Importance of Exercise During Pregnancy
Your body reaps benefits with a regular exercise routine before conception. These are such as:
- Healthier Stronger Heart – This enables proper blood circulation to your expected baby.
- Reduces Stress – which has been known to reduce the chances of conception
- Weight – Regular exercise helps in maintaining proper body weight. Check out our pregnancy weight tracker.
- Help You Sleep Better – Getting adequate rest increases the chance of conception
Developing a proper and regular workout routine before trying to conceive is possible even to those women who consider themselves as unfit. However, proper consultation from your doctor and fitness coach may be necessary.
What is the Ideal Amount of Exercise?
Women who aim to conceive should try and get in 30min of exercise most days of the week. Exercise options include aerobics and strength training. Ordinary day to day activities like vigorous housework or gardening that increase your heart rate can also be considered as exercise. The following exercises can also be beneficial:
- Brisk walking 30 minutes every day
- Light jogging
- Leisure bike ride
When Exercise is Too Much
Extreme exercises when trying to conceive may easily reduce their chances of fertility. Factors that decrease fertility during bouts of strenuous exercise, therefore, include:
- Hormonal Imbalance – Too much exercise produces the stress hormone cortisol which takes time to return to normal. Trying to conceive with high levels of cortisol in the blood reduces the chances of success.
- Low Levels of Body Fat Decrease Fertility – women who are marathon runners or avid exercise enthusiast may have low body fat. A hormone called estradiol which is the most abundant form of oestrogen is lower in women who have less body fat thus decreasing fertility.
The following high intensity exercises should be avoided when trying to conceive;
- Running for many kilometres a day
- Exercising for more than one hour per day
- Core strength training e.g. sit ups immediately after ovulation.
- Strenuous sporting activities like basketball or netball.
In some cases doctors may completely discourage exercising. This is often the case in women who are undergoing medical fertility treatments such as In vitro fertilization (IVF).
Always remember to incorporate at least two days of rest in your exercise routine as rest is as important as the exercise itself.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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