Topic: Why You Should Get In Shape Before You Get Pregnant
Moderate exercise before pregnancy is associated with many positive outcomes for mom and baby, including boosted fertility, less pain while pregnant and lower weight gains during pregnancy. And women whose weight is in a healthy range before pregnancy help lower the risk of serious complications for their babies, such as neural-tube and heart defects.
Among women with underlying medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)—the most common cause of infertility—an exercise routine and healthy diet can boost fertility.
Having an exercise routine before pregnancy may help keep your pregnancy weight gain in check, too: A 2010 study found that women who were physically active before getting pregnant gained less weight than women who were not.
Getting in shape before getting pregnant, explains OB-GYN Dr. Shannon M. Clark, founder of the site Babies After 35, “will decrease the risk of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy, and all the potential complications associated with these diseases, in addition to avoiding potential complications during labor and delivery associated with being overweight. Seeing a nutritionist is ideal and can be very helpful.”
All in moderation
Vigorous exercise (such as daily workouts to the point of exhaustion) might actually make some women less fertile, one study found. The good news? The negative impact on fertility seems to last only as long as the workouts, with fertility returning when workouts because more moderate.
- Working out with a purpose! The boost of motivation you get knowing that you’re getting in shape for baby is invaluable.
- Setting a workout routine before you get pregnant. It makes it easier to stay moving as your belly starts to grow!
- A reason to buy new workout clothes.
The experts say
Women should note their body mass index (BMI) in evaluating their pre-conception fitness: A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. You can calculate your BMI on an online calculator. But BMI isn’t everything, so talk to your doctor about what a healthy weight range looks like for you.
Topic Discussed: Why You Should Get In Shape Before You Get Pregnant
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