Lifestyle factors like exercise impact male fertility and sperm health. Read on for some additional information and tips.
Semen quality is influenced by biological factors, but that’s not the entire story. It’s also influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors, some of which can be modified to support sperm health.
A sedentary lifestyle with minimal to no exercise is associated with reduced sperm health. According to the American Journal of Men’s Health, lack of exercise, excess weight, and obesity are often associated with altered sperm parameters. In fact, overweight men more likely to have lower sperm counts.
This change is partly related to the hormones associated with fertility. The male hormone testosterone is converted to estrogen by fat tissue. Lower testosterone and higher estrogen may increase the risk of low or abnormal sperm production.
Exercise Supports Sperm Health
By exercising regularly, overweight men can improve their overall health as well as support healthy sperm production. Regular physical activity, like walking, running, swimming, and aerobic exercise, may improve sperm count and overall 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 without putting extra stress on your testicles.
You may also want to avoid the sauna or hot tub. Some studies suggest that these activities may actually harm sperm function. It’s better to cool off in a swimming pool or shower.
Finally, wear loose, comfy clothing when you exercise. Tight-fitting pants or underwear can trap heat near the testicles and negatively affect sperm. This is also true when you’re exercising outdoors on a hot day. Clothing made of natural fibers like cotton may help keep you cool when you’re exercising.
Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and can affect fertility as well. Talk to your healthcare provider about helping you establish a workout routine that’s ideal for you, your weight goals, and your fertility.