Moderate Walking, Cycling, & Gardening Associated With Enhanced Fertility

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According to Lauren Wise, a reproductive epidemiologist at Boston University and lead author of the study(4/5/2012) “Effect of physical activity on fertility varied by body mass index”, it was found that moderate exercise, such as walking, cycling, or gardening, was associated with getting pregnant more quickly for all women, regardless of weight. Over the course of the study, nearly 70 percent of all women became pregnant.   


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Women who spent more than five hours per week doing moderate exercise were 18 percent more likely to become pregnant during any given menstrual cycle than women who performed moderate exercise for less than an hour each week.

Cardio helps increase blood flow to the body, which is essential for reproductive health. Walking lightly, jogging for about 30 minutes each day, is all that is required. Moving enough to break a sweat and get your heart rate up, but not exhaust your body. Being overweight or obese, can cause increased level of estrogen in the body (30% of our estrogen comes from fat cells). This overproduction of estrogen can negatively impact ovulation and conception. In addition, being overweight puts you at risk for insulin resistance, which can ultimately keep you from ovulating.

There are a significant number of overweight and obese females who suffer infertility. This could be a consequence of irregular menses and frequently anovular cycles. A large percentage of those infertile patients have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a disorder often associated with obesity, chronic anovulation, and menstrual irregularity with or without hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinemia. Anovulation is also seen in patients with a BMI > 30 due to abnormal secretion of hypothalamic GnRH, pituitary LH and FSH. The hyperinsulinemia seen with an insulin resistant state without PCOS can impact on fertility independently.

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Yoga & Pilates,  too can help in conception. Upavista konasana” or extended wide angle pose helps to stimulate the ovaries and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and bring circulation to the pelvic organs.

While there is no ‘magic’ exercise that will take care of an issue relating to infertility, but it is an important piece in healing the whole body.


Over Exercising can lead to risk of losing too much of  body fat. Body fat plays an essential role in the production of estrogen; without enough estrogen, a woman who over-exercises might not ovulate. The technical term for not ovulating is oligomenorrhea, and is a major cause of fertility problems.

Related Links

  • Turning gardening into a complete body workout
  • Obesity and fertility
  • Estrogen-Progesterone factor in weight gain vs. loss
  • What Makes Me the Weight I Am?
  • Preventing Weight Gain


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