One of my clients is trying to conceive and not having much luck. What types of exercises should be avoided during this period? The article on preconception healthcare by Janette Roberts is very good, but I would like more info on specific exercise prescription.
When considering exercise in the preconception period, there are a few things to consider:
- If new to exercise, then introduction of any exercise schedule should be gradual.
- If a regular exerciser, avoid any activity that could induce over heating or that puts serious stress on the body (marathons, triathlons, prolonged/sustained aerobic).
- It’s important to remember that any activity in which the male partner is involved doesn’t involve tight/hot pants that could compromise sperm health.
- Yoga is a very different form of exercise and may be more suited to the situation. Yoga can induce a profound sense of calm and well being, which could be very helpful in the client who is trying to conceive. It also bestows a number of more readily measured benefits including improved fertility, improved circulation and consequently improved delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to all organs systems including the reproductive organs. Numerous yoga poses are relatively simple and can be relaxed into day by day. There are many good books and DVDs for the beginner, though the client may benefit more from attending a class where an instructor can attend to individual needs, particularly as some poses are unsuitable once pregnancy is achieved. For many individuals, work posture, general postural habits and emotional stresses may cause constriction in the pelvic cavity and lower back. Specific yoga postures can open up this whole area, greatly enhancing circulation. A little practice done every day will be more effective than a longer session once a week. The postures will benefit male as well as female fertility and reproductive health.