Foot and Fitness Tips...

Simone Biles to Compete on ‘DWTS’ Season 24

Simone Biles to Compete on ‘DWTS’ Season 24

Simone Biles to Compete on 'DWTS' Season 24

Simone Biles, part of the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, has already accomplished more than most will in a lifetime. Now, she can also check a Dancing With the Stars appearance off her list. 

Biles is set to compete in the show’s 24th season, according to Entertainment Tonight. She will be the third member of the “Final Five” gymnasts to compete in DWTS, following in Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez’s footsteps. 

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Biles won gold in the individual all-around, vault and floor competitions in addition to the team gold along with Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian. 

SEE ALSO: Simone Biles and Aly Raisman Pose for ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Edition

Exercise Shown to Reduce Death Rate in Breast Cancer Patients

Exercise Shown to Reduce Death Rate in Breast Cancer Patients

Exercise Shown to Reduce Death Rate in Breast Cancer Patients

While there is no one lifestyle adjustment that can improve the outcome in breast cancer patients, research shows that exercise is an important component of successful recovery. 

Regular exercise has been linked to a reduced risk of dying from breast cancer by 40 percent compared to living a more sedentary lifestyle, according to a research review co-authored by Dr. Ellen Warner from Odette Cancer Center at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto and colleague Julie Hamer. However, less than 13 percent of women who have breast cancer are meeting their ideal amount of weekly physical activity.

SEE ALSO: How to Curb Your Breast Cancer Risk

“Exercise has the greatest benefit on lowering risk of recurrence and has many other secondary benefits like helping with weight management (which itself lowers the risk of recurrence) and fewer side effects from chemo, radiation, and hormone therapy,” Warner told Reuters Health.

The review concluded that weight gain during or post-breast cancer treatment increases the rate of recurrence and decreases the rate of survival. So while exercise won’t cure someone or replace conventional treatments, it has a number of benefits that are worth the effort. 

The Rock Hits In-N-Out Burger for the First Time

The Rock Hits In-N-Out Burger for the First Time

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is no stranger to a good cheat meal, and apparently neither are his girlfriend and daughter.

Yesterday, Johnson shared a selfie of himself at the In-N-Out drive-thru grabbing some burgers, fries and shakes for girlfriend Lauren Hashian and daughter Simone Johnson.

He said that although he’s never had In-N-Out Burger, he’ll return to destroy some burgers—still dressed in his tuxedo—if Moana wins an Oscar this Sunday. 

SEE ALSO: Train Like the Rock: Dwayne Johnson’s Arm Routine

“I’m talkin’ about takin’ cheat meal to another level,” Johnson said in the caption. 

In typical Rock fashion, he thanked the fans that were working the drive-thru for being awesome and dubbed himself In-N-Out’s #NewestAndBiggestFan.

Ronda Rousey to Return to Acting with ‘Blindspot’ Role

Ronda Rousey to Return to Acting with ‘Blindspot’ Role

Ronda Rousey Working the Pads

Ronda Rousey is returning to acting, guest-starring as a prison inmate on NBC’s Blindspot this April, according to USA Today

She’ll be playing a prison inmate named Devon Penbethy, a “tough, athletic woman who knows how to fight and handle a weapon,” according to the press release. The character is doing time for trafficking weapons. 

Rousey’s previous acting roles include The Expendables 3 and Furious 7, so she definitely knows how to play the seriously tough girl.

SEE ALSO: Derrick Lewis Taunts Ronda Rousey’s Boyfriend 

The former UFC bantamweight champ has laid low since her loss to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Dec. 30. It was a much-anticipated comeback for Rousey that ended in less than 50 seconds, with Nunes battering the former champ to take the win. Later, the Brazilian fighter cleared the air with Rousey, showing nothing but respect for her accomplishments despite the tension between them leading up to the fight.

Now, Rousey’s dive into acting is no surprise, as she discussed her desire to move into the next phase of her life even before the bout with Nunez. After the loss, UFC president Dana White told the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast that he thought she may be done with the UFC for good.

