Could Too Much Exercise Ruin a Woman’s Ability to Get Pregnant?
Trying to get pregnant? New research examining the impact of exercise on fertility indicates something as simple as a brisk daily walk could put you on your way to knitting those baby booties.
The study with 3,000 women found that regardless of weight, moderate exercise such as brisk walking, leisurely cycling, golfing, and gardening was helpful for fertility — but too much exercise had the opposite effect on normal weight women.
In fact, for those ladies, five or more hours a week of vigorous exercise — such as running, aerobics, gymnastics, swimming, or intense bicycling — made them 42 percent less likely to get pregnant in any given month than if they hadn’t worked out at all.
Researchers weren’t sure if any one particular type of activity made it tougher to conceive, but Lauren A. Wise, ScD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, said, “We were surprised to find that even relatively small amounts of vigorous activity seemed to impact fertility.”
Still, since moderate exercise boosted fertility rates for all women, she added, “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.”