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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.
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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]
    Get it

    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]
    Get it

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    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]
    Get it

    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]
    Get it

    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]
    Get it

    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]
    Get it

    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]
    Get it

    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]
    Get it

    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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    These Biowellness Tests Give You Health and Fitness Insights at Home

    By this stage you’ve probably seen athletes of all walks running around with a big black dot on the back of their arm. It’s a wearable—a sensor, actually—called Levels ethat helps you understand how your body utilizes carbs (more on this below).

    It used to be that you could only get specialized health tests on a doctor’s orders—now, you can mail in blood, saliva and urine tests without ever putting pants on. This shift from outpatient to at-home testing is thanks to advances in sample collection. Whether you’re sending in your samples or going to Quest Diagnostics, the science is basically the same, says Kamal Obbad, co-founder and CEO of Nebula Genomics.
    The issue is in interpreting the results. When your doc orders a lab test, they know your history and review your data with that in mind. But when an algorithm spits out recommendations in an app (with oversight from a physician you’ve never engaged with), “be carefeeul about considering that information diagnostic.” Translation: Don’t make any medical decisions based on an at-home test. “Talk to an expert about your results whenever possible.”

    What you can use these at-home tests for is optimizing diet and fitness so you feel and perform better.
    Courtesy Image1. Levels: Best for Optimizing Diet
    Glucose—which comes from carbs—is your body’s fastest, most accessible form of fuel. Head into a workout without enough in your system and you’re likely to bonk. This biowearable uses a small sensor (stuck on your upper arm) to monitor blood sugar levels 24/7 for two weeks at a time. Manually log workouts and meals via its app, and you’ll see live feedback as to how those impact your glucose so you can tweak habits to feel and perform your best.
    [$399 for one month; levelshealth.com]
    Get it

    Inside Tracker Courtesy Image2. Inside Tracker: Best for Fitness and Performance Insights
    This blood test (go to a lab or have a technician come to your home) analyzes up to 43 biomarkers involved with energy, metabolism, strength and endurance. Tack on the DNA test to see how 261 genetic markers influence your athletic potential. From there, the app flags problem areas and delivers custom interventions—“have one serving of probiotics each day” or “aim for three 20-minute HIIT workouts per week”—that can help you level up.
    [From $179; insidetracker.com]
    Get it

    Everlywell testosterone test Courtesy Image3. Everlywell: Best for Testosterone
    The right amount of testosterone coursing through you can mean the difference between feeling like a stallion versus a mopey zoo lion. High or low T can lead to symptoms like fatigue, depression and decreased muscle mass because it influences metabolism, sex drive, muscle production and fat loss. Spit in a tube, mail your sample to the certified lab, and an independent, board-certified physician in your state will weigh in on whether your level is normal. If it’s not, see your own doc about next steps.
    [$49; everlywell.com]
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    Rootine Courtesy Image4. Rootine: Best for Nutrient Deficiency
    Fill out a 10-minute online quiz about your health and fitness habits, then take an at-home DNA or blood test (or upload data from ancestry.com or 23andMe). Rootine’s medical-grade genetics lab will analyze 52 genetic markers that have been shown in studies to impact how your body processes nutrients. Based on your genetic needs, the company will whip up a custom micronutrient formula with up to 18 vitamins and minerals. Just remember, supplements shouldn’t be used in place of healthy eating.
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    5. Thorne: Best for Fertility
    Out-of-whack reproductive hormones can cause unexplained weight gain, sleep issues, mood changes, fatigue, and more—issues that affect people beyond those trying to conceive. Mail in your saliva swab and blood test, and certified labs will analyze hormone levels, thyroid function, and stress responses to provide you with a personalized health plan based on your results (think tips like “focus on resistance training in the morning” or “choose a Mediterranean diet”). Be wary of supplement recommendations; since those aren’t federally regulated, you should always discuss them with your doctor.
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    Tonal Launches Live, a New Interactive Workout Feature

    If you’re not familiar with the magic workout machine that is Tonal, let this announcement of its new interactive feature be your overdue intro. The home gym marvel—which uses a digital weight management system as opposed to bulky steel weights to get you jacked— also boasts personalized strength training workouts managed through A.I. Able to bring forth 200 pounds of resistance, the machine uses its silicon brain and advanced software to  “dynamically adjust the weights for each exercise in real-time for your most effective workout.”

    Now though, the workout wizards have added in the must-have home gym feature of the pandemic—a live studio component—with its aptly named Tonal Live feature. Launching October 20, this new workout format will build on the existing personalized coaching experience with real-time classes adjusted specifically for each member, helping to bridge the gap between the social element of working out in a class with the solitude of a home gym.
    Stand out features include a reworked Tonal Homescreen and mobile app that helps users find and schedule Live workouts, access to an on-demand library of former Live workouts, and the ability to check out the movements in a workout before you get started. There’s also a Social Zone where you can interact with other members and check out their PRs and milestones, and real-time coaching that includes pacing cues, form feedback, and encouragement from the coaches.

