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    Why Fast Food Is Like a Thanos Power Punch to the Brain

    What’s your In-N-Out fix? Animal Style? Double Meat? A belt-busting 4×4? Sad to say you’re doing damage to more than just your pant size. New research from Ohio State University found eating highly processed food (read: fast food) for four weeks caused lab animals to perform measurably worse on memory-related tests compared to those eating healthier fare.

    Why? These foods are like a Thanos power punch to the brain, triggering inflammation.
    The silver lining: Researchers found memory function is almost completely protected by eating high amounts (500 mg per day) of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Load up on the following:
    salmon
    chia seeds
    flax seeds
    eggs
    walnuts
    mackerel
    herring
    hemp seeds
    sardines
    tuna

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    How to Use Cold-Water Immersion to Burn Fat Faster

    Running stark naked into the ocean in winter might seem loopy. But a new Scandinavian study (where else?) found that cold-water immersion followed by hot sauna recovery can give you an advantage when it comes to losing weight.

    In the study, researchers monitored the vitals of a group of young men who had spent at least two years swimming twice a week in cold water and compared them with a non-swimming control group.

    They found those who regularly swam then sat in a sauna burned more calories via brown fat (the type that keeps you warm). In short: Cold-water immersion followed by hot sauna bouts can increase energy expenditure and promote weight loss.

    If you’re thinking of taking the polar bear plunge this year, consider these tips:
    Get naked: Less is more when it comes to clothing. It may keep you toasty on land, but as soon as garments become wet, they cling to skin, making water feel even colder. 
    Plug your ears: If you’re prone to “ice cream headaches,” use earplugs to keep freezing water from entering your ear canal.
    Skip the shot of whiskey: Booze lowers your body temperature, making cold water tougher to handle.
    Practice: Sit in ice baths or take a cold shower for 2-3 minutes in the weeks leading up to the plunge.
    See your doc: If you have heart issues, check with your physician first, as cold water can cause a spike in heart rate and blood pressure.

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    Learn About the Health Effects of Elevated Uric Acid in 'Drop Acid'

    Dr. David Perlmutter writes books that change the way people think about nutrition. Among his five New York Times best-sellers, he’s explored topics such as the effects of carbohydrates (Grain Brain) and intestinal microbes (Brain Maker) on the body. His latest book, Drop Acid, puts a spotlight on uric acid. It’s a waste byproduct that Dr. Perlmutter says can threaten your health if you have too much of it.

    “The most threatening pandemic of our modern times is not a virus,” Dr. Perlmutter wrote in a blog post. “The number one cause of death on our planet are [sic] chronic, metabolic conditions and the multitude of diseases they produce. These include diabetes, overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even Alzheimer’s. These conditions are by and large not genetic. They are the consequences of our lifestyle choices—especially those related to food.”
    One substance that can lead to many health issues
    Uric acid is created when your body breaks down purines. Purines are produced in the body and found in goods such as anchovies, dried beans and peas, and beer. Dr. Perlmutter says that in addition to purines, uric acid has two more sources: alcohol and fructose. He calls fructose “the gateway for metabolic problems.”
    Elevated levels of uric acid can lead to gout, but Dr. Perlmutter finds it’s much more than that. He claims uric acid plays an important role in “metabolic mayhem” that can be linked to weight gain and elevated blood sugar. He also points to connections with cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction, and cognitive decline.
    In Drop Acid, Dr. Perlmutter writes about the science of uric acid, as well as the simple dietary changes that can lower uric acid levels and positively impact your metabolism. He also shows how you can test your own uric acid levels at home, so you can reach your optimal levels.
    Available now on Amazon, Target, and at select book retailers.

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    The Best Mid-Workout Fuel for Endurance Athletes

    Every good endurance athlete knows that nutrition is every bit as important as training. If you aren’t properly fueled, you won’t be performing at your best—and will even risk crashing mid-race or workout. Whether your M.O. is running, cycling, or swimming, that quick ‘n easy snack or supplement during a long training session should be packed with nutrients to keep you going. With too many options out there, just finding the right fuel can be tiring. Here are eight of our favorite mid-workout energy boosters.

