Dec 27, 2019

Fitness for Fertility

Fertility continues to be a growing area of interest in issues of reproductive health. Thankfully, there continues to be an increasing number of health professionals with knowledge, awareness and services aimed at assisting those facing fertility challenges.

An alternative that is perhaps not as well known is fitness for fertility, which is focused mainly on releasing tension in over-used muscles, improving body alignment to optimize core function and ditching the high-intensity bootcamp workouts in favour of gentler movement that facilitates, rather than hinders conception. 

Take It Down A Notch

Much of the exercise that women pursue these days is high intensity, vigorous exercise that can interfere with optimal reproductive function. This high-intensity exercise can elevate cortisol levels and also halt ovulation and menstruation, all of which can therefore interfere with fertility.  

Choosing less rigorous activities such as swimming, walking, pilates and yoga may help increase the chances of getting pregnant.  This is not to say that vigorous exercise is bad, but if you are struggling with your own fertility and do participate in high-intensity exercise, choosing less intense activities may be an option for you.

Connect With Your Core

The pelvis is an area of the body that is not often thought about, unless there is a problem.  Many women hold a lot of emotion and stress in the pelvis.  Releasing tension in the 2nd chakra (located just below the navel) can help free the pelvis for conception.

Core breathing is a great exercise to try, as well as yoga poses like pigeon pose, butterfly, leg up the wall and wide leg child’s pose.  These all create space, release tension and allow the creativity and fertility of the 2nd chakra to flow.

Mind-Body Movement

Resistance training is great and women should make it part of their fitness regime.  By incorporating core breathing into resistance training, you can turn almost any move into an inner core exercise and really connect with working your body from the inside out.  

Let’s look at a dumbbell bicep curl:

  • Inhale to prepare while visualizing space and freedom in the pelvis
  • Exhale to engage and lift the pelvic floor, while visualizing strength and stability in your core
  • Now, curl your dumbbell up to your shoulder while continuing to exhale.
  • Inhale to lower the dumbbell back down while letting the pelvic floor release and soften.   

Fitness is not always thought of when it comes to fertility but sometimes small changes in your current workout regime can help foster and boost your ability to get pregnant.

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