As we grow older, more concerns pop up about our fitness, health, and longevity. While these are valid concerns and something that we’re all going to confront at some point, they can sometimes be isolating.
We think we’re the only way having these concerns, and it makes us feel lonely. Well, I’ve been conducting research with Man Flow Yoga Members in their 50s, 60s, and 70s about their fitness concerns as they grow older…
And you know what?
80% of the answers were the exact same!
That’s why I recorded this episode: I want to give you reassurance that you’re not alone. And I want to give you some strategies for quieting these concerns as you grow older.
In this episode, I reveal…
- The 8 most common fitness concerns men have in their 50s, 60s, and beyond
- How to address—and conquer—these concerns to improve your longevity
- Simple strategies to leverage as you grow older, so pain doesn’t shatter your lifestyle
Want to grow older with less pain and fewer obstacles stopping you from doing activities you love?
The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!
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Episode 067 Highlights
- The most important exercise modality to maintain your independence as you age (4:47)
- How to determine if your fitness and nutrition programs are actually effective (6:05)
- 3 simple questions to ask yourself to find a workout routine that is both sustainable and fun (8:42)
- The 5 “Healthy Lifestyle Integration” pillars (and how to weave them into your schedule without getting overwhelmed) (9:54)
- Skipping workouts too often because you lack motivation? Here’s why building discipline instead is your antidote (13:28)
- How to “jimmy” Parkinson’s Law to accomplish more of your health and fitness goals in less time (17:24)
- How to establish a habit of daily exercise to boost your longevity (26:35)
- The 80/20 nutrition guideline for simplifying your diet so much that you barely have to think about it (27:20)
- The weird way buying a cookbook helps you achieve your fitness goals effortlessly (28:15)
Hey guys, It’s Dean. Welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo episode. I’m going to be talking about something I know a lot of you are really concerned with and that is fitness and getting older. And in this I’m going to specifically address the eight most common concerns that men have about fitness longevity in their fifties, sixties and beyond.
So the goal of this episode, I think there is, you know, when what are you going to get out of it? First off, I think that there is a lot of power in having reassurance that you are not the only one struggling with something. So first off, I hope that by going through these eight common concerns that it gives you some comfort knowing that you are also also struggling with these things.
And I also want to go into some of the solutions to these common concerns, not that I can address all of them, you know, in a short solo episode, but hopefully I can give you some information, some guidelines to help you start to address many of these issues on your own. Hopefully point you in the right direction, give you some advice that can save you many hours of your own research and just get you started on this process by the end of this episode.
I’m really hoping that you feel more confident knowing that you’re not the only one struggling with these concerns of getting older and maintaining your lifestyle the best that you can for as long as possible. And I also hope that you have some information that will help you get started creating a lifestyle that’s going to help you achieve your longevity goals and make it manageable and enjoyable while doing so.
So I first I first came upon these eight common concerns. You know, I’ve been doing this. I’ve been doing mental yoga since 2013. It wasn’t long after getting started that I realized that my target audience wasn’t going to be men in their twenties. You know, I’m really working with men who are in their fifties, their sixties, forties and seventies, and that’s kind of how it skews in terms of age, demographics and part of that concern with that those age levels is, you know, you’re not in your peak level of fitness anymore.
You’re not working out like you were in your twenties, in your thirties. In fact, many of us who are starting up in our fifties and sixties were realizing that, oh wow, a lot has changed in our bodies since I was in high school sports and I cannot do things the way that I was before and expect to wake up the next day or even get through my workout and feel okay.
So, you know, I’ve been working with men of this age demographic for a very long time now, almost ten years. And as I you know, as I interact with these men, you know, I learn about these common concerns that people have. And I’m going to go into these eight things in a second. But I also did some member interviews within the last couple of weeks to really dive into these in a little bit more detail and hear from people themselves what these concerns were and specifically, why did they have these concerns.
And it was really interesting to me that 80% of the people that I interviewed had the same concerns, almost identical, very similar answers when I went through. What are your biggest concerns? And so we’ll get into these concerns right now. And the first one is lung gravity. Maintaining your ability to do what you physically enjoy doing without pain for as long as possible, staying out of hospitals as you age.
