Research has shown that too much exercise can cause infertility due to low body weight and hormonal changes. Exhaustion caused by intense and regular exercise may render a body unable to conceive or sustain a pregnancy. But what is too much exercise? It can vary from person to person.
While one person may exercise three times a week for 60 minutes and be incapable of getting pregnant, another could work out 21 hours a week and have a healthy baby [source: Arc Fertility]. Research, however, has established some basic guidelines. The Mayo Clinic encourages women seeking to become pregnant to avoid working out more than seven hours a week [source: Heckel]. Outside of time parameters, studies have shown that working out every day -- or to the point of high fatigue -- is associated with an inability to become pregnant [source: Guy].
Your mother may have told you "all things in moderation." That advice rings true if you want to become a mother or father, too. Exercise and good nutrition are important components of a healthy pregnancy. Just don't exceed the time guidelines, become underweight, overheat or exercise to the point of exhaustion. Otherwise, you should be able to embrace your role as a healthy, active parent.
- Attain Fertility Health Desk. "What's your ideal fertility weight?" Attain Fertility. (July 4, 2012) http://attainfertility.com/article/ideal-fertility-weight
- Chang, Wendy M.D. "Body Fat, Exercise and Fertility." Southern California Reproductive Center. (July 4, 2012) http://www.arcfertility.com/body-fat-exercise-and-fertility/
- Guy, Sarah. "Too Much Exercise May Be Bad for Fertility." Bio News. Nov. 22, 2009. (July 4, 2012) http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_51170.asp
- Heckel, Aimee. "Some Ultra-athletes See An Impact On Their Fertility." Daily Camera. Nov. 8, 2011. (July 4, 2012) http://www.dailycamera.com/lifestyles/ci_19283560
- Mendez, Elizabeth. "More Americans Now Normal Weight Than Overweight." Oct. 7, 2011. (July 4, 2012) http://www.gallup.com/poll/149975/americans-normal-weight-overweight.aspx
- Parents.com. "Can too much exercise affect fertility?" (July 4, 2012) http://www.parents.com/advice/pregnancy-birth/getting-pregnant/can-too-much-exercise-affect-fertility/
- Reproductive Partners. "Can too much exercise impair fertility?" (July 4, 2012) http://www.reproductivepartners.com/blog/968/can-too-much-exercise-impair-fertility.html