Dropping just a few pounds improves everything from sleep to sex
What springs to mind when you hear the words “Big 3?” NBA fans might think of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. Car buffs could point to Ford, GMC and Chrysler, while millions of Canadian cellphone subscribers might shudder and say Bell, Rogers, and Telus.
But there’s another Big 3 that, unlike your wireless provider, may actually reduce your monthly bills. Which awesome Big 3 is this?
Your sex drive is affected by high blood pressure and other conditions that you’re likely to have if you’re overweight. Additionally, erectile dysfunction can be a problem for obese and overweight men. Plus, the people you have sex with will be all over a fitter, firmer partner. Need we say more?
You’re feeling great, you’re getting some, so why not stick around to enjoy it? Dropping pounds lowers the risk of life-shortening conditions such as heart attacks and sleep apnea, a sleeping condition in which your breathing starts and stops but seems to you like heavy snoring.
If you’re thinking about fitting easy exercise into your day, we’ve got your back.
Download “The 10 Minute Man Workout” ebook right now.
The simple act of breathing is full of surprises. For instance, did you know that:
The average Canadian guy inhales enough air in his lifetime to fill more than 50 Goodyear blimps.
The world record for hiccupping is 68 straight years. (That’s an estimated 430 million hiccups. Get that poor guy a glass of water already!)
Here’s another interesting, and very useful fact about breathing: doing it deeply, even for only a few seconds, is one of the most effective stress busters out there.
Here’s how it’s done
Because we rarely think about breathing, the first step is to stop whatever you’re doing and focus on your regular breaths. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, breathing in just below your rib cage and filling your lungs as deeply as possible.
Do this once and you’ll feel better. Do it a few more times whenever stress takes hold, and those unpleasant feelings will fade away in less time than it takes to reel off three measly hiccups.
Try some deep breathing right now and you’ll see what we mean!
The benefits of banishing stress
As well as making us feel tense in rush-hour traffic or during a busy workday, A Guy’s Guide to Mental Health can take a long-term toll on your health and well-being. Reducing it, however, can lower your blood pressure, improve your quality and quantity of sleep, and even help curb nicotine cravings—the list of benefits just keeps going (not for 68 years, but you get the idea… ).
Anxiety is very common in our hectic lives. Many men stay busy to try and stop fears and concerns from festering, but these issues don’t go away.
Instead of feeling helpless, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Follow the five steps listed here, and you can show anxiety the door and kick it in the butt on the way out!
Step 1: Identify anxiety
A Guy’s Guide to Mental Health can be especially problematic because we are less likely to seek help or even understand and acknowledge the importance of dealing with it. That’s why simply identifying our worries is key: It allows us to question their validity. Right off the bat, make a list of your worries and fears. You might be surprised, in a good way, simply by listing them.
Step 2: Take a few quiet moments for yourself
You don’t have to take seminars or even meditate. It can be as simple as spending a few quiet moments every day — you can do this on your lunch break, while you’re in the shower, or during your drive, or bike ride to work. The key is becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Step 3: Talk it out
Talking through your worries with a friend or family member — or in some cases, your family doctor or a professional counsellor — can be enormously rewarding and helpful. Don’t let pride stand in the way.
Step 4: Engage your mood-boosting endorphins
Exercise burns away stress-inducing chemicals and can produce mood-boosting endorphins. Any exercise will help, but getting into a daily routine that’s at least 20 minutes long will make the most of your efforts.
Step 5: Sleep = happiness
Getting enough Zs is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. By practising good sleep hygiene, the rest of these steps — and the rest of your life for that matter — will fall into place that much easier.
If you’re thinking about increasing your energy and waking up happy, we’ve got your back.
Download “7 Traits of the Happiest and Healthiest People” ebook right now.
The expression “grit your teeth” comes from something we all do: Clenching our jaws involuntarily when some maniac cuts you off in traffic, a dog doing its business on your front lawn (again), or any other stressful situation.
Did you know that stress-related teeth grinding often carries over into your sleep? If you wake up with a dull headache or a tense jaw, there’s a good chance the condition known as bruxism, which affects as many as 20% of adults, is to blame. The physical tension caused by daily stressors is often based in your jaw and neck, and is released by “night grinding.” Better to release the stress, right? Well, not quite:
Why teeth grinding hurts
Grinding your teeth in your sleep can damage tooth enamel and gum recession making your pearly whites more sensitive (enough to make a grown man cringe), and can even cause a painful inflammation of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.
Avoid the grind with powerful stress-busters
Drug stores and dentists offer a variety of mouth guards that relax your jaw and help prevent grinding. Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol, especially in the evening, has also been shown to help. However, the best approach is to tackle the root cause: Stress.
Unreasonable bosses, fussy family members, rush-hour commutes, noisy neighbours — these are facts of life, and when stress happens our bodies instinctively defend themselves by tensing up. The key is managing stress with one or more of these four tools:
Practice deep breathing: Clear your mind, get settled in bed and feel more relaxed than ever by taking a big deep breath. Try it right now: Breath in slowly through your nose filling your lungs as deep as possible, exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat four times.
Get some activity: Exercise is one of the most effective stress relievers and also makes you feel better overall. Remember any amount is better than none. If you’re lacking motivation, one of these 6 hacks will help you to get going.
Do something you enjoy: Taking time to focus on a hobby or one of life’s pleasures will make stress fade into the background. Guys are good at taking care of others; remember to take care of yourself now and then.
Get a solid sleep: Feeling tired can hinder your ability to respond to stressful situations. Be at your best by getting the proper rest. Better yet, here’s ten ways to sleep better than a dog!
What do Rocky Balboa, Jean Claude Van Damme and Batman have in common? Besides being manly men in movies that guys love, all three improve their moods by working out. If you want to know how to live an unboring life, just look at Batman…
The “Big Five” Benefits of Exercise
All three of these heroes train to defeat their foes, but their shared post-workout perkiness is no coincidence. Numerous studies show that working up a sweat delivers five major benefits:
Combats depression: Exercise causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals (endorphins) and reduce production of immune system chemicals that can worsen depression.
Boosts self-esteem: Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your confidence. Getting in shape will also make you feel better about your appearance. You may not look as buff as Rocky right away, but trust us, a bit of extra tone and firmness gets noticed.
Reduces stress: Exercise is a great way to release pent-up energy. In addition, an increase in body temperature has an overall calming effect.
Wards off anxiety: Working out is a healthy distraction that disrupts the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety.
Prevents erectile dysfunction: Research suggests that exercise reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction by about 50%!
Get started right now!
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