Your Risk Of Erectile Dysfunction More Than Triples If You Have This Health Condition

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High blood sugar can make it hard to get hard: Men with diabetes are significantly more likely to have erectile dysfunction that those with normal blood sugar readings, new research in the journal Diabetic Medicine concludes. That’s a problem, since diabetes cases have increased four-fold since 1980.

After crunching the numbers from 145 studies including over 88,000 men who averaged 56 years old, the researchers determined that those with diabetes were more than three times as likely to have erectile dysfunction than healthy guys were. In fact, 59 percent of men with diabetes had ED.

What’s more, men with diabetes tended to develop their erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than those without the condition did, according to the study. (Want to keep your penis healthy for life?

So how can high blood sugar sink you in the bedroom?

Diabetes can damage your blood vessels and your nerves—both of which are needed for healthy erectile functioning, says Sean Skeldon, M.D., who has previously researched ED and diabetes, but was not involved in this study.

Another important point: Erectile dysfunction is often considered a harbinger of heart disease. That’s because the blood vessel issues that cause ED—say, like plaque buildup—can also affect your heart, too. They just manifest first with problems in the bedroom, since your blood vessels in your penis are smaller than the ones that carry blood to your heart. (Here are 8 other weird facts you never knew about your heart.)

The good news, though, is that many of the risk factors for diabetes are under your control—meaning your penis and your heart could benefit from some prevention strategies. One easy one? Eat three servings of legumes a week. That can cut your risk of diabetes by 35 percent, as we recently reported, possibly because their fiber can help prevent blood sugar spikes.

Written by: CHRISTA SGOBBA

Article Source: http://www.menshealth.com/health/diabetes-raises-erectile-dysfunction-risk?

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Jerking Off Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk By 33 Percent: Male Orgasm Flushes Out Harmful Toxins, Theory Says

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Many men know a healthy diet and lifestyle provides some protection against prostate cancer. Eating less red meat, animal fats, and dairy fats and adding more fruits and vegetables promote good health, but science suggests men can also give their prostate a helping hand, literally. A study published in European Urology found having sex or jerking off can lower the risk of prostate cancer via the male orgasm.

There’s a link between how much men masturbate and their likelihood of developing prostate cancer. A total of 21 orgasms a month, either by having lots of sex or jerking off, can reduce the risk of disease by 33 percent.

“These findings provide additional evidence of a beneficial role of more frequent ejaculation throughout adult life in the etiology of PCa [prostate cancer], particularly for low-risk disease,” wrote the researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in the study.

However, it remains unclear why having this many orgams per month is good for the prostate.

One theory is that ejaculation flushes out harmful toxins and bacteria in the prostate gland that could cause inflammation. The prostate works by providing a fluid into semen during ejaculation that activates sperm, and prevents them from sticking together. High concentrations of potassium, zinc, fructose, and citric acid are drawn from the bloodstream.

Previous research has shown carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, like 3-methylcholanthrene, are also found in the prostate. This means carcinogens can build up over time, especially if men ejaculate less, which is known as the prostatic stagnation hypothesis. In theory, the more a man “flushes out” the ducts, the fewer carcinogens that are likely to linger around and damage the cells that line them.

Another theory proposed is ejaculation can lead the prostate glands to mature fully, which makes them less susceptible to carcinogens.

Approximately 32,000 men were surveyed on their number of orgasms as researchers tracked  those who developed prostate cancer over the course of decades. The study was a 10-year follow-up on questions answered on ejaculation frequency in 1992 and followed through to 2010. Average monthly ejaculation frequency was assessed during three periods: age 20–29; age 40–49; and the year before the questionnaire was distributed.

The researchers concluded daily masturbation throughout adulthood had a protective effect against prostate cancer. These findings echo results from a 2008 Harvard study that found there was no increased risk of prostate cancer related to age of ejaculation, but benefits increased as men aged. Yet, other studies have found men experience a reduced risk of prostate cancer if they frequently masturbated during young adulthood.

Jerking off as an effective preventative measure for prostate cancer remains murky. These studies suggest there is a connection between the two, but its effects seem to fluctuate depending on a man’s age. This warrants further research to determine what age group can reap the most benefits from daily masturbation for prostate health.

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and risk increases with age. About six in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men older than 65, according to the American Cancer Society. Other risk factors include race, genetics, weight, physical activity, diet, height, and chemical exposure.

