10 Scientifically Proven Things That Every Man Should Do
As always actions speak louder than words, and facts are worthier than fiction. We investigated ten ways to improve your game in all areas of life, with the scientific backing to prove it.
Trim Your Beard but Don’t Shave
Sexual attraction can be a tricky water to navigate. It used to be that a man should be clean shaven at all times, unless recently arrived back from an explorative mission in Alaska. But the world is ever evolving, and seemingly de-evolving in the case of men’s facial hair. A hipster fad only a few years ago, beards are becoming more frequent on the streets and even at the workplace. Scientists have proved that women are above average attracted to men with more facial hair, particularly when selecting a sexual partner. An abundance of facial follicles indicates a good virility and ability to father. Looking at these results then and depending on your relationship ambitions, grow, trim or shave.
Take Frequent Breaks at Work
We’re still pretty sure that your boss will be sceptical when you argue that in fact taking frequent breaks at work will improve your performance. Well it has now been proven due to the ultradian rhythm cycle where between 90-120 minutes is all your body can effectively handle of constant and concentrated work.Pyschologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is renowned for his work on ‘flow’ states and interviewed inventors, scientists and writers at the top of their game, finding that all top performers followed a cycle of total work immersion and concentration, followed by a period of total rest to recover, just like top athletes. Other productivity researchers in recent years have also weighed in, saying that regular breaks are essential to maintaining peak performance.
It may sound more new age that science fact, but studies show that daily meditation can help to reduce stress, particularly for those prone to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Other benefits include improving attention span, preventing age related memory loss, improving sleep and decreasing blood pressure. Just as you put in the hours at the gym, think of meditating like weight lifting for your emotional health. After all, one should treat one’s body and mind like a temple.
Known as the ‘game for kings’, it’s no wonder that chess was practised by rulers of empires for centuries wanting to improve their strategy in war and politics. Chess has now been scientifically proven to improve creativity and strategic thinking. Playing chess grows brain conducting dendrites and enhancing the pre-frontal cortex, responsible for decision making. Other casual benefits of playing the game is that it can raise your IQ, stave off Alzheimer’s and improving one’s memory. Surely a no-brainer then to include chess into your daily downtime.
Eat more Protein for Breakfast
Good news for meat eaters, is that eating regular breakfasts with fat and protein helps balance glucose levels (consistent flow of energy and avoiding sugar levels) as well support the adrenal glands (stopping fatigue). "Studies have found that although people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have higher body mass index, or BMI," says clinical dietitian Christy C. Tangney, PhD at Rush University Medical Center. Seared steak for breakfast anyone?
Take Cold Showers
In today’s mollycoddled society, the idea of taking a cold shower when we’re used to perfectly warmed water and central heating can seem absurd. However, there’s a reason we were a lot physically tougher back in the ancient ages. So, what are the benefits of taking a cold shower first thing? Well an obvious one is that you’ll instantly be more alert and ready for anything the day will throw at you. The temperature of the water will also help to boost your levels of noradrenalin, which releases more happy hormones into the body. Other benefits include increased circulation which also benefits faster muscle recovery time.
Every gentleman should know the importance of a good firm handshake, a limp lifeless hand proffered is a kiss of death for the receiver in the giver’s power, confidence and ability, especially in the boardroom. According to Forbes, a Fortune 500 CEO once said that if he had to choose between two candidates with identical credentials, he would always choose the candidate with the better handshake. A recent study at the University of Iowa declared handshakes more influential in job interviews than conscientiousness. There’s also a subtle power play with body language here. If you look closely at the world of politics, you’ll see political leaders fight for dominance to be the one with the hand on top during the shake, literally a way to say I’ve got the upper hand here.
Chris de Burgh once immortalised it as the ultimate colour of seduction when worn by a lady. But apparently it goes the same way for the gentleman. Simply wearing a red or rosy tone can a man appear more sexually desirable and attractive to the opposite sex. Red has also long been associated with power in ancient Rome, the most powerful men were called the coccinati, meaning the ‘ones who wear red’. Elliot & Niesta conducted a study in 2010 with women from four different countries across eastern and Western cultures who were shown men in red and another hue, and across seven studies, women were more likely to find the man more attractive when he was associated with the colour red. The theory is that the colour red led to a higher perceived status in those men.
Throughout ancient civilisations, garlic was used for its medicinal properties but now we have the science to prove that the plant does more than keep the vampires at bay. Garlic contains allicin, which combats sickness such as common colds reducing symptoms and length of sickness, helps prevent dementia as well as improve the health of your heart. In one study, garlic extract doses of 600-1,500 mg were proved just as effective as Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a period of twenty-four weeks. An obvious but important word of warning? Avoid before or during a date.
Wear Good Shoes…obviously
Do we really need to say it again? One of the first things you will be judged on is your shoes, now backed up by a recent study at the University of Kansas, which showed that 90% of people studied could accurately guess a person’s age, job, salary and basic personality traits based just on the shoes. Don’t let yourself down and remember that respect from others comes from respect in oneself. No self-respecting gentleman would wear dirty, scuffed or inappropriate footwear.
As always, here’s to good health, good principles and above all, good shoes!