Archives for posts with tag: men’s fitness

ScreamingFeet

I have written about this before and feel that it is time to write about it again. If you want to make the most of your workout and your feet are screaming at you, perhaps its time to remove your shoes. After all, we were not born with shoes on our feet. In order to strengthen your body completely, you should start thinking from the ground floor up! And by the ground floor, I mean your feet. I am not saying that you should go out and begin ‘barefoot’ running or walking, I am saying that its high time to think of strengthening those two body parts that you rely on to move you around this world.

Martin Rooney makes these recommendations regarding strengthening your feet:

  • Time should be spent out of shoes each day working on either strength or mobility.
  • Shoes should be selected for feel and comfort, not look.
  • Lower body lifting sessions should be performed barefoot as much as possible.
  • Warm-ups should be performed barefooted as long as the surface allows.
  • Barefoot training should progress slowly and gradually as like any other form.

Keep in mind that this is a gradual process and when you start strengthening your feet you should do so slowly and deliberately. Do not go out and buy a pair of Vibram Five Fingers and do a 5K run. Follow the steps above and if you need some assistance don’t hesitate to contact me.

I have been taking a fun and challenging ‘bare foot’ exercise class here in Denver called Will Power and Grace, the brain child of Stacey Lei Krauss  – we are lucky enough to have the very first Will Power Fit Studio in the U.S. right here on Market Street. This workout is smart, effective and really gets you in touch with the foundation of your entire body – your feet. So guys no matter what you do start at the bottom and work your way up, a strong articulate foot creates a healthy body.

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Drop your pants, lay down on your side on the examination table. The snap of rubber gloves and a then a cold moist finger being put….

Yes, that’s how it goes gentlemen when we have to succumb to the dreaded of all test at the doctor’s office – the Prostate Exam! We all know that this is the test/exam that we don’t like to talk about, however remember it is actually one of the most important that we need to have on a regular basis.

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, that is why I am growing a moustache in honor of Prostate and Testicular Cancer Awareness. For more information go to:  http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5699537/k.BEF4/Home.htm

Here are some important facts to know:

Did you know that Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America affecting 1 in 6 men? There are several factors that influence risk:

Age – the older you are the more likely you are to be diagnosed with Prostate cancer – for example the rate for men under 40 is 1 in 10,000 men, but that rate shoots up to 1 in 15 men for ages 60 – 69.

Race – African-American men are more likely t develop Prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men, and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Asian men who live in Asia actually have the lowest risk.

Family history/genetics – A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.

Where you live – For men in the U.S., the risk of developing prostate cancer is 17%. For men who live in rural China, it’s 2%. However, when Chinese men move to the western culture, their risk increases substantially.

Men who live in cities north of 40 degrees latitude (north of Philadelphia, PA, Columbus, OH, and Provo, UT, for instance) have the highest risk for dying from prostate cancer of any men in the United States. This effect appears to be mediated by inadequate sunlight during three months of the year, which reduces vitamin D levels.

Also, keep in mind that not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.

The above information was provided by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Stay tuned for my next installment about Prostate cancer and why I believe Men and those who love Men need to know the facts and understand all of aspects of this disease! I truly believe that the attention and funding that we have given to Breast cancer in Women, should be the same that we give to Prostate cancer in men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know the old saying – ‘you are what you eat’ may be true. Well it certainly  may be that we are (at least in size that is) based upon how much we eat. There was a recent article by Herman Pontzer published in the NY Times. Pontzer is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College in NYC. Pontzer and colleagues did a study of energy expenditure of a native tribe in Africa. They compared their energy expenditure vs other humans energy expenditure and came up with some interesting information:

Our findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that energy expenditure is consistent across a broad range of lifestyles and cultures. Of course, if we push our bodies hard enough, we can increase our energy expenditure, at least in the short term. But our bodies are complex, dynamic machines, shaped over millions of years of evolution in environments where resources were usually limited; our bodies adapt to our daily routines and find ways to keep overall energy expenditure in check.

