Category Archives: Inflammation

Big Boys Don’t Cry / Man Up

Big Boys Don’t Cry / Man Up

 

How many times have you heard this in movies, songs, or even over hearing it while out somewhere? What are the effects on the boys that grow up hearing this as they become men? We’ll explore this a little later. November 19th is International Men’s Day (IMD). It was founded by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in Trinidad Tabago in 1999. Although its creation goes back to the 1960’s, it didn’t really take root until 1999. IMD has the purpose of highlighting men’s experiences.

 

According to the IMD website, in 2009 six broad objectives were ratified:

  1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  3. To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  4. To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
  5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
  6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

We’ll only go over a few of them here for the sake of time.

 

Promote Positive Male Role Models

According to singlemothersguide.com, 1 in 4 American children live in mother only families. Of those children, 35% never see their father. Although single mothers do their best to raise children, there are many things a man can teach them that a woman can’t. Unfortunately, boys and girls grow up learning these things from negative role models. This leads to things like seeking love in the wrong places, bad behavior, no emotional intelligence, low self esteem and self worth, etc. 

There is definitely a need for positive role models everywhere. Having a balance of mother and father for a child is crucial and if that balance isn’t able to be met a supplemental positive male or female should be encouraged. We need to start by being that positive roll model to encourage others to live better.

 

Men’s Health and Wellbeing

Physical health is usually the first thought when the topic of health comes up. It is very important, but what about mental health? How does one’s environment and influences as they grow up play into this. Let’s take the phrases that we started this of with, “Big boys don’t cry” or “Man up” as an example. In the book Deeply Holistic by Pip Waller, she states, “Understanding and respecting our needs for emotional discharge or release is an essential part of remaining healthy and being able to be fully present within ourselves.” A boy growing up with the notion big boys don’t cry that grows into an adult then hearing to man up is being taught throughout his life to suppress his emotions. This can lead to feelings of being unworthy or unloved, lack of empathy, lack of trust, and many other things that are never healed from. 

Will Bowen said, “Hurt people hurt People.” The man that grew up and suppressed all his emotions now is dating and may even get married and have kids. Now all of this suppression and unhealed emotions get passed on to his family and the cycle continues. Shining light and taking action on emotional health can break so called “generational curses” and make men’s and woman’s worlds so much better.

 

Create a Safer, Better World; Where People Can Live Free From Harm and Grow to Reach Their Full Potential

The last section highlighted the importance of emotional health. Now going further, if the man ends up healing and helping others around him heal, this now opens up spreading it to the next generation. More people walking around more open to who they are allows for them to be themselves. They can now more easily explore who they are and want to become instead of who they were conditioned to be. More children would see happy, functional relationships between their parents who know who they are and can encourage them to grow into themselves. How much better would the world be then? We have to start somewhere.

International Men’s Day focuses on men’s experiences but also impacts world experiences. If you are a man reading this, I hope this opened up some areas for you that we can improve on. Take in what moved you in any type of way and explore it so that we can begin to heal and be better men for those around us.

Donuts Make You Go Nuts

Who doesn’t love to indulge in the occasional doughnut…or two? Many times, we find ourselves craving the sweet, fried, satisfying taste we get with each bite of a freshly made Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ doughnut. While we’re delighting in the taste of the deep-fried food, do we stop and consider how much we’re hurting our body? Chances are, no. When we fulfill that craving and consume the sugary dessert, it could contribute to a number of health risks like weight gain and diabetes. Instead, we should try to find other tasty, healthier treats to eat.

Reader’s Digest Editors (2017) listed doughnuts as one of the worst foods you can eat because they contain the “unholy trinity of unhealthy ingredients…trans-fat, sugar, and refined flour.” In order to make us a little more conscientious of the possible health risks of eating doughnuts, here are a few reasons why we should resist the cravings:

 

