Picture this – you and your partner realise one day that the time has come to expand your family by bringing a baby into this world. Before you start trying to conceive, you decide to first learn and conception. This is when you learn the importance of fitness in improving your fertility. Excited, you both throw yourselves headfirst into getting fit. But, here’s the thing – there is such a thing as too much exercise, and it can seriously affect your chances of pregnancy. Find out why and how too much exercise can get in the way of conceiving successfully.
In women, highly intensive exercises, like training round the year for a marathon or regularly pushing your body to its maximum limits, may cause the ovaries to shut down temporarily. If your ovaries aren’t functioning, you cannot ovulate. And if you cannot ovulate, you cannot conceive.
Excessive exercising also leads to higher secretion of endorphins – the happiness hormone – which has been linked to affecting the production of Luteinising Hormone that’s crucial for ovulation.
If you’re underweight, your fertility levels are affected. Studies suggest that women who are underweight are half as likely to conceive successfully compared to women who are within a healthy weight range.
Prolonged periods of intense exercise can cause the body to break down the proteins in muscles and release ammonia, which inhibits pregnancy. Intense exercise also limits the secretion of the hormone progesterone, which makes it even harder to conceive.
Too much exercise leads to a lower percentage of body fat. While this may keep your body in great shape, it doesn’t bode so well for pregnancy, because sex hormones are stored in the body’s fat layers. If you have a low percentage of body fat, your body will release lower amount of oestrogen, which can cause irregularities in your menstrual cycle.
Among men too, too much exercise has been linked to a decrease in sperm count. Unregulated consumption of steroids can also severely affect male fertility.
The importance of exercise to regulate your hormones and improve your chances of conception cannot be ignored entirely. It is crucial to strike the perfect balance, so you can reap maximum benefits and create the perfect environment in your body for conception.
Make sure you’re always aware of your own limits and when you’re going overboard with your workout regimen.
Physical symptoms: Increase in blood pressure, slower heart rate recovery, chronic muscle fatigue, loss of appetite and continuous weight loss are common red flags for both men and women. Additionally, women should also keep an eye for irregularities in their menstrual cycle.
Many people fail to draw the line, when it comes to losing weight. While staying motivated is a good thing, forcing yourself to go the extra mile even when your body is telling you the exact opposite is a bad idea, and can hamper your chances of conception.
It is extremely important to first consult with your gynaecologist, general physician or even a nutritionist to check whether you need to lose weight, gain weight or stay as you are. Based on your health stats, you will be given a goal weight along with a diet plan that complements your . If you’re a beginner at working out, make sure you train under a fitness instructor.
Even working out four days a week is enough in most cases. Your muscles need rest and time to recover, otherwise you stand to harm yourself even more. Take a break from strenuous physical activities once or twice a week.
Before you even jump on the fitness wagon, it is first important to identify if your weight is, in any way, affecting your fertility. If you’ve been trying to conceive, but with no results, then make sure your doctor can pinpoint the exact cause of the problem and then discuss the way forward. Remember to listen to your body and do what’s best for yourself.
If you have any questions, ask us in the comments!