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Hip-Hop Stars Get Candid On Their Relationship with Health

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D Smoke is stunned. Sitting between hip-hop icon Styles P and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trainer/Fit For Us co-founder Percell Dugger, the 37-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper knows positivity in hip-hop is seldom covered in the media. But, with rapper deaths, anti-Semitic rants, and arrests flooding the daily news cycle, three Black men opening up about the last time they cried, sustainable health habits, and generational health is abnormal in the best way.

“This doesn’t happen enough, and it’s actually quite special—Black men talking about health,” D Smoke said.

Last week at SoHo Works in Brooklyn, NY, Men’s Health held its first-ever Hip-Hop Health: The 50-Year Check-Up panel, discussing how the genre’s relationship with health has evolved. August 11, 1973 will mark the 50th anniversary of DJ Kool Herc’s back-to-school birthday party for his sister at a recreational room on 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx, historically revered as the birth of hip-hop. As hip-hop inches towards AARP eligibility, the three panelists— D Smoke, Styles P, and Dugger— explained how the artists and the communities that make up the culture are promoting healthier lifestyles recently and have been leading people to those healthier choices for decades .

hip hop health panel

Setor Tsikudo

Styles P has been rapping on classic songs since appearing on the Notorious BIG’s final album, Life After Death, in 1997 as part of the legendary hip-hop trio The Lox. The 48-year-old lyricist has helped lead the charge of rappers exposing people to healthier ways of living over the last decade, co-owning fresh juice bar Juices For Life since 2011 and co-founding Farmacy 4 Life, billed as “Hip Hop’s First Health Food Store,” in 2018 with wife Adjua Styles. During the panel discussion, he pushed back against the notion of hip-hop primarily promoting unhealthy lifestyles of excess drinking and drug use in the past by highlighting how socially conscious artists from the ’90s inspiring generations of listeners to question everything about their lives led him and others to start their health journeys.

“When I was coming up, I had different groups to get knowledge off of. You had A Tribe Called Quest. You had Public Enemy. Even if they weren’t talking about food, they were talking about certain context and content that’d lead you into certain areas of life to doing more natural things and research,” Styles P said.

Styles’ voice often grew passionately vehement when making the attentive panel audience take a macro view of hip-hop. He recalled the limited healthy food options he grew up with in NYC’s urban neighborhoods, likening poor people to targets of unhealthy convenience. He said Hip-Hop led him to a healthier life by affording him the economic mobility to move from those urban environments to places where healthy foods were the norm. ​​”When I was able to move to a more affluent neighborhood, I noticed the difference between the supermarkets and the stores. That became a real wake-up call,” Styles said.

hudson medical group

Attendees getting mental health consultations from Hudson Medical Group

Phillip Friedman

The discussion was a revelatory experience, with the panelists pushing against traditional views of health to make room for health journeys that don’t fit the status quo. Both D Smoke and Styles P spoke openly about favoring a wellness routine that factors in the reactionary care of western medicine and the proactive approach to holistic medicine. For Dugger, he advised people to throw away the idea of ​​a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness in favor of one that fits them better. “We live in a world where people feel like they have to go to the gym three or four days a week and do an hour or hour and a half. You can microdose on movement,” Dugger explained.

Mental health was paramount at the Hip-Hop Health panel. Before audience members were treated to the discussion, they had a chance to get free mental health consultations from Hudson Medical Group, a multi-disciplinary medical practice. There was nothing traditional about how our panelists were exposed to mental health resources. Dugger revealed that his introduction to meditation came from his father’s battle with addiction. He remembered his father had a “peace room” where he would “meditate and navigate sobriety” when Dugger was in middle school.

For Styles P and D Smoke, being a rapper comes with an added burden that weighs on their mind. Originally slated to be a panelist, Jim Jones couldn’t make it to the panel due to attending the funeral of the late rapper Takeoff of the hip-hop group Migos, who was killed on November 1st. Gun violence has claimed the life of at least one rapper every year since 2018, leading to a tenured rapper like Jones to claim in a 2022 interview, “rappers have the most dangerous job.” While both Styles and D Smoke believe in karmic balance and protecting themselves from harm by putting out positive energy, they must keep the specter of death on their minds wherever they go. “We can’t ever get so complacent we forget there are people so sick they would harm the people who are well. Those are where tragedies are born,” D. Smoke said. “The rap part of me is like, ‘Ok, let me be wise.’ That’s an unfortunate reality.”

hip hop health panel

Phillip Friedman

Throughout the riveting night, these men were open about their tears (“The last time I cried was yesterday. I was watching The Office when Jim and Pam got married,” D Smoke revealed). They were open about their goals (“We’re never going to achieve generational wealth without generational health. So, we need to wake each other up,” Styles P said). They were open about hip-hop embracing healthy lifestyles since its inception (“When Kool Here and those DJs in the Bronx were at that party, they were working out. They were dancing their asses off,” Dugger said).

