Here at Granite Fitness, we are fully aware that most of our loyal readers and customers are women. Today, however, we will be focusing on a men’s issue that has come to the forefront in recent years – manboobs, often colloquially shortened as “moobs”. By the way, women are welcome to read this too as it might affect your husband, brother, or other men in your lives.
Having moobs are extremely embarrassing for men. Not only can it make them the laughing stock in social settings, it is also something that is not that easy to hide. And no – it does not only affect bigger sized men. I have come across guys who are relatively skinny who face this problem too!
But firstly, how did this issue even come to the forefront of discussion in western countries? Believe it or not, it began with an American comedy, the well-known and highly-talented Seinfeld. This happened in the 1990s when the characters talked about, and then accordingly made a bra for men. This was what got the conversation going.
And then just like every fad or event, it lay low for a while, until Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister in the mid-2000s were spotted wearing one. In more recent times, man-bras have also been accepted as part of football teams’ training apparel. It’s original intent? To hide man-boobs, of course.
Now that we have had a preliminary discussion about what they are and the history of their visibility, let’s move the discussion onto what actually causes them, and then what can be done to get rid of them. As with any other problem, it is not a one-size-fits-all issue. You see, from the days when this issue was first discussed, many people have speculated on what its causes are.
The two more common alleged culprits are, unsurprisingly – being overweight and hormones. In most cases, it would be one or the other. By the way, there is actually a medical term for having moobs, it is gynaecomastia, which describes an enlargement of glandular tissue under the nipple, which for most men usually disappears during puberty.
One thing you might not know is that this condition is actually quite common. According to men’s sexual health association Andrology Australia, gynaecomastia happens in about one third of older man. While this is true, do not discount the fact that older men tend to have surrounding fatty tissue, and might therefore be able to hide it better.
How about the hormonal side of things? It turns out that another culprit for gynaecomastia is the use of medicines and chemicals that can interfere with the male body’s hormone levels. This includes antidepressants, blood pressure medication and steroids. Yes, that’s right! Steroid abuse can result in gynaecomastia!
So now, how do you determine if a person’s gynaecomastia is due to being overweight or hormonal in nature? The answer is simpler than we think – if it is painful or tender, it is most likely hormonal, and that person should see his doctor. And yes, if the person is skinny, then it most definitely is hormonal.
But there is one often-overlooked way to try and get rid of them naturally without resorting to male breast reduction surgery, and that is to exercise in order to first lower your percentage of body fat. Well, what did you expect? This is, after all, a fitness related blog, so of course we are going with the exercise by-line.
One myth that we have to dispel is that it is possible to choose where fat leaves your body. Truth of the matter is that this is not possible. Your body dictates how it distributes excess fat. The reality, however, is that if you reduce your overall body fat percentage, your problem areas, so to speak, will also be reduced. It is as simple as that.
This is not the end of the story though. Lowering one’s body fat percentage is one thing, but to get it to the stage of having nice, well-defined pecs is another! In addition to losing body fat, one should also strive to firm up the muscles that are located at certain parts of the chest. This would make you look good when wearing tight-fitting shirts.
There are many resources that can help you with this, such as the Granite Fitness Masterclass. All the best!
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