Catch Rousey guest-starring on Blindspot this April on NBC. 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin D May Improve Muscle Strength, Study Finds

Vitamin D May Improve Muscle Strength, Study Finds

Vitamin D May Improve Muscle Strength, Study Finds

Vitamin D has no shortage of health benefits that are essential to a fit lifestyle. Now, research done by the University of Birmingham has shown that it may also improve muscle strength

Resesarchers found that participants, particularly women, with higher levels of active vitamin D also tended to have more lean muscle mass. This correlation could mean that active vitamin D can optimize muscle strength and function. 

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, examined both active and inactive vitamin D levels in 116 participants aged 20 to 74 to discover the vitamin’s impact on muscle strength. They also took participants’ body fat and lean mass percentages. 

“We have a good understanding of how vitamin D helps bone strength, but we still need to learn more about how it works for muscles,” Dr. Zaki Hassan-Smith told Medical News Today. “When you look at significant challenges facing healthcare providers across the world, such as obesity and an aging population, you can see how optimizing muscle function is of great interest.”

SEE ALSO: The Four Best Supplements for Women

 

 

8 Foods That Make You Hungrier

8 Foods That Make You Hungrier


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These Foods Could Make You Want to Keep Eating

If you’ve ever sat down to a huge serving of food only to find yourself starving soon after, it may be time to take a good hard look at what’s on your plate. While it’s true that active guys need more calories than the average Joe, if you’re eating a smart diet, you shouldn’t be hungry mere minutes after you’ve put your fork down.

“If you’re eating packaged foods—even seemingly healthy ones—that could be the source of the issue, explains Isabel Smith MS RD. “Many of these products lack healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which are filling and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Instead, these foods contain things like sugar and salt that may fuel hunger.”

Science backs up Smith’s claims. Numerous studies have shed light onto various nutrients and additives that confuse the body’s satiety signals and increase appetite, causing you to crave more calories than your body needs. If shedding fat and building lean mass are among your goals, this is the exact opposite of what you want. To help you gain control over your insatiable appetite, we’ve uncovered eight foods that may be to blame for your constant hunger. Kick them out of your diet to finally see your hard work at the gym make their mark on your physique.  

SEE ALSO: 10 Superfoods You Should Be Eating


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1. Artificially-Sweetened Yogurts

8 Foods That Make You Hungrier

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This portable snack is one of the most convenient ways to get protein and health-protective probiotics. But not all artificially-sweetened yogurt containers are created equal. “Light” flavored yogurts, for example, are often made with fake sugars that may stimulate the appetite and cause you to consume excess calories. While there’s still plenty we don’t know about the effects of artificial sweeteners, an animal study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that fruit flies that consumed fake sugar for more than five days consumed 30 percent more calories than when they were given naturally sweetened food. While people may react differently to the additive than animals, your best bet is to buy plain yogurt and add flavor with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. Not only does this eliminate the potentially hunger-fueling artificial sweeteners from the equation, but it will also give you something to chew, an action that’s key to satiety, explains Alissa Rumsey RD, CDN, CSCS, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

SEE ALSO: How to Choose the Healthiest Yogurt


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2. Bottled Vegetable Juices

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If you’re the kind of guy who’s always hungry, you should focus on getting the bulk of your calories from whole foods rather than liquids. One study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the more study subjects chewed their food, the more satiated they felt after they ate. While researchers aren’t sure why this happens, they believe that chewing may alter gut hormone responses related to satiety. Though a post-workout shake once in a while won’t do you any harm, bottled vegetable juices are another story.

Not only can they mess with your hunger hormones because they’re a source of liquid calories, but they’re also notoriously high in salt, another hunger driver. Food and drinks that are high in salt are designed to appeal to our taste buds, and can often lead us to crave more,” Rumsey says. She recommends consuming no more than 700 milligrams per meal, and that number drops to half that for a snack. To put things into perspective an 8-ounce glass of tomato juice can have up to 650 milligrams of salt.