  • LOADED WITH SUGAR. This sugary food can be quite addictive like many other sweet treats because it contains a lot refined sugar in it. Oddly enough, whenever we eat sugary foods like doughnuts, neurotransmitters excite the brain just like it would if you were to have cocaine. Dopamine receptors spike and over time of constant doughnut consumption, tolerance levels rise, and you crave even more sugar in order to reach satisfaction. Some people have classified sugar as a drug because, like a drug addiction, may people will have cravings, binges and even withdrawals.  
  • LOADED WITH FAT. Along with lots of sugar, doughnuts contain a large amount of trans-fat, which is an unhealthy fat. Doughnuts can contain up to “10 to 20 grams of fat each and between 250 to 300 empty calories” (The Worst Foods You Can Eat, 2017). This can raise your cholesterol levels and can increase your risk of having heart disease or a stroke.
  • DOES NOT FILL YOU UP. Some people love having a doughnut with their morning coffee. They are comfort food for some, but they are also empty calories that should be avoided. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so consuming that much sugar, carbohydrates that turn into sugar, and fat so early in the morning is not the best choice of a meal. No matter how many doughnuts you eat, they will not fill you up, but instead cause you to have an unnerving stomachache, which no one wants at the start of their day. 
  • IT’S HARD TO EAT JUST ONE. As previously stated, doughnuts contain loads of sugar, so it is very hard to only have one at a time when there are many different flavors and fillings to choose from. Just ask your local police officer! If having just one doughnut were so easy, then they probably wouldn’t have the option for you to buy a dozen at a time and mix-n-match what kinds of doughnuts are in that dozen.
  • COULD CONTRIBUTE TO MULTIPLE HEALTH ISSUES. Due to the high amounts of sugar (carbohydrates) and trans fats, eating doughnuts on a consistent basis could contribute to a number of health risks like weight gain, Type II Diabetes, heart disease and stroke. When blood sugar levels are spiked and bad cholesterol levels are increased multiple times throughout the week, over time, these levels could contribute to multiple health issues (Picincu, 2018). 

 

Many of us enjoy a tasty, satisfying doughnut but we should always be mindful of what

we are putting in our bodies and asking ourselves, is it worth the risk? I’m not saying that having a doughnut once or twice every so often will contribute to health issues but too much sugar and trans fat consumption can eventually hurt the body. Instead, turn to more natural sugars or healthier dessert options to fulfill your sugary cravings, and try not to go nuts for doughnuts!

 

References

Editors, R. D. (Ed.). (2017, November 17). The Worst Foods You Can Eat. Retrieved 

November 1, 2019, from https://www.thehealthy.com/food/the-worst-foods-you-can-eat/.

Picincu, A. (2018, December 18). Health Effects of Doughnuts. Retrieved November 1, 

2019, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/471877-health-effects-of-doughnuts/.

It’s Getting Hot in Here.. ;)

When many of us think of things we can do to help our bodies be in optimal health, we think of eating healthy, exercising, staying hydrated and sanitizing our hands on a consistent basis. I’m sure many of us wouldn’t initially think of utilizing saunas to aid in our overall well-being. Well, saunas have many beneficial properties, and there are many types of saunas that are specifically constructed for many purposes that promote a healthier mind, body and spirit.

Many of us may be familiar with what a particular sauna looks like, but do we really know how beneficial they can be for us? Before I list the different kinds of saunas, here are but a few benefits from Top 11 Healthful Benefits of Sauna (n.d.) of why we should incorporate the use of saunas in our lives:

