Strength training can offer several benefits for men experiencing andropause, which is a natural age-related decline in testosterone levels and the associated physical and psychological changes. Aging beyond 35–40 years is associated with a 1–3% decline per year in circulating testosterone concentration in men; so knowing how to mange and improve symptoms, is crucial.
Here are some of the key benefits of strength training for men during andropause:
- Increased Testosterone Levels: Strength training has been shown to boost testosterone production in men, which can help counter the hormonal changes associated with andropause. Higher testosterone levels can improve muscle mass, bone density, and overall vitality.
- Muscle Mass Maintenance: As men age, they tend to lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia. Strength training helps preserve and build lean muscle mass, promoting physical strength and functionality.
- Bone Health: Andropause can lead to reduced bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Strength training places stress on the bones, which can stimulate bone remodeling and increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures.
- Metabolism and Fat Loss: Maintaining or increasing muscle mass through strength training can boost your metabolism, making it easier to control body weight and body fat levels. This can be particularly important during andropause, as hormonal changes may lead to weight gain.
- Improved Body Composition: Strength training can help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass, leading to a more favourable body composition. This can enhance self-esteem and reduce the risk of metabolic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
- Enhanced Mood and Mental Well-Being: Strength training releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also help with stress management, which is important during the emotional changes that may accompany andropause.
- Better Sleep: Regular strength training can improve sleep quality, which is often disrupted in men experiencing andropause. A good night’s sleep is crucial for overall well-being.
- Hormonal Regulation: Strength training can help balance hormones beyond just testosterone, such as insulin and cortisol, leading to improved hormonal regulation and reduced risk of metabolic disorders.
It’s important for men going through andropause to consult with a healthcare professional or a fitness expert before starting a strength training program to ensure it’s tailored to their specific needs and health status. Proper form, technique, and progression are crucial to avoid injury.
Additionally, nutrition and overall lifestyle choices should also be considered in conjunction with strength training for optimal results.
Alexandra Struck, (MClinExPhys, BEXSc, CSEP-CEP)
Clinical Exercise Physiologist