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Hormones & Weight Loss For Men

A new study finds that as men age they are likely to experience hormone related conditions similar to females going through menopause.  The hormone imbalance is linked to unwanted weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.  In the study, hormone-deficient men that were given testosterone experienced long-term sustainable weight loss.

Testosterone is a hormone that is found in the body that primarily differentiates male physical characteristics compared to females.  This naturally occurring hormone is used in the production and growth of lean muscle and is utilized in the burning of fat.
The study that was announced at the European Congress on Obesity demonstrated that taking testosterone supplements caused significant weight loss.  Men lost an average of 16 kg over five years with the balancing of testosterone levels.
These findings are not intended to be a quick fix according to health professionals.  Professor Richard Sharpe from the University of Edinburgh Centre for Reproductive Health said: “It is far more sensible and safer for men to reduce their food intake, reduce their obesity, which will then elevate their own testosterone.”

Testosterone Causes Weight Loss

Testosterone imbalance will impact numerous bodily systems creating unwanted health conditions to develop over time.  One of the primary indicators of diabetes, mortality risk and overall longevity is one’s waist circumference and blood pressure.  Raising testosterone levels have been found to reduce the risk of complications and naturally reduce size and blood pressure. 
Dr Farid Saad, lead author of the study said: "When we analysed the data we found that every year, for five years, they had lost weight. It may be that the increased testosterone restored their energy levels and led to a behavioural change of being more physically active."
Many health experts have linked low testosterone to numerous symptoms that include poor sleep habits, poor concentration, depression and anxiety.  These symptoms indicate a greater concern that includes poor or inadequate healing and lack of physical activity.  The relationship between obesity and testosterone appears to be a vicious cycle.

Stimulating Testosterone Production

One of the most powerful ways to raise natural testosterone levels is exercise.  As we age we commonly become less physically active and exercise less.  This is the primary link to the development of hormonal imbalances over time.  Testosterone and other hormones such as insulin and thyroid will contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. 
Exercise is not commonly described as fun especially if a person is currently overweight or experiencing health conditions.  Prevention and accepting overall responsibility for your health is the primary way of not developing most health conditions, decreased testosterone and obesity.  Regardless of your age, we will describe the best forms of exercise for testosterone production that is fun, sustainable and result oriented.

All Exercise Not Created Equal

There are two forms of exercise called aerobic and anaerobic.  Simply those two terms mean “with oxygen” and “without oxygen”.  The type of exercise that utilizes large amounts of oxygen includes walking, jogging, running, biking and any form of exercise that is 15 minutes or more in duration.  “Without oxygen” exercises are higher intensity and shorter duration exercise that will create a different health response in the body.
“With oxygen” exercises have been found to be good for your heart and circulation but overall bad for your body.  Low intensity, long duration exercises such as jogging will lower resting heart rate, blood pressure but will also cause an increase in stress hormones.  Stress hormones such as cortisol will stimulate appetite, increase fat storing, slow recovery from exercise and is catabolic (breaks down muscle). 
This form of exercise also plummets testosterone and human growth hormone that is necessary for building lean muscle and improves fat burning.  “With oxygen” exercises have also been found to decrease one’s immune function post exercise. 
“Without oxygen” exercises that are higher in intensity and shorter in duration have a very different effect on the body’s physiology and hormone response.  When this form of exercise is applied properly it is not only good for your heart and circulation but also your body. 

High Intensity, Short Duration Exercise

Human growth hormone and testosterone is released in the body in direct proportion to the intensity of the exercise.  Human growth hormone is a hormone that builds lean muscle and burns fat.  If you desire to lose weight in and around the muscles and organs – high intensity exercise is the best form.
One of the best characteristics of high intensity, short duration exercise is that it builds muscle.  Muscle has an increase in metabolic activity compared to fat and will fend off weight gain.  It’s the amount of muscle – not age, gender or genetics that is the greatest determining factor for metabolism, future muscle development and fat loss. 

Upper Body Exercises

Pushups -- The beginner can do pushups on your knees or even against a wall to help build strength.
Dips – Move to the edge of your chair and grasp onto the seat.  Move your feet away from the chair.  Beginners will have their feet closer to the chair and advanced will have straight legs with their feet far away from the chair.  Bend your elbows and lower yourself towards the floor and then raise yourself until your arms are straight. 
Helicopters – Bring your arms straight out from your sides with your palms down and arms parallel to the ground.  The movement is making circles in the air in the clockwise direction first and then counterclockwise.  The goal is to keep the circles small.
Straight Arms – Bring your arms straight out in front of you with your palms down.  The movement is similar to making up and down alternating scissor actions.

Lower Body Exercises

Squats – Start with your feet shoulder width apart.  Bend knees, push butt out and keep your shoulders back.  The key is to keep your knees over your feet and bend down to approximately 90 degrees and then come up.
Jumps – Start by standing and bend your knees to prepare for a jump.  Jump off the floor.
Running – Run in place.
Circle Run – Place a towel on the floor.  Run around the towel in clockwise and counterclockwise directions.  The key is to always face one direction and just move your feet.

How To

Ensure that you stretch and warm up the areas that you are going to work out.  This will reduce your risk of injury and improve the response to the work out.  Never exercise without a minimum of a two minute warm up and cool down after.
Twenty seconds of full-on exercise to get your heart rate up.  Twenty seconds of rest.  Repeat three times per exercise.  Take a one minute break in between the different exercises.  Lower and upper body exercises should be done on different days.  Do a minimum of four times per week.  This form of exercise saves times, saves money, gets you fit and restores your health.

Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard
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