We know that exercise is absolutely essential to having a healthy body and the benefits of regular exercise are numerous. A recent study has shown that exercise can even help the impact of fertility functions in women of all shapes and body types.
Moderate levels of physical activity for any length of time appeared to give a decrease in the amount of time it takes to conceive for women. The study, conducted by researcher Lauren A. Wise, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, looked at 3,000 different women that were actively trying to conceive with no outside fertility help or treatments. Each woman’s activity level was tracked through one self-answered questionnaire that was completed after the study began. The key to achieving the improved conception time was to keep the activity levels moderate.
When engaging in five or more hours of vigorous exercise per week, women of a healthy weight dropped their likelihood to get pregnant by 42 percent when compared to women that did no exercise. With women of a normal weight, the more vigorous the exercise, the lower the chance for conception was. “We were surprised to find that even relatively small amounts of vigorous activity seemed to impact fertility,” Wise said. Vigorous exercise didn’t delay conception for women that were obese or overweight though.
“The take-home message for overweight and obese women is that any exercise seems better than none. Being overweight is a risk factor for infertility, and these findings suggest that exercise may improve fertility in these women,” said Wise. Like so many studies conducted, this one has researchers saying that more study is needed. Having the participants provide their own info as well as having only one questionnaire for the entire survey are a couple of the limitations of this study. While the findings are not totally concrete, the message of moderate exercise aiding fertility is helpful. Including moderate exercise can be an inexpensive and healthy place to start when you are trying to conceive.
March 20th, 2012