Thursday, April 07, 2011

Attention Men: How to be healthier and more attractive to the opposite sex

1: Not Enough Hand Washing in the Bathroom

While it should be common knowledge by now that everyone needs to wash their hands after using the bathroom, 1 in 4 men still doesn't, according to one 2010 study of American hand-washing habits [source: Hendrick].

This marked an increase in hand-washing since a similar 2007 study, which showed men at that time washing their hands in the bathroom only 66 percent of the time.

Poor hand hygiene contributes to food poisoning, as it facilitates the spreading of salmonella and E. coli onto eating surfaces, utensils and the food itself.

Washing hands also cuts down on viral infections, such as flu and MRSA, a highly contagious staph infection. By washing your hands of viruses and bacteria, you prevent them from entering your body through nicks on your skin or by rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth.


You should wash your hands for 30 seconds, or the length of time you need to sing your ABCs -- at normal speed. Please don't zip through L-M-N-O-P.

Use soap or an antibacterial hand wash. Wash your hands before eating, preparing food, taking or giving medicine, and coming into contact with an infant or someone in poor health. Wash your hands after eating, using the bathroom, having contact with someone who's sick, blowing your nose or coughing, or high-fiving someone who's just blown his nose or coughed.

Scrub up and check out the next page for lots more information on men's hygiene.

2: You Don't Need to Bathe Daily

Many of us believe we should bathe daily -- or even twice daily if we exercise in the afternoon. While we should bathe after getting especially sweaty or dirty, the expectation of taking a bath or shower at least once a day is a recent phenomenon.

Not that we should return to the (smelly) days of old, but in decades and centuries past, it wasn't uncommon for people to bathe weekly or even just monthly.

While you should bathe more often than 12 times a year, you don't need to shower every day -- no matter what the soap commercials suggest.

Most body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down the sweat from under your arms or in your crotch area. If you don't break a sweat, you're not going to smell bad. So skip the shower next time you spend a day waking late and watching reruns on your couch before calling it an early night. This holds true especially in the winter, when you're less likely to perspire.

Your skin is actually home to bacteria that are beneficial to both your skin and your overall health, and no benefit is derived from stripping these and natural oils from your skin [source: Saint Louis].

You don't need to shampoo daily either, and doing so may even lead to scalp dryness or irritation. But as we'll see in the next section, you're probably expediting your trips to the bathroom as it is.

3: There's Someone for Every Body Odor

Birth Control Confuses the Nose
A woman's preference for men with MHC genes that are immunologically different from her own ensures that her offspring will be healthy. But once women are pregnant -- or on the pill -- they prefer men who smell similar rather than different. Researchers theorize that women who are pregnant -- or whose hormones mimic pregnancy because of birth control pills -- are no longer looking for a mate. Instead, they need the support of close family, which they find by sniffing out those with similar genes.
We have long wondered if -- and how -- females respond to males' scents. Although there's a lot of debate about the role of pheromones in human attraction, some studies have shown that these chemical signals you're sending out are providing information to potential mates about your immune system [source: PBS].

When isolated, men's sex hormones -- like testosterone -- don't seem to have any effect on women, regardless of ovulation.

However, it seems that chemical markers detectable through scent provide data about certain genes within our DNA. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are responsible for some of the coding related to fighting disease with the immune system.

There are dozens of variations of these genes, and women are most attracted to the scents of men with whom they have very dissimilar MHC genes. The more similar the genes, the less attracted women are to a particular man's smell.

Regardless, the stronger the actual scent was overall, the less attracted they were. So if your pheromones indicate you're a perfect match for a particular woman, she'll be less interested after her nose detects you've saved up a month's worth of pheromones on your T-shirt in an effort to impress her.

4: Not Flossing Can Kill You

Let's be honest -- we all know we should be flossing daily, but few of us actually do. However, improving your flossing habits could improve your outlook when it comes to living a long, healthy life.

Studies show a healthy mouth may equal a healthy heart, and gum disease in particular seems especially related to heart disease [source: WebMD]. These studies indicate you're twice as likely to have heart disease if you have periodontal disease.

Artery plaque and mouth plaque are entirely different despite both being called "plaque." However, the connection seems to be that higher levels of harmful bacteria in the bloodstream cause problems in both the mouth and the arteries. Therefore, the presence of either kind of plaque is a strong indicator that the other type is present as well.

Next: Why your scent may be an advertisement for your immune system.

5: Facial Hair May Be a Female Repellent

man with full beard
©iStockphoto.com/izusek
A 2008 study in the UK had a group of women view a series of digitally altered photos of men. Each male had five different "looks": clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, light beard and full beard.


Participants rated the men on toughness, maturity, aggressiveness, dominance and masculinity. The men's photos were also rated based on potential for long-term and short-term (one-night stand) relationships.

Women rated clean-shaven faces lowest almost across the board, and these baby faces were a major turn-off when it came to the prospects of a long-term relationship.

Full beards elicited perceptions of maturity, aggression and dominance, but made the men absolutely unappealing when it came to hooking up.

But the stubble -- the stubble is where it's at when it comes to attracting the fairer sex. Stubble rated highest when it came to attractiveness and prospects for both long- and short-term relationships [source: Dobson].

A less scientific interview by an Australian razor company found that the ladies down under associate facial hair with sexual wildness, but the attraction largely depends on facial hair that's been trimmed or maintained [source: The Daily Telegraph].

Now that you know what your beard says about your qualities as a mate, learn what your teeth say about your heart, next.

SHOOT: Good, my beard is working just fine then ;-)

1 comment:

Katherine Josh said...

i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.