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Mon, April 1, 2013
Male Menopause - Andropause: Predestined or Not?
Hormone changes are an ordinary part of getting older, like surface rust on a 57 Chevy, probably going to happen, yet not the end of the world. Understanding an issue is first and foremost and then jumping on the subject and working toward the resolution is next.

Unlike the more dramatic reproductive hormone drop that occurs in women during menopause, sex hormone changes in men occur gradually — over a period of many years.

Other terms for so-called male menopause include testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency of the aging male and late-onset hypogonadism.  Hypogonadism is a medical term which describes a diminished functional activity of the gonads – the testes and ovaries in males and females, respectively – that may result in diminished sex hormone biosynthesis and impaired gamete production and/or regulation.

Testosterone levels gradually decline throughout adulthood — about 1 percent a year after age 30 on average. By about age 70, the decrease in a man's testosterone level can be as much as 50 percent.  So in essence what this means is let’s get busy!

I get nervous when I see a lot of drug commercials, creams, supplements and on and on claiming to be the next penicillin, testosterone replacement therapy. I am not so sure about all of this, have you seen the reported side effects?   How about these natural alternatives:
  • Try resistance training. Jeff S. Volek led a team of researchers that examined the effects of resistance training on testosterone levels, according to research published in the 1997 issue of the "Journal of Applied Physiology." Subjects performed 5 sets of 10 repetitions of both the bench-press and jump-squat exercises. Researchers measured participants' testosterone levels pre- and post-exercise. Scientists observed that resistance training significantly increased testosterone levels
  • Pump that Weight . There is considerable evidence that long term weight lifting and strength training can actually increase baseline testosterone.
  • Have More Sex.   I get to be the bearer of good news:  you can actually increase your testosterone levels by having sex. Hold on, let me repeat this, you can boost testosterone by having sex.
  • Invest in Your Sleep.  Testosterone is directly related to the amount of sleep you get each night. Recovery time is imperative to overall recovery and health.  The more sleep, the more you increase your testosterone.  Sleep also boosts growth hormone and rebuilds your brain.
  • Enjoy a Good Competition. Science does not currently understand how the mind so dramatically effects testosterone levels, they just know it does. And that's all you need to know as well. As a guy you need challenges, victories and competition, plus the added socialization of hooping it up or a round of golf with the bro’s is good thing.
  • Lose weight. Cutting soda out is the first thing you want to do. Empty calories in soft drinks are awful, and obesity and belly fat are directly linked to low testosterone level.
  • Participate in High-Intensity Exercise. I like, no love HIIT training. My routine is simple, lift and jump rope, cardio warm up, lift, jump rope… See a pattern here?
  • Get More vitamin D. Have your levels checked and start on a supplement routine. I take 2,000 IU daily, consult your physician for the levels you need.
  • Reduce Stress. Excessive stress leads to excess cortisol, (the stress hormone), which kicks in your hunger and leads to overeating.  It is a cave man thing so it is natural to react so let’s diminish the stress.  How about massage, acupuncture, prayer, meditation, laughter and all of the above exercise ideas? Pick your favorite - when was the last time you had a massage?
  • Eat Your Nutrients. Despite the fact that Americans spend billions of dollars annually on supplements marketed as fountains of youth in pill form, scientific evidence that any of these products actually slow down aging is severely lacking. In fact, independent research has consistently demonstrated no link between improved health and downing vitamins, enzymes and much more. Worse, in addition to being questionably effective, many of these products have not been proven safe for regular consumption. To ensure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs, improve the quality of the food you consume, rather than popping pills.
  • Muscle Loss is NOT Inevitable – Use It!  It's a common belief that once you hit 40 you can expect to begin noticeably losing muscle mass with each passing year. Hogwash! A Canadian study comparing active adults between the ages of 53 and 75 with sedentary adults of the same age found that the physically active group had muscle cells that functioned nearly as efficiently as those of 20-somethings. The bottom line here is this fellas:  A sedentary lifestyle may be more to blame for the loss of muscle mass after 40 than the aging process itself.  Take that to the bank!
Aging for men is about much more than just testosterone, and the myths about aging for men are larger than you think! Be sure to come back next month and we will continue to drive this issue down to the details with more myths. We’re breaking it down and cutting through the hype. In the interim guys, invest your time in some of the steps above and your testosterone and your body will thank you!

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