Men’s Health

Men’s Health 2016:

Can’t add good muscle mass? Well the problem may be your cortisol levels:  Added cortisol levels in the body actually competes with the male hormone testosterone and this will prevent you from adding on that muscle mass that you have been striving for.    Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal gland in times of stress.  Cortisol regulates many bodily functions but too much Cortisol will cause your body to retain that extra body fat and prevent proper muscle development.                                                                                                             

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol play a critical role in blocking testosterone’s influence on competition and domination,

The study, led by Robert Joseph, professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, and Pranajal Mehta, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, is the first to show that two hormones—testosterone and cortisol—jointly regulate dominance.

The findings, available online in Hormones and Behavior, show that when cortisol—a hormone released in the body in response to threat—increases, the body is mobilized to escape danger, rather than respond to any influence that testosterone is having on behavior.

http://www.hcplive.com/articles/Testosterone-vs-Cortisol-Winner-Determines-Fight-or-Flight

http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_200/200_fitness_tip.html

The trouble with Stomach Fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat).  It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of Stomach Fat increases your risk of:
Cardiovascular disease
Type 2 diabetes
Cancer
Sleep Issues

Sexual Health:  

Their are certain essential nutrients that men should consume daily especially as they become older in order to properly and enthusiastically enjoy and have that desire for sex.

As men age a natural reduction in certain hormonal function makes the desire for sex less and less, and this issue has become one of the most talked about subjects in therapy sessions. Now many things such as low testosterone or stress can lead to a decrease in that desire. Now we are not talking about increasing sexual performance or impotence; that will be in the next article.

We are talking about increasing that internal desire and “the want” to have sex with someone, which is called our libido. Some of the most essential libido increasing vitamins, minerals and nutrients include:
Vitamin A – helps regulate the synthesis of the sex hormone progesterone, which is important for that loving feeling.
B-Vitamins - are crucial for reacting and responding to our lovers, and for flow of blood to the sex organs.
Vitamin B1 - is essential for optimal nerve transmission and energy production throughout the body, which is vital to increase libido.
Vitamin B-3 – can enhance the sexual flush, increase the flow of blood to the skin and mucous membranes, and intensify the orgasm!
Vitamin B-6 – is integral because it controls elevated prolactin, a desire enhancer.
Vitamin E –  is known as the king (or queen) of sex vitamins, and is sure to spice up your sex life.
Vitamin C – is important for the synthesis of hormones that are involved in sexuality and getting turned on.
Magnesium – is important for the production of sex hormones and neurotransmitters that modulate the urge down there.
Selenium – is imperative for sperm production and mobility. Nearly half of the selenium in a man’s body is in the testes and seminal ducts. Men lose selenium in their semen.
Zinc – is required for the production of testosterone and other sexual hormones. The zinc content of the prostate gland and sperm is higher than in any other body tissues. It is equally vital for the women.
Essential Fatty Acids – are the building blocks for the production of sex hormones. They also help the body store the vitamins that keep us sexually active and full of desire.
Vitamin D – deficiency may leave your sex life cold and grey, while plenty of this most amazing vitamin will bring out the hots. Make sure you get plenty of sunlight whenever possible, as this is one of the best sources.

Lean abs:

Having strong, lean abdominals is desired by many men. Developing strong abdominal muscles not only keeps you trimmed, but also helps support your torso, decreasing pain and weakness in your back, according to St. John Providence Health System. Incorporating an abdominal training program can be done in the comfort of your home without any equipment. St. John Providence Health System recommends including abdominal exercises at least twice a week to reap the benefits and develop the six pack of your dreams.

Seated Trunk Rotation Exercise:

This exercise targets your abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and obliques though using a twisting motion to give you washboard abs. Begin in a seated position with your heels on the ground, knees bent and chest extended. Contract your core muscles by pulling your navel towards your spine. Grasping both hands together in front of your chest, exhale and twist towards your right side over your hip. Inhale returning to the center and repeat towards the left side. Your hips and lower body will remain stabilized throughout this exercise while your upper body produces the movement. Hold a medicine ball to add resistance.

