Pregnancy Excercises

Trying to get pregnant

Being fit and healthy can improve your chances of conceiving

Getting fit before you fall pregnant can boost your overall health and help promote fertility. Being in good shape will also allow your body to best prepare for the physical challenge of labour and birth.
If you’re currently not exercising at all, now is the time to start. The best way to build fitness is to begin with small, regular bouts of exercise. Try walking 20 minutes each day, working your way up to 30 minutes or more. Walk briskly to get your heart pumping and the blood circulating through your body.

Private health insurance
Do you want to be cared for by the public or private health system during the pregnancy and birth? If you plan to have your baby as a private patient, you’ll generally need to be insured for at least 12 months before you become pregnant.

Balance is key
Exercising too much can affect a woman’s ability to conceive. The reason is that too little body fat can disrupt your menstrual cycle. On the other hand, women who are overweight may not be able to fall pregnant, either. Ideally, aim to keep your BMI (body mass index) in the healthy range, between 20 and 25.
If you’re trying to get pregnant and want to determine your best exercise program, talk to your GP.

Stress buster
Another important benefit of exercise is that it helps you to better cope with the stresses that often accompany trying for a baby.
Prolonged stress can affect your chances of falling pregnant as you may ovulate later in your cycle or not at all. So if you’re only having sex around day 14, thinking that’s when you’re most likely to ovulate, you may miss your opportunity to conceive. Exercise relieves stress by releasing ‘happy hormones’ or endorphins which encourage you to relax.

Fit-to-be mum with these activities:

  • Swimming is an ideal form of exercise to adopt if you’re planning to conceive, as it’s a gentle but effective workout which you can easily continue into your pregnancy.
  • The best thing about cycling is that the bike supports your weight, so there is less stress on your body. Cycling on a stationary bike is safer because you have less chance of falling off. Start slowly and do not over-exert yourself.
  • Yoga and pilates are great for building up muscle tone, developing strength and flexibility and for helping you relax. Both also have the advantage that you can later move on to pregnancyspecific courses and exercises.

Workouts for men
Men who are completely inactive are more likely to struggle with fertility. Light gym workouts, walking, swimming and yoga are recommended for men and women – provided the exercise is not excessive. Men should avoid Bikram or ‘hot’ yoga as sperm develops in cool environments and spending time in hot places, like spas and saunas, can hinder the chances of conception. Men should also wear groin protection if playing contact sports.

Love, set, match!
Regular exercise improves energy levels, which can also improve activity in the bedroom. People who are out of shape are often less motivated to have sex as they tend to tire more easily, have a lower sex drive and less stamina than people who are fit.
Exercise, along with a healthy diet and adequate sleep, can boost your libido, as a workout will trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals. A good mood can also enhance our feelings of love and romance – the perfect recipe for baby-making!
Remember, sex itself is also a form of exercise, both aerobic and cardiovascular. It works multiple muscles in your body (especially if you are trying different positions) and keeps you flexible – more reasons to get active in the bedroom.

Energy boosters

  • Stay hydrated by drinking two litres of water per day.
  • Keep your metabolism busy and your blood sugar stable by eating small, healthy snacks between meals.
  • Replace sugary snacks with natural sugar, found in fruit.
  • Fill up on fibre as it will reduce hunger and keep you regular.
  • Tuck into plenty of fresh vitamin-rich vegetables.

Making Babies

Making Babies - Preparing for Pregnancy
Article content written and reproduced from 'Making Babies', published by ACP Magazines, a division of PBL Media Limited