Category Archives: exercise

Final Results

I have been having computer problems for the last 3 weeks or so and I haven’t had consistent computer access so I haven’t been able to keep up with the blog. Regardless I did my last weigh in on Sept 8th and was at 211 pounds.  So I only lost 4 in my last week and didn’t reach my goal by 1 pound.  Oh well, still came very close and lost 29 pounds, and about 6% bodyfat.  I did really kick butt in the last week with my nutrition and exercise but it just wasn’t enough.  Once again, I am 100% positive that I would have easily reached my goal if not for the injuries.  I probably took approximately 14 days off from exercising because my injuries (left knee, both elbows, achilles tendon, and lower back) over the course of the program.

After the program was done, I took a full week off from exercise and wasn’t as strict with my diet.  My knee and elbow were still bothering me, and during the next two weeks I ran a couple of times, got a gym membership and lifted weights twice.  That’s about it.  My nutrition was mediocre at best and the  temptations of football season certainly didn’t help my waistline.

Now I have 4 weeks left until park and rec basketball starts and my goal is to generally kick some butt over the next 4 weeks.  When I weighed in at the beginning of this week I was at 220 pounds.  When I did my final weigh in I was definitely slightly dehydrated and had lowered my calories for the final 2 weeks of the program.  I probably, realistically, put on about 7 pounds in the last 3 weeks.

My goal is to get back below 210 pounds.  I also want to lift a lot of weights, increase my vertical, speed, quickness, and endurance.  With a gym membership, I will definitely put on muscle as long as I lift.  Lots of squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, shoulder presses, and abdominal exercises.  I won’t be doing as much distance running, and more of my cardio workouts will be focused on sprints and plyometric exercises.  I need to play basketball at least 2X per week and include various basketball drills.  Lastly, I need to do my morning warm-up exercises and do lots of stretching and icing.  About 2 weeks before the season starts, open gyms will begin and I should be able to play basketball 3-4X before the season starts.

Phase I is complete and phase II will go from October through an alumni basketball game which is the first weekend after the new year.  My goal is to be able to dunk a basketball by then and get my bodyfat under 20%.  After that I will have playoffs for the park and rec league in early February and my goal is to win the league.  Looking forward from there I have my 20 year high school reunion this summer and I want to have my bodyfat in single digits by then.  It won’t be easy but as long as I hold myself accountable to workout hard, eat right, and keep my lifestyle in check, I should be able to reach my goals.

If you need accountability and the best information on how to exercise safely and effectively, check out our website at and check out our accountability services.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

The Home Stretch

Crunch Time, a week and a couple of days before my final weigh in where my goal is to be under 210 pounds.  I’ve got 10 days left to lose over 5 pounds, I’m currently at 215.

The last couple of weeks have been tough.   First of all it’s gotten really hot after a very  mild summer.  Overall, the heat helps with weight loss, but it’s still miserable.  I sweat buckets when I’m running which is good because sweating is the ultimate way to detoxify.  Forget about stupid, restrictive diets to detox, just sweat everyday (the more the better, within reason!) and cut the junk out of your diet.  That’s how you detoxify and it doesn’t cost you a penny!

I have really picked it up with the running and have run everyday for the last 12 days.  Unfortunately this increase in running has riled up my left knee.  It’s pretty sore everyday and it hurts every time I stand up or sit down.  The pain isn’t unbearable, but it’s definitely there.  Luckily it rarely bothers me when I’m running or sitting still.  My elbow and Achilles tendon issues are still present.  I feel the Achilles when I’m running, but not always and it seems to be getting better.  As for my elbow I still feel it when doing pull-ups (still keeping pull-ups to a minimum) and occasionally when I’m lifting something heavy away from my body.  I’ve been icing (knee, elbow, and Achilles) at least 2X per day, and have been religious about icing  after running. I’ll keep up with it, it’s summer and the ice is kinda nice sometimes.

Here’s my biggest hurdle, 5 tough pounds left to lose and I’ve ran for the last 12 days straight.  It’s no wonder my knee is ailing and I hope it doesn’t limit me the last week.  Also, I’ve cut back my calories and I think my body is in starvation mode.  It’s not actual starvation, I’ve still been eating 1500 calories or so per day.  What I mean is that my body has lowered it’s metabolism in response to a decrease in calories.  I think if I stay the course, take a day off then really kick it into high gear and grind out the last week I’ll lose the last 5 pounds.  Time will tell and there are certainly no guarantees.  Either way I’ll have lost at least 25 pounds which isn’t bad in 3 months.

