If someone told the story right now, you might think physical fitness began with gyms, brisk walks going around the block, and Jazzercise, but this most certainly isn’t the case. Not only did the people who lived centuries ago not have ellipticals or weight machines, but they were much fitter than we are. You see, back in the day, fitness wasn’t a pastime or something to be scheduled into your regular life, it was the way of life.
From the start of our species to 10,000 BC we had to be in-shape because the monsters were coming. Either run or die. That was a simple choice and we took it. Back in primitive times, we were the most fit we ever had been because we had to be. There were no people who were overweight, as running meant survival, not just enjoying a run on the treadmill. Not only were movements based on escape, but they were also based on everyday locomotion. They needed to manipulate tools for defense, and they utilized their bodies for running, walking, jumping, crawling, lifting, throwing, catching things, fighting, and balancing. This helped keep all of the muscles in top shape. Not to mention, they also used their bodies by dancing when predators weren’t around and when their stomachs were full.
For tribes that still exist today, physical fitness is a part of their daily survival. They do not count calories, spend time in gyms, or any of these things. Because fitness is a necessary part of their days and nights, they remain in the best shape that humans can be. They walked, carried, and balanced all at once, honing their muscles to a fine point. Everyone, including men, women, and children were strong as physical strength was needed.
From 8,000 BC and 10,000 BC, civilization solidified and in rolled the Agricultural Revolution. Gathers and hunters who led a nomadic life transitioned into farmers. This time period ushered in different physical needs. With intense chores involving bending, lifting, and tending cattle, there was much work to do that kept farmers in good shape, but these were repetitive tasks and so worked the same muscles. In addition, the more strenuous tasks that involved jumping, crawling, balancing, running, climbing lowered and so the same muscles were worked while others grew smaller and unused. For farming, these movements weren’t needed and so were removed from the repertoire of human movement. Also, tools made movements a lot easier. Farmers used ladders rather than having to climb up trees. These provided a more predictable climbing tool and so made humans’ lives better.
Civilization established itself and war and conquest became the norm. Between 4,000 BC and the destruction of the Roman Empire in 476 AD, young men and boys were put through rigorous training in order to prepare them for the battle. This training involved a lot the primitive skills but had more structure and were used to reach a different goal. These men practiced on uneven terrains including walking, running, climb lifting, carrying heavy things, unarmed fighting, throwing and catching, jumping, crawling, and weapons training.
While sports were present during older times more civilized cultures grew to really value sports. As sports were popular in ancient Egypt and by the ancient Greeks these were based on natural movements of the body that prepared the athletes for war. The Greeks’ competition was based on athletes running faster than others, at times wearing armor and a shield. They also threw javelins, discus, jumping, and wrestling and striking each other. The ultimate goal being to get their country and athletes battle-ready.
During these times, Greeks and then the Romans grew to believe the human body and its physical fitness were symbols of beauty. Physical training became an essential part of the philosophical arena and the educational arena. Having a healthy mind housed in a health body was very important and valued. Physical fitness stepped out of the realms of practicality and became an art form. Statutes were built to show the peak of human fitness, sculpted from marble and different materials.
Throughout the 5th century and up to the 15th century, the Middle Ages were filled with invasions, plague, and kingdoms and empires that changed frequently. During this period the body became a lot less important as the afterlife walked in. This period was overtaken by Christianity and so the importance of preparing the soul overcame the important of taking care of the body. The body was sinful and the soul was the ultimate prize. Education was filled with talk of the church, eternal damnation, and the body became nothing but a vessel to house the soul and the mind.
During the times of feudalism, which was huge in medieval Europe, only few took on physical training. This was completed by mercenaries and nobles and was used to prepare them for the military. Their training mirrored that of the ancient people, focusing on fighting skill and natural movements.
Everyone else worked on their lord’s land, working very hard in the fields using poorly designed tools. Their physical fitness was due to demanding labor for low or no wages.
From 1400 to 1600, interest with the body grew again in the form of study of the health, anatomy, physical education, and biology of humans.
Vitorrino de Feltre, a humanist, opened a school that valued and emphasized physical education. When he opened this school in 1420 it grew very popular.
A little more than a hundred years later, in 1553, Cristobal Mendez wrote El Libro del Ejercicio Corporal y sus Provechos. This book was the first to talk about physical exercise and its associated benefits. It introduced the classification of games, exercises, and sports and described them from a medical perspective. Mendez also offered a lot of advice on ways to prevent and recover from various injuries when doing physical exercises. Included were chapters detailing games and drills for women, the elderly, and children.
The history of physical fitness is long, varied, and not encapsulated in this article, but these are the first stirrings of the physical fitness that we now know today.
If you thought gardening was something only women do, think again. Many of the most respected and celebrated men in history were gardeners, including Thomas Jefferson, Luther Burbank, and Johnny Appleseed. Agricultural history shows that the practice was originally started to produce beer, not to bake bread. So before you think you’re too busy to start a garden, here are 5 reasons to pick up a shovel.
You’ve been told all your life that “you are what you eat,” so you’ve taken all the right steps to ensure that your body is getting all the right nutrition – a balanced diet of organic fruits and vegetables, meat from humanely-raised animals, whole grains, and good supplements to fill in any gaps that you might have. You know exactly what you’re eating…or do you?
The fact is that many, if not most, people in the U.S. are becoming more and more disconnected from the source of their food. You may have assumed that the organic bananas at your local Whole Foods are safe because they were grown without pesticides. Wrong. Organic farms can and do use pesticides – they are just different types of pesticides than the ones that are used at conventional farms. The naturally derived pesticides like pyrethrin and azadirachtin are approved by the USDA to be used in organic farming, but they are also considered slightly toxic to humans.