Plank Exercise:

This exercise tests the balance and core strength of men in regards to overall strength development and muscle recruitment. Relax on your stomach with your legs extended. Place both of your forearms on the ground parallel to your chest and your elbows under your shoulders. Contracting your core muscles and glutes slowly lift yourself upward keeping your forearms in contact with the ground. Keep your legs extended and your back flat throughout this entire exercise. Hold this upward position for as long as comfortable before returning to the start position. To protect your back, the American Council on Exercise recommends avoiding shrugging your shoulders, arching your back or sagging your hips. As you become increasingly stronger you will hold this position for extended periods of time and make advances, such as lifting one leg.

V-Up Exercise:

The v-up abdominal exercise is an advanced movement targeting your core muscles and giving you rock-hard abs. Begin resting on your back with your legs extended and both arms extended from your chest. Point your fingers towards the ceiling. Contracting your core muscles, exhale and lift both your legs and upper body towards each other in a v-like position. While in this position extend your chest keeping your back flat and reach towards your fingers towards your toes. Hold this position for one to two seconds before returning to the start position.

Superman Exercise:

Although this low-intensity yoga exercise might not seem to be beneficial for men, the simultaneous strengthening of your core and back muscles along with balance training makes this exercise effective in giving you ripped abs. Start on your hands and knees with your back flat and core contracted. Relax your head and neck keeping your eyes looking downward at the floor. Exhale and extend your right arm and left leg with your back in a neutral position. Hold this position for one to two seconds. Inhale returning to the start and repeat with your left arm and right leg. To advance this exercise, bring your opposite elbow and knee towards each other before returning to the start position.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/335703-abdominal-exercises-for-men-at-home/#ixzz0Oi5HIFBZ

The Flu

7 ways to fight the flu. It is really incredible and sad to think that the flu causes around 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations every year. These numbers need to change! So here are some of my favorite tips for natural cold and flu prevention. These are some basic, inexpensive, and effective things to do from head to toe to prevent cold and/or flu symptoms from getting you this season. These tips can also potentially reduce the severity of infections if you happen to get one.

1. Stay heart-healthy. It is really that simple folks: heart healthy  immune healthy. I’m often asked if there is an immune-healthy diet? Yes, and it’s made up of the same foods that are heart-healthy. Why? A heart-healthy diet—one that is low in calories, high in fiber, high in healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids high in fruits, and especially high in vegetables—is also the best diet for the immune system. And exercising and not smoking and having low blood pressure, low cholesterol, a small waist, and a low body weight—all components of taking good care of your heart—are all good ways to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Researchers have found that even when you get the flu, you’ll tend to have a lower chance of being hospitalized if you are more heart-healthy than those who are less so. Remember that this winter when you’re up early in the dark dreading that morning run.

2. Get a flu shot. I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, that’s not natural.” True, but it is a selfless act as an immunity booster. If you don’t think you’re going to get the flu, that’s fine, but older and younger individuals who come in contact with you are vulnerable, and it can be a life-threatening infection for them. So, if not for you, get the shot for your kids, parents, and grandparents. Also, the flu CAN LEAD TO PNEUMONIA (a big-time killer). So get the flu shot, please. After getting a vaccine shot, some people experience a runny nose or achiness for a day, but this is a GOOD SIGN that your immune system is educating itself to fight this bug; it does not mean you have the flu. Even if you still get the flu despite the shot (in general, 20 percent of us do), the vaccine gives your immune system a little boost that can reduce the flu’s severity. New research also suggests that since the flu can reduce the risk of a large inflammatory response from a major infection it may also provide secondary benefits like reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which is the number one killer of Americans.

3. Use magic soap. Magic what? Magic soap. Otherwise known as alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hands are the most common mode of cold and flu virus transmission, thus proper hand hygiene is critical. If you have cold or flu viruses on your hands and you touch your nose or eyes, you can move those viruses down the tear ducts into the nose, then to the back of the throat and then—BAM!—you’re ill! But, STAY AWAY from antimicrobial soaps that contain triclosan —they are not any more effective than soap and water, and triclosan is an endocrine disrupter that may also spread antimicrobial resistance. Use alcohol based sanitizer on both sides of your hands, and make sure you get those fingernails!

