A strong immune system is one heck of an advantage for healthy living and there are many ways to help strengthen your immune systems to help keep you fit, feeling your best and reduce the risk of contracting highly contagious diseases – do we need to mention that little virus that’s changing our lives? *COVID-19 cough*.
However, if you’re someone who struggles to obtain a diverse mix and frequency of vitamins from your food, have you considered supplements?
Staying fit and eating healthy—along with getting plenty of shuteye and washing your hands with surgeon-like precision—are some of the most effective ways to feel better day-to-day and avoid a miserable cold or flu. But if you really want to bolster your chances of feeling your best and keeping illness at bay this winter, a little immune system adjustment is in order.
What vitamins are important for immunity?
Vitamins C, E and zinc assist the physical barriers. Vitamins B6, B12, C, D, E, folic acid, zinc, and selenium all support immunity at a cellular level. Finally, all these micronutrients, with the exceptions of vitamin C and iron, are essential for antibody production.
As we’re into the winter months and a vaccine for ‘rona is imminent —I’ve teamed up with Lumity, to sample and boost my immune system to ensure those pesky snots and splurts stay away, as well as giving myself that extra burst to feel more lively between workouts.
Morning & Night Male Supplements
As mentioned, now more than ever it’s important to boost your immunity. Lumity’sformula includes vitamins A, C and D plus the minerals selenium and zinc, which are a powerhouse combination that contribute to immune health, helping you stay fit, healthy, and strong inside and out.
Lumity’s 2-step morning and night formula has been scientifically engineered to support men perform their best due to enhanced health and wellbeing.
Lumity’s Morning & Night Male Supplementshelp optimise your mind, body and performance with benefits that include; increased energy levels, improved alertness, focus, endurance and vitality, reduced tiredness, strong bones, joints, teeth and muscles, boosted immunity, reduced oxidative stress, plus healthy skin, hair and nails. Utilizing a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, and amino acids, they work around the clock so that you can too.
Do the supplements work?
“Supplements won’t counteract poor eating habits, but they can help to make a healthy diet better.” – Amanda Carlson, M.S., R.D., director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance.
The Male Supplements are designed to deliver multiple benefits with a targeted 24/7 nutrient rich support, hence the morning and night dosage.
It didn’t take long for me to start noticing a difference in my ability to push myself further and feel stronger each day, whilst I’ve been doing my home workout. I’ve managed to add on weight to my workout, even though I’m home and walk further every evening with the dog!
Additionally, he speed in which my beard is growing has sped up ridiculously. Before to the Lumity supplements, I would trim my beard every 2 days, but now I should be trimming every day, but maybe not as important during lockdown! (Don’t judge).
Lumity’ssupplements contain one of the largest ranges of vitamins available in UK supplements, all specifically sourced from whole foods rather than cheaper alternatives. After all, what’s the point in having a healthy and natural diet if your tablets are synthetic? Lumity uses only organic ingredients to help make their product one of the best supplements for men who are concerned about what they are putting into their bodies.
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This time last year, we hated running. Then the pandemic hit, and TWO lockdowns changed outdoor activities into a luxury with many people turning to jogging during the crisis, just to be outside.
In between lockdowns, the UK Government has announced that the UK will be placed into a set of local COVID tier systems. Will this affect your runs? To put it simply, no. The systems still allow us to meet others to run as long as you are not running in a group of more than six.
Why not reignite your passion for running, with a total of more than 250 marked running routes in the UK; there are plenty of trails to choose from. UKCaravans4hire.com have narrowed down their favourite trails to give us the best trail-running spots in the UK.
In the city of Carlisle, England.
Hadrian’s Wall, also known as the Roman Wall, has plenty of gradients to get your blood pumping. The route consists of five miles with impressive views and historical interest, taking you along part of the 73-mile Roman wall. If you’re looking for a little distraction on your route, this is the perfect place to run.
Jurassic Coast and the South West Coast Path
Stretches from Exmouth to Studland Bay, Dorset.
The World Heritage Site, Jurassic Coast is located on the English Channel coast of southern England, stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset – a total distance of about 96 miles. Yearly, a festival is held which incorporates an ultra race (50km +), marathon, half marathon, 10km and children’s races.
Gardener’s Trail, Tintern Abbey
Welsh bank of the River Wye, Tintern, Wales
At Tintern Abbey, founded in the early 13th century by Lord of Chepstow, has a few different trails but the Gardener’s course is our favourite. On this six-mile trail, you can cross the Tintern River via the historic stone bridge whilst enjoying the green scenery containing 200-year-old beech trees! Also, halfway through the route, you will discover the Colclough Walled Garden and ruins of the head gardener’s cottage on the return path to the trailhead.
