How Exercise and BMI Impact Your Fertility

You may have heard us say it before, but we’ll say it again even louder this time for the ladies in the back! Your eggs take 90 days to mature before they are released during ovulation, which means you’ve got a 90-day golden window of opportunity to boost your egg health.

To increase the probability of healthier eggs, it’s all about living a healthy lifestyle—from sleep to taking a prenatal before trying to conceive. And exercise and maintaining a healthy BMI is also a great part of it. Here’s everything you need to know about the connection between exercise and fertility, including what workouts to choose, how often and how long to exercise before and while you’re trying to conceive, and why BMI matters.

What Workouts Are Best?

A great rule of thumb when you’re trying to conceive is to always keep your workout intensity at a moderate level. This is not a good time to push yourself beyond your limits, nor is it a good time to take up couch surfing. (Don’t you love that expression though? It totally makes binging Netflix sound like a workout!) 

Keeping intensity in mind, you can choose pretty much whatever you love to do! Make modifications whenever you feel you need them. Listen to your body. You want to be challenged, but still able to hold a conversation.

These are some of our favorite workouts that will keep you feeling healthy without worrying about overdoing it:

Yoga Pilates Jogging
Kickboxing Swimming Low-impact cardio

 

How Often Should I Be Working Out?

We recommend 4-5 days a week. It gives you 2-3 rest days during the week to recover from workouts, and it’s an attainable goal.

How Long Should My Workouts Be?

30-45 minutes is plenty. Even 15- or 20-minute workouts are preferable to nothing at all, so if you’re having trouble finding time or are just lacking motivation (been there!), it’s better to just do whatever you can handle. The only thing we’d recommend avoiding is going over an hour. That falls into the “intense” category, and remember, we’re going for moderation! To help get you motivated, here are a few of our favorite pregnancy yoga poses!

What About My BMI?

Because BMI and fertility are connected, it’s a good idea to calculate your BMI before you begin TTC. You can use any online calculator (like this one) to get an idea. Here’s how to interpret your BMI results:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Being underweight is just as detrimental to your fertility (and overall health) as being overweight. If you’re underweight or overweight, don’t stress about it—stress is a factor in fertility, too, so how counterproductive would that be, right? Take this information for what it is: information. Start by asking yourself what changes you could make, if any. Ask your doctor if you need help coming up with a TTC-safe game plan for reaching the normal BMI range. Just as with exercise, we want to avoid any extremes—no crash diets or binge eating, just healthy moderation.

Now, set your goals, make yourself the playlist to end all playlists, and get to it!

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