Working out is basically a miracle cure-all. It helps with stress, keeps your heart and mind healthy and helps you avoid myriad diseases and ailments. And if all that isn’t enough, according to a recent study, working out can also help men boost their sperm count.
As reported by the BBC, the discovery was made when researchers followed 261 sedentary men of average health ages 25 to 40 for 24 weeks. The researchers then divided the men into four groups, assigning them various forms of exercise. The journal Reproduction published the results.
The first group spent the first 12 weeks doing moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) — walking or jogging on a treadmill for 25 to 30 minutes per day three to four times a week with a slight increase in intensity, time and an extra day of exercise as the test went on.
The second group was put on a regimen of high-intensity continuous training (HICT) three times a week — running for 40 to 50 minutes with a mixture of high- and low-intensity interval bursts. As the weeks went on, the workouts slightly increased in intensity.
The third group of men were put on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) — running at their highest speed for one minute and following that with a minute at recovery speed repeated two times.
The researchers had the last group of men keep up their regular sedentary lifestyle with no added exercise.
The results found that all groups of men who participated in exercise, no matter the kind, had a significant increase in sperm count. But that the men who followed a MICT regimen had the best results overall.
While this is great news for any man looking to raise his sperm count, the BBC points out that while it can increase the quality of sperm in men who have led inactive lives, it may not necessarily mean an increased fertility rate.
Lead researcher Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki told BBC: “Our results show that doing exercise can be a simple, cheap and effective strategy for improving sperm quality in sedentary men. However, it’s important to acknowledge that the reason some men can’t have children isn’t just based on their sperm count. Male infertility problems can be complex, and changing lifestyles might not solve these cases easily.”
Researchers also noticed that when exercise stopped, sperm count began to drop back off after just a couple of weeks, so the change is reliant on you keeping up your exercise habits. But if you’re looking to give those swimmers a little extra pep, this is looking like an option worth trying.