News and Tribune


May 29, 2013

FACT OR FICTION: Myths about men


Most fitness-related myths about men involve vanity. 

Actually, you could probably say that about both men and women, but men seem to have a lot of silly theories about how they can look more rugged, stay young and stay fit. And most of them don’t really involve working that hard to achieve those goals. 

Don’t like how thin your beard is? Just shave it more often. Don’t like that beer gut? Just do some crunches (and nevermind working out otherwise). That’s how men roll. 

Sure, the desire for easier ways to get what we want has spurred innovation across the technological spectrum. We’ve got fast cars to get where we’re going in a hurry, we’ve got calculators to unburden ourselves from memorizing formulas and we’ve got televisions to save us a trip to the stadium. 

It’s funny that we put so much time coming up with shortcuts when we could just put in the work. But ... we’re men. Making sense and accepting reality is what we do only when all else fails, right? 


QUESTION: Will regularly shaving make my beard grow back thicker? 


THE NOT-SO-SHORT ANSWER: The thickness and rate of growth of your facial hair is largely predetermined by genetics. You can’t make your hair follicles any thicker using nothing but a razor blade. Hair is really just protein that’s sticking out of your skin, and cutting it off does nothing to alert your body to the fact that it’s not there anymore. It’s not a muscle. You can’t train it. If you’re desperate for a fuller beard, you might try talking to your doctor about some elective surgery to rearrange some follicles, but likely you’re stuck with what you’ve got. And hey, don’t put Rogaine on your face — it’s not approved for that use and getting it in your mouth could be really bad for you. 

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