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What is the Right Physical Fitness for Fertility?

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

So, you and your partner have decided to start a family! While planning a baby, multiple factors come into play that can affect your fertility and subsequently, your pregnancy, in varying degrees. One such factor is your physical fitness prior to your conception. When trying to get pregnant, it’s important to stay active and make exercise a part of your weekly routine.



Effect of fitness on fertility

Getting into shape before you try for a baby can make a big difference. Research has conclusively proved the importance of exercise, and how it supports fertility and enhances a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. A gentle exercise regime will help prepare your body for the rigours of pregnancy and improve your baby-making chances. Additionally, exercise may improve your fertility if you're struggling to conceive due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or are overweight.

Exercise helps in reducing stress

Medical studies show that exercising while you’re trying for a baby can help to reduce your stress levels. Stress can have quite a negative effect on fertility. Specialists have found that high stress levels can have an impact on sperm count, ovulation and your sex life. When you’re under stress, it can be hard to get in the mood for baby-making sex.

When should you start your fitness regime?

Your body needs to be in peak physical condition before you start trying to conceive. So, it is advisable to start your fitness program well before you start trying. Additionally, starting now will make it easier to stick to your workout regime when you’re pregnant and make carrying your baby easier. If you wait to begin once you actually become pregnant, it is likely that the resulting fatigue and morning sickness will make you put it off. Additionally, pregnancy is not the best time to initiate any form of workout. So, start in advance.

How much exercise do you need to do?

You may be wondering how much exercise is required to get you to peak fitness. The answer depends upon how physically active you have been till now.

-If you have always been moderately active, continuing to exercise at the same level before (and during) pregnancy is safe and healthy.

-If you exercise vigorously, it is advisable to cut down exercise to a moderate level.

-If you have not been active before, you will need to start to build up your level of activity now. Begin with 120 to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week.

What kind of exercise is safe and suitable?

Any form of moderate activity is considered as suitable exercise during this time.

Moderate activity means any exercise that will:

-raise your heart rate

-make you breathe faster

-make you feel warmer

-allows you to talk without pausing for breath

Examples of moderate exercise include:

1. Brisk walking

2. Gentle aerobics

3. Swimming

4. Light dancing

Don't overdo the exercise regime

Remember that more exercise is not always better for women trying to become pregnant. Excessive exercise combined with low body weight can result in a woman having irregular periods and ovulation, leading to problems with conception.

Also, women who are underweight and who exercise excessively are at higher risk of having smaller babies. Small babies can have reduced organ development including brain development, and other medical problems in later life.

Your partner's fitness is important too

It’s not just you who needs to get into good shape. Your partner’s fitness is equally important for conception. Obesity in men has been proven to have negative consequences for sperm and fertility.

As with the woman, avoid putting the male body under excessive exercise stress. Excessive heat is also not good for sperm, so hot yoga, saunas and Jacuzzis should be avoided by men who are trying for a baby. Enjoy being active and supportive of healthy habits together!

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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