Irrespective of whether or not you are trying to get pregnant, exercise is good for your overall health and this is likely to impact on your fertility and here’s how:
It produces endorphins
Mood-boosting endorphins - biochemical compounds - are produced by the pituitary gland in response to aerobic exercise. If you exercise regularly you will notice you will feel energised and optimistic after a good work-out. This improves your chances of getting pregnant as you will have more energy for sex.
It relieves stress
When endorphins are racing around your bloodstream after exercise, they lower stress levels and give you a sense of elation. The more this happens regularly, the more your stress will be reduced on a permanent basis - which is great for your fertility.
It helps digestion
The fact that you are moving around more when you exercise, significantly reduces digestive problems such as constipation, and the bloating and poor digestion that can accompany a sluggish intestine.
It controls blood sugar
Exercise helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, because insulin secretion (from the pancreas) is more effective during bouts of physical activity.
It is good for your blood flow
Exercise increases lung capacity and builds up heart muscle, as well as other muscles, enabling blood to be pumped round the body more effectively. As a result, every part of your body is well supplied with nutrients and oxygen in the blood, and uses them more efficiently. Exercise does not put a strain on your body’s systems. It makes them work better and more easily, and thus increases your overall health and fertility.
It is good for your weight management
By doing anaerobic exercise, you use your muscles and raise your heart rate. This will burn calories and help control weight. Don't fall into the trap of upping your food intake at the same time though! Maintain your usual food intake, or reduce it slightly, and you should see weight loss. This is a wonderful way of avoiding yo-yo dieting, as your weight loss is more likely to be permanent and your health improved on a long-term basis.
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It helps your immune system
Moderate exercise has been shown to improve the positive immune system response and to boost the production of cells that attack bacteria. As a result, regular exercise can lead to substantial benefits in the immune system’s wellbeing. However, excessive, intense exercise can have the opposite effect because the body then produces excessive amounts of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline which raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and suppress the immune system.
For more information on how to improve you and your partner's fertility log onto zitawest.com.
Plan to get pregnant - 10 steps to maximise fertility by Zita West, published by DK, £14.99.