I won’t bother you with all the right things exercise can do — toned body, no beer/ potbelly — blah blah. However, I do want to emphasize the benefits of exercising for your sexual health.

Exercising has a positive impact on your sperm health, especially the sperm count. This means the average number of sperm found in a sample of semen. Of course, it is one of the main factors to determine how healthy your sperm count is.

The benefits of exercising are related to this. A research was conducted where scientists checked the sperm quality of many men. These were mostly super donors. The paper was published in Oxford Academic’s Human Reproduction. The results revealed that all of these men had good sperm concentration.

As per the recent World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a healthy sperm count usually is about15 million per millilitre (ml), which can be a minimum of 39 million per ejaculate. Anything below the 15 million counts is not healthy.

Over the years, research has shown that inadequate exercise and low physical activity often results in lower semen quality. Sedentarism leads to obesity, which in turn clogs blood flow to your penis — on the whole, being sedate harms your fertility levels.

Sperm concentration is not just restricted to its count. It also takes into account the entire sperm morphology, which includes:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Motility
  • Count

The study further added that the misters who had the highest concentration of sperm were the ones who worked out and did the intense exercises throughout the week.

Study by co-author Dr. Yi-Xin Wang of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston added that with regular exercises, semen quality was likely to improve. It also helped boost the overall semen quality parameters in men who had fertility issues.

According to NCBI, many other studies also show that drastic changes in semen parameters do happen with intense training and exercising.

Even though exercise is always suggested for overall health, one should remember that moderation is the key to optimal sperm health. For example, yoga may work for a friend while lifting weights could do the trick for you. Exercising intensity should increase gradually; else it may have adverse effects. An obese individual doing too much cardio would have oxidative stress, which can be counterproductive. High levels of oxidative stress may lead to deterioration of sperm quality.

Researchers over 6 months studied approximately 261 individuals. These men led sedentary lifestyles earlier. However, they were suddenly assigned treadmill exercises. In a span of a few weeks, their sperm quality improved.

On the whole, the idea is that you should try to maintain and follow an active lifestyle. This accompanied with a healthy diet helps boost sperm health.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP