Spend the weekend mountain biking and you might experience some acute inflammation of the tendons in your legs and wrists. A little rest, ice, and some ibuprofen may take care of it quickly. Systemic chronic inflammation, however, is a different story. That’s the kind of inflammation we are increasingly discovering to be intimately involved in or even at the root of many of our most challenging and serious diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, cancer, depression, heart disease, obesity, and stroke.
How can something so seemingly simple as inflammation be behind these life-altering, even deadly illnesses? After all, inflammation is the body’s natural response to attack. It defends the body against invaders such as viruses and bacteria, helps get rid of debris, and assists in repairing damaged tissue. All of these are positive characteristics.
Part of the answer lies in the differences between what we commonly think of as inflammation—a swollen ankle from a hard landing on a trail run, for example—and the chronic inflammatory process that can run rampant throughout your body. Here’s the story and, more important, what you can do about it – to stay healthy and charging forward in life. Read More
Open any men’s magazine or visit a website that targets men or men’s health and you probably will see them: ads promoting testosterone hormone therapy and articles urging men to consider taking testosterone to improve muscle mass, lose weight, improve their sex drive, and boost their mood. But is testosterone therapy the answer to these and other issues that commonly affect men as they approach and surpass their 50th year?
Marketing moguls and companies that will profit from selling their testosterone products want you to believe it can. After all, use of testosterone therapy promises to combat aging and some of the fears and anxieties that go along with it. Why wouldn’t men want to buy into that? The “fountain of youth” in a gel! Sex like a teenager!
I have a bunch of friends who are on T-therapy and none of them have been diagnosed with actual male hypogonadism (see below for the clinical definition of low-T). All of them except one (who takes it for cosmetic reasons) have been convinced that the symptoms they are experiencing as they age are due to low testosterone. I say the same thing to each of them – you need L-therapy not T-therapy.
What do I mean by this? Read More
I spoke to a few guys last week who were worried they weren’t getting enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common and a growing list of diseases and disorders are being linked to it. There are also A LOT of conflicting guidelines as to sun exposure times required for adequate dosage–and these can be confusing–as it depends on the location where you live, skin color and many other factors.
What is pretty clear from all the modern research is that you need adequate amounts of vitamin D either through sun exposure or supplementation for maximum health. The research is considerable in regards to prostate health, cancer, bone health, mental health, testosterone deficiency and many other ailments. Every week there seems to be a new, positive, clinical study on the health benefits of this vitamin. Read More
One thing I try to remember daily is that life is about progress, not perfection. It’s hard to make massive changes all at once and this is why most of the fad diets, exercise trends, and weight loss plans fail – because they are not sustainable in the long term.
Taking small steps daily can be life-changing if you are ready to take the first step toward better physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Here are a few to get you going that I personally encourage: Read More
Here’s an extract from my latest article on The Huffington Post about the importance of sleep for health and high performance.
Sleep is tough. Getting enough of it. Falling into it. And staying that way for a good amount of time — restfully and without waking. A “solid” night’s sleep? Who gets that nowadays?
According to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30 percent to 40 percent of men and women get less than seven hours of sleep per night. About one-third of adults unintentionally fell asleep during the day over the past 30 days, and more than 41,000 people are killed or injured due to nodding off or falling asleep behind the wheel each year.
I started incorporating fasting about a year ago into my weekly health and fitness program. I had done a number of extended fasts over the years but the logic and practicality always escaped me. You fast in order to cleanse and detoxify but then what happens? Invariably most people go back to the same habits until the next New Years resolution or some other new fasting fad comes along.
I wanted to incorporate fasting in a manner that would provide consistent health benefits in a practical manner that was also sustainable; so that is how I started practicing what is called Intermittent Fasting (IF).
IF is nothing revolutionary. It basically involves a day fast once a week – on a consistent basis where you don’t eat anything for a defined period.
I recently had a full blood and nutritional profile undertaken by the head nutritionist for Red Bull — the guy that looks after all their professional athletes: 20 vials of blood and a report that came back as thick as a Jack Reacher novel . Comparing the amount of data in my report to what you get from your local GP blood work-up was like comparing an instruction manual to build a model airplane to one to build a 747. I spent days devouring it.
When I eventually had a follow up consultation, the first thing out of his mouth was, “You know you have the best omega-3 profile of anyone I have ever tested – ever — what do you take? “Well, I eat a lot of sardines” I said.