Conception-Friendly Exercises to Prepare You for Pregnancy
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“Being a mom is hard work,” people say, which is perhaps one of the biggest understatements of eternity! If you already have children, you know all too well that the tasks of motherhood are no joke. Conception-friendly exercise can help you better prepare for what lies ahead. Because from all-nighters spent feeding your newborn to days spent watching over your child while maintaining your daily routine, it takes a certain level of finesse and fitness to transition into being a mother with ease.
It’s important to make sure you’re healthy before you decide to become a mother, too. It’s time to get bendy, pump that iron and swim hard like you’re trying to find Nemo — because, technically, you kind of are!
If you’re trying to conceive, you want to ensure your body is prepared for the hefty duties that lie ahead. Not sure how to get started? Here’s a look at how conception-friendly exercise can help you on your fitness and fertility journey.
Why Considering an Exercise Plan is Vital
If you’re planning on getting pregnant, you may think that now’s the perfect chance to bust out your expandable yoga pants, load up on your favorite crave-worthy snacks, and claim that most comfortable spot on the coach. After all, a woman who’s about to conceive should prepare herself for the leisurely months ahead — right? Well, not quite.
Feel free to do a combination of vigorous conception-friendly exercises, like intense bicycling, swimming, aerobics, and weight lifting in combination with more moderation activities, such as gardening, leisure walking, light cycling, and dancing.
Your top goal when trying to conceive should be keeping your body in optimal shape while preparing it for the potential life you’re striving to create.
In additional to eating a healthy diet, a daily dose of exercise may just be all it takes to see those highly-anticipated two lines on your next pregnancy test.
Research studies show that women with a BMI over 30 take longer to get pregnant than those who maintain a healthy weight. If your BMI seems to be playing a part in your struggle with pregnancy, renewing your gym membership may just do the trick.
But be careful about going too hard when you’re embarking on a newfound fertility journey. While medical professionals recommend that overweight women engage in regular cardio to lose weight prior to their pregnancy, woman at an average or below-average weight may impair their ability to conceive when overdoing their workouts.
If you regularly engage in strenuous or high levels of daily activity, you may want to consider scaling back your workout plan a bit without stopping your workout routine entirely.
So what exercises are healthy and which workouts can you count on to boost your fertility? Read on below to learn more about the conception-friendly exercises that will maximize your chances of conceiving while preparing your body for your pregnancy journey ahead.
Whether you’re looking for a way to reduce stress before pregnancy or want to strengthen your body for the tasks required of motherhood, no workout beats yoga when it comes to conception-friendly exercise.
Strike that goddess pose often! Move into the warrior pose on the way to do laundry. Maybe use downward dog and bridge pose wisely in the bedroom?
According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga provides you with both physical and mental benefits that promote your body’s ability to self-heal. Few things are quite as disappointing as continuously getting that monthly gift from Mother Nature when you’re trying to conceive. Take the stress out of the process by working to achieve a sense of personal inner peace.
Did you know there are yoga poses for ovulation, too? There are many different poses specially crafted to help you find hormonal balance, increase your blood flow to the uterus, improve your uterus functioning and more!
Let me just start by saying all bodies are beautiful — no body shame or judgement here! However, if your BMI is higher than average and you want to conceive, it can be a smart choice to start engaging in cardio-based exercises to help your body achieve a healthier weight.
Not only does being overweight stimulate potential complications during pregnancy, but it also impacts your chances of conceiving with success, too.
So, turn to cardio to boost your heart rate and normalize your blood pressure with success. If the idea of sweat dripping down your forehead doesn’t seem too appealing, don’t worry. Just a few minutes of giving it your all on a bike or the treadmill can be all it takes to achieve progress.
If you’re already in shape and are wondering how to be fit during pregnancy — or right before — walking is one of the easiest ways to maintain your health.
A brisk walk is a wonderful way to take in the scenery while maintaining a healthy weight. Not only does lacing up your favorite pair of walking shoes give you the perfect excuse to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also a low-impact way to keep your body strong and in-shape.
Did you know that walking is also an effective way to minimalize your chances of contracting medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes? As a future mom, you want to guarantee you’re up for the job at hand. When you reduce your chances of becoming ill, you’re in a better position to take care of your children one day, too.
