Meditation for beginners

Men?s Fitness.com outlines three ways to meditate, which can help elevate stress and make you feel more positive throughout the day.

Our world’s a pretty crazy place lately. Instead of letting all the negativity and frustration of daily life get you down, experts say, you should set aside time to reflect. But daydreaming while you fast-forward through commercials doesn’t count. We’re talking quality reflection ? the kind you get from meditation.

You don’t have to sit cross-legged in a mass of pillows, either. “Even if you’re just looking for a little boost in your mood, meditation can help you do it,” says Bruce Frantzis, author of The Chi Revolution: Harness the Healing Power of Your Life Force. His suggestions on how to get started:

FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING
Try to physically center yourself, taking long, slow, deep breaths and inhaling as much air as you can. “Breathe deep from your belly,” says Frantzis, “and relax your nerves while you do it.”

RELEASE TIGHT MUSCLES
Concentrate on how your body
is feeling, and wherever you sense tightness, try to alleviate it. “Relaxing your belly will automatically relax your brain,” he says. This is when those pesky daily stresses start to disappear, and your perspective will naturally start to change.

THINK POSITIVELY
According to Frantzis, there are things that make people feel alive and things that make people feel dead. A “dead” example is any form of anxiety, while emotions like “love” and “hope” make you feel alive.

Click here to read the entire article.

The Fittest Movies of All-Time

Some of the best motivation to get in shape comes from shredded actors on the big screen. Of course many of those fit actors have personal trainers, diet specialists, personal cooks and loads of time to devote to looking so good, but still, it doesn?t matter where the motivation to eat right and stay in shape come from – as long as they come from somewhere.

Men?s Fitness.com recently unveiled its choices for the fittest movies of all-time. Below is a sample, but make sure to check out the entire article by clicking here.

FIGHT CLUB
Brad Pitt never had trouble winning over the ladies, but to most guys, he was still a skinny pretty boy?until Fight Club. As anarchist Tyler Durden, he inspired men everywhere to start crunching.

Fight Club

300
The film’s CGI-backbone doesn’t tarnish the exceptional shape the actors (like Gerard Butler, above) achieved to play a fearless Spartan army. After training for three months, the cast had to complete a 300-rep fitness test, including pull-ups, deadlifts, and pushups.

300

PUMPING IRON
The documentary that brought bodybuilding and its Austrian poster boy into the mainstream. With vintage footage of Gold’s gym and the brutal workouts that forged champion bodies, Pumping Iron is a must-see for any musclehead.

Pumping Iron

Least Fit Celebes

Men’s Fitness.com lists eight celebrity guys whose health could benefit from shrinking their waistline.

?
Michael Moore
Age: 54
In his words: “Actually, when I go home to Michigan, I’m one of the skinny guys.”

The sizeable filmmaker made us take a long hard look at the nation’s health care system in his controversial documentary Sicko. Weighing in at just over 300 pounds, Moore would be wise to examine his own health as closely, especially since he’s now in his mid-50s. To his credit, Moore has reportedly made attempts to shed the pounds through lifting weights, eating smarter, and getting more sleep. He’s also been quoted as saying he’d like to get down to 225 pounds.
Least Fit Moment
During a 2007 interview with New York Magazine, Moore was asked if he lost any weight prior to the release of Sicko to avoid being called a hypocrite by the critics. His response: “Not at all. [Losing weight] actually works against me. . . . See, as I’ve gained weight over the years, I’ve become more popular. You can really track the box office going up as I put on the pounds: Roger & Me, $7 million. Bowling for Columbine, $21 million. Fahrenheit, $120 million.”

Kevin Smith
Age: 37
In his words: “I’ve never been a drinker or drugger, but where I’ve historically indulged like Tony Montana?was with junk food. I never had a bowl of cereal; I’d eat a box.”

The brilliant filmmaker who brought us Clerks, Mallrats, and Dogma, has always been a guy who swims in self-deprecation when it comes to his body image. But Smith’s family history?of diabetes scared the director into shedding over 20 pounds in 2007. We give the guy all the credit in the world for paying attention to hereditary health risks — and we’re willing to bet Smith will stick to his new lifestyle and drop a few more pounds.
Least Fit Moment
In 2007, Smith revealed in his blog the real reason why he can’t lose weight: “I don’t have a weight problem. There are people who can work their asses off to lose weight?only to find that their genetics conspire against their best efforts. I’m not one of those people. I can lose weight?— I just have a problem with getting off my fat ass. What can I say? I’m just a lazy fuck.”

Kevin Smith probably sums up why many people struggle with weight loss. Laziness will get you every time.

Do sleep-deprived kids get fat?

A study reported by the USA Today says children that don’t get enough sleep are more likely to become overweight, compared to children who do enter sandman nightly.?

Researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., reviewed national data on more than 1,400 kids ages 3 to 12; follow-up data on the same children were collected five years later. The parents completed time diaries on children’s bedtime and wake-up times. Children’s height and weight were measured on two occasions.?The National Sleep Foundation recommends that preschoolers get 11 to 13 hours of sleep each night. Children ages 5 to 12 years are supposed to sleep 10 to 11 hours a night; teens, nine hours.?

Findings in the journal Child Development:?

• Many children aren’t sleeping enough on weeknights: 10-year-olds slept an average of 9.5 hours a night; 14-year-olds, 8.5 hours; 17-year-olds, 8 hours.?

• About 36% of children ages 3 to 8 who slept an average of 10 hours — too little for the wee ones and barely enough for the older children — were overweight by middle school.?

• Only 30% of children in that age range who got about 11 hours of sleep a night were overweight in middle school.?Eleven to 13 hours of sleep each night sounds like a crap load compared to the recommended seven to eight hours for adults.Eleven to 13 hours of sleep each night sounds like a crap load compared to the recommended seven to eight hours for adults.Eleven to 13 hours of sleep each night sounds like a crap load compared to the recommended seven to eight hours for adults.Eleven to 13 hours of sleep each night sounds like a crap load compared to the recommended seven to eight hours for adults.

Eleven to 13 hours of sleep each night sounds like a crap load compared to the recommended seven to eight hours for adults.

Eleven to 13 hours of sleep each night sounds like a crap load compared to the recommended seven to eight hours for adults.

Hair Triggers

In the Feburary issue of Men’s Health, the mag offers advice to fix four hidden causes of shedding:

1. Sudden Hair Loss
The trigger is emotional or physical trauma. The shock can cause telogen effluvium, a condition that makes hair stop growing and fall out. “Imagine going bald overnight,” says Jessie Cheung, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at New York University school of medicine. As your mind and body recover, so too will your hairline.

2. Steady Hair Loss
Hair follicles demand a steady infusion of nutrients to sustain rapid growth. If you’re shedding more than usual for 2 or 3 months straight, look at your diet: Too little iron, biotin, or zinc can send hair into starvation mode. To restore those nutrients, eat more broccoli, spinach, and eggs. Also, pop a daily multivitamin, such as Centrum.

3. A Round, Smooth Patch
A silver-dollar-size bare spot signals alopecia areata. The cataglst is still unknown, but stress and genetics are likely culprits, says Kevin McElwee, Ph.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of British Columbia. See a dermatologist for corticosteroid injections to ease the inflammation causing your hair to hibernate.

4. A Round, Scaly Patch
You probably have tinea capitis, a fungal infection. (Think athlete’s foot of the head.) Your body battles back with a wave of white blood cells that harm hair follicles. Try an over-the-counter antifungal shampoo, such as Nizoral. If that doesn’t work, as for a prescription antifungal medication, such as Lamisil.

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