SEE ALSO: What Your Food Cravings Really Mean


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3. Canned Soup

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Warming and delicious they may be, but most canned soups are little more than slurpable salt mines. “According to research in The Journal of Nutrition, when you consume things that are high in sodium like conventional canned soups, your satiety for fat can become diminished. In turn, you could potentially overdo it, and eat excessively during your meals,” explains Angel Planells, MS, RDN, CD, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Soup that won’t slow your progress should contain fewer than 600 milligrams of salt per serving (just enough to replace the sodium you lose during exercise without dulling satiety signals) and provide veggies, meat or beans, Planells says. This way, you’ll be forced to chew instead of drink your meals—an action that will help you feel more satisfied and full.


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4. Soda

Even if you love the bubbles and refreshing flavor, you probably know that cola is far from a healthy choice. In fact, if drinking the stuff is a regular habit that could undo much of your hard work in the gym. The reason: soda contains high fructose corn syrup, an ultra-processed sugar that fuels hunger and promotes fat storage, Rumsey explains. “Some research shows when you consume fructose on its own, such as the case with many sugar-sweetened beverages, levels of the appetite-boosting hormone ghrelin increases, causing you to eat more,” Rumsey says. If you need a break from plain water, add lemon, cucumber and orange slices to your glass. Unsweetened iced tea and coffee are also safe bets.

SEE ALSO: 6 Detox Drinks to Add to Your Diet


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5. “Light” Bread

Yogurt isn’t the only healthy looking product that’s tainted with artificial sweeteners. Many “light” breads rely on them, too, cautions Jim White RD, ACSM HFS, Owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. “If you’re trying to avoid sugar alternatives, organic bread is the safest bet. If that’s not an option, look at the ingredients on conventional loaves. If aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame or acesulfame k, are listed, try to find a product made without them.”

SEE ALSO: The Best Breads for a Bodybuilding Diet


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6. Store-Bought Cookies

Is the 5-Second Rule Really True?

Clean diets typically only include cookies made with healthy ingredients like coconut, bananas and flax seed—and that’s with good reason. The conventional packaged kinds typically have ingredient lists a mile long and contain an abundance of fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup. When consumed along with fiber and vitamins, as it is in fruit, fructose is a healthy source of energy. However, our hunger hormones can get out of whack when fructose is consumed without additional nutrients, as it is in packaged junk foods, according to a Frontiers in Nutrition review.

“Think about the last time you ate a cookie. Fifteen minutes later, your stomach and brain say, ‘Hey, what’s next? That’s not enough,’ which makes eating more cookies incredibly appealing,” Planells says. “I am not saying not to eat it. Rather, think about pairing it with something rich in protein and fiber, which will ultimately help you feel satisfied and ward off hunger spikes,” he says.


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7. Reduced-Sugar Ketchup

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Many health-minded guys know that ketchup can be a source of added sugar. But the reduced-sugar variety isn’t any better. Instead of just removing the sweet stuff and bottling the condiment as is, food manufacturers replace the sugar with artificial alternatives like sucralose. “Our bodies are pre-programmed to expect a certain number of calories from certain levels of sweetness,” Smith explains. “Artificial sweeteners are between 800 and 8,000 times sweeter than sugar yet have very little caloric density, which can affect satiety and hunger. Artificial sweeteners may also disrupt the balance of metabolism-fueling bacteria in the gut and brain health, so it’s best to avoid them.” To keep your hunger from becoming Hulk-sized, stick with condiments sweetened with real sugar, and don’t add too much to your plate.

SEE ALSO: 8 Sweet Ways to Cut Back on Sugar


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8. Soy Sauce

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If you find it difficult to cut yourself off after you’ve eaten your fill of sushi, the soy sauce you’re dipping it into may be to blame. A single tablespoon of the stuff has 879 milligrams of salt, and many people use twice that amount which can leave your mouth as dry as the desert. “Salty foods can make people thirsty, and thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. For this reason, I recommend avoiding high sodium foods,” Smith says. To keep your hunger in check on stir-fry and sushi night, Smith recommends choosing “light” or “lower sodium” soy sauce whenever possible and washing it down with a few large glasses of H20.

