Most medical professionals will tell you to include some level of regular exercise in your daily routine when you're trying to conceive a child. Being physically fit prior to conception can contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Heavy exercise, on the other hand, can sometimes affect implantation, but its exclusion from workout routines is often determined on an individual basis. With such extreme differences in fitness level, health status and exercise experience, it’s not practical to establish a standard exercise guideline for women trying to conceive.
Sedentary women should try to begin an exercise program at least six weeks prior to conception, notes a review published by the Journal of Perinatal Education. Exercise improves fitness levels, which can make conception easier. If this isn’t possible, gradually introduce exercise into your daily routine, starting with 20 minutes of low to moderate activities, such as walking or swimming, three times a week. In this situation, it’s best to avoid heavy exercises, but talk to your doctor to establish an exercise program suited to your needs.
For more active women, you might not need to change your workouts when trying to conceive. If vigorous activities are already a part of your routine, your doctor will likely give you the OK to continue working out. Vigorous pursuits are more often linked to ovulation than implantation problems. Female athletes with fairly low body fat can stop ovulating, which obviously reduces your chances of getting pregnant. If ovulation is normal, however, you can go about activities as normal, but screening is necessary to clear you for more vigorous pursuits.
When going through in vitro fertilization, women often follow different exercise restrictions than those trying to conceive naturally. After IVF, you should restrict your activity level for the first 24 hours. After that, you can usually resume your normal activity level with the exception of exercise. According to the Georgia Reproductive Specialists, avoid all strenuous exercises, such as jogging, swimming and similar pursuits, until your pregnancy is confirmed.
Like women not trying to conceive, get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week. Talk to your doctor to determine what exercises are best for your health, level of fitness and exercise experience. You may find that your doctor advises against heavy exercise while trying to get pregnant, whereas another woman may get the go-ahead from her obstetrician.