With the New Year now upon us, many of us are making some new goals for ourselves. A couple that is planning a pregnancy recently shared with me their resolution to be more physically active. As a nurse, one of my passions is to promote the importance of health before pregnancy. This couple reminded me of the many benefits physical activity can bring when planning for that next baby.
In fact, being more physically active will not only improve your overall health, but may improve your fertility and chances of having a healthy pregnancy & baby.
How can being more physically active improve fertility and my chances for a healthy pregnancy?
For starters, being physically active before you get pregnant will help you:
- reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while promoting relaxation
- improve your self-esteem, confidence, overall mental state and sleep
- have more energy
- increase resistance to disease and/or help control any current chronic disease
- maintain a healthy weight
Being a healthy weight may improve chances of conceiving as menstrual cycles are more regular. If you’re underweight, you may experience irregular periods or no periods at all. Being overweight, on the other hand, may be linked to menstrual cycle irregularities, health problems in newborns and difficulties during pregnancy e.g., gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Being a healthy weight has a positive effect on the quality and amount of sperm produced. The good news is – if you’re overweight, the negative effects to sperm may be reversed when a healthy body weight is reached.
Good moderate physical activity includes walking or activities that allow you to sweat a little and breathe a little harder, but allow you to talk while you exercise.
There’s no need to go overboard! According to Canada’s Physical Activity guidelines, adults 18-64 years of age should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week. Check out our activeTO site for great tips on staying active in Toronto.
If you’re planning a pregnancy, comment below to let us know how you’re staying physically active!