In the last blog, I talked about what testosterone does to maintain a man’s health (in addition to maintaining erections). Most men would probably choose to die doing the horizontal mambo – but would in their 80’s and not in their 50’s. Testosterone levels are extremely important to males. How then can we optimize these levels? To my mind, it is always better to attempt to raise levels naturally rather than initiate hormone replacement as the first therapy option – and testosterone levels fluctuate according to diet and lifestyle
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Seven to Eight hours of sleep per night is extremely important to optimize testosterone
levels. A lack of sleep affects many important hormones and chemicals in your body including melatonin. Melatonin, in addition to helping you fall asleep is an extremely strong antioxidant and some researchers claim that melatonin production is somehow linked to testosterone production.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Men who are overweight convert testosterone into estrogen in their fat cells due to an enzyme called aromatase. In other words, having abdominal fat lowers a man’s testosterone and increases estrogen. Losing the extra weight can bring the testosterone back up because the fat-cell conversion of testosterone to estrogen is reduced and the normal ratio of testosterone to estrogen is restored.
Testosterone reacts to your body’s needs. When a man is physically active, the brain sends out the signal to increase testosterone in order to build muscles and bones. Take time to move your body. Walk, run, skate. Do Tai Chi. Remember the old adage “Use it, or lose it”. This is true whether you are using a regular muscle or the “love muscle”. Interestingly, only short intense exercise has been shown to boost testosterone while aerobics and prolonged moderate exercise do not raise testosterone levels.
REDUCE YOUR STRESS
When a man is “stressed” the hormone cortisol is produced. Chronic elevations of cortisol affect a man’s ability to create adequate levels of testosterone. Learn to relax from the brain on down. Spend an hour-a-day on an activity that isn’t work or exercise related. Learn meditation or self-hypnosis techniques.
CHECK YOUR MEDICATIONS
Many medications affect testosterone level. Discuss the drugs you are taking with your doctor or pharmacist to rule out drugs as the cause of your symptoms or low testosterone.
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