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Science Finds Men With Beards Are Not Only Hotter But Healthier

Science Finds Men With Beards Are Not Only Hotter But Healthier

Men’s grooming has changed in the last few years.

Long gone are the days of men with hairless bodies and short haircuts. The current age is the time of the beard and the man bun. It seems that the hairier a man is, the more attractive he is today. But, is there a biological reason that some of us find men with beards so good looking?

Recent studies have suggested that beards are not just hot. A great beard can also help a man stay healthy. In terms of biology, healthier mates are often more attractive as well.

One of the biggest reasons that beards can help a man remain healthier for longer is because it protects his face from the sun. The sun, although the source of life, can cause different types of cancer for those who spend too much time in it. A study from 2011 showed that beards offer a unique kind of UV protection. This is perfect on days when someone forgets to put on sunscreen.

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According to the 2011 report, facial hair reduces the exposure ratios of the face to one-third compared to areas of the face that do not have any hair. Having a beard provides natural protection against skin cancer. Although skin cancer is not as common as other types of cancer, it can often be caught too late and require drastic medical intervention to save the life of the patient.

The beard does more than just protect men from skin cancer. Facial hair can also slow down the aging process for a man’s face.

This works two ways. The barrier that protects the skin from cancer also helps to prevent sun damage, including lines and spots. Plus, facial hair helps the skin to retain moisture. By protecting his face from the wind, a man’s beard helps ensure that the moisture does not leave the skin.

The hair follicles on a man’s face also help keep the skin moisturized. These follicles produce oil that aims to protect the hair. When the oil is released, it also helps grow thicker skin. This thicker skin helps to prevent the damage caused by aging.

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A good beard can also help protect men from the dreaded flu. This is because a beard also helps keep men warmer during the cold months. All the extra hair works as insulation around the face and neck. Helping to keep the whole head warm can help protect the immune system from being shattered by the cold. In turn, this helps men ward off the flu and stay healthy all year round.

The extra layer of insulation provided by a beard is essential in cold areas. A study by Yale demonstrated that certain cold viruses actually thrive in cooler temperatures. The virus is also able to replicate faster when it lives in the cold air. As a result, a cold virus would rather live in the nose than in the lungs, where the body temperature is more heavily regulated. When combined with the fact that cells in cold areas struggle to fight off viruses as effectively as warmer areas, the beard seems like a great idea for keeping out the cold.

Although few realize it, shaving can cause skin infections. Since having a beard requires a man to ditch his razor, there are other benefits to having a beard.

There is some evidence that forgoing the razor can help protect men from certain infections. Issues like folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis barbae are exacerbated by shaving.

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Folliculitis is a common condition. It happens when the hair follicles are infected by bacteria or fungi and then become inflamed. This condition often results in itchy skin that becomes inflamed and red. Severe infections can also result in pain as well as well as blisters that break open. Some infections become so bad that medications like antibiotics are needed to get rid of the infection.

A beard is actually a great health tool for men who suffer from asthma and allergies. Coarse facial hair is a great filter for keeping out hazards and allergens like dust, pollen, and mold.

But not just any beard will help prevent allergies — a moustache is key for this. Moustaches are what protects these allergens from travelling up into the nasal passageway. This works because pollen is sticky and is likely to be trapped by a beard or moustache if it is near a person’s nostrils.

Moustaches can even trap dust. However, this may not be a good thing — few men want a dusty moustache. Also, if the beard is moved, the dust can very easily move right up into the airways. But there is a way to remedy this issue — all a man needs to do is grow a bigger moustache.

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People are naturally attracted to mates who are healthy. Since beards have so many health benefits for the men who grow them, it’s no wonder that so many people find them so attractive.

Featured photo credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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