Tag Archives: General

10 Vices and Indulgences that do a Body Good.

30 Oct

chris-hemsworth-covers-details-november-2013In the latest issue of details magazine, the one with Chris Hemsworth on the cover, there is an article that talks about how many of our vices and indulgences may actually have health benefits. Check out the article below, and if you like it please comment and share!

 

 

10-Vices-Details-Health-460

When it comes to matters of health, it seems that everything you do—or at least want to do—is bad for you. But recent research is calling into question exactly how bad our biggest vices truly are.

It turns out these so-called health offenders can actually strengthen your muscles, up your gym performance, boost your immune system, fight flab, and even prevent chronic diseases. Not bad for “unhealthy” habits, eh?

Here, 10 vices you can finally embrace guilt-free.

Sleeping In

Go ahead—hit the snooze. Or just break the damn thing altogether. According to a recent study from the University of Munich, people who wake up to an alarm rather than according to their body’s internal clock are three times more likely to be overweight. Waking up before your body is ready messes up your circadian rhythms, leading you to feel perpetually jet lagged and eat when your body isn’t primed to absorb nutrients, slowing your metabolism considerably.

Smoking Marijuana

“Medical” marijuana is bit of a misnomer. Every dooby comes with health benefits. A 2013 study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that regular pot smokers have 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences compared to marijuana virgins, dramatically lowering their risk of diabetes. Researchers don’t yet know why marijuana has the effect, but who cares? We’re heading to Colorado.

Snacking on Candy

Grab some gummies on your way through the checkout line. People who eat candy have lower BMIs, smaller waists, and less health-wrecking inflammation than those who skip sugary treats, per findings published in Nutrition Research. Sound counterintuitive? While candy is a veritable sugar bomb, it’s low in saturated fat and calories when compared to other desserts, making it a pretty good way to curb your sweet tooth and avoid devouring a whole cheesecake when your willpower finally relents.

Biting Your Nails

Gnawing on your nails isn’t exactly a turn-on, but it does have legitimate health benefits. Ingesting the germs that live on fingernails can potentially strengthen the immune system, according to Hilary Longhurst, Ph.D., a consultant clinical immunologist at Barts Health and the London NHS Trust. Nail biting exposes your body to relatively small amounts of bacteria so that when your immune system meets them again, its already equipped with the weapons that will annihilate them.

Drinking Alcohol

Next to diet and exercise (we know, we know) the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has ID’ed moderate alcohol consumption as one of the key behaviors that can lead to a longer life. A healthy happy hour habit lowers your risk of heart disease and wards off Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses, according to the CDC’s research. Keep it to two drinks a day, though. Any more than that and you can actually reverse alcohol’s good-for-you effects.

Going on Vacation

Put those PTO days to good use. In one study of 13,000 men, researchers from the State University of New York found that taking even one vacation a year reduces your risk of dying—from pretty much anything. And when it comes to men’s No 1. killer (that would be you, heart disease), one week away annually for just five years can reduce your risk by 30 percent.

Eating Chocolate

That bottle of chocolate syrup in your fridge is good for more than making sundaes. Cacao’s flavonoids lower blood pressure, slash stress hormones, and even fire up alertness and performance by increasing blood flow to the brain and heart. One Italian study found that participants who ate dark chocolate every day for 15 days cut their risk of insulin resistance by nearly half, thanks to chocolate’s high-powered flavonols. Snack smart: Bars with at least 70 percent cacao blend the greatest amount of antioxidants with the least amount of sugar.

Having Lots of Sex

As if you really needed a reason to get it on, sex can improve your immunity, help you sleep better, and—get this—look younger. As described in his book, Superyoung: The Proven Way to Stay Young Forever, neuropsychologist David Weeks kept tabs for 10 years on thousands of men and women who looked significantly younger than their years. What did they have in common? Active sex lives. (That’s at least two to three romps per week.) Apart from the aforementioned health boosters, sex keeps you looking young by triggering the release of human growth hormone, which promotes skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles, Weeks says.

