Lifestyle factors like exercise impact male fertility and sperm. Read below for some additional information and tips for the gym.
It’s true that semen quality is influenced by some biological factors, but that’s not the entire story. Semen is also influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. Of these influences, lifestyle is something men can control most easily.
A sedentary lifestyle with minimal to no exercise and weight gain is associated with reduced sperm health. According to the American Journal of Men’s Health, excess weight and obesity are often associated with altered sperm parameters. In fact, overweight men are 11% more likely than their fit counterparts to have reduced sperm counts.
The reason for this is more elemental than one might suspect. Hormones are associated with fertility. The male hormone testosterone turns into estrogen when a man has excessive body weight. The lower the testosterone and higher the estrogen levels, the less likely the man will produce sperm.
Exercise Supports Sperm Health
By exercising regularly, overweight men can improve their overall health as well as enhance their capability to produce sperm in sufficient amounts.
However, even a physically fit man can benefit in the sperm department by exercising. It appears that running, swimming, or other forms of aerobic exercise can improve sperm health.
Keep It Cool and Other Workout Tips
If you visit your local gym or fitness center to work out, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind that you might not necessarily associate with your fertility or sperm health. First, if you use stationary bikes or other equipment that you sit on, be sure that the seats are of good quality–supportive and padded.
Even more importantly, avoid the sauna or hot tub. The heat from these typical fitness center features can actually impact your sperm. You’ll do much better to cool off in a swimming pool or take a cool shower.
Finally, wear loose clothing when you exercise, tight-fitting pants or underwear, in particular, can trap heat near the testicles. During the summer season when you’re exercising outdoors, it’s best to wear boxers and loose shorts. You should also wear clothing made of natural fibers like cotton when you’re exercising.
Exercise is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, but it can definitely enhance sperm health too. Talk to your healthcare provider about helping you establish a workout routine that’s ideal for you, your weight loss or weight maintenance goals, as well as your fertility.
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