How we have changed in the past couple of decades when it comes to pregnancy and exercise! We have moved from “light walks only” to Crossfit and marathons, to a whole lot of discussion board conversations. Mom-shaming apparently can start before your baby is even born.
If you are on your journey to conception, exercise can be a confusing Goldilocks question. You don’t want too much and you don’t want too little … but what constitutes “just right?”
When a woman is overweight, losing just 5 percent of her body weight can significantly improve her chances of getting pregnant. In such a situation, any exercise is better than none, according to researcher Lauren A. Wise, a professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health. (1)
Being overweight or underweight can contribute to infertility due to changes in hormone levels that affect ovulation. (2)
Those trying to conceive should take note of the physical activity recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The physical activity guidelines for men and women is a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity six to seven days a week and 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity. (6) If you are overweight, it is recommended that you do moderate intensity physical activity for 225 to 300 minutes per week. (3)
What counts as moderate obviously depends on how fit you are prior to conceiving. For some people, a 5K run may be moderate. For others, a light walk or a swim is moderate.
This may be why many people go to prenatal yoga, as this can be moderate for almost any fitness level — keep the hot yoga for after pregnancy, though.
Any exercise that you can do prior to pregnancy is on the table during pregnancy but take it easy and don’t overdo it. (4)
Aerobic and strength exercises are recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. These types of activities may reduce the risk of diabetes and improve well-being. Keep in mind, though, that all pregnancies should be treated individually and discussed with a doctor.
“Just right” depends on your current activity level and your current body fat percentage. It depends on health factors and it depends on injuries.
You are aiming to train to make a baby, rather than train to be your personal best at this point in your life. That being said, at least 17 women have competed in the Olympics pregnant — but they were athletes far before their conception years. (5)
If you are pregnant, your nutritional needs change. It is wise to meet this situation in the first trimester with a cautious diet. Folic acid is a must. An increase in iron and protein might be as well.
If you are taking supplements, no matter how benign they may seem, make sure to discuss them with your doctor to see if they are contraindicated. I had a friend who was taking Chinese herbs from her acupuncturist that were not recommended for preconception.
Changing up your routine is a good habit to get into for this period of your life. You may return to your original workout habits after you become a parent, but you may also find that it shifts. Luckily, little ones are not sedentary, so you won’t have much of a choice to be still.
If you or someone you know are struggling with infertility, there are some over-the-counter treatments available. The Stork® OTC is one option which uses cervical cap insemination to help sperm bypass the vaginal tract and get as close as possible to the cervix to optimize the chances of pregnancy.
The Stork® OTC is available at several retailers as well as at select store locations for Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy.
To learn more about The Stork® OTC and to see if it is a good option for you, visit: http://www.storkotc.com.
1) Trying To Get Pregnant? Moderate Exercise May Help. WebMD. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
2) Fertility and a Woman’s Weight. Your Infertility. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
3) How Much Should You Exercise While Trying To Conceive? Priya. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
4) Exercise Before Pregnancy: Toning Down Your Workouts. What To Expect. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
5) Why It’s Okay To Run When You Are Pregnant. BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
6) Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 6 April 2017.