If you need guidance/coaching from a professional, send us a e-mail at:, we’re here to help.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

Week 8 Complete

The basketball tournament is over and I have 4 weeks left.  We took 3rd place, I was happy with how I played and it was a lot of fun.  I met my weight loss goal to be 223 by the tournament.  I weighed in at 221 pounds at the beginning of week 9.

I’ve been very good with my eating, the only meat I have eaten was planned.  The next time meat will cross my lips will be the first NFL game of football season.  I’ve also been very solid about cutting out all animal products and consuming a plant based whole food diet.  I’ve also cut out alcohol during the week completely.  I was having 1-2 beers on occasion during the week and I think it hurt my progress.  I drink strong beer that is usually 180-210 calories per bottle, which adds up quick.  Two beers, 400 calories=not reaching weight loss goals

I will need to average about 3 pounds per week to hit my goal of being under 210.  On the upside, no injuries from playing basketball however I did have another back problem that occurred early in week 8.  I was doing plyo’s (jumping exercises) and I landed funny.  I felt pain shoot up the right side of my back and woke up the next morning very sore.  Each day it got a little better, but I had to cut back my activity significantly.  I countered the reduction in activity with a decrease in calories which is why I was still able to hit my weight loss goal.  The pain continued for 3 days, but luckily I felt really close to 100% the day before the basketball tournament.  Thankfully I didn’t aggravate the injury while playing.

Going into week 9 I’m feeling better physically than I have since beginning the program.  My elbow is better but still not at 100%, same with my Achilles.  My back feels ok (which is about the best it feels generally) and my knees have been good.  I did a lot of icing last week in the lead up to the tournament and I think that helped.  I feel good about where I am at, and I think that as long as I can keep my body healthy, I can reach my goal.  Time will tell and an important point to remember is that it gets harder to lose weight as you progress.  I’ll keep at it and hopefully it will be enough to reach my goal.

Thanks for reading, and if you NEED to make a change, please contact us at Body Balance Healthy Living, we’re here to help.  Have a great day and do something active!

The Healthy Lifestyle Plan-Weeks 6 and 7

I am currently in week 7 of The Healthy Lifestyle Plan and things have been going relatively well. I’m down a total of 13 pounds from the beginning of the program and I have drastically improved my nutrition and activity level. I have set some pretty lofty goals and haven’t met them, however I am losing an average of 2 pounds per week. I have really stalled after losing 10 pounds relatively quickly (about 3 weeks). Since then I’ve only lost about 4 more pounds in 3 weeks. This is very common, losing weight fast at the beginning then plateauing. It’s very frustrating, but it’s important to remember that the goal of losing 2 pounds per week is an average, and the even more important thing to remember is that you are improving your health.

In terms of nutrition I’ve been very good.  The time I have trouble with is at night, around 1030 or so I get hungry.  I’ve done a good job making healthy choices though, and the times when I’ve eaten poorly, it has been planned.

The basketball tournament is next weekend, which will be during week 8.  At that point I will be 2/3 of the of the way through the Healthy Lifestyle Plan, and my overall goal of being under 210 is still realistic, but it will be tough to hit.  I’ve upped my activity level with a little more resistance work, and a little more running.  My right elbow is still sore and continues to give me problems.  The knees are feeling better and my achilles has been better too, but not 100%.  I faced a severe setback during week 6 when my pelvis was out of alignment.  This commonly happens 3-4 X per year and this time it was bad and very painful.  My chiropractor got me back in alignment with 2 visits, but I did have to take 3 days off because it was just too painful.  Fortunately my back has been feeling good this week, and my goal for the end of the week is 223 pounds.

