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Testosterone is a hormone associated with the male sex drive and aggression levels, but it’s far more complex and important than that. Healthy levels are key to the functioning of the human body. As well as reducing the risk of disease and helping to maintain good health, testosterone is important for body composition and sexual function. There’s a common myth that increasing testosterone levels is of greater importance to men, but it has benefits to the general health of both men and women.

If testosterone levels are low, bodily functions can begin to suffer. As well as low sex drive, mood and energy levels are affected and muscle mass can suffer. The body produces less testosterone as you begin to age, so it’s a good idea to take action to increase levels of the hormone as you pass thirty. Supplements, injections and patches are some of the options, but the following are proven ways to increase testosterone naturally.

Physical exercise

It’s no great surprise that exercise is a proven way of increasing testosterone levels naturally. Getting regular exercise has many other great benefits, and there are hundreds of activities to chose from. Resistance training is the best activity for boosting testosterone levels. This doesn’t mean you have to take up weight lifting, as any form of physical activity where the muscles are contracting by lifting or pulling will kickstart hormone production. Exercises where multiple groups of muscles are working together are particularly effective.

Reducing sugar intake

The amount of sugar in today’s diets is considered to be a serious health risk by nutritionists. Research indicates that the average American consumes in excess of twelve teaspoons of sugar a day. As well leading to obesity, diabetes and other serious problems, sugar reduces the amount of testosterone in the body. Sugar is a hidden ingredient in many foods, so check the labels if you want to cut your intake.

Eating protein, carbs and fat

Fad diets and food trends in recent years have caused a great deal of confusion about what it means to eat a balanced diet. Protein intake has suffered as a result of fears about cholesterol in meat and eggs. Eating a mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats is another proven way to increase testosterone levels. Fish, lean meat and grains are all rich sources of protein, and eating them regularly helps to maintain muscle mass and keep joints healthy.

Reducing stress levels

The long-term effects of stress on the body have only been understood in recent years. Stress can raise levels of the hormone cortisol over time, and this, in turn, reduces levels of testosterone. Studies indicate that stress can also increase food intake, resulting in harmful fat around your organs, and this is also believed to lower testosterone levels. Mindfulness is an effective way of reducing stress levels if you recognize this as a problem in your life.

Increasing vitamin D levels

Taking a vitamin D supplement has many benefits, and it’s now believed these include boosting testosterone levels. Exposure to sunlight is a simple way of obtaining vitamin D, so spend time outdoors if you’re not keen on taking vitamin pills.

Getting enough sleep

Sleep is as important as diet and exercise to healthy living. The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but most studies suggest that fewer than five hours a night can lead to problems. Between seven and ten hours are considered best for long-term health by most experts. Testosterone levels rise as much as ten percent for every extra hour of sleep you have each night.

Reducing exposure to alcohol

Excess alcohol and other drugs are proven to decrease testosterone levels. Other than prescribed medicines, consider ways you can reduce your intake of alcohol and recreational drugs.

There are many ways to increase testosterone naturally for no cost. Consider which of those described here best suit your lifestyle and adopt some new habits today.

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How to Keep Jeans From Fading

Jeans are one of life’s comfort clothes. It always feels good to wake up on Saturday morning and slide on a pair of casual denim blues. These days, jeans can go almost anywhere from a day of shopping at the mall to a casual evening dinner. At one time faded jeans were quite trendy. The more faded and soft they were, the more stylish they seemed to be. Recently, dark jeans have made a comeback with the whitewashed look “fading” into the background. If you want to stay with the trend and keep your jeans dark, you may want to give a little thought as to how to keep them blue. Here’s how to keep jeans from fading:

Cold water and vinegar

One simple solution that will help to keep your jeans dark is a vinegar pre-soak followed by a cold water wash. Simply dilute vinegar with water and soak your jeans for ten minutes. Follow up with a cold water wash in the washer. The vinegar helps to set the dye in the jeans and cold water is less likely to cause dye removal than is hot water.

Turn them inside out

Before placing your jeans in the washer, turn them inside out. This helps to protect the dye and causes less external wear to your jeans. Jeans tend to last longer when washed in this manner. This is one of the simplest way to preserve your jeans.

Use a laundry detergent designed for darks

Both Tide and Woolite make a detergent designed specifically for dark fabrics. These are available in most supermarkets. In a pinch, you can use any very mild detergent but if you have a pair of dark jeans you particularly cherish, invest in a detergent for darks.

Avoid the dryer

The heat from the dryer can promote fading. Line drying is your best alternative for preserving color long term. If this isn’t an option, use the dryer on a cool setting and for the shortest time possible.

Wash them infrequently

The more you wash them, the more likely they are to lose the color. Have several pairs of jeans so you can alternate them and you avoid washing them too often. Try to avoid getting down on your hands and knees or other positions that my cause your jeans to show premature wear.

If you want your jeans to stay dark, get these tips a try. Not only will you preserve the color, you can increase the lifespan of your favorite denim blues.

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