A fertility expert describes how exercises for fertility – such as yoga – increase your chances of conception and help you get pregnant.
“Studies show that pregnancy success rates decline as a woman’s weight increases,” say these fertility specialists at Pulling Down the Moon. “However, while many women are busy shaping up for spring and summer, and trying to lose weight to boost conception odds, they may not realize that some exercises may keep them from getting pregnant!”
For more info on fertility and exercise, check out Yoga 4 Fertility. And, here’s what the research shows about fertility rates, in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates, and exercise – plus five activities to increase your chances of conceiving from fertility expert Beth Heller.
Fertility Exercises – Can Yoga Help You Get Pregnant?
In a major study of more than 5,000 women, researchers at Harvard University found that active athletes often had irregular menstrual cycles and that many were infertile while training. Another study discovered that women who had a longtime, regular exercise program of 4+ hours a week had significantly lower (40%) in vitro fertilization success rates and were more likely to miscarry, while those who participated in cardio work-outs (such as aerobics or running) had a 30% lower chance of a successful live birth after IVF.
Further research supports the fact that strenuous exercise can disrupt the menstrual cycle and reproductive hormone regulation.
Moderate exercise is proven to help women achieve and maintain their fertile body weight, decrease stress levels, promote good hormonal regulation and increase self-esteem. The key to exercising for fertility is to engage in appropriate “fertility-friendly” activities. For instance, workouts such as yoga can help you get pregnant because they they help, rather than hinder, your fertility.
Beth Heller, fitness expert and founder of the holistic fertility center Pulling Down The Moon, says that high-impact, high intensity exercise like running is not appropriate for women trying to get pregnant. Running places excessive metabolic stress on the body.
“For women trying to conceive, an exercise program should leave them feeling energized and strong, not exhausted,” says Heller.
5 Types of Exercises to Improve Fertility
- Increased Overall Activity: Make measurable and significant increases to your daily activity.
- Moderate-Intensity Cardiovascular Activity: Walking, swimming and leisurely bike riding.
- Resistance Training (Strength Training): Increases lean body mass and thus boosts metabolic rate.
- Yoga / Flexibility: Yoga for fertility – such as Bend, Breathe, and Conceive Fertility Yoga – is proven to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, regulate hormone function, and lower stress. This all helps women get pregnant.
- Relaxation Response Training: This is a new component of exercise that should be treated equally as important as cardio, strength and flexibility; it involves activities such as meditation and guided relaxation.
The right exercises for fertility, such as yoga, can help you get pregnant. For more info, read The Best Way to Get Pregnant.
Another type of “fertility exercise” is meditation. To learn more, read Pregnancy Meditation – How to Meditate and Get Pregnant.
Pulling Down The Moon, which — in conjunction with physicians from the Fertility Centers of Illinois and Shady Grove Fertility — offers Fitness for Fertility seminars and other services for couples coping with infertility.