If you’re already dreading the idea of working out, you’ll be happy to know that getting your heart pumping doesn’t always require a trip to the gym. In fact, one of the most enjoyable forms of conception-friendly exercise may just involve taking a dip in your local pool.
Swimming and water aerobics allow you to exercise for longer intervals than you would be able to on land. You’ll experience less joint and muscle pain — a definite plus when in the process of trying to conceive.
Whether you decide to swim a few laps around the pool or choose to do some kickboard moves in the deep end, you can make preparing your body for motherhood both fun and easy. When those little swimmers find the egg, your swimming routine will make sure your body is strong and stress-free for pregnancy!
Weight training before pregnancy is an excellent way to keep your body in top shape before you become a mother. After all, you don’t want to feel out of breath every time you have to pick your baby up — an act you’re likely to find yourself doing continuously throughout the day.
Not only does moderate weight training give you a sense of empowerment and independence, but the added muscle it produces also helps you maintain your strength over time as well. According to health studies, adults tend to lose roughly 3-8% muscle mass each decade after they turn 30. But you can fight that with weight training — your mom bod’s going to be fierce!
While building your muscle is a great way to ensure better strength during motherhood, use caution with weight training before and during pregnancy. Limit yourself to lifting roughly 30 pounds of weight if you’re trying to conceive or are currently pregnant, as your body needs the right blood flow to provide nutrients for your baby. That’s like lifting three big babies, anyway, and it’s best to start with one tiny human. Pace yourself, mama!
Does Exercise Increase Fertility?
Before you embark on your new fitness journey, you’re likely to have a few questions. Does exercise increase my fertility? Is it even OK to exercise while trying to conceive? And does exercise affect implantation at all?
Not sure which exercises are best suited for you? Because every woman is different, it’s best to consult with a physician about your prospective workout plan before you hit the gym.
Generally, the conception-friendly exercises outlined above will serve as an excellent starting point for any woman looking to engage in a healthy level of pre-pregnancy activity.
If you find that your exercise routine plays a vital role in your ability to manage stress, sticking with your daily workouts plays an even greater role in your ability to conceive. Since exercise can help you manage both your mental and physical health, mild to moderate exercise is helpful for any woman wishing to maximize her fertility.
Conception-Friendly Exercise Should Not Be Too Strenuous
Strenuous exercises can actually put a serious damper on your future pregnancy plans. Watch out for workout plans that seem like conception-friendly exercise, when in fact, they are doing more harm than good. It’s best to always consult with a doctor before kick-starting an exercise plan when trying to conceive. And just because the doc gives you the A-Okay doesn’t mean you have to try to keep up with Road Runner. In fact, research studies show that excessive exercise may be the culprit behind dysfunctional hormones in some women, so it’s best never to do more activity than what your body can handle.
While there aren’t a specific set of exercises to avoid before or during pregnancy, pay attention to your body’s ability to respond to particular activities. If you feel weakness, shortness of breath or general discomfort while undergoing any exercise regime, remember not to push yourself too hard in an attempt to conceive (it’s not like you won’t be doing some pushing later…).
When you decide to make exercise a priority, you significantly increase your chances of enjoying a healthier, easier and more successful pregnancy. You may want to be fertile, but being fit is just as important, too!
What Are the Signs of Successful Implantation, Anyway?
So you’ve dusted off your bicycle that’s been hiding in the garage for the past two years. You may have even invested in a comfy pair of walking shoes that will help you push through your daily morning strolls.
After a few weeks of engaging in these conception-friendly exercises, you find yourself fixating on one very crucial question — how will I know when my efforts are successful?
If you’re anxious to find out whether or not you’ve successfully conceived, look to the telltale signs that indicate you’re experiencing implantation or early pregnancy symptoms.
If you are pregnant, you can rejoice! Stick with a mild exercise plan under the supervision of a trained medical professional to prepare your body — and your baby — for the journey ahead. But if you’re not pregnant yet, don’t worry.
Begin your conception-friendly exercise routine today to enjoy a strengthened mind and body that prepares you for the future of motherhood that waits ahead. You’re going to be fit, fertile and fine!
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