Exercise for fertility

We know physical activity is very important to our health; I would say it plays a key role for many reasons. For example, it activates the lymphatic system, meaning that toxins flow smoothly throughout our system  until they are discarded through our filters (kidneys, liver, gut, skin). If we do not move, the flow slows down and the toxins often get stuck in our body creating inflammation. When you exercise regularly you are:

  • Improving your chances of living a longer and healthier life
  • Helping protect you from cardiovascular disease
  • Helping protect against certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer
  • Helping prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Helping prevent osteoporosis
  • Helping prevent arthritis and relieve pain and stiffness when you have this condition
  • Relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve mood
  • Controlling weight
  • Improving fertility (when moderate) 

Let’s see how exercise can positively or negatively affect fertility.

It is known that women who do intense daily workout tend to miss their period. That happens especially with very lean women. Studies showed that the combination of heavy exercise and leanness interferes with the production of luteinizing hormone, which is needed to make the eggs mature and prepare the endometrium to receive a fertilized egg. This means that cutting off the supply of this hormone derails ovulation.

When you have little body fat, the body shuts down the reproductive system because it would not have enough stored energy to support a pregnancy. Isn’t our body smart?

I am a living proof of this. When I was a teenager and I was training intensely I experienced amenorrea (lack of menstruation) for a few years. I was not too lean but I remember pushing my body to an extreme that was painful. Once I gave up competing and started detoxing from my addiction to crazy exercise, my period got back.  

On the other hand, more studies showed that vigorous exercise is extremely beneficial for the fertility of women with extra weight. 

What is then the ideal exercise routine to boost fertility then?

Of course there is not one single answer for all of us. Since we are all different, we all have to find our own way. What I always suggest is to listen to your body, do the things you know are good for your health but find your own way. 

Some general rules work for everyone, though. 

No matter whether you are skinny or have some extra weight, exercise is good for you. Do not exaggerate but remember that lack of movement can put a damper on your fertility. So, do exercise regularly by doing what feels better for you. Don’t forget to nourish your body with nutrient-dense foods, if you want to build healthy muscles.

MODERATE CARDIO

If you are not used to workout, then start with 30 minutes walking or light jogging ideally every day . Make sure to move enough to break a sweat and get your heart rate up, but do not exhaust your body. Start slowly, maybe with just 15 minutes; this is supposed to be a pleasure, so make sure you don’t get sick of it before even starting. Your body will demand what it needs, you just have to listen to it.

STRENGTH WORKOUT

By increasing your muscle mass you help reduce insulin resistance and keep weight in check; for men it has also been shown to increase testosterone levels. A moderate strength workout 3/4 days per week is ideal for women. You want to avoid stressing your body but you also want to make sure you are really gaining muscle strength, and for that you need consistency. 

PILATES AND YOGA 

Gentle forms of exercise which help strengthen core muscles and increase blood flow. I would recommend some of this to all, both the workout regulars or newbies. This is grate for elasticity, which helps us keep our body young and healthy.  

My recommendation is to refer to professionals who can advise you on the best health plan to reach your  own goals. Remember, you are a unique creature and what works for your does not necessarily work for others.

DM me if you need any help.

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