There you have it, I’ll try to post again before the basketball tournament.  Don’t forget, if you’re looking for some guidance, check out our website at and don’t hesitate to contact us.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

Month 1 complete

Sorry it’s been awhile since I posted, everything is going well, just on vacation for a week and then internet problems (thanks Charter!).  Nonetheless, an update.  I didn’t reach my goal of being under 230 before vacation.  The reasons?  Mostly due to diet.  I had a slight pizza binge where we ordered pizza (veggie, no meat, but cheese) late one night (never a good idea, I had 2 large pieces, probably 700-800 calories) and then pizza again the next day unexpectedly at a family function, I couldn’t resist.  I had one piece with meat.    Additionally I’ve been trying to balance a sore right Achilles tendon and two sore elbows with keeping very active.  I’ve had to stop and skip a couple of workouts along with plenty of icing.  It’s for the best because my Achilles is feeling better so now I can resume explosive workouts (sprints and plyometrics).  As for the elbows, they’re better but are still problematic despite a vast reduction in upper body work during vacation.

On the subject of nutrition, I’ve been very good about drastically reducing my meat consumption.  Since my last post I had one piece of pizza with pepperoni and sausage, 3 bites of a buffalo burger, and a very small amount of meat in an order of baked beans.  Cheese and dairy on the other hand have been very difficult to give up.  I love cheese (I’m from Wisconsin) plus cheese and dairy are in everything (even vegetarian dishes, I have to look for vegan).  I’ll keep working on it!

As for weight loss I’m currently in the middle of week 5 and am at 229 pounds which is short of where I should be (228 or less).  That’s ok, I’ll just need to readjust.  My goal is to lose 3 pounds for my Monday weigh in and be at 226 or less.  I want to continue with a 3 pound weight loss each week.

The next thing on the horizon is a basketball tournament called the Gus Macker.  It’s a 3 on 3 tournament going on here in Rochester MN on August 10th-11th.  It’s outside and it should be hot, miserable and a blast at the same time!  My goal is to be at 217 pounds the day before the tournament.  I’ve essentially got 4 weeks to kick some butt and get myself into good basketball shape.  Time to pick up the intensity and train to be quicker, faster, and more explosive (jump higher).  I also need to work on my basketball skills (dribbling, shooting, and defense).  Finally I need to acclimate myself to the heat.  This is not fun stuff, high intensity workouts in the heat, preferably in the middle of the day.  It’s actually dangerous and I will need to be careful, keep myself hydrated, and stop workouts if necessary.

Well, that’s it for now.  The journey is going relatively well, but certainly not perfect.  The most important thing is that I keep at it and continue to be consistent with working out and eating healthier even if I’m not always reaching my goals.  Making lifestyle changes is never easy, and if you need help and guidance I highly recommend Body Balance Healthy Living’s accountability services.  Visit www.BodyBalanceHealthyLiving or shoot me an e-mail ( to learn more.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

The Healthy Lifestyle Plan-Prep Week and Week 1

Currently I am through 2 weeks of the Healthy Lifestyle Plan.  A couple of the goals I have set for myself include: cutting back on meat (3 meals with meat per week or less), eating more fruits and veggies (at least 1 serving with most meals and a smoothie most days), not eating out as much (1-2 X per week) and when I do eat out, making better choices, and being more active (some form of exercise most days).

So far so good in terms of meeting goals and progress.  Down 6 pounds (I’m at 234) after 2 weeks which is right where I want to be.

Setting goals is all fine and good, but it’s certainly not easy, as I’m sure most of you can attest.  Since starting, week 1 I did 5 workouts (mostly running and resistance) and was decent with my nutrition.  Week 2 I bumped it up, my running workouts have been longer and I had 2 days that I worked out twice.  My nutrition was much more solid and consistent during week 2.  It’s not all hunkey-dory though.  My left Achilles tendon has been acting up despite icing, stretching and taking a day off.  Then, I unconsciously overcompensated for my Achilles pain while running, and now my right hip flexor is quite sore.  The Achilles pain can mostly be attributed to my weight, it’s 234+ pounds of body weight being slammed into the pavement or ground as I run.  I also have tennis elbow.  It flares up after I do pull-ups which is one of my favorite exercises.  Lastly, I’ve been having some left wrist pain.  It’s really strange too, it’s on the side of the ulna (pinkey side) and the pain is about 2 inches above the wrist.  Luckily it has been feeling better the last couple of days.  It can be hard to balance the right amount of exercise with rest when you have ailments and you’re trying to reach your goals.  It’s important to be careful with these types of injuries because if they continue to get worse, eventually you can do some real damage that could lay you up for weeks best case scenario, or require surgery, worst case scenario.  The moral of the story, if the pain is getting worse, you to rest, ice, and stretch that area of the body.  I’ll keep at it though and hopefully things will take care of themselves with icing, stretching and rest.

