womens blog

First period after having a baby: What to expect

Many women wonder what to expect from their first postpartum period, as well as when to expect it. In this article, learn about the first period after having a baby, including how to tell the difference between lochia and a period, and when to resume birth control.

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How Bad Is Processed Meat For You – Really?

Joel Snape
Monday, October 8, 2018 - 10:07

The latest science Poor old red meat has a bad rep these days, and that’s partly because it gets lumped in with its more artificially enhanced brethren – bacon, cured ham, frankfurters and other types of pre-packed, processed meat. And although there are similarities between the two, there are more causes for concern when eating the processed stuff, including cooking-based carcinogens and the sodium nitrate used to preserve them. So how bad are they, really?

Newsflash: not that bad. Yes, processed meat’s been associated with an increased risk of various cancers, especially the colorectal kind, compared with red meat – but the risk is relatively small. A 50g increase in daily processed meat consumption, according to a 2011 meta-analysis, bumps your chances of cancer from about five in 1,000 to almost six – a risk you might be able to live with, or offset by eating more veg. Are there other reasons not to live on hot dogs? Well, yes…

The expert take “Apart from the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that can form during meat processing, the big problem is that excess sugar, salt and fat such...

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Liven Up Your Training With These Slam Ball Exercises

Jon Lipsey
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 13:41

There are a few things that will have a significant impact on determining whether or not you hit your training goals, and the biggest one is turning up to the gym in the first place. If you’re not there, you’re not exactly going to get the results you’re looking for, are you? There are things you can do to ensure that you don’t skip sessions, and one is to make them enjoyable – and one of the easiest ways to do that is to incorporate throws into your workouts. They’re one of the few opportunities you get to go all-out, which makes them satisfying on a primal level. Even better, this explosive style of training has plenty of physical benefits too.

“Power movements are, for me, the ultimate pre-workout cocktail,” says Jack Lovett, owner of Spartan Performance gym. “They excite your central nervous system, which is like your mind sending a signal to your muscles, and we want that message to get there as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

They’re also a great way of helping you to maximise the potential of your session. “Research has shown that the right power drills can also improve your...

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How To Achieve Your Gym Goals

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 13:46

1. Maintaining consistency

Why Yes, the advice that will give you the most exciting results is one of the most boring. Consistency is, appropriately enough, the thing that most good trainers will tell you is the most important gym habit.

How “In my view this is number one for getting results,” says Turner. “Even the best programme in the word won’t work if you only do it now and again. Keeping consistent with both your training and nutrition is a sure fire way to get success in the gym. This doesn’t mean you need to train seven days a week but I can assure you that consistency is the number one habit for success and is way more important than what deadlift variation you are doing today.”

2. Focusing on goals

Why If you don’t know where you’re trying to get to, how on Earth would you expect to get there? Having a clear goal will give you a clear focus and a measurable target to aim for.

How “Without goals it’s easy to lose motivation and sight of where you are heading,” says Turner. “Break your long-term goals down into smaller, achievable goals. For example, if you have 10kg to lose, focus only on what it takes to...

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A Full-Body Workout Routine To Get Lean In Less Time

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 08:29

When you’re short of training time but still want to have a tough session, following a superset strategy really is a super tactic. Quite simply, a superset is when you do a set of two different exercises back to back with little or no rest between them - you only rest after the final rep of the second exercise has been completed. Supersets are a very popular tactic to dramatically increase the amount of lifting work you can do in a limited amount of time, and by cleverly pairing exercises that work different muscles or muscle groups you can do a highly challenging full-body workout that will build muscle and burn fat in less than half an hour. That’s exactly what this six-move, three-superset barbell session does: simply do the moves, sets and reps in the order shown, sticking to the rest periods, and shock your body into changing for the better.

How to do the workout

The six exercises in this session are split into three supersets. Do all the reps of move 1A, then all the reps of 1B. Rest and repeat for a total of three supersets, then repeat this pattern with moves 2A and 2B, and 3A and 3B.

1A Back squat

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A Healthy Eating Plan For When You’re Hitting The Gym Hard

Jon Lipsey
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 10:37

If you want to make a big difference to how you look and feel in a short space of time, you’re going to have to follow a diet that feels like punishment – right? You know the kind of thing. You eat a few broccoli florets and a small portion of white fish every few hours, except on Sundays when you get three sniffs of a rasher of bacon as a treat.