For one night, hip-hop wasn’t a spectacle; it was a safe space. And there are more hip-hop health stories yet to be told.

Keith Nelson is a writer by fate and journalist by passion, who has connected dots to form the bigger picture for Men’s Health, Vibe Magazine, LEVEL MAG, REVOLT TV, Complex, Grammys.com, Red Bull, Okayplayer, and Mic, to name a few

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Men’s Health

Cyber Monday Fitbit deals 2022: The best fitness tracker discounts

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Are there any Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals out there? Well, yes and no.

Right now, they’re mainly all Black Friday deals that have persisted through the weekend to become Cyber ​​Monday ones. So don’t worry: there are loads of discounts on Fitbit trackers and watches that have carried over if you’re still searching today.

We’re not ruling out the launch of even more deals now that Cyber ​​Monday sales have kicked off in earnest but we don’t expect many new discounts to surface. If you don’t find a cheap Fitbit before then, scan the Cyber ​​Monday deals we’ve listed below.

Fitbit’s had a rough year, with an underwhelming September launch, a difficult marriage to the Pixel Watch and several bugs, but the UX is still incredibly friendly and the devices are as popular as ever. There are some great buys below that are the equal of any fitness tracker deal out there, but we still recommend perusing the Cyber ​​Monday Garmin deals too.

Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals

Looking for another Fitbit product? This tool scrapes the web for the best prices on different products in your region, so if you see a device listed below, it’s unlikely it’s available for less elsewhere.

The cheapest Fitbit deals at a glance

Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals FAQ

When will the best Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals start in 2022?

Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals officially start on November 28, but the Black Friday deals have carried over into Cyber ​​Monday weekend too. Although this is traditionally the best time for online deals, price cuts on older models when a new device is released are common as well.

If you don’t manage to snag a bargain, prices usually drop again after Christmas.

Where will the best Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals be?

The best Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals in 2022 can be found on this page. As soon as the sales start we’ll be rounding up the biggest offers right here, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back in.

However, if you want to browse the sales yourself when the time comes, there are plenty of retailers that will be offering discounts on Fitbit devices. We’ve listed some of our top picks for retailers when shopping for a Fitbit bargain on Cyber ​​Monday.

Top US retailers
Amazon: Fitbit discounts across the board on Cyber ​​Monday (opens in new tab)
Best Buy: Discounts on Fitbit devices and bundle deals (opens in new tab)
Walmart: Fitness tracker discounts including straps etc.
(opens in new tab)target: Great deals across Fitbit’s whole range (opens in new tab)

Which Fitbit devices will be discounted on Cyber ​​Monday?

It isn’t just the older devices that will be on sale in the Cyber ​​Monday Fitbit deals, as a huge range of fitness trackers are usually discounted each year. For example, the Fitbit Sense was released two months before the online shopping event last year and saw a discount of over 10%, giving you a good deal on the newest device at the time.

Fitbit’s newest releases, the Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Versa 4, and Fitbit Inspire 3, have all received discounts this year to incentivize people to jump into the Fitbit ecosystem. We expect those deals to last until the end of Monday.

