How much is too much?
The definition of too much exercise can be fuzzy. Experts say that excessive exercise can be associated with infertility. What exactly does that mean? If a woman is working out to the point that the habit leads to injuries, lack of sleep, or burning more energy than is consumed, this is considered too much exercise. Essentially, when a woman overexercises, the body is in a state of stress and perceives this as poor conditions for getting pregnant.
What about weight management?
Women who are overweight hear a lot about losing weight to improve fertility. But research has also shown that being underweight may be an even more significant cause for concern. A good place to start is being aware of body mass index (BMI). Most women who have a BMI between 20-25 don’t need to worry about weight as a factor in infertility. Women whose BMI is under 18.5 are at a higher risk of struggling with infertility.
The benefits of exercise
Regular exercise is an essential tool for many people in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Managing these symptoms is crucial for improving fertility. However, the key takeaway is to opt for lower-impact movements and be mindful of exercise duration.
Make sure you recover properly
Sometimes, exercise can interfere with ovulation, not because of the movement but because the woman is not eating enough. Before and after working out, make sure to fuel the body with healthy meals and snacks that have a balance of proteins, carbs, and fats. Sleep is another vital tool for recovering properly from exercise. Women should also aim to balance cardio and strength-training workouts with flexibility and mobility exercises.
Start your fertility exercise routine
High-intensity exercises like running, high-intensity interval training, or kickboxing may put too much stress on the body. Instead, opt for moderate movements like walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, Pilates, or yoga. Consistency is still relevant. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week.
What else can I do?
All women should understand that many lifestyle changes can improve fertility. Lowering stress, getting enough sleep, and eating a nutritious diet can all promote better health and fertility. If a woman has made all the necessary lifestyle changes and is still having trouble conceiving, experts recommend speaking with a fertility specialist.