Posts tagged ‘exercise’

Five signs you may have low testosterone — guest post by Dr. Larry Lipschultz

happy faceLow testosterone, also referred to as hypogonadism, may result in significant side effects, such as male infertility. Because low testosterone symptoms may mimic the effects of other disorders, and because patients may feel embarrassed to discuss their experiences with a medical practitioner, individuals may fail to recognize symptoms of low testosterone. However, men should pay attention to their bodies if common signs of low testosterone occur. By contacting a trusted men’s health practice, you may be able to improve testosterone levels and prevent potential risks.

Decreased Sex Drive

Noticing a dip or significant drop in your sex drive does not necessarily point to an emotional issue or something you can take care of on your own. This may point to a low testosterone level. While your sex drive may decrease naturally as you age, an apparent testosterone issue may contribute to a lack of desire to have sex, as well as a decreased ability to reach orgasm.

Infertility

If you find you have been having conception problems with your significant other, your infertility may be the result of low testosterone. This hormone plays an important role in sperm production. As testosterone drops, so does sperm count and your ability to conceive. Your men’s health doctor will test your blood to determine whether your infertility rests solely on low testosterone levels, which may affect a more comprehensive hormonal imbalance.

Erectile Dysfunction

Low testosterone may result in erectile dysfunction. The relationship here is twofold. First, low levels of testosterone often result in a loss of genital sensation. When your sensation drops, your ability to receive stimulation and achieve an erection decreases. In addition, testosterone supports a subsequent process involving the release of nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator, or widening of blood cells. When this reaction fails to occur, achieving or sustaining an erection becomes difficult or impossible.

Fatigue

When you experience feelings of decreased energy and fatigue, consider whether you have done anything to alter your usual routine. If you have not overexerted yourself, changed your diet significantly, or experienced sleeping problems, you may look to low testosterone as the underlying cause. Particularly when experienced in combination with mood swings, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass, fatigue may be your red flag that your hormones need a rebalance.

Changes in Mood

If you notice that you have been feeling depressed lately, but no major changes have occurred in your life, low testosterone is a possible culprit. Hormones play a key role in your mental and emotional balance. If it isn’t depression, in which you experience feelings of guilt and extreme sadness , you may notice you become irritable. Or, you may find you feel fine but the people surrounding you in your life begin to complain that you have become quite moody.

About Dr. Larry Lipschultz

Larry Lipschultz, M.D. is one of the leading experts on male reproductive medicine and microsurgery, and contributes to education as a professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He has trained an extensive number of urologists and heads a urology practice that offers comprehensive services for men’s health. His practice is located in Houston, and offers services that focus on infertility, erectile dysfunction, nutrition, and other men’s health issues.

Website: http://www.larrylipshultz.com/

Living life to the longest: Routines for a longer life — guest post by Barbara Jolie

Throughout human existence, individuals have been on a quest to extend life as much as possible. Men have waged wars and epic quests to track down myths like the Fountain of Youth and the Tree of Life in the hopes of discovering immortality. At this point, I think it’s safe to say that no water or sap exists that will grant us eternal life. In fact, if there is one thing all of us have in common it’s the fact that we will all leave this world eventually.

There is no reason, however, that people shouldn’t make an effort to live life to the longest. Sure, we may not be able to cheat death, but by embracing certain routines and habits we may be able to extend life. Here are three items you can integrate into your routine to extend your years little by little.

Good Works

According to the Buck Institute for Age Research, individuals who actively volunteer have a 44 percent lower death rate than those who don’t. The work of helping others is known to boost people’s happiness levels, which is directly related to increasing antibodies and strengthening the brain and immune system. So try and find two organizations you’re interested in and exercise your charity bone.

Sleep

This may come as no surprise, but it’s still important to note. Sleep is essential to living a full, long life. So if you aren’t catching enough sleep, maybe it’s time you start hitting the pillow a little earlier. In fact, according to research from Penn State University, one reason women usually live longer than men is because they have more frequent, stable sleep patterns. Many people believe their busy schedules won’t allow them to head to bed early, but if going to bed earlier means living a few more years, I’d say it’s worth trying to catch at least an hour more of sleep each night.