That was the view I held until earlier this year and I now know that my preconceptions were wrong. I know they were wrong because a few months ago I did my first ever body transformation, turning myself from an overweight 37-year-old into a Men’s Fitness cover model in just eight weeks. Even better, I didn’t just get to sniff the bacon. I got to eat it. With a couple of fried eggs. In a nice big sandwich with brown sauce.

In fact nothing about the approach to food that I used, which is outlined (along with all the workouts I followed) in my New Body Plan book, was extreme or restrictive. I’m happy to report that you can make a dramatic change to your physique without making your life a misery.

The other misconception I held is that if you make...

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These Vegetarian Traybakes Are Tasty, Healthy And Unbelievably Easy To Make

Rukmini Iyer
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 13:50

I was brought up in a vegetarian household – often vegan, as southern Indian food tends to be. Other than on pizza night, my mother rarely failed to put at least three different types of dish on the table – whether it was rice, spiced potatoes and aubergines, sambhar (a lentil and tamarind stew), carrots and beans in mustard seeds and a peppery tomato rasam, or home-made mushroom quiche, roasted vegetables and a Caprese salad. Given that she worked full-time as a GP, I have no idea how she managed, unless I’m blocking out the memory of a lot of potato waffles and buttery macaroni with grated Cheddar (still up there on my list of favourite dinners).

Food for dinner parties or birthdays was even better: home-made paneer cheese, blitzed with spices, then formed into koftas, deep-fried and cooked in a rich Mughal tomato and cream sauce, tiny stuffed aubergines, cauliflower cooked with ginger and chilli, and my favourite, pulao rice with cashews and saffron.

Weeknight cooking rarely affords the time for so many dishes, so I’ve taken the principles of vegetarian cooking learned from home, and...

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Bragi Dash Pro Wireless Headphones Review

Nick Harris-Fry
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 14:49

How much would you spend on headphones? Up to this point the priciest pair we’ve tried are around £200 so a set would need to offer a pretty special set of features to warrant a higher price than that. The Bragi Dash Pro wireless headphones deliver on the novel features front, but often fluff their lines when it comes to the basics – and considering they cost almost £300, that’s pretty much unforgivable.

The marquee features are the 4GB of space for music, podcasts and audiobooks, and tracking activity (including your heart rate) automatically. Using the partner app you can set up your own audio profile through a six-minute test where you press a button when you can hear a series of beeps, and release it when you can’t. This automatically adjusts the sound profile to your ears.

You can use headshakes and nods to scroll through the menu on the buds and skip tracks, and there are also touch controls on the side of the buds. The headphones offer five hours of battery life, and the carry case can charge them five times, which puts them at the top end of what’s on offer with truly wireless...

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Two Weeks Of Fat-Burning Workouts To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle Quickly

Friday, October 5, 2018 - 09:33

When you want to make major changes to your body – specifically to build lean muscle mass and lose body fat – sometimes you need to go back to basics. That’s especially true if you’ve been trying to transform your body but seen little progress, or if you’re stuck in a rut and losing the desire and willpower needed to build your best-ever body.

There can be a tendency to do the opposite when you hit a roadblock – to look for shortcuts to success, or try to overcomplicate your training methods to force a breakthrough. But this isn’t the best route forward. Instead, try this two-week workout plan, which has been created to help you make the biggest possible change to your body in the shortest possible timeframe. It does this by focusing on those big-picture pieces that slot together to enable you to get the results you want faster.

Everything you need to know is revealed below, but rest assured that it’s going to reignite your love for training as well as help you make progress towards a bigger, stronger and leaner body through smart planning and exercise selection. In short, it’s going to keep your training simple so...

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Is Joe Wicks’s 30-Minute Meals Cookbook Any Good?

Jonathan Shannon
Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 15:38

Joe Wicks can shift books. His Lean In 15 series, which combine super-quick recipes with HIIT workouts, sold gangbusters, and last year he branched out into pure recipe books with Cooking For Family And Friends With Joe Wicks while his star continued to rise on TV and social media.

With his new cookbook, Joe’s 30-Minute Meals, he’s now on first-name terms with the public and after trying one of his books for the first time, I’m glad he’s so well known. There’s a lot to like in this book and not just the food.

The introduction is where many healthy cookbooks take considerable time to tell the author’s story and set out the supposedly revolutionary new approach to losing weight. Not Joe – he takes just four pages, and sticks to some simple but highly effective principles. He reckons your diet should be varied. He’s tried to make these recipes easy for anyone to follow. He’s also labelled each meal “carb refuel” or “reduced carb” to help you eat more carbs on days when you’re active. And finally, he thinks cooking and eating should be enjoyable and help you feel better. I can’t argue with...