     
    Courtesy Image1. GU Energy Gel
    Designed to supply energy and key nutrients lost during exercise, GU Energy Gels are one of most convenient, mid-workout snacks. Available in a wide variety of flavors, GU gels contain the perfect blend of complex and simple carbohydrates that help sustain you during long workouts. They’re portable and easy to eat (and digest) while in motion, making them ideal to munch on mid-race or mid-workout. Pro tip: if you have a hard time with the consistency, mix them with some water for an easier swallow.
    [From $10; guenergy.com]
    Get it

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    2. SaltStick Capsules
    It’s probably ingrained in your mind that sodium is bad for you—but for endurance athletes especially, salt is your friend. Sodium is essential because it helps maintain fluid balance in the body. Salt and electrolytes are rapidly lost through sweat, so it’s important to replenish them during long workouts. As the name suggests, SaltStick Capsules are packed with salt and electrolytes, working to reduce muscle cramping and boost stamina while maintaining the five electrolytes lost through sweat (potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride). Take one capsule every 30-60 minutes to sustain peak performance.
    [From $13; saltstick.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy Image3. Tailwind Endurance Fuel
    Tailwind’s Endurance Fuel mixes with water and provides athletes with essential calories, electrolytes, and hydration. Made with all-natural ingredients and natural flavors, the combination of water, fuel, and electrolytes has a synergistic effect, allowing the body to absorb more of each and keep you sustained for longer periods of time and at higher intensities. Simply mix some of the powder into a to-go bottle and stay fueled and hydrated during those longer workouts.
    [From $2.50; tailwindnutrition.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy Image4. Pickle Juice
    It may sound disgusting, but if you’re prone to cramps pickle juice could be the elusive solution. Why pickle juice? It contains 10-15 times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks, contains zero calories and zero sugar, and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Although there isn’t science yet to prove it, researchers believe pickle juice is effective at stopping and preventing cramps because it triggers muscle reflexes when it hits the back of the throat. This in turn prevents the misfiring of neurons that trigger cramping. If you tend to cramp, try packing a shot of pickle juice for your next workout.
    [From $20; picklepower.com]
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    Courtesy Image5. BonkBreaker Energy Chews
    BonkBreaker Energy Chews work like energy gels—combining fast acting carbohydrates and electrolytes to support muscle contraction. But while energy gels are traditionally eaten in one go, energy chews come in small bites and can be eaten in whatever portion the athlete requires. Packed with 240mg of vital electrolytes and 100mg of caffeine from all-natural white tea sources, BonkBreakers provide a much-needed boost of energy while remaining easy to digest. If you struggle with the taste or texture of energy gels, here’s your chewable alternative.
    [$22; bonkbreaker.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy Image6. Clif Bar
    You’d be hard pressed to find a more classic trail snack than a Clif Bar. Although they aren’t as quick to eat as some options out there, they’re sufficiently filling and packed with essential nutrients, making them a great mid-workout snack. Available in a wide range of flavors, Clif Bars blend carbohydrates, protein, and fat to provide long-lasting energy for lengthy workouts. Made from sustainably sourced ingredients, Clif Bars contain simple sugars, organic oats, plant protein, nuts, seeds, and oils, providing a time-tested blend of flavor and energy.
    [$16; clifbar.com]
    Get it

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    7. Kate’s Real Food Energy Bars
    As the name indicates, Kate’s Real Food energy bars are made with organic, all-natural ingredients to keep you nutritiously boosted. Every bar contains organic almond or peanut butter mixed with organic oats, brown rice crisps, and organic honey for a nutritious snack with flavors that you’ll actually recognize. Bars take a little more time to consume than gels or chews, so they’re better suited for workouts than races.
    [From $15; katesrealfood.com]
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    Courtesy Image8. Baby Food
    Weird as it may sound, baby food is gaining popularity as a snack for endurance athletes. Made with simple and natural ingredients, it’s packed with sugar and carbohydrates, easy enough for a baby to digest, and offers quick and reliable energy for larger humans. Many brands of baby food are available in convenient, “on-the-go” squeeze pouches that are as easy to carry as they are to eat. Plus, maybe you forgot, they taste surprisingly okay. You can buy squeeze pouches from different sport snack manufacturers or simply pick some up from the baby food aisle at your local grocery store.

