You will hear a lot of professional athletes talk about wanting to raise their testosterone and DHT levels. This is because testosterone, especially DHT, helps build bigger muscles-the kind many professional athletes need to make a living. But, what is something a professional athlete doesn’t need to make a living? Hair.
Have you ever noticed how some of the biggest, hugest athletes have the thinnest hair? At first, they look great- but as soon as they hit their 30s or 40s, there goes the hair.
The famous defensive football players who are the size of refrigerators, popular bodybuilders, and high-dollar action movie stars… as soon as they start bulking up and their forehead starts creeping up.
It could make you hesitant to even start a fitness program. On the other hand, other professional athletes who rely on speed and balance in addition to strength, like soccer and tennis stars, typically maintain heart-throb status with a thick coif of hair well into retirement.
Proof that not all exercise is bad for your hair and can be, in fact, quite good for it.
But, what is the secret? Do the soccer stars know some ultra-complex, magic way to exercise and save your hair? Well, they know how to keep their hair, but it isn’t magic. It is common sense and science, the science of balance.
As a hair loss sufferer myself, I know that fitness is absolutely essential to maintaining a healthy body and full head of hair. I want you to take your fitness seriously but I don’t want you to fall into a muscle-induced hair loss trap. So, I am going to teach you the keys to being fit and hair-wise.
Exercise Must Result In A Balanced Body
In The Hair Loss Black Book, you learned about the importance of being in an ideal state of health. This means having an ideal weight and an ideal muscle mass. Anytime your body is disproportionate, with fat or muscle, you are inducing hormonal imbalance and risking hair loss.
I know you don’t need to read yet another lecture on losing excess body fat. If you don’t know or acknowledge by now how toxic excess body fat is, especially after reading The Hair Loss Black Book, then me continuing to harp on the subject is probably wasted time.
However, I do feel it is important to emphasize that you not go overboard in your quest to “get in shape” by eliminating fat altogether.
I discussed how to calculate your ideal BMI in the book. I highly encourage you to go back and study that section and calculate your own numbers. However, I also encourage you to read the rest of that section about calculating the right body fat percentage for your body.
BMI is an interesting health measurement because its results can be misinterpreted. Mass is mass whether it is fat mass or muscle mass.
Someone who is 6ft tall, extremely lean, but very muscular (like a body builder) will have a similar or higher BMI than someone who is 6ft tall, very fat, and with very little muscle tone. To a body builder, this is would be a goal BMI. To an obese person, this would be a humiliating BMI.
Either way, both people are in a state of physical imbalance. Too much fat results in an obvious imbalance. Too much muscle, especially with too little fat, can cause the same exact imbalance.
A person must have some fat. Fat itself is broken down into two categories: essential and non-essential. As you may have guessed, non-essential fat is that excess that settles into places like our abdomen, rump, and thighs as a result of too little activity and too much overindulgence.
However, essential fat is the fat absolutely necessary to support your life through temperature regulation, energy storage, and protection. If you do not have this fat, your body will start consuming muscle and organ tissue trying to create a substitute.
You will have to produce a new array of hormones to compensate including a lot of testosterone to rebuild, causing a wide range of ailments the least of which is hair loss.
You need fat in your body. You just don’t need a lot of fat in your body. When you exercise, your drive shouldn’t be to eliminate all body fat; it should be to balance the amount of fat in your body with the amount of muscle.
Strive to reach your body’s ideal balance of muscle and fat and you will see yourself growing healthier, stronger hair.
Exercises To Build Fitness – Not Muscle
All across the world there are weight rooms filled with dumbbells, barbells, and other basic lifting devices. They help train a body to life 3X, 5X and even 10X its own weight.
That’s great if you haul cement bags for a living. It’s not so great if you are battling a hair problem.
If you don’t lift cement bags for a living, you can find better fitness outside of the weight room. At least, the weight room should not be the center of your fitness routine. It should be the finishing act.
