Men’s energy and vitality plummets for 6 reasons. Boost it back up this way

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Surveys have shown that less than half of men consider their physical, mental and sexual health as excellent or very good — but they don’t have to settle for functioning at sub-par levels.

“While it’s true that aging brings changes in hormone levels and metabolism, it’s a misconception that nothing can be done about feelings of fatigue or a lack of energy and vitality,” Dr. Brynna Connor, M.D., a Texas physician specializing in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, and health care ambassador for NorthWestPharmacy.com, told Fox News Digital.

“So much can be done in this area to ensure that we age gracefully.”

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For Men’s Health Month, several doctors shared with Fox News Digital some common reasons for the decline. They also shared tips for getting back up to speed.

1. Hormonal imbalances or changes

“Testosterone levels naturally decline as men age, which can contribute to a lack of energy or feelings of fatigue,” said Connor.

Men's health - energy vitality split

For Men’s Health Month, several doctors shared with Fox News Digital some common reasons for the decline — and tips for getting back up to speed. (iStock)

Older men who are experiencing signs or symptoms of low testosterone can get their levels checked by a doctor and explore treatment options.

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In 2020, the American College of Physicians recommended that doctors “should prescribe testosterone for men with age-related low testosterone only to treat sexual dysfunction.”

Hormone therapy comes with both benefits and risks, so men should discuss the pros and cons with their doctor.

2. Lack of physical activity

A sedentary lifestyle can be directly related to feelings of lagging energy or decreased vitality, according to Connor.

“When the body doesn’t get enough exercise, it doesn’t release endorphins, neurotransmitters that help improve mood and reduce stress,” she said. 

“It’s a misconception that nothing can be done about feelings of fatigue or a lack of energy and vitality.”

“When there’s a lack of activity, the cardiovascular and muscular systems start to become deconditioned, and the body also doesn’t get as much oxygen, which can lead to feelings of fatigue.”

Mark Edwards, a fitness trainer and nutrition coach at Minimalist Nutrition + Fitness based in Tokyo, Japan, follows a simple mantra with his clients: Move more and preserve muscle.

Lazy man

A sedentary lifestyle can be directly related to feelings of lagging energy or decreased vitality, doctors say. (iStock)

“The usual response from sedentary individuals is, ‘I’m too tired to exercise,’” he told Fox News Digital. “Well, the reason you’re tired is because you don’t move. Also, loss of muscle mass as we pass 40 is a huge factor in loss of vitality.” 

“This becomes a vicious cycle.”

Edwards recommends taking it slow and gradually building up your movement routine.

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“Make sure, as you begin moving more, to incorporate resistance training into your routine, preferably with a skilled trainer or coach,” he advised. 

“The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have. Movement is the secret sauce to more vitality, more energy, and a longer, more independent life.”

3. Insufficient sleep

“Quality sleep is essential for overall health, so it’s no surprise that a lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of fatigue or reduced vitality,” said Connor. 

“In addition to not getting enough recovery to meet the body’s physical needs — which can cause a dip in energy levels — poor sleep can also impact mental clarity, leading to difficulty in decision-making and feelings of brain fog.”

Man awake at night

“Quality sleep is essential for overall health, so it’s no surprise that a lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of fatigue or reduced vitality,” a doctor said. (iStock)

Low-quality sleep is also a big factor in overeating, Edwards noted.

“Research shows that the day following poor sleep, appetite increases significantly.” 

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To achieve better sleep, Edwards recommends shutting down your smartphone and other devices an hour before bed and having your last meal before 7 p.m.

“What’s the effect? Better weight and appetite management, more energy and a better life.”

For most healthy adults, at least seven hours of sleep is recommended each night.

4. Poor diet and nutrition

There’s a reason for the adage “you are what you eat,” Connor said.

“The body is fueled by what goes into it, and if it’s not getting the vitamins, nutrients or enough protein to produce adequate energy, it can lead to feelings of fatigue and a lack of energy and vitality.”

man picks fruits and veggies out of the fridge

Experts recommend a clean diet that is high in nutrients, low in refined sugar, high in fiber — and with moderate protein levels. (iStock)

Dr. Sulagna Misra, M.D., BCMAS, founder of Misra Wellness in Los Angeles, recommends a clean diet that is high in nutrients, low in refined sugar, high in fiber, and with moderate protein levels.

“Preparing clean, healthy foods at home can assist in improving health and boosting energy and vitality,” she told Fox News Digital.

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Misra is also a proponent of prebiotics and probiotics. 

“Studies have shown that Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a gut-friendly bacteria) can help decrease inflammation, improve dental health, boost mood and improve overall gut health,” she said.

Every man is different, but some may benefit from taking peptide supplements, which are proteins made up of amino acid molecules, Misra said.

“Movement is the secret sauce to more vitality, more energy, and a longer, more independent life.”

“More studies are unfolding related to their role in inflammation, sleep, cognition and gut health.”

Anyone considering supplements should see a doctor for a personalized assessment, she added.

5. Unmanaged stress

Stress can be triggered by mental, physical and emotional factors, Connor said, and it can also contribute to poor sleep, lack of physical activity and/or poor diet, creating a vicious cycle. 

“When the body experiences stress, it releases cortisol and adrenaline, and over time, the constant excess release of these hormones can be mentally and physically exhausting,” she said. 

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Studies have also shown that stress can drain the body of micronutrients like B vitamins and magnesium, making it more difficult to metabolize protein for energy and to fall asleep, she added.

Incorporating more exercise and better sleep into your routine will help to offset unhealthy stress levels, experts agree, along with engaging in stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga or therapy.

6. Neglected health care

Many men make the mistake of not seeing a doctor until something is “wrong,” according to Dr. Rich Joseph, national director of performance medicine at Restore Hyper Wellness in Austin, Texas. 

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“Men should make preventative care a habit, and that includes regular visits to a medical professional to have an annual physical and blood work performed,” he told Fox News Digital.

“We can go decades without a serious issue, but that proactive, preventative care makes it easier to detect when an issue does pop up, because we’ve created that year-over-year baseline.”

Obese man with doctor

Many men make the mistake of not seeing a doctor until something is “wrong,” a doctor told Fox News Digital. (iStock)

This is particularly true for men entering their late 30s and early 40s, Joseph said, which is when health problems often begin to creep up. 

Men should especially seek medical attention if they notice a loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed or experience significant weight change without effort, as these could be symptoms of a more serious health issue, Connor warned. 

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“A medical expert can help identify the cause of the lack of energy and create an individualized course of treatment for their patients’ needs.”

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