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Quick Dose: Can Physical Activity Affect Testosterone?

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Exercise offers many health perks, and for men, continued exercise, three to four times a week as part of a regular routine, has been associated with a stable elevation in testosterone levels. The type of exercise you choose also makes a difference.

Often called the male “sex hormone,” testosterone helps to boost your mood and libido as well as build muscle and strength.

Research shows that after exercise, testosterone levels rise for short periods of time – ranging from 15 minutes to one hour depending on the man. Younger men get a bigger post-exercise boost, and because testosterone levels vary throughout the day, levels are typically higher in the morning and lower in the afternoon.

To get more testosterone, focus on weight and resistance training. Cardio is still important for weight loss and heart health, but exercises like bench presses, deadlifts and squats will have a bigger impact.

Besides exercise, there may be other factors affecting your testosterone. Your fitness level, your weight and medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome come into play. Never underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep and a healthy, balanced diet.

- Nelson Bennett, MD, urologist, Northwestern Medical Group