Sex

Not only is sex essential to maintaining emotional health and loving relationships, it is quintessential to living a longer life. In fact, according to Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, “men who have sex three times a week can decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50 percent.” Maintaining good sexual health comes with a bit of work, however. In order to maintain sexual stamina, men must keep things like high cholesterol, hypertension, alcohol, and obesity in check. So if you want to keep things like impotence at bay, make sure to exercise and watch your alcohol intake. Furthermore, according to Dr. Oz, “sex can make your body feel two to eight years younger for…men who have 150 to 350 orgasms a year.”

Although we’ve been unable to find the secret to eternal life on earth, there are some remedies to extending life as much as possible. For those men who are looking to add some longevity to their life, try embracing more sex, more sleep, and more charitable volunteering. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a longer life.

This guest post is contributed by Barbara Jolie, who writes for the online classes blog. Barbara Jolie is an avid writer and blogger, interested in all things education. For questions or comments email her at barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.

Ways men can maintain their mental health after retirement — guest post by Mariana Ashley

Retirement

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

When we’re young and wanting only to sleep in a few extra hours past our alarm for work, we dream of the day we can hang up our working shoes and snuggle into retirement and old age. However, many young, self-proclaimed tired workers don’t realize the unexpected consequences retirement may actually have on our health. While retirement is unquestionably a time to cherish and celebrate, it is also important that we realize that it will likely require a huge life adjustment.

We spend our entire lives building a career and a life supported by this career. Our work and our jobs become so much more than just that—they are our life and an aspect of what makes us who we are. With so much of our identity residing in the work we do each day, it’s not hard to imagine the struggles retirement might be met with. While the issue of adjustment and mental and physical health worries exist for all individuals entering retirement, historically men hold their careers as more central indicators of their identities. Consider these mental and physical adjustments you can make to your daily life in order to retire in a happier and healthier state.

Exercise

Of course, exercise and diet play an essential role in our overall health regardless of our age or place in life. This is something most all of us know. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet do wonders to keep us healthy and maintain a strong mental state. However, when we enter retirement, we’re faced with significantly more time on our hands and significantly fewer responsibilities. One of the most difficult aspects of retirement for men can be losing that daily time consuming responsibility. We create a pattern of waking up at the same time, going to work, fulfilling our responsibilities, and rewarding ourselves at the end of the day with some “downtime”. Without the constant pattern of going to work each day, it can be very easy for the newly retired to lose sight of their sense of personal fulfillment. Try to create new daily patterns by exercising each and every day at the same time. Make exercise your new daily activity and routine. This is great for your physical health, necessary for your mental clarity, and can be extremely important in adjusting to your new daily life.

Find a hobby
Just as exercise and meal planning can become a wonderful replacement for daily activities, hobbies can also be extremely important during retirement. In many ways, men define who they are by the work that they perform. Entering retirement can really fragment an individual’s sense of being, even without them realizing it. By picking up a meaningful and time-consuming hobby, men can find a renewed sense of self-worth and awareness, while also filling their time with something important to them. Obviously, this hobby varies from one individual to the next—finding something that suits your interests and is sustainable is very important.
Extended learning
Mental wellness is a huge concern for individuals who have recently retired. Many men fall into bouts of depression or anxiety when their life circumstances alter because of retirement. That being said, there are many ways to combat this negativity associated with retirement at times. As the online world continues to flourish and expand, useful resources for education and extended learning are becoming more and more accessible and effective. Education can be a wonderful activity for retired individuals to take part in. Not only will taking classes, studying educational materials, and expanding one’s mind encourage the mental faculties, it can also bring greater joy and purpose to an individual’s life. Explore your many options on sites like Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware, TED talks, or the Khan Academy. These online resources offer easy and exceptional avenues for learning and education that can be extremely worthwhile for individuals interested in extending their education in their retirement.