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    Enlarged Prostates Are Very Common—and Treatment Has Never Been Easier

    This article was produced in partnership with Lumenis
    You vaguely remember your father complaining about his prostate. But, hey, it’s nothing for you to worry about, right? An enlarged prostate is something that happens to older guys. Except one day peeing doesn’t come as easily as it used to, and you’re heading for the bathroom more times than you can count. Uh-oh.
    It’s not a fun subject, but if you’re dealing with an enlarged prostate, know you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in very good company. The condition, known in medical terms as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is surprisingly common. More importantly, treatment options have improved dramatically since when your old man dealt with it. So no more hiding in the bathroom. Let’s bring this into the open and break it down.
    What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate—or BPH?
    The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Its job is to create ejaculatory fluid. As men age, their prostates often get bigger, and compress the urethra. When this happens, urine doesn’t flow freely out of the bladder—which means the top signs of BPH are the need to urinate frequently with a stream that dribbles out like a leaky faucet. You might also be getting up multiple times during the night to pee. Sometimes, you may be straining during urination. BPH is incredibly common, affecting around half of men in their 50s, and 90 percent of men in their 80s.
    To be clear, we’re not talking about cancer. An enlarged prostate isn’t always dangerous if asymptomatic. You can have an enlarged prostate without it impacting your life. However, if you begin to experience symptoms, they’re unlikely to resolve on their own.
    “In general, it’s progressive, and guys will have gradual worsening symptoms,” says James R. Johannes, M.D., a urologist in the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Left untreated, BPH can cause major damage to the kidneys and bladder, and require much more extensive treatment.
    How is BPH diagnosed and treated?
    If your general practitioner suspects you have an enlarged prostate, they’ll send you to a urologist for diagnosis and treatment. The doctor will perform a digital rectal exam, a urinalysis, and bloodwork. You may be asked to take a urinary flow and volume test to see if your bladder is emptying, and to track your urination over the course of a couple days.
    For most men, the first-line intervention is medicine. Some prescriptions relax muscles in the bladder and prostate to help with urine flow, while others can help shrink the size of the prostate. Sometimes they’re prescribed together. That’s why you should head to the doc as soon as you suspect something’s not right.
    “In general, the earlier the better,” Dr. Johannes says. “Sometimes we see people when the cat’s already out of the bag, and they have severe problems.”
    At this point, surgery is often a good option. Luckily, we’ve moved past the days when the procedure meant a few nights in the hospital and seeing blood in the urine. Newer laser technology, like MOSES, makes reducing prostatic tissue faster and less invasive. This means less bleeding and often no need for a catheter. Odds are you’ll go home that same day—always a big relief to patients.
    You may hear your doctor refer to it as a HoLEP procedure, which stands for holmium laser enucleation of the prostate. That’s been around for decades. What’s improved drastically is the MOSES laser technology. The minimally invasive HoLEP surgery happens in three parts.
    First, a resectoscope is placed in the urethra and a small camera is threaded to the prostate so the surgeon can visualize the blockage. Next, a laser is threaded through the resectoscope and is used to core out the tissue that’s blocking urine flow. Finally, a cutting tool “chews up” tissue until it’s very small and removes it.
    Throughout the procedure, a laser is used to reduce bleeding. The whole thing takes around 90 minutes and odds are you’ll go home that same day, which is always a relief to patients. Incontinence or urinary leakage risk is very low, as is the risk for erectile dysfunction. And if you’re worried about re-operation—that the surgery didn’t do enough to relieve the BPH—fear not. An 18-year study from McGill University in Montreal found that 98.6 percent of patients did not require another surgery.
    If it’s so easy, why do men avoid it?
    In a prostate-sized nutshell, going to the urologist is a drag. It’s no fun to talk about urination, less so to consider surgery in those parts. No surprise, it’s often a wife or partner who pushes for a prostate check.
    But knowing that BPH is incredibly common—and that treatment is as swift and non-invasive as ever—can help.
    Gary, a retired police officer from Illinois, was one of those people who waited too long. By the time his family forced him to visit the emergency room, he was already in renal failure and had to urinate using a catheter. He teamed up with Dr. Amy Krambeck, a urologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who used the MOSES technology. “My recovery was not bad at all,” Gary recalls. He experienced a week or two of bleeding, typically with urination. “I am doing great. I feel like I’m about 18 years old again.”
    The other big hurdle is the fear of prostate cancer.
    Here’s some surprising news. “Rarely does prostate cancer cause urinary symptoms,” says Dr. Johannes. The prostate has an inner, fleshy part, called the transitional zone, and an outer area, called the peripheral zone, he explains. Most BPH occurs in the transitional zone, while most cancers are in the peripheral zone.
    Of course, for any prostate-related symptoms, your doctor should do blood work that tests for prostate cancer markers. If you do have a BPH procedure with MOSES, or any surgery to reduce prostate size, your surgeon can send tissue samples for analysis. Prostate cancer can be very treatable and slow-growing, so it’s best not to let any big-C fears prevent you from vital early detection and treatment.
    Back to BPH. While surgery, of course, will always remain a big, informed decision, just know your options for dealing with a very common condition are that much easier these days. The latest technology in prostate care can alleviate the process of undergoing important treatment from start to finish. And that’s no small relief.
    Find a Physician

