Men: 7 Ways To Conquer Your Stress
(BlackDoctor.org) – Stress is a serious modern-day factor in everyone’s health, including men. Daily tension and emotional strain has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and many other chronic illnesses. Men experiencing high levels of stress can also experience anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and depression, and are very likely to turn to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, overeating, and/or drug abuse to help deal with that stress.
Why Is Stress So Dangerous?
Stress is harmful because it presses biological buttons inside men that have long outlived their usefulness. When a man had to battle wild animals to save his family, that stress prompted certain fight-or-flight responses within his body:
• The heart rate soared to send more blood to the brain, improving quick decision-making.
• Blood shunted into the large muscles of the arms and legs to provide more strength and speed, and away from the gut.
• Blood sugar rose to provide more fuel for quick energy.
• Blood began to clot more quickly, to prevent blood loss from wounds or internal damage.
All of these natural emergency responses were necessary – at that time. But perpetually living in that same fight-or-flight response mode can be deadly, since it prevents the body from being able to take care of itself through normal and essential daily functions.
So, what’s a guy to do?
1. Sleep well. Good nutrition and 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night can help your body recover from past stress and be better prepared to deal with new stress. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants that might promote stress and sleeplessness. It’s hard, but try to limit your alcohol, which might deepen any depression you may be feeling.
2. Exercise regularly. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, helping you burn off pent-up energy and tension. It also improves overall health.
3. Figure out the cause of your stress. Dealing with the problems that cause tension can relieve you of that stress. Inaction just allows it to build. Instead, talk to people and work on finding effective solutions. Also, ask for some assistance if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you.
4. Adjust your everyday behaviors. If possible, try to time your daily commute to avoid rush hour. Shop when you know the store won’t be packed with people. Cut down on the time you spend with people who get on your nerves. Schedule your time well and determine the most important of the tasks you’re trying to handle, methodically completing those first, then moving on to less critical jobs. Resist trying to do multiple projects at once. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle.
5. Adopt a more positive attitude. Always looking on the sunny side sounds cliché, but it does work. Having a negative outlook can turn even the most minor annoyances into huge problems in your mind.
6. Accept the things you can’t change. There are going to be things in your life that you can’t control, no matter how hard you try. Instead, look for ways to enjoy uncontrollable circumstances (for example, if it’s snowing outside, have a snowball fight with your kids, or enjoy some hot chocolate and a good movie with your significant other).
7. Celebrate your victories. When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a major project, do something nice for yourself. It can be as simple as getting a massage or as extravagant as taking a weekend getaway. Celebrate your achievement before you jump into the next project.
Your outlook is such an important factor in how your body deals with stress. Following the above steps will help you put stress in perspective and start enjoying your life.
The Best 5 Supplements For Men
(BlackDoctor.org) — When it comes to dietary supplements, men want the same things women do: better health, disease prevention and to improve the look, feel and performance of their bodies.
Here’s a look at the top 5 supplements for men.
1. Vitamin D
Problem: Bone weakness
Vitamin D is a hormone that helps your bones absorb calcium. That’s a critical benefit, but there’s also a steady stream of other compelling reasons to take it. For instance, Vitamin D has been linked to reduced levels of depression, reduced risk of colorectal cancer, and less chance of a heart attack.
Dose: 1,000 IU Vitamin D/day
Our pick: GNC Vitamin D-3 1000; gnc.com ($10/180 tablets)
Natural sources: Sunshine, fortified milk
2. Fish Oil
Problem: Heart disease
Loaded with the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, fish oil can reduce triglycerides, boost HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. But your heart isn’t the only beneficiary: The healthy fats may also reduce inflammation and improve cognitive performance, and may lower your risk of colon and prostate cancers.
Dose: At least 500 mg DHA and 500 mg EPA daily
Our pick: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega; nordicnaturals.com ($28/60 soft gels)
Natural Sources: Salmon, tuna, or other fatty fish
A drop in magnesium can be a major headache. Blood vessels in your brain constrict, and receptors in the feel-good chemical serotonin malfunction. Result: a migraine. The mineral also might help regulate blood pressure and could ward off stroke and diabetes.
Dose: 250 mg/day, plus the magnesium in your diet
Our pick: Life Extension Magnesium Citrate, 160 mg; lef.org ($9/100 capsules)
Natural Sources: Leafy greens, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, coffee, nuts
4. Psyllium Husk
This fiber is more than a colon clearer. In a recent Finnish study, the addition of psyllium to meals reduced participants’ blood sugar and insulin response. Paired with protein, it was also shown to suppress ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry. Psyllium is one of five soluble fibers approved by the FDA for lowering LDL cholesterol.
Dose: 20 to 35 g/day, divided and taken with at least 8 oz liquid
Our pick: GNC Natural Brand Colon Pure; gnc.com ($16/19 oz)
Natural Sources: Some fortified cereal grains
Problem: Upset stomach
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that crowd out the disease-causing bad bacteria in your gut. Some can reduce diarrhea caused by certain infections, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and irritable bowel syndrome. The encapsulated good guys may also boost your immune function.
Dose: 1 capsule (with at least 1 billion bacteria) a day
Our pick: GNC Natural Brand Acidophilus Probiotic Complex; gnc.com ($14/100 tablets)
Natural sources: Yogurt, kefir, and other dairy products