Fitness & Nutrition to Increase Your Odds at Conception
Congratulations on your decision to try and conceive. This is no doubt an exciting time for you and your partner, filled with emotional ups and downs and anticipation of having a family to call your own. Before pregnancy, most women don’t think about everything they do or eat as it relates to another person. Boy, how that changes when you are planning a baby, pregnant, and raising children. Suddenly your every move and bite has the capacity to impact someone else’s life. Call it the threshold of motherhood – but pre-conception time is an important time to take control of your health.
Millions of people, well-meaning friends, articles, and websites (just like this one), along with your doctor will all have tons of advice about the best way to stay in shape and eat right. Not only will a healthy body increase your odds at conception – but also staying healthy throughout your pregnancy is key to your child’s health. At some point, it can get overwhelming trying to digest all the information being thrown your way. People will tell you things to do, such as avoid sit-ups, eat asparagus, stop running your mile every day, or get an extra hour of sleep per day. While many of the advice you receive will be based on fact – you have to learn to filter out some of the information.
If you want to conceive, you should do two things. Eat right and exercise. It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise you do as long as your body is moving. Many people are enjoying things like Zumba, step aerobics, walking, and weight lifting. The point is that you should work out your heart as well as your muscles. This will increase your endurance and strength, making pregnancy easier and putting your body in the optimal condition for conception.
As far as what you eat, you should use common sense. Some of the best foods for conception are considered to be green leafy vegetables, high Vitamin C foods and those that contain ample amounts of calcium. Keep your foods low fat, but refrain from foods that are processed with artificial flavors, colors, or sugar replacements. You should also keep well hydrated, trying to drink at least 64 ounces of water today. One great idea is to leave all those bad habits, such as a glass of wine at dinner, your morning coffee, your afternoon soda pop, and the occasional cigarette far behind you. It is much easier to quit all these things before you conceive, and often – they can cause problems with conception. Take a quality prenatal vitamin that has plenty of folic acid as well.
An important part of your health is also linked to your stress levels. Take a look at your lifestyle and see where you can begin to scale back. Enroll in a yoga class that will help elongate your muscles and give you flexibility, both of which are important in pregnancy. If you work a high stress job or find yourself burning the midnight oil often – realize that this isn’t going to help you get pregnant. In fact, one of the most common reasons women stop menstruating or have problems with their monthly cycles (including ovulation) is because stress hormones block the production of vital hormones necessary for conception and implantation. Now is the time to find valuable methods to reducing your stress levels. Hopefully, the ones you will find will last with you throughout pregnancy and motherhood.