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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Study shows high-risk sex more likely for young men than women

The data also suggested that living in an urban area, being well educated, belonging to a higher economic group and, importantly, just being a young male, made a person more likely to take chances – a dangerous habit that can last well into adulthood.

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A new study of the sexual habits of nearly 85,000 young people suggests that males are at least 10 times more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior than their female counterparts.

Writing in the SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of AIDS/HIV, Yifru Berhan and Asres Berhan sift through data from from the Demographic and Health Surveys data (21 from sub-Saharan Africa plus Bolivia, Cambodia, Guyana, Haiti and Vietnam) in order to understand how the practices of young males and females differed. They also investigated the influence that age, wealth and educational background had on their sexual behavior.

Some of their findings are unexpected. Berhan and Berhan found that males aged 15–19 were 27 times more likely than females the same age to indulge in high-risk behavior, which for the purposes of this study was defined as having unprotected heterosexual sex with non-regular partners during the last year.

The data also suggested that living in an urban area, being well educated, belonging to a higher economic group and, importantly, just being a young male, made a person more likely to take chances – a dangerous habit that can last well into adulthood.

The authors conclude: “In the majority of the included countries, the susceptibility of male youths to higher risk sex was significantly higher than the female youths regardless of the assessed independent variables (sex, age, education, residence and wealth index)… The consistent and strong association of higher risk sex with male youth is probably strong evidence to surmise that being a male youth is a strong predictor of practicing higher risk sex than the other assessed variables.”

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The fact that urban and well-educated youths – who might be considered to be more aware of and able to avoid risks – were more inclined to take them puzzled the pair. In the absence of other research, Berhan and Berhan suggest that the generally younger age of marriage for females as well as the fact that males have higher rates of substance abuse, are more likely to have multiple partners and first have sex at younger age may all play a part.

These findings are timely. According to the WHO and UNAIDS, around 50% of new HIV infections occur in young people, with higher-risk sex a key factor.

Berhan and Berhan’s findings should help educators, health workers and families better understand patterns of male sexual risk-taking and tailor their interventions accordingly to bring about long-lasting – and potentially life-saving – behavioral change.

Taylor & Francis Group, which partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide, is a publisher of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works, with content spanning all areas of humanities, social sciences, behavioral sciences, science, technology and medicine. It has offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg.

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

14 Must-listen podcasts for wellness

The first thing you need when planning a new wellness routine is some good old inspiration. To get you started, try a few of these podcasts to get the ideas flowing.

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Let’s face it, staying healthy in body and mind is much easier said than done. We all know which foods and drinks are good for our bodies, but that doesn’t stop us craving those that aren’t! It’s easy to sign up for a gym membership, but far harder to motivate yourself to go after a long day. No matter how much you look after your mental health, there will always come those tougher times whereby your strength is tested. 

IMAGE FROM PEXELS.COM

Creating the right self-care regime takes a little trial and error, so don’t fret if you don’t get it right straight away. The first thing you need when planning a new wellness routine is some good old inspiration. To get you started, try a few of these podcasts to get the ideas flowing.

1 . Hurdle 

Hurdle is a podcast hosted by Emily Abate, a content creator, and writer from Connecticut. Emily is the fitness editor for SELF Magazine and is also a certified personal trainer. In her podcast, Emily chats to people who have coped with a tough time in their life by establishing a new wellness regime. The podcasts brings you stories of those who have found peace and strength with the use of various wellness practices. From yoga to crystals or clean-eating; here, you’ll find plenty of stories to motivate you. Emily’s mission is to encourage listeners to be the best that they can be and to ‘move with intention.’ Tune in and listen to stories from top CEOs and professional athletes, allow yourself to be moved by their tales of struggle and success.

2. Move Your DNA

Move Your DNA is created and hosted by Katy Bowman, an author and biomechanist. Katy leads discussions on how movement affects our bodies and lives while seeking to encourage you to try new ways of moving. Topics include discussions of rewilding, social media, gardening, improving sleep, and the science of wellness. The podcast discusses how our society has become more sedentary and offers tips on how you can get moving more often in your day-to-day life. With Kathy you’ll learn plenty of interesting facts plus get some great ideas to weave into your routine.