Cardio is a key to fitness. Cardio will elevate your heart and lung activity, which requires fuel. After burning through the calories immediately available in your blood stream, your body will quickly start dissolving your non-essential, excess fat for that food.
If you do too much cardio, you will burn up all of your fat and start consuming muscle- aka, increase DHT. If you do not do enough cardio, you could end up with excess fat.
Cardio, also known as aerobic activity, is essentially any activity which raises your heart rate and increases your lung’s oxygen use and subsequently increases metabolism.
It is not considered extreme activity (although there are many who do this type of cardio and risk boosting DHT), it simply has to be intense enough to get your body winded, sweaty, and increase the heartbeat significantly for at least 30 minutes but preferably 60.
There is no one-size-fits-all cardio formula. Because your build is unique, your cardio needs will be unique. You may have to do cardio longer than a peer, but less intensely as another peer to get the best results. Fortunately, there is a really easy way to determine what your level of cardio should be.
Cardio is most effective when you can raise your heart beat to 50-70% of your maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes. Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. It’s that simple.
However, calculating how much cardio you need to do to be effective is a bit more difficult to calculate.
Cardio is measured in calories used and the math is based on how many calories you consume, your current BMI/age/weight, and the length/type of activity. You don’t have to do difficult math. There are plenty of cardio calculators out there to tell you how many calories you are burning based on these criteria.
Then, using The Hair Loss Black Book’s insights, you can determine how many extra calories you are consuming based on your current size and calorie goals.
These extra calories have to be burned or you will store excess fat. If you have a lot of excess fat, you can burn more calories than you consume in order metabolize stored fat.
If you are out of shape, there’s good news. Carrying around all that extra weight makes it easier for you to reach your target heart rate with less intensity. You don’t have to start with the hardest cardio, something fun and simple will get you started like biking, swimming, or brisk walks through a park.
As your body fat percentage drops, it will take more intensity to reach a target heart rate. However, you will not have to maintain your heart rate as long.
Once you approach your ideal BMI and body fat percentage, be careful not to burn so many calories that your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to sustain life or you will end up consuming muscles and creating testosterone.
The Latest Cardio Trends To Keep You Fit And Entertained
Lots of people consider cardio the hardest part of a fitness routine. Maintaining a target heart rate for 60 minutes 3 to 5 days a week might seem burdensome.
Fortunately the exercise gurus out there recognized this problem and have created some great cardio alternatives to keep it fun and healthy.
a) Zumba – This is a cardio work out based on Latino dancing, like a smart combination of Tango and Kickboxing. Some will tell you Zumba is a woman’s class, and if you’re a man you may be hesitant to try it.
However, I can tell you, if you ever stop by a class, you will see a lot of people having a lot of fun…. And you’ll learn some great moves next time you hit the dance floor on a special date.
b) Spin Class – It may seem like just riding an exercise bike inside, but its not. Taught by an aerobics instructor and set to music, the class uses varying intensities to simulate training and race days.
Advanced spin classes can get quite intense, but starter classes will be similar to taking a group ride on a hilly road which will get you surprisingly out of breath.
c) Boot Camp – This is currently a very popular trend. This does not focus on any one type of cardio, but rather uses multiple types of cardio, from jogging to tai bo, to build endurance while preventing boredom.
Boot camps are especially successful because of their “drill instructor” type leader who uses shock and sternness to keep you and your classmates on track.
d) Beach Volleyball – It took a while for this sport to catch the world’s eye, but once it entered the Olympics it became an instant hit. Beach volley ball is especially potent cardio because the game will increase in intensity as your skill level increases and your body fat decreases.
The sand offers 5X the resistance of a gym floor or grass, making the beach version of volleyball 5X more effective. The dips, hits, jumps, and running help workout muscles throughout your body.
Many gyms and community parks have built sand pits for beach volleyball, so I encourage you to join a team in your neighborhood.
After all my talk earlier about bodybuilding, you probably didn’t expect me to recommend anaerobic (muscle building but not especially fat burning) exercises.
