Tehran: Men who engage in moderate and continuous exercise regimen such as cycling, jogging, running, walking and rowing three-to-five times a week for six months can improve their sperm count and other measures of sperm quality, a new study has found.
The study found that those following moderate exercise had more semen volume, higher sperm motility, improved sperm cell shape/morphology, more concentrated sperm and more sperm cells on average, when compared to the no exercise group.
In addition, men in all exercise groups had improved sperm quality across all measures when compared to the samples from the no-exercise group, the researchers said.
"Our results show that doing exercise can be a simple, cheap and effective strategy for improving sperm quality in sedentary men," said lead author Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki from the Urmia University in Iran.
"However, it's important to acknowledge that the reason some men can not have children is not just based on their sperm count. Male infertility problems can be complex and changing lifestyles might not solve these cases easily," Maleki added.
In the study, the researchers included 261 healthy men aged between 25 and 40 years old. Each participant was assigned to one of four groups: moderate intensity continuous training (MICT), high intensity continuous training (HICT), high intensity interval training (HIIT), or a control group that did no exercise.
After completing the 24-week programme, the moderate exercise group showed the biggest improvements in sperm quality and also maintained the benefits for longer.
The study was published in the journal Reproduction.