Once upon a time, I was a certified personal trainer. Given my background and current obsession with babies, I’ve been doing some research on how best to get my body in tip-top preconception, fertilize-me-please shape. Here’s what I found and am striving to practice:
- Work on your six-pack. Your tummy stretches during pregnancy, so the last thing you want to do is exercise your way to tight, strong abs, right? Wrong. Strong muscles stretch more easily than weak muscles. Time to start those crunches, ladies!
- Don’t neglect your backside. It’s tempting to get caught up in the quest for sleek abs and pay no attention to your beautiful-as-is lower back. Your back bears the brunt of the third trimester Buddha belly. The more you strengthen those muscles now, the less they’re likely to throw a fit through unwelcome pain later.
- Build your base. Likewise, leg muscles support those 20-something extra pounds you’re likely to gain during pregnancy. Start prepping them now.
- Stay in the zone. Easy-does-it isn’t always the best approach to exercise while you’re getting ready or trying to conceive. Being underweight and overdoing exercise can lead to problems with fertility. However, being overweight and not exercising enough can be equally problematic. Check out this study where researchers found that each hour per week of vigorous activity was associated with a 7% lower risk of ovulatory infertility.
Are you starting or changing up your exercise routine in light of your conception plans?