This guest post is provided by Mariana Ashley, who writes about educational issues for OnlineColleges.net and can be reached by email at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

Are you a cancer survivor? If so, work on maintaining a healthful lifestyle

We were all told, as children, to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. But how many of the baby boomers among us, especially cancer survivors, are adhering to this advice?  As a prostate cancer patient, I want to make sure my cancer doesn’t return (I finished radiation treatments  over a year ago).  I have to admit that I have been sloppy in my eating habits in recent weeks.  I have also been letting up, a bit, in my weekly walking regimen.

After reading the following article by HealthDay reporter Jenifer Goodwin, I need to get back to the basics.

Goodwin points out in her article that eating healthful foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein), getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight may give you a better chance of living long-term with cancer.

The article is based on recommendations from the American Cancer Society.

I hope my fellow cancer survivors (those of baby boomer and all ages) can join me by getting on the bandwagon and getting serious about maintaining a healthful lifestyle.

The art of stretching — guest post by Sarah Rexman

We’ve been told that we should always stretch before workouts to prepare our muscles, but did you know that there are two categories of stretching? The first type is static, and the second type is dynamic. In static stretching you’re stretching a muscle and holding that position for usually about 30 seconds. Dynamic stretching is using weights and constant motion to help stretch a muscle or group of muscle.
Static Stretches:
These should be done at least twice every day and held for no longer than 30 seconds per muscle group.  If you hold it for longer than thirty then you run the risk of tearing the tendons. The nice thing about this is it can easily be done with things around the house. The benefits of stretching every day is that it allows the body to get rid of the toxins in the muscle that can cause knotting and cramping, which can later lead to damage and pulling. You should do these first and last things every day, but not before a good work out. If you’re going for a nice walk, then you should be fine, but if you’re doing weight training then you’ll want to supplement it with dynamic stretching. Static stretches help you when your static, it’s great for yoga, but not for weight training; as I said it does help the muscle release the toxins so it can later be secreted. After a workout, but before bed.  make sure you stretch your muscles that feel tight and stiff.
Dynamic Stretches:
The benefit to dynamic stretching is that it’s for bodies in motion, it also helps wake up the central nervous system, increase blood flow to targeted muscle groups and aid in actual strength and power production. This type of stretching is great before a sport and workout, and if done properly it can help prevent injuries and tearing. This uses weight and motion, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Use a weight that isn’t too light, but isn’t too heavy, the key is to have the weight be heavy enough to provide some stretching.
  • Don’t use exaggerated motions. Keep it comfortable, if you can’t keep control of the weight then lessen the range.
  • The basic rule is that you shouldn’t exceed 10 reps per group you want to stretch.

Great examples of Dynamic Stretches that you may know already:

Jumping Jacks
Arm circles
Front lunges
Side lunges
And more

Source: Men’s Health

About the author:
Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for BedBugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a master’s degree in environmental science.  Her main focus for the site involves researching numerous bed bugs prevention tips as well as how to remove bed bugs from your home for good.

You can contact Sarah at sarahrexman@gmail.com

Some great fitness tips for older baby boomers (65+) — guest post by Hossein Noshirvani

We are living longer as a society, which means it is more important than ever for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise and eating habits throughout their life span. However, as we age, our bodies naturally lose some of its vitality, including muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance,

English: A senior citizen while practicing his...

Image via Wikipedia

making it harder for senior citizens to keep up the active lifestyle they once enjoyed. It is not impossible though to get back into fighting shape. Follow these tips to put that spring back in your step.