SEE ALSO: 9 Ways to Cut Water Weight and Reveal Your Abs

Jen Widerstrom’s Favorite Post-Workout Meals

Jen Widerstrom’s Favorite Post-Workout Meals

SHRIMP PASTA

Serves: 1

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh minced garlic, to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil, to taste
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 asparagus stalks, ends trimmed, chopped into 1inch pieces
  • 6 ounces cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a skillet over low heat, sauté the garlic, basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in the oil.
  2. Add the asparagus and shrimp and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green. Add the pasta and spinach.
  3. Fold together and cook until the spinach is gently wilted.
  4. Transfer to a plate, top with Parmesan, and serve.

SEE ALSO: 10-Minute Shrimp Stir-Fry

LETTUCE-WRAPPED TURKEY BURGER WITH BAKED SWEET POTATO

Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS

For the lettuce-wrapped turkey burger:

  • 1 turkey patty, store-bought of homemade (see Notes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 large leaf iceberg or romaine lettuce

For the baked sweet potato:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS

To make the lettuce-wrapped turkey burger:

  1. To make a homemade turkey patty, you will need 5 ounces 93% lean ground turkey.
  2. In a bowl, use a fork to combine the meat and spices. Use your hands to form the meat into a patty.
  3. Sprinkle the turkey patty evenly on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skillet with the cooking spray and add the turkey patty.
  5. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per inch of thickness on each side.
  6. Remove from the pan and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a plate and wrap in lettuce to finish.

To make the baked sweet potato:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400⁰ F.
  2. Using a fork, prick some holes all over the sweet potato.
  3. Wrap in foil and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a knife is easily inserted into the center.
  4. Slice the potato open and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if using). (See below for microwave option.)
  5. Transfer to the plate with the burger and serve.

Microwave option:

To cook a sweet potato in the microwave, simply prick some holes all over the sweet potato, wrap it in a wet paper towel, place in the microwave on a microwave-safe dish, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft.

*DO NOT USE FOIL IN THE MICROWAVE.

SEE ALSO: Turkey and Black Bean Burrito Recipe

How to Use 4 Different Resistance Bands

How to Use 4 Different Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are more than just stretchy pieces of rubber. Not only are they effective for getting in a full-body workout when time is short and equipment is sparse, but different bands can enhance your flexibility and mobility and help you push past sticking points. Here’s a crash course on getting the most from your bands.

WARMUP: MINI BANDS

Mini bands activate your glutes, which helps prevent other muscles from coming into play during exercises like deadlifts and squats to compensate for mediocre glute activation.

When to use: Before working sets, especially on lower-body days.

How to use: Step through the loop and secure the mini band just above the knees.

SAMPLE EXERCISES

  • Lateral Shuffle: Stay in an athletic stance and keep tension on your glutes; don’t allow your feet to touch.
  • Split-stance Walk: With one foot staggered, walk forward while maintaining a split stance.
  • Glute Bridge: Lie supine with your feet planted on the floor and the band looped just above your knees. Thrust your hips into the air, focusing on pressing your knees outward.

VARIED RESISTANCE: LOOPED BANDS

This band variety can help assist with pullups and dips and move you past sticking points—weak portions of the lift—by increasing resistance on compound movements to strengthen the weak area.

When to use: Before or during a training session.

SAMPLE EXERCISES

  • Band-resisted Pushup: Wrap the band around your upper back and hold each end in your hands. Rep out your pushups.
  • Pullup/Dip Assistance: Loop the band around a pullup/dip bar and place one foot on the looped band.
  • Band-resisted Back Squat: Loop two bands on either end of a barbell and secure the other end to the top of a squat rack (pull down) or to heavy dumbbells placed on the floor (pull up). These are best used with compound movements like the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

SEE ALSO: Bring on the Band for a Stronger Core

FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT: GRAY COOK BAND

The Gray Cook Band is used for stretching, reinforcing proper form, and improving functional movement patterns. Having a partner hold the band increases the number of moves you can perform.

When to use: Before you work out or during your first lift as a means of active recovery.

