It is indeed possible to can get too much of a good thing. If you’re trying to conceive, take a look at how your exercise routine may be impacting your body.
When it comes to exercise and fertility, finding the sweet spot is key. Think of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Too much or too little exercise can hamper attempts to get pregnant, but there’s an amount that’s just right.
With all the ‘fitspiration’ on social media and TV, it’s easy to believe that you have to go hard at the gym to benefit from exercise. But the truth is, non-stop, high-intensity exercise can harm rather than help your body.
A stressed, overworked, and depleted body is not a healthy body, let alone a fertile body.
Researchers have looked at how lifestyle and physical activity affects fertility. Often, their findings suggest vigorous activity negatively impacts a woman’s ability to conceive and stay pregnant. It appears the longer and more frequent vigorous sessions are, the more profound the negative impact can be on time-to-pregnancy and the outcome of in vitro fertilization. Conversely, moderate activity seems to have a beneficial effect.
So, just how much is too much? First, let’s define what ‘vigorous’ means. The simplest way to figure out if you are exercising vigorously is to do the talk test. Can you talk while doing the activity? If you can, it’s probably moderate. Can’t say more than a few words without a great deal of effort or needing to pause to catch your breath? Then you’re probably working at a vigorous level.
The amount of exercise that’s considered to be too much will be different for every body, but if our bodies are telling us we have crossed the line, we’d be wise to listen. Here are 5 signs you might be overdoing it:
- You’re constantly exhausted even when you get enough sleep.
- You are experiencing back-to-back injuries, or injuries that never seem to heal completely.
- The sniffles are your constant companion. Are you getting sick more often than usual?
- There are changes and irregularities in your menstrual cycle.
- Your muscles are extremely sore, all the time.
If you’re experiencing any of these, your body may be trying to tell you to pull back on the intensity of your workouts. Consider taking a breather and talk to your medical provider about how you’ve been feeling.
You can avoid overdoing it from the start by scheduling rest into your workout schedule while also incorporating more low-impact, restorative exercises like tai-chi, yin yoga, and meditative walks into your plan. If you’re new to exercise or coming back after a hiatus, ease into it.
Remember, you can have too much of a good thing. Learning to listen to and honor your body’s needs is one of the best things you can do for your health and fertility.
Adapted from the original article.
Kendra Tolbert, MS, RDN, CDN, CLC is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified lactation counselor, and certified aromatherapist based in New York. Through her private practice, she helps women and couples prepare for pregnancy and enjoy healthier, happier pregnancies. Learn more about Kendra at Live Fertile.