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Men’s Health

Africa: Modern Masculinity in Africa – Pressures, Expectations and Breaking the Mold

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From juggling the traditional and the modern to just a few ways to express your inner fears. The DW show The 77 Percent examines what masculinity means for African men today.

What does it mean to be an African in the 21st century? What pressure are men under? And how do we define masculinity in the modern world anyway?

These were just some of the questions the panel was asked in the latest edition of The 77 Percent’s Street Debate in Nairobi, Kenya.

Conversations about masculinity and masculinity are not unique to the African continent. But many African societies now find themselves in an often stark conflict between traditional and modern values.

“The majority of us come from a patriarchal society,” said Charles Okumu, the moderator of the Man Enough program in Kenya, which seeks to redefine traditional roles and masculinity.

“There was a way we should act, or see how our fathers treated our mothers.”

Tradition meets modernity

In many African societies – especially in rural communities – traditions still play an important role in everyday life. Men and boys are often brought up to see the “man” as the dominant force and provider in the household amid changing social norms.

In fast-growing cities like Nairobi, it is even more difficult to keep up with modern values ​​in the face of persistent ideas of what makes a man a man.

“Some of our patriarchal paths that we inherited from our background are not really helpful in modern life,” said Okumu. “There are still some who want to behave like our fathers. But on the other hand, modernity has taught us to deal better with ourselves.”

The Kenyan influencer, radio host and comedian Eric Omondi has seen a great deal of development in Kenyan society compared to a few decades ago.

“While the roles were clearly defined back then – the man who brings the bacon home and the woman who cooks it – they no longer exist,” Omondi told DW.

Juggle expectations

As modern and traditional values ​​collide, African men, especially the younger generation, find it difficult to live up to expectations on both sides.

“There is a fight that comes from within,” said Okumu. “To want to do things that are morally right in the modern way … But there is this inner struggle of still not wanting to let go, as we saw our fathers show us the way.”

Many men still feel the pressure of their families to live up to these male “ideals”.

“The expectations are great and [often] unrealistic, “said Omondi.” From his parents’ demands that he keep paying it with his younger siblings and aging parents – aka Black Tax – to his wife or girlfriend’s need for a new hairstyle, facial and a house on a hill [while] to be emotionally present and sensitive to all of your feelings. The list goes on and on. “

Okumu believes that boys have also lagged behind in education, albeit inadvertently.

“For the past decade or so, there has been an emphasis on girl education and empowerment – which I fully support,” said Okumu.

“However, it was done at the boy’s expense, and now these boys and girls have grown up. These girls are now better informed, make more informed decisions, and make more money leading to a much more informed one [woman]? “

Focus on mental health

This discussion of masculinity also highlights the importance of the mental health of African men – an issue that remains difficult to openly discuss.

“Most African societies have an implicit need for men to ‘man-up’ – so that all the emotions a man feels should not be expressed openly or even privately,” said comedian and influencer Eric Omondi.

“Because of this, many have [men’s] Challenges are swept under the carpet and rarely discussed “

Infertility, domestic violence, and financial abuse in Omondi’s cities are just some of the many problems African men face and are reluctant to talk about, even among family and closest friends.

If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to higher rates of gender-based violence, depression, and suicide in men, Omondi said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide rates in Africa are above the global average. Stress in men was compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with job losses and isolation taking their toll.

But more African men are talking about the pressures they are under.

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Resources like Okumu’s Man Enough program encourage participants to move beyond traditional gender roles.

Okumu also emphasized the importance of providing boys with good role models from a young age.

“Boys become the men they see around them,” he told DW during the street debate.

“We have to make a conscious choice to talk to our children, not because we feel that way [this or that] defines masculinity, but helps them see how easy it is to be a responsible person. “

Comedian Omondi believes that African men today can benefit from adopting values ​​from other cultures while remaining true to their roots.

“Now that the world has become a village, it’s not far-fetched to grab a little of what works from western or eastern cultures and blend it with our very rich African culture as modern men,” said Omondi.

If you are struggling with your mental health or have thoughts of suicide, don’t hesitate to seek help. Find resources for mental health services in your part of the world here: https://www.befrienders.org/

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Men’s Health

Usain Bolt on Comebacks and Finding Fulfilment in a Second Career

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Recently, Men’s Health met with a man in his mid-thirties who was struggling to find time to exercise in the chaos of an ambitious career change. Put it this way and it sounds like building a raging men’s health transformation, but this meeting wasn’t that. This was actually an interview with the fastest man on planet earth: Usain Bolt.