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Videos Of Four Epic Adventure Holidays That’ll Give You Itchy Feet

Nick Harris-Fry
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 15:27

Very few of us get to spend as much time on holiday each year as we’d really like to, which means that when you do have the chance to escape for a couple of weeks, it’s worth making that break as memorable as possible.

Everyone’s idea of a perfect holiday differs, but for many people a trip just isn’t satisfying unless some kind of adventurous activity is included. You don’t have to leave the UK to enjoy an adrenaline-filled holiday, but it’s fair to say that heading for a far-flung location only adds to the adventure.

Below you’ll find four top picks for adventure holidays from Paulo Palha, founder of Travideo, a website that hosts travel videos from around the world shot by pro filmmakers.

Scuba Dive In Thailand

“Thailand is home to some world-class dive sites,” says Palha. “The clear blue seas, tropical sea life and paradise islands make scuba diving off Thailand’s coast an experience to remember.

“You can do the PADI Open Water Dive course while in Thailand and qualify for the licence while you’re there. The course takes three full days, and costs between £250 and £400 depending on...

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How To Do The Pendlay Row

Nick Harris-Fry
Monday, October 1, 2018 - 16:11

Glenn Pendlay, the weightlifting coach after whom the Pendlay row is named, wasn’t looking to create his own exercise when he recommended doing barbell rows with a flat back, returning to the bar to the floor for each rep. He just felt that this was the best way to do a barbell row, with strict form and an entirely stationary bar between reps so you couldn’t rely on any momentum.

The Pendlay row is still a type of barbell row, so it targets the same areas – principally the lats, but most of the upper and lower back muscles are also enlisted in the movement. It is a more demanding lift than the standard barbell row, owing to the fact you have to lift the bar from the ground each time.

All rows are great for building up your back muscles and consequently improving your posture, and if you’re someone who hammers the bench press each and every time you visit the gym you’ll find that adding rows to your routine will help balance your upper body.

How To Do The Pendlay Row

Start with the bar on the floor in front of you. It’s wise to use a lighter weight than you do in the bent-over barbell row,...

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The Home Glutes Workout That Will Get Your Day Off To A Flyer

Jonathan Shannon
Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 20:51

When you step out of your front door in the morning, what kind of step do you take? Is it a purposeful stride? Or a weary stumble?

Beyond how much you’re dreading your day at work, a clipped gait might have everything to do with glutes that are still asleep. The frankly massive muscles in your rear can be criminally underused, especially if you happen to work in an office where their primary use is as a not particularly comfortable cushion. So when we were introduced to trainer Shona Vertue’s workout videos for AXA PPP Healthcare, we were immediately drawn to the glute session.

It’s a short, simple routine that cycles through a circuit of squats, glute bridges, leg extensions and reverse lunges twice. The first three moves use a resistance band, but all the exercises can be done as bodyweight moves while you wait for the set you just bought online to be delivered.

The glutes workout is one of three options – the others are a yoga session and a HIIT kettlebell and yoga combo. All are designed to get you going in the morning. You could, of course, slip them in during your lunch break or...

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Strava Now Syncs With PureGym To Log Your Workouts

Nick Harris-Fry
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 09:11

Having conquered the worlds of run and ride tracking, fitness app Strava has turned its sights to the rest of your activities by announcing a trio of new partnerships. Gym chain PureGym, fitness class booking app Mindbody and boutique studio Digme can all now be connected to Strava so that your activities automatically sync to your account.

While many runners and cyclists are known for their aversion to the gym, cross training is an important part of any training regime, making you faster, stronger and more injury-resistant so you can reach ever greater heights with your main sport. Being able to get kudos on that activity is really just the cherry on top.

You can already log all manner of activities to Strava manually, but as Gareth Mills, UK country manager at Strava, explains, the new connections will make it easier to keep tabs on your indoor activities.


“Once connected, your time in the gym and number of classes attended will be automatically tracked on Strava, alongside your other activities,” says Mills. “You won't need to choose any activities manually...

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Tips For Pacing The Royal Parks Half Marathon

Nick Harris-Fry
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 09:45
running over the thames big ben

The key to a strong race at any distance is good, consistent training – but even if you have logged months of quality preparation, it’s still possible for your big day to go awry if you don’t pace your race sensibly.

If you’ve entered the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 14th October, you’ll probably have been told several times not to go out too fast. It’s the most clichéd piece of running advice going, but no less correct for that fact.