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    21 Healthy Vegan Snacks to Fight All Your Cravings

    There are roughly 79 million vegans worldwide and about 9.7 million people who follow a vegetarian or plant-based diet in the U.S. People are abstaining from meat and its byproducts for a variety of reasons—from sustainability to environmental impacts, animal welfare to personal health. And those people are looking for healthy vegan snacks.

    A new study called The Power of Meat Report showed that self-identified meat eaters dropped from 85 to 71 percent in 2020. There’s been a surge of new vegan food products to meet the demand. It’s never been easier to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
    Even if you do consume animal products, you can slowly but gradually reduce your intake. Check out these vegan snacks next time you go to the grocery store.

    Best Healthy, Store-Bought Vegan Snacks to Fight All Your Cravings

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    1. Barnana Original Organic Banana Bites
    Barnana snacks are made from upcycled bananas (i.e. bananas that aren’t perfect enough to make it to the grocery store) to reduce food waste. The brand turns perfectly imperfect bananas into chewy, organic snacks. It’s like banana bread on the go—but healthy. The only ingredient is bananas; nothing more, nothing less.
    [From $29.99, 6-pack; barnana.com]
    Get it

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    2. Bare Snacks Fuji and Reds Apple Chips
    Bare turns fresh produce into crunchy chips by baking, never frying. Fuji & Reds Apple Chips contain no added sugar or preservatives, are a good source of fiber, are fat- and gluten-free, vegan, and Non-GMO Project Verified.
    [$25.74, 6 bags; amazon.com]
    Get it

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    3. Biena Chickpea Snacks Sea Salt
    Chickpeas are loaded with plant-based protein and fiber. Biena roasts them until perfectly crunchy, then dusts with sea salt. There’s nothing artificial; just simple, whole-food ingredients in this gluten-, nut-, grain-, and dairy-free snack.
    [$17.96, 4-pack; bienasnacks.com]
    Get it

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    4. Frooze Balls Peanut Butter and Jelly
    Frooze Balls is dedicated to plant-powered snacks that are good for you and the planet. Its PB&J energy balls pack nostalgic flavor into each coconut-covered bite to keep your taste buds happy anytime, anywhere.
    [$19.99, 8-pack; froozeballs.com]
    Get it

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    5. Navitas Power Snacks Cacao Goji
    These vegan snacks from Navitas are made with dates, seeds, and superfoods for a bite that satiates. The cacao goji flavor provides important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to boot.
    [$9.99; navitasorganics.com]
    Get it

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    6. Solely Fruit Mango Jerky
    Think of Solely Fruit Jerky as vegan, better-for-you Fruit Roll-Ups. The fruit strips are made with whole, organic fruit—no added sugar, preservatives, or concentrates. These are also non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher.
    [$17.99, 12-pack; solely.com]
    Get it

