Parenting · Pregnancy

Why be physically active if planning a pregnancy?

Young couple walking with dog in a snowy forest

Is this the year that you’ve decided to have a baby?  If you’ve answered “Yes!” then it’s a good idea to start planning now to ensure that you and your partner are as healthy as possible.

Moderate exercise may help to improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy & baby.

To get started, think about whether you’re getting enough physical activity.  Too often, I hear how busy work and life is and exercise is next to impossible.  I’m not referring to excessive daily workouts because too much exercise may have the opposite affect and may reduce your fertility.    Instead, getting moderate physical activity is a great place to begin.  This means walking or other exercise that makes you breathe a little harder, aiming for 150 minutes a week in bouts of 10 minutes at a time.

Why is physical activity so important?

  • It helps to control your weight. Being overweight or underweight can affect your hormones that regulate menstrual cycles and the amount and quality of healthy sperm.
  • It helps reduce stress & anxiety. High stress levels can affect your fertility.
  • It helps improve your sleep. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
  • It provides energy that will help prepare your body for the work of labour and birth.
  • It may help to control various medical conditions that can affect your pregnancy such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • It can be fun to get out and meet new people. It can also be a way to spend quality time with your partner.

Even if you’re not planning to have a baby right now, it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle! 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! 

Questions or concerns about your fertility or planning a pregnancy?

  • Consult with your health care provider
  • Connect with a Public Health Nurse via eChat or call (416) 338-7600
  • Consult with a Sexual Health InfoLine counsellor

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