All of this means that if we want to end obesity, we need to focus on our diet and reduce the number of calories we eat, particularly the sugars our primate brains have evolved to love. We’re getting fat because we eat too much, not because we’re sedentary. Physical activity is very important for maintaining physical and mental health, but we aren’t going to Jazzercise our way out of the obesity epidemic.’

You can read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/debunking-the-hunter-gatherer-workout.html?_r=0

I found this article quite interesting and thought provoking. I also came across an interesting eating strategy or program based upon less is more called ’80 Bites’. This program basically works by teaching the participant to be aware of ‘How Much They Eat’ and 80 bites per day should be our maximum according to Meredith Luce, MS, RD, LD/N. This Ms. Luce determined based upon FDA approved portion size – and therefore 80 bites is the limit. The thought here is that our stomachs are overstretched and if we decided to follow a diet that recommends lower calorie foods so that you can ‘eat as much as you would like’ continue to play into the fact that we keep our stomachs stretched and our stomachs continue to want to be fed. Therefore when your stomach is no longer stretched you will no longer be hungry…interesting. If you need more information you can check it out for yourself. http://www.80bites.com

A recent article in Men’s Fitness Magazine by Janna Leyde provided some interesting information about what is actually in the food that we eat. Some of these items are actually added to our food and others make their way in there during the production process. Either way it is quite surprising as well as – unappetizing and/or disgusting. Further according to the FDA all of these items are perfectly harmless to ingest at certain levels.

Here are a few examples of what’s in our food:
Wood – powdered wood pulp or cellulose is a product used to keep prepackaged cheese from balling up in globs and to make low fat ice creams and pre-made milkshakes extra creamy.
L-Cysteine – a common ingredient in most commercial breads, pastries and pizza dough is made from boiling human hair in acid. This hair is gathered from the floors of salons and barber shops in China.

According to both the USDA and the FDA the above ingredients pose no threat to our health. Better yet there is actually a safe level of the following items that may find their way into our phone supply. These items include: Maggots, insect fragments,mold, insect eggs, Mammalian excrets (poop). So goes the saying – ‘You are what you eat’. NOT

Here’s a few suggestions to help you along the way if you want to avoid being exposed to some of these acceptable additives or ‘defects’.

Read the ingredients – if you do not understand the words, then you more than likely do not know what you are eating.

Buy local – at least you’ll have a better handle on exactly where your food is coming from.

Eat less processed food – or none at all. No artificial flavorings or color please!

Here’s an interesting tidbit: I recently read that the average Olympic Games viewer gained 4 pounds over the 2 week period – Really?

We are almost half way through the Summer (depending of course on how you look at it) and almost to the commencement of the summer Olympics. The Olympics have always provided me with a sense of inspiration of what truly can be achieved by the human body and being. Not doubt much time will be spent during the Olympic coverage on how these amazing athletes train for their particular Olympic sport both on and off-season.

Some of these Olympians utilize various forms of traditional and non-traditional fitness training and some have utilized  the Pilates method for their training – athletes such as Andre Ward (Boxing), Sanya Richards (Running), Julia Mancuso (Swimming), Thomas Finchum (Diving)  just to name a few. The point is that their sport specific training also includes a comprehensive approach to functional fitness, flexibility and health as should yours as a ‘Prime Male’.

So pull up a chair and watch the Olympics and don’t forget to take care of the athlete in you – no matter what your fitness level. Here are a couple of  tips to make the most of your Olympic enjoyment:

*If watching TV ignites your urge to snack – then snack healthy. Watching the Olympics while gorging on chips and dip (unless the chips are baked and the dip something low fat and healthy such as fresh salsa) doesn’t make for a good health and nutrition, allow the Olympics and MacDonald’s to set the poor nutrition example (don’t even get me started on this subject, that will be the topic on another blog). Try some fruit, vegetables, whole grain baked crackers, a little peanut butter, guacamole  – you get the idea.