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    7. Sabra Hummus Classic Hummus and Guacamole
    Sabra products are deliciously simple. Its hummus is made of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, while its guacamole is just as simple: hass avocados, cilantro, lime, herbs, and spices. Both dips are vegan, non-GMO, and kosher; enjoy with chips or veggie sticks.
    [Price varies online and in-store]
    Get it

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    8. Once Again’s Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
    Made with one simple ingredient (just dry roasted peanuts), this peanut butter proves that America’s favorite spread doesn’t need excess sugar or sneaky additives to taste delicious. Unsweetened, salt-free, and void of preservatives, it packs 8 g plant-based protein per serving and is also certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and part of the brand’s Honest in Trade Program.
    [$7.99; onceagainnutbutter.com]
    Get it

    Quorn Vegan Buffalo Dippers Courtesy Image9. Quorn Vegan Buffalo Dippers
    Quorn Vegan Meatless Buffalo Dippers come in a light, crispy breading of oats, flaxseed, and quinoa. The nugget itself is made of mycoprotein, a type of naturally occurring fungus that’s high in fiber and low in saturated fat. Vegan, non-GMO, and soy-free, these dippers are a deeply satisfying alternative to chicken.
    [Price varies online and in-store; quorn.us]
    Get it

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    10. Santitas Tortilla Chips
    Just like the tortilla chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant, Santitas start with high-quality, stone-ground corn. Pair with your favorite salsa or guacamole.
    [Price varies online and in-store; fritolay.com]
    Get it

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    11. Sunsweet Pitted Dates
    Sunsweet dates provide 3 g fiber per 120-calorie serving. They taste great on their own, but can also amp up the sweetness in smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods, serving as a sugar substitute due to their natural sugar content and sticky texture.
    [$3.59, 8-oz pouch; sunsweet.com]
    Get it

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    12. Grillo’s Dill Pickle Spears
    Garlic, vinegar, dill, salt, and grape leaves punch up the flavor in this 5-calorie snack. It’s got zero artificial preservatives, is gluten-free, fat-free, certified kosher, and vegan. Eating your vegetables has never tasted so good.
    [Price varies online and in-store; grillospickles.com]
    Get it

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    13. Hippeas Puffs Vegan White Cheddar
    Chickpeas are baked into a light, crunchy puff (like a healthy Cheeto Puff) in this genius snack. While the white cheddar flavor is undeniably cheesy, it’s totally vegan and packs 4 g protein and 3 g fiber per bag.
    [$39.99, 12-pack; hippeas.com]
    Get it

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    14. Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt
    Edamame is already a delicious, high-protein vegan snack, but Seapoint ups the ante by dry roasting and portioning in convenient, single-serve pouches. Each serving has 20 g plant-based protein. And with just two ingredients, soybeans and sea salt, you can feel good about noshing.
    [$22.80, 12-pack; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Shelled pistachios Joanna Kosinska/Unsplash15. Pistachios
    Pistachios are the go-to nut for vegans. They’re a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber, all of which promote overall health and well-being. They’re also a complete plant-based protein source, providing all nine essential amino acids needed to build muscle and proteins in the body. Go for shelled roasted/salted or lightly salted.
    [Price varies online and in-store; getcrackin.com]
    Get it

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    16. Gigantic Limited-Edition “Double Dark Mint” Vegan Candy Bar
    Gigantic is a new type of “healthy” candy bar, made with Fairtrade dark chocolate, coconut milk, plant-based caramel, and real sugar (7 g). Better yet, these have 69 percent less sugar than traditional candy bars. You’ll never look back.
    [$27.99; giganticcandy.com]
    Get it

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    17. No Cow Plant Based Protein Bars Peanut Butter Cup
    No Cow proves plant-based, low-sugar protein bars don’t have to taste like cardboard. Try Peanut Butter Cup; the chocolate-dipped bar is dairy-free, low in sugar, and offers 20 g plant-based protein (from pea and rice)—the perfect fuel to help power through your day.
    [$29.99, 12-pack; nocow.com]
    Get it

