Aerobic Exercise: The New Testosterone Booster

Aerobic exercise may be the key to reversing the effects of aging on androgen levels.

Testosterone is more than just the male sex hormone; it’s also vital for weight loss, muscle gain, healthy brain function, bone health, and more. However, the older we grow, the less testosterone our bodies produce. Studies have proven that aging leads to a decrease in testosterone production, which can lead to low libido, decreased cognitive function, depression, erectile dysfunction, muscle and bone mass loss, lethargy, and many more symptoms. This is known as ADAM, or androgen deficiency of the aging male.

According to a study presented at the 2016 Integrative Biology of Exercise VII Meeting by the American Physiological Society, aerobic exercise may be the key to reversing the effects of aging on androgen levels.

The researchers, from the Ryutsu Keizai University and Tsukuba University in Japan, gathered 44 subjects: 28 overweight and obese, and 16 normal weight. Blood tests revealed that the overweight men had lower baseline levels of testosterone—total, bioavailable, and free. This is further proof that obesity is one of the major contributing factors in low testosterone levels.

All 44 subjects completed the same 12-week aerobics exercise program. The exercise plan included 40-60 minutes of jogging or walking 1-3 days a week. No resistance training, high intensity training, or cross-training was including. The study exclusively targeted mild to moderate aerobic training.

Normal Weight Men
Pre-Exercise Intervention Post-Exercise Intervention
Total Testosterone 21.2 ± 1.3 nnol/l 21.1 ± 1.3 nmol/l
Free Testosterone 0.47 ± 0.04 nnol/l 0.48 ± 0.05 nmol/l
Bioavailable Test. 11.65 ± 0.76 nnol/l 11.88 ± 1.11 nmol/l
Overweight/Obese Men
Pre-Exercise Intervention Post-Exercise Intervention
Total Testosterone 15.4 ± 1.0 nnol/l 18.1 ± 1.1 nmol/l
Free Testosterone 0.33 ± 0.02 nnol/l 0.40 ± 0.02 nmol/l
Bioavailable Test. 8.07 ± 0.53 nnol/l 9.63 ± 0.55 nmol/l

The results were impressive: the obese and overweight men saw a 17% increase in their total testosterone levels (from 15.4 nanomoles per liter up to 18.1). The researchers also discovered a noticeable increase in their free and bioavailable testosterone levels.

On the other hand, the normal weight men saw no endocrine benefits from the aerobic exercise. Their total, free, and bioavailable testosterone levels remained unchanged after the 12-week training program.

The findings of this study point to one simple fact: aerobic exercise is a highly efficient way to boost testosterone levels among the overweight and obese. Raising testosterone levels can actually make it easier to lose weight, as the increase of androgen hormone contributes to a greater production of lean muscle tissue.

Doing more aerobic exercise is a win-win-win where your body is concerned. Not only does it promote weight loss, but it will also increase your testosterone levels. The higher your testosterone levels, the more likely you are to lose weight, which will in turn continue to raise your testosterone levels. It’s an upward cycle that will lead to better overall health.

But don’t think you have to spend hours at the gym. This study saw significant results with just 2-3 hours of walking or jogging per week. All it takes is a little more aerobic exercise, and you’ll see a lot of improvement in your testosterone levels.