Can Yoga Help To Boost Testosterone?
The Unlikely Relationship Between Yoga And Testosterone
When you think testosterone, you think interval training or pumping iron, right? But have you stopped to think about yoga?
Despite being massively popular today, yoga is actually rooted in ancient philosophy dating back centuries. Derived from the word ‘union’, the aim of yoga is to support flexibility and stretching through a series of challenging postures and moment patterns. It plays an important role in building up core strength, as well as androgenic enhancement.
Less than 20% of the people who practice yoga, however are men – so are they missing a trick on yoga’s unique benefits? And does it have a role to play in maintaining peak testosterone levels?
Just How Good For You Is Yoga?
While yoga is by no means a replacement for strength training or cardio, it certainly has a place in your exercise plan. Yoga has proven itself to be just as, if not more, effective than other forms of exercise when it comes to improving all kinds of aspects of our health.
Yoga contributes to energy expenditure, improves respiration, boosts flexibility and balance and supports better muscular endurance. For people unaccustomed to regular exercise, yoga can be a great gateway to a more active lifestyle, and for those that do exercise regularly it can play an important role in recovery and relaxation. On a similar note, yoga can also help effectively rehabilitate muscles and joints after an injury.
Can Yoga Actually Boost Testosterone?
Stress has got a lot to answer for – whether it’s money woes, childcare issues, work overload or a million things in between, there are myriad factors in day-to-day life that can be a recipe for disaster in terms of stress levels.
Why is this an issue for our testosterone levels? Because when we’re stressed for prolong periods of time, our adrenal glands being to produce and distribute cortisol, the stress hormone. This can be good in the short term, helping you tap into energy that’s stored away, but in larger quantities it can limit the production of testosterone
While there isn’t yet reams of conclusive evidence available that yoga helps drive up testosterone levels, there are some promising initial signs. A 2004 study, for example, saw yoga reduce cortisol levels by 11% and up testosterone by 16%.
This is likely because when undertaken regularly, yoga can help reduce stress in the body and slow down cortisol production, leaving testosterone free to make its mark.
Yoga To Ramp Up Your T Levels
Being overweight can have a big impact on your testosterone levels, and if experienced
during reproductive age, can seriously affect fertility. Research has also highlighted links between being overweight and suffering from high cortisol levels, particularly for those with abdominal fat.
One study has shown that yoga is great for improving sperm quality and prostate health by helping the body to burn calories, increase lean muscle mass and trigger fat burning hormones. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and facilitate loss of body fat.
A second 2014 study pitted yoga against walking for weight loss, and saw 68 participants split in two and asked to undertake either 90 minutes of walking or yoga. While both groups experienced strong results in weight loss, fat mass and weight circumference, the group doing yoga also experienced increased leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that regulates the appetite and makes you feel fuller – perfect for those looking to drop body weight.
While yoga might not match up to weight training or intense cardio, its focus on flexibility, strength, breathing and relaxation can have myriad health benefits, including:
- Increased strength
- Muscle toning
- Improved respiratory functioning
- Better endurance
- Improved coordination
- Assistance with weight loss
- Increased testosterone production
While we wouldn’t suggest replacing regular strength training sessions with yoga, we would definitely say yoga will complement your existing exercise regime…..