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    18. AYO Almondmilk Organic Yogurt
    Each 5.3-ounce cup of AYO Almondmilk Yogurt is made using 20 certified organic almonds. The yogurt alternative is still rich and creamy in texture despite being dairy-free, and contains only 9 g added sugar—less than most yogurt varieties—plus 4 g protein, and live active cultures.
    [Price varies online and in-store; ayoyogurt.com]
    Get it

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    19. Daily Harvest Bites Raspberry + Fig
    Daily Harvest Bites make the perfect vegan pick-me-up snack or dessert. All are sweetened with fruits and vegetables and have zero added sugar. We like Raspberry + Fig; almond butter and shredded coconut balance out the zing of berries. Let them thaw for a few minutes or eat ’em straight from the freezer.
    [$7.99, 7 bites; daily-harvest.com]
    Get it

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    20. Diamond Walnuts
    A 1-ounce serving of walnuts provide 4 g plant protein and 2 g fiber, as well as being the only nut with an excellent source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA (2.5g/oz).
    [$6.29, 16-oz bag; diamondnuts.com]
    Get it

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    21. The Good Grocer Deluxe Vegan Snacks Care Package
    Can’t decide on one vegan snack? The Good Grocer has vegan snack packages with an assortment of individually wrapped, grab-n-go snacks that are both sweet and savory. Treat yourself, load up your pantry, or gift to your favorite vegan friend!
    [$64.95, 30-pack; thegoodgrocersnacks.com]
    Get it

    Jordan Mazur, MS, RD is the Director of Nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers.

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    Best Self-Help Books to Improve Every Area of Your Life

    If we had a dollar for every self-help book we meant to pick up recently, but got distracted by, uh, the world exploding, we’d have enough Amazon credits to buy Eckhart Tolle’s entire library. Instead, we recommend you actually pick up one (or all 20) of the below. Then, make it your mission to read it cover-to-cover. With the best self-help books around, a happier, healthier you is only a few easy chair sessions away.

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    1. The Immunotype Breakthrough: Your Personalized Plan to Balance Your Immune System, Optimize Health, and Build Lifelong Resilience by Heather Moday, MD
    Heard much about bolstering your immune system recently? Out on December 21, 2021, this timely book looks at cutting-edge research and case studies to give you no-nonsense insights on optimizing your health with an individualized plan. The plans are based on your immunotype, which Moday identifies as Smoldering, Weak, Hyperactive, and Misguided. Follow the program and sign up for that half-marathon already.
    [$28; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image2. Inner Harmony: Living in Balance by Jon Kolkin
    Sometimes, you just wanna look at photos. Okay, and a bit of inspiring text, too. Here, award-winning photographer and physician Dr. Jon Kolkin chronicles more than a decade of visiting Buddhist communities across Asia, with a first-hand glimpse inside monastery life. The arresting visuals and accompanying words will remind you to slow down, zen out, and remember that your problems probably aren’t as big as you’re making them out to be.
    [$48; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image3. When Crisis Strikes: 5 Steps to Heal Your Brain, Body, and Life from Chronic Stress by  Jennifer Love, MD and Kjell Tove Hovik, PhD
    Do you always feel on edge or like the next code red is around the corner? Do yourself a favor and pick up this book—pronto. Co-written by a psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist, you’ll get schooled on what’s happening on a biological level in your body and mind. You’ll also learn how to navigate life’s difficult times and become a more resilient fella, all in some 247 pages. Chronic stress is awful—time to take a proactive step to leave it behind.
    [$8; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy Dr. Marvin Singh4. Rescue Your Health: How New Advances in Science Can Help You Feel Better, Boost Performance, and Live Longer by Marvin Singh, MD
    Brimming with cutting-edge scientific research and intel on reducing your risk for heart and liver disease, cancer, and degenerative brain disorders. You’ll be taking lots of notes on this one. As Singh capably narrates how to live longer (and better) in easy-to-follow language, you’ll only wish you had gotten your hands on this sooner.
    [$9; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image5. Shift into a Higher Gear: Better Your Best and Live Life to the Fullest by Delatorro McNeal
    McNeal, a motorcycle aficionado and honorary PhD, uses biking metaphors to reveal his tried-and-true techniques for improving your life. The book has exercises, journaling activities, and compelling questions to get your wheels turning, too. With any luck—and hard work—you’ll soon be changing your daily habits and feeling happier and more fulfilled than ever.
    [$10; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image6. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD
    It’s no surprise this 2014 bible on healing from trauma re-graced the New York Times bestseller list during the pandemic. The book guides you through research on psychological trauma and helps you set yourself up for better days ahead. For science enthusiasts, it also provides a fascinating look at how trauma changes the body and mind—and not how you think.
    [$10.49; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image7. Ageless Intensity: High-Intensity Workouts to Slow the Aging Process by Pete McCall
    Want to be skiing and surfing at 100? Us too. In this book, McCall, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, gives the reader research-backed insights on HIIT training and how you can use the principles to get in incredible shape, regardless of your age. Whether you’re looking for a fitness tune-up or hoping for a body transformation, everyone will come away from this book with actionable advice on keeping their joints healthy, muscles strong, and mindset positive.
    [$14; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image8. This is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More by Uma Naidoo, MD
    Allow us to state the obvious: You are what you eat. Your brain thinks so, too. In fact, recent studies have revealed that your diet can have a major impact on your noggin, whether in the realm of dementia, sleep disorders, or mental health conditions. In this book, a board-certified psychiatrist, nutrition specialist, and professionally trained chef, helps you understand the science in laymen’s terms and provides you with 40 recipes designed to support brain health. Bon appétit.
    [$13; amazon.com]
    Get it