More US Cyber ​​Monday deals

  • Amazon: 50% off TVs, Apple Watch, clothing, vacuums, and toys (opens in new tab)
  • Apple AirPods 2: on sale for $234 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
  • Best Buy: up to $700 off TVs, laptops, appliances, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Cheap TVs: $79.99 smart TVs from Best Buy (opens in new tab)
  • Christmas decor: up to 54% off trees, garlands, and wreaths (opens in new tab)
  • dell: laptops from $299.99 (opens in new tab)
  • Gifts ideas: 40% off holiday gifts for the family from Amazon (opens in new tab)
  • Home depot: 50% off tools, major appliances, and holiday decor (opens in new tab)
  • Lowes: up to $750 off appliances, Christmas decor and tools (opens in new tab)
  • Overstock: 70% off holiday decor, furniture, and Christmas trees (opens in new tab)
  • nectar: save up to $500 on mattresses, plus $499 in free gifts (opens in new tab)
  • North Current: up to 50% off UGG, makeup, Nike, jewelry, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Samsung: up to $2,500 TVs, major appliances, and smartwatches (opens in new tab)
  • target: 45% off toys, Christmas decor, coffee makers, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Toys: up to 50% off best-selling toys at Walmart (opens in new tab)
  • Verizon: get the iPhone 14 Pro for free with trade-in (opens in new tab)
  • Walmart: toys, TVs, vacuums, and laptops starting at $19.99 (opens in new tab)
  • Wayfair: up to 80% off couches, rugs, and more, plus free shipping (opens in new tab)

UK Cyber ​​Monday deals

  • Amazon: up to 60% off TVs, laptops, and more (opens in new tab)
  • Adidas: up to 50% off trainers and clothing (opens in new tab)
  • oh: deals on appliances, TVs, laptops and more (opens in new tab)
  • argus: cheap TVs, headphones and tools (opens in new tab)
  • Boots: half-price fragrances and make-up (opens in new tab)
  • box: up to £1,000 off TVs, laptops and PCs (opens in new tab)
  • curries: 40% off TVs, laptops and vacuums (opens in new tab)
  • Dell: up to 45% off laptops and desktops (opens in new tab)
  • dyson: save £100 on the Dyson Cyclone V10 (opens in new tab)
  • EE: Get a 200GB data SIM for £23 per month (opens in new tab)
  • game: PlayStation and Xbox games from £4.99 (opens in new tab)
  • John Lewis: up to £400 off TVs and appliances (opens in new tab)
  • ninja: save up to £90 on air fryers and pans (opens in new tab)
  • Reebok: up to 50% off sportswear and footwear (opens in new tab)
  • Samsung: up to £250 off phones and tablets (opens in new tab)
  • Shark: up to £220 off cordless vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab)
  • Very: offers on TVs, Lego and fashion (opens in new tab)
  • Virgin: broadband deals from £25 per month (opens in new tab)
  • Wayfair: furniture, lighting and mattress deals (opens in new tab)
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Men’s Health

Blue Zones American Kitchen and How Men Can Live Long and Well

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By Men Alive

Back in 2020 when Covid hit I was scared. I knew if I was ever infected by the virus, I would be at high risk of being hospitalized and even dying. I was in the high-risk group. I had lifelong breathing problems due to chronic asthma which began when I was a kid. I was also an older male. Watching the TV reports of hospitalizations and deaths and seeing people being put on ventilators in hospitals, one thing stood out. Many of the people were overweight.

For more than fifty years I have worked in the healthcare field and specialize in men’s health. I try and practice what I teach. I exercise daily, eat a mostly plant-based diet, have a good network of friends and family, and what the Japanese call Ikigai—a sense of purpose, a reason for living. But I wanted to “up my game” and do everything I could do to improve my chances of remaining infection free and healthy.

I followed my doctor’s advice and got vaccinated and boosted as soon as I was eligible. I increased my daily exercise routine to include walking up and down hills to improve my lung capacity. I also followed author Michael Pollan’s simple guidance for health:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

For him, “food” includes what our grandparents would recognize, not the current Standard American Diet (SAD) with increased additives of sugar, fat, salt (My grandparents never ate twinkies, Red Bull energy drinks, or French fries.) Where most people I knew gained weight during Covid, I lost ten pounds, and was down to my healthy weight when I was in high school.

We all know the basics of eating well. We just have a difficult time doing it. There is so much food hype and advertising that eating healthy often seems impossible and people everywhere are becoming overweight and obese. Fortunately, help is on the way. Dan Buettner, the best-selling author of the Blue Zones series of books, is coming out with an incredibly useful resource: The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100. You can learn about Dan’s work about his explorations of areas throughout the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives at his website, DanBuettner.com. You can also preorder the book and receive a boatload of resources right away.

Dan is one of my health heroes. Beginning in 2004, he teamed with National Geographic and the National Institute on Aging to identify pockets around the world where people lived measurably better, longer lives. The original Blue Zones regions included Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, the Greek island of Ikaria, Loma Linda in California, and the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Italy, where there were a particularly high percentage of long-lived men as well as women.