It’s it’s something that is the likely inevitable. But hopefully doing what you can to minimize time spent in a hospital, to minimize the burden that you place upon the people in your life, your kids, your other, you know, your partners, anyone, your caretakers, anyone who would who would end up being the person who takes care of you. And one of the biggest concerns was independence, just being able to maintain your independence as you age, which, you know, if you’re younger, that might not seem like a common concern.
But for people who are in their 40 or 50, 6070s, they might be watching, they might be caretaking for their parents now, or maybe they witnessed people in their lives, family members, close loved ones who were unable to maintain independence because they weren’t healthy, because they didn’t live a healthy lifestyle. And so they have huge motivation. They have a huge desire to be able to maintain their independence, to be able to avoid those things that those people went through because they didn’t have, you know, basic fitness levels, basic mobility levels that that the mental capabilities to take care of themselves.
And now that, you know, if you are in your sixties and you’re retiring, you want to be able to enjoy your time, you want to be able to take those trips that you haven’t taken yet to be able to do those things that you haven’t been able to do when you’re working, you know, your entire life. So longevity is the one of the biggest concerns that I hear about.
The second concern that I hear about is just confidence that your fitness program is working you. There’s so much information online, there’s so many conflicting opinions. There’s so many so many different sources of information that it’s really confusing to understand what’s good for you. And also understanding that what’s good for somebody else might not be good for you.
So there’s there’s this really big desire to to understand what is an effective workout program and to also have the confidence that you are doing those things, having the confidence that the time, the effort that you’re putting into things like your workouts, your nutrition, optimizing your workout schedule, doing what you need to get stronger, that that all of these activities that you’re doing are leading to the result that you want to have.
And this is a really big concern with people when they don’t have you know, if they don’t have guidance or if they’re trying to put together the program on their own, you just you just don’t know if what you’re doing is effective for you. So there is this very big concern with people that they that they want to be confident that what they’re doing with their fitness endeavors is effective, that it’s working for your fitness goals.
So that is a that is concern number two, that is a really big one. Concern number three is enjoyable and sustainable fitness. So we know that we should be working out no matter what age you are in your life, you should be working out, you should be doing workouts that you are, you know, should you be working out, Right.
That’s it. But we want it to be enjoyable and we want it to be sustainable. We don’t want to go into our workouts dreading them, right? We want to actually enjoy our workouts if we’re going to be working out for 30, 45, 60 minutes a day. Hopefully it’s something that we actually enjoy doing. You know, it’s not something that we just show up and do because we have to.
It’s something that we show up and get to do, something that we enjoy doing. And so, you know, there is a lot of people, I think, avoid certain exercise because they think it’s not going to be fun, it’s not going to be enjoyable, or maybe they did it once and they just they just didn’t like it. Maybe they didn’t have a good instructor.
Maybe they maybe the environment wasn’t right. Maybe they were doing exercises that weren’t appropriate for their fitness level. And so the bottom line here is that people want to enjoy their fitness and they want to be able to do it in a way that is sustainable. Right. You don’t want to have to force yourself to do your workouts every day.
So the questions there are, well, what would be enjoyable for you? What is appropriate for you? How do we decide on workouts? What are guidelines that you can use to make sure that the workout program you’re following is going to be enjoyable for you, and also that it’s sustainable? Most people can get through 2 to 3 weeks of a workout program.
Now most people can do it. They can push themselves, they can force themselves to do workouts for a few weeks. But beyond then, if it’s still too challenging, if your body hasn’t adjusted, maybe the workout program is inappropriate for you, or maybe you just don’t like whatever the fitness discipline is, then it’s not going to be sustainable. Eventually you’re going to quit because it’s just not fun.
And so we want to do an exercise. As you know, there’s a desire to do that, to stay healthy. But we also want to make sure that we actually enjoy it so that it can last. Concern number four I’ve labeled this healthy lifestyle integration, and by that I mean how do you integrate all of the things that lead to a healthy lifestyle into your life?
How do you weave nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management and community purpose, spirituality? How do you weave all of those things into a healthy lifestyle? How do you make that realist tick? How do you what are what are time saving strategies that you can use? How do you look at what your life is now and figure out how to integrate things that you might not normally do in day to day activities so that they are healthier?
