Fitness for fertility and pre-pregnancy exercise

As a recent first-time mum, running coach Mary Jennings shares her fitness tips

Mary Jennings: Give yourself the best chance of having a comfortable pregnancy by starting out at a healthy weight. Photograph: Eric Luke

Mary Jennings: Give yourself the best chance of having a comfortable pregnancy by starting out at a healthy weight. Photograph: Eric Luke

As potential first-time mothers, we diligently take our folic acid for months prior to becoming pregnant. We download fertility apps and read books and blogs on what to expect when expecting. We dream up baby names and start noticing ladies with bumps everywhere we go. Rarely do we consider exercise and fitness as part of the preparation in these exciting days of planning a family.

However, there is growing evidence that having a moderate level of fitness can help fertility, pregnancy and recovery from childbirth. Waiting to conceive can be a stressful time. When you exercise, you are also more likely to eat better and feel better. Your head is clearer and you are in a better position to manage this stress. In addition to fertility, your body needs energy, strength and stamina to carry your future baby. Pre-pregnancy is the time to get fit and prepare your body for what lies ahead.

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