Combat Hair Loss and Balding With These Easy Tips 

Combat Hair Loss and Balding With These Easy Tips 

A couple of years back I decided to do something about my receding hairline. Ok, fine…I’m balding and tired of losing my hair. In a moment of desperation, I decided to try Rogaine and things didn’t go well. You can read all about my month on Rogaine in this blog. Needless to say, it was not an option after some unwanted side effects.

After a recent haircut appointment, I made the decision to ask the gal that cuts my hair for advice on not losing any more of my already-receding hairline. I have been going to the same person for three years for my semi-weekly trims so I knew she would be honest.

She offered the following tips that are minimal and help keep that balding spot from growing. I’m willing to give these tips a shot.

—Wash your hair on a regular basis with a mild shampoo.   A clean scalp helps prevent dandruff and infections in your hair follicles. However, the kind of shampoo you use makes a difference. Mild shampoos do not contain fragrances or crazy chemicals that can screw up your scalp. Here’s a mild shampoo that is reasonably priced and will do the trick.

—Avoid brushing your hair while it is wet.     I have always brushed my hair while it is wet but this is a big “no-no” because your hair is weakest when it’s soaked. And here’s the second thing I’ve been doing wrong—brushing my hair too much. That’s right, hang on to more hair by running your fingers through it instead.

—Your hair does not like excessive sweating.    The term “helmet head” or “hat head” is not a myth, it’s real and can do real damage to your hair. Hats or helmets allow that sweat to make a nice home in your hair shaft which leads to weakened hair shafts and greater loss. Guys with dandruff totally get this in the summertime. If you have the balls to wear one, consider a bandana or a scarf to keep the sweat away. 

—Lose the man bun.    Guys with longer locks that ear their hair in a ponytail or guys with enough hair to pull a man bun may want to rethink that dude updo. Pulling and tearing at the hair follicles leads to less hair. 

—Check your meds.    You may be taking some medications that are actually causing you to lose your hair. Do an inventory, check the symptoms and side effects and talk to your doctor about other options or at least be aware. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about it first. 

—Dry naturally.    Hairdryers are convenient but if you can switch up your routine and allow your hair to dry, it will go a long way. The more heat you use, the more the proteins in your hair are damaged. If you can, air-dry your hair instead. Dry towels are also not recommended. 

—Scalp massages.    Not only do scalp massages feel awesome but they also help stimulate your hair follicles. Apparently, you can also rub in some essential oil, green tea and even garlic juice (not sure if it’s worth the stench) to help get your hair to grow a bit more. 

—Vitamins and supplements.    Vitamin E boosts blood circulation (which could also help with your endurance in bed) and Vitamin B helps you keep your hair color.

Get Six-Pack Abs in Time for Summer With These Two Moves 

Get Six-Pack Abs in Time for Summer With These Two Moves 

You can’t sell tickets to the “gun show” without the six-pack to go with it. There is still time to get your abs ready for the summer and there is another good reason to get work on them—it boosts your overall workout performance. 

One of the most neglected of all ab muscles is the transversus abdominis but one of the most important because it stabilizes your lower back which helps with posture and back pain. Its also the deepest muscle in your abs and will also help with those deadlifts. 

The good news is that simply adding these exercises will help you work more than just your obliques and upper abs. 

First move: Planks.

If you are not used to doing these or don’t normally incorporate those into your workout it’s important to do them properly first rather than how long you hold one. Proper form starts with drawing your belly button towards the direction of your spine. Next, you will want to keep your hips lifted while engaging your core and your quad muscles. A good rule of thumb to avoid any neck pain or strain is to hold your chin approximately six inches from the front of your body. Here is a handy video demonstration on how-to-do the perfect plank.

Second move: The “dead bug.”

This effective exercise is probably a staple in your girlfriend’s pilates class but it’s really just another type of a hollow hold exercise technique. You start by laying on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet in the air. Raise your hands in the air, and keeping your back pressed to the floor (eliminating as much or all space between your lower back and the ground), extend your right leg in front of you and allow your left to move over your head making sure to alternate with the opposite hand and leg motion. Start with 15 reps and work your way up from there. Check out this video on proper dead bug form. 

