Many people know that proper nutrition and exercise can promote good health. However, a new study indicates that moderate exercise may also benefit the quality of sperm. University of Cordoba researchers found that routine moderate exercise results in enhanced sperm quality and production.
Moderate exercise is defined as physical activity that involves a medium amount of energy and effort; this could include walking, swimming, or participating in sports. The researchers categorized maintaining moderate exercise as exercising 4-5 days per week.
The University of Cordoba researchers examined sperm and blood from 31 men. 16 were classified as having maintained a moderate exercise regiment for the past year and the remaining 15 were classified as being inactive.
The sperm was assessed on its count, volume, morphology, and motility â€“ all factors, according to the World Health Organization, that can influence sperm quality. All of these factors contribute to producing sperm that are faster, healthier, and stronger (and remember â€“ natural selection allows the best sperm to penetrate the egg).
Hormones were also evaluated through the blood samples. The levels of the sex hormones testosterone, FSH, and LH were measured (FSH is important for production of sperm and LH promotes testosterone secretion). The stress hormone cortisol was also measured, since it has proven links to sperm count.
After the sperm and blood samples were tested, results showed that men who were classified as moderately active had improved sperm quality, faster sperm, and a higher percentage of sperm that could be classified as normal when compared to inactive men. In addition, the physically active men had higher sperm concentration and volume.
The sex hormone levels were also higher in those who engaged in moderate exercise, while the cortisol levels were lower â€“ both pointing to conditions that allow better sperm production.
There are a myriad of health benefits associated with regular physical activity. In addition to improving sperm quality and thus chances of successful conception, exercise can also reduce the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease or cancer. Exercise is known to reduce and prevent diabetes and aid in supporting bone health and weight loss. In addition, exercise can alleviate stress and promote good psychological wellbeing.
Exercise is not only good for the body and mind, but also â€“ according to this study â€“ for sperm!