    “Tonal has always been unique in the way that we’ve approached our workout content with adaptive weights, individualized pacing, and form feedback that are customized to our members in real-time,” says Aly Orady, founder and CEO of Tonal. “As our community has grown over the past few years, we’ve been encouraged by the organic social engagement, the craving for more interaction with our coaches, and the excitement that comes from reaching new milestones; Tonal Live will allow us to connect these elements through a studio experience while retaining the foundation of what differentiates our workouts: personalization, guidance, and feedback.”
    Courtesy ImageTo ramp up the new feature, Tonal has brought on four new coaches: Brendon, Nikki, Trace, and Woody. Once Tonal Live debuts in October, Live classes will be added to their on-demand library (24 hours later), which includes thousands of workouts ranging from strength training to HIIT, yoga to barre.

    “The team has done a tremendous job of creating a product and content experience that is unparalleled in the market, especially with the launch of Tonal Live,” said Werner Brell, chief experience officer. “I’m excited to expand upon what’s already been built while creating a new vision of the many ways the Tonal product and content experience can excite new audiences and bring added value and increased motivation into our member’s lives.”

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    Low-Volume HIIT Is the Best Way to Torch Fat in a Time Crunch

    Love boot-camp classes but in a time crunch? Good news: low-volume HIIT is just as effective. Less than 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can reap just as many benefits as the traditional 30 minutes a day recommended by the surgeon general, according to new research published in the Journal of Physiology. “In many cases, the low-volume variations of HIIT provide comparable and, at times, superior improvements for a variety of health outcomes when compared to longer but lower-intensity aerobic training interventions,” says study author Angelo Sabag, Ph.D., of Western Sydney University in Australia.

    Along with strong quads and a six-pack, perks of low-volume HIIT include a decrease in blood sugar levels and a stronger heart. “It improves the responsiveness of our muscles to insulin and allows us to better use blood glucose and fatty acids,” says Sabag. “HIIT also improves the heart’s ability to pump blood more effectively and circulate oxygen and nutrients to organs and muscles.”

    Looking to give low-volume HIIT a try? Sabag suggests this favorite routine: 10 x 60 seconds running or cycling at 80-90 percent of max effort, with 60 seconds of active recovery (i.e. walking) at 30 to 50 percent effort between intervals. “If you are relatively untrained, start with five intervals and progressively increase the number until you can achieve 10 per session,” Sabag.

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    Anger Management: The Best Heavy-Lifting Workouts to Blow off Steam

    The gym can’t replace therapy, but it’s a damn good release when you’re dealing with a tough day at the office or a stressful family affair. Running can be meditative and yoga can be relaxing, but if you need to blow off steam, you need to lift—and lift heavy.

    When your temper is high and you’re frustrated beyond belief, throwing some weight around is an incomparable release. Here are four heavy-lifting routines to help you blow off steam.
    Anger Management: Best Heavy-Lifting Workouts to Blow off Steam
    Workout 1: Locomotion
    Equipment needed: Turf space, loaded sled, heavy dumbbells
    1. Farmer’s Carry — 6 x 50m: Stand tall with a weight in each hand. Maintain a “proud” chest, pull shoulder blades down and back, and walk forward using short heel-to-toe steps. Aim for your body weight equivalent to be carried. If you can’t find dumbbells that can equate to this, try loading a trap bar to that equivalent instead. Rest 90 seconds between carries.
    2. Sled Push — 6 rounds x 50m: Stand behind the sled with arms straight and flexed, body leaning forward. Drive the sled using a fast yet controlled pace. Again, aim for bodyweight equivalent to be pushed. Rest 90 seconds between pushes.
    3. High Box Jump — 5 x 6 reps: Squat down to just above parallel and bring arms back behind hips. Explode with a strong forward-arm swing, tucking your knees after you’ve fully extended your legs. Land softly in the same squat depth you started with. Stand up tall, locking hips to finish the movement. Rest as long as needed between jumps.
    Workout 2: Upper-Body Power Play
    Equipment needed: Slam ball, bench, pullup bar, dumbbells
    1. Med Ball Slams — 5 x 15 reps: Keep the weight relatively light (15 pounds) but move explosively to blow off steam and torch calories. With feet shoulder-width apart, reach to full extension with the ball overhead (try not to bend your elbows). With your full force, slam the ball down between your feet. Pick the ball up and repeat. Rest 60 seconds between rounds.
    2A. Dumbbell Bench Press — 10 reps: Go heavy. Sit on end of bench, holding dumbbells resting on thighs. Lie back, guiding dumbbells over chest with legs, then plant feet to start. With dumbbells angled in and thumbs over collarbone, squeeze shoulder blades together and down. Press weights over chest to a wide V shape, then return to start.2B. Plyometric Pushups — max reps: Don’t clap your hands during the pushups. It’s an easy way to catch a finger and be out with a silly injury. Just explode up from the bottom position so hands come off the floor, then immediately drop into the next rep.
    Directions: Perform 4 contrast sets of bench press and plyo pushups, resting 90 seconds between rounds. Contrast sets comprise a heavy lift followed by an explosive movement that mimics the mechanics of that lift. These trick your muscle fibers into exploding even more than they normally would since the body is duplicating the loaded pattern during the second set.
    3. EMOM Chinups — 10 x 5 reps
    Directions: EMOM stands for every minute on the minute. Start your clock and perform the first 5 reps with the clock running. It should take you around 15 seconds, give or take. The remainder of that minute (the next 45 seconds) is your recovery. Once the next minute begins, you should be starting your first rep of set 2. Repeat until you’ve completed 10 sets in this fashion.

