As men grow older, the amount of testosterone in their bodies decreases. This portion of life, called andropause, could be delayed by cycling.
Andropause: A Time of Change
It’s no secret that a part of growing older is noticing differences in your body. For men, when their testosterone levels decline in their later years, they typically notice a few unpleasant changes to their bodies. For one, they feel tired more often. They may also notice weight gain and a loss of muscle. Once virile in the bedroom, they may discover that both their appetite and ability for sex have declined as well.
Understandably, this can cause some distress for men, especially for those who want to prolong their lives and live life to the fullest. Instead of succumbing to age, however, there may be an answer to extending your youth and delaying andropause. Studies have shown that regular cycling can play a key role in keeping a man healthy and warding off the symptoms of male menopause.
The Findings on Regular Cycling
The study compared older men who regularly cycled and were able to ride 62 miles in at least six and a half hours to younger, healthy, men. They discovered that the testosterone levels of the older men who cycled regularly were the same as those of men in their middle age. This is exceptional when compared to men their own age who did not cycle regularly; namely, their testosterone levels were extremely poor.
In addition, the research looked at the amount of muscle mass among older cyclists and middle-aged (as well as younger) men who did not cycle but were healthy. They found that the muscle mass in men who cycled matched the amount typically found in men in their 20s. Considering that older individuals tend to lose muscle mass quickly as they age–two percent a year, in fact, this was an extraordinary discovery.
Another aspect that the researchers examined was the immune system. Typically, as people age, their immune system starts to decline and wear down. This was not seen in older men who regularly cycled. In fact, their immune systems appeared as though they had not aged at all. In particular, the thymus, which produces T-cells that are responsible for immune responses, shrinks after the age of 20. This shrinkage was not observed in the older cyclists. As such, the older men could receive more of an impact from flu vaccines and were less likely to develop infections.
What It All Means
If the results weren’t clear enough, essentially, scientists and researchers were able to link regular bicycle riding to an overall improvement of men’s health. The link was particularly evident in older men who performed regular cyclic activities: their bodies remain fit and strong and as healthy as when they were younger. Because their testosterone levels remain high, the symptoms of andropause pass them by. They’re essentially able to ward off male menopause for many years to come.
These results also show that men can not just remain healthy but can actually thrive in their older age. With increased muscle mass and a strong immune system, they can extend their lives as well as lead a healthy lifestyle. One should also note that these incredible results are due to the activity itself. If the cyclists were to stop their regular form of exercise, their health would likely decline. They’d lose muscle mass, their testosterone levels would decrease, and they would likely start to see symptoms of andropause.
Stay Ahead of Aging
If you’re among those who are reaching the later years of their life, it isn’t too late for you either. If you have experienced frequent fatigue, noticed your muscle mass start to decline, and encountered problems like erectile dysfunction and lack of sex drive, you’re likely facing andropause. No matter what stage you’re in, you can take back your health by taking up biking. As this study has shown, you’ll increase that muscle mass, improve your immune system, and have your testosterone levels match those you had when you were younger. Live life to the fullest with this healthy and impactful activity.