But oh, how different it could have been. As he explained, when we sat down for this exclusive MH Squad interview, having already won eight Olympic gold medals in three games, he would have come back to the track for the Tokyo Olympics alone. Had that happened, this would almost certainly have been a very different interview. We would have talked about training regimes to keep up with young competitors and probably we would have talked about gold medals. As it was, we talked about why the comeback never happened and why fitness and exercise lag behind a new career and passion in his life without the track.

He’s still the fastest man in the world, but he’s not exactly the Usain Bolt we all know …

Men’s Health: So we’re about two months away from the Olympics, have you seen the 100m and 200m finals? How did it feel to watch instead of competing??

Usain Bolt: It was harder than I thought. I knew I missed it, but seeing it especially because the Jamaican boys weren’t up to the level I expected it was harder because I wanted to be there just to be good for my country.

MH: We read that you thought about a comeback at some point, is that true and why did you ultimately decide against it?

UB: I didn’t decide against it, but my coach. When I retired, my coach said, ‘Listen, when you retire, you retire’. He said he wouldn’t let me be one of those athletes who retire and get back into the sport. I was with him two years before the Olympics and I thought, “Coach, we should try to come back” and he said, “No, it will be even harder to get back to where you were now that you did it have retired two years.

“I was with my coach two years before the Olympics and I thought, ‘Coach, we should try to come back’ and he said, ‘No’.”

MH: If you had competed in these finals, how would you have done it?

UB: It all depends on what shape I am in. I will always say that I will win, but it all depends on my fitness. I think Olympia years I’m always more focused and determined so I think I had a good chance because the time wasn’t that fast so it would have been fine with me.

MH: If someone had told you four years ago that an Italian competitor would win your 100 meter title, how would you have reacted?

UB: I wouldn’t have believed it, that’s for sure. All due respect to the Italians, but I don’t think anyone expected that. There were so many other guys at that moment that we expected to show up, but I have to take my hat off to him. He took the opportunity when no one was looking at him. He showed up and was executed.

Mark DadswellGetty Images

MH: How do you keep fit after the end of your career today?

UB: For me, I’m still trying to get out on the track, not much I have to say, but I also have my peloton and you have online classes so I’m mostly training right now.

MH: How often do you do that?

UB: I try three times a week but my friends are not a motivation; they are of no help. It’s hard because I’ve worked out my whole life so sometimes it’s hard to get up and do it, but I try at least three times a week.

“I actually went to my doctor and he said you had to start exercising again.”

mH: Are fitness and fit not staying in the foreground for you now? And does that mean there will soon be a day that Usain Bolt doesn’t have abs?

UB: For me, I always want to stay in decent shape. I’m not as busy with abs as I used to be in my life, but I really want to stay in shape. I actually went to my doctor and he said you had to start exercising again so I really have to get into a routine because I have bad scoliosis so this is going to bother me all my life so I try To have time for it.

MH: When a doctor tells you to go back to exercise, does it shock you? Do you think I’m still the fastest man in the world?

UB: No. I understand because I know my schedule is going up and down so I know I need to find a regime or something that will keep me going. I am now trying to find a trainer, a real trainer who comes to my house and really makes sure that I train and do the work.

MH: What do you need from a trainer?

UB: It will be different [from what I’m used to] because now it’s not really about sprinting, it’s mostly about maintaining the body and trying to stay healthy.

MH: Obviously you are a 35 year old man now, how is your education different from that at 21? Is it easier, harder, are there things you know about your body today that you didn’t know then?

UB: I think it’s more intense I would say, but I don’t do that much so I just do cardio and light weights. I don’t do heavy weights anymore because I don’t really need the muscles, I just have to keep them tight.

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MH: Let’s talk about your emerging music career, how difficult was it to start a new career in your 30s and do you feel out of your comfort zone?

UB: I don’t think it was difficult because it was locked and not busy. I got into music a little before I retired, so to me it was something I knew I wanted to do. Yes, it will be a challenge because we still have to learn the game, socialize and find out our sound. Right now we are figuring out ourselves but we are only focusing on reggae and dancehall music and just trying to get people to understand and respect our music.