The exact causes of prostate cancer remain unknown, but sticking to a healthy diet and lifestyle could offer protection. Perhaps men who give themselves a helping hand in the bedroom can also improve their prostate health. After all, relaxing and reducing stress can help increase longevity, and decrease the onset of disease.

Source: Rider JR, Wilson KM, Sinnott JA et al. Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up. European Urology. 2016.

Written By Lizette Borreli 

Article Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/jerking-cuts-prostate-cancer-risk-33-percent-male-orgasm-flushes-out-harmful-419783

 

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Testosterone therapy improves insulin sensitivity in diabetic men

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The January 2016 issue of the journal Diabetes Care reported the outcome of a randomized trial that revealed a beneficial role for testosterone treatment in men with diabetes.

“We hypothesized that testosterone may be an anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing agent since it has been known for some time that testosterone reduces adiposity and increases skeletal muscle,” remarked lead researcher Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, who is a Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the Department of Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo. “Our previous work has shown that obesity is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, and inflammatory mediators are known to interfere with insulin signaling.”

The trial included 94 type 2 diabetic men, among whom 44 had low testosterone levels and reduced insulin signaling genes indicative of decreased insulin sensitivity. Participants with low testosterone received a weekly testosterone injection or a placebo for 24 weeks. Body weight, body fat, markers of inflammation, insulin sensitivity and other factors were assessed before and after treatment.

At the end of the trial, men who received testosterone experienced a more than six pound average loss of body fat and an equal increase in muscle mass. They also had lower levels of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein, interleukin-1b and tumor necrosis factor-a. “Most importantly, we saw a dramatic increase in insulin sensitivity, demonstrated by a 32 percent increase in the uptake of glucose by tissues in response to insulin,” Dr Dandona reported.

“Testosterone treatment for men, where indicated, will improve sexual function and increase skeletal muscle strength and bone density,” Dr Dandona noted. “This is the first definitive evidence that testosterone is an insulin sensitizer and hence a metabolic hormone.”

Article Source: http://www.lifeextension.com/WhatsHot/2015/11/November-Whats-Hot-Articles/Page-01#test

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Exercise May Improve Male Fertility

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Infertility is recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).1

Defined as the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected sex, infertility affects approximately 1 out of every 8 couples.2

Approximately 90 percent of male infertility is due to low sperm count or poor sperm quality, and the remaining 10 percent are the result of structural abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, genetic defects or other problems.3 Sperm abnormalities are critical to infertility and the health of a resulting pregnancy.

While much media attention has been placed on the necessity for women to care for their bodies prior to pregnancy, research has demonstrated the need for men to care for themselves in the same way to prevent birth defects, miscarriages and infertility.

Recent research now indicates that exercise may improve quality and quantity of sperm in men who were previously sedentary.4

Exercise May Improve Sperm Quality and Quantity

In a study completed in Iran, researchers evaluated the effect of four different levels of exercise on sperm quality in sedentary men. Of the couples struggling with infertility, 1 in 3 are the result of poor sperm quality.5

In this study, researchers from Urmia University evaluated the sperm of 261 healthy men over six months.

The participants were first determined to be otherwise healthy, between 25 and 40 years of age, and didn’t regularly participate in an exercise program. They were then separated into the following four groups:6

  • No exercise
  • Three workouts a week of high-intensity training on a treadmill (HIIT)
  • Three workouts a week of 30 minutes moderate-intensity continuous training on a treadmill (MICT)
  • Three workouts a week of one-hour high-intensity continuous training on a treadmill (HICT)

The researchers used semen samples before, during and after the six-month exercise period to evaluate sperm motility, size, morphology (shape), count, semen volume and levels of inflammatory markers.

After 24 weeks, it was the MICT group who experienced the greatest improvements, although the HICT and HIIT groups also experienced improvement over the group who did not exercise.7

The MICT group had a greater than 8 percent rise in semen volume, over 12 percent improvement in sperm motility, 17 percent improvement in morphology and just over 21 percent more sperm cells on average.8

However, while the men enjoyed these improvements during the exercise program, the sperm count, concentration and morphology began dropping back to pre-workout levels within a week after stopping. Lead author of the study, Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki commented:9

“Our results show that doing exercise can be a simple, cheap and effective strategy for improving sperm quality in sedentary men.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that the reason some men can’t have children isn’t just based on their sperm count. Male infertility problems can be complex and changing lifestyles might not solve these cases easily.”

