemp & pea protein powder and a choice of cooked beans or legumes would take me very close to the amount I needed. 

The result? 

A new set of habits that took me a few weeks to get used to but soon became a normal day-to-day routine. 

Long-term result?

A new approach to eating that aligns with my view of what a ‘healthy’ diet consists of and helps improve the quality of our environment.

 Sources:

  1. Steinfeld, H., Gerber, P., Wassenaar, T., Castel, V., Rosales, M. and de Haan, C. (2006) Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome.
  1. Morton RW, Murphy KT, McKellar SR, et alA systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adultsBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2018;52:376-384.

GET MO’ FROM YOUR ROW: How to row correctly, set up a program and get the best out of it!

Hi from France! We touched down for a weeks break at my paps’ place, he has been fighting a battle with multiple myeloma for the best part of 2 years so it is always great to come out here and spend quality time together with him and my step-mother Ariane – who is an absolute legend.

The weather is clear today but we landed in a thunderstorm so I had some time to sit and think about the best forms of HIIT training – as you do. One of the most effective tools in HIIT training is the none other than the concept 2 rower.

For those that don’t use the rower already, this is for you. And for those that already use the rower this is definitely for you too! It is always a positive step to go over the technical points and programming elements that make this type of training such a good option when you hit the gym (or if you have one at home).

Before we begin, you need to have a strong concept of what good rowing is so that you can reap the benefits of this type of exercise without causing yourself some damage in the process.

I was asked the other day about rowing by a friend of mine who wanted tips on how to do it without damaging his back. Instructing on this is a near impossible task without actually being there to coach the person whilst they’re doing it.

To try and remedy this problem I’ve created a little video to give you a clearer idea about what cues to make use of when you’re using this machine.

I feel this still only tells half the story. Rowing requires a very controlled tempo, I describe it as a 2-1 tempo where you take double the amount of time coming in towards the rower as you do pushing away from it.

During the ‘loading phase’ of the movement (when coming in towards the rower) your attention should be focused on keeping your spine straight as you flex your knees. This allows you, in the ‘driving phase’ (when pushing away from the rower) to push through your feet when you move backwards and engage the upper back and brace the core to create maximum torque.

Generate power through good technique rather than trying to just pull as hard as you can through the hands. It won’t help you go faster and it wont help to keep your back safe.

Now, in terms of setting up the rower for HIIT training you can easily set up the screen to set distance, time or calories.

Each of them are good parameters to judge intensity. Here are the tutorial videos to follow to set up a rower for any of those three methods of HIIT training.

Now you know how to set it up, let’s put together some programs.

Easy Intensity

200m/45sec/15kcal ON – 45sec OFF/REST

250m/60sec/25kcal ON – 60sec OFF/REST

Medium Intensity

250m/60sec/25kcal ON – 30sec OFF/REST

3000/75sec/30kcal ON – 45sec OFF/REST

High Intensity

400m/75sec/30kcal ON – 30sec OFF/REST

500m/90sec/40kcal ON – 45sec OFF/REST

Stick to your technique, follow the cues and stay consistent. You will see results.

New APP Launch!

New app for a next level up in support.

So excited to announce that MoJo Wellbeing now has it’s own app! You can find it in the apple or android stores.

If you’re are part of my current online coaching team do not fear! The app you have been using, FITSW, has all your records copied into the Mojo Wellbeing version. You can sign in as usual once you open it and your workouts, videos, exercise history and recordings will all still be there.

I’m working hard on doing all my own video tutorial videos for all the exercises within the app to match the MoJo theme. But you may find some of your exercises are still linked to the FITSW youtube links. If you want to find my tutorials for exercises, HIIT workouts, mobility routines and more on youtube simply write in the search bar ‘with patrick moore jones’ and results of all my videos will appear.

For those interested in trying out how I am training people online through my app please send a message back with this code: TrialWeek

You will then be entered into my list of people waiting for a trial on the online program. It is FREE but I can’t take on more than 1 person per week as it is too much work on top of my already very busy schedule! So please be patient and I will be getting back to you asap to discuss when to put our trial in place.

Thanks so much for being part this, it’s growing quicker than I expected and I’m delighted to see the direction it is heading.