My goals for next week are to continue making improvements to my diet, do a little more resistance training, keep up with running and continue to improve on times, up the intensity of my basketball workouts, and hopefully improve on my nagging injuries.  This week is the 4th of July so it will take a little extra discipline to stay on track with nutrition.  Next week we will be taking a vacation, so that will be a challenge too.  My weight loss goal is to lose 4 pounds this week to get under 230 pounds before we leave on vacation next Tuesday.

There you have it ladies and gentleman, once again, this exercising and eating right thing isn’t easy but I definitely feel better (despite the ailments), look better, and am healthier so it’s worth the time and effort.  If YOU need additional guidance please check out our website at or shoot an e-mail to  Our goal is to help YOU  lead a healthier lifestyle.  Have a great day and do something active!

Cardiovascular Workouts

There are 3 components in a comprehensive fitness plan.  They are: Cardiovascular exercise, Resistance Exercise, and Flexibility.  All 3 components have different risks, and injuries that can happen, but, fortunately, when a well thought out and intelligent approach is used following a fitness program is very safe.  Lets begin by discussing cardiovascular exercise and the best way to do it.

When you are doing cardio, you are trying to do 2 things.  #1 you are strengthening your heart, lungs, the rest of your cardiovascular system, and improving how your body utilizes oxygen.  #2-you are burning calories.  The key to your cardiovascular workouts is to do intervals.  Why intervals?  Let me use an example to illustrate.  Picture yourself driving down the freeway.  The speed limit is 70 and you’re crusin.  In terms of gas mileage you’re getting highway miles, right?  Your car is running efficiently, so it’s not using a lot of gas.  The same thing happens with YOUR body when you are doing cardio at a moderate, constant intensity.  Your body hits what is called your steady state heart rate.  This is where your body is running efficiently.  You’re up to speed and your crusin, generally, it’s a comfortable spot to be.  Training in this fashion is better than doing nothing, but there are better, smarter, more effective ways to spend your time exercising.  So if you were to go back to our theoretical drive down the highway and instead of crusin at 70 you were to speed up to 70, then slow down to 35, then speed up to 80 then slow down to 35 then speed up to 90, etc. you’d use a lot more gas right?  This is the perfect illustration to show why intervals are the smartest, most effective way to do the majority of your cardiovascular workouts.

For my next post, I will give some more specific information on how to use intervals to get the most out of the time you spend doing cardio.  The reality is that most people who exercise do too much cardio.  More on that in my next post, thanks for reading!

Top 5 Things You Need to do To Lose Weight This Year

The vast majority of people that have fitness New Year’s resolutions have weight loss goals that they would like to reach.  The important thing to remember is that you’re not going to lose the weight fast.  Unless you literally have hours to spend in the gym most days, and you watch EVERYTHING you eat you’re not going to lose 5-10 pounds per week.  This is simply not a practical way to live your life, most people either don’t have the motivation, or are just too busy!  At Body Balance Healthy Living we recommend a practical approach that won’t yield fast results, but you will lose weight consistently.  Expect to lose 2-3 pounds per week on average, and if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can expect to lose about 100 pounds in a year.  The goal is to follow a comprehensive fitness program, and eat healthy.  Here are the 5 things you NEED to do to lose the weight this year.  Good luck, and always remember, even if  you don’t lose a pound, if you’re exercising you ARE improving your health!

#1-Keep Calories Under Control-no doubt about it, if you don’t  keep you calories under control you won’t lose weight.  It’s so easy to bring in extra calories in our current environment that it’s downright difficult sometimes.  Body Balance Healthy Living highly recommends that you write down everything you eat and how many calories you consume in a day.  It’s tedious at first, but with time, it becomes easier.  Patterns will emerge that will make things more manageable.  Furthermore, you don’t need to keep a food diary forever, eventually you should be able to go on auto pilot and have a pretty good idea how many calories you’re bringing in.  Shoot for 1500-2000 calories per day and adjust if necessary.