To clarify, I feel you need to have good muscle tone. It will help your body use testosterone correctly and prevent the buildup of extra testosterone.
I simply believe having the right percentage of body fat in addition to the ideal BMI gives you the proper balance to keep your hair going strong.
Once again, it is all about finding balance in fitness. I tell you to skip the 400lb dumbbells in the weight room because they don’t promote balance, but anaerobic exercise done correctly can help achieve balance.
The best way to not over-do it is to use your own bodyweight against yourself. Chin ups, sit ups, dips, and resistance bands allow you to use your own weight to strengthen your muscles.
As you lose weight and get fit, these activities will get easier because you won’t have as much natural resistance. This is when you may want to consider using wrist and ankle weights during your workout.
Because most people think muscle building and weight rooms as synonymous, they often skip that aspect of a fitness routine. Who could blame them?
Weight rooms are typically filled with s bulky bodybuilders, they smell like sweat, and can be rather intimidating if you’re just trying to get tone muscles instead of huge muscles.
Fortunately, there are better alternatives for those of us who are balancing fitness. They’re also rather fun. They’re definitely not intimidating. These anaerobic options focus on building your body’s strength, but not necessarily building big muscles.
While it is possible to overdo anything and get huge muscles, these fun options have a tendency to train your whole body evenly (using testosterone evenly) and resist over training.
a) Resistance Machines – Typically in a room or area just adjacent to the traditional weight lifting equipment in any gym is an area covered in strange looking machines. These are resistance machines.
Each is designed to work out a specific muscle, but with a more ergonomic motion to prevent injury and strain. Resistance starts with as little as 5lbs and can go up to 100 or more, but typically not so much that you are able to over-train.
After you complete the circuit of using every machine in the gym, you will have trained every muscle group instead of focusing on a few muscle groups as one would in a weight room. This means your whole body will be building muscles and using testosterone.
b) Cross Fitness Style Training – This is based on a brand name fitness style, but many gyms throughout the world are picking up on it. It is basically a form of resistance training done in an adult-playground type setting.
You move different weighted objects, some everyday and some not, to achieve the training. For example, stacking/rolling tractor tires and team log carrying are very popular methods in this style.
The unconventional tools make the training not only more interesting, but also more applicable to the daily labor you would encounter in the real world.
c) Pilates – Lots of people do not truly understand Pilates or have a misconception about this style of workout. Let me tell you, it can really leave you sore if you take it for granted and start too intensely.
Pilates is based on core-strengthening and- my favorite fitness word – Balance!
It is like a combination of yoga and weight training. Despite what you may assume about Pilates being a beginner’s class or for “lightweights”, I promise you will leave your first class with a couple sore muscles but a huge desire to go back.
Most gyms are now offering Pilates classes, but it is also a growing trend within communities so it should be very easy for you to find a class near you.
Once Again, Balance
When it comes to fitness, you will never hear this word enough. I’ve taught you about balancing fitness by focusing both on obtaining an ideal BMI with an ideal body fat percentage. Your muscles and your fat are equally important and both major players when it comes to preventing hair loss.
But balance doesn’t stop there. You can spend every hour of every day achieving an aesthetically fit body with the proper ratio of body fat and muscle. That will help alleviate the testosterone imbalance within your body, but it will not stop the imbalance by itself.
You need a total-body wellness program, like The Hair Loss Black Book, to get balance what’s going on inside your body.
Nutrition, scalp care, detoxification, stress management, AND fitness will make your body increase anti-DHT enzyme production and decrease your DHT production. If you do not achieve this balance in your life, you will not achieve balance on your scalp.
But, fitness is an important and fantastic starting place. If you can motivate yourself to start achieving your ideal physical form, you will find the rest of the Hair Loss Black Book strategy will naturally fall in place.
Your body will start craving better foods and you’ll see your scalp begin to respond to treatments. Once true balance is in your sights, you’ll feel yourself being physically and mentally propelled toward it at a faster, but easier pace.
So, get out and start getting fit. Remember, every step you take is one step closer to the head of hair you deserve.