Introduction: From the previously published literature on the relationship between obesity and infertility, it is clear that male obesity negatively impacts semen quality. Accordingly, this study was conducted to determine whether regular exercise may improve semen quality in sedentary obese adults.
Material and methods: Ninety obese adults were randomly allocated to the intervention (n = 45) or control group (n = 45). Participants in the intervention group performed a 16-week aerobic training program in a treadmill, three sessions per week, consisting of a warm-up (10-15 minutes), 35-50 minutes treadmill exercise (increasing five minutes per four weeks) at a work intensity of 50-65% of peak heart rate (increasing a 5% per four weeks) and cooling-down (5-10 minutes). Semen quality assessment included semen volume, sperm concentration and the percentages of progressive motility and normal morphology. Serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and estradiol were determined by ELISA. Body composition and physical fitness were also assessed.
Results: After the completion of the training program, sperm count, motility and normal morphology were significantly increased. A second key finding was that exercise improved reproductive hormone levels by increasing serum testosterone. Lastly, significant correlations were found between seminal outcomes and abdominal obesity.
Conclusion: A short-term intervention program based on aerobic training improved semen quality in sedentary obese adults. This finding may be explained, at least in part, by an improvement of the reproductive hormone profile.
Keywords: Obesity. Aerobic training. Semen. Testosterone..