If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, it is highly advised to be active by doing regular moderate exercise. It not only will help you to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth but also can reduce your risk of having problems in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, which means high-blood pressure disorder that can occur in pregnant women. So for all females out there, who are wondering if exercise should be done or not during pregnancy trials, here’s a physiotherapist answering all your queries.
Can I exercise if I am trying to conceive?
Yes, a woman must exercise in order to increase the chances of conception. Regular and moderate exercise along with 30-40 minutes of walking is recommended for a couple to increase their chances of conception. Most women do not exercise while planning pregnancy as they have a misconception that exercise may hamper their fertilization process.
On the contrary, there is enough evidence to prove that exercise increases the chances of conception by helping the patient in maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index, increases circulation and flexibility, and helps in regulating hormones. Moderate exercises are suggested for couples in comparison to high intensity workouts. However, if a couple is already performing a high intensity workout in the past, they can continue with the similar exercises.
Should someone with PCOS, trying for conception, exercise?
Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) puts women at extra risk of hormonal imbalance. In PCOS, women often have high levels of LH (Luteinizing hormone) secretion, which leads to increased levels of testosterone. This, in turn, leads to low follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which hampers the egg production and causes incapacity to ovulate. Performing specific exercises will help in increasing the levels of estrogen and progesterone, thus regulating the hormones.
What kind of exercises should one perform?
Walking as an exercise is an excellent form to start with. In fact, walking on an everyday basis for 30-40 minutes is suggested as it helps in optimizing blood pressure and keeps blood glucose levels under moderation. Performing basic breathing exercises, too, not only helps in increasing the lung capacity, but also brings calmness and helps boost mental health.
Basic stretching exercises, starting from neck to toe, must be done as a warm up exercise, prerequisite to the main workout. Main workout can be body weight workout, strengthening exercises with/without weight focusing on different muscle groups, any preferred sports workout, yoga, Pilates, or tai chi.
Also, read: 5 signs of a high-risk pregnancy every mom-to-be must know
Precautions to be taken
Twisting, turning, inversions, extreme jumping and body contact sports like football, rugby, horse riding can be avoided while trying for conception. Any exercises that can cause trauma to the abdominal region, like boxing, wrestling and aerial yoga, should also be ignored.
In fact, for the couple anticipating pregnancy, exercises definitely come as a stress buster and must be performed at least 5 times a week for 40-45 minutes time intervals under guidance. Along with exercises, one must maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating healthy, reducing consumption of caffeine, alcoholic beverages and smoking.