Restore, Revitalise and Relax: How To Feel Fabulous With Food and Fitness

You stare into the mirror each morning and you aren’t happy with what is standing in front of you. Everyday you inspect your curvy hips, wobbly thighs and squishy cheeks. Overcoming these insecurities will never be easy. We all have hang-ups when it comes to our bodies, but often we don’t realise that they are what make us fabulous. You should never what to change who you are, but it is important to be healthy. I bet you didn’t know that most of the things you don’t like about yourself can be tweaked and tightened up in a flash. No surgery or drastic diets needed, all you need to do is adjust your lifestyle little by little. The beauty will shine out from within and you will feel goodinstantly. Start today and use food and fitness to live a brighter life.

Glamourous and Glowing

You’re skin look dull, tired and full of blemishes. You can’t remember a time you woke up and felt flawless and free of make-up. Did you know that food can influence the way your skin looks and feels? It doesn’t matter if you’ve invested your savings into the most expensive, premium skincare brand on the market; if you aren’t feeding your body the correct nutrients your skin will suffer.

Make sure you incorporate skin-plumping foods into your diet, such as avocados and fresh salmon. The rich, good fats in these foods will feed your skin from the inside and give you a glow in no time. If you’re suffering from inflamed zits or skin blemishes try starting your day with a hot mug of water with a slice of fresh lemon. Lemon contains antioxidants that will instantly relieve your skin of bacteria causing blemishes. Blueberries are another amazing antioxidants so try and get these into at least one of your meals each day. Make sure you’re drinking enough water too to keep your skin hydrated and your body functioning well.

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Fuel Your Fitness Regime

You might have started a new exercise plan which promises quick and easy results, but you’re just not seeing on yourself. You’ve been sticking to it religiously and your body just doesn’t seem to be responding. No matter how hard you’re working in the gym, you need to complement that hard work with the correct nutrients. You need to feed your body the correct products at the correct times in order to see those results in the gym.

Before you head to the gym try and make sure you’ve had some form of complex carbohydrates, this will fuel your body with the energy it needs to work hard in that spin class. You could have organic porridge, wholemeal toast with peanut butter or even some Greek yogurt with homemade granola sprinkled on top. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs, they are you friend if you’re going to the gym! After a hard workout your body will need adequate supplements to repair its muscles. You’re going to need high protein foods such as eggs, lean meats and green veggies after you hit the gym. If you’re opting for a smoothie try adding a supplement of protein powder for an extra boost of muscle repairing formula. If you are consuming protein powder and building muscle you’re more likely to feel leaner and more energized. So if you’re looking to lose fat and gain muscle this would be a great idea for you.

Be Kind To Yourself

Stop beating yourself up for skipping a gym class or indulging in a slice of cake at your friend’s birthday. We all have a life and we should be allowed to live it to the fullest without consequences. Life is about balance and as long as you are having healthy meals and exercising often, you should never feel bad about giving yourself a treat. We all have goals we want to reach, but try and make them tangible. Stop looking at numbers on a scale or measuring tape for a start. Try and set goals such as, fitting into a new pair of skinny jeans, rather than reaching a certain weight. You will never truly know your weight as it fluctuates so much throughout one day. Do yourself a favour and throw away the scales, they are not your friend!

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Mindful Movement

Stop snoozing your alarm in the morning and start your day peacefully. Forget the rushing around and barely brushing your hair before you leave for work or college. Start your day with a relaxed mindset and your body will feel happier straight away. Practice yoga and meditations for a few minutes each day to allow your mind to escape to a world of calm serenity. If you’re unsure where to start, there are tonnes of awesome apps which can help you to start up a routine of meditation and yoga. Deep breathing techniques and calming poses will help your body to reset. You will see a noticeable difference if you suffer from anxiety and you will feel stress free as soon as the day begins. Give it a go and try it with a friend if you need a little helping hand.

Revel In Relaxation

Always allow yourself time to relax and recuperate after a stressful situation. Maybe you have a crazy deadline to meet at work or you’ve been staying up late working on a project. If you have a long, hard stint of work today make sure you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Reward yourself and you will feel more motivated to get to the end.