“These men appeared to retain their vigor and vitality longer than men almost anywhere else,”

Buettner reports.

That fact really drew my attention. The same year that Buettner began his studies, my colleague Randolph Nesse, MD along with Daniel Kruger, PhD published a study that examined premature deaths among men in 20 countries. They found that in every country studied, men died sooner and lived sicker than women and their shortened health and lifespan harmed the men and their families.

For me, their conclusions were a call to action:

  • “Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death.”
  • “Over 375,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the US alone if men’s risk of dying was as low as women’s.”
  • “If male mortality rates could be reduced to those for females, this would eliminate over one-third of all male deaths below age 50 and help men of all ages.”
  • “If you could make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good than curing cancer.”

I had been working with men’s health issues since 1969. After reading about Dan Buettner’s work with Blue Zones and Randy Nesse and Daniel Kruger’s work on the longevity gap between males and females, I refocused my work at MenAlive to teach healthy practices that would help men and their families. Most recently, I have launched a Moonshot for Mankind community to help men and their families live healthy, long, lives.

In his book, Dying to Be Men, Dr. Will Courtenay asks,

“Why do men and boys suffer more disease and disability, and the younger, than women and girls?”

Courtenay cites extensive research and details ten health-promoting practices that are less often engaged in by males compared with females. He says, for instance, that

“Men and boys, in general, have fewer healthy lifestyles than women and girls, and they engage in far fewer health-promoting behaviors. For example, men are more often overweight than women, and they have less healthy diet habits. They eat more meat, fat, and salt and less fiber, fruits, and vegetables than women.”

I know that was true for me. Growing up in the 1950s, my mother believed that boys and men needed to eat a lot of meat. At the time, it was common to buy a side of beef that was cut into steaks, chops, and burgers and delivered to a big freezer we kept in the garage. I grew up eating meet three times a day. As a single mom, it was the easiest thing for my working mother to prepare quickly. It wasn’t until I became an overweight adult that I learned that this Male American Diet (MAD) was not only unhealthy, but it shortened our lifespan.

In the introduction to Dan’s book, The Blue Zones American Kitchen (I was honored to have received a pre-publication copy) Dan has a picture of his father who looks to be about my age. There is a caption saying,

“My ‘meat and potatoes’ dad, Roger Buettner, taste-tested every recipe in this book.”

He and Dan have their arms around each other, each have big smiles on their faces with their thumbs up.

“This book could help you live an extra 10 good years,”

says Dan.

The word “good” is important. No one wants to live longer if those extra years are filled with ill health and heartache. The first paragraph lays out a few of the facts.

“In 2022, 750,000 people in the United States will die from eating the standard American diet. Among those deaths, nearly 443,000 will die from high blood pressure, 213,000 from high blood sugar, and 158,000 from high cholesterol. Meanwhile, in 2022, Americans will spend approximately $3.7 trillion on health care, 85 percent of it on treating preventable diseases largely driven by what we eat.”

Unlike most recipe books, this one is beautifully photographed and the recipes are ones that even a klutz like me could manage. What is even more enticing, is that the recipes are based on what is good and healthy in our American heritage, including the following:

  • Indigenous, Native, and Early American.
  • Regional and Contemporary American

I can’t wait to share the book with my family and friends. You can also learn more about health in my latest book, coming out soon, Long Live Men! The Moonshot Mission to Heal Men, Close the Lifespan Gap, and Offer Hope to Humanity. In the book I talk about the Blue Zones Project which brings the Blue Zones principles and practices to local communities. There are now 70 communities across the United States, impacting millions of people, including one where I live in Mendocino County, California.

We can use all support to eat a healthier diet. Blue Zones can help men, women, and children. We can’t do it alone, but together we can make difference for good.

If you’d like to pre-order The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 by Dan Buettner, you can do so here.

You can learn more about my own work at MenAlive.com. If you’d like to receive more articles on health and well-being, please subscribe to our free newsletter.

You can learn more about our Moonshot for Mankind Movement and Community here.

Together we can help heal the world.

Previously Published on menalive

***

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Men’s Health

Why Single Men is Scary for Modern Women

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Why Single Men is Scary for Modern Women



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