Heavy Exercise Can Hinder Pregnancy

Working out is a good thing, right? But research has found out too much can interfere with conceiving a pregnancy if you're of normal weight. Read on to find out more.

Woman with pregnancy test

When you're trying to get pregnant, you want everything to go right. You get a medical checkup, you eat well, you exercise and you take your prenatal vitamins. But wait! You might not know that while you should keep your workouts going, you may need to avoid hardcore exercise if you are of a healthy weight. Studies have shown vigorous exercise habits, such as intense cycling, running, gymnastics and aerobics lengthen the time it takes to match sperm with egg. Not good!

Too much of a good thing?

Moderate exercise (such as brisk walking, leisurely cycling or gardening) bumped up fertility rates in all women, but strenuous workouts had the opposite effect among those of a normal weight with a BMI under 25. The reasons are unclear, and the studies, which were conducted by both American and Danish researchers on thousands of Danish women, didn't address the causes of the phenomenon, but female hormones depend on a delicate balance in your body to pull off ovulation every 28 (or so) days, not to mention conception and maintaining a pregnancy.

Overweight or obese women were the exception to this rule. Researchers found their fertility rates did not decrease the more vigorous their exercise routine became, which may be because the exercise helped combat the negative effects on fertility that being overweight can cause.

Food for thought

If you are currently trying to conceive, take note of your physical activity. If you jog, run, bicycle or do hardcore aerobics, you might consider taking your exercise routine down a notch.

Ask your caregiver before you start any exercise program, but strive for 30 minutes a day of light to moderate exercise. Take a walk around your neighborhood, engage in housework, spend an afternoon in your garden, play a round of golf or take your bike for a leisurely ride.

More on getting pregnant

10 Fertility-boosting tricks to get pregnant
Pregnancy tests: Home tests vs. blood tests
5 Surprising signs of pregnancy


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