How to use: Use the band as a stretching tool and to perform mobility exercises before or between sets. You can also secure it around certain body parts, which forces your body to stabilize itself, enforcing better form.

SAMPLE EXERCISES

  • Bird Dog: On all fours, secure the band around both feet while holding the ends in each hand. Simultaneously extend your left leg and right hand. Repeat both sides.
  • Half-kneeling Lift
  • 90/90 Thoracic Rotation

TRAVEL COMPANION: STACKABLE RESISTANCE BANDS

A door, some space, and a band is all you need for a full-body workout.

When to use: Pre-, intra-, or post-workout to get a pump, as a standalone exercise in your current routine, or as a high- volume finisher.

How to use: Find a sturdy anchor point—door frame, pole—or stand in the middle of it for curls and extensions. Perform exercises, supersets, add moves into your routine, or end your workout with a high-volume finisher.

SAMPLE EXERCISES

  • Overhead Extension: Stand on the middle of the band; grasp the ends in each hand; press overhead. Keep your arms in place; lower your hands behind your head until your forearms break 90 degrees. Press back up.
  • Band Row
  • Standing Chest Flye

YOUR NEW BANDMATES

MINI BANDS
These mini bands are 9 inches in length; wrap them around your ankles and wrists for a dynamic and functional warmup that will help your muscle fibers fire more effectively. $4–6, spri.com

RESISTANCE BANDS
The thinner bands are perfect for pull-aparts, thrusters, and light stretching. Break out the thicker bands for pullups, added resistance on barbells, and stretches that require a greater degree of resistance. $11–35, wodnationgear.com

GRAY COOK BAND
Renowned athletic trainer Gray Cook created this band to help lifters improve movement patterns and stretching capabilities. For use standing upright, supine, or virtually any other position you can think up. $55, blackmountainproducts.com

SEE ALSO: 3 Unique Resistance Band Exercises

Emily Skye Talks Fitness and Body Image

Emily Skye Talks Fitness and Body Image

In the fitness industry, popularity in the form of “likes” and followers on social media often lends credibility to undeserving blockheads. Thankfully, there are also people like Emily Skye who use their fame for more than personal gain. The 32-year-old Australian model and fitness expert is honest and transparent with the 13 million people who follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube: Imperfection is human. Skye demonstrates this by unabashedly pulling back the curtain. Yes, she’ll post sexy bikini pics in which her waist is tiny and her midsection is ripped, but she’ll also post photos of her cellulite and weight gain during training lulls, too. It’s all done to spread a message: Perfection is impossible to achieve, but happiness and appreciating your body isn’t.

M&F: What got you into fitness?

ES: I was 25 years old, and I’d had enough of living a life of not being satisfied and not being the best that I can be. I was unhappy and suffered from depression, anxiety, and pretty bad body-image issues. I started implementing changes in all different areas of my life by eating healthier foods, exercising, and surrounding myself with supportive people. Over time I just became happier and happier. I loved the life that I was living, and I wanted to share that with the rest of the world with the hope it would have a positive impact on other people. I made it my mission and here I am today, several years later, still going at it.

Do you feel a certain level of responsibility with having 13 million social media followers across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter?

It’s pretty surreal to have that amount of followers listen to me and support me. It’s amazing. I feel blessed to be in this position, and I like to use it to inspire, motivate, and educate.

How does one curate such a massive following?

You have to make a deliberate effort to post valuable content that people can learn from every single day. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t realize. They think, “Oh, they’re so lucky,” and that it happened overnight. It’s not an overnight thing. 

You also post what some might consider unflattering photos of yourself. Why?

I like taking pretty photos, but I also like to show my cellulite and stretch marks and when I gain a little fat. That’s important. Posting perfect photos in the right lighting from the right angle in the right pose—young girls see that and believe that [type of] perfection exists. When they realize that it’s unattainable, they get upset and compare themselves with these Instagram models.

It’s cool that you’re demonstrating that you’re a human with human flaws—and you accept it.

I think there’s an obsession with being too lean. It can be intimidating to people who are starting out. It’s not realistic, either. I don’t walk around like that year-round. It can obviously be done, but I don’t know how other fitness models are doing it. I don’t think everyone is 100% honest with their followers.