Moderate Exercise Increases Sperm Quality

The authors of the study theorized that although weight loss achieved by the men during the six months of the study was likely to have contributed to improving sperm quality, the men participating in MICT may have experienced the greatest impact as MICT reduces exposure to inflammatory agents and oxidative stress.10

Scientists have determined that exposure to electromagnetic fields, increased heat, poor nutrition, obesity, drugs, alcohol and bicycling may reduce sperm quality, and theorize that reducing these factors and improving health would then improve sperm health.

Another study of 31 men, 16 of whom were active (but did not bike) and 15 sedentary, underwent a shorter evaluation of sperm quality,11 using the WHO’s sperm quality parameters, including volume, count, motility and morphology.12

Researchers found physically active men had a higher concentration of sperm, semen volume and a higher percentage of sperm with normal morphology.

In a previous study, these same authors found men who engaged in intense exercise instead experienced a reduction in sperm quality, but moderate exercise appeared to be linked to improve sperm quality.

Researchers from the most recent study also found that moderate activity, as described in their study parameters, yielded better results. The researchers commented:13

“The present study adds to this body of evidence and shows seminal markers of inflammation and oxidative stress improved significantly after 24 weeks of MICT, HICT or HIIT, and these changes correspond with favorable improvements in semen quality parameters and sperm DNA integrity.

These results further indicate that MICT was more beneficial in improving markers of male reproductive function, compared to HICT and HIIT.

These observations suggest that the intensity, duration and type of exercise training could be taken into consideration when investigating reproductive responses to exercise training in men.”

Male Infertility Responsible for 30 Percent of Cases

Allan Pacey, Ph.D., and fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), is the British Fertility Society spokesman and professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield. He also commented on the research results and how they may affect fertility:14

“In this context, the study makes a good contribution to the knowledge base. It is a very well conducted and a strength is that it is a randomized controlled trial with extensive data collection.

Also, the study examines how exercise affects many of the parameters of male reproductive health, not just sperm quality. However, what is likely to be of most interest to men and their doctors are the results concerning sperm quality.

Importantly, these seem to show a statistical improvement to various degrees when the men embarked on their different exercise regimes compared to men who did no exercise at all. However, an important question is whether these statistical changes are enough to be of any clinical significance.”

Male infertility contributes to 30 percent of all infertility cases.15 Of the four major causes of male infertility, between 40 percent and 50 percent of poor sperm quality is attributed to unknown factors. Male infertility is a complex condition encompassing both the health of the sperm and the mechanical functioning of the male reproductive system.16

Testing for male infertility includes a semen sample analysis, blood work, physical examination and an evaluation for any current infections or structural damage from past infections. Although frustrating to a couple trying to conceive a child, the risk of poor sperm quality extends beyond the inability to conceive.

Risks Associated With Poor Sperm Quality

Sperm motility, or the ability of sperm to move quickly and in a straight line, is one factor associated with sperm quality. Sperm that are sluggish or move poorly may be associated with DNA fragmentation, and the potential risk for passing genetic diseases.17There is also some evidence that male infertility may be a risk factor for testicular cancer.18

Recurrent miscarriages may be attributed to chromosomal damage to either the egg or the sperm,19 and reduced sperm quality is associated with congenital deformities.20 Chromosomal abnormalities in the sperm may contribute to poor sperm quality.

The risks of poor quality sperm also extend to the health of the man. Defects in sperm quality are linked to a variety of health concerns, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and skin and glandular disorders.21 Lead researcher Dr. Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology and director of reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford School of Medicine, commented that “[i]t may be that infertility is a marker for sickness overall.”22

A study evaluating more than 9,000 men with fertility issues found a correlation between defects in a man’s sperm and the likelihood he suffers from other health conditions.23 A previous study Eisenberg co-authored also indicated that men who experienced infertility issues had an overall higher rate of mortality in the following years. According to Eisenberg:24

“A man’s health is strongly correlated with his semen quality. Given the high incidence of infertility, we need to take a broader view. As we treat men’s infertility, we should also assess their overall health. That visit to a fertility clinic represents a big opportunity to improve their treatment for other conditions, which we now suspect could actually help resolve the infertility they came in for in the first place.”

Natural Sperm Boosting Options

While moderate exercise may help to improve sperm quality, there are other lifestyle choices that may help to enhance the improvements you experience. Infertility is a complex condition that is intimately incorporated the rest of your health. You may improve your sperm quality as you also improve your overall health and wellness.

