Testosterone is the key male hormone and an anabolic steroid which contributes to the development of muscle and bone mass as well as the male reproductive tissues. Do you remember the change in the timbre of your voice during puberty? That, too, was contributed by testosterone. Sadly, the levels of this prime hormone start to diminish in most men as they reach the late 30s or early 40s. Testosterone levels are estimated to decrease by 2% each year.
This can become problematic for men, especially if they are looking to boost muscles and increase libido. So, most men hunt for testosterone supplements which either come in the form of pills or injections. These methods are actually pretty risky, and most trainers such as Thomas King claim that the most effective way to build up testosterone is by eating the right foods or exercising.
A lot of people also claim that walking is a great way to achieve higher levels of testosterone. Today, let’s explore whether testosterone is actually boosted by walking or not because if you are looking to increase your testosterone levels, then you should be aware of all the right strategies. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Does walking increase testosterone?
The easy answer to that question is: yes, testosterone is boosted through walking. The longer answer is as follows:
Being overweight not only contributes to poor health and lower testosterone levels, but it is also a leading cause of a short lifespan. That’s why we see so much awareness about obesity and its side effects. Since walking falls in the category of non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT, which relates to physical activities aside from exercising and eating, it encourages weight loss. And the activities that reduce weight are positively correlated to testosterone levels. So, to be brief, we can say that not only will you ensure a healthier life by walking, you will also have surged levels of testosterone.
James Levine, the founder of the concept of NEAT, is of the view that obese men who spend approximately 2.5 hours sitting daily can lose weight by physical activities such as walking.
What’s the link between testosterone and weight loss?
While testosterone is a famously known key factor that leads to muscle growth in males, it also keeps weight gain at bay. Therefore, it was found out that males with a relatively lower amount of testosterone are subject to weight gain more than their counterparts with adequate levels of this hormone.
In some researches, it was also highlighted that obesity itself contributes to lower levels of testosterone. Obese men, on average, have 30% lower testosterone than healthy men.
Moreover, it has also been discovered that almost 70% of the total obese men in the US suffer from a condition called hypogonadism, which is the root cause of weight loss reversal.
Scientists have tried to figure out the reason behind decreased testosterone levels in obese men, and they learned that since belly fat consists of increased amounts of the enzyme aromatase, it transforms testosterone into estrogen. Estrogen is also commonly known as the female sex hormone, and obese men have greater estrogen levels rather than having greater testosterone levels.
As the body of obese men starts to produce estrogen in abundance, this diminishes the production of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRH). The low production of GRH further translates to a lack of the luteinizing hormone, which then lessens the production of testosterone.
What is the link between cortisol and testosterone?
Now that we have established the link between increased testosterone levels and walking let’s talk about the connection between cortisol and testosterone. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced when the human mind goes through excessive and persistent physical and mental tension. Cortisol is horrible for the body to say the least. One of its side effects includes a decrease in the production of testosterone. The body does this to keep the body’s hormonal levels in harmony.
Although heavy weight-training and HIIT are great ways to achieve a greater level of testosterone, these intense exercises are not easy to do for everyone as they are not only tiresome, but they can lead to fatigue too. So, to tackle this problem, it is suggested that men who resort to walking as the activity to lose weight and encourage the production of testosterone in their bodies.
A research conducted in the Journal of Extreme Physiology and Medicine highlighted that outdoor, scenic environments provide some of the worthiest all-around health benefits by enhancing physical activity levels and reducing cortisol.
Other benefits of walking
Now that we have made it this far, let’s see some other benefits that walking has to offer:
Strengthening the heart
Walking is synonymous with good heart health. Research shows that walking for just 30 minutes every day leads to a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Lower blood sugar
Making walking a routine after your meals to ensure a substantial decrease in your blood sugar level.
Reduces joint pain
The muscles in joints such as the knees and hips are strengthened by walking, which is why people see a significant decrease in joint pain and swear by the habit of walking every day.
Boost your energy
Walking makes you feel active throughout the day, and you have increased energy levels no matter what you have to achieve. Moreover, when you have increased energy, your lethargy level also goes down.