From Croyde to Saunton Sands, Devon
The figure-eight, 180-mile route, travelled by Tarka the Otter (in the famous novel by Henry Williamson) passes through unspoiled countrysides as well as beautiful beaches with dramatic sea cliffs. The southern loop is the longest, continuous off-road cycle path in the UK with spectacular views of Dartmoor and Exmoor and a varied amount of places to visit along the way such as Crow Point, Meeth Quarry and the ‘little white town’ of Bideford.
Regent’s Canal Trail
Limehouse Station, through the heart-and-soul of London.
With a distance of 4.6 miles, this route starts in Regent’s Park following on to Regent’s Canal Towpath. The trail traverses by the world’s oldest scientific zoo, London Zoo, where you can catch a glimpse of the resident tigers, zebras and more. You will also find yourself passing through the once industrial (now hip and alternative) Camden Town, where you can pick up a bite to eat at the market before the run back through Regents Park.
Yr Afron Trail, Coed y Brenin
Based in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales
The forest road trail of Afron provides breathtaking picturesque views of the river Mawddach including the beautiful waterfalls on the river Gain and Mawddach. It’s a relatively low-level seven-mile route on forest roads however it does include a rougher section of private track with short steepish climbs and a steep forest road descent.
Bob Graham Round, Lake District
Forty-two fells, starting and finishing at Keswick Moot Hall.
The Bob Graham Round is a fell running challenge in the Lake District, famously named after Bob Graham, who in June 1932 broke the Lakeland Fell record by traversing 42 fells under 24 hours! The route is a total of 77-miles and is advised to be tackled over five or six days.
High Peak Trail, Peak District
From Dowlow near Buxton to High Peak Junction at Cromford
The 17-mile trail running along the High Peak Railway, first opened in 1831, was bought by the Peak District after many years of minerals and goods travelled between Cromford Canal and the Peak Forest Canal. The beautifully scenic route offers dramatic views of the stunning Derbyshire Dales between Middleton Top and Parsley Hay.
Emery Down Trail, New Forest National Park
Located near Lyndhurst, Hampshire.
The Emery Down trail is well known for its historic church, charming almshouses and as the birthplace of well-known snake-catcher Brusher Mills. A beautiful bridleway, especially in Autumn with the glow of golden leaves, takes you by Northerwood House, Bunkers Hill, Pikes Hill and Swan Green where you can find a picturesque cricket pitch with perfect thatched cottages and ponies.
Thames Path Challenge
Along the River Thames, London.
If you fancy a challenge, then this one is for you. The Thames Path route starts at Putney Bridge, running past Hampton Court to Runnymede of Magna Carta fame at 50km. Following, you will find incredible historical scenery to Henley. With half & quarter distance options – there’s a challenge for everyone.
If you’re looking for accommodation near one of the above trails, you can find static caravans for hire via UKcaravans4hire.com’s online booking platform.
Have you been bitten by the cycling bug? After all, the increase in take-up of cycling over recent months has been phenomenal!
No doubt you have seen this and, perhaps, are thinking of following suit. But, if you haven’t ridden a bike since childhood, where on earth would you start in your cycling journey? Here are some things to consider when getting back into the saddle after a long time:
Which bike is best for you?
Your old BMX is probably not what you’re thinking of using to restart your cycling journey, so which should you choose? The best way to decide which bike is best for you is to think about what you will be using it for and where you are likely to be cycling.
If you are looking for speed, perhaps to commute to and from work in the quickest time possible or if you are looking to travel far and fast on your weekend ride, then a road bike, or racer, is probably the right bike for you. They are lightweight and designed for speed. A tourer is similar to a road bike but is slightly sturdier so if you are likely to use your bike for longer journeys where pannier bags might be useful, for example if you are fishing or camping, this is worth exploring.
Alternatively, if you’re considering something a bit more adventurous and fancy taking your bike off-road in your free time, perhaps on forest trails or over hilly paths, then a mountain bike is probably what you need. These have better suspension and thick tyres designed to grip in muddy or loose terrain.
If you can’t decide or fancy a bike that you can commute to work on but ride off-road at weekends, have a look at the hybrid bikes. They are lightweight but also sturdy and comfortable and a good all-rounder.
And there is a lot more choice than these three, too. If you have a long commute but still want to cycle either side of the train ride, a folding bike is lightweight and practical, or for people with back and knee problems, it’s worth considering a recumbent bike, where you sit in a reclining position.
Your bike will be an investment so take the time to research what will suit you best. You can look online but I’d also suggest talking to the staff at your local bike shop to find out what will best suit your needs.
When it comes to cost, like anything you mostly get what you pay for. If you’re on a tight budget, do look at second hand, reconditioned bikes. They save money and are obviously also better for the environment.
