Study: Stressed Men Attracted to Larger Women
Stressed men prefer heavier women? It's true, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE. Researchers at the University of Westminster in London recruited 81 men, and assigned half of them to a stressful task. Afterwards, all the participants looked at images of women and rated their attractiveness. Stressed out guys preferred a larger body size than their relaxed counterparts—likely because, throughout evolution, more weight has indicated a better ability to survive in tough times. "It certainly would have been adaptive for ancestral man to have a chubby wife during stressful times of famine," biological anthropologist Helen Fisher told nbcnews.com. "Not only would she have had more calories to burn, and thus more energy and endurance, but since fat stores estrogen, she would have remained fertile for longer."
Crazy for Exercise: Are We Overdoing It?
It's one thing to marvel at the Olympic paragons of Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, or Usain Bolt. It's another to dive into a demanding physical regimen as if you're an athlete when you haven't been properly trained. But that may very well be happening as countless Americans take on high-intensity fitness programs like CrossFit, Insanity, or boot camps that push them to the brink of, or well past, their capacity.
Why the new fitness craze?
In part, it's a fast answer for a time-pressured population. But the trend also reflects the growing popularity of group fitness. "Not only are you part of a community, but also there's positive reinforcement. There's social support. Those are very important aspects of committing to an exercise regimen," says Alex Zimmerman, national manager for Equinox fitness clubs' master-level training program, Tier 4. Zimmerman also suspects the trend reflects a deep desire to slim down in a country with a weight problem. "As a nation, we're getting more and more desperate, and ultimately, people are looking more and more for a quick fix."
Research has shown that high-intensity interval training can burn 15 to 20 percent more calories than a moderate, steady workout of the same duration, explains Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. And since people cite time constraints as the primary reason for ditching a fitness program, a fast and furious workout provides an attractive solution, Bryant says. "This high-intensity approach basically allows you to get more for your time investment." [Read more: Crazy for Exercise: Are We Overdoing It?]
Do's and Don'ts of Healthy Hair
Oh, those strands. We spend a lot of time looking at our hair, touching it, tending to it: Choosing the most effective shampoo and conditioner. Washing, blow-drying, and styling it. Coloring it. Curling or straightening it. But that doesn't necessarily mean our tresses are healthy. "People often don't have a good hair routine," says celebrity hairstylist Jamal Hammadi, who's based in Los Angeles. "We've got a bazillion moisturizers and protectors for our face, but we're abusing and depleting our hair."
So how do you keep those locks shiny and healthy? Hair experts weigh in:
Do: Take care of your overall health. Hair is an ever-growing tissue affected by our physical well-being, says Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York. (Trichologists specialize in hair and scalp health.) "Have you had a recent physical? How are you eating? Are you managing your stress, or is it managing you?" she says. Diet, particularly getting enough protein and iron, is vital to hair health. Stress can accelerate shedding, particularly in the shower. And a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, could also cause hair issues.
Don't: Swim unprotected. What could possibly dampen a day at the beach or pool? Salt water or chlorine. Both can wreak havoc on hair, drying it out, causing split ends, and stripping color. Phillips recommends applying a strong leave-in conditioning treatment to damp hair before hitting the water. [Read more: Do's and Don'ts of Healthy Hair]
Angela Haupt is a health reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.