Pat

“NOTHING WORTH HAVING EVER CAME EASY”

By Suzi Moore-Jones

Actually…I disagree. Sure, this is a very generalised statement, but I take a particular objection to this when it comes to food. Eating healthily doesn’t have to be laborious and time-consuming.

There is a very, very lazy person that lives inside of me. There are times when I have a lot of energy and want to put lots of time into creating something in the kitchen, but there are a LOT of other times where all I want is to make the quickest, easiest, least washing-up-heavy meal I can make so that I can get back to my excessive Netflix consumption.

So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to help appease that lazy person that lives inside of you…

USE A NUTRIBULLET (£50) FOR MAKING SAUCES

This is one of my best hacks. Whether you’re knocking together a stir fry, putting some pasta on to boil or wanting something to pour over veggies to roast, using a nutribullet for a quick sauce is the best idea. It means that you can chuck all the ingredients in to blend, without the need to finely chop and stir together on the hob first. Key ways this saves time:

  • Less chopping involved by chucking ingredients in whole (e.g. garlic cloves and ginger)
  • You can add in peas, frozen or fresh greens for a nutritional boost, which doesn’t really affect the flavour and can still be whizzed into a smooth texture
  • Less washing up in using one container to blast everything in before topping the food.

BUY YOURSELF A MINI FOOD PROCESSOR (£17)

Ok, so you may not love the idea of purchasing yet another kitchen appliance, but these babies are very small and inexpensive and honestly save you a load of work when prepping meals. I HATE chopping onions, probably because I have no patience, but it can really add to your cooking time if you need to chop onions and garlic finely by hand. If you have a mini chopper, you can easily just chop onions into quarters, chuck whole garlic cloves in (plus you can do this with other ingredients like ginger for example) and whizz it up. This device will also make really quick dips like guacamole, in an instant. Thumbs up from this lazy cook right here!

RECRUIT SOME KITCHEN CUPBOARD HEROES

There are a few staple ingredients that are my go-to guys for quick, tasty and time-saving recipes. These are:

  • Garlic and onion granules. Just adding a teaspoon of each of these can give your food the flavour it needs without needing to freshly prep garlic and onion, or that can help you out if you don’t have them to hand.
  • Marigold vegetable stock powder. We keep a huge tube of this next to the cooker, it goes in a lot of the dishes I make and can be a good shortcut to adding bit of extra flavour and seasoning to a dish.
  • Tomato paste. Having a tube of tomato paste in the fridge is always a good idea. One of my easiest breakfast recipes is pretty much combining all of these three kitchen cupboard heroes (the garlic and onion granules, veggie stock, tomato paste) with some hot water in a saucepan, optional dashes of chipotle sauce for a sweet and smokey kick, and adding some beans (black, pinto or haricot work well) for a tasty and healthy beans-on-toast brekkie. Proper recipe to follow for those who like a step-by-step…

I hope this has been helpful, stay tuned for more posts, thoughts and recipes! Comment below if you have any of your own time-saving hacks that you’d like to share!


How to stay calmer, for longer.

Let me first make it clear that what I am going to speak about today is just my opinion that has been developed through my own personal experiences.

Between the ages of 12-14 I experienced anxiety attacks. They manifested in the form of terrible stomach pains that lasted hours and often had no trigger or explanation. It was a difficult one to diagnose as there was no physical issue with my digestion that doctors could pinpoint.

One day my GP recommended I see a local councillor. After just one session with a lovely woman my stomach pains began to subside and after a while I realised one day that I hadn’t had one for months.

It’s important to note that I had a typically normal childhood, nothing extreme, two loving parents, I wasn’t bullied more than any other kid is and I had a pretty good diet (considering what other kids my age where eating!)

But, I was under quite a bit of stress. Anxiety releases the main stress hormone, which is called cortisol. This hormone causes your stomach to produce excess levels of stomach acid which can be problematic when you eat or drink triggering foods, can cause distress to your stomach lining and change the hunger satiety levels.

Because the concentration of acid in the stomach changes the way you digest food it can be quite destabilising for your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. The cascade of effects add up, and it can effect your body in a fairly powerful way.

Why is this important to know?

Because without this experience I would never have got into the stress reducing habits I did start doing from a very young age. This is the purpose of this post, to help people realise that stress is not something that you can stop from entering your environment. In fact, stress levels need to increase in order of your body to adapt in training exercises, and they help you stimulate your focus in conditions that require a heightened state of alertness.

