If you’re trying to get pregnant or you enjoy the almost-mystical properties of semen then you husbands need to get off the couch and get some exercise! A recent study indicates that moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) has all sorts of benefits for your swimmers:

The results of the study, published in the journal Reproduction, showed that men who exercised had improved sperm at the end of the training, regardless of which group they were in.

But those men who took part in MICT had the best results.

Compared to men who did no exercise, those in the MICT group had 8.3% more semen volume, 12.4% higher sperm motility, 17.1% improved sperm cell shape, 14.1% more concentrated sperm and 21.8% more sperm cells on average.

The researchers found that the benefits for sperm started to tail off within just a week of stopping the exercise programme.

For this study, MICT was basically jogging for 30-40 minutes, four or five times a week. We already have a responsibility to stay healthy and attractive (within the limits of our ability) for our spouse, and improved semen is a big additional benefit.

Another recent study indicates that watching too much television has a big negative effect on sperm.

A new study suggests men who spend too much time binge-watching TV have lower sperm counts compared to men who don’t watch the boob tube, according to researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

The study found men who watched five or more hours of TV per day had 29 percent lower sperm concentration, and 34 percent lower sperm counts than men who weren’t binge-watching.

Lying around increases the temperature of the scrotum — which has a negative impact on sperm production, the researchers said.

Also, couch potatoes tend to be overweight or drink excessively, two more factors in lower sperm counts and production, according to the study, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Men who played on a computer for the same amount of time didn’t experience a dip in semen levels.

So husbands, get out there and run! If your wife is already pregnant, your semen can cure her morning sickness. Even aside from pregnancy, your semen can improve your wife’s health and mood. If you want your wife to be healthy and happy, you have a husbandly duty to exercise!

(Click here to read the whole Sex in Song of Solomon series.)

On to chapter 3!  As background: The book is commonly understood as a celebration of marital/sexual love and it contains a lot of rather graphic imagery. It’s an especially important book because it’s very sex-positive and provides a powerful illustration of the joy God takes in the sexual relationship between a husband and a wife.

Chapter 3 opens with a dream sequence: the Beloved searching and longing for her Lover. Who hasn’t had a dream like that? She eventually finds him in her dream, and she awakens somewhat flustered. This the dream of the Bride on the night before her wedding.

On my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
    I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.
    I sought him, but found him not.
The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go
    until I had brought him into my mother’s house,
    and into the chamber of her who conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

In her dream, the Beloved catches her Lover and drags him to bed. The imagery of bringing him “into the chamber of her who conceived me” highlights the special intimacy of sex within marriage: this isn’t just sex, it’s loving sex that could lead to pregnancy. What could be more erotic?

When the Beloved awakens, she sees her Groom arriving for their wedding. Just as in earlier chapters the Lover admired his Beloved’s feminine attributes, here the Beloved is entranced by the Lover’s masculine wealth and power.

What is that coming up from the wilderness
    like columns of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
    with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
    some of the mighty men of Israel,
all of them wearing swords
    and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
    against terror by night.
King Solomon made himself a carriage
    from the wood of Lebanon.
He made its posts of silver,
    its back of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior was inlaid with love
    by the daughters of Jerusalem.
Go out, O daughters of Zion,
    and look upon King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

Chapter 3 may not contain as many sexual metaphors as chapters 1 and 2, but I find the marital intimacy to be especially erotic. Trying to get pregnant is some of the best sex ever.