So, for example, you know, what can you do while you’re working so that you’re doing more movement or you’re doing some stretching or you’re doing some mobility work? How can you integrate healthy practices into making breakfast, into family time, into, you know, into playing on the ground with your kids? So there’s you know, there’s there’s there’s this really big concern about, well, I have to do all of these different things in order to be healthy.
How do I do that? How do I successfully start doing all of those things And and how can I possibly do all of those things? Right. It’s really overwhelming. And so, you know, the first thing there is to recognize that you’re not going to integrate all of these things into your existing lifestyle at once. Change is really difficult.
Talked about this before on this podcast. Change is really difficult. And on top of all the things that you are already doing, I want you to think about all of those things. You’re already doing all the effort it takes for you to maintain the things that you’re doing on a day to day basis, and now you’re going to add things on top of that right?
Most of us are probably operating at about 90 to 100% of our of our capabilities right now. So if you’re thinking that you can throw on six new habits every day, on top of that, you’re out of your mind. It’s not going to work. So the first key of a healthy lifestyle, integration of of getting these practices into your into your daily life, making them making them a habit is to recognize you can’t do all of them at once.
You have to build into them slowly. You have to start one by one. If you recognize that, you know you’re not going to just start living a healthy lifestyle tomorrow and that it’s going to stick, but to slowly integrate practices into your life so that maybe six months or a year from now you’re doing the things that you visualize yourself doing that you want to be doing.
But because you’ve added those habits into your life over time rather than in one day, they’re actually sustainable, they’re actually lasting, they feel natural, they don’t feel forced. And so there are a lot of things that go into a healthy lifestyle and you’re not going to be able to do all of them at once. You need to slowly integrate, do those things into your life in a way that makes sense, where you’re not forcing it, where you’re not you know you’re not forcing it, or it doesn’t take three cups of coffee every day to be able to force yourself to do these things.
But where it feels, where it feels manageable. The next concern this is concern number five is consistency, motivation, discipline. These are the these are the big ones when it comes to this. This is probably probably the biggest one that I hear about when I talk with people in mental yoga community. They don’t have the consiste there. They don’t have the consistency because they don’t have the motivation, they don’t have the discipline to show up and do their workouts when they said they would.
And there’s a lot of things that get in the way of this. You know, there are there’s work that gets in the way. You know, you have every every intention of doing the workout, but maybe work runs later than you thought it would. Maybe you wake up the next morning and you were going to work out in the morning, but you just don’t have the energy that day.
There’s also this the you know, the fact that life gets in the way sometimes, you know, things come up that you did not plan for and it gets in the way of your workouts. So, you know, part of these things are not avoidable. Life is going to get in the way. Things are going to come up. Your schedule is going to get wrecked.
That’s just that’s just life, right? But other things are really controllable. So if you are planning on doing a workout when you don’t have energy and you don’t feel any motivation to do it, and you’re you know that that time is open and there’s availability. But you just you knowing yourself, you’re not going to have the energy or the motivation to do it at that time, then that is a that is a that is a plan that’s not going to work.
So there’s a lot of strategies that you can utilize to teach yourself self accountability to make sure that you are more consistent, to develop your personal motivation and to learn more about what discipline is versus motivation. Expecting that you’re going to have motivation every day to work out is a it’s a myth. It is a what? What is the word I’m looking for?
It is it is a falsehood. You are not going to have motivation every day to work out, even if you’re a really excited person about exercise, you’re just not going to show up to your workout every day thinking, I am so happy I’m here. I cannot wait to do my workout. There’s nothing else I’d rather do. I’d much rather not take.
I would I would much rather not take a nap or lay down on the couch or watch TV. I just really want to do my workout. All right. That’s not true. Most of us do want to conserve energy. It is with it is human nature to want to conserve energy, to not want to do your workout. So, you know, this is motivation for discipline.
Understanding that discipline is for exercise. Motivation is not required, but discipline is showing up, doing the workout that you planned on doing. There’s also a lot of other strategies that we can utilize for this topic of consistency, motivation and discipline, which is, you know, learning. Planning in advance is just it’s so simple, but planning in advance, visualizing exactly what the habits are from start to finish and putting them into your calendar in a way that actually makes sense.
