Testosterone and Estrogen are two sex hormones, both of which are present in men and women – but in different ratios. Men tend to have much higher levels of Testosterone while women have much higher levels of Estrogen. Having a small amount of Estrogen is actually beneficial to men, but issues can occur when the amount of Estrogen rises – leading to body fat accumulation, issues with mood, development of breast tissue, and in extreme cases an increased risk of prostate cancer.
There are many ways to redress the balance, either through testosterone boosters (either natural or clinical), diet, or through the reduction of stress. But most fitness experts recommend increasing activity and in this article we are going to look at three reasons why being physically active can be the best way to increase testosterone and lower estrogen.
Exercise is most commonly taken up to lose weight, and the act of reducing body fat can help to increase Testosterone and lower Estrogen. Adipose tissue (body fat) contains a large amount of the enzyme Aromatase which is responsible for turning Testosterone into Estrogen. Reducing your body fat will help remove some Aromatase and as a result it will re-balance your sex hormones.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce body fat and is therefore one of the best ways to boost testosterone. Concentrate on resistance exercises (lifting weights or using resistance machines) for best results, and add some cardio in on separate days. Also make sure that you rest and recuperate afterwards as this will prevent a build up of Cortisol which can reduce testosterone production if left unchecked.
Lifting heavy weights has been consistently shown to build muscle and increase strength, but it has also been shown to boost testosterone naturally and Growth Hormone. The more you lift, the more Testosterone you will produce, which means that you’ll also gain bigger, stronger muscles (as Testosterone fuels muscle protein synthesis).
This is a great example of a mutually beneficial relationship, the more muscle you build (through strength training) the more Testosterone you produce. The more Testosterone you produce, the more muscle you build. Perfect!
As with exercise, there is a mutually beneficial relationship between sleep and Testosterone. Improving sleep can hugely affect Testosterone levels, and improving Testosterone levels can improve sleep quality and duration. Luckily one of the benefits of consistent daily exercise is that it can improve your sleep quality. In other words, exercising more will lead to improved sleep, which will increase Testosterone production, which will help you to improve sleep.
As you’ve probably worked out for yourself, increasing Testosterone can involve using techniques that also benefit from the higher Testosterone. So sleeping more can improve your T levels which in turn improve your sleep. Exercise has the same relationship (it also has the same relationship with sleep). Exercise regularly every day and your Testosterone levels will be high, your Estrogen levels will be in check, you’ll lose body fat, and sleep better. Can’t ask for more really, can you?