What is testosterone and why do you need it?
Testosterone is a hormone known as an androgen and is present in both males and females. However, it is oftentimes known as the “male hormone” because men produce more of it and it has a greater impact on their bodily functions. Varying levels of testosterone in your body (especially men) can affect muscle mass, the number of red blood cells, bone density, mental health, sexual and reproductive function, energy levels, weight gain, hot flashes, and insomnia.
Testosterone usually peaks in adolescence and early adulthood. As you age, the ability to produce testosterone begins to decline slowly and testosterone levels begin to drop – usually occurring around the age of forty. This drop in testosterone can lead to a decrease in muscle and bone mass, a decrease in red blood cells, mental health, sexual and reproductive function, energy levels, an increase in weight, hot flashes, and insomnia.
People will often take drugs and supplements to increase testosterone levels. Although these can work, they may also slow down the body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone which will hurt more in the long run.
So how can you boost your testosterone naturally?
Some ways to naturally increase testosterone include getting enough sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, losing weight, reducing stress, and staying active.
The big one to emphasize here is staying active! Physical activity can help increase testosterone levels, as well as improve sleep, reduce stress, and lose weight – all of which themselves can also increase testosterone levels.
Any type of physical activity will help increase levels, however, some studies suggest that weight lifting, especially lifts that involve multiple muscle groups, are best. Exercises such as squats and deadlifts would be great.
Squats and deadlifts are great exercises – but they also need to be done correctly in order to avoid back injury. Knowing the correct movement pattern of these exercises will also aid to reduce back injuries while doing every-day activities such as picking something up off the floor, or bending over to tie your shoes. For doing both a squat or deadlift, the first step involves a hinge at the hips, not anywhere in the back. A squat is then followed by the bending of the knees in a back-and-downward motion such as sitting in a chair. A deadlift will further the hip hinge motion to complete the exercise. If you would like to learn how to better perform these movements give the office a call today!
-Monica, Exercise Specialist