While your organic produce is likely safe to eat, growing your own food in your backyard garden might be a better choice for you if you are still concerned about chemical pesticides in your food. You don’t necessarily have to be an organic gardener either; one of the best benefits of growing your own food is that you are responsible for deciding which pesticides and/or fertilizer come into contact with your plants.
As men age, the decline in the level of testosterone means that you’ll have to work harder to maintain your ideal weight. Heck, you might have even noticed a little pudge around your midsection that just won’t go away. And maybe your doctor has even started talking to you about the physical, mental, and emotional changes that happen to men as they age.
If you think talking about aging gives you a depressing outlook on life, think again. Aging is inevitable, but aging doesn’t have to be accompanied by poor health and obesity. In addition to knowing the origin of your food, when you have control of your dinner plate, you are more likely to eat healthier. A healthier diet will enable your body to maintain a healthy weight. Gardening is a great physical activity that has been shown to strengthen bones and joints, reduce high blood pressure, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. It can also help improve your mental health and boost your immune system. Some people even use gardening to treat depression, a method known as horticultural therapy.
You say you eat healthy, but are you busting through your budget to do so? If your most recent trip to Whole Foods left your bank account looking a little sad (and maybe you even cried a little bit inside), gardening is a great alternative that can significantly slash your food budget.
The next time you step inside your local home improvement store, look at the packets of vegetable seeds in the garden center. You’ll be able to find seed packets containing hundreds of seeds for $1-2. Will all the seeds germinate, leaving you with hundreds of tomato plants in your back yard? Most likely not. But a good percentage of them will, and if you collect seeds at the end of the growing season in your region and store them well, you may never have to buy seeds again. Even when you consider the initial investment of having to purchase garden soil and other basic gardening tools and supplies, you will end up saving money in the long run.
Don’t think you have the time to garden? The most time-consuming part of gardening is perhaps the initial garden bed setup and seed planting. After that, the seeds will do the work themselves, and you may have to dedicate just 15 to 30 minutes a day watering, weeding, pruning, mulching, fertilizing, or sometimes applying pesticides (if you decide to use them). That is not much time at all considering the fact that the average person spends close to an hour daily on Facebook. Half of the time you spend on Facebook can instead be dedicated on gardening, an activity that will give you a great return on small investments of your time.
If you think you wouldn’t want to garden because it seems like a lonely activity, consider this: Gardening is becoming an increasingly social activity. Many cities, health centers, schools, churches, and parks are forming community gardens, which allows like-minded gardeners to meet new friends, share advice and tips, and grow food together. Community gardens are also an excellent idea to get more involved in your community and do some good, since you can donate any extra food to your local homeless shelter.
You probably spend most of your days in an office or cubicle surrounded by brick walls. If you’re lucky, you might have a window in your office that at least allows some sunshine to sneak in. Your busy workday is probably followed by going straight home to your wife and kids, or if you’re single, to dinner and Netflix.
Nature is good for the body and soul. Humans love being in beautiful, natural, open spaces because it allows you to relax and reconnect with nature. However, the busy schedule of the average person leaves almost no room to spend time outside, reconnecting with nature.
If you’re stressed out from your hectic daily schedule, gardening may be the key to relieving your stress. Gardening has been shown to effectively lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can negatively influence your mood, stress level, immune system, memory, and weight. Some researchers believe that the mental health benefits of gardening come from the bacteria that are commonly found in garden soil.
The key to starting a successful garden is to start slowly and simply. Do some research to find out which vegetables and fruits grow well in your region. With a few minutes of dedication daily, you will quickly learn how to become a master gardener and provide for yourself and your family.
Multiple sclerosis is a disorder in the central nervous system that has far-reaching neurologic and psychological effects. Of the various symptoms of multiple sclerosis, sexual dysfunction is one of the most common but underreported symptoms. In reality, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in men with multiple sclerosis is as high as 90%.
Aside from the neurologic effects of multiple sclerosis on sexual functions, sexual dysfunction in multiple sclerotic patients is often a multi-faceted condition, affected by various factors such as anatomic and psychological factors.
Impotence is the most common form of sexual dysfunction in male multiple sclerotic patients. Erections are triggered by various signals coming from the brain. However, multiple sclerosis destroys the myelin sheath protecting nerve fibers. This causes scarring in the spinal cord, which is the nerve pathway used by the brain to send nerve impulses to the genital area.
Since the nerve pathway between the penis and the brain is damaged, it impairs the transmission of nerve impulses between the two organs. Thus, even if the brain sends signals to the penis telling the penis to become erect, the penis may not be able to properly receive the signals. The penis then becomes unresponsive to sexual stimulation, resulting in problems with erection.
Depression is also highly associated with multiple sclerosis. Depression may happen because of damage to the nerves which render the brain incapable of processing mood altering signals. Depression may also be a result of multiple sclerosis medications.
The mental stress and body fatigue that often accompany multiple sclerosis can also cause depression. Whatever the cause, depression often leads to erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, the mental disorder may also come about as a result of erectile dysfunction caused by multiple sclerosis. Either way, both erectile dysfunction and depression are significantly associated with multiple sclerosis.
The brain may also fail to receive the nerve impulses sent by the penis. Thus, even if the penis is stroked or caressed, the sensations are not processed by the brain properly. This usually manifests as penile numbness wherein the male sclerotic patient is unable to feel any penile sensations. In female patients with multiple sclerosis, this is equivalent to reduced sensations in the thigh and genital regions.
In fact, it’s not just penile sensitivity that’s affected by multiple sclerosis. Men afflicted with multiple sclerosis are often unable to process visual and auditory cues, as well and not just sensory sexual cues. In severe cases wherein multiple sclerosis affects the optic nerve, the patients can suffer blurred vision or can even go blind.
Ejaculatory problems are another form of sexual dysfunction that multiple sclerotic patients often experience. Multiple sclerotic patients who develop depression are often prescribed anti-depressants.
Unfortunately, medications like SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are known to have adverse effects on erectile and orgasmic functions. Hence, multiple sclerotic patients taking SSRIs often experience delayed orgasms or even a complete loss of orgasm response.
The loss of sensations in the genital area often associated with multiple sclerosis can also affect the quality of orgasms. Thus, men with multiple sclerosis often find that orgasms are no longer as pleasurable as they used to be.
Sexual arousal doesn’t happen without the brain’s go signal. This is one of the reasons why patients with multiple sclerosis often suffer from decreased libido. Since the brain and the sexual organs are no longer able to communicate properly with each other, the brain is unable to tell your penis that you should feel aroused.
In addition, any sexual stimulation may go to waste as signals from the sensory nerves going to the brain may get lost in transmission. Aside from this, the fact that a multiple sclerosis patient suffers from various symptoms such as fatigue can also distract the brain away from all thoughts about sex.
Aside from fatigue, patients with multiple sclerosis also often experience visual disturbances as the optic nerve is affected by the disease. Difficulties with balance and bodily coordination also happen frequently.
The patient may experience changes in his body image or may develop sexual performance anxiety because of the disability caused by multiple sclerosis. Cognitive functions such as memory are also impaired. All of these factors contribute to the loss of sexual desire as the patient is preoccupied with dealing with these symptoms.
There are three general categories of sexual dysfunction based on the cause of the condition. Primary sexual dysfunction occurs when sexual feelings and responses are directly affected because the nerves in the central nervous system are damaged.
The second type happens when sexual responses are indirectly affected by physical changes in the body. Tertiary sexual dysfunction, on the other hand, occurs when psychosocial issues affect sexual function.
The problem with multiple sclerosis is that the disease can cause all three types of sexual dysfunction to occur simultaneously, hence making sexual dysfunction difficult to treat. For instance, a man suffering from multiple sclerosis may develop erectile dysfunction due to nerve damage affecting the genital area. That’s primary sexual dysfunction at work.
However, the fatigue, pain, muscle spasms, bowel dysfunction, and vision problems can also cause a man to lose his erectile capabilities. That’s an example of secondary sexual dysfunction.
And lastly, the depression induced by the neurological damage that is often experienced by men with multiple sclerosis can also contribute to the loss of erectile function. That’s how tertiary sexual dysfunction works.
Thus, to treat the erectile dysfunction, all three causes must also be addressed. This does not mean, however, that treatment of impotence in male sclerotic patients is not possible. Many multiple sclerotic patients are able to overcome their sexual dysfunction.
Most of the time, however, a combination of therapies will be needed. For instance, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5I) such as Viagra may be prescribed along with hormone therapy and psychotherapy.
For male patients who are concerned by the loss of their erectile functions, penile implants, inflatable devices, and injectable erectile dysfunction medications may also help. For men suffering from loss of penile sensations, vibratory stimulation can help in achieving erections.
More than a hundred million men all over the world are suffering from erectile dysfunction while one in twenty men are battling infertility. However, not all of them can avail of conventional medical treatments, either because it’s too expensive or it’s just not accessible.
This helps explain why men afflicted with sexual dysfunction are opting for traditional natural remedies. And among the many natural remedies for impotence and infertility, saffron is gaining recognition as a potent treatment.
Saffron, considered as the most expensive spice, is well-known in Middle Eastern and Ayurvedic traditional medicine as a natural remedy for various conditions. The stigma of the plant’s flower is used not only to add spicy flavoring to food but also as a medicine.
Traditionally, saffron is used for respiratory disorders such as asthma and cough. It is also considered a sedative and is used to help people with insomnia. For cardiovascular health, saffron can be used to alleviate atherosclerosis. For mental health, saffron can help treat depression and shock.
Saffron was also used to treat eye problems as well as urinary problems. Aside from its uses as a condiment, saffron was also used in historical times as a dye and a perfume.
Saffron contains phenols and flavonoids which are known antioxidants. Its antioxidant actions are similar to that of carotenoids found in vegetables. Crocin, safranal, crocetin, and picocrocin are just a few of the many antioxidant compounds found in saffron.
These antioxidants help modulate enzymes that are involved in detoxifying the body and fighting oxidative stress. Safranal has also been found to prevent oxidative stress in bronchial epithelial cells, which helps explain why saffron is an effective natural remedy for respiratory diseases.
In general, plants with antioxidant properties are considered helpful in improving sperm parameters and saffron is no exception. Sperm cells are vulnerable to oxidative stress. And if they’re exposed to free radicals, it can result in abnormal sperm morphology like having two tails or a deformed head. Free radicals and oxidative stress can also reduce sperm motility rates.
Saffron can help prevent such damages to sperm cells. In one study, more than fifty infertile men were treated with saffron three times a week for three months. After the treatment, it was found that the subjects’ sperm morphology and sperm motility greatly improved.
Varicoceles are considered as one of the most common, if not the number one, cause of male infertility. A varicocele happens when the veins inside the scrotum get enlarged. This leads to reduced sperm production and poor sperm quality. In one study involving infertile men with varicocele, saffron treatment for six months resulted in improved sperm motility.
When doctors screen for erectile dysfunction, they look at various factors that may have caused the condition, such as anti-depressant medications. When impotence is medication-induced, it normally goes away once you stop taking the medication. However, taking supplements to remedy your erectile dysfunction is always an option.