Guzzling Coffee

Perk up! People who drink four cups of coffee each day are about 10 percent less likely to get depressed, according to a 2013 study from the National Institute of Health. One possible explanation: Coffee beans are ridiculously rich in antioxidants, among them chlorogenic acid (CGA). When consumed in moderate doses, the polyphenol has a major anti-inflammatory effect and is linked with reduced blood pressure, improved insulin response, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, and even weight loss.

Getting a Massage

It does more than feel good. It does good, too. Regular Swedish massages (the ones that go deep) reduce the adrenal gland’s secretion of stress hormones, according to one recent study from researchers at Emory University School of Medicine. As those hormones are known to suppress the immune system, spur inflammation, and degrade muscle cells, getting rubdowns on the regular may combat a whole host of chronic diseases. A previous study from the same researchers found that even a single massage session is enough to bolster the immune system.

Read More http://www.details.com/blogs/daily-details/2013/10/10-vices-that-do-a-body-good.html#ixzz2jDhjGbeo

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Man Skills: Start a Fire with Your Car Battery

24 Feb

The latest issue of Men’s Journal Magazine (the one with a sick green Triumph Scrambler motorcycle on the cover) has a segment called “Survival Skills with Bear Grylls” in which they ask him a series of questions about adventuring, survival, manliness and his active life.  One of the questions they asked?  What is one skill that every man should have? Bear’s answer?  The ability to start a fire with your car battery. “I’ve had to do this a lot while camping with my family when I didn’t have matches or a lighter.”

 

Step 1: run your fingers through the grass.  The dead stuff will come off in your hands.

Step 2: Create a little bird’s nest with this dry grass.  Then run your jumper cables to it and ignite it.

Step 3: Add the ignited grass to a big pile of kindling, and you’ll have your fire.

BOOM.

The Movie Theater That Fits in Your Pocket

24 Feb

There is a great highlight in the newest Details magazine (March, the one with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield on the cover) of the new ShowWX+ projector by Microvision. They say “time will only tell if Microvision’s ShowWX+ is mentioned in the same breath as the camera obscura or IMAX, but for now it’s the palm-size reason to give up your flat-screen.  The size of a cell phone, the projector connects directly to your iPod, iPhone or iPad (or, with an adapter, to a laptop or digital camera). Aim it at a dark wall and view high-resolution photos, TV shows, sales graphs – anything you have stored – at up to 100 inches wide. Just like that, your home video collection is a movable filmfest.”

$450; www.microvision.com

 


What to Know about PUBLIC BATHROOMS

22 Feb

Men. While almost all manly posts on this butch blog come from magazines, there are rare exceptions.  This post is one of those exceptions.  There is a hilarious and entertaining book by Thomas Fink entitled “The Man’s Book: The Essential Guide for the Modern Man” that I will be posting about over the course of the next few weeks.  Not only is the information funny, it is stuff that most people don’t write about.  For example, today’s post is that of the public bathroom: rules, etiquette and general information:

THE PUBLIC BATHROOM

There is an unstated code of conduct in men’s bathrooms that, while more instinctive than prescriptive, remains surprisingly universal.

1. Rules of Conduct:

No Pairing. Unlike women, men visit the lavatory for entirely practical reasons, and it is suspect to immediately follow a friend to the bathroom.

No Talking. Terse conversation in the bathroom can take place either before or after, but not during, use of the urinals.

No Looking. Eyes should be aimed straight ahead or down in concentration; glances toward your neighbor are very suggestive.

No Touching. Hands should be in front of you.  A bump of the elbows can be deflated by a sober apology, but without turning the head.

2. Optimal Strategy

When faced with an array of urinals to choose from, which one should you take?  The basic idea is that the distance between users should be maximized, at the same time minimizing a newcomer’s chance of getting too close. The latter makes the end-most urinals highly desirable. Never go between two men if it can be avoided.

