26 February 2020

Exercising when trying to get pregnant

Doctor
Medical Director
Cesar Diaz-Garcia
MD PhD Assoc Prof
IVI London

 

Trying to get pregnant can be a stressful time for some couples and a lot of the time you feel like it is completely out of your control. However, there are a few things that you can do to help you whilst on your journey. We have previously discussed smoking and how quitting can help you with your fertility. Another influencer is exercise, but what exercise should you be doing and how much? In this blog, we are going to help answer some of those questions for you.

Start now

If you don’t already exercise it isn’t too late to start doing so, making exercise a regular habit before trying to conceive can help you feel good throughout your pregnancy, as well as improve your fitness when it comes to labour and the delivery of the baby. It has also been proven that exercise can improve your fertility especially if you are over-weight with a high BMI.

Don’t wait to start exercising

Your health has a direct relationship with the health of your baby, therefore the earlier you start being fit and healthy the better. It’s important to be in top physical shape during the days of conception and the critical days of early development. Plus, if you make exercising part of your daily routine now it will be easier to maintain when pregnant and when you are carrying around the extra baby bump weight.

Mix it up

This isn’t just relevant in regards to pregnancy. It is always good to mix up your exercise routine. The main reason for this is boredom, no one likes doing the same thing day in day out so you are more likely to stick to it if you introduce more variety. It also allows a bit of flexibility into your routine. The heavier your pregnancy gets your range of movement will reduce. There will come a day when you might not be able to go out running so turn to swimming. This sport is particularly good when pregnant as its zero-impact gives a weightless feeling that’s especially great during your heaviest months.

BMI matters

As discussed previously, maintaining a healthy weight is one important way to help your conception chances. A healthy BMI helps keep your hormones balanced and therefore regulates ovulation, which is crucial when trying to conceive.

Think of your core

When pregnant your stomach and breast will grow and your body is experiencing gravitational strain from places it isn’t used to. In other words, your back muscles are having to work harder than normal to make up for the added weight from the front of your body. Therefore, if you strengthen your core muscles now you are going to help reduce back pain in the future.

Don’t over-do it

Intense workouts can sometimes do more harm than good, after all, pushing yourself to the limit when exercising is still a form of stress on the body. Therefore, if you’re used to intense HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts it might be time to change to a less strenuous fitness routine. Walking, hiking and swimming are all good substitutes.

It’s not about the scales

Even though it is important to be within the right BMI bracket when trying to conceive now isn’t the time for a fad diet. You must make sure you’re nourishing your body, not depriving it. Therefore, a well-rounded diet incorporating all food groups is important to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need.

Male fitness and conception

Sperm takes around 90 days to completely develop therefore any changes to the male diet should be made at least 90 days before trying to conceive. The male needs to enjoy being active and supportive of healthy habits along with his partner especially during the conception period when trying for a baby.

Ok it with your doctor

Like all treatments, everyone’s experience is different, so it is important to let your doctor know about your exercise routine and make sure give you the all-clear before introducing anything new. At IVI we will be able to advise you on what exercises to do and how much you should be doing whilst going through treatment and to help you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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