Exercise Makes You Healthier AND Helps You Get Pregnant!
We all know exercise has many benefits – from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to decreasing risk of heart attack and stroke. But exercise also helps regulate insulin levels, which can have profound implications not just when it comes to obesity and diabetes, but also when it comes to getting pregnant!
According to a recent study from the University of North Carolina, women who are most active before fertility treatment (IVF) are also three times more likely to conceive versus women who were less physically active. There are several theories about why this would be, including the fact that exercise demands that all organs in the body work together, helps reduce anxiety, and improves sleep and overall well being.
But perhaps most importantly, exercise keeps insulin levels low and stable. This is key, as high levels of insulin are considered harmful to developing eggs.
Although the survey was specific to a sample of 108 women that were all undergoing IVF treatments, the findings can also apply to women who are trying to conceive naturally. And a second new study reinforces the importance of exercise as a means of insulin control and prevention of diabetes.
So how much exercise is just enough? Research shows walking three times daily for 15 minutes after each meal is as beneficial at keeping glucose levels down as is one 45-minute workout in either the morning or evening. Further, the three separate walks did more to lower and control blood glucose levels than one long walk in either the morning or evening.
Additionally, the America Heart Association states that 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week will cut mortality, especially from heart and blood vessel disease, by more than half. That’s great, particularly since heart disease is still the number one killer of women. The American Cancer Society agrees with these guidelines: 150 minutes per week minimum of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. (Note: moderate exercise, particularly if you are undergoing fertility treatments, is most desirable.)
So GET MOVING—all it takes is a walk with your friend, significant other, or even pet. Even moderate activity can help you not only get in shape, but also get pregnant!