SEE ALSO: The 30 Hottest Female Trainers on Instagram

What is your fitness philosophy?

It’s all about living the lifestyle. I’m not too strict; I’m all about balance. I’m not afraid of eating chocolate and ice cream and things like that; it’s about enjoying my life and being happy as long as I feel my best mentally and physically.

Do you have any advice for a Day 1 beginner?

Find exercises and foods that you enjoy. If you don’t, you’ll get bored and fall off. You don’t want to get into something for short-term results. I don’t see the point in that. Second, surround yourself with like-minded people whom you can train and eat healthy with. It makes the process easy and enjoyable.

How do you fit workouts into your busy schedule?

When I first started, I was very structured. Every single day was planned out weeks ahead of time, but now because I travel so much—I’m overseas almost every month—I can’t stick to that strict regimen. I’ve got to have a very flexible training and diet program. I go to the gym and train whatever I haven’t worked recently. I usually like to start off with legs and glutes, and the next day I might do back and bi’s, and then the next day I’ll do shoulders and then triceps. I throw abs in here and there and do a bit of HIIT as well.

If you could perform only three exercises, what would they be and why?

Deadlifts are No. 1. Then lunges since they work your legs one at a time and overhead press since it works your upper body and activates your core, too. If I had to pick a fourth, I’d say sprinting since it uses so much of your body and it’s so explosive.

What’s your deadlift PR?

I had a goal of lifting 100kg (220 lbs). I gave it a shot, and I lifted it three times. I was pretty proud of myself.

What’s your plan moving forward?

I can’t do this forever, but for now every decision I make in my career is geared toward reaching more people and having a positive impact. That’s my goal now. That’s my goal tomorrow. It’ll be my goal 10 years from now, too.

SEE ALSO: The Best Female Abs on Instagram

10 Reasons You’re Losing Your Hair

10 Reasons You’re Losing Your Hair


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Reasons for Hair Loss

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Maybe you notice a widening part or found a few extra strands in your baseball cap, but however you first notice your hair is thinning, it’s always a painful moment. It’s not just you: By the age 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association, and by the age 50 about 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. It starts earlier than you would guess: About 25% of men who suffer from it start losing their hair before they turn 21. While you can’t control your genes, you can control your lifestyle. Glynis Ablon, MD, FAAD, Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA, and Dove Consulting Dermatologist, shares 10 reasons you’re losing you hair—and how save your strands. 

SEE ALSO: The Best Haircuts for Guys With Thinning Hair


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1. Heredity

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Genes have a major impact on thinning hair, and there’s research to prove it, including a study published in 2015 the journal PLoS One. “Hair loss is a result of a complicated set of both environmental and genetic factors, and how these factors play out are specific to each individual,” says Dr. Ablon. “It’s rare, but some men can start losing their hair as early as 18, while others have a full head of hair when they’re 90.” However, it’s important to understand the difference between hair loss and hair fall due to breakage. “When we talk about hair fall specifically, this isn’t something that is just impacted by genetics—everyday things your hair goes through like aggressive towel drying and even UV exposure can impact overall hair health,” says Dr. Ablon. 


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2. UV rays

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Fun in the sun can take a toll on your locks and cause hair to thin. “Strong UV rays can degrade the bonds that hold hair together, causing brittleness, dryness, breakage and lack of manageability,” Dr. Ablon says. “You might not always be able to feel the burn, but the sun’s rays can cause hair fall or shedding.” Guys shouldn’t feel like they can’t enjoy a day outside—just be mindful of the best ways to protect against it, such as hair SPFs, wearing a hat, and restoring moisture to the hair with a conditioning shampoo.

