Overweight or obese men will often suffer from low testosterone levels. (Read This: 5 Steps to Increase Testosterone Levels In Men)
This can lead to issues such as fatigue, decreased sex drive, and low muscle and bone mass.
We already know that exercise comes with a whole range of benefits, but research has shown that cardio workouts are excellent for boosting testosterone levels in men.
Effects in Men Over 30
When men reach the age of 30, their testosterone starts a natural decline of about 1% per year.
In those with excess fat, this rate increases as extra body fat lowers testosterone levels.
Studies have looked at both men at a healthy weight, and those overweight/obese and the effects exercise has on their testosterone levels.
In a study presented by the American Physiological Society, a group of both overweight and healthy weight men participate in a 12-week exercise program that saw the group do 40-60 minutes of either walking or jogging 1-3 times per week at only mild to moderate intensity.
The overweight men not only saw a dramatic decrease in weight, but also a 17% boost in testosterone.
The men whose starting weight was already at healthy levels did not see a difference.
In another, more long-term study, men 40-70 who participated in an exercise program saw no significant increase in testosterone levels, but there was also no decrease in levels.
However, too much cardio is said to have an opposite effect.
Rigorous and frequent cardio workouts can produce more cortisol.
This is the hormone that is released when we get stressed.
We all need cortisol which put our body in fight or flight mode, but prolonged high cortisol levels can do our body more harm.
This may result in being unable to sleep or feeling fatigued even after sleeping. It can also suppress your immune system, give you a dodgy gut, and make you feel anxious.
This is why many men who are in high-intensity training are susceptible to more colds. It also will lower testosterone levels!
This applies to both overweight men and those at a healthier weight.
How Runners Bodies Respond
Runners, in particular, can see a dip in testosterone. Research from different outlets that focused on older male runners all turned up similar results.
A study from the University of British Columbia showed that older men who ran more than 40 miles a week had remarkably lower levels of testosterone than those who ran less.
A study by the University of Melbourne also supports this, stating that running for two hours will increase testosterone and anything after will decrease it.
This doesn’t mean you should give up your cardio regime at all. With a few adjustments, you can have the ultimate workout that is best for your body.
Adapt your cardio regimen to maximize your Testosterone levels
Try to have a well-rounded workout that combines aerobics and weight training. Keep the cardio to 1-3 days a week and toning on the other days.
Try HIIT (high-intensity interval training) where you have short bursts of cardio at an intense level and then a cool down period before another round of cardio.
HIIT also has other benefits as well including the ability to burn more fat in less time.
If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone and high cortisol levels and like to run but are not in any training, limit the miles and days you do this.
In conclusion, excessive and intense training will only elevate cortisol and reduce testosterone levels.
Try mild to moderate cardio or HIIT training one to three times a week to help boost testosterone levels if you are overweight or a beginner at exercising.
It will also come with many other health benefits!
About The Author
Rudy Dewatine Is a Digital nomad and fitness blogger from Paris, France. You can find his latest posts on his blog.
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