Last but not least remember to never incorporate a new diet or exercise plan without consulting your physician. 

How I Dropped 35 Pounds And Got Off Blood Pressure Pills

How I Dropped 35 Pounds And Got Off Blood Pressure Pills

I remember when my t-shirts started getting tighter before I noticed the struggle to button my dress pants. 

I mean, dress pants can be uncomfortable but t-shirts? Plus, I had had my annual physical complete with some blood drawn and a jog on a treadmill. Admittedly, I have fallen off the workout wagon at least on a consistent basis over the past three years. 

Needless to say, I did a good job of paying attention to my craft beers before paying attention to what the scale said. In fact, I never step on the scale and I’m always confused at the pains that girlfriend goes through to weigh herself. You know, first thing in the morning in the buff and only after she spent some time in the bathroom. 

I can’t say I was entirely shocked to see the needle move up thirty-five pounds since I last weighed myself which was over two years ago at this same doctor’s office. 

My doctor is a no-nonsense kind of guy and gave it to me straight—I had gotten fat and now needed high-blood pressure medication. And, if I didn’t do something about it I would end up on more medications to treat other maladies like diabetes. He gave me the news and was not about to sugarcoat it—I was fat and needed to do something about it. 

My girlfriend has been on some low-carb diet for as long as I can remember and never forced me to skip out on portions of pasta or desserts or even the crappy fast food I ate. So, she encouraged me to ditch the carbs and processed shit. 

The problem for me was I needed something drastic that didn’t allow any type of alcohol in my diet which is why I turned to The Whole 30 Diet this past January. I am a bit of a do or die resolution kind of guy and January was the perfect month to be in misery with fellow dieters. Plus, The Whole 30 Diet is healthy and almost a bit of a dare…..can you give up alcohol, processed foods, sugars or anything that is quick to make? 

I am not much of a cook but I was able to rise to the challenge after buying a The Whole 30 Cookbook. I followed every recipe to a “T” because you have to…most of crap in our foods are hidden in sauces including soy and gluten. By the way, soy is in quite a bit of everything in the condiments section of your fridge. 

After following this admittedly strict diet, I dropped fifteen pounds in my first month which helped me build momentum and allowed my t-shirts to fit again. But, I also realized diet would not be enough, I had to exercise. I don’t like the gym so I brought the gym to me. I decided to plunk down the money and get a Peloton.

Yes, a Peloton is expensive, but it’s still cheaper than a personal trainer and you don’t have to drive anywhere. The schedule of live classes also means that I can sign up just like I would at the gym. The app also makes it worth it with treadmill challenges although I refuse to spend the money on their treadmill after buying a spin bike. 

Three-plus months later and I’ve dropped 35 pounds and dropped my blood pressure pills. My belly is no longer filling the space of t-shirts to full capacity and my dress pants require a belt.

My biggest takeaway is that you have to face the fact that you are fat and not sugarcoat it, find a diet that is something that is reasonable and something you can do on an ongoing basis and also easy to understand and an exercise routine that is sustainable. 

Want to kick off your diet today? Check out this blog on foods to kick your metabolism into shape.

As always, consult your physician FIRST before starting any new diet or exercise program. 

 

 

Four Reasons Why Most Guys Should Be Taking a Yoga Class

Four Reasons Why Most Guys Should Be Taking a Yoga Class

The gyms are packed this time of year and you can expect to wait a bit longer to grab those free weights or jump on the machine. While hitting the gym is the go-to way get to work strengthening those abs and building those muscles, you may want to consider hitting a yoga studio as well.

That’s right. I got a chance to try out my first class with my girlfriend and let’s just say…mind blown and the benefits extend beyond the eye candy in class (most women are stripped down to just a sports bra and tight yoga pants). 

Here are four reasons and takeaways from attending my first yoga class as a guy.