#2-Eat Healthy To Support Your Metabolism, Fuel Your Day, Fuel Your Workouts, and Recovery From Workouts.  Think about it, if you’re not bringing in enough calories (energy) you’re going to be tired and worn out.  Your workouts will suffer, and you will be more susceptible to pulling or straining a muscle, which can easily put you behind a few weeks.  You may also get cramps which aren’t any fun.  Lastly, your metabolism will crash which will make weight loss even tougher.  You need to eat to lose weight!

Eat every 2-3 hours, eat breakfast, have small meals (200-400 calories), get your fiber (at least 25 grams per day), get your protein (at least 10 grams per meal), and have a post-resistance training meal to support recovery.

#3-Follow a Comprehensive Fitness Plan-The 4 components of a comprehensive fitness program are: #1-resistance training to build muscle, support your metabolism, and burn calories for days, #2-cardio training to burn calories on the spot, #3-flexibility training to improve range of motion, prevent injuries, and improve recovery from workouts, and #4-fun, social activities to take the tediousness out of working out, and give purpose to your workouts.

#4-Readjust Your Goals When Necessary, And Don’t Give Up-Chances are there will be set-backs.  Sometimes life just happens, but don’t let it sabotage your efforts.  When life inventively happens, roll with the punches and readjust your goals accordingly.  The most important thing is: DON”T GIVE UP.  When the dust settles, get back into the habit of exercising and eating healthy.

#5-Keep a Journal, and Review it Periodically for Motivation-When writing in your journal be sure to write down how you feel on a daily basis.  On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being I FEEL GREAT) how did you feel for the day.  How were your energy levels?  As you develop the habits of exercising and eating healthy you will start to feel better and have more energy.  When your motivation starts to wane, look back and read some of your passages.  The days and weeks when you put exercising and eating healthy high on your priority list I can virtually guarantee that you will have more energy, be more productive, and feel better.

The single most important thing you can do for your health is EXERCISE REGULARLY!  Never forget this when you’re making up excuses not to workout.  If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t follow a fad diet that drastically cuts your calories, or requires low or no carbs.  These kinds of diets are extremely irresponsible because the reason they work (however temporarily, you’ll most likely put the weight back on over time) is because they don’t require exercise, which is, unfortunately, appealing to a lot of people.  You won’t be able to exercise when you’re on these types of diets because you won’t have the energy and you will probably injure yourself if you do try.  Don’t diet, eat healthy to achieve your weight loss goals for the new year.  Good luck and if you need further guidance please contact Body Balance Healthy Living, we’re here to help!

Top 5 Ways to make your fitness New Year’s resolutions stick

Doesn’t it seem like every year we have fitness New Year’s resolutions.  How often do we really stick with them for the whole year?  How long do you usually last when it comes to exercising?  Two weeks?  A month?  3 months?  When people do stick with them, why are they successful while your not?  There can be many reasons, but the people who are successful leave clues.  Here are the Top 5 ways to make your fitness New Year’s resolutions stick.

1. Exercise for your health.  You have to accept that you’re going to need to exercise most days for the rest of your life if you want to be healthy, live longer, have energy, and have a higher quality of life.  The single most important thing that you can do for your health is exercise regularly!  It doesn’t have to be super high intensity workouts all the time, just doing the workouts can be enough sometimes.

2. Keep a healthy living journal.  Write about how your workout for the day went, what you did, how your eating was for the day, how you generally felt throughout the day, and anything else you want to write about.  Journals can be great for stress management, and writing can be very therapeutic.  Then, when your motivation wanes, look back at your entries.  I bet you 50 bucks that when you look back you had better day’s on the day’s you exercised.  I bet that each week you started to have more energy, and felt better.  This is why journals can be an effective tool for keep up with exercising, eating healthy, and leading a healthier lifestyle.

3. Make it a habit to sit down for an hour or so each New Year and set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and long-term goals every year.  Be sure to have a reward for each weekly, monthly, yearly, and long-term goal that you set.  The reward should be written down next to the goal.

