Thursday, June 02nd, 2011

3 Unique Ways For Men To Stay Healthy

In this article I’ll detail the three most important things for a man to stay healthy. Make sure you read until the end – the last tip won’t be what you expect.

1. Exercise Your PC Muscle

Forget bicep curls, bench presses and lat pulls – but don’t forget to do this one. On a daily basis, exercise your pubococcygeus or “PC” muscle. It’s a muscle that stretches from the pubic bone to the coccyx, or the same muscle that allows you to stop your pee mid-stream.

You may have heard your female counterparts refer to the contraction and tightening of this muscle as Kegels, which is essentially the same thing in men and women. If you’ve done yoga, it’s called the tightening of the root bandha or mula bandha. Whatever name you give it, remember to exercise it as consistently as you flex your triceps.

The best way to train this muscle is on your down time. Sitting in a chair, taking a shower, or even going to urinate and trying to stop the flow 2-3 times during the process. Try it out the next time you’re in public bathroom – you’re sure to get entertaining, quizzical looks. Regardless of the place, try 20-30 quick contractions, each time attempting to hold it tight for as long as you can.

The benefits are many. Mastering the contraction of PC muscle improves sexual function, decreases chances of prostate issues, and increases core strength. It’s the master muscle, one we never see, but always use.

Alvin Tam, Human Touch Wellness Council Member: “I am part of Human Touch’s Wellness Council. As a member, I post helpful information about health and wellness with a focus on strength, training, the benefits of massage, martial arts, acrobatics and more. I have found my advice and direction to be helpful and sometimes eye-opening for our readers. I have helped many to achieve their own wellness goals.”

2. Combine Plyometrics With Isometric Movement

Since I come from an acrobatic background, I’ve noticed aspects of my training that I don’t find in most fitness systems. Much of what I’ve done in the acrobatic world is a combination of highly explosive plyometrics – movement where you burst forward, upward, sideways, backward rapidly – and isometrics – static movements that require strength and endurance but produce no movement.

For example, a squat jump is plyometric while a horse stance is isometric. Both work you in different ways, and each has great benefits for your health and for improving your athletic ability.

Try combining both types of movement dynamic into your training. The system I created, teach, and certify instructors in Las Vegas is called Acrofit. Acrofit combines explosive moves with totally static balance postures, so it’s almost like combining a yoga class with a bootcamp style training.

Static isometrics is excellent for slow endurance moves. Explosive plyometrics is great for fast twitch, high response type sports. In reality you need both. So try combining squat jumps with 30 seconds of static horse stance, or clapping push ups with a core-strengthening plank position.

3. Stay At Your Edge

I believe the number one reason a man gets lazy and overweight is because he has mentally lost his edge. An edge for a man means tempting various physical, mental and emotional challenges that are consistently slightly beyond his comfort zone. When a man settles into a routine and becomes comfortable with his workout, his health, enthusiasm, energy levels, and ability to grow begin to decline. He must search out challenges that take him slightly into a zone of discomfort – always.

There are times when you may need to rest, recharge, and recover from a long bout of intense physical challenges, like triathlons, races. In my case, I was recovering from years of hard core training – after I completed my run with Cirque du Soleil at the end of 2007, I took an informal sabbatical from acrobatic training for nearly one and half years. I needed it.

Once you’ve determined however that you are done with your break, or that maybe you never really needed one to begin with, then it’s time to live at your edge, particularly for men. Search your mind for an activity, sport, or exercise that would make you shiver at the thought of going through with it. As I told my students once, it could be something as overlooked as going home tonight and emptying your cabinets and fridge of anything that contains sugar or white flour. Sounds scary doesn’t it?

I want to end with why massage should definitely be a part of every man’s life. It’s a great investment to reduce stress and take that needed break. I find using my Human Touch massage chair helps me to relax in ways I could not before. Please be sure to join Human Touch this month as they celebrate National Men’s Health Month on Facebook. Click this link to become a part of their online community, meet other men, get wellness tips and meet a few experts in health and wellness.

Live at your edge, aim for growth through challenge, and know that a man only best evolves when there’s just a little bit of fear in his heart.

Happy training,

Alvin Tam, Founder Acrofit,
Alvin Tam, Designer
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