Once you have decided on your bike you need to ensure you will be safe. This also does not need to cost the earth but do make sure you have the essentials. Starting at the top, helmets are not actually legally required but I do feel it’s important because, in the unfortunate event of an accident, it will protect you! If you think helmets mean looking silly, think again. There are some really stylish helmets on the market these days which means you can make a fashion statement while keeping safe. You can also buy helmets made of recycled materials, that can themselves be recycled at end of life.
Visibility is also key. You must have lights on your bike and, if you are likely to be riding in traffic, consider one you can wear on your (stylish) helmet too. This will make you even more visible to 4x4s and buses. Even if you’re not planning on riding after dark, it’s wise to carry something reflective with you at all times. Who knows, you might enjoy your ride more than you thought and want to go for a bit longer. You don’t have to be clad head to foot in day-glow; a simple sash that can be easily carried with you is enough to be sure you are seen.
Gloves are also a good idea, not just to keep you warm in cooler months but they will protect your hands in event of coming off your bike – these are generally the first thing you put out to save yourself. Also cycling glasses are not only good for protecting your eyes from glare and UV rays, they also protect your peepers from wind and rain, bugs and dust.
Finally, I’d also recommend you learn a little bike maintenance so you can ensure your bike is fit for purpose on a regular basis. Make sure you know how to check the air pressure in your tyres, test your brakes and ensure you have sufficient lube on your chain. Again, a good bike shop should talk you through the basics when you buy.
Firstly, don’t think you need to go and buy loads of Lycra before you can get on your bike. Indeed, you can ride in your everyday clothes, up to a point, although you should avoid heavy shoes or loose laces and baggy skirts or trousers which could get caught up the pedals or chain. Wear light and comfy clothes and avoid things like jeans for long cycle rides as thicker denim can chafe after a while. If you already own leggings for yoga or running they’ll be perfect.
Of course, if you get seriously involved in speed riding you may want to buy clothes and gear that aid with streamlining. On the other hand, if you are commuting, that is probably the last thing you want to do. Instead, look out for cycling gear specifically designed to transition between bike and office. Not only can you get helmets that don’t cause ‘helmet hair’, there are stylish jackets which look great in a meeting but glow at night when you’re riding home. Similarly, there are some amazing shoes out there, perfect for cycling in that really look the part when you are sitting at your desk. There are even pannier bags available that you can take off the bike and hide the clips so you look like you bought from a local designer boutique. Similarly, this gear is great if you are cycling to meet friends for a pub lunch, cream tea or picnic.
Do invest in some rain gear – after all, this is England. A lightweight jacket and over-trousers are good to have to hand and a poncho is great for showery weather too.
Avoid the aches and pains
Taking up a new physical activity will almost always leave you with some aches and pains, where you are using muscles that haven’t been worked for a while. Unfortunately, cycling has some additional potential discomforts.
You may find that you are saddle sore to start with. Check your saddle is in the right position and, after a while, as your muscles and tendons get accustomed to it, this ‘pain in the bottom’ will abate. In the meantime, you should stand on the pedals at regular intervals to give you some relief. It may also help to invest in underwear with minimal seams or even some specialist shorts. If the discomfort does not improve you might need to think about a different saddle.
You can also find you have discomfort in other parts of your body; neck, lower back, hands, feet and legs. These are almost without fail due to your position on the bike and the handlebars and seat not being in the optimal position. Again, it is worth asking the shop that you buy your bike from to help you get this correct in the first place or ask advice from friends who have cycling experience.
Find the right route
Whether you are cycling to work or for pleasure, consider sensible routes when starting out. You do not want to begin your new pastime weaving in and out of inner-city traffic. Not only is it dangerous to do so without experience, you are highly likely to put yourself off before you start. Try some rural off-road routes to start with. When riding to work, ask about and find some quieter routes that go through parks, for example, or beside the river. It may take a little longer but it will be safer and far more pleasant. Also consider the difficulty of your route. Novice cyclists are unlikely to enjoy hilly rides initially and would be much more sensible to opt for easy terrains and low gradients. You can always build up as you gain confidence and fitness. Best of all, use your early days cycling to explore local routes and find some you really enjoy.
These are all things to consider when you take up or resume cycling after a long absence. Don’t rush into it or think you need to have the full kit before you start. Ease yourself in, get comfortable and, as your cycling journey continues, you will learn what your mode of cycling is; whether you are a speed freak or an off-road adventurer, someone who loves being closer to nature on rural rides or social cyclist; the list goes on. Wherever your cycling journey takes you, I’m sure you will have a wonderful time!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Catherine Bedford is Founder of Dashel. Dashel offers a range of slim, ventilated, lightweight cycle helmets manufactured in the UK. With a distinctive urban feel Dashel Helmets are made from recyclable materials – ensuring that they are low impact at the point of manufacture and produce very little waste at the end of life. The new Re-Cycle helmet will be ground down into new helmets at the UK factory when it is finished with. The helmets are portable, sold packaged in a handy rucksack that means there is no superfluous packaging. They come in an array of classic colours. Choose from black, blue, sage green and red. Dashel helmets are £79 and available from all good cycle shops and online at Dashel.co.uk.