    Workout 3: Leg Day From Hell
    Equipment needed: Squat cage, barbell, kettlebell, leg press
    1. Paused Back Squats — 5 x 3 reps: In a squat rack, grasp the bar as far apart as is comfortable and come under it. Step back and stand with feet at shoulder width and toes turned slightly out. Inhale, then bend your hips and knees to lower your body using a slow negative. Pause at your full depth (you shouldn’t lose the arch in your low back). Extend through hips and push knees out to stand. Nothing beats standing under the heavy bar when you’re on your last nerve. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
    2. Romanian Deadlift — 5 x 8: Grasp the bar at shoulder width, holding it in front of your thighs. Bend your hips back and lower your torso, allowing your knees to bend only as needed, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Focus on a hovering RDL, rather than touching the floor with the barbell. Extend your hips to come back up. If your back begins to round, you’ve either gone too heavy or descended too low. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
    3A. Kettlebell Swing to Squat Swing x 12 reps: Perform a typical kettlebell swing, but at the top of the swing, use the weight of the bell to counter your balance as you squat, then rise to go into a swing. It may take a couple of reps to get the rhythm down.3B. Barbell Split Squat x 8 reps each side: Load a barbell and rack it in the back squat position. (Use a power rack, or clean and press barbell and rest it on shoulders.) Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart, knees soft. Step right foot back two to three feet so torso is equidistant between feet. Plant the ball of back foot on ground and keep heel raised to start. Lower right knee toward floor until left knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and shin is perpendicular to the ground. Press through left heel to rise and return to start. Do all reps with right leg back, then switch sides.
    Directions: Perform 3A and 3B as supersets, performing 3 total rounds. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
    Finisher: Heels-Elevated Leg Press x 2 min: This is a maniacal finisher that’ll torch the quads, helping you blow off steam and then some. The goal here is to match your body weight on the leg press machine, and perform continuous reps until the 2 minutes has elapsed. You can’t rack the weight, but you can rest-pause when needed with straight legs. Focus on the quads by keeping a narrower stance that’s lower on the platform, allowing the heels to raise off the platform at the bottom end ranges. You’re only doing one killer set of these, so make it count.

    Workout 4: Isometric Mayhem
    Equipment needed: Squat cage, safety pins, barbell, and two benches
    Note: The goal with isometric training is to work as hard as possible against the immovable object. If you’re not giving it your all, you’re missing the immense training benefits. This method doubles as a great way to blow off steam since, well, you’re going to zap your nervous system and every shred of pent up energy you may have had at the start of the workout. Once you give it a try, you’ll see.
    1. Isometric Deadlift — 6×30 sec.: Set the pins on the squat cage to the lowest setting, and wedge the bar between the bottom of the cage and those pins. Set up for a typical deadlift, pulling the bar into the pins as hard as possible. Keep the form strict, and attempt to lift the entire machine off the ground (assuming you can’t). Rest 60 seconds between sets. 
    2. Isometric Bench Press — 5×30 sec.: If you don’t have a Smith machine setup, use a bench or squat cage with pins. Set up so the racked bar is above your chest, rather than your eyes, at a low-rack position that allows you to keep elbows bent at 90 degrees. Make sure the bar is loaded to a weight far above your 1RM, and press as hard as you can into the bar for 30 seconds straight. Rest 60 seconds between sets.
    3. Back Plank — 5 x 20 sec.: Set up between two benches while seated on the floor. Place elbows on the benches, and keep arms at a 90-degree angle to your body. Make fists, look at the ceiling, and raise hips off the ground by planting feet into the floor and driving elbows into the benches. Squeeze glutes and upper back to keep your body from falling below the level of the benches. Return to the floor to rest for 90 seconds between sets. 
    4. Wall Sit — 3 x 1 min.: Take a “seat” against the wall with knees bent at 90 degrees. Press your back into the wall with force to engage the quads. If 1 minute is beyond your current capabilities, go as long as you can. Rest as long as needed between sets.

    Lee Boyce is a strength coach based in Toronto, Canada

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