3. TED HEALTH

TED Health is an excellent podcast brought to you by TED Talks. Here you’ll find podcasts on a huge variety of different topics from daily health to new age medical breakthroughs. Learn about how your gut microbes from birth can affect your health or find out what we can learn from vaccinating vampire bats! You can also listen to a huge theme of TED Talks on the go via downloading the app. Podcasts, in general, are perfect for those times when you are traveling and just don’t have the space or motivation to read a book! Just be sure to get yourself an excellent phone tariff to save on your data usage. (Companies like smarty network offer some top affordable packages).

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4. Mind Pump

Mind Pump brings you the expertise of personal trainers and fitness thought leaders Justin Andrews, Adam Schafer, and Sal Di Stefano. The creators of Mind Pump feel that the fitness industry is often full of fad workouts and supplement advice that’s based on faux science and driving profits. Mind Pump wishes to talk about the truth of health, fitness, and wellness with no fads or fakery. For anyone who wants to get on a seriously organic fitness journey- Mind Pump is undoubtedly for you.

5. The Wellness Mama

This podcast covers topics such as fitness, natural living, stress, sleep, real food, and toxins. The creator, Kate Wells, has a journalistic background and is a mother of six children. Katie initially sought to learn more about health and wellness to help her in her own health struggles. Before long, her efforts were transformed into a fantastic podcast and blog. Episodes discuss agriculture, overcoming trauma, herbal supplements, positive parenting, and more. Tune in and learn how to improve your family’s health as well as your own.

6. Open Mind

Open Mind invites us to listen to discussions and stories about mental health with host Frankie Bridge. Throughout the podcasts, Frankie draws upon her personal experiences of mental health breakdowns, shedding light on how she has been able to draw strength and make progress. With her podcast, she aims to encourage more open discussions of mental health in society. Each episode features special guests from successful authors to actresses and reality TV stars. Whether you’ve ever experienced mental health issues or not, Open Mind is a moving series of stories that you won’t want to miss.

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7. How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

How to Fail aims to celebrate those things that just didn’t go to plan! Elizabeth Day and celebrity guests discuss the lessons that they have learned from their failures and how to use these lessons to facilitate future success. In a society where wellness is largely focused on our successes, this podcast is a real refreshing change. Learn to embrace those times when things aren’t quite perfect and discover just how you might bounce back.

8. The Hilarious World Of Depression

These podcasts provide moving, informative, and frank discussions of depression (while also managing to be funny along the way)! The podcast was created to allow people to gain some insight, and understand that those who are depressed are not alone in their struggles. Topics include:Depressions’ biggest lies exposed’ and types of therapy along with a variety of special guests. The more that we learn about mental health, the better equipped we are to help ourselves and others.

9. Yogaland

Yogaland is the fantastic creation of Andrea Ferreti, who has worked as an editor at Yoga Journal for many years. In Yogaland episodes, Andrea chats to those in the know about all things yoga and wellness. Here you’ll learn about how the practice affects our emotional lives, the effects on the body, and the use of yoga in schools. Whether you’re already a keen yogi or simply looking to get some info, this podcast is certainly an excellent wellness boost. (If you’re not a yogi now- you indeed will be converted after a few episodes).

10. The Diet Starts Tomorrow

Samantha Fishbein and Aleen Kuperman bring you this super-honest perspective on health, fitness, and weight loss. Hosts value the idea that wellness looks easy on Insta (but doesn’t often feel that way in real-time)! Here you’ll get advice on workout routines which are achievable for the working week and how to keep yourself healthy while still having plenty of fun! From drinking less alcohol to Taylor Swift’s take on eating disorders, these women have got your health education well and truly covered.

11. The Psychology Of Eating

The Psychology Of Eating is created and hosted by wellness coach Marc David who has assisted millions of individuals in breaking their problem eating habits and losing weight. The show is both powerful and unscripted, where you’ll hear Marc coach clients using a mix of both nutrition and psychology. For those looking to transform an unhealthy relationship with food, be sure to download this one and get on the path to change. Here you’ll learn all about the top trends in nutrition, brain health, hypnosis, and more.

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12. The Rambling Runner

Matt Chittim brings us this charming podcast about amateur runners who are training to keep on improving and reaching their goals. Recent episodes include interviews with Jen A. Miller, author of ‘Running: A Love Story,’ talking about her memoir and all other things running-related! Perhaps you’re looking to get into running, but you’re not sure where to start? If so, there are plenty of stories here to get you good and inspired.

