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BABY STEPS

Friday, January 06, 2017

Exercising, it has been proven, is good for your mental and physical health. However, you have to be slightly wary when you’re trying to get pregnant. Khevna Pandit speaks to a few doctors to bring you exercises that are safe for those who are trying to conceive

Not too long ago, we told you how moderate exercise helps women who are trying to conceive, since it not only helps you to stay in shape, but also increases fertility and the chances of conception. However, apart from these reasons, exercising is also a great way to feel happy and healthy when you’re trying for a baby. And, if you’re overweight, exercising can also minimise your chances of suffering from PCOS and get you in shape before you decide to take the life changing step. But, what exercises should you opt for, since overdoing it can be harmful or hurt your chances of conceiving? We spoke to fitness trainer Tariq from FITSO and Dr. Anil Patil, sexologist and wellness expert at Vedicure clinic, to bring you a few exercises that are perfect for when you’re trying to have a baby.

Safety concerns
If you’re wondering about how safe it is to exercise, we can assure you that it is... if you choose the right exercises and intensity, of course. “Exercise is a normaliser,” Tariq explains, telling us, “For muscles to work, body systems have to work together in an optimal manner. This means the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, blood, brain and hormones work in tandem for your benefit. As you work out, you take in more oxygen and the improved blood circulation delivers this oxygen to the various organs of your body, including the reproductive organs.” He also tells us that exercise has been proven to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression, each of which is helpful if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Exercises you can use
If you’re trying to get pregnant, you may be confused about which exercise are best. So, we’ve are a few easy exercises that are light enough to try out.

Walking: Perhaps the easiest exercise you can get in order to keep yourself healthy and stay in shape is walking. It does not put a lot of stress on your body and, as Dr. Anil says, “It is very important to reduce stress levels while you’re trying to conceive. You can start walking to freshen up your mind and you don’t need any prior preparation to do it either. Walking is the best and easiest way to stay healthy. It helps to you lose unnecessary weight and keeps unwanted stress at bay.”

Running: Another simple exercise that you can practice is running. “To maintain a healthy menstrual cycle, you should run for at least 30 minutes every day,” says Dr. Anil. “However, overdoing it can be harmful, especially if you are depending on natural ways to get pregnant.”

Cycling: This fun and easy way to work out helps you to lose weight and increase muscle tone. “You can lose weight and make your pregnancy easier with this cardio workout,” says Dr. Anil. “It helps improve muscle tone as well, especially on your thighs, which is very useful during delivery,” he adds.

Swimming: Tariq tells us that swimming is a great way to stay healthy and fit if you’re trying to have a baby. “Considered to be one of the best exercises, swimming helps you to lose weight and improve overall muscle tone. Since it relaxes the body, you can feel the tension and stress leaving you. This is important, especially for all the anxiety you are possibly dealing with as you try to conceive,” he says.

Yoga: Beneficial for both mental and physical health, yoga can also help you to lose weight while keeping you calm and focused. “Yoga helps both your body and mind. Certain postures increase blood circulation in your abdominal region, which helps with the health of your uterus and ovaries,” Tariq explains.

Pilates: Doing Pilates will help if you’re looking to strengthen your core muscles. “No other exercise can stretch your muscles as well as Pilates,” Tariq says, adding, “From increasing muscle tone to weight loss and relaxation, Pilates does it all for you.”

Weight lifting: You can stay fit if you lift weights. However, make sure that you never lift weights that are too heavy for your fitness and skill level. If you have never tried weight lifting before, don’t stress over it. You shouldn’t jump right into deadlifts the instant you are in the weight room. “Lifting weights is recommended for women who are over 35-years-old as it helps to keep osteoporosis at bay,” Tariq tells us. “It can help to create the right muscle tone for increased strength. However, should only consider lifting weights under the supervision of a trainer,” he adds.

Dos and Don’ts
Tariq tells us about a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re trying to conceive. Make sure these are on your check list.

DOs
Go for a pre-natal doctor’s visit: Check out a few obstetricians before you select one that you trust with your care after you conceive. It is recommended that you involve your partner as well, so that both of you know how and what to do before you conceive.

Get your BMI in check: Lose weight if you don’t fall in the ideal BMI bracket for your height. Being overweight will make it more difficult for conception to take place, and increase your wait for a baby.

Check to see when you are ovulating: Ovulation kits are a must-have, and help you check exactly when you are ovulating. Keep a few handy every month.
Get blood tests done: Ascertain that you are in perfect health before you get pregnant. Your ObGyn can help you with this.

Stay active: Don’t compromise on your exercise routine!

Take pre-natal vitamins: Take your pre-natal vitamins. For example, folic acid helps with the healthy growth of your baby and needs to be taken at least three months before you conceive.

Get vaccinated: Get vaccinated against hepatitis, typhoid and the flu before you plan your pregnancy.

Eat healthy: We probably don’t have to tell you that it is crucial to eat healthy food and drink clean (preferably boiled) water to avoid falling sick, especially if you are travelling. This is even more important if you are planning on having a baby.

DON’Ts
Smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs: You need to avoid these completely when you are trying to conceive. If you are a smoker or enjoy an occasional drink, quit both before you even think of having a baby. Not only will it hamper your chances of conception and your health, it will pose a huge risk for your baby’s health.

Get stressed out: This is the time that you and your partner need to relax and feel happy. Any stress hormones will adversely affect your system.

Get involved in risky work: Don’t hurt yourself physically because you need to be at your healthiest when you’re trying to conceive.

Engage in strenuous exercise: Don’t be tempted to do an extra round of exercise. Strenuous activity can affect your body and health negatively, so avoid it at all costs.
 

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