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Try Something New

It’s always fun to take up a new hobby or pursuit. Whether it’s a new sport or healthy recipe, it’s a great idea to keep you occupied and get your body into gear. The chances are you’ll make a new friend or even start up a hobby that develops into a career. Don’t be afraid to give anything a go and get the moral support you need from your friends and family.

Don’t delay in starting your health and fitness journey today. Your body will feel the love it deserves and as long as you’re living a fulfilled and happy lifestyle you’re definitely on the right track.

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3 Perfect Activities For The Day After Christmas

After the indulgence of Christmas Day, December 26th is a chance to recover, relax, and treat yourself to some well-deserved down time. As well as the usual vegging out and playing with presents, the ideas below are the perfect choice to help continue the festive spirit even when the big day itself has passed.

Play a board game

Board games weren’t designed specifically for Christmas, but they may as well have been. They make the perfect activity to enjoy with your family, especially the day after Christmas itself, when you’re not likely to fancy doing anything too active. You could try old favorites such as Monopoly, or opt for a newer concept such as the Destination board games, then gather the whole family around to enjoy a little healthy competition.

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time

It’s easier than it’s ever been before to keep contact with people thanks to social media, but there’s no true replacement for an actual conversation sometimes. Call and have a chat with someone you care about, and with whom you have only had a text-based friendship for the past few years.

Watch a Christmas movie

Christmas movies should have a place in your heart throughout the festive season, not just in the lead up to the big day. There are plenty of old favorites as well as new discoveries to enjoy. Of course, Christmas is a time of magic, so maybe one day this fantasy perfect Christmas movie will become a reality?


Infographic Design By Sunny

Feeling Fashion Confident In Your New Job

Congratulations on securing that new job role; you’ll be on the road to more confidence in your abilities, the chance to network and meet new people, and a great reason to skip out of bed each day. There are always going to be some first day, or week, or even month, nerves; it’s only natural. However, the confidence you have in your appearance, style, and work attire choices; shouldn’t affect how you feel regarding your nerves. Taking some time to organize what you’re going to wear in your new job throughout the working week, will ensure that you can stride into your place of employment knowing that you can portray outer confidence; even if you’re panicking a little on the inside!

In a new job role and place of employment; you still want to be yourself and express your personality through your clothing. However, you’ll need to ensure that the clothes you wear are suitable for the environment, and if there are any rules and regulations surrounding clothes in the workplace; you follow them to the letter. Therefore, it might be time to start looking through your wardrobe and pulling out some key items that you know will work, heading out to pick up some new things and re-working garments that you may have forgotten about. Putting the effort into your style before your first day will give you one less thing to worry about and you’ll have your ideal, capsule workwear wardrobe. The following are some ideas for fashionistas who are lacking a little self-confidence when it comes to their new job, what to wear, and how to wear it.

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A Fitted Jacket Will Work Wonders

A tailored and well-fitted jacket or blazer, in a plain hue, will work wonders in smartening-up any outfit. You can team a great jacket with dresses, skirts, or pants, and it’ll give your outfit a chic silhouette instantaneously. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about investing in a suitable option so that you know you’ll have something to throw on top of whatever you choose to wear. You could also utilize alteration services from companies like Stitch It who can ensure that your blazer fits like a glove, and it will give your garment a high-end and luxury feel. Tailoring and altering your clothing will ensure that you’re comfortable, confident, and look your best every day at work.

Keep It Neutral

Ensuring that the majority of items in your work wardrobe are neutral colors will allow you to introduce pops of bright color and prints to suit the season. Crisp white shirts, deeper toned jackets, pants, and skirts, and dark footwear will ensure that you can rock that bright red blouse or floral scarf whenever you feel like it. Keeping your silhouette clean and simple and focus on the fit of the garments and how they make you feel. Ensuring that an outfit makes you feel good on the inside will help you to portray happiness and confidence on the outside so that your first week at work will run smoothly.

