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The Pros and Cons of Exercising to Improve Fertility

Becoming the healthiest version of yourself is one of the finest gifts you can give your future child, and one that will likely improve your fertility. Diet and exercise impact every aspect of your overall health, and play a key role in your reproductive health as well.

When you’re dealing with fertility issues, exercise can help. Not only does a regular workout contribute to a healthy weight, but releasing those endorphins can surely provide an anti-venom for the feelings of self-doubt, and insecurity.

Of course, too much of a good thing isn’t always helpful, and when it comes to exercise, too much can interfere with fertility. There’s a fine line between doing it right, and overdoing it. So where is the happy medium? the sweet spot that provides all the good fertility mojo, without disrupting the delicate reproductive process?

How Exercise Improves Fertility

The benefits of regular exercise are many: improved cardiovascular health, better stamina, helps to maintain a healthy weight, improves circulation, brain health, controls blood sugar, and on and on. In fact, just 30 minutes a day of cardio exercise-walking, for instance-will vastly improve your health. But how does exercise contribute to your reproductive health, specifically fertility?

Exercise contributes to a healthy weight:  If you’re obese you’re more likely to experience infertility. Not only that, but obesity can lead to a whole host of pregnancy problems, including miscarriage. Losing weight before you begin trying to conceive improves your fertility. Diet and exercise are essential when you’re trying to achieve a healthy weight.

For those who struggle with PCOS, maintaining a healthy weight is vital to regulating your reproductive hormones and restoring your fertility. A healthy BMI is a good number to shoot for when you’re trying to get to a healthy weight.

Exercise helps control stress:  You’ve probably heard it a dozen times or more, “Just relax and it will happen”. While it isn’t quite that simple, learning to relax, and de-stress, will go a long way toward improving your overall health and provide you with a healthy way to unwind. 

Exercise promotes more restful sleep:  Lack of quality sleep can put you in a veritable loop of poor health. When you’re tired you make unhealthy choices; too much caffeine, sugar, and processed foods, for example. You become more anxious, stressed-out, and depressed. When you work out you’re helping set your circadian rhythm, particularly if you work out in the early part of the day. You move your body, take in more oxygen, and wear yourself out. All in all, a recipe for a perfect night’s sleep.

Finding the Right Balance

In your quest to become a healthy and fit mom-to-be you may begin adding to your workout, logging more miles on your runs, and pushing your body to lift more, go further, be faster. While fitness is essential to your overall health, depending on how aggressively you workout, you may be impacting your fertility.

Avoid high-intensity interval training (HIIT):  High intensity exercise can stress the body. While that’s great for toning and strengthening your muscles, sculpting your abs, etc., you should put the HIIT workouts on hold while you’re trying to conceive, and during pregnancy. Try more low-impact exercise. Walk, swim, easy runs, and elliptical workouts that don’t put too much stress on the body are best at this important time.

Pay attention to calories-in-calories-out:  When you’re focused on becoming pregnant it’s not only essential that you maintain a healthy weight, but also consume enough healthy calories. You may be tempted to keep up an intense calorie burn but this can lead to compromised nutrition, which greatly impacts your fertility. If you aren’t consuming enough calories, or if you’re burning much more than you’re taking in, this can disrupt your menstrual cycle, making pregnancy impossible.

The Best Workouts for Improving Your Fertility

The best exercises are the ones you enjoy doing. If you enjoy strength training, you’re more likely to do that than something you don’t enjoy, like maybe running. Cardio and aerobic exercises are just as beneficial for your overall, and reproductive health as lifting weights. If you are an experienced fitness guru, you may want to mix it up, but never push your workout to the limit, or risk injuring yourself.

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise as you are trying to conceive. It calms you, centers you, helps you become more aware of your body, and improves blood flow and circulation in the reproductive region. Improved flexibility will also help in the birthing process.

Don’t ignore the role of dad’s fitness in improving fertility. Take the father-to-be along with you on your power walks, or daily runs. Drag dad to the gym with you. Pursue your best health together and not only will you improve your odds of conceiving, but you’ll ensure you’re both fit and ready for the exciting road ahead.

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