You can’t have missed the bike revival that has taken place over recent months. With massive numbers of people cycling during lockdown for their daily exercise, followed by people rejecting tubes and busses in favour of a bike when commuting to work.
I believe the numbers of cyclists can only increase further as the government is investing heavily in cycling infrastructure, as well as other incentives to encourage people to get back in the saddle, get fitter and avoid public transport.
So, here’s my guide to starting out if you’re considering taking up cycling to work or for fun, post Coronovirus:
GET YOUR BIKE RIGHT
If you are buying a new bike, first consider the kind of riding you want to do and the typical route. If it’s hilly – make sure you get a bike with enough gears to handle it, if you’re commuting then 3-6 gears should be enough to get you up and down most town and city hills. If you are looking to road or mountain bike you will want to consider more than 10 gears to manage the rougher terrain.
Next, consider the weight of the bike. Modern road bikes are all designed to be very light so even the heaviest will do you well – but aim to go as light as possible. For commuter bikes, the weight can be an issue. The heavier Dutch-style bikes often look very beautiful but are hard work if you’re peddling uphill, lifting it up canal path stairs or storing it in your flat. So, factor in the weight of the bike if you have a lot of hills to conquer or you need to store it inside.
If you already have an old bike, dust it off, check the brakes and the gears are working properly and enjoy it. Getting on the bike is the only way to know what kind of cycling you enjoy.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
The first thing I’m asked when I mention that I’ve cycled around London for 15 years is; “aren’t you scared of the traffic?” I’m not. But that’s because I always pick my route carefully – even now.
The route is crucial to an enjoyable journey. The main highways and roads might be the most direct path but they will not be the most pleasant. Always take the backstreets; they are quieter, safer and much more interesting as you get to discover parts of your town/city you would never have seen before.
Fortunately, picking your route has never been easier. There are lots of cycle routes now across the country and they are definitely worth taking advantage of. Most city and the country routes are in cycle maps that are easy to follow. For your local paths have a look on your council’s website – most of the maps are available there.
Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to cycle, take the slightly longer, quieter route, get yourself lost and, most importantly of all, enjoy it.
LOOK AFTER YOUR BACK
Get the bag off your back and onto the bike! Not only does it take the strain off your spine, it also reduces back sweat – something a backpack seems to create in very un-natural quantities. The solution is a pannier rack. They attach over the back wheel of your bike and you can attach pannier bags and baskets on them to carry whatever you need. As the rack is on the back of your bike, not the front, and is low on the bike, it doesn’t affect your steering or stability, so it will help you feel more secure on your bike.
Hill & Ellis has a range of stylish bike bags that all attach securely to your pannier bike rack. They are also designed to look smart so are the perfect accessory for the work commute.
JOIN A GROUP
If you still want a bit more Dutch courage (so to speak) before cycling on your own, then you need your own personal peloton (cycling group). Cycling is really friendly, with lots of groups keen to help other cyclists get started with advice, buddies and supported rides. There are groups all over the country, so you’ll definitely find one in your local area.
The Breeze network offers women’s only rides and commuting training rides to help build confidence for cycling to work, they will even arrange a group to cycle with you to your office for the first couple of rides.
British Cycling also has beginners guide on their website for the A-Z of what you need to know before taking to the saddle.
But most of all don’t rush. Enjoy it. Life from the saddle will always make you smile.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine Ellis is founder of Hill & Ellis, which produces a range of high quality, stylish cycle bags. Each bag, designed in the UK, is created to transition perfectly from home to bike to boardroom to bar. They are functional, fashionable and hard wearing. There’s plenty of space inside for a laptop and other essentials, and each bag comes with patented pannier clips that fit almost any bike, allowing you to clip the bag on and off quickly and easily.
Are you tired of unruly, uncontrolled hair that often seems very messy and chaotic? We bet that you are, but don’t worry at all because we’re here to help you out! Here are five best hair waxes for men in 2020, so check them out and find your Holy Grail product right away!
Zenz Organic No. 9 Pure Styling Wax
If you’re one of those guys who love to rock a flawless hairstyle no matter what, you should definitely pay extra attention to this styling wax by Zenz Organic. This is the best hair wax on the market for everyone who struggles with a sensitive scalp, and the reasons for that are multiple. First of all, this product is based on natural ingredients such as shea butter, beeswax, and almond oil. This combo will soften and moisturize your hair while keeping it safely in place all day long. It gets even better when you realize that this hair wax doesn’t feature synthetic fragrances in its formula, which is an additional benefit for all men who have sensitive scalp!