Do These Things To Feel Good Every Day – They Really Work

Feeling good every day can be a little tough for some. Some people are born with a naturally happy disposition, while others have a sort of middle set point that tends to lean towards the grumpy side more often than not. Which one are you? If you’re reading this, our guess is you don’t feel as happy every day as you’d like to.

If you want to feel good every day, here’s a few things you can do to change that. You may resist trying them out, but trust us, they really work!

Meditation

No, it isn’t just buddhist monks who use meditation. Monks use meditation to reach enlightenment, but using meditation to be happier is more than possible too. All you have to do is get into the habit of doing it for a few minutes each day. It can be tough to sit there doing nothing at first, but after you’ve kept it up for a couple of weeks, it’ll become second nature. There are many apps out there that can help you, including Calm and Headspace. Aiming for just 5 minutes a day is fine at first. Slowly build yourself up until you’re doing around 15 minutes. It’s up to you whether you want to spend even longer – some like to make their meditation practice up to an hour!

Exercise

Exercise in the morning will make you more productive and focused throughout the rest of the day, and you’ll be happier thanks to the endorphins that you’ve released. You could go for a walk, a quick jog, do a bodyweight HIIT session, or use weights to get your workout in. There are all kinds of workouts you can try out on YouTube and sites like Fitnessblender, so you have no excuse.

Nutrition

The food you eat can make you feel better or worse. Eating nutritious food that the body naturally craves is a great way to feel better. Eating junk is obviously going to make you feel like junk. Those who eat junk often experience a slump in the afternoon, making it tough to concentrate and get anything done. You don’t have to eat clean or forbid yourself from enjoying treats, but you should make smart choices the majority of the time.

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Nap

Taking naps is a great way to safeguard your health and feel happier; many successful people take a nap for 20-30 minutes a day to help them top up their sleep and feel more productive in a flash. Make sure you set an alarm, though, so you don’t end up sleeping for too long and suffering from inertia. Then you’ll find it impossible to get up! If you nap at home, make sure your bed is suitable. It should be comfortable, with the right kind of pillows and mattress. You can learn about the different kinds of mattresses online. Find more about Mattress-Guides.net and you’ll be able to ensure your environment is suitable for both napping and quality sleep. It’s a good idea when napping not to get under the covers, and use a thinner blanket instead so you don’t fall straight into a deep sleep!

Help somebody else

Helping others is a much faster way to feel happier than helping ourselves. Seriously. Why not pay it forward in a coffee shop? Simply smiling at a stranger will make you both feel good too!

How to Do More For Your Grandparents As You All Get Older

As your grandparents get older and you move further into adult life, it can be easy to drift apart and for those relationships to crumble. That’s probably not what you want, but it happens so commonly regardless. That’s why it’s so important to go out of your way to make your relationships with your grandparents stronger. It doesn’t have to be complicated and everyone wins, so read on to learn more about what you should do.

Pick Up the Phone

A phone call can be the most important thing you give to your grandparents if you do it on a regular basis. They need to have family members to talk to and pass the time with, and by spending some time on the phone with them you could make them happier than you’d imagine. It might not seem like much, but it will matter to them and that’s why you should prioritise things like this.

Be There For Special Occasions and Milestones

For your grandparents, it’s important to mark special occasions and recognise milestones in life. As you get older, these things only grow in importance, so you shouldn’t deny them the chance to recognise these kinds of things. It doesn’t take much to be there for those occasions and family gatherings, so make sure you show up and spend time with your grandparents on those occasions. Who knows, you might even have a good time!

Do the Simple Things

Doing more for your grandparents is not just about doing the big things or the grand gestures; it’s often the small things that are more important because they have the biggest day to day impact. For example, if you help them out with the shopping or changing a light bulb around the house for them will be really appreciated, so make sure you do these small and simple things.

Be There During the Worst and Most Difficult Times

There are always going to be health issues and problems that your grandparents go through; that’s part of the aging process. Sometimes these problems will be minor, and then you will simply need to be there and offer them the extra support they need. But services like Spectrum Health Care cancer palliative care can help you out in instances when the problems are bigger. Whatever the case, it’s vital to be there during the bad times.