Did I mention eye candy?   When the class first started I had a hard time focusing in on holding and letting out my breath nevermind warrior pose. The women in yoga classes are flexible, bending over backwards and feel comfortable enough to strip down to tight pants and just a kind-off sporty bra top. I eventually got comfortable enough to be around them but it was a bonus right from the start. 

Increased my range of motion.  I didn’t notice until two days later when I was at the gym mid bi-cep curl that it was easier to move and with less stiffness. Turns out, all the standing tree and back bending loosened me up enough to kill it (in a good way) on weights. The movements and positions that you do during yoga also lengthen mucles in a way that can’t be done when you are doing repetitive exercises at the gym. 

Catching my breath.  Full disclosure? I pay ZERO attention to my breathing unless I am doing reps and using breathing to count. But the practice of just breathing over and over again actually helped me during cardio. I felt that I could pull in more breath and let it out. While the practice of breathing in yoga class wasn’t my favorite, it helped me to keep up my energy level during a run. 

Better sex life.   If my gifrlfriend had told me this sooner I would have hit the yoga studio with her years ago. Instead, I was approached by the yoga instructor/teacher at the end of class and explained how and why yoga improves your sex life. One big reason is a more toned pelvic muscle. In fact, there is a 2011 study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine that goes deeper into the many benefits. 

While yoga will never replace my gym workout I am always down for all the other benefits that come with it. So the next time your girlfriend or spouse bugs you about going to yoga with them shock the shit out of them and show up—your body will thank you for it later. 

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Guys and How to Stick to Them 

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Guys and How to Stick to Them 

Happy 2019! Tis the season for resolving to finally get those ripped abs, last longer in bed or drop that beer gut. We’ve compiled a list of the top New Year’s Resolutions in 2019 for guys and tips that will help you stick to them. 

Get more sleep.    This is fairly new resolution to top the list and is a sign not only of the times but an understanding of the important role that sleep plays in overall health. A lack of sleep also lowers your testosterone levels which lowers your sex drive.

A few simple solutions to helping you get more sleep include: avoiding alcohol and caffeine at least 3 hours before bed and keeping your cell phone off your bedside. 

Eating healthier.    January is the perfect month to kick-off that weight loss plan and purge your body of all the shit you put into it during the holidays. One of the most popular diets that helps rid your body of processed foods is Whole 30 and Paleo-based eating plans. In fact, Chipotle even released a Whole 30, Paleo and diet-friendly menu.

If you do decide to try either, keep in mind that you should consult your physician before starting any new diet or eating plan. 

Make and save more money.   As long as you are going to focus on your overall health you should work on your financial health as well. Don’t know where to start? Create a budget first and be sure and pad funds to set aside each month in your savings.

Many banks and financial institutions have options to automatically deposit that dough directly into a savings account. Lastly, ask for a raise or promotion. Here’s a link with some tips on how ask for that raise. 

The secret to success is creating a plan, forgiving yourself when you go off of it and reminding yourself WHY you are doing it in the first place. 

Wishing everyone success in 2019!

Everything You Need to Know About Movember and Growing Your ‘Stache 

Everything You Need to Know About Movember and Growing Your ‘Stache 

Movember is coming and the movement designed to bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer comes with these simple rules: 

Step 1.    Start by going to movember.com and signing up. There are three participation options. Obviously you grow a ‘stache, second you commit to at least 60 hours of exercise over the month of November, and third raise funds by hosting a mo-ment. 

Step 2.    No cheating by keeping your current facial hair. Instead, begin with a clean shave and begin your grooming routine. 

Step 3.    Find the right products. If you are not used to rocking facial hair you will want to track down some products to keep itching to a minimum and primping to a maximum. Invest in beard oil to smooth wirey hairs, and razors both disposable and electric AND scissors. Here is a great grooming kit for sale on Amazon.

Step 4.  Let it grow. This could be the hardest part. It’s not a comfortable to be in a state of scruff and full-on Grizzly Adams. Personally, I will end up spending the entire month growing the weakest of ‘staches while some of the guys I work with can grow a full beard in their sleep. Don’t panic, it’s too soon to even consider what shape you want just yet.