In one study, the effects of saffron on drug-induced erectile dysfunction were investigated. The study involved married men suffering from major depressive disorder. The depressive symptoms of the patients were stabilized through fluoxetine, an anti-depressant medication.
As a side-effect of the medication, the men suffered drug-induced erectile dysfunction. Those who were treated with saffron showed significant improvement in terms of erectile function after four weeks of treatment, as compared to the placebo group.
The saffron group also had higher intercourse satisfaction scores than the control group. After the treatment period, only one patient in the placebo group recovered normal erectile function whereas there were nine patients in the saffron group.
In another study, the subject patients were suffering from erectile dysfunction due to diabetes. This time, the treatment used was a starch-based gel which contained saffron. The placebo was also in gel form and similarly packaged. The instructions were for the patients to topically apply the gel on their penis thirty minutes before sex, with one group using the saffron gel and the other group using the placebo gel.
After a month of treatment, the patients who were using the saffron gel had significantly higher erectile function scores compared to those who were using the placebo gel. The saffron group also had higher scores in terms of sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, as well as orgasmic function.
The results of these studies indicate that saffron is a safe natural remedy for erectile dysfunction caused by anti-depressant medications and by diabetes. Saffron’s crocetin content is believed to be the reason why the spice is effective in treating erectile dysfunction.
Crocetin affects nitric oxide production in the vascular endothelial cells. Because of this effect, crocetin is considered helpful in promoting penile blood flow.
Aside from saffron’s use as an aphrodisiac and treatment for infertility and erectile dysfunction, saffron is also considered beneficial to mental health.
Recent studies have shown that crocetin, an apocarotenoid antioxidant found in saffron, has neuroprotective properties. In animal models, crocetin has been found to protect the brain cells from degeneration caused by Parkinson’s disease.
Saffron is also associated with short-term improvements in the cognitive abilities of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Crocin, another antioxidant found in saffron, has been found to help improve learning and memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have also shown that saffron is effective in treating depression. The anti-depressant properties of saffron are believed to be due to its ability to increase the levels of dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. The various antioxidants found in saffron also exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, and this is considered as one of the ways by which saffron helps relieve depression.
Saffron is considered to be a good natural remedy for mild to moderate depression. In fact, one study reported that saffron is as effective as synthetic anti-depressants in treating depression. Other studies have also shown that the petals of saffron had the same anti-depressant effects as the stigma of the saffron flower.
Recent studies suggest overconsumption of alcohol can lead to things like low fertility. Other than alcohol affecting your fertility, alcohol has been linked to various other conditions and diseases. Here are just a few to help you rethink your drink.
♦ Colorectal cancer. Your chances of contracting this form of cancer is increased by 10-20% if you drink 3-4 alcoholic beverages daily.
♦ Breast cancer. Men can get breast cancer too. For every ⅔ of a drink that you consume daily, your risk rises by 7-10%.
♦ Oral cancer. Drinking 3-4 drinks daily increases your chances by 311%, when compared to not drinking.
♦ Esophageal cancer. Drinking 3-4 drinks daily increases your chances by 93%, when compared to not drinking.
♦ Liver cancer. 3-4 drinks daily increases your risk by 40%, when compared to not drinking.
This is when your bladder leaks slightly every time you cough or sneeze. This is 2.4 times more likely in people who consume alcohol regularly.
Alcohol consumption and depression go hand in hand. The neurological effects that alcohol has on your brain increases your chances of suffering from symptoms of depression.
This is a type of stroke where your blood vessels break open. If you drinking more than four alcoholic beverages day, your chances to experience this type of stroke in your lifetime is raised by 200%.
Having only two drinks a day can increase your risk of pneumonia by 13%. The more you drink, the higher your risk becomes.
Two drinks a day increases your chances of high blood pressure by 25%. High blood pressure can lead to more issues including heart disease and a decline in your sexual performance. The more you drink, the higher your risk becomes.
This can be especially detrimental to your cardiovascular health. If your cardiovascular health is poor, it is a direct relation to your sexual health. With poor blood flow, you will notice problems in your body everywhere. If you drink more than 2 drinks daily, you increase your risk by 15%.
The more alcohol you drink the higher your chances are of having issues with your pancreas. Pancreatitis tends to pop up “randomly” and you will need surgery immediately. There is no other choice when you experience pancreatitis, but to get rid of your pancreas.
The higher your alcohol consumption is the more likely you are to contract liver cirrhosis. This can lead to liver failure.
At least 7% of American adults are addicted to alcohol. The most common forms are alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. If you drink more than four beers on a daily basis, you are addicted to alcohol. You should consult your doctor about ways to help yourself and your health.
35-70% of people who have an addiction to alcohol, meaning that they drink excessive amounts daily, have insomnia. This is much more than the general population. Insomnia can lead to a lower work perform, sexual performance, and much more. You need your sleep to function properly and insomnia prevents you from getting enough sleep.
Alcohol can affect the barrier between your stomach and esophagus. This leads to acid reflux and heartburn. Heartburn is a common problem of adults and can be hindering for everyday life.
Alcohol can affect the barrier of your stomach, i.e. your stomach lining, and your intestinal lining. This allows more molecules to enter your body that you normally don’t need. This excess of molecules leaves you feeling bad and can create serious health problems.
The more alcohol you drink, the harder it is for your body to absorb vital nutrients. You need these nutrients to live a long, healthy life. Without vital nutrients your body loses muscle mass, strength, and bone structure.
Alcohol is many empty calories and people who drink excessively tend to be overweight, i.e. beer belly. Most people do not think of beer as calories and do not adjust their eating habits to match the amount of calories their alcohol is. Although it is not perfect science, alcohol and weight gain do link up.
