A testosterone shortage could cost you your life. As if losing muscle mass, bone density, and your sex drive to low T levels wasn't bad enough, new research shows the decline can also increase your risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, and even death. Follow these steps to lift your levels and lengthen your life.
1. Uncover Your Abs
As your waist size goes up, your testosterone goes down. In fact, a 4-point increase in your body mass index, about 30 extra pounds on a 5'10" guy, can accelerate your age-related T decline by 10 years. For a diet that'll help keep your gut in check, try the all-new Men's Health e-book, The Six-Pack Secret. You'll learn how to sculpt rock-solid abs in 4 weeks. We believe it's the most effective muscle-up weight loss program ever.
2. Build Your Biceps
Finnish researchers recently found that men who lifted weights regularly experienced a 49 percent boost in their free testosterone levels. "As you strengthen your muscles, the amount of testosterone your body produces increases," says David Zava, Ph.D., CEO of ZRT Laboratory. You need to push iron only twice a week to see the benefit.
3. Fill Up On Fat
Trimming lard from your diet can help you stay lean, but eliminating all fat can cause your T levels to plummet. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that men who consumed the most fat also had the highest T levels. To protect your heart and preserve your T, eat foods high in monounsaturated fats, food such as fish and nuts.
4. Push Away From The Bar
Happy hour can wreak havoc on your manly hormones. In a recent Dutch study, men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol daily for 3 weeks experienced a 7 percent decrease in their testosterone levels. Limit your drinking to one or two glasses of beer or wine a night to avoid a drop in T.
5. Stop Stress
Mental or physical stress can quickly depress your T levels. Stress causes cortisol to surge, which "suppresses the body's ability to make testosterone and utilize it within tissues," says Zava. Cardio can be a great tension tamer, unless you overdo it. Injuries and fatigue are signs that your workout is more likely to lower T than raise it.