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    9. Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience, and Stay Connected Amidst the Chaos by Hala Khouri
    Yoga teachers, how do they do it? Therapist and yoga teacher Hala Khouri is about to show us. Get ready to overhaul your life with practical tools for managing stress and recovering from hardships and trauma. It may not be the same as your cozy little neighborhood yoga studio (thanks, pandemic), but it will certainly give you a  helping hand in leading a less anxious life.
    [$10.97; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image10. Mindfulness For People Who Suck At Being Mindful: 6 Practical Shifts For Making Mindful Choices, Reclaiming Your Power and Creating A More Fulfilling Life by Melissa Maxx
    This helpful guide covers many aspects of mindful living with a no-frills approach you’re sure to appreciate. Enhance your personal growth, work on carving out more time for yourself, and learn how to cultivate your mind-body connection for a calmer, saner life. If you’re feeling particularly frazzled as of late, join us in walking this path to less insanity, more bliss.
    [$4; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Courtesy image11. Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb
    This helpful book gives you concrete takeaways on improving your everyday life, whether you’re depressed, anxious, or just in need of a little spiritual SOS. Yes, some tips are refreshers on the obvious: See a therapist, exercise, get a good night’s sleep, but Korb also includes lesser-known techniques that’l have a measurable impact on your wellbeing. (For example, when you’re feeling panicked, set up any kind of plan to activate a region in your brain to make you feel more in control.) FYI: The first part of the book explores the physiological underpinnings of depression, particularly helpful if you’re trying to understand what’s going on in your mind or that of a loved one.
    [$11; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy of the Tosin King James Archive12. Soul-Fullness, A 21-Day Do-It-Yourself Program for Spiritual Healing, Prophecy, Dream Study, Inner Guidance, and Total Mastery by Tosin King James
    A fitting release for January 1st, this 2022 book will whip you into shape in less than a month, whether you’re dreaming of moving across the country or finding peace with a challenging relationship in your life. We can’t promise the guardian angel depicted on the cover will manifest in your life. But we do think you’ll put down the book feeling like a better version of yourself.
    [$10; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image
    13. Advanced Chakra Healing: Four Pathways to Energetic Wellness and Transformation by Cyndi Dale
    Okay, so it’s a little out there, but stranger things have happened in the past year than, you know, positing that spinning wheels of energy exist at various points along your body, from your crown chakra to your root chakra. Wherever you fall on the supernatural spectrum, you’re in good hands with Dale. She’s the author of 28 books on energy healing and spirituality. You’re bound to close the book with a new insight or 50 from the hands-on exercises and her teachings. From learning about tapping into your intuition better to energy mapping, this 800-page book is packed with advice to free yourself from energy blocks.
    [$45; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image14. Permission to Glow: A Spiritual Guide to Epic Leadership by Kristoffer Carter
    Hoping to get more in touch with your spiritual side, all the while building a business empire? Check out this self-help book for making the most of your career. With plenty of humor and pop culture references thrown into the mix, this is a spiritual guide unlike any we’ve ever read. P.S. Check out this “Good Life Project” podcast if you want to get a sense of what’s in store before buying.
    [$10; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image15. Mindfully Wise Leadership: The Secret of Today’s Leaders by Keren Tsuk, PhD
