Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormones play a big role in regulating many body functions. As we age, some people find their bodies aren't able to do what they used to do, and part of this can be a result of lower hormone levels. This post is going to address decreased levels of testosterone in men.

For some men, lower energy levels, decreased libido, weight gain, decreased strength, and depression become more common in their 30's and 40's as testosterone levels decline. This has been referred to as andropause or "man-o-pause".

For those who suspect they are suffering from low levels of testosterone, they can go to a physician for a blood test which can test for this. Some men end up having hormone replacement therapy, and their doctor prescribes injections, patches, or creams, but it may be possible to increase your testosterone levels naturally without having to pay for prescription therapy or having the side effects associated with hormone replacement therapy by doing the following:

1. Exercise-being active can boost your testosterone. It is especially helpful if you lift heavy weights- Lifting weights that you can only lift for 4-6 repetitions is one way to increase the intensity of your workout and boost testosterone production.

2. Get Enough rest. Everyone has different sleep needs, but most people do best with at least 8 hours per night. You have to give your body time to rest and recuperate in order for it to function properly, so a sleep deprived body will have a harder time producing hormones.

3. Improve your diet. Reduce your refined sugar consumption and cut back on highly processed foods. Eating whole foods and eliminating junk food can make a big difference in your body's ability to function properly.

4. Reduce Stress- Excessive stress will eventually overwork your adrenal glands and can throw your hormones out of balance.

5. Eat more healthy fats. We need to remember that fats are essential to good health. Reduce saturated and trans fats and replace them with healthy fats like almonds, fish oils, olive oil, avocados, etc.  It is also wise to make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet.

6. Watch your vitamins and minerals. Make sure you are getting sufficient micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in your diet. It can make it more difficult for your body to produce testosterone if your diet is deficient in zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B or D.

My final suggestion and the cheapest and easiest way I have found to boost your testosterone is to just watch The Expendables 2 trailer each morning when you start your day.

The aging process can slowly sneak up on us, and there is no simple fountain of youth. Hormone replacement therapy may be an option for some people, and your physician can help you determine this but, before you go that route, you should make sure you are doing your part by following the six simple steps listed above.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avoiding Extremes

I've noticed that some people tend to take things to extremes when it comes to certain aspects of their life. This mentality can spill over into health and fitness if a person obsesses over their appearance too much.

If a little of something is good, then alot must be better, right? Not necessarily. That mentality can back fire on you when it comes to supplements, nutrition, weight loss, exercise, and body image.

Water and sunlight are essential to our health, but people can get extreme and even get too much of these necessities too. I've seen some sun worshipers who's damaged skin makes them look much older than they really and in some cases they look more like a baseball mitt than a person.

Some people are extreme when it comes to nutrition and make blanket statements that completely vilify entire food groups. For years society tried to avoid "fat" in their diet since it was labeled as being so bad. You've probably seen others do the same thing with carbohydrates too. 

Other people say you should NEVER eat refined sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, or even cooked food. They may have valid points with some these statements, but that might be a little too stringent for most people and nobody likes being told what to do by the food police.

Some promote certain foods as being perfect and would bestow sainthood on them if it were their choice. Broccoli, blueberries, almonds, quinoa, etc. are amazing foods and very healthy, but they are not the end all of nutrition. No one single food is going to be the answer to your problems, but rather one of many pieces to the puzzle.

It's obvious that exercise is good for you, but some fitness enthusiasts take it too far and turn it into an obsession. Exercise addiction can be a real problem for some people.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so people will all have different opinions when it comes to what is too fat, too muscular, too skinny, or too tan,  Everyone should have their own personalized fitness goals and ideals, but if you find that 99% of the population can't relate to your health habits and that you are coming off as a little extreme, then it might be a good idea to re-evaluate things. Balance, variety, moderation and common sense should apply to all aspects of your life, not just your nutrition.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Have a Favor to Ask...

I want you... to spread the word.
I have a favor to ask. If you feel you have ever benefited from the information at Your Fitness Quest, then I ask that you don't keep it a secret. I am very passionate about the topics I have been sharing here for nearly four years and feel this site has the potential to help people improve their lives as opposed to just entertaining them.

Advertising can be expensive and a waste of time if it's not done right. I believe that word of mouth is still the best form of advertising despite all our advances in technology. That being said, feel free to tell your friends and family about Your Fitness Quest. I will be adding some fun features and enhancements to the site soon.

If you ever have suggestions or ideas of what you'd like to see more or less of, let me know. I love comments and interaction and always appreciate feedback. Feel free to e-mail me at If you'd like to see new features or a particular topic addressed, just let me know. Your Fitness Quest will only get better with time. Keep checking back. Thanks!