Crow Wing Energized: Aging Considerations
As men age, their health needs can change. With age comes a natural decrease in hormonal balance; testosterone especially, which is normal.
Reasons why your testosterone may be lower than normal:
• Not enough physical activity,
• Too much physical activity,
• Not the right physical activity,
• Poor diet/non-nutrient dense foods,
• Not eating the right types of foods,
• Eating too many 'sometime foods,'
• Living a stressful life,
• Poor sleep.
Can one increase their levels? The simple answer is 'Yes.'
At any age in life, your hormonal balance could be off leading you to not feeling yourself, feeling fatigued, irritable, low sex drive, or emotional. So no matter what age you are, you will benefit from adapting some of these healthy key factors into your lifestyle.
Physical activity to increase your testosterone
The key here is that the more muscle mass you have, the more testosterone you also have.
Whether training in the gym, at home, or outside, if you train hard for a short time, it is much better for your testosterone levels than training for a long period of time.
Training too long is 'overtraining,' and can cause your body to produce more cortisol and other anti-catabolic hormones, also known as hormonal imbalance, which can actually cause weight gain.
Lifting weights will increase your testosterone. The best way to increase your testosterone is by concentrating on compound movements. Compound movements are lifts that use more than one muscle group, firing more muscle fibers, pumping more testosterone into your blood stream. Key compound lifts include deadlifts, bench press, clean and press, and squats. It is best to complete three working sets per exercise.
It is very important to spread your food intake throughout the day, ideally eating six small meals every two to three hours. Why? Because you are 'fueling the fire' or fueling your metabolism, giving your body the sustained energy it needs to function properly; as well a steady flow of calories that increase your metabolism and testosterone levels.
Fueling your body right allows your body to regulate its hormones properly, thus improving those symptoms mentioned earlier.
Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains/complex carbohydrates, and lean meats is key. I recommend three to five servings of vegetables a day, two servings of fruit, three servings of low fat dairy products, grains (half should be whole grains), and choosing lean meats to follow a healthy diet. When it comes to specifically increasing testosterone, the macronutrient that becomes essential in the diet is 'healthy' fat.
Fat is extremely important in hormonal regulation and creation for everyone's hormonal health.
Look for monounsaturated fats to add into your diet, but remember to control portions! When it comes to carbohydrates, choose complex carbs because simple carbs disrupt hormonal balance.
Proteins should be included because that is what builds our muscle, which essentially raises testosterone levels.
We all know we should be getting eight hours of sleep a night; but, in the real world, who does
these days? However, this is a fact and important in our overall health and balancing our hormones. Sleep is directly related to our hormonal balance, thus not getting enough sleep will decrease testosterone eventually. When we sleep seven or more hours, our body heals, repairs, and increases our testosterone and growth hormones. Crow Wing Energized's Guide To Healthy
Sleep covers sleep guidelines for every age. You can download it at www.crowwingenergized.org/a-guide-to-healthy-sleep .
The more stressed we are, the higher the cortisol levels are in our body, and the lower the testosterone levels will fall. Find ways to de-stress your life, whether that means taking walks during work, eating right, sleeping more, yoga, meditation, seeing a therapist, reading more, or taking on less work.
The bottom line is this: common sense is king. Remember to exercise, eat right, get your rest, and try to decrease everyday stressors. Seeking the assistance of a nutritionist or personal trainer will also arm you with additional resources to get you back on track and living your best life.