Razor Sharp Mo Wax
On the other hand, Razor Sharp Mo Wax is a perfect choice for all the gentlemen who rock a mustache. Many men think of this product as of grooming essential, so make sure to give it a try and you’ll see what they were talking about. Even the smallest amount of this wax will tame the unruly hairs and give your ‘stache a neat and polished look. If you’re all about unique, manly fragrances, this wax will be your cup of tea. As for the ingredients, it contains beeswax and grape seed oil, both of which will nourish your facial hair and keep it in place. If that’s what you’re looking for, get this product as soon as possible and you won’t make a mistake!
BluMaan Original Styling Meraki
Original Styling Meraki is BluMaan’s best-selling product for a good reason, and that’s exactly why we highly recommend it. The best thing about it is that it features an innovative formula – an authentic combination of wax and fiber. Needless to say, this product has awesome pre-styling and post-styling properties due to its unique formula. If you decide to give this hair wax a fair shot, you’ll see that it applies very easily in the first place. It’ll make your hair look and feel more voluminous, too, while giving it a decent hold at the same time. Similarly to previously mentioned products, beeswax is one of the main ingredients in this hair wax as well. There are also peppermint oil, sage oil, rosemary leaf oil, and many more!
Texturizer by Philip Kingsley
Even though this isn’t a conventional hair wax, many men from all across the globe are still choosing Texturizer by Philip Kingsley over other hair care brands. In fact, this is a hairstyling paste that gives lasting hold and texture to any hairstyle. It can be used on every hair type, but we must say that works best with shorter hair. This product is used to define, sculpt, condition, and add shine to short hair. Its rich and creamy consistency will tame even the most unruly hairs, thanks to beeswax and lanolin that provide amazing hold, shape, and texture. One thing is certain – you won’t go wrong if you opt for this product!
Super Hold Fish Fix Controlling Wax
Last but not least, there is Fish Fix Controlling Wax that can actually be defined as a hybrid of gel and wax. And what does it mean? Well, it means that this product has the smoothing properties of a hair wax while giving you the power and hold of a gel. If you think that this is an impossible mission, you should certainly buy this product right away! This wax that offers extra strong hold is the right thing for your hair if you’re a fan of a defined and smooth style with a glossy finish. That’s right, so get this product ASAP and trust us when we say that you’ll love it!
As you can tell, there are many great hair waxes on the market these days, but these five are unquestionably the best ones out there. So, if you need a product to tame unruly hair, give your hair definition, and make it smooth – pick any of these hair waxes and you’ll do a fantastic job. That’s a promise!
Dressing with confidence can be quite a tricky issue when you hit a certain age. Why? As the trends change over time, so do our bodies and our taste levels, and it’s normal that certain fashion trends are simply not for us anymore. This issue becomes even trickier for people who have always been following fashion trends and now they find themselves a bit old to rock colorful outfits or combinations that they would otherwise wear outside but cannot as they are too “juvenile”. It’s vital to notice that trends change for different age groups as well, and the fact that you are not in your twenties or thirties should never make you doubt your fashion sense. This is the time to turn to smart clothes and experiment in being professional and looking dapper. But how to dress better in your 50s, let’s say? What are the things you should have in mind, and what should you avoid?
Experiment with smart clothes
One of the best ways to come off as a rather fashionable man in his 50s is to always opt for dressing smart, especially when it’s time to go to work. There’s nothing that looks better on a man than a high-quality and tailored suit and a nice shirt. Keeping your suits tailored to your body type will elevate your look to a great extent, and will leave you space to experiment with the shirts you will wear. There are many different patterns and colors to choose from, so you can always go with a colorful or patterned shirt to match with your outfit. This will result in your looking amazing in a suit yet will reveal playfulness that you want to emphasize. Experimenting with different patterns and colors can be quite a fun way to make your combination not only more interesting but fashionable as well.
Accessorize it up
The accessories game for men has never been stronger, yet it might be too much for a man to be wearing different necklaces or rings that are popular among young people today. But not all accessories are for younger generations, though. Both necklaces and rings can be worn at any age, but make sure that you go with ones that are classy and serious. On the other hand, there are other accessories that can elevate your fashion game as well, such as a good cardholder wallet that will show how much you pay attention to the details and how elegant they can be. A nice watch is also an accessory that can make any look more interesting.