      * Ease back into it: For seniors who have been out of commission for a while or who aren’t accustomed to regular physical activity, it is important to ease back into an active routine. Doing so will help you avoid injury, soreness, or burn out – all of which could derail your fitness plan.
      * Find a buddy: Making extreme (or subtle) fitness changes is easier and often more successful when you take on the challenge with a buddy. You can serve as each other’s support network helping one another stay accountable and honest about your daily routine.
      * Set goals: Create a list of goals that you would like to achieve through your new active lifestyle. Your goals can relate to specific fitness achievements such as work up to a 30 minute walk on the treadmill. Or, you may set a goal to be able to pick up your grandchild.
      * Join a gym: Seniors looking to get active should consider joining a gym. A gym will provide you with access to high quality fitness equipment as well as staff members and personal trainers that could help guide you along in your journey towards health. Gyms use club billing programs to ensure you are invoiced for the services rendered.
      * Know your limits: Face it. You will not be able to bench press the same weight as you did in college nor will you be able to run as fast as you did in your 30s. You have a new body as a senior citizen, and you must recognize its limitations. Don’t push yourself to the point of getting hurt as that could wreck your fitness plan.
      * Reward yourself: Your new fitness routine should not be “all pain and no gain.” Give yourself a reward when you meet a fitness goal. Or give yourself the weekends off to eat whatever you are craving. Life is made of simple pleasures.

It is important to note that you should consult a doctor before introducing any new form of exercise or diet into your daily routine.

Hossein Noshirvani is the Executive Vice President for Motionsoft and is the head of Motionsoft’s marketing team. He has been involved in the health and wellness industry for over five years and has in-depth knowledge and keen insight into the industry. Motionsoft targets those gyms use club billing programs to improve their service offerings. Hossein shares his experience of working with the best and the brightest in the health and wellness industry regularly on Motionsoft’s blog: The Circuit Blog.

Book review: “The Social Network Diet” by Miriam Nelson, Ph.D. and Jennifer Ackerman

Review by Scott Keith

Do you notice that if your best friend is fond of cheeseburgers and fries, you, too, lean a bit too heavily on fast foods? If so, you are becoming aware of how social networks affect our eating habits.

Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., and Jennifer Ackerman,  have co-authored The Social Network Diet, a  book that shows you a new approach to developing a healthful life style – an approach that examines the importance of social networks.

Nelson, a professor at Tufts University in Boston who has focused on  nutrition, physical activity and public health for over two decades, says research has been showing the impact of social networks on one’s health. “The reality is that 67 percent of the population is either overweight or obese. Even more of the population is unfit. This has a huge impact on quality of life…This influence of the person’s social network is really quite powerful,” says Nelson.

In an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, Ackerman says research shows your body weight is closely related to that of your closest friend. Ackerman, a science and health writer who has contributed to the New York Times, National Geographic, Parade and other publications, says, “The thinking behind it is that it’s really about social norms. When friends become overweight, it becomes more socially acceptable…We just can’t help but imitate our peers, and this is true for adults as well as children.”

There is a flip side to social interaction – and it can benefit your health. Nelson, interviewed by Men and Health, says people can lose weight if they join a group that promotes a heathier lifestyle (perhaps a group engaged in exercise).

In addition to encouraging a healthful social support system, this enjoyable and easy-to-follow book gives plenty of tips to help you make the correct food choices. The 1-Day Challenges will help you take baby steps on the way to better health. The first challenge helps you monitor added sugars. “You have to actually read the labels and look at the foods being served,” says Nelson.   Another challenge has you look for refined grains, the largest source of calories. The third challenge explores how you can fit 30 minutes of moderate activity in your daily routine. The challenges lead to The 7-Day Jumpstart, explained in chapter 4.

If you feel overwhelmed and confused about starting a new, healthful life, consider some Simple Acts in chapter 6. Nelson and Ackerman teach you how to Start With Your Immediate Circle, Be Picky in Purchasing Your Foods, and Be Choosy About Where You Shop; you can also learn how to Invite A Neighbor To Do A Walking Errand.  Nelson says, “When a person makes changes in their own lives, there is a ripple effect that is beyond them. It impacts their social network, it impacts their family, their colleagues. These simple acts are sort of taking that the next step further…to create the change that we so desperately need in this country.”

Nelson adds, “When you make those (healthful) changes, you need to surround yourself with a supportive network. When you do, your changes will become permanent…That change will have a ripple effect and help support the health of many, many others.”

Pricing & Availability
“The Social Network Diet” is now available for $12.95 – as well as in e-book format for $7.99 – at FastPencil (http://www.fpbks.com/social-network-diet) and at Barnes and Noble and other major bookstores as well as online retailers such as Amazon.