Use Moderate-Intensity Continuous Exercise While Trying to Conceive

Although HIIT is a healthy adjunct to an exercise program, the increased heat and oxidative stress on your body may produce time-limited changes to your sperm quality, and reduce your potential to conceive.

Reduce Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Unprecedented decline in fertility rates and semen quality in the past decade may be attributed to exposure to phthalates in your environment.25 Animal studies have demonstrated an association between phthalates and testicular toxicity26 and lowered sperm count.27 Other chemicals to avoid include paint fumes, pesticides, formaldehyde, organic solvents and dry cleaning chemicals.

Optimize Your Vitamin D Level

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to infertility in both men and women. In men it is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count.

Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido. Aim to maintain a level of 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) year-round.

Maintain Your Weight Within Normal Limits Through a Whole Food Diet

Obesity changes male hormone levels, which has a direct impact on sperm molecular composition and function.28 Use fresh foods as often as possible, ideally organically grown, to avoid pesticides. Seek out pastured, organic meat and dairy products, raw nuts, seeds and vegetables, and avoid dangerous trans fats found in many processed foods and vegetable oils.

Reduce or Eliminate Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs

Each of these creates an added stress on your body with demonstrated reduction in fertility, sperm motility and quality.

Avoid the Heat

Sperm require a specific temperature to remain active and viable. Avoid wearing tight underwear and tight pants, taking hot showers or baths and sitting in hot tubs. Keep your laptop off your lap as the increased heat from the machine also increases the temperature of your scrotum.29

Your body will naturally keep your sperm at the right temperature when you avoid circumstances that abnormally increase the temperature of your scrotum.

Avoid Placing Your Mobile Phone in Your Front Pants Pocket

Research shows mobile phone radiation increases DNA fragmentation and reduces sperm motility.30

Written By: Dr. Mercola http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/12/23/exercise-improve-male-fertility.aspx

 

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Green Tea May Reduce Men’s Cancer Risk

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Supplements of green tea extract may reduce prostate cancer risk, among men with lesions or neoplasia.

Green tea (Camelia sinensis) is an abundant source of antioxidants – notably, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Previous studies have suggested that supplements of green tea extract may confer a variety of cardiovascular and cancer protective effects. Nagi B. Kumar, from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute (Florida, United States), and colleagues enrolled 97 men who had premalignant prostate lesions or high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia.  Tracking for changes in  high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) and/or atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP), study participants were randomly assigned to receive either a supplement containing green tea extract (400 mg EGCG), or placebo, for one year. The researchers observed that the man who receive the green tea supplement experienced reduced combined rates of HGPIN/ASAP, as well as decreased levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). The study authors report that: ” Daily intake of a standardized, decaffeinated catechin mixture containing 400 mg EGCG per day for 1 year accumulated in plasma and was well tolerated but did not reduce the likelihood of PCa in men with baseline [high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia] or [atypical small acinar proliferation].”

Article Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/green-tea-may-reduce-mens-cancer-risk/

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Last Song Syndrome? Why Catchy Songs Get Stuck In Your Head, Plus How To Get Rid Of Earworm

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Many of us have experienced last song syndrome: We get in the car, turn on the radio, and hear the same top 40 songs on repeat every hour. Suddenly, we catch ourselves humming the melody of a song, and hear it play on a continuous loop in our heads. So, what makes some songs catchier than others?

Researchers at Durham University suggest some songs are more likely to stay with us based on their melodic content.

“These musically sticky songs seem to have quite a fast tempo along with a common melodic shape and unusual intervals or repetitions like we can hear in the opening riff of Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple or in the chorus of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga” said Dr. Kelly Jakubowski, lead author of the study from the Department of Music at Durham University, in a statement.

About 90 percent of us experience an earworm at least once a week, with some of us having them more than others, according to Jakubowski. It normally happens at times when the brain is not doing much, such as being in the shower, walking, or doing chores.

In the study, published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, researchers identified three distinct characteristics that make up an earworm: pace, shape of the melody, and a few unique intervals.

In terms of pace, earworms are faster and more upbeat in tempo and have rhythm people could move to. For example, previous research has found songs on a running or workout playlist tend to transport athletes into a state known as “flow,” which is when people are completely immersed in what they’re doing and feel as if they’re functioning on autopilot. Typically, a workout playlist will start with warmup and stretching music, and then transition to cardio songs, which gradually increase in intensity. The playlist migrates to strength-training tunes, and then concludes with mellow cool-down songs.