* Better yet,  why not multi-task while watching the Games. Clear some space,  get down on the floor and do some simple exercises or stretches – such as a side lying bridge to work the abdominals or perhaps holding a plank position, or doing some regular bridges or sit-ups during the commercials.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, the Olympics and your commitment to health and fitness!

It’s been awhile sine The Prime Male has made a post – but that is all about to change, more on that later. Since we are currently in the midst of the summer, I couldn’t think of a better time to talk about ‘Sweat’. 

Sweating is vital to our health, if you could not sweat you would actually die! So think of it this way – men who are actually in the best shape will actually sweat the quickest and the most. Sweating is our bodies way of cooling itself. So when you exercise regularly your body is better able to deal with the ‘heat’ generated with exercise and jump into action to cool and cope. Therefore the more efficient you become at sweating, the better you are able to hold onto sodium which prevents muscle cramping. I can remember as a kid when my Dad was working out in the yard in the middle of the sweltering Florida summer sun and perspiring profusely, he would take a break, run in the house and pour about a teaspoon of salt into his glass of water. He explained to me that this was to counteract all of the loss of sodium from sweating. Hmmm – I guess what he didn’t realize was that he was already a ‘good sweater’ and he already got enough sodium from his diet.

Here are a few good rules of thumb for healthy sweating:

1) Be sure to drink plenty of liquids – water is the best. Keep in mind that after an hour or so of heavy sweating you would need to replace electrolytes and some sodium, so a sports drink would be appropriate – I personally like to dilute the sports drink with water. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that 2 – 3 hours before exercising drink 2 – 3 glasses  of water and then try to drink 8 – 10 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise.

2) Be sure to get plenty of sleep/rest. There are some studies that suggest that lack of sleep negatively effects sweat production.

3) Be sure to adapt to conditions. Sweating in a humid environment doesn’t allow for the evaporation of the perspiration which actually cools the body. Acclimating to heat and environment is very similar to acclimating to altitude. So if you workout in a gym or ‘air conditioned’ environment then suddenly step outside into a hot humid summer environment the effects on the body will be considerable.

4) Be sure to wear the ‘right’ workout clothes – think breathable clothing. So even if you don’t want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of ‘breathable’ fitness workout wear – your cotton clothing should be just fine, it gets wet – but it does breathe.

5) Do not try to force sweat by wearing something that is completely breathable – like a plastic bag. Let it happen naturally. Do not wear antiperspirants during exercises – deodorants are just fine. Let your sweat glands breathe!

Happy Healthy Sexy Sweating.

Back again with some more gym equipment that would be best for you to avoid gentlemen.

The Seated Lat Pull Down (behind the neck): This machine is supposed to train your upper back, back – (think lats) and biceps. The problem is that unless your shoulders are extremely flexible it can cause an impingement in your shoulder joint and possibly even damage the rotator cuff. Further prime males most of us, even the ladies have some form of a rotator cuff injury or tear by the time we reach 50 anyway – so why make it worse? If you are insistent upon using this machine then do the pull down in the front leaning back slightly with a straight back and engaged torso for support. Better yet – why not try incline pull-ups? Begin by  placing  a bar on a squat rack at waist height, grab the bar with both hands and then hang from the bar with your feet stretched out in front of you. Next, keep your torso engaged and pull your chest up to the bar 10 – 15 repetitions. You can make this exercise more difficult by lower the bar or easier by raising the bar.

Smith Machine Squats: This exercise is predominantly supposed to train your legs – (hamstrings, glutes, quads). What actually ends up happening is because the bar is attached to a vertical sliding track – the movement arc is very linear and therefore does not create a natural or arched movement plane. This unnatural movement then puts undue stress on not only the back but also the knees and the shoulders.

A better alternative would be to do body weight squats where you focus on descending (squatting) with control as far as you can without rounding your lower back. You can do 15 – 20 repetitions per set and increase sets as you get stronger.