SEE ALSO: Men’s Shaving and Grooming Tips for a Healthy Beard

  


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3. Aggressive towel drying

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When you get out of the shower, if you’re like most guys, you probably vigorously dry your hair with a towel without giving it much thought. However, it’s actually quite destructive to your hair’s cuticles, or the outer layer of each strand. “Your hair’s structure is held together by three kinds of bonds, which contribute to the strength of your hair,” Dr. Ablon explains. “When the hair is wet, it swells and the cuticle lifts up a little. When it dries, it comes back to its original position. When the cuticle is slightly lifted during the wet stage, it’s vulnerable to things that come in contact with it, such as your towel vigorously rubbing up against it.” Luckily, there are simple things you can do to minimize damage. First, use a hair conditioner or a conditioning shampoo that coats each strand of hair so that your cuticles are protected. Second, change the way you dry your hair. Instead of rubbing your wet head with a towel, pat the hair dry.

 


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4. Chlorine

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Taking a dip in the pool is fun—but not for your hairline. “Chlorine damages the hair by removing natural oils from hair’s strands and weakens the chemical bonds between hair fibers, leaving them prone to dryness, breakage and ultimately hair fall,” explains Dr. Ablon. “Enlist a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner daily, such as the Dove Men+Care Complete Care Fortifying Shampoo + Conditioner ($3.49, drugstores). Not only will this help promote hair’s health to stand up to the effects of chlorine, but it will also help restore moisture and strengthen hair after it has been exposed.”


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5. Wearing a hat

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We get the irony here—wearing a hat is an easy way to hide hair loss, but it might actually be making it worse and contributing to your receding hairline. “Any sort of physical stress on the hair, such as rubbing and pulling, can lead to hair fall and breakage,” Dr. Ablon says. “Wearing a tight baseball cap is one such culprit. It causes rubbing on the front, sides and back of the head and hair, which in turn can lead to hair fall. If you use a shampoo and conditioner that moisturizes and strengthens the hair, it can help alleviate the amount of hair fall and breakage.”

SEE ALSO: The Complete beginner’s Workout Routine


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6. Rough brushing and combing

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It may not occur to you to be gentle whenever you pick up a comb, but aggressive brushing or combing puts a lot of physical stress on the hair fiber, and it can cause the cuticle to flake and strip away. “Aggressive brushing while your hair is wet is even worse—it can lead to excessive pulling and breakage,” Dr. Ablon says. Use grooming tools as intended and remember to go easy with them to prevent hair from breaking and a receding hairline.


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7. Diet

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What you put into your body shows up in your hair. “Our diet is a huge part of it,” Dr. Ablon says. “You want to put the right ingredients and foods in your body, just as you want to use the right products with the right ingredients on your body for optimal hair health and minimal hair fall. People are generally eating healthier today, but we’re constantly on the go and on to the next thing, so we’re eating quickly, which means that we’re not retaining the proper nutrients from our food.” Supplements can be helpful in replacing these nutrients. Look for one designed specifically to nurture locks, such as Nutrafol ($88, nutrafol.com). Dr. Ablon recommends supplements that contain deep sea fish protein, biotin, and zinc to help stimulate hair growth. 


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8. Over-Styling

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We get that you want your hair to look good, but sometimes the tools you use to get you there aren’t doing you any favors. Using heat styling tools and over-styling play a role in contributing to hair loss, possibly even more than genetic predispositions. “We know that the more you do to your hair, the more you’re damaging the strands,” Dr. Ablon says. “Simplifying your hair regimen can help minimize damage and hair fall.”

SEE ALSO: The Get Lean in 6 Weeks Plan


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9. Using the wrong grooming products

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“The most important step any guy can take is choosing the right shampoo,” Dr. Ablon says. “Women’s shampoos and conditioners contain heavy moisturizers that would weigh down guys’ hair, leaving it lifeless and greasy looking. Men’s shampoos and conditioners, on the other hand, are made for men’s hair and under the assumption that men have shorter hair, which mean they more often have problems such as flaking.” Plus, remember that women’s hair products tend to smell more feminine.


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10. Products with harsh ingredients

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“I don’t like to name names, but certain chemical ingredients found in hair products can cause hair loss,” says Dr. Ablon. “Preservatives that extend shelf life like formaldehyde are believed to affect hormones, and polyethylene glycol takes moisture away from hair shafts.” Avoid products with chemical ingredients like these as much as possible.