I always knew I wanted to be a mom. From the time I was a little girl playing dress up with my dolls and acting like they were my babies to my first puppy who I called Harley and carried around like a baby. I have been dreaming of this moment my entire life. So when I met Justin I knew I wanted to start trying right away. He wasn’t so sure but I was full steam ahead on my baby making mission. By the time he proposed, I was so ready to start a family that I couldn’t wait much longer; it was so easy to imagine having a full life with kids in tow with the love of my life.
Shortly after we got married and after trying for about 3 months, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility, a condition which affects 1 in 8 women in the world. For more than a year, Justin and I tried our best to create a little human. Hoping to boost my odds, I’ve sipped on things that shouldn’t be considered safe for human consumption, I’ve done weird pregnancy dances, I’ve taken harsh prescription drugs and stood on my head after intercourse with the hopes improving the little swimmer’s backstroke. Too bad NONE of it worked and most of it just made me sick, frustrated and wanting to say forget it.
Strangely enough, I’ve never been thrown by any of these out of the norm suggestions. Hey, who am I to question holistic remedies, being a holistic coach and all! I was shocked, however, when my doctor suggested that to increase my chances of conceiving, I should relax the intensity and duration of my exercise routine. My 90-minute gym habit five days a week not only improved my health and kept my weight in check but also minimized my baby-making stress. So, when did a good workout become a bad idea?
Intense exercise is actually the opposite of what you need when you are trying to conceive. Who knew?? When you are exercising intensely you are putting undue stress on your body and it shuts down all baby making systems because it thinks it is in fight or flight and isn’t thinking of creating life but is just trying to survive.
So what is the answer if you want to continue some sort of exercise routine during pre-conception. A routine that will alleviate stress and anxiety but that won’t put your body in a constant state of stress and prevent it from conceiving… The answer is, either back off from your normal intense routine and adopt this one instead OR if you aren’t currently working out begin to introduce gentle exercise into your weekly routine. Focus on relaxing and incorporating restorative forms of exercise such as Yin or Restorative yoga. This type of workout regimen will not only lower your cortisol levels, but it will also become a sustainable practice that you can continue to enjoy throughout your pregnancy and into motherhood provided your doctor approves.
Here is to your health mama! – Love and health, Coach Kela
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