Each month, sit down to evaluate, and write about (do it in your journal if you like) the goals you set, if you reached them, and why you did or didn’t.  If you’re working hard and putting in a good effort you should reach the majority of your goals, so be sure to be realistic, and don’t set yourself up for failure.  Next, dedicate yourself to looking at your long-term, yearly, and monthly goals most days, preferably in the morning.  If you commit to: Write down goals every year, evaluate and adjust your goals each month, and look at your goals most day’s, there’s a lot better chance that you will stick with your New Year’s resolutions, don’t ya think!

4.  Find someone to workout with.  A training partner can be so valuable when it comes to exercising.  Not only do you have someone to go through workouts with, but you have support, accountability, a spotter, someone to watch your form, and someone to talk with between sets.  If you can’t find a friend or family member to workout with, try hiring a Personal Trainer.  You can hire a Personal Trainer to come to your home, or train you at your gym (it will generally cost $40-$80 per session for a good Personal Trainer).  If you decide to go this route, be sure that you find a trainer that fits your needs.  Start with just a few sessions, and if you enjoy working with your trainer, commit for longer (most Personal Trainers will offer a discount for longer term commitments).  Many Personal Trainers now offer various online services which can help keep you accountable, and are cheaper.  Check out Body Balance Healthy Living’s full range of services at:

5.  Take a day off each week, and take a week off (from exercising) every 3-4 months.  This can be huge because taking time off  will help keep you motivated in the long run.  There are many reasons, both physical and psychological, to take time off.  Physically, it gives the muscles, tendons, and ligaments a chance   to heal from 3-4 months of cardio, and resistance training.  Furthermore, it gives the Central Nervous System a chance to recover.  Your brain, and the nerves that carry the impulses to your muscles can become fatigued from months of working out.  Psychologically, taking some time off can give you some time to just relax.  Enjoy your week off, pamper yourself, get a massage, watch a movie, whatever.

There you have it, try these 5 things this year if you are serious about keeping your fitness New Year’s resolutions.  Remember why you have New Year’s resolutions in the first place, because you want to improve and be a better, healthier, happier person who is more confident and has more energy.  Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

The Top 5 stupid things I see people doing at the gym

I know a lot about exercise, fitness, health, nutrition, and motivation,  I know my stuff!  It’s no wonder that when I go to the gym to workout I see people doing stupid stuff.  The scary thing I see is Personal Trainers doing stupid stuff with their clients.  If you ever see a Personal Trainer doing behind the neck pulldowns with a client, steer clear.  Some practices are more dangerous than others, and I’m trying to list the most common and dangerous things I see people doing at the gym.  Check it out!

1. The first stupid thing I see people doing at the gym is not dangerous, but it sure is a waste of time.  It is very common however.  It’s doing long duration, moderate to low intensity cardio in the belief that it burns more fat because if you up the intensity you’re only burning sugar.  Hogwash!  Only do 1 long duration (40+ minutes) workout per week, and do 2-3 moderate duration (20-30 minutes), moderate to high intensity cardio workouts per week.

2. Using too much weight or not enough weight.  Men generally use too much weight, and women don’t use enough.  Never sacrifice proper form to complete repetitions, doing so is asking for injuries.  You do need to push yourself though.  Keep track of your repetitions and try to do a few more reps each workout.

3. Not warming up.  All it takes is 5-10 minutes of cardio to warm-up which will greatly decrease the chances of injuring yourself.  Always warm-up prior to resistance training, stretching, and doing any type of high impact activity, believe me, your joints will thank you in the long run.

4. Doing pointless isolation exercises-some isolation exercises (exercises that primarily work only 1 muscle group) have merit for various reasons, examples are: rotator cuff exercises, transverse abdominis contractions, calf raises, and rear delt exercises.  Instead of wasting your precious time on isolation exercises such as bicep curls, and tricep extensions, make the most of the time you spend resistance training and train the big, functional muscles.  This requires doing compound, multi-joint exercises such as squats, pull-ups, and push-ups.

5. Doing too much when beginning a program.  Making yourself so sore that life is, quite literally, miserable is no fun and pointless.  Excess soreness is associated with high dropout rates, so it is best to avoid it.  Start slow, do higher reps, work on your form, and only do 1 to 2 sets per exercise for the first few weeks.

It is always important to remember that if you hurt yourself while working out, you won’t be able to workout.  If you can’t workout, you won’t reach your goals.  Be smart, and avoid these mistakes and you will be on your way to leading a injury free healthy lifestyle.