3. Loo Man

The symbol for a man’s public bathroom is a stylized profile of a man standing with his arms down. Unlike the Mars symbol for a man (A arrow emanating from a circle and pointing northeast; believed to represent a sword and a spear) it is a pictogram: its meaning can be deduced from its shape. The male bathroom symbol differs from the female one in having broader shoulders and straight legs as opposed to a flared dress. Do not mix them up.

OJ: Pulp Up the Jam

11 Nov

Punny titles aside, the November 2010 issue of Men’s Health Magazine (the issue with True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten on the cover) teaches us that it is much healthier to drink orange juice that has pulp in it than juice that does not.  In responding to a reader-asked question on the topic, Men’s Health tells us that those tiny bits of fruit flesh do more than just add texture – they’re packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients.  Specifically, juice with pulp contains 30 percent more anti-inflammatory flavonoids and cancer-fighting limonoids than OJ that’s been strained, according to Jairam Vanamala, PhD, an assistant professor of food science and nutrition at Colorado State University. He says that its most healthy to eat fruit in its natural state, so 100 percent orange juice with pulp is the next best thing to a whole orange.

The Easy 4 Day Detox

9 Jan

Thank you, Details Magazine.  There is an article in their “Health and Grooming” section in the January 2010 issue that discusses this post-holiday must:

Who says all that end-of-the-year gluttony requires months of penance? You may think you’re doomed to nibble kale until the Fourth of July, but you’re wrong. “All you need is four days to get back on track,” says New York dietitian Keri Glassman, author of The O2 Diet. “That’s enough time to reset your body.” Follow these simple tips and you’ll get rid of the bloat and maybe even find yourself thinking about fruit and vegetables instead of cheeseburger sliders.

Eat Early, Eat Often
You should have a good breakfast—no-brainer, right?—but the key is to be eating within one hour of waking. If you wait until you’re at your desk, you’re more likely to overindulge. When should you stop eating? That’s where things get interesting. Despite what your girlfriend says, it’s okay to keep feeding right up until you go to bed. “The goal is to be eating consistently,” Glassman says. “If you’re on a schedule where you have dinner at 9, that’s not so bad. By munching throughout the day, your body’s always burning calories at its best. It’s like throwing twigs onto a fire.”

[Read More: The Best Breakfast in America]

Take a Sabbatical from Sugar and Salt
Although one Oreo cookie is fine in theory, it’s hard to stop there. Sweets and alcohol often make you crave more sugar, putting your noble efforts at self-control in peril. Sodium prompts your body to retain water. It’s not enough to put down the salt shaker; beware the lunchtime deli run, too. Pickles, sliced meats, and split-pea soup are all known to pump you full of H2O.

[Read More: Ice Cream Sandwiches are Back]

Don’t Overdo the Juice Fast
Liquid diets can help you feel lighter in the short term, but maintain them for any longer than three days and you’re setting yourself up for nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and failure. Juicers often start bingeing right after swallowing their last sip, warns dietitian Keri Gans of the American Dietetic Association. “If you’re going to try it,” she says, “don’t think you can just drink juice and then go to McDonald’s.”

[Read More: A Details Classic: Manorexics]

Give Up the Shredded Wheat
According to New York nutritionist Oz Garcia, the wheat-based starches you find in breakfast cereals are trouble. “Many men, as they move toward a better diet, think whole wheat is good for them,” he says. “But it triggers appetite and water retention. It also contributes to gaining weight around the gut and developing man boobs.” Try oats or grains like quinoa or millet instead—or get your carbs from vegetables like yams, squashes, and pumpkins.

[Read More: A User’s Guide to Man Boobs]

Bring On the Artichoke
A plate of fiber-rich lentils or chickpeas will fill you up, but so will the often overlooked—and decidely delicious—artichoke. Glassman suggests having one every afternoon. “It’s low-calorie,” she says, “and it takes a while to eat.”

