While researchers have yet to find the elusive fountain of youth, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce the symptoms and risks of andropause and bring you back up to the way you used to feel 10 years ago.
- exercise: Regular exercise can help you control your weight, improve your mood and energy levels, and increase muscle and bone mass - which is key to preventing osteoporosis. You should do muscle and bone strengthening activities at least twice a week. Whether you are just starting out or have been exercising for years, try to make fitness a regular part of your routine. Your goal should be to exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time. Aim to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Do a combination of activities that will get your heart pumping and your muscles working. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
- healthy diet: Eating well doesn't have to be complicated, but getting the foods you need will help raise your energy levels, make it easier to maintain your weight, and help cut your risk of disease. Follow Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide to ensure that you are getting the proper balance of energy, protein, carbohydrates, and fat, and make sure to eat a colourful variety of plant-based foods. Because andropause can put men at risk for osteoporosis, make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Men under the age of 50 should aim for 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, while men over 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day.
- quitting smoking: Though the reason is unclear, smoking has been shown to increase bone loss. It also puts you at an increased risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about a strategy for quitting.
- counselling: If low testosterone has you feeling depressed, psychological counselling may help you manage your moods. Talk to your doctor about whether counselling, antidepressants, or a combination of both may help.
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