Don’t Force It

You shouldn’t ever feel like you’re forcing yourself to do more and be there. This is about offering support and maintaining good relationships; it’s impossible to do that if the relationships become force. Try to build positively and keep the relationships you have with your grandparents relaxed and enjoyable for all of you. You should also make sure you listen to

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There are times when family has to come first, and loneliness is a big problem for many elderly people so you should do what you can do help our grandparents out as you all move into new stages of your lives.

Top Tips To Ensure A Laughter Filled Festive Season

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There are many ways to ensure that you have a holly jolly Christmas just like the song proposes. Making your festive season full of fun, frivolity and laughter will ensure that you have a holiday where the happiest of memories are made. There’s nothing better than sitting down with the family in front of a warm roaring fire, roasting chestnuts and enjoying some quality time together. When you think of Christmas, images of heavily gift-laden stockings, large Norwegian firs and advent calendars come to mind. Now it’s time to add jokes, laughter and giggles to those thoughts. Take a look at how you can bring more fun to your Christmas this year.

The Christmas Movie Days

On the run-up to Christmas, we begin to see the trailers for the movies showing on TV this season. There is a vast array of hilarious comedies for the entire family to enjoy. If you were born in the 1980s and can just about scrape into the early millennial category of human beings, you’ll remember the slapstick farce of Home Alone, Scrooged and Groundhog Day. If you’re now enjoying Christmas with your own offspring, why not show them the films that you used to watch as well as enjoying the modern classics of Elf and Arthur Christmas. Movies have an awesome power of bringing people together across a bowl of popcorn and a tub of ice cream.

For The Clown In Your Life

If your partner adores a particular comedian, why not bite the bullet and purchase some tickets as a gift that will allow them to see their favorite stand-up live. Even if your loved one’s comedy of choice is hugely popular, you can still investigate a service like TicketOffices to hunt down that elusive pair of tickets. People who want to resell their tickets because they can’t attend an event can make them available through reputable websites that act as a platform for people desperate to attend a concert or gig. You won’t be at risk of scammers, won’t have to rely on a tout and your ticket is 100% guaranteed.

Get Outdoors

It doesn’t matter whether it is sub-zero outside and you are knee deep in snow, or whether it’s mild and balmy, it can pay to get outdoors over the festive season. Head to your local park with your pals, have a festive picnic, enjoy a game of frisbee or kick a ball around, and relish the opportunity to have a laugh and a chuckle over a turkey vol au vent or two. Surround yourself with the people that bring joy to your life and help you find fun during the festive season. Moments spent reminiscing about college days or discussing the trials and tribulations of watching your little one’s first nativity play can leave you struggling to breathe through sheer laughter.

Moments of side-splitting guffawing become fewer and farther between as we get older. Use this Christmas as an excuse to try and achieve as many laughter-filled moments as you possibly can. Happy Christmas!

Christmas Gift Guide For Him

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Christmas is the perfect time to show the man in your life how much you love and appreciate him. Men can be very difficult to buy for. Most of the time you will ask him what he wants and he will simply say ‘i don’t know’. It can be a mission in itself trying to drill ideas out of their heads, let alone buy them.

Luckily, we feel your pain so we’ve come up with some ideas to give you a head start and hopefully a spark of inspiration for the man in your life this year. Whether it be your dad, uncle, boyfriend, son or cousin- these ideas suit any male of the species and will be sure to gain a smile on Christmas morning when they open them up.

Gadgets

If your man loves his toys, you can take this opportunity to feed his technological mind and buy him something he can build or play with in the evening on christmas day. You could opt for video games like Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire or Mario Kart; a console for him to setup and play with; or even a remote control drone he can fly over the garden. Make sure you find out what areas you are allowed to fly a drone in first though.

