Getting into shape when you're trying for a baby can make a big difference
If you're trying for a baby, there are plenty of factors to think about, including your fitness level. And a gentle exercise regime will help prepare your body – and may even improve your baby-making chances.
Plus, it will make it easier to stick to your workout regime when you’re pregnant and make carrying around your bump that little bit easier.
Remember – it’s not just you who should be exercising. A good fitness level is important for your partner’s fertility, too.
The benefits of exercise while trying for a baby
We all know that exercise is great for us – and that doesn’t change when you’re trying to conceive. Keeping active has numerous benefits for your health, heart and stress levels and of course helps you stay at a healthy weight.
A good fitness level is important for your partner’s fertility, too.
‘Keeping physically active helps women lose weight during the pre-conceptual period, particularly important when it comes to obesity, which can adversely affect fertility,’ says pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert Dr Joanna Helcke.
‘Regular exercise will reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, build strength and stamina – needed for the rigours of pregnancy – and generally boost energy levels,’ Joanna continues.
Exercising while you’re trying for a baby will also help reduce your stress levels, which can have a negative impact on fertility. Studies have found that high stress levels can have an impact on sperm count, ovulation and your sex life – and it can be hard to get in the mood for baby-making sex when you’re completely stressed out.
The best exercises to do
If you aren’t big into exercise, don’t scare yourself into thinking that you need to do a gruelling workout every single day. It’s best to start easy and slowly build yourself up to a more moderate pace.
‘Think about building up your fitness levels through a walking programme,’ Joanna suggests. ‘Gradually increase your distance and pace on a weekly basis. Stick to moderate levels of exercise, avoiding high intensity workouts as these may adversely affect your chances of conceiving.’
Pilates is a great class you can attend to work on strengthening your core for pregnancy. ‘It will help strengthen your deep abdominals and posture before you fall pregnant,’ says Joanna. ‘This will help protect you from back pain in pregnancy and aid postnatal recovery at a later stage.’
Plus, Pilates is lovely and relaxing so ticks the ‘stress reducing exercise’ box. And it can be continued throughout your pregnancy, as can yoga, swimming and plenty of other forms of exercise.
How are you adapting your exercise regime while trying to conceive? Let us know in the comments box below.