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Take Time Out

We all work and live in fairly busy places, although some of us are fortunate to have open country near us. We need to see greenery regularly. Making our way to a park or field is urgent for our mental health.

Even in a city there are parks and green spaces. Make time to get there and just be. No running or jogging.

Be. Be in a green space. Regard the trees, the blades of grass. Look for critters that crawl or fly. They keep our planet healthy.

The green outdoors help keep your mind healthy. It washes away your stress and worries, at least for a while. The green outdoors heals your soul and allows you to shed the cares that weigh you down. It’s a place to be just you, to remember who you really are, what you want from life, who you love.

A place to rest your mind and refresh your being. Breathe in the cleaner air. Fill your lungs with it. Feel the peace. Absorb the stillness.

Nature is mostly green because green is calming. Green is restful. Take the calm and the rest. Relax. Chill. Sit and gaze. Drift away from your day. Be present in the green. Notice what you have never noticed before or reconnect with a childhood you forgot.

Do this as often as you can. You will worry much less. Feel less stressed. Instead, you will a new person. You will want to go back to that green. You may change your job, move out of a city. There’s no telling what being in the greenery will change in you.

Published in The Good Men Project

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How Men Can Age Well

As men age, a lot tend to slow down, kick back, and relax.

This is a big mistake. Please don’t make it. You will lose everything that makes you happy, content, and good company.

If you are not taking any exercise already, now is the time to start. Get a fairly decent bike, or start running. If you choose running, run on grass, otherwise, go to a sports shop and get good running shoes. You don’t want to wear your ankles and knees out.

If you a beginner, stop when you start to perspire. Your heartbeat will be faster. Your face will glow.

Every day go just a bit further. Stop if you get out of breath. Please.

If exercise is your habit, keep it going all your life. It will keep you fit and alert. You will find life less stressful than your inactive peers. You will be happier, content, and probably in a great relationship.

Exercise keeps your testosterone levels up. Aging causes them to drop. Activity fools the brain into thinking you are younger. You will keep enjoying a good sex life, as you have enabled yourself to keep getting erections.

A man who exercises learns what foods he needs. Low carbohydrates and high proteins. Drink plenty of water, limit the coffee, and drink alcohol occasionally.

If you have given up alcohol for whatever reason, stick with it. You aren’t missing much. If you were drinking as an addiction, make sure you have support, AA, or whatever works.

There is no such thing as a male ‘’menopause’’’, which isn’t always ghastly for women. There is simply becoming idle and lazy. That leads to impotence.

So live your life well. In all aspects. Be kind, generous, learn to understand people. Grasp the nuances, be actively making black lives matter, respect women.

If you can do this and experience the beautifulness of aging, you will be wise as well.

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About losing weight…

First, I want to stress that no one has to conform to a certain size or image. Forget what certain advertising tells you, or what you think men/women want. Be who you are. We are all designed differently. We need to celebrate diversity in body size, shape, and height.

That said and stressed, if you can take an inch or more of your flesh between your thumb and forefinger on your tummy or thigh, you probably need to lose some weight. The best way to do this is to put away scales, throw out calorie counters, and change your eating habits.

Choose a change that will suit you. It might be

Cutting out beige food. You can decide to stop eating cake, pastry, biscuits/cookies, pies and puddings. This will instantly remove a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates.

Cooking less food. If you have less food on your plate, and no leftovers to pick on from the fridge, you will lose weight.

Stop eating processed and precooked food. If you stop using cake mixes, microwave dinners and other processed foods, you cut out a lot of sugars.

A healthy diet of fresh vegetables, fruit and less meat will provide you with all the nourishment you need. We do not need to be swallowing vitamin tablets. Our diet should give us sufficient.

Some good things to add to your food intake are hemp oil, ginger, turmeric, liquorice, and local honey. Hemp oil is good for every system in your body. It will help you maintain and improve your circulation, sleep, joints, all your internal organs, breathing, and digestion.

Ginger and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory and decongestants. So is liquorice and honey is an antibiotic.

Fresh lemon juice everyday has an enzyme which protects against colds, flu, and other viral infections like mouth ulcers.

By doing away with the scales, you protect yourself from feelings of failure, unrealistic goals, and wanting to give up. Just knowing you are eating more healthily will make you feel good, even as you begin to notice feeling great physically.

Brisk walks, cycling, swimming etc are good to add to your change in lifestyle if you are not already doing so. We all need at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Start where you are now and build it up. Exercise is good for your mental health too. I know people who go for an hours bike ride before their family wakes up. They feel and look good, whatever their build or size.

When we make changes that are behaviour related, we are far more likely to succeed than if our goal is a number or weight. You will feel your clothes loosening, you will notice that you feel good.

The first fat that your body loses is that which surrounds your heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. This is the most important fat to lose. You will not notice the loss of this, but your body will.

Fat gained by alcohol can be harder to lose. Especially if you don’t reduce your alcohol consumption. A glass of wine can be the equivalent of a jam donut, a burger, a plate of desert. Alcohol related fat often sits around the neck and face, as well as the stomach. Especially in men. I can often tell if a person drinks a lot, just by their appearance.

I have talked about alcohol in a previous blog and will probably discuss it again, so I’m not going into detail here.

Never shame a person about their weight. There are medical conditions that cause weight gain. Never make an issue of weight with your children, just teach them a healthy life habit. If you have an overweight child, talk with them and make their journey to health a joint one.

I hope people find this helpful. There are so many ‘diets; out there and some lead to malnourishment and most lead to failure. A change in behaviour is for life, so you cannot fail.