Minimalistic street style
But what happens when you’re not at work yet still want to look fashionable? You cannot wear your suit and your blazer in the park or while taking a walk. As far as street style is concerned – simply opt to go minimalistic and you will be good to go. Monochromatic shorts, tees, shirts, and sweatshirts are eternal, and they look good on anyone, regardless of age. White sneakers can also look amazing on a fifteen-year-old and on a seventy-year-old, especially if they know how to match it with the rest of the outfit. Avoid any slogans or sayings – rather focus on logos and simple quotes or keeping it plain instead.
Choose your color
If nothing, your life experience has taught you what looks good on you and what doesn’t. That’s why you should always have that one color to go to when you have nothing else to wear. The best practices show that black, brown, gray, and white are the colors that you want to go with. Wearing all grey or all black can look amazing on you regardless of your age and regardless of the piece of clothing that you’ll be wearing. Take a look at Colin Firth, for example – he made black his color and he can create amazing street style looks by wearing all black or simply adding a certain layer of white to the combination to make it stand out. So simple, yet so classy.
Turning 50 can definitely make you start questioning your fashion sense, but the most important thing is that you keep your fashion sense alive by simply dressing your age. Play around with colors and patterns, yet keep everything as minimalistic as possible.
There’s nothing sexier for a girl (or guy) to see than a guy in underwear. And it doesn’t really matter how fit you are – if you choose the right underwear for yourself, you can make yourself one of the most wanted guys in your environment. Since we’re on this subject, not all guys know how to boost their sex appeal with underwear. What is important? How to choose the right underwear? Where to get the best and highest quality underwear? Take a look as we will try to show you that it doesn’t matter what you’re packin’; it’s where you pack it.
Choose your size
First and foremost, choose the right size for yourself. The size of your underwear doesn’t depend on your package size but rather on your waist. Plenty of “gifted” guys tend to buy XL or XXL underwear, without realizing that this size refers to the waist size, not the penis size. You can easily check the size online or contact the manufacturer but there is a universal size chart. Another thing to have in mind is that you should avoid very tight underwear, especially if you’re trying to have a baby. Tight underwear can, in certain instances, lower your sperm count. However, make sure to ditch baggy boxers as they are not very fashionable at the moment.
Are you for cutouts?
Baggy boxers are so last season, all of us can agree on that. If you like to wear something much more liberating yet memorable, and if you’re not scared of trying something new, one of the best options is a Marcuse jockstrap. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s comfortable – who doesn’t like having their bum naked all the time? In this case, find the one you like, the color that matches your skin tone, and most importantly, do not make a mistake with the size as a large jockstrap can ruin the fantasy.
Use your sexual desires
In order to find the best underwear, you have to think outside of the box. Put yourself in the shoes of the person you want to get in bed with, or your partner. What do they like? If you’re up for some kinky stuff, you can always visit an adult shop and find the sexiest underwear available. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only sex toys that you can find there but underwear that will make your figure very sexy as well, so give it a go.
Play with the patterns
Minimalism might be the new black but sometimes all color and no pattern can make you a dull boy. Playing with patterns rather than colors will give that fun that you might need. Apart from opting for humorous and sometimes ridiculous examples, you can go with regular, well-fitting underwear of your choice. If you’re a cheeky guy, this Code 22 underwear will suit you perfectly. On the other hand, if you’re a serious fella, this will only show some more of your personality.
Always opt for quality
And finally, never let the aesthetic of your underwear get in between you and underwear of the highest quality. Know which brands to pay attention to, and which ones are worth the money that you’re going to spend. This being said, make sure that all of your underwear is in great condition – no holes or stretches are allowed. By paying attention to the brand and the fabric, you will prolong the time until you’ll have to go buy new underwear once again. Moreover, if you want to go with organic and eco-friendly options, make sure to do thorough research and actually buy something that will last for a certain period of time.
Who would’ve thought that choosing the right underwear could be this complicated, you ask? Thinking of certain things before you actually purchase the underwear and thinking about what you like and what fits you well can make this task easier. Remember that your underwear is not just a garment that you’re wearing under your jeans. It shows a lot about you.
At points throughout your training regime, you may want to benchmark your fitness to track your progress. This calls for fitness challenges that will push you to the very limit.
Here are some workouts to make you feel the burn.
The fast shuttle to fitness
Shuttle runs are a fast way of attaining fitness through short bursts of sprint running. They help to improve your acceleration and speed, as well as your anaerobic fitness. After placing markers at 10, 20 and 30 metres, you should sprint to the 10m marker first, touch the floor and run back to your starting position. Then repeat this with the 20m and 30m markers. Go back to the 10m marker, and repeat the whole set four times.
You can always time yourself to try to get quicker with every set, and vary the shuttle runs by taking giant strides, jogging with high knees or skipping, instead of sprinting.
