Exercise for fertility
27th January 2019
Exercise gets a lot of airtime in January. Surveys have found that ‘exercising more’ is the most popular New Year’s resolution. But you don’t have to sign up for a marathon, triathlon or tough mudder to get your body moving! Read these tips on how you can boost your fertility by keeping active.
Keeping active is a one of the best and most simple ways to increase fertility. Research has found that women who do regular, moderate exercise get pregnant more quickly than those who don’t. Staying active during your pregnancy can help you to have a healthy pregnancy and birth, reducing problems such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. It can also help to boost your mood and lessen your risk of mental health problems like depression.
How much exercise should I do?
Think about how much physical activity you should do in relation to your current exercise routines, as well as your BMI. For example, if you have a high BMI and are planning to get pregnant, intense exercise may improve chances of conception as it will help you lose weight. If you have always been moderately active – continue to exercise at the same level to stay healthy. And if you’ve not been active before, start to build up your level of activity little by little from now!
Three top tips for being more active
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routine: Start by doing any kind of moderate activity that will raise your heart rate, make you breathe faster and feel warmer. But physical activity doesn’t have to be an exercise class in the gym or a long run. You can keep active by doing anything that will raise your heart rate, make you breathe faster and make you feel warmer. Try getting off the train at an earlier stop, and walking the remaining distance to work or home. Other hobbies and activities such as gardening or dancing count too!
- Mix in some strength exercises twice a week (or more!): Try and work all of the major muscles as you prepare your body for pregnancy – pregnancy puts strain on the body, and you may find it easier to cope with if you are fit, strong and flexible. It has also been shown that labour is easier for women who are active during pregnancy. Strength exercises might be lifting weights, working with resistance bands, yoga, pilates. To get the health benefits from strength exercises you should do them until you get to the point where you struggle to do any more.
- Start to introduce more vigorous activities: This means any exercise that makes you breathe hard and fast, and where you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. Good examples include: jogging or running, aerobics, spinning. A small amount of women who exercise vigorously on most days of the week, such as competitive athletes, may be advised to cut their exercise to a moderate level if they are having problems getting pregnant.