The second post in a five-part series about fertility and the endocrine system.
By Andrea Fay, Nutritionist
Part 2: Movement for Fertility
Part 3: Foods to Eat for Fertility and Endocrine Balance
Part 4: Top Ten Amazing Foods for Fertility
Part 5: Sperm Health for Fertility
We started this series with an introduction to the endocrine system. As we move (aren’t puns the best?) to the next post in the series, I will build on the introduction and talk about how moving our bodies plays a role in a healthy endocrine that regulates the hormones of fertility.
Beginning to balance your body.
Be active. Movement and a healthy body weight are important for fertility. And this isn’t about size or weight or hard workouts. Evidence shows that walking and movement in general is one of the best kinds of exercise and the kind of exercise our ancestors did in everyday work. Everyone should move: walk, ride a bike, dance, do yoga, stretch, breathe and get your heart rate up and down and back up again. Do it every day and for at least 30 minutes a day.
Not only is it good for your heart, but it releases endorphins to boost your mood, increases oxygen and nutrient flow to your organs (including your uterus or testicles), increases insulin sensitivity, decreases inflammation in the body and reduces cortisol levels. All of which are amazingly good for your overall health and greatly helps to balance the hormones in your body.
Getting your heart rate up and down in with interval movement is one foundation to health and balance. A fifteen-minute workout that’s focused on raising and lowering your heart rate throughout, is more effective than a steady paced jog. It sort of feels like cheating to do rounds of moving quickly and then slowing down but it’s easier on your body and even better for your health.
Some of us love to exercise. Some of us, not so much. If you are in the last category, there are some tried-and-true tips that can help:
Identify what you enjoy
If running takes you back to horrible memories of middle school PE, then you’re probably not going to be consistent or successful in becoming a runner. Do you love walks (in nature or on a treadmill in front of Real Housewives)? Dancing? Biking (indoors or out)? There are so many ways to move a body – find the one that gives you joy and you’re more likely to stick to it.
Identify how you enjoy it
Sometimes it’s not just about finding the right activity – it’s about finding the right environment. Do you value alone time to clear your head and think? Or do you need cheerleaders or accountability partners to pass the time quickly? Knowing if you’re a solitary exerciser or social one (or need a bit of both) can help you hone in on what finding your groove.
Make it a Habit
Willpower is a finite resource. There’s power in habit. And lots of smart people who talk about how to create good ones. If you struggle to make regular physical activity a part of your life, some tools in creating a habit can be incredibly helpful.
Just do it
There’s wisdom in this super famous slogan. Sometimes, we don’t want to exercise. And some days we have to do it anyway. PS: Also, some days we don’t and we give ourselves a little grace.
Moving your body is a great step toward balancing your endocrine system, which aids the ability to conceive. In our next post, we’ll expand into different foods that are beneficial for fertility. Spoiler alert – it’s not a ton of chocolate chip cookie dough, but we’ve got something better, a solid chocolate recipe that’s both healthy and amazing so dig in.