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How much exercise is recommended for improving fertility?

Moderate regular exercise positively influences fertility and assisted reproductive technology outcomes for both women and men. For healthy women of all body types, engaging in moderate forms of exercise is generally recommended when attempting to conceive.

Exercise can have positive effects on ovulation by promoting hormonal balance and overall health, potentially enhancing fertility.

Conversely, high-volume or high-intensity exercise regimens may have impacts on fertility. A systematic review of 14 studies revealed that women who exercised for more than 60 minutes per day had an increased risk of anovulation. However, it's important to note that moderate exercise, when incorporated appropriately, has the potential to support regular ovulation and reproductive health.

Weight management remains a crucial factor in preventing and addressing infertility. Being overweight is associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can disrupt hormonal balance and hinder ovulation. Conversely, being underweight can interfere with the menstrual cycle and suppress ovulation. Both physical activity and exercise play pivotal roles in maintaining a healthy weight and supporting fertility.

For men, exercise also plays a role in fertility. Regular physical activity has been associated with improved sperm quality and reproductive function. However, excessive endurance exercise may lead to a decrease in sperm quality, highlighting the importance of moderation.

Before starting any exercise program, it's advisable to consult with your physician, especially if you have underlying health conditions. Your doctor can help you determine the most suitable type and amount of exercise for your individual needs and ensure that your fertility goals are well-aligned with your exercise routine.


  1. Hakimi, O., Cameron, LC. Effect of Exercise on Ovulation: A Systematic Review. Sports Med 47, 1555–1567 (2017).

  2. The role of exercise and physical activity in improving fertility. Available at:

  3. Mena GP, Mielke GI, Brown WJ. The effect of physical activity on reproductive health outcomes in young women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum Reprod Update. 2019 Sep 11;25(5):541-563. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmz013. PMID: 31304974.

  4. Lunetti, Paola; Capobianco, Loredana; Zara, Vincenzo; Ferramosca, Alessandra. Physical Activity and Male Reproductive Function: A New Role for Gamete Mitochondria. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews 49(2):p 99-106, April 2021. | DOI: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000245

  5. Sunni L Mumford and others, A Prospective Cohort Study to Evaluate the Impact of Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle on Fertility: Design and Baseline Characteristics, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 189, Issue 11, November 2020, Pages 1254–1265,

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