But, how can we prepare ourselves for dealing with the small stressors that don’t mean so much to us but seem to ‘tip us over the edge’ into rage, fear, anxiety and suffering?

Practice Meditation – this has been rebranded recently as ‘mind-full-ness’. In my opinion what we are actually trying to achieve is a reduced state of mind awareness, so I don’t exactly agree with the term. But, if it gets people sitting still and focusing their minds then I’ll let that one go!

This is a state where we simply slow our minds, remove the constant train of thought flowing without control in our mind and attempt to “rest” our brain. I started off with reciting Tibetan mantra’s, one specifically ‘Om-A-Rap-A-Sana-Di’ (spelt phonetically) for 108 beads on a bead-mala 3 or 4 times every morning. This practice evolved into full-on visualisations of imagery with my eye’s closed, breathing exercises and visual focus exercises.

If you want to find out more about these, I will be happy to talk about it with you so send me a direct message, but on this occasion I can’t delve too deep into it, that needs a whole other post!

All of them are a way of doing the same thing; getting your mind to focus on one thing and one thing only, when it drifts – because it will – you have to gently bring it back, don’t worry if you get sidetracked. Everybody does it. Just be a little more understanding of yourself.

Exercise the cardiovascular system – taking your time to exercise your body without it being overly challenging on your breath is a fantastic way to reduce stress. The physical exertion will far outweigh the emotional stress you’ve built up in your mind and the endorphin release will make you feel contentment and pride for taking the time to do something positive for your mind and body.

Try doing a really low-level run, swim or bike ride when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’ll immediately feel better prepared for what the world has to throw at you.

Go natural cold water swimming – this has no be proven and backed up by science to boost the immune system and relieve symptoms of depression. Whilst anecdotally improving participants perspective of their problems and environmental stressors.

Many people will have heard about Wim Hof, an eccentric man from Holland who does incredible feats of human resistance to extreme cold. For the past 14 months I’ve been using his breathing exercises, cold water therapy immersion techniques and life advice to help me build up tolerance for stress in my everyday life. Like the first two (mentioned above), this practice has been a huge catalyst in improving my resistance to stress.

What I would like to recommend today is for you to comment below or message me directly if you’re interested about any of these practices and begin doing just one of them every day.

You can rotate the type, change the way you do them and adjust it to suit your lifestyle. But a plan and a simple piece of guidance (from me) might be exactly what you need to kickstart your stress busting healthy habits.

Speak soon, Patrick

An Essential Kitchen tool for Vegan Cooks

Save time, cut-costs and remove un-wanted stress from your life with this kitchen tool.

What is my number one kitchen appliance recommendation for people cooking on a vegan diet?

The humble and under appreciated…pressure cooker!

I’ve got a traditional (stove top) and a modern (electric) type. Both great for different reasons, especially if I need a dhal (lentils) and a whole-grain (brown rice) cooked simultaneously.

A traditional stove top pressure cooker may cost you between £30-£60 – an “expensive” one will often come with a 25 year guarantee – I bought an Barazzoni stove top type first. The number of times I’ve used it and the time it has saved has far outweighed the financial cost. It will save you money through reducing the energy expended during cooking, and it gives you the option of cooking foods in bulk from dry/soaked like chickpeas and cannellini beans that cost 40-60% less than the pre-made/tinned versions.

An electric pressure cooker is more like an all-in-one tool. It can be turned on with all the ingredients in it and left for up to 24 hours – if needed. Keeping to the specified cooking time and keeping it warm when that’s done. It really is the simplest way to cook stews, soups, dhal and curries with a minimum of fuss.  

I’ve got an entire chapter on this subject in my up coming recipe book. Be sure to keep an eye out for it!

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Fitness On A Vegan Diet

“You never fail until you stop trying” – Albert Einstein

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  Being a personal trainer and going on to a plant-based diet is still a relatively new thing. It was the culmination of many events in my life but now it seems like a decision that I can’t belive took me until aged 29 to reach.

  Going on a plant-based diet is a way of blocking out all the noise that has surrounded you since you were young about the ability of your muscles to be strong. It is a way of ignoring all the messages about what made you big, all the messages about what to drink for healthy bones, all the messages about what supplement to buy for your heart – they were all pretty much a way to make money out of you for little-to-no benefit other than for the producer. In fact, their benefit was often at the detriment of you.

