Welcome to 2016! Now that all the toasts have been made and we’re back to the daily grind, it’s time to get down to what the new year is really about: trying to make this one better than the last one. For a lot of people, the new year is a great time to make some new health goals, and for men, few health goals are as important as keeping your testosterone levels high. Here are a few simple testosterone hacks to do just that.
1. Lose Weight
Yep. Chances are, if you’ve made any fitness goals for the year, this one is already on the list somewhere. Most people know that maintaining a healthy weigh is an important part of a healthy life, but what you may not know is that studies show losing weight also boosts your testosterone levels. Losing weight is simple enough: You just have to burn more calories than you consume. Of course, “simple” and “easy” don’t mean the same thing, but there are a few practical ways to start that don’t involve hours in the gym. Start by walking instead of driving, whenever reasonable. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Cut out rich, carb-heavy foods and substitute with healthy fruits and vegetables. And, above all …
2. Cut Down on Sugar
Seriously. The average American eats about two tons of sugar over the course of their life. Eating sugar lowers your testosterone like few other food items, according to studies. That means that even though sugar might taste good in the moment, over time and in unhealthy amounts, it brings down the overall quality of your life instead of boosting it. You want to see your testosterone levels rise? Lay off the sugar.
3. Strength Training
Yet another goal that may already be on your list that’ll actually result in boosting your testosterone is strength training. This means intense, muscle-based workouts with weights, like bench presses and squats. Instead of doing a lot of reps with light weight, focus on heavier weight and fewer reps. That’ll increase your strength and your testosterone. And it’ll give you some new and improved biceps to boot.
When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Nobody’s quite sure why, but cortisol actually blocks testosterone. In other words, the more stressed you are, the less testosterone your body is producing.
Of course, cutting down on stress isn’t as easy as losing weight. You can’t just stop working, but you can learn some time and energy management techniques that will help you cut down on just how emotionally overwhelming your schedule can get. And as your stress level starts to drop, your testosterone levels will start going up.
5. Get More Vitamin D
Look, you’re not getting enough Vitamin D. Don’t feel bad. Nobody is. Doctors tell us that Vitamin D deficiency is basically an epidemic in the United States and many other parts of the world. The reason? Vitamin D comes, primarily, from sunlight. We don’t get much sunlight anymore, and it’s taking a toll. One of those tolls is your testosterone levels, which drops as your Vitamin D levels drop.
Fortunately, the fix is easy: Get some sun. There are other ways of course, but sunlight is free, plentiful and guaranteed to work.