MH: How hard was it to take you seriously in your second career because you were so successful in the first?

UB: Exactly because people still see me as an athlete so now I’m trying to get into the music industry so we’re trying to work on it and get it right.

“I have the same attitude towards music: I want to get to the top.”

MH: What did you take with you from your first career to your second?

UB: Nearly everything. You have to work hard, you have to learn, you have to be committed and it’s not easy. It is good to have the right people around who understand and know the goal and can help you work towards it. For me it’s similar and I have the same attitude towards music: I want to get to the top and I will work hard and make myself be the best.

MH: Do you mind that you are still associated with your first career?

UB: No, I understand that my career made me who I am, so I can’t get upset about that. I just need to build new fans and new people who understand my music, but I’ll always respect my old fans.

MH: What is your ambition now?

UB: To win a Grammy. For me, that’s the highest peak to get a platinum album or single.

MH: Would you exchange your Olympic gold medals for it?

UB: No. As I always tell people, that’s what made me who I am. That put food on my table, helped so many families, and gave birth to Jamaica so I wouldn’t change it.

Usain Bolt is the Hublot ambassador.

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Men’s Health

What is an erection tracker? Adam Sensor monitors men’s sexual health during sleep

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While an “erection tracker” is not a commonly used term in the world of sexual health, it could become one soon after Adam Health launched its newest product, Adam Sensor, to monitor men’s sexual wellbeing. The sensor is attached to the base of a penis and is intended to be worn overnight. It’s supposed to count how many erections a man has while sleeping.

Believe it or not, some kind of erection tracker has been around for a long time. Although not as advanced as the Adam Sensor, penis rings that could help men figure out what is causing their erectile dysfunction and even signal a fatal illness can be viewed as the first modern portable “erection tracker” about the health of one Man, especially his state of physical and mental well-being. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction are often desperate to find out why and what is often causing them emotional or relationship stress. Erections aren’t just indicators of libido or bedroom performance, they’re also an indication of a man’s health, especially as he gets older. Some celebrities who have made headlines when it comes to sex include Teresa Giudice, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Princess Diana Yuri Tolochko.

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What is Adam Sensor?

The Adam sensor can be attached to the base of the penis with a strap. It is meant to be worn overnight. It’s comfortable to wear under pajamas and, according to the creators, is almost unnoticed. According to the National Health Service, healthy men are said to have an average of three to five erections per night. While it is not immediately clear why this happens, many experts claim that the body’s way of keeping the erectile mechanism healthy is by pumping blood into the erectile tissue. “Regardless of the cause, most doctors agree that nocturnal erections are a sign that everything is fine,” says the organization.

Its website states, “The sensor is small, compact, and completely unobstructed, so after a few minutes you won’t even notice you’re wearing it. While you sleep, the sensor continuously monitors changes in penis swelling (the swelling of the penis) and wirelessly transmits the data to the Adam Mobile App installed on your phone. When you wake up (hopefully after 8 hours), simply stop the measurement and remove the sensor. Our intelligent algorithms then analyze the data and our app generates a report with the results of the measurement. “

Erectile dysfunction and its causes

The Adam Sensor claims to show if a man has erectile dysfunction (ED), which can be caused in more than one way. If the man is getting night erections despite having difficulty getting one in the bedroom, it may indicate that the cause of ED is psychological, such as anxiety or stress. If no nocturnal erections are absent, one can suspect that something is biologically wrong.

Currently, International Andrology London is the only clinic where you can get an Adam Sensor. Director Christos Vasilakos, who is also the founder of Adam Health, told The Sun, “When night erections are impaired, the most common cause is aging. It can also be nerve damage if you are diabetic, caused by low testosterone levels or signaled cardiovascular problems. “

He added that the sensory device can also advise a man suffering from ED on the right type of treatment for his condition.

“If you take something like Viagra, you may be able to perform, but you won’t know if the problem is getting worse,” said Vasilakos, and want to check that the natural erections are improving and that you are not just seeing the effects of Viagra . “

If you have any news or an interesting story for us, please call (323) 421-7514

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Men’s Health

Meet The Man Behind Some of Hollywood’s Greatest Body Transformations

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“Exercising (especially bodybuilding) saved me from what statistics say I shouldn’t have been. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, I had to find my way without the resources of my home state to Ranks among the highest in the US for childhood obesity, I felt compelled to fill a void I experienced in my childhood – to be an inspiration to achieve big goals and lead a healthy lifestyle to fuel the pursuit . “

And as an inspiration – alongside working with the biggest celebrities in Hollywood – Calliet is a motivational speaker, a passionate advocate of the fight against child obesity, and a devoted father of one.

