Why moderate exercise works for male fertility
Moderate exercise is good for your overall health and fertility. Casual jogging, cycling or swimming helps to keep your weight down and boosts your body’s natural endorphins, which help to regulate your mood.
But strenuous aerobic or anaerobic activity can do more harm than good when it comes to male fertility. Lifting heavy weights, long-distance cycling and competitive road running all put strain on the body’s immune system, which means it needs more time to recover and expends less energy developing strong sperm.
What exercise is safe for sperm production?
Any gentler forms of exercise should help enhance sperm production. What you consider to be ‘gentler’ depends on your experience and current level of health and fitness. Fitter men who carry less weight will be able to cope with a higher intensity of exercise than overweight men who haven’t exercised regularly for some time.
Three exercises that boost male fertility
Light jogging – One of the most effective cardio exercises for weight loss. When trying to conceive, shorter runs at regular intervals are better than infrequent, intense bursts of activity.
Swimming – Burns calories and generates endorphins without putting pressure on elbow, knee or ankle joints. Ideal for men who need to lose some weight before conceiving.
Yoga – Brilliant for reducing stress and toxins that occur in the body. A thorough workout can often burn calories and strengthen muscle just as effectively as an intense gym session.
Three exercises that may damage male fertility
Weight lifting – Lifting heavy weights several times a week can put a lot of strain on your muscles and heart. Although it is likely to boost testosterone levels over the long term, weight lifting can leave your body needing more rest and recovery time, which will impact on your ability to conceive.
High Intensity Interval Training – Although by far one of the most effective forms of weight loss exercise, HIIT will burn the calories that your body needs to produce energy, leaving you with less energy for sex and sperm production.
Long-distance cycling – Although cycling puts a lot less pressure on joints and core muscles than running does, the long periods of time spent sitting in a hard saddle can do damage to your testicles.
Losing weight to boost sperm production?
The best way to safely lose weight and improve your fertility is to combine a healthy diet with low impact cardio exercise. Our Male Fertility Diet page has more information about the kinds of foods you should be eating to make you fertility fit.