So this is a big one. Some other common phrases that came up with this topic would be, you know, stop thinking that there’s always tomorrow and realize that you only have control over today. Learning self accountability tools and motivation strategies to help you stay consistent with your fitness, not skipping your workouts, actually prioritizing your fitness. And this is a topic that I’m very passionate about and I have a lot of resources for this.
In my Getting Started series in The Man for Yoga Members area. So if you remember, highly recommend you check that out. All right. Let’s move on to the next point. Concern number six has to do with realistic schedule based on limited availability. So by this, I mean, people are struggling with the idea that there is not enough time in the day to do your workouts to be healthy, to make healthy meals, to to manage your stress, to to be present with your family, to go for walks, to do all these things that we know are healthy.
But, you know, how do you balance that with all of your other obligations if you are a parent, if you have a busy job, and even if you’re not a parent or you have a busy job, there is the idea that a task expands. The time required to do a task expands to fill the available time, which basically means that no matter how much time you have to do something, you are going it’s going to take it’s going to that task is going to take as much time as you have to do it.
So if you have one day available, you’re going to finish that thing in one day. But if you have three months to do it given task, it’s going to take you three months. All right. Things just tasks just expand. So even if you’re not actually that busy, it’s going to feel like you have not a lot of availability.
So, you know, the question here becomes, well, how do we do more with less time? What what things are essential? What things are unessential? How do we also be more efficient with our time? Can we combine certain things? Can we, you know, I talked about this before with this concept of healthy lifestyle integration, but can we integrate healthy practices into our required daily activities?
So, you know, if we’re going to be with our kids, can we exercise while we’re playing with our kids? Can we get them involved somehow if we’re going to be at a desk at work? Can we stand up while we’re working? Can we do stretching while we’re standing up at our desk? Can we do that mobility work that we would otherwise do, only dedicated to the gym?
Can we integrate that into the rest of our life? So, you know, there is this really big idea that there’s just not enough time in the day. So how do we make all of those things that we want to do into a realistic schedule? So that is a very big concern that I hear about with people number seven.
Number seven concern is is realistic fitness goals and then measurements and tracking of those goals. So people want to know what is the baseline, what should be my goals, what should what should my body be able to do, but also making sure that they’re appropriate for your age group. We’re not going to measure the fitness of a 20 year old the same way that we’re measuring the fitness of a 50 year old.
Right. Things things change over time. You’re someone who’s 50 is going to have much lower expectations of their fitness of of someone who is concerned about their fitness and in their twenties. So, you know, people want to know what are what are the what are the tests that I can that I can use to assess my own fitness levels?
Are there certain movements that I should be able to do? You know, how do I grade myself with those movements? Are there basic biomedical markers that I should be looking at things like, you know, getting your blood tested, looking at vitamin D levels, looking at testosterone, you know, heart, even looking at blood pressure, looking at, you know, weights, looking at looking at why am I blanking on this, looking at your fat percentage.
Right. Overall body fat, looking at lean muscle mass. These are things that can be really helpful with tracking your fitness goals. But there’s there’s so many different tests that you can do. There’s again, there’s just there’s information overload. So which of these tests are important? And then also fitness overload, information overload when it comes to looking at people saying you should be able to do this, well, maybe you should be able to do this, but maybe you shouldn’t be able to do this.
Maybe that person is speaking to a different demographic than you are. So understanding what is realistic for fitness goals for you, specifically for your age group, for your fitness level, and then also be able and being able to measure that, track that and set realistic goals, realistic timelines for improvement. That is also a major concern that I hear about.
And then the eighth concern, the final concern that I’ll mention is getting older. So just this general overarching theme of getting older and part of this is information based. What what are what are basic information guidelines that or what are basic trends that people who are getting older need to know about when it comes to their fitness? How does how does fitness change as you get older?
What should resistance training look like from your thirties compared to your fifties or your sixties? People know that resistance training is important, especially as you age. Most people know that you lose muscle as you age, but what should we do about that? So and also there’s also the information side, but also the the mental side of it. How do you prepare yourself mentally for getting older?
