Take a Hike

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Hiking takes you out of your usual routine, fills your lungs with fresh air, and lifts your spirits with the sights and sounds of nature. You might even forget that you’re giving your body a powerful workout that has many health benefits.

A regular trek on the trail is aerobic exercise that is good for the heart and lungs. A weight-bearing exercise, hiking strengthens bones and joints, which helps to prevent osteoporosis. Trails with varied terrain build strength in the hip and leg muscles. You’ll also strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, and improve balance and coordination. Hiking a few times a week, not just once a season, can help you maintain a healthy body weight. Hiking is also good for the mind and spirit. Studies show that exercising in nature lifts symptoms of stress and anxiety better than exercising indoors. When you hike with family or friends, the social experience contributes to good vibes for you and your kin.

Hiking Safety and Fitness Boosting Tips

Pack right. Use a daypack that properly fits your torso so the extra weight you carry (snacks, water, maps, first aid) won’t cause discomfort. If you aren’t properly fitted for a pack, you could risk injury to the back and hips.

Know before you go. Most trail systems have online maps that indicate degree of difficulty and trail conditions. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. It’s always possible for a GPS to lose its signal or battery strength, so carry a paper copy with you. Check the weather; dress and pack accordingly.

Buddy-up. A partner or group can help you navigate and assist if you get hurt.

Start slow. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills, rugged terrain, or higher elevation.

Use poles. Poles propel you forward and engage upper body muscles, which gives a more vigorous workout.

Know your limits. Keep tabs on your water and fatigue level. Stay on marked trails.

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Simple Grilled Venison Burgers

If you are unsure about the taste of venison, these burgers are a wonderful Venison_Burgersway to try it out. “Foodies” across the globe have embraced venison for its earthy flavor: Deer graze on grass, acorn, berries, and herbs, which lends to a unique taste and texture that is not found with any other cut of meat. The key to preparing venison is to enhance the natural flavors of this organic meat. Venison is usually quite lean, so in order to make sure these burgers aren’t too dry, the recipe calls for egg yolks and olive oil to give it a bit of help.

If you enjoy bacon, and save your drippings (or a few strips), you can add a heaping spoonful of the liquid (or ground strips) into the venison mixture. Just be sure to limit how much salt you are adding.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

Gently combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a fork. Do not overwork the meat or it will give you very tough burgers. Shape into four large patties and grill over medium-high heat until medium well, about 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and the heat of your grill.

These are absolutely perfect topped with a slice of Colby jack cheese and fresh tomatoes.

Source: Brittany’s Pantry. “Simple Grilled Vension Burgers

Red Meat the Healthy Way

A diet high in red meat has been touted to either fatten your waistline and lead to heart disease, or to transform you into a leaner, healthier version of yourself. So what’s the skinny on eating red meat the healthy way?

Beef, lamb, pork, and venison provide quality protein, B-vitamins, iron, and zinc. Depending on the cut, meat can be low in fat. When buying meat, pay attention to the source, cut, processing, and preparation method.

Source. Meat can be derived from grass-fed cattle that has been raised organically and not fed drugs or hormones. After slaughter, organic meats have not had any chemical preservatives added. Conventional meat comes from animals bred on factory farms and usually exposed to hormones. While the scientific jury continues to debate the health benefits of organic cattle, holistic health providers advise choosing organic meats.

Processing. Meat can go through a variety of processing to create what may be some of your favorite foods: bacon, hot dogs, sausage, deli meat. Read the labels to understand exactly what is added to these products. The more words that look like chemical names, the more processing the meat has gone through and the less nutrient dense it will be.

Cut. The leanest cuts of meat tend to have the word “loin” in the name: sirloin, tenderloin, pork loin. Also good options are round and bottom round, chuck shoulder steaks, filet mignon, flank steak, bone-in rib chops, lamb loin, and 90-95% lean ground beef.

Portion size. Three to four ounces, or about the size your palm for a burger patty, steak, or chop.

Preparation. Grilled steak is a favorite for many people, but the compounds that form when meat is cooked at very high heat have been linked to the disease process in many animal studies. Enjoy grilled meats occasionally; more often, choose gentler cooking methods such as braising, stewing, and steaming. If you grill or broil, flip the meat frequently, and don’t set it right on the flame.

Beefy alternatives. Bison/buffalo, venison, and ostrich are lower in saturated fat than beef, high in protein, and good sources of vitamins and minerals.

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Secrets for Sexy, Healthy Men

Most men know the basic health drill: eat more fresh, mostly organic foods; don’t smoke; exercise; and get an annual health exam. But there’s more to being a healthy, sexy man than choosing organic beef and hitting the gym a few days a week. Follow some of the “secrets” we list here and, in just a couple of weeks, you’ll see a boost in your vitality—and you might just live longer, too.

Take a time out. Getting into the Zen of the present moment reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases energy, and improves memory and immunity. A relaxed man also has better sex. Slow down for just 10-20 minutes a few days a week: try deep, belly breathing; getting outdoors for a walk (without your headphones); taking a yoga class; or checking out a meditation app.

LMAO. Here’s a good excuse to go to a comedy club with the guys: Laughing eases stress, promotes social bonding, and lowers blood pressure. It may even boost your immune system. So bring some humor into your life, whether it’s with friends, a funny book, or a movie.

Power-up the morning. Skipping breakfast will make you feel lethargic and give you middle-of-the-day cravings for sugar and other foods that will expand your waistline. A balanced breakfast—say, a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins, walnuts, and a dash of flax seed, plus a side of eggs—will rev-up your metabolism and maintain your energy. Plus, fiber in your daily diet regulates digestion and can moderate inflammation, cut your risk for diabetes, and promote healthy cholesterol levels.

Pour a cup of green. Drinking a few cups of green tea each day can improve memory and cognition in men. Rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols, green tea is also credited with boosting immunity, firing up your metabolism, and lowering blood pressure. Low in caffeine, green tea is the next best thing to a glass of water for hydration, too.

Eat a rainbow. Every meal should include a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can reap the health benefits. Vibrantly colored produce is packed with flavonoids and carotenoids, powerful compounds that help reduce inflammation. Antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens may be some of the best cancer-preventing foods. They also help with weight management and regulate digestion.

Look sharp. You know to protect your skin with daily use of sunscreen with at least SPF 15, but don’t forget about protecting your eyes. Get your Joe Cool style and protect your eyes against cataracts, cancer, and even sunburn by choosing shades that provide 99-100% UV absorption or UV 400.

Hit the sack. Jimmy Fallon might be funny, but the late hours won’t do much for your health. The number of hours of sleep needed varies for everyone. What’s most important is the quality of sleep you get. If you feel refreshed and ready for the day when you wake, then you’re getting good sleep. If you don’t, it’s time to change your pre-bedtime habits: Turn off digital devices an hour before bedtime; eat your last meal before 7 p.m.; stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule and … watch Jimmy the next day while you’re working out.

Sex it up. A relaxed, well-rested man has better sex. In turn, sex can make you look and feel younger, reduce stress, boost immunity, enhance sleep, protect against prostate cancer, and improve cardiovascular health. Some studies even suggest a link between the frequency and enjoyment of sex with longevity. Yes sir, sex just might help you live longer.

Your wellness provider can help keep you in good health, but the responsibility ultimately falls on you. Check in with your doc once a year for cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, and a colonoscopy and prostate exam. There are not many cancers that we can either prevent or detect early enough to make a difference, but these are two. You’re worth it, right?

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Food for Thought. . .

“The best gifts anyone can give to themselves are good health habits.”
— Ellen J. Barrier