Why It’s Important to Keep an Eye on Your Testosterone Levels
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Men and women alike both have testosterone in their bodies, although the hormone is more commonly associated with men and much more present in male bodies, women do need it as well. It’s important to pay attention to your hormone levels in regards to your overall health, as it plays a vital role in maintaining good health.
What is it?
What is it exactly, you may ask? Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testes in men that develops the male reproductive system (a healthy male who has finished puberty have 20 times as much testosterone as a healthy female) and regulates important functions. In men, it is responsible for the development of sperm, increased facial and body hair, increased bone density and size, and increased muscle mass. For both men and women, testosterone helps produce red blood cells, distribute fat throughout the body, increase your sex drive, and increase your pain tolerance.
Having low testosterone can lead to depression, diminished libido, enlarged breasts in men, increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, and even dementia. The other more day-to-day effects include feeling weak and tired, increased body fat and less muscle mass, and having a hard time concentrating, so make sure you ask your doctor to test your T levels if you think yours might be low. Check if you have any of the symptoms because just like with any other health concern, ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
What affects your testosterone levels
There are many factors, and they vary between genders. For women, the most common cause is menopause. In men (and for some of them, women too), testosterone levels can be affected by:
High levels of stress
Poor sleep habits
A poor diet
Lack of exercise
Being overweight and obese
Some medications and treatments for cancer like chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Age can also be a factor, as after 30 years old, men’s bodies start naturally reducing the amount of testosterone they produce, and after 50, those levels can become quite low.
Thankfully, there are ways to boost your testosterone levels naturally, without the help of supplements or therapy that can leave negative and long-lasting effects. There are natural testosterone boosters found in a variety of foods that have a myriad of health benefits as well. Ensuring your diet is balanced with ingredients rich in magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and omega-3s will improve your testosterone levels, as well as your energy, focus, and overall heart health. Those are the essential nutrients your body needs to produce testosterone, so giving your body more of what it needs is always a good way to help.
You can also increase production with regular and vigorous exercise. Vigorous exercise is defined by an activity that increases your heart rate and keeps it at that level for at least 20 minutes. This could be anything from jogging to dancing to mowing the lawn. If you want the best results, lifting heavy weights is the way to go. Weight lifting increases muscle mass, therefore helping to produce testosterone.
Staying active, eating healthy, and taking care to watch for symptoms are the best ways to ensure your testosterone levels are normal and you remain healthy for as long as possible.