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Fertility Exercise with Footsteps To Fertility Centre

Exercise is pivotal to preconception health, and helping your body become fit and healthy before conception is of utmost importance—both in the aspect of fertility and also in the ability to carry a pregnancy without the constant struggles or feeling worn out and sore.

Taking just a bit of time each day will go a long way in helping your body support ovulation, conception, and pregnancy. It also lowers the  risk of having complications.

It is best to start pregnancy at a healthy weight for your height. If you want to gain or lose weight, do it before you conceive. A weight-loss diet during pregnancy deprives you and your baby of essential nutrients you both need.

At Footsteps To Fertility Centre located  in Nairobi, Kenya, we are honored to have helped thousands of couples and single mothers receive the gift of parenthood and being given the opportunity to guide them through their difficult period of infertility.

We take you through the journey of achieving the optimum weight for a successful pregnancy. Weight loss may improve fertility and pregnancy outcome.

Feel free to contact us, chat with us  or directly reserve an appointment below. We are more than happy to walk with you through your journey

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General Benefits of Exercising

Exercise has many benefits that include increasing energy levels, improvement of general mood, self-confidence and posture. Regular exercise may also improve sleep disorders, bloating, constipation and headaches.

In the long run, the risks of having cardiovascular disease and diabetes decrease significantly.

Exercise also has a substantial impact on the management of stress, which is common in women trying to conceive. Stress results in the release of cortisol and catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) that result in constriction of blood vessels, increase in sugar levels, metabolic rate, pulse and blood pressure.

Regular physical activity can lessen such deleterious effects by releasing endorphins, improving circulation, blocking the release of excessive cortisol and catecholamines.

Overall, blood flow is increased to the uterus and the ovaries, resulting in better egg quality and embryo implantation.

Different amounts of physical activity can influence fertility and pregnancy outcome. Excessive or lack of exercise may result in decreased fertility by negatively impacting ovulation, menstrual cycles as well as egg and sperm quality.

Having a low or high Body Mass Index (BMI) can affect sperm concentration and count. Eating healthy and maintaining a healthy BMI is important. If you’re overweight, try to reduce the weight as obesity may be linked with infertility.

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Exercise and Conception

Women who exercise excessively may have ovulation dysfunction, low estrogen levels and possibly bone loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis). Low body mass index (BMI) is associated with oligomenorrhea (irregular ovulation) or amenorrhea (lack of ovulation and periods).

Conversely, lack of exercise and being overweight or obese may also impact ovulation and egg quality.

If you are currently sedentary it is advisable to increase your overall activity. This allows your body to work out in a gentle way, causing no shock to it.

You can begin increasing overall activity by simply walking just a little bit further, going on hikes with your spouse or friends, riding bikes, parking a bit further from the stores, using the stairs instead of the elevator among others. Have fun and simply find more ways to move each day and spend less time at the computer or on the couch.

Types of exercises for conception

  • Moderate cardio such as jogging, walking and aerobics.

  • Strength training allows your body to increase muscle mass thereby supporting your reproductive organs and increasing stamina and strength. Muscle also helps to reduce insulin resistance for both men and women. It also increases testosterone levels in men

  • Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that helps to strengthen your core muscles and increase blood flow. Also very relaxing and great for slowing down and de-stressing.

  • Stretching, flexibility and alignment. Stretching  allows your body to better mold itself during pregnancy and assists in labor and delivery.

How does exercise prevent conception?

When our bodies are overworked, overstressed, or constantly moving, they go into a type of physical fight or flight mode. This in turn can impact our natural fertility, as our bodies get the message that it may not be able to support and nourish another little being.

Over-exercise affects both men and women alike. When we stress our bodies and constantly push them ‘to the brink’, our stress hormones (like adrenaline) are activated, sending a cascade of effects that can then inhibit production of the reproductive organs.

In men, extreme workouts such as especially prolonged cardio cause the internal body temperature to rise too high, thus killing off sperm and leading to low sperm counts. This can be especially harmful during workouts where the man sits; rowing or biking.

In women, it can also cause an unnatural loss of body fat. This super lean body type, disrupts the production of estrogen— up to 30% of the body’s estrogen is produced in fat cells. Women with less than 10-15% body fat often fail to ovulate.

Exercising during Pregnancy

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Women should be encouraged to exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle along with a balanced diet when trying to conceive and also during the pregnancy.

Pregnancy is not a good time to start exercising vigorously if one has never exercised before.

Exercise should be started before the pregnancy and continued in moderation throughout the pregnancy and the postpartum period. While exercising, it is recommended to keep hydrated and avoid overheating in the first trimester.

It’s important to avoid trauma during pregnancy that may be more prevalent in sports such as: basketball, soccer, horse riding and racquet sports. These types of activities are acceptable prior to the pregnancy as they can increase the heart rate, cardiac output and improve fertility outcome.

Walking, cycling, fitness training with light weights, swimming and yoga are acceptable types of exercise prior to and during the pregnancy.

Running is also an excellent way to stimulate fertility by reducing the stress level and improving circulation, but excessive running results in ovulation problems.

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