[Read More: The Pills You Should Be Popping]

Don’t Be Too Spartan
When Bradley Cooper had to shed a few pounds for his upcoming role in The A-Team, he ate mostly boiled chicken, broccoli, and brown rice. Channing Tatum has streamlined his physique with the same regimen. Glassman says it’s a good plan, though a bit too ascetic. Boiling the chicken adds no fat or calories. But grilling it with a little nonstick spray and some herbs and spices adds about two calories and lots more flavor.

[Read More: Bradley Cooper Has Hollywood by the Balls]

Bite Your Tongue
As a topic of conversation, your diet restrictions are about as interesting as a grocery list. Unless your name is Oprah, no one cares that you’d kill for some lardo on wheat bread. So be a champ and keep your virtue to yourself.

[Read More: O-Face or Oprah Face?]

Turn Up the Heat
No less an expert on overindulgence than John Belushi would head to the sauna after a wild night. The Animal House star was crazy, yes, but he was no fool. One 20-minute session can improve your mood and your appearance. The heat raises your outer body temperature, boosting your circulation and making you feel euphoric, and the sweat flushes debris from your pores. “It mimics the effects of running the Central Park loop,” Oz Garcia says. Try saying that about wheatgrass.

[Read More: Find the Right Massage]

Need Motivation: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

StickK.com lets you bet against your weak, impulsive self. If you lose the wager, you fork the cash over to a friend, an enemy, or even a cause you despise—like, say, Sarah Palin 2012.

Fatbet.net—founded by two buddies trying to drop 10 pounds each—helps you set up weight-loss competitions with friends and chart the results. Those who meet their goals split the winnings.

[Read More: The Slacker Workout]

Put Down the Protein Shake
Put down the whey powder. Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, a New York weight-loss specialist, recommends breakfast shakes made from rice protein, which is less rough on the stomach. Mix two scoops of protein powder, two tablespoons of flaxseed fiber, eight ounces of water, and ice in a blender. Consume with the morning paper.

[Read More: Meal-Replacement Shakes]

The Sports Drink Myth
“Coconut water is what Gatorade wishes it was,” Oz Garcia says. It has the potassium and the sugar you need to feel restored after a workout but none of the artificial ingredients or the food coloring.

[Read More: Alex Rodriguez: Confessions of a Damned Yankee]

The Hangover Remedy
Forget hair of the dog. Come the morning after, try rehydrating with this: Fill one half of a glass with apple juice, the other half with water, and add a pinch of sea salt. “As a cure, it works,” Morrison says.

[Read More: The Best way to Drink Tequilla—Hangover Not Included]

Cubicle Culture – The Best Plants for Your Office

7 Jan

In the January 2010 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Vampire Diaries’ Sean Faris on the cover, there is an article discussing which plant would best keep a man company in the comfort of his own cubicle.  The answers are interesting – isn’t learning fun?  Hopefully you take these words to heard and bring a leafy friend into your workspace – if for nothing else but to impress your coworkers with your knowledge of everything flora.

  1. Areca Palm – Thanks to its huge fronds (which can reach 6 ft in height and feature 60 leaflets), this palm is especially effective in filtering airborne particles.
  2. Peppermint – Sniffing mint can increase your alertness and enhance your memory, according to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience.  Bonus: it can also help suppress your appetite.
  3. English Ivy – Tests at the University of Georgia show that English Ivy is particularly efficient at absorbing volatile organic compounds, airborne pollutants spewed by office machinery, that cause headaches and nausea.
  4. Lemon Balm – Researchers at Ohio State University found that the scent of lemon improved peoples’ moods and raised levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical linked to mood and behavior.
  5. Golden Pothos – This hardy vine reduces indoor ozone, Penn State researchers found.  Exposure to low ozone levels can cause chest pain and throat irritation.
  6. Gardenia – It’s like a long-acting anti-depressant.  A gardenia can live for 25 years, and every time you smell its flowers, your emotional outlook improves…according to research from Rutgers.