Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Effect of Endurance Exercise on Resting Testosterone Levels in Sedentary Subjects

Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Effect of Endurance Exercise on Resting Testosterone Levels in Sedentary Subjects

Article excerpt

SUMMARY

Objective: To investigate the effects of moderate-intensity and low frequency exercise on resting serum testosterone and cortisol levels, resting heart rate, and isokinetic strength among healthy sedentary young men.

Design: A randomized controlled study. Forty sedentary young men aged 18 to 25 years old, pedaled 50 minutes on a bicycle ergometry at 60% of maximal effort once a week for 12 weeks in an exercise group.

Outcome measures: Resting total and free serum testosterone, serum cortisol, anthropometric data, resting heart rate, and isokinetic strength during shoulder and knee extensions.

Results: Resting serum total and free testosterone, as well as cortisol did not differ significantly between groups. Neither group showed any significant changes in anthropometric data and isokinetic strength at the end of study. However, the resting heart rate of the exercise group reduced significantly after the training (p<0.05). Also, the isokinetic strength of shoulder and knee significantly increased (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Twelve weeks of moderate-intensity and low frequency training had no effect on resting serum testosterone, but were sufficient to increase aerobic fitness among sedentary young men. The type of exercise training may encourage sedentary individuals to participate regularly in the program on physical activity.

Key words: testosterone, endurance exercise, strength, frequency

INTRODUCTION

Physical activity increases strength (1, 2) as well as aerobic fitness (3), alterates hormonal level (4-10), and decreases risks of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (11-13). The influence of long-term physical training on hormonal response has been well established in athletes, but not yet among healthy sedentary men. Long-term physical training at moderate intensity 3 times a week, however, may possibly discourage the sedentary individuals to comply with the program. The drop-out rate is about 50% during the first 6 to 12 months (15). The current recommendation for all healthy adults aged 1 8 to 65 years old is to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days each week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 minutes 3 days each week (14). Undoubtedly, the effects of exercise also vary a great deal upon age and baseline fitness of the individuals. Generally, the benefits are more evident among the younger and unfitted individuals. As the prevalence of physically inactive adults is now increasing (16) rapidly, establishing a suitable exercise program to improve their hormonal level and fitness is quite crucial. They usually have low compliance and adherence to the generally recommended training programs. Therefore, the exercise program with low frequency perhaps fits better in their lifestyle and is easier to accomplish it for them. Based on the results of our pilot study (unpublished data), a moderateintensity exercise at frequency of once a week was enough to observe some changes in testosterone level after 12 weeks. The purpose of this study then was to investigate the effects of moderate-intensity and low frequency exercise training (1 hour, once a week) on serum testosterone, Cortisol and lipid profiles, anthropometric data, and isokinetic strength in sedentary young men after 12 weeks.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Subjects

Forty healthy sedentary men (mean age 20.8±1.85 yr) without cardiopulmonary, orthopedic, neurological or metabolic diseases were recruited. A sedentary status was defined as an individual who participated in any exercises less than 1 hour per week for at least 12 months prior to the beginning of mis study. AU subjects were informed verbally and in writing about the aim, protocol and demands of the study, and gave their written informed consents if they decided to participate. The study protocol was approved by the Khon Kaen University Ethics Committee for Human Research. …

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