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Can too much exercise make it harder to get pregnant?

Keep your exercise routine going without hurting your fertility.

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@criene/Twenty20

If you're trying to get pregnant, you probably know that it's important to keep track of your cycle and know when you ovulate. It's also no secret that being healthy and active plays a crucial part in boosting your fertility, but did you know that too much exercise can actually lower your chances of conceiving?

If you enjoy exercise and are trying to conceive, you don't necessarily have to stop. Above all, talk to your doctor about what makes the most sense for your body.

Here are five tips to keep your exercise routine going without hurting your fertility:

1. Watch for anemia.

Blood is the essential substance of pregnancy, and as a woman, you use lots of the stuff—especially if you exercise. Your muscles are fed by blood, and heavy exercise routines can deplete your body and leave you feeling exhausted. This, in turn, can result in poor egg health, which can then inhibit pregnancy.

So watch out for symptoms of anemia:

  • Headache
  • Dizzyness
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast heart rate
  • Cold limbs

Talk to your provider if you are concerned, and ask about the possibility of testing and taking iron supplements.


2. Limit your workouts to one hour or less.

Workouts should leave you feeling energized, not exhausted. If you work out for too long, your body may end up going into a fight or flight mode that can then activate stress hormones and cause imbalances in your sex hormones. This can make it more difficult to conceive. Thankfully, there's an easy fix: keep a little energy to yourself instead of leaving it all on the gym or yoga floor. If you feel your body overworking while exercising, take a break and try again a little later.

3. Maintain a healthy weight.

Weighing too much can cause hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation. So if you are overweight and are planning to get pregnant, you can up your chances by committing to a healthy eating and regular exercise plan. That said, being underweight and not having enough fat cells can also contribute to infertility by hindering your body's ability to produce estrogen—which is a hormone that is essential for ovulation.

Regular weight fluctuations aside, try to keep a balanced weight by following a diet full of foods that are healthy and that you love. To figure out what your ideal, 'normal' weight is and help you maintaining it, you can refer to your body mass index and make sure it falls within what's considered normal (18.5 and 24.9).

4. Favor moderate workouts.

Heavy weights have an impact on the endocrine system and can influence the hormones responsible for a healthy menstrual cycle. So if you are trying to conceive and want to keep a regular cycle, keep your workouts to moderate levels, especially if they are high in intensity. you may want to take things slow and keep things light.

5. Run with moderation.

Most fertility doctors recommend low impact cardiovascular exercise, like that of an elliptical machine. But running is actually a great way to stay in shape and prepare your body for pregnancy, and there's really no reason to stop running if you already do (as long as your provider as given you the green light, of course). That said, if you've tried to get pregnant for a while or are experiencing irregular menstrual cycles—two indications that your running habits may be disrupting your endocrine system—your provider may recommend that you cut back.

Don't worry, though. Cutting back just a few miles, paired with eating more healthy fats, can go a long way in jump starting your cycle. Further, if you find yourself feeling tired during a run, walking is another great way to stay energized and prepare your body for the beautiful journey ahead.

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    An expectant mama's to-do list can feel endless… but here's the good news: A lot of those tasks are actually really exciting. Planning your baby registry is especially thrilling: You get a say in what gifts friends and family members will buy for your new addition!

    But it can also feel a bit overwhelming to make sense of all the gear on the market. That's why we suggest mentally dividing your registry into two categories: items you need to prepare for your baby's arrival and items that sure would be nice to have.

    Here at Motherly, our editors have dozens of kids and years of parenting experience among us, so we know our way around the essentials. We also know how mama-friendly the registry-building experience is with Target, especially thanks to their recently upgraded registry and introduction of Year of Benefits. Just by creating your baby registry with Target, you'll snag a kit with $120 in discounts and samples. The savings keep coming: You'll also get two 15% off coupons to buy unpurchased items from your registry for up to a year after your baby's expected arrival. Change your mind about anything? The Year of Benefits allows for returns or exchanges for a full year. And as of August 2020, those who also sign up for Target Circle when creating a baby registry will also get the retailer's Year of Exclusive Deals, which includes ongoing discounts on baby essentials for a full year.

    Here are 10 items we agree deserve a spot in the "need" category on your registry, mama.


    A crib to grow with your baby

    Delta Children Farmhouse 6-in-1 Convertible Crib

    First-time mamas are likely creating nursery spaces for the first time, and that can get expensive. Adding a quality crib to Target registry gives friends and family members the option to join forces to make a large purchase through group gifting.

    $269.99

    A safe + convenient car seat

    Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat

    The list of non-negotiable baby essentials is pretty short, but it definitely includes a car seat. In fact, most hospitals will not allow you to leave after delivery until a car seat check is performed. We recommend an infant seat, which can easily snap into a base in your car.

    $99.99

    A traveling nursery station

    Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

    It's hard to beat a good playard when it comes to longevity. This item can be baby's sleeping place when they're sharing a room with you for the first months. Down the line, it can function as a roving diaper change station. And when you travel, it makes a great safe space for your little one to sleep and play.

    $99.99

    A swing for some backup help

    4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

    A dependable swing can be a real lifesaver for new parents when they need their hands free (or just a minute to themselves). Because many babies are opinionated about these things, we appreciate that the mamaRoo has multiple modes of motion and soothing sounds.

    $219.99

    An easy-to-clean high chair

    Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

    Our best registry advice? Think ahead. It really won't be long before your child is ready for those first bites of solid food, at which point you'll need a high chair. We like one that transitions to a booster seat atop an existing dining room chair.

    $99.99

    A diaper bag to share

    Eddie Bauer Backpack - Gray/Tan

    When you're a mom, you're usually toting diapers, wipes, clothing changes, bottles, snacks, toys and more. You need a great bag to stash it all, and if you're anything like us, you'll choose a backpack style for comfort and functionality. Bonus: This gender neutral option can easily be passed off to your partner.

    $64.99

    A hygienic spot for all those diaper changes

    Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pad 16X31"

    We can confidently predict there will be a lot of diaper changes in your future. Do yourself a favor by registering for two comfortable, wipeable changing pads: one to keep in the nursery and another to stash elsewhere in your house.

    $29.99

    A way to keep an eye on your baby at night

    Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor DXR-8

    Feeling peace of mind while your baby sleeps in another room truly is priceless.That's why we advocate for a quality video monitor that will allow you to keep tabs on your snoozing sweetheart.

    $165.99

    A comfortable carrier to free up your hands

    Petunia Pickle Bottom for Moby Wrap Baby Carrier, Strolling in Salvador

    A wrap carrier may be about as low-tech as baby items come, but trust us, this product stands the test of time. Great for use around the house or while running errands, this is one item you'll appreciate so much.

    $39.99

    A full set of bottles + cleaning supplies

    Dr. Brown's Options+ Complete Baby Bottle Gift Set

    Whether you plan to work in an office or stay at home, breastfeed or formula feed, bottles are a valuable tool. To make your life as simple as possible, it's nice to have an easy-to-clean set that is designed to work through the first year.

    $39.99

    Target's baby registry is easy to create from the comfort of your own home. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with the Year of Benefits featuring exclusive deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

    This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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