How Much Exercise is Optimal for Sperm?

Man Running to Improve Sperm Health

We know that exercise can boost sperm parameters.

But how much exercise is optimal?

A 2017 randomized controlled trial (Maleki et al) split 280 healthy men into four exercise groups for before/after sperm analysis over 24 weeks. Those groups were:

  1. No Exercise
  2. 10 x 1-minute High Intensity Interval Running, 3x/week
  3. 30-minute Moderate Jogging, 3x/week
  4. 60-minute Intense Running, 3x/week


Compared to the no-exercise group, all three exercise groups:

  • lost weight
  • increased sperm count
  • improved sperm motility and morphology
  • improved sperm DNA integrity
  • reduced markers of sperm oxidative stress

Interestingly, group 3 (30 minutes, 3 times/week) saw the biggest improvements to sperm parameters. This suggests you may not need to kill yourself at the gym! But you do need a plan.

How to Stay Active:

  • Go for a run. Great targets include the neighborhood streets, some big flights of stairs, or a nearby hillside.
  • Sign up for 3x/week exercise classes with a friend who will help you stay committed. There's nothing like the social class environment to keep you honest and keep you on the edge of your comfort zone. And there's never been better availability of class types.
  • Sports, bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines... use your imagination.

Just set aside some time, put on your headphones and your favorite tunes or podcast, and go make it happen! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.