Many of these issues are issues that people struggle with on a daily basis. Sometimes these conditions are life threatening, and sometimes they are only a minor inconvenience. Other than these issues, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to even more. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause injuries, including but not limited to, drunk driving accidents, violent injuries, falls, and even drowning. Did you know that 31% of all fatal driving accidents involve alcohol? It is estimated 90,000 people die in the United States every year from alcohol related injury and other causes.
This is a long list of problems that come from excessive alcohol use, but they can happen to anyone, even if you do not drink alcohol. None of these are sure science because every person is different and have different reactions to alcohol consumption. You should still be weary as these studies have concluded that excessive alcohol consumption is bad for you, no matter what.
There are some benefits to alcohol, but they are only benefits if the alcohol is consumed in moderation. There is only a small amount of evidence that alcohol actually provides the benefits that are claimed. These benefits include heart disease, diabetes, and ischemic stroke, the one that happens because of blood clots. You will only get these benefits if you drink your alcohol is small amounts, meaning one beer or glass of wine a day.
If you believe you may have a problem with alcohol, contact your doctor. They will be able to help you get on a path of recovery and treat any current condition you may have from your alcohol use. If you believe you may have any of these conditions, contact your doctor right away and set up an appointment.
The ketogenic diet, otherwise known across the internet as the “keto” diet, attempts to keep the body in a state of ketosis. This is a state of being where the body burns fat for energy rather than sugar, which is more common.
Essentially, keto is low in calories and high in fat. Those who succeed on this diet claim they have a lower appetite, increased amounts of energy, and see immediate weight loss results. This is met with a great amount of skepticism, and rightly so. How can such a high fat diet lead to weight loss?
In a traditional ketosis diet, only 10% of your total daily calories would come from carbohydrates, which the body burns for energy. Another 20% of your calories are from protein, but the largest amount (70%) comes from fats. The body is forced into finding an alternative source for energy and finds it within the fat tissue in the body.
Water weight is the immediate loss. When the body resorts to using the stored fat in the body, the body loses a lot of excess water. There is a key difference between water weight and “real” weight loss; you are much more likely to put water weight back on than you are to put back on real weight loss.
Carbs are essential for proper digestion. They contain a large amount of water and fiber, and there will be considerable side effects to removing these from your diet almost completely. The immediate effects are usually as simple as constipation, but the long-term effects are increased risk of cancers in the gastrointestinal tract as well as decreased immune function.
However, the keto diet has not been well studied over the long term. Doctors do assume that increasing your fat levels and cutting your carbs to such extremes can lead to negative effects. One of the most common cases in keto dieters followed for a year is an increase in bad forms of cholesterol, though there is more to be studied.
There are also risks of forming kidney stones, low blood sugar, higher than normal levels of acid in the blood, muscle degeneration, and fatigue. These are relatively common in the early stages of the diet, as the body takes time to adjust to the lack of carbs.
It should be noted that your body has a preference for getting its carbs from sugar and carbohydrates. While the keto diet is not an ideal, sustainable diet for the long term, it can help you “reset” your body and “kick start” a weight loss journey.
While there are significant downsides to the diet, there are a few upsides as well.
Your diet and acne are often correlated. By reducing your intake of carbs and sugars, you can also decrease your skin problems. A diet that is higher in carbs causes more changes in blood sugar which affects skin health but removing this helps clear some cases of acne.
When the keto diet is followed with a healthy theme in mind, the diet can also improve heart health. When the fats that are consumed are “good” fats, like avocados rather than hydrogenated oils, cholesterol levels can be altered. There have been cases where the keto diet was followed healthfully, and levels of good cholesterol increased while bad levels dropped.
The keto diet can also potentially aid in brain function. There has been evidence that it offers protection to neurons in the brain. This can help treat or prevent Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and some sleep illnesses.
While there are a lot of foods that keto dieters avoid, there is a long list of foods they can eat.
It goes without saying that most meats and poultry are principal foods in a keto diet, but seafood is also quite common. Most varieties of fish as well as some variations of shellfish are free of carbs, but are full of good nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. However, there are certain types of seafood that do have more carbs, so research is key.
Certain types of vegetables have a low carb count as well. While things like yams, potatoes, and beets must be avoided while on the keto diet, vegetables with a low starch content, like spinach and Brussels sprouts, are an excellent choice. Veggies such as these are also high in antioxidants and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Eggs are popular among ketogenic dieters. Eggs also tend to be a healthy choice for just about anyone, and they are versatile as well. Eggs are low in carbs and high in protein which is practically perfect for a keto diet. However, it is important to eat the entire egg, as most of the nutrients are stored in the yolk rather than the white.
Most varieties of nuts and seeds provide a high fat and low carb option for the followers of the keto diet. They are also a reliable source of fiber, which is helpful in making the body feel full for a longer period of time as well as helping it to absorb fewer overall calories. Flaxseeds, pecans, and Brazil nuts are good choices when following a keto diet, as they have the lowest amount of net carbohydrates.
Any dramatic change to your diet and lifestyle can have consequences as well as benefits. If you have prior health concerns such as diabetes, heart problems, or hypoglycemia, it is particularly important to speak with your doctor before embarking on a diet change, but it is recommended to talk to your doctor regardless of your current health. Additionally, since ketosis is not a long-term weight loss solution, you will want to also discuss different longstanding options for your situation.
Not all carbs are identical. While there are benefits to eliminating them, a healthy diet is usually well-rounded, and carbohydrates are full of nutrients and fiber that the body needs; they are not evil.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued a new guidance regarding pure or highly concentrated caffeine. According to the FDA, highly concentrated pure caffeine pose unreasonable risks of illness. The FDA’s new issuance came after a student was reported to have died of caffeine overdose.
The government agency stated that when these products are sold in bulk, consumers may use them inappropriately and end up consuming the product in amounts much greater than the recommended serving size. Moreover, consumers may also mix concentrated caffeine with other caffeine-containing food or beverages which further increases their dosage intake.
Aside from caffeine overdose, consuming concentrated coffee in large amounts also present other health risks. Take a look at how consuming concentrated caffeine presents risks to your health.
Coffee lovers need not panic because of the FDA’s new issuance. The caffeine you find in coffee is actually different from the caffeine found in powdered caffeine sold as dietary supplements online or in retail channels.
Depending on how much ground coffee and the coffee blend you use, as well as the brewing technique, you can get anywhere from around 60 to 270 milligrams of caffeine per 8 fl. oz. or 236 ml of coffee, which is equivalent to a cup of the aromatic brew. Using a French press or plunger will give you around 100 mg of caffeine while drip coffee will give you around 145 mg of caffeine. In general, the longer the ground coffee is in contact with water, the more caffeine you will get from your brew.
Powdered or pure caffeine, on the other hand, is referred to as anhydrous caffeine. The first difference you’ll notice between caffeine in coffee and anhydrous caffeine is the appearance. Anhydrous caffeine is usually in powder form, and although it also tastes bitter, it has no odor and does not produce the same aroma that we usually associate with brewed coffee.
The other difference between the two is the water content. Anhydrous caffeine only contains 0.5% water, which is why it’s called anhydrous. The third and most important difference between caffeine in coffee and anhydrous caffeine is the dosage of intake.
Scientific studies say that drinking up to four cups of brewed coffee a day is quite safe. However, with anhydrous caffeine, you don’t measure your intake in terms of cups, rather, you measure it in terms of milligrams. Because it’s in concentrated form, you definitely need to use only a small amount of powdered caffeine.
When you search online for powdered or pure caffeine, you’ll find that the products vary in terms of recommended serving size. For instance, one product has a recommended serving size of one-sixteenth (1/16) of a teaspoon while another product recommends 1/20 of a teaspoon. Another product recommends a serving size of 50 milligrams which also contains 50 mg of caffeine anhydrous.
One thing that’s problematic about these powdered pure caffeine (caffeine anhydrous) products that can easily be bought online is that it’s simply difficult for regular consumers to measure out the exact recommended serving size.
Picture yourself at six in the morning trying to prepare your breakfast smoothie and you’re thinking of adding powdered caffeine to your drink. How would you measure 1/16 or 1/20 of a teaspoon in such a situation? It would be easy to give yourself a caffeine overdose if you don’t have the right tools to accurately measure how much powdered caffeine you put in your drink. It’s a different thing if it’s in capsule or tablet form because you can easily count how many you’re supposed to take. And anyway, pure caffeine in capsule form will also have a serving size of just one capsule.
This is the basically the primary reason why consumers accidentally overdose on powdered pure caffeine. Did you know that if you mix a teaspoon of anhydrous caffeine into your smoothie, you’re basically drinking the equivalent of 50 to 70 cups of brewed coffee? Even if you’re a certified coffee addict, drinking that much coffee in a day will surely cause a lot of problems for your heart and blood pressure.
One study reviewed incidents of powdered caffeine exposures reported to US poison centers from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015. Over the 30-month period, a total of forty calls were made to report exposure to powdered caffeine.
Of the forty calls, 21 calls were made to report accidental overdose of powdered caffeine. The reported reason why these 21 patients overdosed is the lack of proper dosing information that is supposed to be printed on the product packaging.
In short, these patients consumed concentrated powdered caffeine without knowing for sure just how much they’re supposed to take because the product they bought did not divulge that information in the packaging. Thus, they ended up consuming so much more than the recommended serving size which resulted in an overdose.
The study summarized the various symptoms that were exhibited by the caffeine overdose patients. Nausea or vomiting was the most common symptom, experienced by 17 out of 40 patients. Eleven patients reported feeling anxious or hyperactive, while 9 patients reported palpitations. Four patients also experienced chest pain due to the overdose.
The most common sign of overdose was tachycardia, a condition characterized by an abnormally fast resting heart rate. Of the eleven patients that had tachycardia, their heart beat rates reached 100-200 beats per minute. The normal rate for adults is just around sixty to 100 beats per minute when at rest. Four patients had hypertension, while three patients showed arrhythmia, which means that the rhythm of their heartbeats was irregular.
The recently issued FDA guidance applies to concentrated caffeine sold in bulk either in liquid or powdered form. However, concentrated caffeine products that are already pre-measured such as in packet, tablet, or capsule form, are not included in the ban. Products containing caffeine like energy drinks or over-the-counter drugs or supplements are also excluded from the ban.
Confidence is highly desirable, both in men and women. People love to know that you love yourself. This may give them hope they can love themselves and reach their potential. You are a confident man, but how? Let’s look into some ways you display your confidence, assert your opinions, and get respect purely just by how you carry yourself.
First, a definition. What is the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem?
Self-confidence is a belief in our judgments and decision-making abilities.
Self-esteem is how you measure your self-worth. It is tied to your emotions about yourself.
Your value your own decisions over other people’s. Even if your decision is made from intuition, you still put your decisions before others. You often choose a path and stick with it because you know you are intelligent and have enough experience to make the right decisions for your life. No one knows you like you do, so no one knows what will make you happy. Your goal in life is to make the best decisions for your life, not to ask for permission.
A part of remaining happy is to either ignore or remove negativities. Your confidence stems from a positive belief in yourself. Being around negative people and immersing yourself in the news can place a dark cloud over you, ruining your forward momentum. You surround yourself with positive, upbeat people who enjoy companionship, are ambitious, and share their resources.
