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In a new study, researchers showed that men who exercised the most before a diagnosis of prostate cancer were less likely to die of the disease. You can read more on the study here, but the obvious takeaway is – keep exercising and never stop!
Testosterone is often considered to be a quintessential symbol of manhood and machismo. This hormone, which is produced primarily in the testicles, is associated with sexual prowess, libido, and muscle strength, but it also is critical for maintaining bone density, energy levels, and even moods. In many ways, it is the male hormone.
That’s why when testosterone levels begin to decline as men age and because of other factors such as weight gain, exposure to environmental toxins, and sedentary lifestyle, guys begin to worry. They see their sex drive faltering, their waistlines expanding, their hairlines receding, their sleep habits changing, and their get-up-and-go waning. Suddenly all those late-night ads on TV about testosterone replacement and supplements to boost T levels sound like the answer. But they are not.
How can you raise testosterone levels naturally?
Testosterone levels are going to decline as you age – especially if you are sedentary and/or overweight, and/or you don’t get enough sleep – but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to significantly improve your T levels naturally and keep them at a point that allows you to maintain your effectively. One way is to include certain foods in your diet on a regular basis, but before we discuss them, there are a few other things you should know about testosterone and how to maintain healthful levels. (more…)
Approximately 18.8 million people in the United States take an omega-3 supplement, making it the number one natural product used by adults. How many of them can be certain the supplement they have chosen is the safest and most beneficial product available? Do you know how to choose the best omega-3 supplement?
Fish oil, which is a source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is associated with numerous health advantages for people of all ages, which is the main reason for its popularity. However, consumers must be savvy when purchasing omega-3s, since the supplement market is not tightly monitored and it’s easy to be fooled into buying inferior products made with poor quality ingredients and other issues that could not only fail to deliver hoped-for benefits but also harm your health as well.
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are known as essential fatty acids, because while they are necessary for human health, the body is incapable of manufacturing them. The three main types of omega-3s (aka, polyunsaturated fatty acids) are EPA, DHA, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the latter of which is found in plant foods such as nut oils, soybeans, walnuts, algae, and flaxseed.
Both EPA and DHA are long-chain fatty acids and readily available to the body. ALA, a short-chain fatty acid that is a precursor to the longer-chain fatty acids, must be converted to EPA and DHA for use. This conversion is not very efficient, as an estimated 8 to 20 percent of ALA is converted to EPA and 0.5 to 9 percent is transformed into DHA. Therefore, most experts recommend getting EPA and DHA from fish oil while also enjoying foods that provide ALA. (more…)
Every minute you spend on the basketball court, skipping, hitting the HIIT (high-intensity interval training), slamming the tennis ball, or running the streets is not only good just for your cardiovascular system and dropping excess pounds. Such high-impact exercise beginning in adolescence and young adulthood also lays some serious foundations for strong bones, which can significantly reduce a man’s risk of developing osteoporosis later in life, note the authors of a new study.
If you’re middle-aged and didn’t participate in high-intensity exercise in your younger years, it’s not too late to start. In fact, according to Pamela Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, “if you are healthy, it is never too late to begin high-impact activities or resistance training to improve bone mineral density.” (more…)
Low T, High Depression
Low testosterone can cause a whole host of problems, like dipping libido, fewer erections, and low energy. Researchers from George Washington University recently found that lower levels of T can also bump up rates of depression. The study, which followed 200 men with an average age of 48, discovered that 58% of them suffered from symptoms of depression or had an outright diagnosis of depression. Getting in the weight room and pushing big numbers can boost T, so when you’re done reading this, hit the iron.
Wanna Make It To 100?
Gotta keep those inflammation levels low, says a new study from Japan. Featuring more than 1,500 people, the report found that one of the best markers for longevity is inflammation-those with lower levels increased their chances of growing old while keeping their wits about them. Best part is that inflammation is something you can help influence, so keep stuffing your face with leafy greens and training hard! (more…)
The list of possible causes of erectile dysfunction is long, yet one option is often overlooked, until recently. The results of numerous studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency is linked to erectile dysfunction. If that’s the case, men who are living with this sexual challenge can take immediate action to help remedy this problem by taking vitamin D supplements. First, however, you should determine your vitamin D status to see if you have a deficiency.
Could vitamin D deficiency be causing your erectile dysfunction?
Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are common around the world. Deficiency of vitamin D (levels of 20 ng/mL or lower) has been reported in more than 80 percent of some adult populations. The Vitamin D Council recommends a level of 40 to 80 ng/mL as healthy. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, you should talk to your doctor about having a blood test to determine your vitamin D levels. (more…)
There’s a good chance you’ve been with your general practitioner for a few years. You go in a couple of times a year (hopefully no more often than that), you chat about your respective families and the state of your career, he (or she) listens, pokes, prods, palpates, and possibly prescribes. And you listen and do your best to follow instructions. Your GP is a health care professional, and there’s a degree hanging on the wall decreeing as much. So he or she must know what it takes to be healthy.
In an ideal world, the answer would be yes. But this world isn’t ideal—especially when it comes to health care.
Doctors need to prescribe behavior not pills
Most doctors aren’t in the health care business. They don’t prescribe behaviors to make us healthy. They prescribe pills and surgeries and treatments to make us un-sick. Most doctors I know – professionally or personally – only rarely mention diet or exercise or stress-relief techniques to their patients, in part because they don’t believe that their patients are willing or able to follow through with such a program. Rightly or wrongly, health care consumers have come to expect quick-fix solutions from our doctors that require little to no action on our part—except maybe to take a pill or show up for a procedure. The implied agreement between you and your doctor is that you will show up sick and he or she will give you something to make you well.
In some circles, this is changing. Doctors are literally prescribing exercise—writing “Aerobic exercise 3x/week 20 minutes/day” on their prescription pads and handing it to their patients, knowing that, to a completely sedentary person, almost no single behavior can be as beneficial to a person’s health as exercise is. Bravo to them.
Many doctors aren’t in a position to give health advice
Too many others, however, are too embarrassed or resigned to bring it up, and instead they offer a few vaguely reassuring words, and maybe prescribe a pill to treat the patient’s depression, or blood thinners to treat his cardiovascular disease. Indeed, they’ve bought in to the medical myth of the patient as a passive recipient of treatment. These doctors are sometimes seriously overweight and deeply unhealthy themselves, and they often do little to combat unhealthy habits in the people around them. In fact, studies have shown that the standard of care given by doctors is in direct relation to their own health and fitness. Obese and overweight doctors, for example, are less likely to talk to their patients about health, exercise, and nutrition.
The “New Year” is finally over. Super Bowl is done. My resolution for the next 30+ days? No alcohol.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a drink as much as the next guy, though more recently I’ve been drinking only one day a week as I train for more Spartan and obstacle races. But I’m not 20 anymore and the 53-year-old me doesn’t process alcohol like it used to — so I’m giving it a complete break for a while. There are also some serious health consequences of alcohol that specifically affect middle-aged guys that I want to avoid, and which I talk more about in my book. Here are a few of them: (more…)
You’ve probably heard how body language is an essential component of how others see you. But it also has a profound effect on how you perceive yourself—and, not coincidentally, on your levels of the hormones associated with confidence, dominance, and stress. In recent years, Dr. Amy Cuddy has performed experiments in which she tracks the effects of various physical postures on key hormones. The results have been striking: just two minutes in a “power posture” results in an average 20 percent jump in testosterone and an average 25 percent drop in the stress hormone cortisol. Two minutes in a “repressed posture” had the opposite effect. In theory, a habitual sloucher who shifted into a power pose could boost his T by an astonishing 40 percent.
So what’s a power pose?
In truth, power poses are somewhat predictable positions: reaching your arms overhead like a track star crossing the finish line; leaning back in a chair with your hands behind your head like a CEO taking a refreshing pause; standing with your hands on hips, chest out, superhero style. Repressed postures are various versions of collapsed, small, or curled-in poses (think of the position you probably assumed while hunched over a tiny desk, filling in answer bubbles on a standardized test).
In work settings, people in positions of authority tend to gravitate toward “dominant” postures, while lower-status workers gravitate toward repressed ones. Instinctively, it seems, people take on the body language appropriate to their “station”—thus reinforcing the perceived social order.
Is it any wonder, then, that so many people feel powerless and stressed-out at work? Without meaning to, they’re sending themselves a powerful message, day in and day out, that they are powerless and stressed-out—a message that is then reinforced by their hormonal profile. Cuddy’s findings suggest that it doesn’t need to be this way. Instead, you can fake it till you make it. In those moments when you’re feeling stressed and re- pressed, go ahead and superman it up by putting your hands on your hips and puffing out your chest for a minute or two—and you’ll feel better. Worried you’ll look foolish? Head to the break room, an outdoor spot, or even the bathroom and go for it. The boss might notice that newfound confidence and reward you accordingly. Your T levels certainly will.