Sunday, February 19, 2012

Physical exercise increases testosterone levels

If you read this blog posts, you probably have already realized that Andropause – natural changes in men with age, caused by a decrease in bio-available testosterone and rising estrogen - is a potentially troublesome life period in a man’s life. While there is no complete solution to stop or reverse body and mind aging, the question on how to combat effectively these changes is one of the main questions, every man eventually starts asking himself.

While there are numerous ways in which men can control many of the deleterious aspects of an imbalance in their hormones, especially testosterone and estrogen, the effects are very personal and you may need to search for the combination of the lifestyle practices, diet, and natural supplements for best results. And look at the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as the last resort.

In this post, we will discuss on how important are regular physical exercise for the male wellbeing at the andropausal stage. It is true that the physical exercises are good for mind and body for all ages, but in this life stage, that is especially important. When you are young, the reserves of your body look unlimited, and even abusing your health may not lead to the visible negative effects. But with aging, the body and mind require more personal attention, care and love to function properly.

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Multiple studies have shown that regular, high-intensity exercise keeps a man’s testosterone at optimal levels.

In one of the recent studies, the research team led by Professor Pat Kendall-Taylor, of the University's Department of Endocrinology, recruited ten "runners" from local athletic clubs and ten healthy but inactive men from local social clubs. The hormone profiles of all 20 were assessed while at rest and while doing exercise. The average level of growth hormone was four times higher in the runners , whose testosterone levels were about 25 per cent higher — enough to make a significant difference.

The research team concluded that exercise may have a role in counteracting the normal decline in growth hormone and testosterone with ageing. Professor Kendall-Taylor said: 'Our research provides evidence that men who do regular exercise not only benefit from better health but actually produce more of the hormones associated with younger bodies and sexual activity.'

Regular (2–3 times a week) resistance or weight training has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits similar to traditional cardio exercises. Moreover, weight-bearing exercises can help you prevent, as well as treat, osteoporosis, which can develop during andropause. A good stretching program is important to maintain flexibility, particularly if you begin weight training. Ideally you should have four types of exercise, including stretching, resistance training, cardiovascular, and yoga.

Stretching Routine

Leg Swings

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your upper body perpendicular to the ground, swing one leg forward and backward. Do not swing your leg so hard that you cannot keep your upper body from moving. Repeat for 10 full swings and repeat on other leg. You can also swing your leg across your body, stretching the abductors and adductors.

Full Back Stretch

Lie on your back and bring both your knees to your chest, with your hands clasped under the back of your knees. Roll forward until your feet touch the floor, and then immediately roll back until just before your head touches the floor. Continue until you complete 10–15 full rolls.

Doorway Stretch

Stand in the middle of a doorway with one foot in front of the other. Bend your elbows to a 90- degree angle and place your forearms on each side of the doorway. Shift your weight onto your front leg, leaning forward, until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles. Hold for 15 seconds. Relax and return to starting position. Repeat above 10 more times.

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Cardiovascular Conditioning


You can walk anywhere, anytime, either on a treadmill or with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes. Beginners should start by walking 5 to 10 minutes at a time, gradually moving up to at least 30 minutes per session. As you progress, lengthen the time of your walks before boosting your speed or incline.

Interval Training

Adding interval training to your cardio workout can boost fitness, burn more calories, and help you lose weight. The basic idea: Vary the intensity of your aerobic workout to challenge yourself. Push up the pace for a minute or two, and then back off for 2–10 minutes, depending on the length of your workout and how much time you need to recover. Do this throughout the workout.

Stationary Bike

You can ride anywhere, anytime—either on a stationary bike at the gym, or get some fresh air by hitting the open road on your own bike. Beginners should start by being properly fitted to the equipment, then riding 5 to 10 minutes at a time, gradually moving up to at least 30 minutes per session. As you progress, lengthen the time of your rides before boosting your speed or tackling more difficult terrain.

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Resistance Training

Squats: Technique Tip

Practice with a real chair to master this move. First, sit all the way down in the chair and stand back up. Next, don't sit all the way down; barely touch the chair's seat before standing back up. Lastly, graduate to doing squats without a chair. Squats work multiple muscle groups—the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals—at the same time. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles.


Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles of the lower body. Lunges also help improve your balance. Take a big step forward, keeping your spine straight. Bend your front knee to approximately 90 degrees. Keep weight on your back toes and drop the back knee toward the floor—but don't let it touch the floor.

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Tips and Warnings
  • Testosterone and another hormone called "growth hormone" get released when you are sleeping, so make sure to get plenty of rest every night. Aim for seven to nine hours. Getting adequate sleep can also keep you energized throughout the day.
  • Many people associate big muscular men with high levels of testosterone. In reality, too much exercise may cause opposite, lowering your testosterone levels. An optimum workout is forty-five minutes, maximum an hour. After that negative effects start to happen. In the aspect of testosterone too much exercise depresses testosterone levels.
  • The same is relevant to the fact that you should not perform your physical exercises on a daily basis. Working out every day will not allow your muscles enough time to heal, and it can also compromise your testosterone release. Wait at least two days before next workout session.
  • Research has shown that short bursts of intense exercise seem more effective than continuous lower intensity exercise. However, many men have concomitant heart problems when they enter andropause, and it is always advisable to consult a physician before embarking on an exercise regimen.
  • While we are going to discuss the food and nutrition issues, related to andropause in the future posts, we would like to highlight that fueling your body with adequate food is essential to support your workouts.
  • Training outside might be significantly more useful in terms of the testosterone boost than exercising in convenience of your health center. Exposing the skin to sunlight for just 15-20 minutes can raise your testosterone levels by 120 per cent, says a report from Boston State Hospital in the US. The research also found that the hormone increased by a whopping 200 per cent when genital skin was exposed to the sun. May be that is a reason when nudes’ sports get more popularity lately, especially in Europe…
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Sources and Additional Information:

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