13. The Habit Coach

Are you one of those people who struggles to motivate yourself? Do you like the idea of building good habits but just aren’t sure where to begin? If you’d answer yes to either of these questions, the habit coach is undoubtedly one that you need to give a go! The Habit Coach discusses ways to successfully build wellness habits, whether around sleep, health, stress, or relationships. In every episode, you’ll find plenty of easy habit suggestions along with plenty of fun facts. Let coach Asdin Doctor take you on a journey of creating those healthy habits for good.

14. Eat Move & Live Better 

Eat Move & Live Better is a podcast by Precise Nutrition who want to deliver you the message that it is possible to get healthy no matter who you are (or how busy you are)! The podcast aims to offer info that makes healthy eating and exercise both achievable and enjoyable. Each episode discusses topics such as lifestyle strategies, binge eating, nutritional strategies for old age, the ketogenic diet, and more.

When creating yourself a new wellness routine, it’s a good idea to get yourself a journal. Here you can write down your goals for each day and week, whether about food, exercise, or general self-care. Keeping track of your progress serves as an excellent motivational tool to keep on going.

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Technology

Are robots designed to include the LGBTQIA community?

Developers need to be more inclusive with AI and robot design, researchers say.

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Photo by Jesse Chan from Unsplash.com

Technology is not developed in a vacuum, but instead reflects biases and reproduces societal values and beliefs.

This is why “it is imperative that we construct mechanisms and policies that acknowledge the importance of inclusivity, diversity, and non-discrimination, also for the LGBTQ+ community in the development and use of robots and AI,” said researchers.

In a new short paper in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, Roger A. Søraa from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and co-authors Eduard Fosch-Villaronga from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and Adam Poulsen from Charles Sturt University in Australia discuss what a queering of robots might entail.

Søraa is active in robot and cyborg research through the newly started Immersive Technology and Social Robots Lab at NTNU, and has been active in queer and gender debates, including starting the NTNU LGBTQ+ networks for employees.

Søraa and his co-authors highlight the lack in the inclusion of queer perspectives on robots and machines. This, they argue, should be better recognized in both the research and design of the robots of the future, and should prod developers and designers to be more inclusive in how they build and create the machines that increasingly walk, talk and act among us.

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Health & Wellness

10+ lifetime sexual partners linked to heightened cancer risk

Those who reported a higher tally of sexual partners were also more likely to smoke, drink frequently, and do more vigorous physical activity on a weekly basis.

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Photo by Mia Harvey from Unsplash.com

A history of 10 or more lifetime sexual partners is linked to a heightened risk of being diagnosed with cancer, reveals research published online in the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health.

And among women, a higher number of sexual partners is also linked to heightened odds of reporting a limiting long term condition, the findings indicate.

Few studies have looked at the potential impact of the number of sexual partners on wider health outcomes.

To try and plug this knowledge gap, the researchers drew on information gathered for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a nationally representative tracking study of older adults (50+) living in England.

In 2012-13, participants were asked how many sexual partners they had had. Complete data were provided by 5722 of the 7079 people who responded to this question: 2537 men and 3185 women. Responses were categorised as 0-1; 2-4; 5-9; and 10 or more sexual partners.

Participants were also asked to rate their own health and report any long standing condition or infirmity which impinged on routine activity in any way.

Other relevant information obtained included: age; ethnicity; marital status; household income other than a pension; lifestyle (smoking, drinking, physical activity); and presence of depressive symptoms.

The average age of participants was 64, and almost three out of four were married. Some 28.5% of men said they had had 0-1 sexual partners to date; 29% said they had had 2-4; one in five (20%) reported 5-9; while 22% reported 10 or more.

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The equivalent figures for women were: just under 41%; 35.5%; just under 16%; and just under 8%.

In both sexes, a higher number of sexual partners was associated with younger age, single status, and being in the highest or lowest brackets of household wealth.

Those who reported a higher tally of sexual partners were also more likely to smoke, drink frequently, and do more vigorous physical activity on a weekly basis.

When all the data were analysed, a statistically significant association emerged between the number of lifetime sexual partners and risk of a cancer diagnosis among both sexes.

Compared with women who reported 0-1 sexual partners, those who said they had had 10 or more, were 91% more likely to have been diagnosed with cancer.

