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Over-Exercising And Infertility: Are They Related?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more


It is the 21st century and we are always talking about what to eat and how to fit exercise into our routine. However, too much of anything can prove to be harmful. The same applies to exercise as well. Having a well-balanced fitness regime can help maintain a healthy level of fertility but over-exercising may harm fertility in both men and women. 

Exercising vs. over-exercising

It is not new as a fact that exercising daily has a hoard of benefits. It helps in keeping your heart healthy, strengthens bones, tones muscles, helps keep a good mood and has a positive impact on emotions. It also promotes healthy skin and has a huge impact on weight management as well. On the other hand, over-exercising and exercising incorrectly can be counter-productive to one’s health and ends up being extremely dangerous in the long run.

As per the US Government’s Physical Activity Guidelines (2nd edition), it has been advised that adults stick to about 150-300 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity. If it is a vigorous-intensity aerobic activity of the physical kind, it is recommended 75-150 minutes per week, if strength training is included in your regime. Anything above these parameters is considered unnecessary, unimpactful and over-exercising unless advised by an expert. The National Institutes of Health says that if you have been pushing your body beyond its current limits and levels for a long while and additionally skipping the adequate rest routine, it indicates that the body is going through compulsive over-exercising. 

Relationship between over exercise and infertility

Over-exercising has been proven to affect fertility in several ways. When the body goes through over-exercising, there is a deficit in energy levels, hormonal fluctuations and reduced body fat levels. All of these factors if persistent over a long period of time may impact the reproductive health of an individual. Although none of these effects is permanent, they can cause over-exhaustion of your body. Reducing the intensity and frequency of your workouts and adding up required nutrition to your diet may restore your hormone levels once again.

  • Over-exercising and hormonal disruption: Prolonged high-intensity workouts can increase cortisol levels and lower thyroid hormone levels. This reduction in hormones can affect metabolism drastically and make the body handle stress poorly. Over time, this can also lead to a terrible fluctuation in the production of reproductive hormones.
  • Over-exercising and body fat: Having some amount of body fat is important for a healthy fertility rate. Women with low levels of body fat may experience menstrual irregularities. Many reproductive hormones are based on fat. 

How are women affected by over-exercising?

In the case of women, studies suggest that either too much or too little daily exercise may sometimes lead to fertility issues as age increases. According to years of research and studies, the optimal body mass index or BMI level for women is 20-24.9 to procure standard ovulation and menstruation which benefits fertility. Since strenuous activity without proper nutrition can cause imbalances that may be counted as a factor leading to problems like infertility in women, it is advised to have a balanced fitness routine that can be maintained at a moderate level. This has been proven to boost the chances of normal conception in healthy individuals. In case of an underlying condition that is responsible for infertility, consult a doctor and follow the advice. 

Fertility levels and a balanced lifestyle

A balanced fitness regime along with a good diet is the key to maintaining a healthy body. Your body should be nourished with a balanced diet and by consuming the necessary calories along with keeping yourself well hydrated and getting the necessary quantity of sleep and rest to recover from your exercise regime, you help your body reach its best fitness goals. All the basic parameters of a balanced, sustainable lifestyle are met in this way, which is necessary for maintaining healthy hormone levels and fertility. Moderate exercises and activities such as riding a bicycle, swimming or even walking can be included in your fitness routine to dial down the rigorous exercise you have been into. 


Most things done in moderation bear great results. It is important to remember that moderation is the key to everything, hence keeping your fitness regime balanced, along with good nutrition and adequate rest will not pose a problem related to health and fertility. Consult your doctor and a certified fitness expert to understand the best exercise regimen for your body.

Also Read: Benefits of Maca Root for Females: Research-Backed Insights into Its Effectiveness

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