These songs are also more likely to be earworms, because of their gradual increase in intensity, followed by a decrease, and increase in between.

A song’s melodic contour, or musical shape determines whether it’s an earworm. These songs are simple in structure, but possess a rhythmic pattern. For example, the nursery rhyme “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” rises in pitch, but it goes back down low and then rises again as a partner. This easy-to-remember melody makes a song an inevitable earworm.

A more recent example is Maroon 5’s opening riff of “Moves Like Jagger,” one of the top-named earworm tunes in the study. It follows a common contour pattern of rising then falling in pitch.

Lastly, an earworm song possesses unusual interval structure, such as some unexpected leaps or more repeated notes than we would hear in the “average pop song.” The instrumental riff of The Knack’s “My Sharona” contains an unusual interval structure.

To obtain this data, the researchers used an online survey to ask 3,000 people for their most frequent earworm tunes. They compared them to tunes that had never been named as earworms in the database, but were a match in terms of popularity, and how often they were in the UK Music Charts. Melodic features of earworm and non-earworm tunes were analyzed and compared. The songs were limited to popular music genres, such as pop, rock, rap, rhythm & blues. (R&B).

The most frequently named earworms included:

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

California Gurls – Katy Perry

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Alejandro – Lady Gaga

Poker Face – Lady Gaga

“We now also know that, regardless of the chart success of a song, there are certain features of the melody that make it more prone to getting stuck in people’s heads like some sort of private musical screensaver,” said Jakubowski.

So, how do we get these earworms out of our heads?

A 2015 study in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology claims that chewing gum provides a simple solution. In a series of experiments, participants who were given gum to chew reported fewer earworms than those who weren’t. The researchers hypothesize since our vocal apparatus is involved in singing, when our jaws are otherwise engaged, our ability to imagine music is impaired.

At least we have a better understanding why we still can’t get Kylie Minogue’s 2002 hit song “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” out of our heads.

Source: Jakubowski et al. “Dissecting an earworm: Melodic features and song popularity predict involuntary musical imagery”. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. 2016.

Article Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/last-song-syndrome-why-catchy-songs-get-stuck-your-head-plus-how-get-rid-403436

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THE 9 BEST WAYS TO GET RID OF MUSCLE CRAMPS

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You’ve probably been stopped in your tracks by a spasm the size of a golf ball in your calf, a charley horse, or a tremor that constricts your hamstrings. Like side stitches, muscle cramps are a reality for many runners, lifters, cyclists, and swimmers alike.

The main difference between side stitches and cramps is that the latter occurs in smooth involuntary muscle (more specifically, your diaphragm) while more common muscle cramps occur in large skeletal muscle that’s under your voluntary control (i.e. your leg muscles). The cramps are sudden, painful, and can really throw off a workout (or your sleep). Of course, you know this if you’re prone to muscle cramping. So, why do they happen in the first place?

“Cramps are not well understood, but there is research to show that cramps occur from changes in motor neuron excitability or random discharges of motor nerves that cause sudden—sometimes very painful—involuntary contraction of a muscle,” says Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N, endurance athlete and owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition.

“Athletes who experience cramps may experience them during exercise (exercise-induced cramping) due to muscular fatigue or shortened muscle contraction (a.k.a. tight muscles and limited range of motion),” Sumbal says.

For expert-backed tips on preventing muscle cramps, alleviating pain when they strike, and keeping them from happening again, read on.

1. Do a proper warmup

Always warm up with a combination of dynamic and static stretching(Read: Warmup Tips: How to Use Static and Dynamic Stretching to Become a Better Athlete). When you incorporate both types of stretching into a full warmup routine with aerobic components and drills, you optimize your exercise performance and reduce your chances of straining muscles. Plus, by priming your major muscle groups—flooding the areas with blood—you prepare them for higher intensity movements. In short, you’re not shocking your system and causing muscles to lock or tighten due to stress.

2. Keep carbs handy—and hydrate!

Sumbal says to stay well hydrated during the day before you work out, during the workout (if you’re logging a good distance—and even more so if it’s hot), and after. Dehydration can play a role in muscle cramps because when you lose fluids and electrolytes like like sodium and potassium, you disrupt the balance of fluids in your body. In turn, this increases the excitability of your nerves and prompts your muscles to spasm. You should also consider drinking an electrolyte-carb beverage for workouts over 75 minutes, she says.