Today we are smarter. The internet and the accessibility of the scientific research gives us the opportunity to find out for ourselves and turn off the noise that surrounds you as we go about our lives. Furthermore, we’ve become bored by ads knowing full well their intention.

“My Goal is to help 5,000 people start on to a vegan diet and thrive with healthy nutrition, expert exercise and mindful relaxation practices. This is my way of helping people with the three largest components of their health; their nutritional, physical and mental health.”

By providing 3 workouts, 2 nutritional plans and 1 relaxation exercise every week I am providing the foundation for people to follow a plan that works.

The information is based on the principles outlined above and are targeted for people who have a very busy schedule, people who don’t have time to research all the facts, people who want to learn about the benefits of the plant-based diet and people who are bored with hearing the noise.

For my community is everyone who wants to be the change in the world they want to see. It’s my way of effecting the world, one healthy person at a time. The future is bright if the future is plant-based. Be a part of it and know that every day you are making the difference.

Want to Lose Bodyfat? Try these 5 Essential Exercises…

5 Essential Exercises to Burn Body Fat

Exercise 1: Rowing

If you want to hit the whole body quickly and you want to boost your metabolism to burn fat then rowing is one of your must-do exercises. It targets the whole body, ‘what you put in – is what you get out’ in this case.  When you see your times getting lower with each practice you’ll be inspired to go harder again and again! I’ve witnessed benefits in every age group of client I’ve worked with this exercise.

KEY APPROACH:

Set a maximum 1000m or 2000m distance and try to complete it as fast as possible. Make the stroke as long and as powerful as you can. Try at the start of your workout 2x a week.

Exercise 2: Sprints

Running is the second most natural thing for your body after walking. Sprinting at maximum speed will get lipids (stored body fat) out of storage and into your bloodstream quickly.

KEY APPROACH:

Try one minute on, one minute off to start with on the tredmill. Get 10-15 rounds out on a speed that matches up to a 7/10 for you. Once you’ve got that done you can reduce the time resting to 30s instead and see if you can complete it at the same speed. Try this 2x a week after your weight training workout.

Exercise 3: Spinning

Pressing a 20kg weighted wheel in revolutions as fast as you can is almost the definition of high intensity interval training. Spinning is a powerful way to break up the monotony of regular cardio with powerful tunes and a group mentality.

KEY APPROACH:

Put the resistance up so high that you can’t turn the wheel when sitting on the seat. You’ll need to stand up to get momentum. Once you’ve got momentum go hard for a maximum of 30sec and then turn the resistance down and spin lightly for 90sec while sitting back down. It may sound easy now, but trust me the 1:3 ratio of work to rest works a treat when the 30 sprint is done at maximum intensity. Complete this 8x at the start of a workout 1x a week.

Exercise 4: Pull Ups

Asking you to lift your bodyweight from a hanging position is where many of my clients have closed down mentally and said; “There’s no way I can do that!”.

EVERYONE can do it, you just need adjustments to suit your capabilities. Your 30-40% stronger on the way down (negative phase of movement). So practice that. This exercise improves your posture, it uses the largest and most powerful muscles in the upper back and will boost fat burning hormones (HGH) in the bloodstream.

KEY APPROACH:

Knock out as many pull ups as possible every set for 8 rounds – 2 minute rests between. If you can’t pull up (yet) use a box, a band or jump up to get yourself above the bar. Slowly lower yourself into the full hanging position and repeat for 3-5 reps. Also complete 8 times. Try to do this minimum 2x a week.

Exercise 5: Resistance Band Squat Jumps

Boost balance, proprioception, speed and power with this squat jump exercise that will give the body every reason to start breaking down energy stores to provide energy for explosive movement.

KEY APPROACH:

Using a resistance band just above the knees, walk sideways like a crab to engage your glutes for 20 reps each side. After you’ve prepped/activated for jumping, stand with your hips slightly wider than hip width and the feet pressing away from one-another on the ground. Squat down into a deep position and jump up and tap the feet (using only the toes) on the ground with the legs together underneath you, immediately spring off the toes back down into a deep squat position – its like a star jump but with a squat and a band.

Do 20-30 reps 5x with a 60second rest between each set. You’ll be sweating, burning, activated and filling with pride at how hard you’re working just using your body and a band.