Food

The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Food is one of the greatest joys of the festive season… and every other season to be honest. There are a huge range of foods and food related gifts you could buy him this year:

Sweet: A box of chocolates,a giant ferrero rocher, a jar of retro sweets… the possibilities are endless

Savoury: You could buy him a pack of sauces for cooking, some peanuts and snacks, chips and dips and even a cheese board with some crackers

Cooking: a tagine for slow cooking, cooking sauces and chilli for experimenting in the kitchen, a novelty apron he HAS to wear when serving dinner

Drinks:whiskey, beer, ale, hot cocoa set, coffee for his machine… there are loads to choose from

An Experience

If you don’t know what to buy your man this year because he’s fussy; the best idea is to get him an experience day instead. You could be going wine or beer tasting for the day, becoming a zookeeper for a few hours or even indoor skydiving if you don’t want to do the real thing. Getting him something he will remember for years to come is just as special as buying something he can use.

Clothes

If you have a partner who takes more time choosing clothes than you do, then you could be onto a winner if you decide to buy him clothes for christmas this year. You could play it safe and ask him what he wants or needs, or failing that you can trust your instincts and pick something you know he will love. A shirt, tie, scarf and even a pair of jeans will go down pretty well with your man.

Fitness

If your other half has recently got into the gym or a sport: you have loads of different options to buy him this year for christmas. If they are playing football you can buy him a football shirt from his favourite team; if he’s into weights you could treat him to kettlebells for when he trains at home; or if he’s trying to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle you can buy him a water bottle or some new trainers for the gym. There are so many options and you can find some really great items around and about for your man.

Novelty

A stormtrooper whiskey decanter is the perfect gift if your partner has a love of star wars and alcoholic beverages. You can enjoy watching him pour himself a christmas drink out of a storm troopers head on christmas evening. What could be better? Novelty gifts can be found anywhere so you will never run short of ideas. If your other half loves game of thrones- you can buy them a funny tshirt, if they love superheroes you could find some funny boxers, and even if they love the old classic cartoons- you will be able to find novelty slippers and other gifts for the man in your life. A fun idea would be to buy him the most garish, tacky christmas jumper you can find and then make him wear it for the rest of the day. It will be sweet revenge for all those times you asked him to do something and he simply replied ‘in a minute dear’.

Leopard On A Mission – Week Five

I’m back! Oh my, what a busy few weeks I have had preparing and enjoying Thanksgiving. It’s time to get start spreading the kindness again.

This week let’s all surprise a neighbor (or many) with some treats! I love doing things like this all year round, but this time of season is the perfect time to spread some joy, and even meet more of those who live around you.

Keep the posts coming on social media by using the hashtag: #LeopardOnAMission

Have a great week!

Compassion, And What It Can Mean To Someone Who Struggles

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Compassion means everything to those who receive it, and it dignifies those who give it. No matter how hard your hard, or how difficult and hopeless the situation, compassion will lend a meaning to live. Without sounding like we’re preaching from a soapbox, it’s important to understand how the power of this can work. We, humans, are designed to love each other first and foremost. If not from an emotional standpoint, from an evolutionary standpoint. We all know that life is simply better, more bearable, and tragedy more manageable when we share our love for one another. No matter who you show compassion to, your friend who is addicted to a substance, an elderly relative who would benefit from at home care, or even yourself during a rough patch, this article is concerned with celebrating the power and meaning of compassion:

Compassion Reframes Tragedy

Everything is perception, and all is belief. No matter how horrific and tragic the circumstances you or a loved one has experienced, bringing in compassion to the situation lifts it slightly. It helps define a human virtue despite the difficulty. A kind word, a simple statement of encouragement, an action of help and a full-time investment towards resolution can all contribute to the effort of positivity. This can lend you immense strength.

Compassion Gives You Purpose

It’s easy to become disenfranchised or feel worried in the presence of difficulty. Becoming lost is often the temptation for most people. It’s simply a human issue which we all can experience without warning. However, applying compassion to both yourself and others gives you purpose. This can help direct you. Feeling empathic towards your situation allows you to look for solutions.

Notice that compassion and empathy is much more and much different than pity. It looks for solutions after accurately seeing the problem, as opposed to bathing in the problem and hoping it will solve itself. Purpose can help people get out of the most difficult times, so much so that many studies have been undertaken (such as those featured in Dr Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning,) on those trapped in concentration camps in WW2. Those who looked forward to a meaning after the camp, and held on to inspiration and purpose throughout the tragedy were much more likely to survive. This human passion helps us burn through even the most difficult of problems.