    If you’re looking to enhance your workplace happiness and success, consider this book your personal coach. It has lessons on being a better boss, learning how to engage your employees more meaningfully, and building your empire. Expect plenty of real-world examples, practical tools, and theories to use, all presented in an easy-to-digest format.
    [$28; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image16. Aspire!: How to Create Your Own Reality and Alter Your DNA by Frank McKinney
    Need a total life reset? We feel you. Whether you’re recovering from a rough breakup or looking to overhaul your diet, this book shows you how to reinvent all aspects of your life, expand your mindset, and all-around be your healthiest self, mentally and physically. It’s half Tony Robbins, half Louise Hay.
    [$20; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image17. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
    Originally published in 1990, this fan-favorite is just as relevant now. Here, the father of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) will help you unlock your full potential, ease your anxiety, help you get a grip on chronic pain, and enhance the overall quality of a day in your head. If you’ve already read this book and loved it, check out Kabat-Zinn’s MasterClass on mindfulness and meditation.
    [$16.89; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image18. The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month by Hilary Sheinbaum
    Pandemic times makes you realize it’s time to cut back or lay off the bottle completely? Consider this book your step-by-step outline for making it through your first Dry January, Sober October, or any other alcohol-free month. The book includes actionable advice for making the shift, DIY mocktail recipes, what to do if you fall off course, and more. We hear it pairs well with any of these nonalcoholic spirits that taste like the real thing.
    [$11; amazon.com]
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    Courtesy image19. GAIN Without Pain: The Happiness Handbook for Health Care Professionals by Greg Hammer, MD
    A Stanford University Medical Center professor and physician is here to tell you: Life can be better. Much, much better. Written pre-pandemic to address the rising rates of burnout in healthcare professionals, the insights are applicable for anyone struggling to stay afloat during these unprecedented times. P.S. “GAIN” is an acronym here for Gratitude, Acceptance, Intention, and Non-judgment.
    [$15; amazon.com]
    Courtesy image20. This Monk Wears Heels: Be Who You Are by Kodo Nishimura
    Recently named to TIME magazine’s Next Generation Leaders’ list, Nishimura’s hotly anticipated book is out on February 8, 2022. Within, the make-up artist and Buddhist monk shares wisdom and learnings on self-esteem, embracing your true self, and getting by in this crazy world.
    [$22; amazon.com]
    Get it

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    Doing This Every Day Can Lower Your Likelihood of Depression by 23 Percent

    Smacking snooze may keep your reflexes sharp, but University of Colorado, Boulder, research suggests getting out of bed just an hour earlier every day can make you happier. Being a “morning person” corresponds to a 23 percent lower lifetime likelihood of having major depressive disorder. Good news for those looking to mitigate depression with lifestyle tweaks.

    So how do you turn a night owl into an early bird? Hit the sack 15 minutes earlier tonight and set your alarm (located across the room) 15 minutes earlier. Stick with this for two days, then bump up your bed- and wake-time by another 15 minutes. Repeat this until you’ve successfully trained your body to sleep and rise on a different schedule. Other tips: Skip the caffein after 4 p.m., use blackout shades, turn your thermostat to 65 and put away electronic devices an hour before bed.
    If you’re struggling with depression, consult medical help. Here’s how to recognize the signs. 

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