At the first bleep…
As with the shuttle runs, you will need a flat, non-stop surface for the bleep test, or the 20m multistage fitness test. You will have to run continuously between two markers 20 metres apart in time to recorded beeps.
At the start, the gap between beeps or bleeps is quite large, and so your running speed is quite slow, but after about a minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed, bringing the beeps closer together.
After each minute, the gap between beeps decreases. If you reach the marker before the beep, you have to wait until it sounds before you turn and continue; if you fail to make the marker before the beep, then you are given a warning and you must continue to the marker and turn and try to catch up with the pace with the sounding of two more beeps. If you fail to reach the marker twice in a row after a warning, the bleep test is stopped.
Any score above 13 is considered excellent. A maximal test requires a good level of fitness, and if you wear a heart-rate monitor, you’ll have a better idea of when you’ve maxed out.
Buckle up, Bronco
The pretty vicious Bronco fitness test has made life hell for many in the past, so this will give you a great benchmark for your fitness. The idea is to run shuttles of 20, 40 and then 60 metres, then repeat the set five times, trying to get under five minutes.
This will test your anaerobic capacity, your motor skills, your running efficiency, and your turning ability – the legendary Kiwi Richie McCaw recently managed a personal best in the Bronco fitness test of four minutes, 56 seconds, so you’re going to have to push yourself right to the very limit to break the five-minute mark.
The great news is that your whole team can do the test and work to maximum effort together, motivating one another. Give each other encouragement and consistent instructions before, during and after this tough benchmark test.
Doing the crab walk
This is a compound exercise that works many muscle groups, as well as working on your cardiovascular fitness, co-ordination and mobility. Balance on your hands and feet, with your front facing the ceiling and your hips forwards, so that you form a bridge.
Take a few crabby steps backwards and forwards to elongate your body – your triceps, shoulders, abs, back muscles, lats and hamstrings will get a thorough workout from this unusual position.
Join up with the resistance runners
Coaches will often swear by resistance running to make simple sprint drills that much harder. Wearing several rugby shirts or one soaked in warm water will teach you to maintain your running style under pressure.
You can also try carrying water bottles filled with sand during the shuttle runs to build upper-body strength, or give a teammate a piggyback or a fireman’s lift – don’t turn too much, though. Stay running in one direction!
Exploring the outdoors is for everyone, and if you’re just starting to make walking or hiking a more regular thing then we have some handy facts and tips that can help you enjoy it as much as possible.
Hit the hills, don’t sweat the small stuff!
Why choose walking?
Walking is simple, free, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
You don’t have to walk for hours…even a brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your NHS recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
Take yourself off to a local trail in the country and you’ll be presented with so much beautiful, open space, you won’t quite know what to do with it!
Get closer to nature
In the country, you are surrounded by the singing of the birds rather than by the noise from the traffic. The countryside is surrounded by nature which has a soothing effect on both the mind and the body. A good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. But it’s not just about the occasional one-off feel good factor. Being active has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing.
It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
But, what to wear?
The first question everyone will ask themselves before they head out on their first hike is, ‘what should I wear?’
If you have little experience with walking or preparing for the outdoors in general, it can be daunting to kit yourself out properly on your own. Working from top to bottom, we have put together a guide to clothing and accessories for walking and hiking, so you know before you go.
Your Upper Half
Your first must-have is a waterproof jacket which will keep you protected, dry and comfortable when zigzagging through forests, hills and lakesides.
We all know how quickly the weather can change, and at higher altitudes, a sudden shift in weather can be dangerous if you aren’t appropriately prepared. Look for a good waterproofness level combined with significant breathable properties, as this will help you stay fresh when you’re on the move – ideal for brisk treks and mountain climbs.
Your mid-layer is just as important as the outer layer, as it insulates heat and can be used as a light cover-up when the weather is fine. A fleece zip-up is a good choice of mid-layer, as it is a multi-use garment and provides protection from icy winds and temperatures.
A base layer will complete your gear for your upper half, wicking away moisture when you’re getting hot and sweaty from exerting yourself, yet still insulating your body heat when you’re cooler.
Your Lower Half
A pair of quality walking boots to your outfit to make sure that your feet are able to tolerate the strains and stresses of walking long distances across diverse terrain. Trainers or slip-on shoes just won’t cut it on the hills and mountains, plus varied trails below. You will need a pair of boots that has a rugged grip sole, good support around the ankle and preferably a waterproof outer layer.
From the daily commute to a day out reaching that elusive peak, our rucksacks will see you through. Each is designed with comfort, durability and performance in mind. Crammed with great details like breathable air mesh and convenient pockets they’re guaranteed to make life a little easier wherever you’re heading.
Make sure you have the best clothing and equipment possible for your walk or hike.