Compassions Gives You Clarity

If you have compassion, you’re much less likely to rest in your prejudices and instead listen to the person you’re gifting that compassion to. A drug addict will be seen as a diseased person, someone who needs help as opposed to a morally corrupt or ‘bad’ person. This helps you see the levels of complexity to any situation which can then help you give directed and appropriate help, or refer that person to better help with a more nuanced and appropriate approach.

Compassion helps improve your life, and your social depth even without tragedy to spur it on. Pause for thought and make use of compassion, it could just improve your life more than you know.

Running Injuries That Are Easy To Avoid

Running is a great way to stay in shape and it doesn’t come with a lot of the same dangers as competitive team sports, but that doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself. Runners have their own set of risks to deal with and if you don’t run with good form, using the right gear, you could put yourself out of action and it’ll take a while to recover. There are a couple of injuries that runners often fall prey to, here’s what they are and how you can avoid them.

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Plantar Fasciitis

This is just a fancy name for an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. It usually gives you a sharp pain in the heel or the arch of the foot. It can be a slight annoyance but if you leave it untreated for too long, it’ll soon become incredibly painful. The two main causes are overworking and lack of proper footwear. If you haven’t got proper running shoes on, you won’t have enough support and you open yourself up to injury. Choosing the right one is a bit of a minefield but if you check out the Running Shoes Guru you’ll find plenty of great reviews to help you find the right ones. Good support should stop you from getting Plantar Fasciitis, as long as you aren’t running too often.

It’s tempting to get out and run every day when you’re constantly competing with yourself and trying to smash your best time. But you’ve got no chance of beating your record if you can’t run at all. Even with the best running shoes, your feet can only take so much. If you overwork them you’ll almost certainly end up with problems, so always take a couple of days off throughout the week.

Achilles Tendinitis   

This one is the Achilles heel of runners everywhere. All it means is that you’ve got inflammation in your Achilles tendon. It takes a long while to heal because there isn’t that much blood flow to the area so preventing it is vital. You’ll get pain around your heel and up the back of your foot, there’s also a lot of swelling that can make it unbearable to walk, let alone run.

Tight calves are one of the main culprits of an Achilles injury because if your calves aren’t taking enough of the impact, it all gets put on the Achilles tendon. If you overtrain and your calves are suffering because of it, you’re likely to develop an Achilles injury. You’re also at risk if there are sudden increases in the intensity of your training. If you’ve decided that your current training regimes just aren’t pushing you hard enough, you’ll want to take things up a notch. But if you go from running twice a week to five times a week and increase the distance at the same time, you’ll hurt yourself. Always increase the intensity gradually over a few weeks and you should be fine.

Iliotibial Tendon

This is a tendon that runs from your hip to your knee and there are all sorts of ways that you can damage it. If you’re feeling a sharp stabbing pain in the side of your knee when you run, that’s a sure sign of an IT injury.

Running downhill a lot is one of the causes because the angle of the incline puts extra stress on your IT. When you run, you usually run with a slight lean, even if you don’t notice it. Running on different sides of the roads helps you to balance it out a bit but if you’re always taking the same route, you could be putting extra stress on your legs. Changing up your route to cut out hills and run in different directions is the best way to avoid an IT injury.

Runner’s Knee

If you experience a dull ache under the kneecap whenever you run, you’ve got runner’s knee. It’s caused by different things in different people but there are a couple of common causes. Not wearing proper footwear is one, but that can be said of pretty much any running injury. Running on uneven ground is another big cause of runner’s knee that can be solved fairly easily by changing your route or buying running shoes with a spongier sole. If you’ve got weak quads or hips, your knees are picking up all the slack.

When it comes to sorting the problem the bottom line is, don’t run if it hurts. Try new footwear and always put an ice pack on it when you’ve got pain.

Most running injuries are caused by overwork, bad form, and lack of proper footwear. If you know what you’re doing and you invest in the right gear, you should be fine.