Step 5.  As for those 60 hours of exercise, add in some killer ab workouts or add in these exercises that help increase stamina in bed. Better yet, sex does count as cardio so be sure and add that to your 60 hours for the month. 

Step 6.  Decide on the kind of mustache you want to rock. It’s also important to keep your beard to a scruff. Remember, it’s all about the ‘stache this month. Here is a handy beard guide to help you shape your look.

Last but not least, check your nuts for signs or testicular cancer which is the best way to celebrate Movember. Here’s what you need to know about testicular cancer and how you  can check for it. 

How to Drop the Beer Gut and Replace it With Six Pack Abs 

How to Drop the Beer Gut and Replace it With Six Pack Abs 

Get rid of that beer gut and get that six pack transformed in the form of ripped abs. If you’ve been struggling with getting rid of the spare tire and building at least a four-pack of abs, you are probably doing it wrong. 

Your abs are what you eat:

There is a saying among the fitness industry that abs are made in the kitchen—not the gym. In fact, it’s most likely what you drink that is keeping you from getting rock hard. The biggest liquid calorie culprits are alcholic drinks, fruit juices and energy drinks. Love your smoothies? Try replacing them with dark-green veggies instead and avoid heavy carb-loaded meals such as pasta. 

More is not better it’s actually worse:

Quality over quantity is best when you working your abs. In fact, the best formula is an ab exercise that is only 15-20 reps. You also want to treat these exercises like upper body or leg days. YOU DON’T DO THEM EVERY DAY! It’s best to consult with a professional trainer that can make sure you are doing them right and avoiding injury but to get you started here is a handy blog on ab exercises.

Sit-ups and crunches will only crush your results:

As we mentioned in the above paragraph, quality over quantity. Ask a fitness professional about crunches and they likely tell you that you are wasting your time. Instead, focus on the proper form and aforementioned reps of 15-20. 

Be wary of fat burning pills:

Fat burning pills can be effective for losing fat but they can also eat away at the muscle you are busting your ass to get. It’s best to avoid them and get on a proper diet plan that compliments your efforts. Seriously, resist the urge. 

Prep your meals:

Once you have put together a good meal plan you will want to make sure you stick to it. By preparing your meals ahead of time and having them on hot standby, you can ensure that you will not wander too far and start scarfing down shitty foods like pizzas, and greasy burgers. In fact, one tip is to shop the outside of the grocery store. This where meats, dairies, veggies and the freshest foods with less additives and sugars are stocked. Typically, the inside aisles are full of processed crap that will throw off your goals. 

Lastly, don’t starve yourself or beat yourself up too much if you went out and head a few beers and a burger. Get back to the business of rock hard abs. 

As always: consult your physician before starting any new diet or exercise plan. 

 

Naked Man is Not the Only Guy to Test Planet Fitness’ No Judgements Slogan 

Naked Man is Not the Only Guy to Test Planet Fitness’ No Judgements Slogan

The one and only time I walked into a Planet Fitness was during a visit to Florida to see my dad during a work trip. I normally like to go for a run outside and then hit the weights inside but it was in the middle of August and I overslept past 6 am which means temps and humidity had already skyrocketed by 7 am. 

My dad (who has long been divorced from my mom) is not the most fit man but in his early 70s he knows that cardio is good for his sex life and invited me to hit the gym where the A/C and music is turned all the way up. 

His Planet Fitness is not unlike most across the U.S-located in a long winding strip mall front and center surrounded by commercial retailers like TJ Maxx. The same signature yellow and purple colors popping out like a cheap leisure suit. 

However, inside it’s a geriatric hotspot and the place to be seen if you are a retiree and DTF.  In the corner is a smoothie bar where a couple of baby boomer hotties (my dad’s description not mine) mingle in activewear and makeup.

Nearby on treadmills in the most coveted section of the gym two women in their 70s walk on the treadmill and complain about the condo association board and their ideas for punishment for people that don’t pick up dog poop in the common areas. 