4. Eat honey. Eating honey has more research behind it than you might think. And the research suggests it might reduce flu risks infections by flushing bacterial and viral pathogens. A well-done clinical trial of eating one to two teaspoons of honey in the evening compared to taking dextromethorphan (a cough medicine ingredient in most conventional over-the-counter cough products) found that honey may be more effective at preventing and treating nighttime cough. Honey contains a compound that can be converted into a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and that, along with other antimicrobial compounds, may prevent or at least improve recovery from infection. Darker varieties of honey, such as buckwheat honey, have more antimicrobial and antioxidant bang for your buck.

5. Gargle with water. That’s right, just water. A large clinical trial found that people who gargled with water a few times a day were less likely to catch cold And if you do happen to get sick add salt to the warm water and gargle with that. The salt will help clean the virus from the back of your throat.

6. Spray your nose. Not everyone’s favorite but effective use saline nose spray several times a day to flush out the bacteria and viruses. Nasal sprays are sterile, take seconds to use, are inexpensive, and have been shown to be safe and effective for preventing and treating cold and flu symptoms. There are smaller versions for kids. Using it three or more times a day is a wonderful and safe preventive measure for everyone in the family.

7. Be smart about supplements. A growing body of evidence suggests that both brewers yeast and North American ginseng are effective in preventing and treating cold and flu symptoms. Sprinkling a teaspoon of brewer’s yeast on your food daily or taking a 250- to 500-milligram (mg) ginseng product may end up being a good idea, and both have great safety records. Also, a 50-year analysis of studies supports that taking several hundred milligrams or more per day (for example 250 to 500 mg a day) of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) significantly lowers the risk of pneumonia and helps speed recovery. Keep in mind that pneumonia is the leading cause of death in most flu cases that result in death. Take the nonacidic form of vitamin C, also known as calcium ascorbate, buffered vitamin C, or pH-neutral vitamin C, to avoid stomach irritation. men’s health and fitness magazine.com

Why is belly fat a concern for men?

Heart disease

High blood pressure

Stroke

Some types of cancer

Type 2 diabetes

Insulin resistance

High triglycerides

Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol

Metabolic syndrome

Sleep apnea

Men have a tendency to store excess body fat in their abdominal areas, leading to the dreaded formation of beer guts and love handles.

Men who want to reduce their abdominal fat must reduce their daily intake of calories to a level below the amount of calories they burn through daily exercise and normal metabolism. This is known as a negative calorie balance, where the body burns more calories than it ingests. Eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meat and dairy products and avoiding a high-fat, high-calorie diet rich in fast foods, pastries, and greasy foods will help promote weight/fat loss by enabling you to feel fuller and more satisfied on less food and less.

Along with reducing the calories you take in, you need to increase the frequency and/or duration of your aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise—exercise that increases the body’s oxygen consumption—is an effective weight/fat loss tool that burns a lot of calories and increases basal metabolic rate over the long run, both of which contribute to fat loss and/or weight loss.

The type of aerobic exercise engaged in is not as important as the intensity of the exercise, as more intense exercise produces better weight loss results. Men seeking to lose fat should engage in moderate to vigorous levels of aerobic exercise at least four to five times a week, for at least 30 to 45 minutes per session as is recommended by many leading health and fitness experts.

To maximize fat loss, aerobic exercise should be done so that you reach 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is a vigorous, high-paced exercise level. To determine your maximum heart rate, simply deduct your age from the number 220. For example, a 35-year-old man would have a maximum heart rate number of 185 (220-35=185) beats per minute.

The best types of aerobic exercise will be ones that you enjoy—such as cycling, swimming, running, and walking, to name but a few—which at the same time allow you to work out intensely enough to burn a lot of calories. The more vigorous and intense an exercise is, the more calories you burn, which helps to speed up your rate of fat/weight loss. Read more: Quickest Way to Lose Belly Fat for Men | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5282619_quickest-lose-belly-fat-men.html#ixzz1VQ704sJw

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