As men age, our natural levels of testosterone start to decrease. Lower testosterone levels are associated with loss of muscle mass, reduced sex drive and generally poorer physical and mental health. Therefore, maintaining levels potentially has a huge impact on our health, well- being and quality of life.
Although age related declines in testosterone occur once we get into our thirties and steadily decline throughout life, there are many other factors well within our control that can positively impact our testosterone levels. Poor dietary factors and excess body weight, at any age, can negatively impact our testosterone, as can lack of exercise and general day to day stress.
With the right nutritional strategies, regular exercise and lifestyle choices we can still make huge steps into getting the physique we want, the health we deserve and the positive impact in all aspects of our work and personal life in our forties, fifties and beyond.
One of the most important factors in maintaining testosterone levels is exercise. Exercise will help you control body fat levels, an important determinant of testosterone levels. Exercise is also a great stress relief and has many other benefits in terms of heart, bone and immune system health.
However, the type and amount of exercise we do can have a negative impact. Over doing exercise without adequate recovery and nutritional strategies leading to ‘over training’ can be detrimental to health and this is often associated with endurance type activities… for example marathon runners have been reported to have lower than normal testosterone levels. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do sports and activities that you enjoy, but we need to factor in proper recovery and combine these types of activity with resistance training.
Resistance training causes short term, acute elevations in testosterone and helps change the shape and composition of the body without detrimentally effecting testosterone levels, so is a preferred method of mine with clients for this reason.
Resistance training helps to grow muscle, strengthen bones, works the cardiovascular system and allows more stable joints and efficient movement… it is for all these reasons that I encourage people whatever their sport or activity to take part in regular resistance training as an integral part of their exercise programme for the wide ranging benefits it offers.
I am a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach based in Poole, Dorset.