My dad is quick to introduce me to the geriatric hotties as “my son who never visits” and after a quick meet and greet, I bee-line it for a section of treadmills farthest away from where Fox News and CNN blare commentary on competing televisions.

I jump up on a treadmill in a darkened corner of the room and get ready to plug into my workout and headphones. Scanning the area, I see the same people that I have seen in every gym. In the weight room, and where my people are, a guy with a Burt Reynolds stash is giving it hell on his biceps. Not far from him is what appears to be his lady friend with the ass of a twenty-year-old. These are the gym rats of yesteryear and today. Unfortunately, they still love a savage tan so their skin is not on par with their physique. 

Across the room, a group of “regulars” mingle around unoccupied elliptical machines and complain of sciatica and other ailments. They are serious about the gym but getting in a workout is second to socializing. These would be my dad’s people but he does insist on spending at least 20 minutes on the recumbent bike and sometimes he breaks a sweat. 

I stick out like a sore thumb due to my age and I feel an unspoken resentment and might have heard the murmurs if I had taken the time to turn down my music. The truth is, there is no such thing as a “no judgements” gym no matter the age of patrons or the gym.

There are still the same regulars that are there to mingle, the same assholes lay claim to their treadmill in front of the TV, the gym rats police the amount of time on equipment and the hotties still show up  in full makeup and perfectly-coordinated workout clothes. 

Instead of stripping down to your birthday suit (like the guy that was recently arrested for doing naked yoga at a Planet Fitness), stop sweating being judged at the gym—who cares, you’re there to look great naked. At home. In the bedroom.

Check out our blog on gym etiquette tips. 

 

High-Fat Diets May Lead to Weight Gain Not Loss Says New Study

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If you have been busting your ass at the gym and sticking to that Keto diet and not losing weight or rather gaining, it might be the diet and not you, according a new study. 

I know, I know it sucks to hear this shocking news but before you change up your diet (and always consult with your physician before starting or stopping a new diet or exercise plan) here is the skinny on this study. 

It was conducted by the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The two learning institutions joined forces and tried out the results on 30 mice—giving one group lots of fat and very little carbs and the other group little-to-no fact and low carbs as well. 

Turns out, fat just might make you fat suggests the study. The group of mice that got lots of fat actually gained weight while the group of mice that had very little or zero fat and a low-carb diet maintained their rodent figures and gained no weight. 

This doesn’t mean you should shovel in the sugar or blow off healthy eating. Instead, be mindful of the amount of fat in your diet and stick to a healthy low-carb diet. 

In fact, many of the foods that are better for boosting your health AND YOUR SEX DRIVE contain a minimal amount of fat or rather contain the kind of good fats that our bodies need. Hint: it’s not the kind of fat in bacon. 

So, have the burger but go lean on the fat. 

Wallethub’s Fattest Cities in America 2018

Wallethub’s Fattest Cities in America 2018

Each year, the online consumer financial company Wallethub weighs in on the state of health in the U.S. Depending on whether you view this list as fat shaming or a shout-out to chubby chasers, it’s still noteworthy to assess the overall health of our nation’s cities. 

But don’t let this list bring you down, around 40% of the United States is considered overweight or obese. 

So, without further ado, here is the list of the fattest cities in America:

1. Little Rock-North Little Rock, Arkansas 

2. Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana 

3. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas 

4. Memphis, Tennesse, Mississippi, Arkansas 

5. Mobile, Alabama 

6. Knoxville, Tennessee 

7. Jackson, Mississippi 

8. Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama 

9. Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

10. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 

11. Columbia, South Carolina 

12. Chattanooga, Tennessee/Georgia 

13. Lafayette, Louisiana 

14. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina 

15. Lousivlle/Jefferson County, Kentucky/Indiana 

16. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Frankloin, Tennesse 

17. Canton-Massillon, Ohio 

18. Winston-Salem, North Carolina 

19. Tulsa, Oklahoma 

20. Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina 

To see the rest of the list visit WalletHub.com