Best Exercises for Fertility

Submitted by Jenifer on January 17, 2013

Exercise is recommended for overall mental and physical well being. But is there a connection between exercise and infertility? The answer to that is yes. Regular exercise may not be able to treat infertility but can be used to compliment infertility treatments. Obesity has been known to play a role in miscarriages as well as in its ability to impair the prognosis of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It can also be the cause of erectile dysfunction in men, and low testosterone levels.

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Regular exercising and a healthy diet can help you work towards maintaining a healthy body weight. Apart from this, exercising is also a great way to relieve stress. Infertility treatments can be both physically as well as emotionally distressing, and exercising helps as it releases endorphins, which make for great stress-coping mechanisms.


There are various forms of exercises that can help.

Cardio Exercises

Cardio exercises are a great way to reduce and burn fat. It includes walking, jogging, biking, swimming, aerobics, or any other activity that maintains your heart rate at a sustainable level. It is also a great way to release stress. Brisk walking for around 30 minutes a day along with healthy eating habits can be effective to reduce fat and stress.

Strenuous exercising though has been proved by studies to have a negative impact on fertility attempts. For the past one to nine years, 40% of women who reported to work out four or more hours a week, are less likely to have a live birth from IVF as well as twice as likely to have implantation failure or a miscarriage.

Yoga

Yoga is known to work on healing and maintaining good health on physical, mental and spiritual levels. Stress can be a huge factor in infertility, the emotional ups and downs combined with the physical commitment in infertility treatments can leave a person distressed and anxious. Yoga can help with dealing with physical as well as mental stress. Certain postures in yoga assist in stimulating the reproductive organs, and to reduce stress by balancing emotions and hormones, making the body more favorable for pregnancy. Yoga instructors will advice less strenuous exercises for couples trying to conceive.

There are a few forms of yoga to treat infertility, these are:

Hatha yoga – this is a gentler form of yoga that includes deep breathing, meditation, and less complex and strenuous postures.

Kripalu yoga – this form of yoga again is extremely gentle in its approach and methodology. It’s easy to do postures aims to increase awareness of the body, mind and spirit.

Couples yoga – in this form of yoga, postures are performed with the help of partners. It works to help couples connect on spiritual level while focusing on communication and interconnectivity.

Strength Training

There have been a few studies conducted to show a connection between decreased bone density and infertility in women. Vigorous exercising can cause the body to suppress the reproductive organs centrally which can affect their chance of getting pregnant. This suppression in turn causes loss of bone density, amongst other symptoms. Strength training helps to increase bone density, control weight, boosts stamina, and sharpens focus. A few forms of low resistance strength training exercises are:

  • Resistance tubing – exercises are performed using resistance tubes. These tubes are lightweight, inexpensive and provide the right amount of resistance required to build strength.
  • Body weight – these exercises are conducted with little or no equipment. You can do leg squats, push-ups, pulls ups and abdomen crunches.
  • Weight machines – weight machines are normally available in most fitness centers. Speak to your fitness instructor for the use of the right amount of weight for strength training.
  • Free weights – dumbbells and barbells are available in different sizes and weight. Ask your fitness instructor to guide you for the right quantity of weight that you should use.

Relaxation techniques

Stress due to any reason can impair the body from functioning normally, and more so when dealing with infertility. It is important to find a way to relieve stress and tension for your body and mind work in conjunction. Some recommended methods are:

  • Meditation
  • Relaxing with your pet
  • Therapeutic massages
  • A stress-free holiday
  • Laughter therapy
  • Expressive therapy
  • Art therapy

Please consult your doctor before trying out any form of exercise or diet if you are undergoing any fertility treatments.

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