If you’ve managed to put off exercising this long, or you’ve been on an extra-long hiatus, I’ve got the biggest reason for you to start now! Keep reading to find out more.
Did you know that testosterone (male sex hormone) levels start to decrease once you hit your thirties, on an average of one percent a year? That means if you’re 60 years old, your testosterone levels have likely decreased by 30%!
And, when our testosterone levels decrease, we can feel it both physically and emotionally. The rates of depression are increasing among older men, and this drop in testosterone levels could very well be the culprit. Physically, lowered testosterone can cause loss of bone density and muscle mass, fatigue, reduced sex drive, and weight gain – specifically around the midsection.
Obesity is now considered to be a chronic disease; 2 out of 3 Americans are either overweight or obese. And, obesity is a contributing factor for some diseases and conditions that affect mortality and morbidity, including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, osteoarthritis, and liver disease, to name a few.
And, we all know that diet and exercise will lower our degree of obesity, thus lowering our risk of developing these deadly, but preventable conditions. But what does all this mean for testosterone levels in aging men?
Well, a recent study suggests that a 12-week aerobic exercise program can significantly boost testosterone levels in men who are overweight or obese.
The study involved 44 men, of whom 28 were overweight or obese, and 16 were a normal weight. At baseline, the overweight/obese men had significantly lower total, free and bioavailable testosterone level than normal weight men. None of the men engaged in regular exercise.
All participants were required to take part in an aerobic exercise program that involved 40-60 minutes of walking or jogging 1-3 days a week for 12 weeks. The men’s testosterone levels were measured before and after the exercise program.
The results were overwhelmingly promising: twelve weeks of aerobic exercise significantly boosted testosterone levels in overweight and obese men, with the greatest increases seen among vigorous exercisers. In detail, overweight or obese men saw their total testosterone levels increase from 15.4 nanomoles per liter to 18.1 nanomoles per liter.
This study showed that overweight or obese men who exercised most vigorously during the 12-week program saw the highest increase in testosterone levels. Interestingly, however, the exercise intervention had no significant effect on testosterone levels in the normal weight men.
The researchers point out that the testosterone levels of the overweight or obese men were still lower than those of the normal-weight men following the exercise intervention, but their findings remain promising.
So how can you start increasing your testosterone today? Here’s a checklist to help you increase your testosterone levels, lower your body weight and lower your risk for those above deadly but preventable diseases.
- Conduct your own study! Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- Have testosterone levels checked?
- Vigorous activity for 12 weeks:1-3 times a week for 40-60 minutes. However, note that the most frequent and the higher the vigor, the greater the results.
Activities such as (but not limited to):
- Biking or spinning
- Aerobics classes
- Cross country skiing
- Have testosterone levels tested
Let us know your results after 12 weeks, but more importantly, let us know how you feel!