Moving beyond that basic advice you might also have been told that running a negative split is a wise race strategy. For more information on what that means, plus other key pacing tips, we spoke to ON Running Coach Andy Hobdell.

What is a negative split and why is it a good strategy for a half marathon?

It means running the second half of the race faster than the first half of the race. A classic example of this is Eliud Kipchoge’s recent world record [2hr 1min 39sec] for the marathon in Berlin, where he ran the first half marathon in 61min 6sec and then the second half in 60min 33sec. His 30 to 35km split was his fastest of the entire race.

Over the years I...

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How To Do The Reverse Crunch

Nick Harris-Fry
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 15:22
Reverse crunch

It’s generally wise to master the standard form of an exercise before you move on to any kind of variation. When it comes to the crunch, though, you can skip right ahead to the reverse form of the move.

As we’ve pointed out before, the standard crunch isn’t the best move for anyone looking to strengthen their core or carve out a six-pack. They can be bad for your lower back and have little impact on your lower abs. In contrast, the reverse crunch hits all the showy exterior abs muscles you need to work for a well-defined six-pack, placing particular emphasis on the lower abs. The reverse crunch also puts your abs under tension for a long period of time, maximising the benefits to your stomach muscles – if it’s done properly…

How To Do The Reverse Crunch

Start lying down with your arms by your sides. Raise your legs so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90° angle. Breathe out and contract your abs to bring your knees up towards your chest and raise your hips off the floor. Hold for a beat in this position, then slowly lower your legs back to the starting...

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Fitness Tracker Review

Nick Harris-Fry
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 14:46

The Short Version

Garmin’s Fenix 5 Plus range contains the 5S Plus, 5 Plus and 5X Plus and sits at the very top of the company’s tracker line-up. The Fenix 5 Plus, the model we got our hands on, is a mightily impressive GPS sports watch ready to explore the wilderness thanks its pre-loaded colour maps, while also being stylish and smart enough to work as an everyday tracker as well.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Buy from Garmin | From £599.99

Things We Liked

  • The colour maps are clear, and it’s easy to follow directions while running and even create new routes right on your wrist.
  • It’s nothing new with Garmin’s top-end devices, but the Fenix 5 Plus is a brilliant sports tracker, with the ability to track an impressive range of metrics for many different activities.
  • The whole range is built from premium materials and the stylish design helps to makes them great everyday watches.
  • You can store music and podcasts on the watch, and Garmin have linked with Spotify (and Deezer) so you can wirelessly sync your playlists across to the Fenix 5 Plus if you have a Spotify premium account.
  • The range is compatible...

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The Symptoms Of Heart Disease You Shouldn’t Ignore

Jonathan Shannon
Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 14:54

Would you be able to recognise all of the symptoms of heart disease? The doctors in the audience can put their hands down, this isn’t med school and you aren’t impressing anyone – especially as it appears that Joe and Jo Public hasn’t got the foggiest.

A survey commissioned by HeartFlow, a new piece of diagnostic tech that helps doctors identify coronary artery disease, found that the public weren’t that familiar with 12 symptoms listed by the venerable NHS. Of the respondents, 26% didn’t even identify chest pain.

To be fair, one of the symptoms was listed as “pain, tightness, numbness or a burning sensation in the back,” which sounds a bit like the type of pain you can get from sitting at your desk all day. To get more detailed advice, Coach spoke to Dr Timothy Fairbairn, senior cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

Fairburn is keen to emphasise that it can be beneficial just to be aware of the symptoms and not hesitating to get anything alarming checked. “Any contact with the GP may be beneficial,” says Fairchild, “even if the symptom doesn’t turn out to be heart-related....

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What to know about rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy

Many women with rheumatoid arthritis experience a reduction in symptoms during pregnancy. However, this is not always the case, and some women may experience a flare shortly after childbirth. In this article, learn how rheumatoid arthritis affects pregnancy, including the possible risks and impact on symptoms.

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Is it safe to use Pepto-Bismol while breastfeeding?

Although researchers are still unsure whether Pepto-Bismol passes into a woman's breast milk, most health authorities recommend avoiding it while breastfeeding. In this article, learn about the safety and risks of taking Pepto-Bismol while breastfeeding. Also, find out about safe alternatives.

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Can you take NyQuil while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding women may worry about the effects that taking NyQuil to relieve cold and flu symptoms might have on the baby. Some products are safe to use but others may require caution depending on their ingredients, such as those containing alcohol. Learn more about the impact of using NyQuil while breastfeeding.

