Moderate exercise ‘better for sperm’ than high intensity exercise

“‘Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men’s sperm count’,” BBC News reports.

Researchers recruited 261 healthy married men who were randomly allocated to three different training programmes. A fourth group did no exercise as a control.

The men’s sperm was then tested at various intervals for markers associated with “good fertility”, such as sperm count, sperm size and sperm motility (how well the sperm “swim”).

The researchers found that all types of training helped improved sperm quality. Moderate-intensity training (around three hours of walking or jogging per week) was found to be the most beneficial.

Importantly, the study did not look at fertility outcomes, so we can’t assume the improvements seen in sperm quality would necessarily translate into successful pregnancies.

There are a number of other factors that can improve sperm quality and quantity. Keeping testicles cooler by wearing looser underwear, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, having a healthy balanced diet and being a healthy weight can all help.

If you have been trying to conceive for a year or more and have not had success, see your GP. Your GP can do tests to help identify possible fertility problems and provide advice on the next steps.

Finally, whatever your circumstances, moderate exercise is usually good for your health. Read more about exercise guidelines for adults.