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Fitness Q & A

Low Testosterone

Testosterone, the very hormone that makes us men, plays a crucial role in not only maintaining our manliness, but our overall heath, as well.  Puberty brings with it a surge in testosterone that remains high throughout our 20’s and 30’s, but tends to drop off once we hit the big 4-0.

The decline, known as “andropause” is slow, with typical levels dropping only 1% to 2% per year – so don’t panic!  It’s safe to say all men will experience some changes by mid-life; however, only a small percentage actually have levels that medicine considers too low for their age and require testosterone replacement.  Still, that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t notice changes, or can’t get help for issues caused by low testosterone, even if our blood work says our level is age appropriate.

We expect a decreased libido as we age, but there are other changes we experience due to lowering testosterone levels, also; changes we may not even realize are connected to testosterone.  Before discussing low testosterone symptoms, understanding the role this essential hormone plays in a man’s life is important, so we can better decipher which changes are related to it.

The Role Testosterone Plays

  • Testosterone is responsible for the maturation of the penis, testicles and prostate.
  • It causes us to grow taller, stronger and hairier during and after puberty.  Bone and muscle growth depend on it, and are maintained by it throughout our lives.
  • This hormone dictates our sex drive and supports sexual function.  It enables an erection and makes us fertile.
  • It gives us energy and keeps our mood and personality “male”… which women both love and hate about us!


Basically, we have testosterone to thank for our masculine characteristics, which nature seems to enjoy messing with as we age.

The following is a list of common andropause symptoms:

  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Fatigue or unexplained tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability or mood changes
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Fat gain, particularly abdominal
  • Excessive sweating or night sweats
  • Osteopenia or osteoporosis (bone thinning and loss)


Not all men notice changes, but if you do, talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Testosterone replacement is the #1 approach to tackling andropause and its symptoms.  Be sure your doctor takes low testosterone into consideration if you have any of the above symptoms.  General practitioners and urologists are typical doctors who handle men’s hormones.

Hormone therapy is another arena that has recently opened up to include men.  Women are no longer the only ones who can do something about hormonal changes.  Recognizing the importance and value of testosterone in maintaining our masculinity and health, prescriptions for testosterone replacement have skyrocketed in recent years; making replacement a very acceptable and popular practice.  It’s as simple as applying a daily skin gel; wearing a patch; receiving a monthly injection; or taking a tablet.  There’s no need to suffer in silence any longer… which men tend to do.

If hormone replacement is not your thing, or you have a health condition prohibiting it, yet want to address erectile dysfunction ...

Discuss the use of an ED medication with your doctor.  There are also some natural supplements like Yohimbe that aid erections; however, caution needs to be taken when choosing a natural product.  Be sure there are no contraindications with any medications you’re taking, and avoid certain supplements (like Yohimbe) if you have high blood pressure.

Eating a balanced diet, exercising and limiting alcohol consumption may not preserve your testosterone, but living a healthier life will help relieve andropause symptoms.  Taking care of yourself may be more important now than ever before.

We take being “male” for granted, and why wouldn’t we?  It’s all we know.  But, there comes the unfortunate time when we notice we don’t quite feel or act the same as we once did.  This is just a part of life and aging, but fortunately for us, we live in a time when we can do something about it.  So, don’t despair!  Make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your options.  Testosterone replacement can give you your old self, vitality and confidence back!

by Aaron Marino

Past Topics

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February 9, 2012
Major muscle groups are worked out only once a week, but can abdominal muscles be worked out twice a week? Aaron Marino of alpha m. addresses this question. Though his experience, major muscle groups are worked once a week so you are basically 'beating the crap' out of it and needs a week to recuperate. With the ab workouts, the muscles aren't tearing down muscle tissue the same way. The abs are aRead More»
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February 7, 2012
How do you know when you can add another day to your workout schedule? Aaron Marino of alpha m. says it's really up to you and your body. When you are not getting sore from your workout and feel like you could do more at the end of your workout, that is the time when you want to add an additional day. Aaron says he wouldn't workout more than 5-days a week. Read More»
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Is bicycle riding effective for burning body fat and bringing out abs? Aaron Marino of alpha m. says that problem with bicycle riding is that often the intensity level isn't maintained and the heart rate is as low as 'resting'. Running burns calories but is incredibly hard on your body. Keep in mind that whatever the activity, if you get your heart rate into the target heart rate , you will burn bRead More»
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If you are looking to lose body fat, there is one piece of equipment that Aaron Marino of alpha m. suggests you buy- the heart rate monitor. You have to know if you are in your target zone to burn body fat. So what type of heart rate monitor should you buy? With heart rate monitors, remember that you get what you pay for! Aaron says there is only one brand that he will every buy. He has used and tRead More»

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Aaron Marino of alpha m. advises how to build endurance when running.  Running is a tough beast because it's incredibly hard on your body: joints, knees, hips, and ankles. But there are some tricks to increase your endurance injury free. Stay safe and healthy for the long haul: The first trick is to proper shoe such as Saucony, Reebok, New Balance, and Adidas. Get fitted at a specialty store. AlRead More»
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So, you cannot get your abs to show? Aaron Marino of alpha m. says that 13% body fat is too high to see abs. You need to reduce body fat by tightening up your diet or increasing cardio. The body fat needs to be around 8 - 9% so that the muscle separation is seen. If you don't want to go super strict with your diet, cardio is easier than watching what you eat. Within two months you will see that siRead More»
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January 31, 2012
Are exercises on Xbox or Wii good enough to start losing weight and to start getting in better shape? Aaron Marino of alpha m. says that if you are moving and getting motivated... go for it! It doesn't matter what you do or where you do it, as long as you are getting moving. You will start to see results when you combine the exercise with diet, which diet is 75% of the equation. The biggest and moRead More»
Bulking Up and Larger Clothing -
January 27, 2012
Aaron Marino of alpha m. addresses whether to buy clothing larger to grow into later after bulking-up from working out. Alpha says that to buy clothes that fit you great now. If you are trying to bulk up, you are trying to put on quality muscle. Weight doesn't necessary equal muscle mass, and it takes time. Most clothes that fit you right now will still fit you 15 pounds from now. Read More»
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January 25, 2012
Aaron Marino of alpha m. discusses pre and post workout meals, which depend on what you're doing at the gym that day. If weight training is on the agenda, something small and substantial meal is advised. The meal should be slow release carb like sweet potato, oatmeal, or Fiber One cereal. The meal gives the fuel needed to be strong without being bloated. If a cardio session is planned, an empty stRead More»

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