Everyone has made mistakes. Each day every person makes at least one error. You don’t dwell on your mistakes or allow them to affect your self-esteem. You focus on learning from your blunders because you know they are teaching opportunities. Each slip up belongs to you and so does the teaching opportunity.
Always ask yourself, “What have I learned from my mistakes?”
When you are putting a price on your strengths, don’t give yourself a discount. Focus on the intellectual, personal, physical assets that you possess. Each helps you grow more into yourself and use your skills to help mankind. What are all of the positive traits you have? List them out. These are the assets you can share with the world.
Gratitude is directly related to humility. It buoys your spirit as you focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. When you look at the positive things in your life and focus on them, you will find each day is filled with hope and new opportunities. This hope supports your confidence and puts a smile on your face. Your humble demeanor can be used to bring positive people in your life. If you feel down, ask yourself, “What are some good things happening to me right now?”
When you look in the mirror, instead of seeing your flaws you focus on your strengths. You may list your positive aspects and decide what steps you need to take to improve your weaknesses. The mirror does not fill you full of shame, it helps you appreciate yourself more. Your confidence comes from knowing your worth and living up to your criteria for success, whatever they may be.
People who struggle accepting change often live in a state of misery and anxiety. They try very hard to control their surroundings, other people, and themselves, all in the hope of keeping things the same. But, as a confident man, you know change is needed for evolution. At times, you seek out change to challenge yourself so you can continue improving. When you look in the mirror today, you will see a man, and when you look tomorrow, you will the same man, but he will be slightly different. He will have aged a few hours, smiled a few more times, and laughed well into the afternoon. You ask yourself, “What am I doing to change that is positive?” and “What am I learning?”
That is the change you focus on and it excites you every morning.
This may be the biggest sign of a confident man. You radiate joy during the day because you know you are worthy of it. You will have a very difficult time attracting a partner, money, or success if you don’t believe you are worthy of happiness. Without the belief you are worthy, you won’t go after these things you want in life. Even if you received these things you may feel you don’t deserve them. When happiness comes, you are able to accept it fully, no questions asked. And that is an amazing thing.
Tied to your worthiness of happiness is your body. Taking care of it, now, will positively affect your happiness in the future. You buy products that will accentuate your features, hair, and skin. You exercise in order to keep your body in good shape, so you may live longer with a higher quality of life. In addition, taking yourself allows you to be more effective during your youth and build the life you want in the future.
As a confident man, you know imperfections are cooked into your DNA. They are unavoidable and do not mean there’s anything wrong with you. There are thousands of other men who have your same flaws and they’re doing well. Many years ago, you integrated your flaws into yourself and accepted them fully. Without the concern with your imperfections, a lot of anxiety and stress is no longer your burden.
Three hundred million. That’s the number of men globally who are expected to have erectile dysfunction or ED by 2025. ED or impotence can affect men of all ages, contrary to the perception that only elderly men suffer from it. In reality, as many as 5% of American men over 40 years old have complete erectile dysfunction. This means that they absolutely cannot achieve an erection, and therefore, cannot engage in penetrative sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction has three components, the first of which has to do with low or no sexual desire. The second component involves difficulties in achieving a functional erection. The third component is about not being able to maintain tumescence long enough to achieve vaginal penetration, orgasm, or ejaculation. Fortunately, new treatments for ED are currently being developed, and these treatments target specific components of the condition.
In the past, when the various causes of erectile dysfunction were not yet fully known, there was a prevalent belief that the condition was caused by excessive masturbation. Psychotherapy was considered as one way to stop excessive masturbation. Hence, psychotherapy became the primary treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, while it is true that emotional or psychological factors cause some instances of ED, this is not the case for everyone.
After psychotherapy, penile prostheses became popular as the main treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, not everyone could get the treatment. Then in the ’80s, the trend shifted towards intracavernosal injection (ICI), which entails medication injected into the base of the penis. Although many men might think twice about aiming a needle to their sex organ, the truth is that drugs for ICI are still sold in the market, and many men continue to use ICI as their preferred ED treatment.
The ’90s saw the introduction of oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is) in the form of Viagra. Since then, research on new and non-invasive ways to treat erectile dysfunction have been continuing. Levitra has been available in the market since 2003. Next came Staxyn, which was approved by the US FDA in 2010. Cialis was approved by the FDA in 2011, the same year when Stendra was made available on the market. Men who are suffering from erectile dysfunction can continue to look forward, as several other medications and new forms of treatments are in the pipeline.
New medications for erectile dysfunction are veering away from the PDE5I mechanism. The focus has shifted to dopaminergic and melanocortin receptor agonists. The first type works by activating dopamine receptors. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by the brain during sexual arousal. Thus, increasing dopamine levels and activating dopamine receptors trigger arousal and erection.
Melanocortin receptor agonists, on the other hand, are different from PDE5I in the sense that with melanocortin agonists, you can have an erection even without sexual stimulation. PDE5I, however, requires sexual stimulation before its pharmacological properties kick in. Unfortunately, in one trial involving 20 men with organic erectile dysfunction and ED caused by psychogenic factors, administration of a melanocortin receptor agonist drug led to frequent yawning and nausea, although the drug did show that it was effective in stimulating penile erection in 17 of the 20 male participants.
Nausea is also the reported side effect of a dopaminergic drug for ED that is currently available in European markets. Uprima (apomorphine) is yet to be approved for release in the United States. In its current form, Uprima is an oral tablet but trials are currently ongoing to test the drug in a nasal spray form.
Vasodilators like alprostadil are also used to help achieve an erection. Also a prescription drug, alprostadil is used either as an injection or a penile suppository. It is to be used as needed, such as before engaging in sexual intercourse. If injected, it may take 5-20 minutes before an erection may occur. If used as a suppository, it may take 5-10 minutes before it takes effect.