  1. FLUSHES TOXINS. We are all exposed to toxins around us-whether they be from the foods we eat or environmental elements. With that being said, we should do our best to purge our bodies from these toxins and sitting in a sauna is a great way to do that! The heat from the saunas open up our pores and activate our sweat glands that cause us to sweat a great deal. Because sweating in a sauna is a deeper kind of sweating, we are able to eliminate heavy metals in the body like copper, zinc, nickel and mercury.
  2. CAN HELP FIGHT AND PREVENT ILLNESSES. Because of the heat from the high temperatures, we are not only sweating out toxins, we are also killing harmful bacteria that is in and on our body. This is why it is important to take a cool or cold shower after leaving a sauna in order to close the pores to prevent other toxins from getting back into the body. You add eucalyptus or other essential oils to the water so when the steam forms, it helps clear symptoms of illnesses like sinus infections or congestions.
  3. CAN IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR PERFORMANCE. Although using saunas is very calming, it can increase your heart rate to a rate that is similar to what it would be if your engaged in aerobic exercises. With your heart rate increasing at a healthy rate, more blood is being pumped into the body. Regular use of a sauna can also aid in reducing high blood pressure because of the increased blood circulation and release of endorphins due to the calming feeling we get when in a sauna.
  4. AIDS IN PHYSICAL RECOVERY. After an intense workout, it is great to detox in a sauna afterwards. Blood circulation is increased, toxins are being eliminated from the body and we are more relaxed and calmer in a sauna-all helpful factors that aid in physical recovery. Saunas aid in relaxing the muscles and reducing soreness and inflammation, and can give us a tranquilizing feeling when we’re wrapped in its warmth. Also, growth hormone increases tremendously, which aids in reducing muscle atrophy after a strenuous workout.
  5. HELPS BURN CALORIES. Even though you are only sitting or laying down in a sauna, you still sweat quite a bit. Whenever we sweat, we are using energy, as well as accelerating our heart rate, which causes us to burn calories. Use of a sauna will not necessarily make you lose weight, but it could certainly help with shedding additional calories after a good workout.
  6. CLEANSES THE SKIN. With the increased deep sweating you get from being in a sauna, it cleanses the skin from toxins in the epidermis and allows the dead skin cells to be replaced. This creates smoother, clearer skin and can give you a natural glow because those toxins have been sweated out of the body.
  7. RELIEVES STRESS. As previously stated, being in a sauna is like being wrapped up in a warm, calming blanket. When eliminating the toxins in the body, it not only cleanses the body but also helps clear the mind. Endorphins are released and it helps restore your mind and body to its more optimal health. Adding calming essential oils, like lavender, eucalyptus or chamomile can also help reduce stress in the mind and body. 
  8. CAN AID IN A DEEPER SLEEP. Not only do saunas help reduce stress, but they also promote a deeper sleep. Since saunas increase your level of relaxation, your mind and body are put at ease. They prepare the body to wind down for the day/night which aids in a more restful, deeper sleep. Many people who used saunas on a regular basis reported having deeper, quality sleep.
  9. CAN BE USED FOR RECREATIONAL/SOCIAL PURPOSES. Going to a sauna alone is the norm at times, but it can also be a fun and relaxing social activity that you can do on with friends. It is a quiet environment that allows you to have more intimate, mindful conversations with old friends or new friends that you meet there. Since endorphins are released when you are enjoying the sauna, you are more likely to be more open to meet others and have nice, quiet conversations.
  10. CAN BE CONVENIENT. Saunas can be found at your local gyms, spas and wellness centers, and can even be built into our homes. They also have foldable, portable saunas that are relatively inexpensive, so you can take it with you when you travel for work or when you go on vacation! I know I will be getting a portable sauna in my home soon!

 

 

Once again, these are but a few benefits of why you should start using a sauna on a consistent basis. Here are a few types of saunas that were built for specific purposes from “Different Types of Saunas” (2017):

TRADITIONAL FINNISH SAUNA: This traditional sauna is lined with wooden slats 

and consists of benches, heated rocks, a bucket of water and a ladle. The humidity in the sauna is controlled by adding water to the heated rocks. 

DRY SAUNA: This type of sauna can be found in some of your local gyms. A dry sauna is similar to the Tradition Finnish Sauna because it also has heated rocks, but there’s no bucket of water or ladle present. 

STEAM BATH: This sealed sauna is built with glass, acrylic or tiles with a low temperature and 100% humidity, which makes it feel hotter inside than it really is.

INFRARED SAUNA: This sauna is very different from the other three due to the fact that there is no humidity. You are basically sealed in a heat glove which warms up your body temperature. 

So as you can see, saunas can be a very effective way to promote our optimal health and well-being. They can be found in some of our local gyms, at spas and wellness centers, and even in some of our own homes. Also, since we are detoxing and sweating whenever we sit in a sauna, it is important to properly hydrate in order to replenish the body with the water that was just lost. Hopefully we are all now more aware of the many helpful ways a sauna can aid in our health and go out to find our local sauna in order to incorporate it into our lives. 

References

“Different Types of Saunas.” (25 Sept. 2017). Retrieved October 11, 2019. 

https://www.sunplumbing.com/different-types-of-saunas/.

Finnleo. (n.d.). Top 11 Healthful Benefits of Sauna. Retrieved October 11, 2019, from 

https://www.finnleo.com/pages/health-and-wellness.