He works as Leading Trainer and Personality on E! S Revenge Body by Khloe Kardashian, has held positions with brands such as Nike, ADIDAS, Bowflex, Nordictrack, Amazon, Spotify and Beats by Dre and brings his expertise to workshops and exhibitions, including Shape’s Body Shop and The FitExpo.

I experienced the incredible power [of transformation], found a passion for the process and started sharing it with others. The word of my work got around and I had people from all over the world wanting to try my training methods – this soon turned into transforming A-list celebrities filming projects on location in Louisiana and eventually led me to Los Angeles. When I landed in LA, I took off straight away and haven’t slowed down since then. “

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson

So what does it mean, a ‘Body Transformation Specialist ‘? Much more than you think, Corey explains.

“I take a mind-body approach with every transformation. Change begins in us before we see it on the surface, ”he says. “In my experience, one has to break cycles and be ready to face obstacles directly in order to successfully improve one’s mental and physical state. I coach my clients to overcome their limiting beliefs by showing them what they are. ”When they show themselves constantly. We combine mental and physical work with proper nutrition, and a powerful change takes place. “

“We focus on the main goal first. I then evaluate needs based on fitness level, past / current injuries and the other things their life demands of them in a day.”

“You have to be ready to face obstacles head-on in order to successfully improve your mental and physical condition.”

This holistic approach is one that Calliet applies to his favorite transformation to date (except himself, of course), which comes in the form of Hollywood crush Michael B. Jordan.

“We were consistently up to the opportunity and have changed his body with every project; from Fantastic 4 to Black Panther to the Creed series – we gave each character the best, ”he explains.

Michael B. Jordan was already in impressive shape for 2015 Rocky ground out Faithbut it was not until the following years that he claimed his place under Hollywood‘s heavyweights. Working with Calliet, he switched to beast mode for the role of Erik “Killmonger” Stevens Black Panther, as well as packing 11 lbs of muscle mass for Creed II. While boxing and conditioning were an important part of his training, weightlifting remained the pillar his body was built around.

“We’re coming for our best physique yet [for Creed III]. Given the nature of this role, we implement a high dose of HIIT and strength and conditioning training. In one day he will go from boxing to HIIT to weights and cardio. We create a world class athlete on the big screen – we don’t just want to look like that.

“Our goal is to grow with every role. We’ve improved everything we’ve done a lot. The weights are heavier, the cardio is more intense, and recovery is more important than ever.”

Train like Michael B Jordan

This is where Corey shares an example of one of his meetings with MBJ.

“Train circuit style with all available weights (we train in a traditional gym, but when you are at home you can get creative)”

Round 1 – 5 reps

Round 2 – 10 reps

Round 3 – 15 reps

Round 4 – 20 reps

Squats

Press press

Burpee

Alternating lunges

Sumo deadlift

Double Unders for 30 seconds (perform jumping jacks if you have no rope)

Rapid fire questions

Which exercise would you consider a waste of time?

“Any exercise that is done without intention – form and function are crucial! When doing squats with your body weight, I want you to really connect with the working muscles and control your movements to get the most out of the exercise and avoid injury. For example: adjust your posture so that your feet are in constant contact with the floor (your toes or heels shouldn’t rise), control your descent as you crouch, keep your knees in line with it Your toes, then push through the floor as you come and make sure you are feeling your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings throughout the movement. Repeat for each rep and you will feel the difference! “

What is one exercise that you think we should be doing more of?

“Burpees. They are by far the best for hitting all angles from head to toe, inside and out! They are a full body exercise, they have both fat burning and muscle building potential, and there are many variations and modifications that can be performed can be based on your needs / goals. “

What is your personal fitness routine like?

“I start cycling every day – I either ride inside on my stationary trainer or outside. This is not negotiable for me when traveling so that my body works the way I need it. My life is in constant motion, I have to keep moving and challenge myself! “

What about your diet?

“I stick to a clean, nutritious diet, but I also indulge in the occasional treat. Food is fuel, you wouldn’t dump tar in your car and expect it to take you where you need to go!”

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