Monday, November 5, 2012 10:36 AM
By Nick Tate
Chalk up another health benefit tied to exercise. New research shows men who regularly engage in moderate physical activity have healthier hormone levels and sperm quality — factors that favor reproductive health — than sedentary gents.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cordoba, suggests working out could counter what scientists say is a drop in semen quality over the last 50 years as a result of environmental exposures, lifestyle factors (including sedentary habits), alcohol, and tobacco consumption.
To reach their conclusions, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers compared a variety of reproductive factors in 31 men who engaged in regular moderate exercise with men with more sedentary lifestyles.
Lead researcher Diana Vaamonde acknowledged that while the findings are based on a study of only a small number of men, the implications are significant.
“Despite that fact that more studies are needed to confirm these findings,” she said, “we can suggest exercise to improve the hormonal environment and stimulate the sperm process.”
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