What are you know, what are mindsets that you need to adopt as you get older? How do you change your approach to your fitness? How do you scale back expectations instead of comparing yourself to what you were able to do in your thirties? How do you set new goals for your fifties or your sixties? And so understanding, understanding these things, understanding both the information, the informational side in terms of what happens as you get older and what should you do about it, but also getting, you know, getting wisdom from other people who have been through the aging process and understanding what has worked for them, how have they reconciled the idea of getting older?
How have they been okay with giving up certain things of of giving up this idea of who they were before and moving forward into who they are now. And so this is you know, this is probably the biggest concern is, you know, fear of getting older. It’s going to happen to all of us who live a longer natural life.
And there is surprisingly, you know, there is some pricing little fitness information out there. I think, you know, there is a fitness is seen as something that’s for a younger people, which is, of course, not true. But the reality of social media is that people are going to watch people working out in their twenties more so than people working out in their fifties or their sixties.
You know, that’s just that’s just human nature. Human nature. We want to see younger people jumping around doing things. And, you know, with confronted with the Instagram, the Tik-tok algorithm, the YouTube algorithm, YouTube, and everybody is going to show you the 20 year old working out compared to the six year old working out. That is just the reality of it.
And so it presents this idea that people who are older are not working out, that fitness is not for people who are older. And, you know, obviously that’s not true. Fitness is for everybody. It’s changes as we get older, but it’s for everybody. So so we’ve gone through those eight common concerns. We talked about longevity. We talked about being confident in the effectiveness of your fit and fitness endeavors, meaning being confident that what you’re doing is working enjoyable and sustainable fitness.
So wanting to be able to enjoy your fitness too, to make it effective, but also make it so that you want to keep doing it for a long period of time, ideally forever healthy lifestyle integration, being able to do all of those things that lead to living a healthy life and being able to realistically implement those things into your life.
Consistency, motivation, discipline. These are the big ones. These are mindsets. These are having the appropriate strategies in place, having the appropriate mindsets in place so that you do your workouts. When it comes to do, it comes time to do it. Part of that is discipline. Part of that is proper planning. After that, we have a realistic schedule based on limited availability.
We’re all busy, so how can we do all the things that we need to do to be healthy in a way that’s realistic and then being able to track your fitness goals, being able to come up with appropriate fitness goals for your age group, for your fitness level. And then lastly, getting older, just understanding what happens as you get older, not just information, but also understanding how to adopt new mindsets as you get older, recognizing that it’s okay to get older, but we just need to change things.
So And how do we get started addressing these concerns? So I wanted to give you some, you know, some tips to help with this. I can’t give you the entire book on on, on, on all of these things, but hopefully point you in the right direction here. So one thing is, is establishing a habit of daily exercise, just getting into the habit of working out every day.
And it doesn’t have to be at the same time every day, but it should be every day. Part of that should include daily movement, at least going walking, doing some cardio. If you’re if you want to do that, doing cycling, if that’s what you want to do, strength training, which doesn’t have to be with weights, you can do strength training with your body weight.
You can use resistance bands, you can do other forms of resistance training, and then also flexibility and mobility work, things like what we do with manual for yoga to make sure that you have a solid foundation of flexibility and mobility to build upon, to keep your body healthy, to keep your joints pain free, and and then making sure that you’re relying on discipline instead of motivation to do those workouts and hopefully enjoying them for nutrition guidelines, breaking it down as easily as possible.
An 8020 rule is really helpful. So 80% of what you eat should be healthy. It should be Whole foods, natural foods, minimally processed things that are, you know, ideally prepared yourself. We also want to drink water throughout the day, ideally 100 ounces, give or take, depending on your size. Sleeping. We want to sleep at least 8 hours. And if you’re not sleeping through the night, that means that there’s probably something you can do to to make that happen that could be altering your sleep environment, meaning that you make it darker, you make it more quiet.
It could also be changing the things that you do leading up to bed. So getting rid of phones, getting rid of screens before you go to sleep, doing foam rolling, doing stretching things that help you to wind down, to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, to get you out of fight or flight and into rest and digest. There’s also this idea of developing an interest in fitness so it’s can be really hard for you to implement, you know, living a healthy lifestyle if you don’t develop an interest in fitness.
