Monday, 19 September 2011

5 Easy Ways to Better Your Appearance

There are many things we can do to improve our appearance over the long term, such as exercising regularly,

that have profound impacts on the way we look but there are also small things that we can do to instantly improve the perception of our appearance. Your appearance greatly impacts how people rate you on factors from how influential you are to how attractive you look. Here are five easy ways to help you elevate your appearance:

1. Clean your shoes and keep them that way
Some people say that a man is defined by his shoes. Although this is a bit of an exaggeration, many women do pay special attention to the shoes on a man’s feet. A great appearance runs from head to toe but it’s not just about wearing nice shoes; it’s also about

keeping them clean and cared for. Invest in shoe care because clean shoes really do build a look. Here is a quick summary of basic shoe care:

Leather: Clean, condition, polish and protect. Avoid using alcohol based sprays as these will dry out the leather and cause it to crack. Using lotions will moisturize the leather and prolong its wear life.

Suede: Before the shoes are worn, spray them with a protective spray or finish to prevent stains and water damage. If this reaches you too late, then test a small area to clean first before tackling a larger stain. Use products only formulated for suede specifically. A suede cleaning block can be used to remove deeply nestled dirt. The nap of the suede can be revived using a suede brush, often made from brass. The block and brush are usually sold together as a duo.

2. Choose clothes that fit your body
Your clothes should fit comfortably and snug; giving others a reason to take a second look. Unfortunately, far too many men wear clothes that don’t fit them properly. Paying a little extra attention to what you wear and how it fits can instantly boost your

appearance. Opting for a form fitting shirt can have you looking leaner and taller. Wearing pants that comfortably fit snug enhance and elongate the appearance of your legs. You can tell if a top fits correctly by checking where the shoulder seam sits on your shoulder. The seam should sit on the area just before your arm starts; if the seam sits down the arm, the shirt is too large for you. On the other hand, if the seam sits too far up, then that shirt is too small for you.

3. Wear sunscreen
Sun exposure is the number one cause of visible aging, skin damage such as wrinkles, blotchiness, age spots and skin cancer. Although wearing sunscreen won’t instantly improve your appearance, applying sunscreen everyday will keep your

skin looking youthful, healthy and clean. Healthy looking skin is an attractive quality. When shopping for sunscreen, look for the words 'broad spectrum' on the labeling. This means that the product will provide protection from both UVA/UVB rays. The higher the SPF number, the more protection you will receive. Layering different products with different SPF’s will not increase the overall effectiveness of the products. For those of you who love to tan, tans are actually a visible indication of skin damage whereby skin produces more melanin to protect itself from further damage. Consider getting a fake tanner instead.

4. Pay attention to your nonverbal communication

Your appearance is also greatly influenced by how you act and communicate. In recent years, there has been a great amount of research focusing on nonverbal communication. A person’s body language

can give away a great deal about their personality and current mood but it can also influence perceptions of you and how you look. Men who act and communicate confidently are actually judged to be much better looking than similar looking men who act and communicate poorly. Even though improving your nonverbal communication can instantly improve your appearance to strangers, the challenge comes in maintaining a conscious awareness of the message you are portraying to those around you. Next time you’re at a party, instead of crossing your legs and arms try loosening up with a more open posture. Crossing of the arms and legs gives out a defensive and unwelcoming vibe that will keep people at bay. And never slouch; it looks messy and gives off a vibe of low self-confidence. Stand up straight and look people in the eyes when you talk to them.

5. Maintain the mane
Our hair and the way we wear it significantly influences how we look. The right hairstyle can really elevate your appearance and the wrong hairstyle can really downgrade it. There are seemingly endless possible hair styles to choose from but only a few that will properly fit your face and personality. Make sure to pick one that does both; seek out professional

consultation if you are unsure which ones work for you. Once you have the right style, it becomes extremely important that you properly maintain it. Take care of your hair by properly shampooing and conditioning it, you should also try to comb it at least once a week to stimulate blood flow to help combat a flaky scalp. Schedule regular visits to your local barber or stylist; depending on how fast your hair grows, that may be every three to six weeks. Many stylists also perform free cleanups of your neckline and sides between haircuts -- it takes less than 10 minutes and can really help prolong your look. Lightly style with product but be sure not to go overboard or you may come off as looking greasy.

Through our busy schedules and hectic lives, we sometimes forget to take care of our appearance. The key is to incorporate the little things and details into our daily rituals so we keep looking our best.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Managers have bigger brains

Managing other people at work triggers structural changes in the brain, protecting its memory and learning centre well into old age

UNSW researchers have, for the first time, identified a clear 
link between managerial experience throughout a person’s working life and the integrity and larger size of an individual’s hippocampus – the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory – at the age of 80.

findings refine our understanding of how staying mentally active promotes brain health, potentially warding off neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The study was presented at the Brain Sciences UNSW symposium Brain Plasticity –
                                                                                                                         The Adaptable Brain today.

The Symposium focuses on research into “brain plasticity” that is revealing the brain’s ability to repair, rewire and regenerate itself, overturning scientific dogma that the brain is “hard-wired”.

“We found a clear relationship between the number of employees a person may have supervised or been responsible for and the size of the hippocampus,” says Dr Michael Valenzuela, Leader of Regenerative Neuroscience in UNSW’s School of Psychiatry.

“This could be linked to the unique mental demands of managing people, which requires continuous problem solving, short term memory and a lot of emotional intelligence, such as the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. Over time this could translate into the structural brain changes we observed.”

The research comprises the doctoral work of Mr Chao Suo, supervised by Dr Valenzuela in collaboration with Scientia Professor Perminder Sachdev’s Memory and Ageing Study based in Sydney.

Using MRI imagery in a cohort of 75-92 year-olds, researchers found larger hippocampal volumes in those with managerial experience compared to those without, even after accounting for any of a number of possible alternative explanations. While many male participants followed traditional management career paths, the effect was also seen in women who had taken on managerial roles in nursing or teaching, for example.

The Brain Sciences Symposium at UNSW also features keynote speaker, Dr Henriette van Praag, from the US National

Institute on Aging, who will present research on the link between exercise and the production and viability of new brain cells.