Part of living a healthy life involves keeping your hormones balanced, especially when it comes to testosterone. Low testosterone, in both men and women, can cause a number of health issues, but you don’t necessarily have to resort to medications or hormone therapy to fix the problem. There are plenty of habits that can boost your testosterone naturally, and engaging in these habits can help ensure that your body is making enough of the hormone.
“Testosterone is a natural steroidal hormone that affects sexual health, fertility, muscle tone, bone density, fat metabolism, and heart health for both men and women,” says Mehran Movassaghi, MD. “Healthy levels of testosterone support these bodily functions to ensure longevity and quality of life.”
Those with low levels of testosterone may find that they have low energy and low libido, weight gain, memory issues, depression, high cholesterol, and other unwanted side effects, says Dr. Movassaghi. But, striving to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle can help you boost your testosterone naturally and feel better overall. Using the Aaptiv app to do workouts, for instance, is one easy way to give your testosterone a boost.
If you suspect that you do have low testosterone levels, it’s always good to consult a doctor. In the meantime, you can try these six habits that naturally boost testosterone.
Exercising is one of the best ways to get your testosterone levels up naturally. “Regular exercise supports healthy testosterone levels by mitigating many factors that contribute to an imbalance,” says Dr. Movassaghi. “Staying active reduces stress, builds muscle mass, strengthens bones, and contributes to restful sleep.”
Weight lifting, specifically, has also been shown to increase testosterone levels in men and women. “The body responds to weight lifting by rebuilding new muscle fibers, which is one of the roles of testosterone,” says Joseph B Davis DO, FACOG and Medical Director at Cayman Fertility Centre.
Be sure to check out the strength training section in Aaptiv! Our trainers will get you to the perfect level of strength you’re looking for.
Spending Time Outside
The great outdoors can work wonders for your hormones, so carve aside time each day to spend outside. “Healthy vitamin D levels support healthy hormone production,” says Dr. Movassaghi. “Spending at least an hour a day in the sunshine and supplementing with Vitamin D3, if you are deficient, will ensure [that] your body has what it needs to produce proper amounts of testosterone.”
Getting Enough Sleep
Research has found that sleep loss dramatically lowers testosterone in healthy young men. “Testosterone is released in the body in a cyclical manner, with higher levels naturally occurring within the first few hours of waking up from sleep,” says S. Adam Ramin, MD. “Sleeping at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning with at least six to eight hours of sleep, leads to better regulation of this circadian rhythm, resulting in higher and more consistent testosterone levels.”
Managing Your Stress
Paying attention to your mental health can also have profound effects on your hormones. “A negative outlook towards life generally may cause release of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine,” says Dr. Ramin. “These can, in return, inhibit production of testosterone.” Stress can come in many forms, including: sleep deprivation, nutritional stress, and work/life stress. “Take time to address these stressors and consider activities like mindfulness meditation,” says Davis. Some other effective stress-reducing habits include meditation, exercise, self-care rituals, and sleep.
Cutting Down on Alcohol
Healthy testosterone levels are maintained by a healthy liver. Since drinking alcohol puts stress on the liver, chronic alcohol use can lower testosterone levels, particularly in men. This can eventually even affect the reproductive system. Cutting down on alcohol and drug intake can help improve your liver health and, in turn, bring up your testosterone levels. “Reducing alcohol intake will help [also] the liver remove excess estrogen,” says Dr. Movassaghi.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Your diet also plays a role in maintaining a proper testosterone balance. “Eat a well-rounded diet that is organic, local, seasonal, fresh, and full of cruciferous vegetables,” says Dr. Movassaghi. “This will reduce the amount of agricultural chemicals and antibiotics found in conventional foods, as well as limit your exposure to preservatives and artificial flavors added to pre-packaged foods. Eating locally means [that] the food is fresher by the time it gets to you.” Cholesterol-rich foods such as nuts and eggs also help with testosterone synthesis, as cholesterol is the precursor molecule to testosterone in our bodies.
Living a healthy, balanced lifestyle can help ensure that your testosterone levels stay intact. You can utilize the Aaptiv app to encourage your healthy habits by trying out a stress-reducing meditation, a heart-pumping cardio class, or a muscle-building strength exercise. The more you work to keep your body relaxed, nourished, and physically fit, the better your testosterone levels will be.