So that could be a self-guided interest, meaning you have podcasts that you listen to, you have books that you read, and it could be anything. It doesn’t have to be exercise related, it could be diet related, it could be a cookbook just to get you making food yourself from Whole Foods. And it could also be not self-guided, right?
You could hire coaches who resonate with you. You could get a personal trainer, you could hire somebody to teach you about fitness. But we do want to develop an interest in fitness. That’s definitely going to be helpful. We also want to implement habits in a way that is sustainable. So learning how to implement habits is a critical life skill.
I talk about them a lot on this podcast and just in general, my two favorite resources for this are Tiny Habits by B.J Fogg and Atomic Habits by James Clear. So I highly recommend you pick up those books, learn how to implement new habits. And then the last thing that I’ll list here is just planning your fitness in advance.
It sounds like such a simple thing, but writing out a calendar with their realistic schedule for your day with the things that you want to do, looking at that calendar and saying, Oh, this is something that I can do this. This feels realistic instead of just hoping that you do the right things is going to be so helpful.
And then going beyond that is actually visualizing what those habits look like on a daily basis. So being able to go through your mind and think, okay, this is what my morning is going to look like, this is how my morning workout is going to go. This is where I’m going to do it. This is what I need to do in order to prepare for it.
And then every week or every other week or whatever it is regularly going back to the drawing board to assess when things don’t work to to, you know, to come up with a new plan to get rid of things that didn’t work and to continually improve that plan so that you become, you know, so that it becomes more realistic that you’re doing everything in that plan, so that you feel more confident and you’re building confidence in yourself to be able to follow a plan that is also really important.
And that’s something that people who have struggled with fitness in the past, they just don’t have confidence in themselves to follow plan because they’ve never done it before. So creating, you know, a manageable plan, a realistic plan, and being able to stick with that gives you confidence that you can do it again in the future. So I hope you guys really got a lot out of this podcast.
Again, my my goal here was to address the eight most common concerns that men have about their fitness as they get older and also to go through some just basic guidelines and tips to help you with addressing those things. I’ll also say that, you know, people are all strapped. Most men that I that I talk with are struggling with this.
Nobody has the perfect solution for doing all of these things right. We are all trying to figure out what’s the best way to do all of these things. Unless you’re a professional athlete and you’ve got someone coaching you and you know, every day and and this is what you do with your life, but that’s not me and that’s probably not you.
We’re just normal people. We want to live as long as we can while maintaining quality of life. And we’re doing the best we can with the information that we have. So know that you’re not alone in this struggle. Most of us are going through it. We all want to be able to maintain our physical abilities, our mental abilities to do what we want to do for as long as we can.
I think I think quality of life here is more important than quantity of years. Just in terms of the people that I’ve spoken with and my own personal beliefs as well. So anyways, I hope this is really helpful for you. I hope it gives you some information to move forward and start creating the change that you want to and hopefully also managing expectations that it’s not going to happen immediately, that it takes time.
So guys, thanks for listening to this episode. I hope you really enjoyed it. I enjoyed going through it. I enjoy working with people like this. I’m looking forward to hopefully doing some more of this in the future. Stay tuned. If you’re not already on my email list, you can do so by signing up for my free seven day.
Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge at Menlo Yoga dot com slash seven DC And that way you’ll get all of our emails. And then also if you haven’t already left a review for this podcast, please do that. We hit 104 reviews on Apple recently. I’d love to see that number go even higher, so please do that. You can leave a review on Apple podcast or on on Spotify.
So. All right, guys, And also make sure you follow me on social media. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and also Tik Tok. Yes, even Tik Tok. All right, guys, It’s been long enough. Thank you for listening. Hope you got something out of this and I’ll talk to you on the next episode. Bye.[END]
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The Booby Trap of Self-Help (And How To Actually Improve Your Life) | Andrew Daniel | Better Man Podcast Ep. 072
SThe self-help industry is a massive industry. And for good reason: Self-help can teach you how to be the cause in…
Trusting In The Process Even When You’re Not Seeing Results | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 071
When we start something new—whether a new financial plan, fitness regimen, or diet protocol—there’s a period that happens a few weeks…
Should you try switching to a plant-based diet? Is it really that much better than eating meat? What are the unique…