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Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in women

Rheumatoid arthritis causes many symptoms, including joint pain and stiffness. In women, symptoms often start to appear between the ages of 30 and 50. Hormonal factors and other conditions, such as endometriosis, can increase the risk of the disease. Learn more about the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in women here.

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One-Kit Workouts For When The Gym’s Stupid Busy

Friday, September 14, 2018 - 16:31


Equipment Resistance band

Exercises  Front raise, pull-apart, dislocate

This can be done at the start of any training session. Start with the front raise: feet on the band, pulling the band up to shoulder height with your palms pointing down. Do ten reps. Next, take your feet off the band and do ten pull-aparts, holding the tension at the end of the movement. Finish with five band dislocates, bringing the band overhead and down behind your back.

All-Over Arms

Equipment Cable Machine

Exercises  Face pull, extend, pull-down

Use the double rope attachment for this one. Start with a face pull to keep your shoulders healthy, keeping your elbows high and bringing the ropes to either side of your face. Move straight into a rope triceps extension: arms by your sides, bending your elbows to move the weight. Then do a straight-arm pull-down, leaning forwards slightly to increase the emphasis on your lats.


Equipment Gym ball

Exercises Pike, tuck, press-up

This one’s a three-way core hit: start with your feet on the ball and hands on the ground. First, do the pike for eight reps – legs straight, bringing the ball...

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Challenge Yourself To Complete This Third Space Formula 3 Workout

Nick Harris-Fry
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 17:25

When it comes to fitness classes, where premium gym chains like Third Space lead, others tend to follow. That’s why we’re always keen to check out a new session on the Third Space timetable.

The latest flagship class is Formula 3, which launches at the new Third Space City club, and it sounds tough to say the least.

“Formula 3 is a triple header of hard work,” says Luke Barnsley, trainer at Third Space London. "Rowing, kettlebells and bodyweight work – all gruelling, all yielding results. In a Formula 3 class there are three blocks of work, with each block broken up into three sections.”

If that sounds like fun to you, we’ve enlisted Barnsley to provide a taster workout in the style of a Formula 3 workout. This workout only has two blocks, rather than the three you’ll find in a Third Space session, but we reckon once you’ve made it through the below you’ll be more than happy to skip the finisher you’d have to tackle in the full class.


“First make sure you have enough space and the equipment required,” says Barnsley. “You’ll need a rower, some kettlebells and space for the...

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The New Polar Vantage V Fitness Tracker Measures Your Running Power

Nick Harris-Fry
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 16:33

While the debate over whether 10,000 steps daily is an achievement worth tracking rumbles on, the world of fitness trackers has moved on. Relative SpO2 sensors, which measure oxygen saturation in the blood, have been fitted to affordable devices like the Fitbit Charge 3 and Garmin Vivosmart 4, while the Apple Watch 4 will be able to take electrocardiogram measurements (some time after launch in the US, at least). Not to be outdone, Polar has announced two new GPS watches – the Vantage V and the Vantage M – and the former could change the way you think about your running. Along with all the standard metrics like distance, pace and heart rate, the Vantage V will also measure your running power, making it the first wrist device to do so.

Running power, put very simply, is a measure of your work rate in watts and it can be used in several ways, perhaps most importantly as an accurate gauge of how hard you are working regardless of terrain or weather. Running power should be a better measure of effort than pace or even heart rate, making it especially useful in races – stick to the right...

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The New Health And Fitness Features On The Apple Watch Series 4 We’re Excited About

Nick Harris-Fry
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 15:37

While the rest of the world gets itself in a lather about the only notable design change to the Apple Watch since its first release – a new, 30% larger screen – here at Coach we’re all in a tizzy over the upgrades to the bottom of the watch. Namely, a new electrical heart rate sensor that promises to be more accurate. In the USA the Series 4 will also eventually be able to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) and will be an FDA-approved medical device. There are no indicators that the ECG measurement will be coming to the UK any time soon, but it shows the direction in which Apple is intending to take the Watch.

The Watch Series 4 also has some features that could prove handy in an emergency. As well as monitoring your heart rate and notifying you if it seems unnaturally high or low, the Watch can detect if you fall and automatically brings up a button to alert emergency services. If you don’t dismiss or otherwise respond to this alert within 60 seconds, the Watch automatically makes the emergency call in case you are unconscious.

Apple’s mindfulness app Breathe has also been...

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