Things to consider as a beginner
First-time hikers can often forget essential things that might not be the end of the world but can maybe make life a little more difficult uphill. So, here is what to do to avoid trouble…
Take plenty of water with you
Make sure your phone is fully charged (and invest in a portable charger)
A traditional paper map will never let you down
A packed lunch and/or snacks will provide a much-needed energy boost
Pack some plasters, bandages and an emergency blanket (for those longer and steeper walks)
Do not wear trainers (more so for hiking than walking)
Bring a spare hoodie or fleece in case it gets cold
Let someone know where you are hiking before you go
Don’t rush it! You can go at your own pace!
Where to go?
Before you head out, ask yourself these questions to help you find the perfect trail and make sure that you’re 100% prepared:
How long do you want to be out for?
Are you going to take friends, go solo, or hike with the family?
Do you know the route?
Will you be back before dark?
Have you told someone where you’re going?
These questions will help you pick the right trail or route and ensure you stay safe as you go. The last question there is vitally important; before you leave civilisation, make sure that you tell a friend where you’re off to, how long you plan on being away and remember to give them your contact number.
A survey into how men’s mental health has been affected by the pandemic reveals that an overwhelming 100% of all men interviewed felt that their mental health had been affected. All of those who took part reported problems including feelings of depression, anger, anxiety, lack of appetite, sleeping problems and lack of sexual interest over the last few months.
The Covid-19 Crisis Survey for Men went onto reveal that over half of all men who took part (60%), have not made time to socialise with their family and friends and this has had a detrimental effect on their mental health. The research also showed that:
85% of men felt that their children had been affected by the pandemic
65% are concerned about their family’s financial future
Only 10% felt that their partner hadn’t been affected by the crisis
60% felt that they had made some positive changes since COVID-19
Psychotherapist Noel McDermott explains that “from boyhood men are told to be brave and ambitious, as they grow older, they strive to become good fathers, partners and providers. Throughout the pandemic, the traditional role of man has changed and with this has come new pressures. For many men their whole lives have been turned upside down, the vast haven’t been able to go to work, the gym, play sport with a team or to the pub with pals. Men in general have fewer social and emotional support systems and the places where men used to go and talk about their problems are closed and they’ve found themselves in new, unfamiliar circumstances. For those that are fathers, they have been at home all day with more exposure to the household demands and domestic responsibilities balancing both work and family. This has created even more demands and pressures”.
What Men Fear Most
The biggest fear for many men is that they will not be able to return to full economic productivity and earning capacity and this is still a large part of men’s identity and role in our culture. Men who act as the primary breadwinners in their household feel the financial burden and responsibility within their relationship. For those that are now returning to work, many are reporting anxiety with the loss of family time and others are feeling the pressure to make up for lost earnings and secure an economic future. Numerous studies show men feel financial stresses both as a status issue and as a provider, this can lead to relationship difficulties, drinking and substance misuse and mental health issues. These concerns increase significantly during times of economic downturn and this can be seen during the lifting of lockdown.
Warning signs of mental health problems in men
Stress is a big factor in health and mental health for both men and women and these times of transition are very stressful. Typically, we see men express stress in a number of ways:
Sexual performance issues and loss of libido
Emotional dysregulation (irritability and anger)
Sleep issues, appetite issues
Withdrawal and bottling things up
Mood shifts and mood swings
Self-help for Men: Stress Management Techniques
As these are stress responses the single biggest thing men can do to help themselves is learn better stress management techniques which are:
Spot it, know your signs that you are experiencing problems and have your ‘fire escape’ plan in place to ensure you manage better such as increased self-care, asking for help from others, getting professional help, talking to your GP.
Ensure general wellbeing hygiene practice to increase resilience: exercise, sleep well, good food, talk to friends and family about your worries, hydrate well, get outside regularly, ensure you do fun things! Discuss your worries and ask for support, ensure you normalise your experiences of stress and understand everyone is feeling this and it’s not a sign of failure to be feeling overwhelmed.
Signs that there may be need of professional help are if there are problems in functioning that are persistent over a two-week period. Periodic anxiety or depression lasting a short period of time is to be expected and will generally shift of their own accord if your general mental hygiene/lifestyle is resilient. If it continues for days and weeks, then there is likely to be a problem needing proper diagnosis and treatment and asking your GP for advice is a good idea.
Noel McDermott is a Psychotherapist with over 25 years’ experience in health, social care, and education. He is the founder and CEO of three organisations, Psychotherapy and Consultancy Ltd, Sober Help Ltd and Mental Health Works Ltd. Noel’s company offer at-home mental health care and will source, identify and co-ordinate personalised care teams for the individual.
They have recently launched a range of online therapy resources in order to help clients access help without leaving home.