The problem with the prescription drugs used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction is that many are unable to take the medication due to contraindications with their ongoing medical conditions. For instance, if you have a preexisting cardiovascular disease, you’re not supposed to take any of the PDE5I drugs.
Because the contraindications with PDE5I drugs mean many men with erectile dysfunction can’t take the medications, experts explored other mechanisms and platforms to look for new ways to treat erectile dysfunction.
One treatment that was recently developed is called low-intensity shockwave lithotripsy. When first tested in animal models, low-density shock wave therapy was shown to have significantly improved penile blood flow and increased erectile function.
In diabetic animals with erectile dysfunction, the biggest advantage this therapy offered is that it was able to restore pathological changes in the penis caused by diabetes. This is something that PDE5I medications or vasodilators cannot accomplish. Moreover, shock wave therapy offers an option to erectile dysfunction patients who cannot take or do not respond to PDE5I medications.
When stem cell therapy was first developed for erectile dysfunction treatment, the idea behind it was that stem cells may be able to replenish or replace damaged endothelial cells and cavernous smooth muscle cells in the penis. These two types of cells actually play very important roles in erection.
Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction has been tested in animals through various trials and studies. Recently though, several trials involving human participants have been conducted. One of the first tests was conducted in 2010 in Korea. Seven men who had diabetes-related erectile dysfunction were given a penile injection of umbilical cord stem cells. Two months after the treatment, only one of the seven patients did not report experiencing morning erections while the other six patients did.
In 2016, three more trials were conducted by separate research groups. One group had participants suffering from organic erectile dysfunction. The second group’s participants were men who had ED 5-18 months after radical prostatectomy, while it was 22 months after the procedure for the third group.
The three trials also used stem cells from different sources – bone marrow stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells, and placental-derived stem cells. All three studies showed promising results, indicating that stem cell therapy may soon become a mainstream treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Rather than jumping out of bed like your house is on fire, do nothing. Lie in your bed without moving a muscle. Let your body and mind ease out of sleep and into the present; don’t startle your mind or body. Jump-scares are only fun in movies.
Or try to. Though most people report they don’t remember their dreams or didn’t have any, we have many dreams throughout the night. As you lie still, let no thoughts enter your mind. This will help bring forth your dreams and lead to deeper introspection. Dreams are a reflection of your unconscious thoughts and can give you excellent insight into your emotional state.
What are three things that make you smile? Think about these three things. Doing this will ensure these happy thoughts remain at the top of your mind for the rest of the day.
Due to it being the morning you may think you are relaxed. This may not be the case. During the night we tense, often, so when you first wake, you’ll want to deliberately relax your body, starting from your head and going to your toes.
Waking up is different for all of us. Some people jump up, mind and body ready to get started, while others do not. An excellent way to bring your mind and body into the present is meditation. After you slowly roll from your bed, sit on a pillow with your back against the wall and spend 2 – 5 minutes, quietly. Think of nothing. Do nothing. You don’t need a meditation tape or app, just a quiet space in your mind. If thoughts do crop up, don’t get frustrated. This is perfectly normal. Just focus on your breath, again.
As the morning goes on, your inner clock may begin to nudge you. When you feel the hint of rushing building inside of you, cultivate gratitude. List five things you’re grateful for and smile at each one. No matter what your situation is, there is good somewhere.
Negative thoughts in the morning are quite common, but they are bad for your health. Your brain is geared toward negativity because this was needed when survival was difficult. Do not let negativity rule your mornings; fight this natural human urge and focus on the positive.
Sitting front and center of your mind is your most urgent issue from yesterday. When you first wake, remind yourself that the day is a blank slate. If this issue still weighs on you and is negative, look for the positive aspects of it.
Your body reflects your thoughts. Worry may lead to biting your nails while anger may cause brow furrowing. A few ways to keep your body relaxed include taking deep breaths and shrugging your shoulders. When you take deep breaths, make sure you let them out slowly. As you take these breaths, focus on each breath and how your body relaxes during the exhale. When shrugging your shoulders, focus on releasing the tension in your shoulders and opening your chest.
When you approach activities already thinking that you don’t want to do it, this strengthens the resistance and makes the task seem harder. Changing your thoughts to focus on “yes”, instead, helps you see the opportunities inherent in the request or needed task. “Yes” removes resistance and produces excitement for both the journey and the final result. “Yes” can increase your mental strength and lead to larger opportunities.
You are unable to live in the past or future. You can only live in the now. By keeping your thoughts in the present you can maximize your day. Take your goals one day at a time and enjoy them in the future.
Give up unnecessary things and activities each day. By removing one unneeded event you are leaving your day full of the items that truly matter to you and will get you closer to your goals. Freeing yourself from excessive attachment can lighten the load on your soul and strengthen your bonds with the important things and people.
If you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, then surrounding yourself with unhappy people could make it harder for you to be happy. Like other temptations, you’ll want to remove the undesired item from your life so you can resist the temptation, easier. Widen your circle and find others who are joyful, driven, and have goals they are passionate about. Search for energy gains, not energy drains.
Positivity needs fuel. Whether this is through people, things, or hobbies, to counteract negativity you must fill your life with positivity. Spend your days doing things you enjoy. Write, play an instrument, go to the gym, or call your positive friends and tell them how much they mean to you. Whatever fills you like helium in a balloon, do it.
While making excuses and blaming others may be the easiest thing to do, neither of these will contribute to your positivity. Taking full responsibility for your actions puts you in charge of your life and increases your happiness tenfold. Remember that you are the only person who has control of your actions. No matter what anyone does, your reaction is your responsibility.