Among the men, those who reported 2-4 lifetime sexual partners were 57% more likely to have been diagnosed with cancer than were those who reported 0-1. And those who reported 10 or more, were 69% more likely to have been diagnosed with the disease.

While the number of sexual partners was not associated with reported long standing conditions among the men, it was among the women.

Women who reported 5-9 or 10+ lifetime sexual partners were 64% more likely to have a limiting chronic condition than those who said they had had 0-1.

This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause. Nevertheless, the findings chime with those of previous studies, implicating sexually transmitted infections in the development of several types of cancer and hepatitis, suggest the researchers.

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They didn’t obtain information on the specific types of cancer participants reported, but speculate: “…the heightened risk of cancer might be driven by those types known to be associated with [sexually transmitted infections].”

And they suggest that enquiring about the number of sexual partners might complement existing cancer screening programmes by helping to identify those at risk, if further research can establish a causal association between the number of sexual partners and subsequent ill health.

But an explanation for the gender difference in long term condition risk remains “elusive,” they write, especially given that men tend to have more lifetime sexual partners than women, while women are more likely than men to see a doctor when they feel ill, so potentially limiting the associated consequences for their long term health.

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Health & Wellness

Visual disturbances in Viagra users

In a new study, Viagra patients suffered numerous visual disturbances, including abnormally dilated pupils, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and color vision disturbances, which included intensely blue colored vision with red/green color blindness.

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Sildenafil is commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction and is generally regarded as safe with limited side effects. However, a recent study in Frontiers in Neurology has highlighted the risk of persistent visual side-effects, such as light sensitivity and color vision impairment, in men who have taken the highest recommended dose of Viagra. While these effects appear to be rare, the research suggests that first-time Viagra users should start with a lower dose before increasing it, if necessary.

Erectile dysfunction can have significant psychological consequences for men who are affected by it, and it can make fulfilling sexual relationships more difficult to achieve. Sildenafil, more commonly known by its trade name Viagra, became available in 1998 as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. It soon became the fastest selling drug in history, demonstrating the phenomenal demand for treatments that enhance sexual performance.

Originally developed as a treatment for high blood pressure, the drug dilates blood vessels and relaxes smooth muscle in the penis, making it easier to achieve and maintain an erection. The effects of the drug normally last 3-5 hours and although side-effects such as headache and blurred vision occasionally occur, they usually disappear relatively quickly.

However, Dr. Cüneyt Karaarslan of the Dünyagöz Adana hospital in Turkey, noticed a pattern in 17 male patients who attended the hospital. In the new study, Karaarslan reports that the patients suffered numerous visual disturbances, including abnormally dilated pupils, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and color vision disturbances, which included intensely blue colored vision with red/green color blindness.

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All 17 patients had taken sildenafil for the first time, and all took the highest recommended dose of 100 mg. None of the men had been prescribed the medication. The visual side-effects began once the drug took effect, and were still present when the men arrived at the clinic 24-48 hours later.

The doctors in the clinic conducted various eye tests and monitored the patients over time to see how their symptoms developed. Fortunately, in all 17 patients the symptoms had cleared up by 21 days later, but this was doubtless a difficult experience for the men involved.

“Many men use non-prescription performance enhancing drugs to help with sexual anxiety and erectile dysfunction,” said Karaarslan. “For the vast majority of men, any side-effects will be temporary and mild. However, I wanted to highlight that persistent eye and vision problems may be encountered for a small number of users.”

So, why were these men susceptible to such long-lived side-effects? It may be possible that a small subsection of the population does not break sildenafil down and eliminate it from the body efficiently, leading to very high concentrations in the blood compared with most users.

These men also took the highest recommended dose of sildenafil on their first time taking the drug. Starting with a lower dose may have meant less severe side-effects. In addition, taking the drug under medical supervision would likely have meant that the men would not have used such a high dose on their first time.

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So, if you are struggling with erectile dysfunction, should you be worried about trying Viagra? In short, no. Such persistent side-effects appear to be very rare. However, it is always best practice to consult your physician first, it may be best not to start at the highest dose, and in case you are particularly sensitive, consider first using the drug under medical supervision.

“Although these drugs, when used under the control of physicians and at the recommended doses, provide very important sexual and mental support, uncontrolled and inappropriate doses should not be used or repeated,” said Karaarslan.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

The new culture surrounding health

The culture that surrounds health and good lifestyle choices in some parts of the world is most definitely influencing it.

