Maria Howells, our wonderful fitness expert talks to us about staying fit whilst trying to conceive
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has long been touted as being the “be all and end all” of rapid improvements in fitness, fat burn and strength building. It tends to involve alternating periods of rest and work, for example 20 seconds of working as hard as you can, then 30 seconds of rest. And whilst there is certainly a place for HIIT, more and more research is now showing that it may not be the best idea when trying to conceive.
There are a number of factors to consider when you are on your fertility journey, one of the key factors being BMI, or body mass index
Most fertility clinics want you to have a BMI of 30 or below before you can start treatment. This means that many women will aim to lower their BMI as quickly as possible, often turning to HIIT in the process. Whilst this seems to make sense, (after all, for a lot of women they have been trying to conceive for a long time, and there is the added pressure of the biological clock) it can actually be detrimental to your overall fertility.
HIIT training exerts a lot of stress on your body and this can lead to the release of cortisol
Cortisol is the stress hormone we release when we sense danger. It certainly has its uses, especially if you are being chased by a bear, or if someone jumps out on you in the dark but it is far less useful when you are trying to get pregnant. Excess cortisol leads to a number of negative side effects such as fatigue and the constant feeling of being stressed, but it can also interfere with your menstrual cycle and some research has even suggested it can affect implantation of a fertilized embryo.
So, when it comes to trying to conceive, there certainly isn’t one piece of advice to suit everyone but it is crucial to make sure you have a personal trainer that understands fertility. You need to make sure that you are getting healthier and working on your fertility at the same time. The last thing you want is to be making great progress fitness wise, but accidentally decreasing your fertility at the same time.
For more information or a free consultation get in touch with Maria at email@example.com