“You need to use sport nutrition (carbohydrate-based products) during long workouts when fatigue is most likely to occur,” Sumbal says. This isn’t necessary for a 5 or 10K, but if you’re logging 10+ miles, consider storing these foods and performance products to boost your energy and power you through the finish line. This is especially important for triathletes or people competing in endurance events like IRONMAN or Ragnar races who want to avoid the muscle cramping, stomach pain, and exhaustion symptomatic of bonking.

“We not only lose fluids when we sweat—which can be replaced with beverages—but the levels of several electrolytes that are essential to fluid balance and neuromuscular functioning also decrease—especially sodium,” says Beatriz Lara, a lead researcher from the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Camilo José Cela University. Her research suggests endurance athletes like marathoners can lose liters of fluids during a race, and if those fluids aren’t replenished, the excessive electrolyte loss can cause a condition called hyponatraemia. When your sodium concentration is less than 135 mmol/L in the blood it can lead to decreased or loss of consciousness—and worse. (That could make those muscle cramps seem like a walk in the park, huh?)

3. Improve your range of motion

“Work on mobility to improve your range of motion—especially if you’re commuting a lot or working a desk job,” Sumbal says. Mobility drills really help open up tightness so you can settle into movements that might otherwise strain your muscles—causing them to spasm and cramp.

If you’re looking for a routine that will build muscle, improve mobility, and bulletproof your joints, try The Perfect Workout. If you want fitness experts’ secrets on improving total body mobility, read The Fit 5: Better Body Mobility.

4. Relax your body

It’s difficult during high-intensity movements like sprinting, but try to relax your body when you’re training. Mid-run try to think about relaxing your face, unclenching your jaw, and keeping your fingers from forming a fist. It may seem nit-picky, but you’re wasting energy and putting unnecessary force on small and large muscles throughout your body. “Many newbie swimmers suffer from hamstring and calf cramps from being too tense in the water,” Sumbal adds. “Yoga may help with this,” she says, since the practice teaches you to zero in on tasks that challenge your strength and flexibility all while keeping that mind-body connection. .

5. Take it slow

“Progress slowly with your training,” Sumbal suggests. If you’re training for a marathon, you can’t jump from logging three miles a day to 12. Your muscles won’t have the time to cope, so you can expect straining and cramps. “Don’t take any shortcuts and progress your training gradually so you adapt overtime.”

6. Foam roll before and after workouts

“Most athletes will benefit from light foam rolling and mobility work before and afterworkouts,” Sumbal says. Loosen up your hip flexors, which are notoriously tight, and break up any knots in your hamstrings, quads, and calves. You’ll be markedly more comfortable and relaxed by taking the time to roll out tightness and soreness beforehand, and even more benefits if you do it after as well.
7. Massage the muscle

“If a cramp occurs during a workout, stop immediately and try to relax,” Sumbal recommends. Never try to push through the cramp because you’ll only aggravate it more. “You can lightly massage the muscles to relax the contraction,” she adds. Light stretching will help, too. Just don’t over-do it since that can cause the onset of new cramps.

8. Strengthen your small and large muscles

“Strength training is important; you can strengthen the muscles so they do not fatigue as quickly,” Sumbal says. “Don’t just target the major muscle groups, though,” she adds. Foot strength is super important and causes a whole slew of problems—from the ground up. Work on picking up marbles with your toes or grabbing a towel and picking it up and dropping it down from side to side.

9. Check out breaking science

Sumbal says to check out the latest on a sports beverage that targets the nervous system called It’s the Nerve. It’s not yet released but is in development by Rod MacKinnon M.D., Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist and endurance athlete. MacKinnon set out to create a solution to muscle cramps after suffering a bout while kayaking. According to his site, “When under stressful conditions—such as fatigue, heat, severe electrolyte loss, reduced blood flow—nerve function can deteriorate and cause an excessive firing of motor neurons, which ultimately causes muscles to cramp. Our product’s blend helps stabilize the activity of the motor neurons and thereby prevents muscle cramps.”  (Though we’re not sure yet what the “blend” is, all of the active ingredients are included on the FDA’s list of ingredients that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).)

Article Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/9-best-ways-get-rid-muscle-cramps?

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