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The culture that surrounds health and good lifestyle choices in some parts of the world is most definitely influencing it. Now fitness and having a good body has become more of a fashion statement, and we can definitely say that social media has influenced that. There are now more social media influencers on Instagram that are selling training packages and essentially selling a dream to young people. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although they will have a lot of knowledge about the fitness world, it’s rare that many of them have done more than a personal training course. That means they only have knowledge of the human body and nutrition through their own research.

However, the fuel it’s giving to people all around the world is insane, so we want to talk about the new culture surrounding health and how you can be a part of it.

Using Alternative 

Medicine is something that has become rather corrupt over the years. Health services all over the world are stretched, and in many countries, their hospitals are on a business model, rather than a healthcare model. They’re a way of the higher powers in the world making  a lot of money.

One of the ways they do so is through the many medicines they have to dispense for the many conditions that we all have. So now people are switching to vaping as an alternative to smoking, and we think it is very cultural based. In the US and the UK, vaping is higher than it has ever been before.

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Smok is just one of the brands you can use to vape. They do coils and tanks that can suit your needs. The health benefits are far better than smoking, and it’s a much easier way to get off smoking. Wean your way off the vape and you won’t have any cravings at all. 

Lifting Weights & Sculpting Bodies

Lifting weights has become far more popular for both men and women. Women in particular are now proud to be strong, and are no longer shunned to the treadmills. Lifting weights is so good for your body. It tones up your muscles, releases endorphins, strengthens your joints and muscles, and gets you feeling good.

To get into it you could do one of the classes each week such as the body sculpt classes. They’re usually based around lifting weights and they sculpt your body so much. It’s a good way to get comfortable with lifting weights because it is in front of an instructor. 

Supplements & Strict Diets

Supplements have become so popular for those who are going to the gym. Weigh protein is essential for anyone who is looking to gain muscle mass. Strict diets have seen an increase in the number of people who are turning vegetarian.

There are many vegetarian brands selling great meat substitutes, and vegetarian meals in the restaurants are incredible. It seems to have become a modern view that vegetarianism is cool now, when people once used to joke as it was different. 

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Technology

Sorting your new broadband after you move house

One of the key factors that is going to play a role in your move is the broadband you choose for your new home. This is something that’s going to impact your life in a big way, and these are some of the things you need to think about when trying to sort this out right now.

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Moving house is a process that comes with a lot of stress and worry, and you need to think about the best ways of achieving a stress-free move as much as possible. Think about what it takes to move house in the most organized and efficient way you possibly can. This is a big step in your life, and it is important to make sure you focus on doing things in the right way when you plan your move. 

There are so many factors that play a part in making the right kind of house move, and this is something that you need to keep in mind right now. One of the key factors that is going to play a role in your move is the broadband you choose for your new home. This is something that’s going to impact your life in a big way, and these are some of the things you need to think about when trying to sort this out right now. 

You also need to look at how you can find the best possible deal for your broadband, and this means looking at the right providers.

What are the Options?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that there are multiple options that play a role when it comes to choosing the right broadband. This is something you are going to have to keep in mind as much as possible when you are looking to make the right options here. You might like to go for regular broadband, or you may be considering fibre optic broadband options. Either way, it is important that you do what you can to make the right choices here. 

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How Can You Find the Best Deal?

You also need to look at how you can find the best possible deal for your broadband, and this means looking at the right providers. There are a lot of great ideas that you need to work on when it comes to improving your broadband options, and one of the key things to consider is finding a deal that works for you. There are a lot of things that play a part in this, and looking at package deals is something that plays a massive part in helping you achieve this. 

Do Plenty of Research

You should make sure you do plenty of research before you actually choose any options or deals. There is so much information online where you can find the best broadband reviews, and discover all you want to know about how to get the best broadband for you. Make sure you think about what it takes to find out about your deals and check out the different suppliers and providers on the market. This is something you are going to need to get right as much as you possibly can, and this is important for finding the right options for you. 

One of the key factors that is going to play a role in your move is the broadband you choose for your new home.

These are some of the key considerations you’re going to need to make when you are trying to choose the right broadband deals for you and your home. There are so many excellent benefits to getting the right broadband, and this is most definitely something you have to make sure you get right. 

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