For women this is especially imp0rtant. It helps to balance blood sugar levels by helping insulin and glucose control. Out of control blood sugar levels can play havoc with moods and energy levels. This is also reflected in your reproductive hormones going out of balance. If extra weight is also a problem, especially around the middle- then exercise is imperative to shift the weight and balance the hormones.
Regular exercise can help with problems with ovulation. By balancing hormones, reducing weight and reducing stress- exercise can kick start sluggish ovulation. I have seen dozens of women who have been told that their ovaries look ‘old’, ‘sluggish’, ‘menopausal’, ‘under-active’ or many other terms to describe less than perfect ovaries- resume regular ovulation and get pregnant when the hormones have been balanced. Exercise plays a vital role in this.
A woman wanting to get pregnant, carry a baby to term, deliver a baby, look after a baby and then run around after a toddler needs a bit of stamina! It is best to start before pregnancy and then to maintain it. Also- being fit helps for pregnancy to occur in the first place- which is probably your main focus now. How much and what type of exercise? 30-60 minutes a day outside of your normal daily activities is normally perfect. A mixture is good- you need a combination of cardio or aerobic activity(to get the heart pumping) and resistance-stretching, toning, weights (to challenge the muscles) to have a good effect.
So you need to get moving, get a bit sweaty & get out of breath a bit for the cardio bit. Walking, swimming, cycling, running, trampolining, dancing etc. Start slowly & increase by a few minutes each day. Check with your doctor if you need to. But get moving- push yourself a bit.
You need to balance all that activity with some stretching, toning & resistance. Maybe a yoga or pilates class. Maybe the gym- get someone to give you a routine with stretching, weights and more stretching. You don’t need to end up looking like you are ready to enter a body building competition- just a bit more toned and fit. You can use your own body weight to do very effective resistance training- sit-ups, push-ups, squats etc.
Most importantly find something you enjoy or think you might enjoy once you get stuck into it. We are all capable than a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. Six months ago I couldn’t run down to my neighbour’s house without being puffed. A couple of weeks ago I ran a half marathon. All it takes is to make up your mind, start and don’t stop (until you find out you are pregnant- then you get very sensible- at least for the first trimester).
If it helps- exercise with a friend, turn your normal activities into workouts like housework & gardening, ask your partner for support by maybe going for a walk after dinner instead of watching TV, get some professional help. I know it can be really tough when all you want to do is get pregnant- all this other stuff can just get in the way. But it just might help with your fertility success- it will certainly help with your health. Read fitness magazines and fitness websites.
Whatever it takes- you deserve to be fit and healthy. You will feel fabulous. Promise.
Sarah Leather N.D., IS.Hom.