By Paul J.O'Brien B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Adv. Dip. OBB, Cert Clin. Med, Cert.CHM, M.AFPA, M.ETCMA, M.C.Th.A.
Exercise and Fertility and closely linked, both positively and negatively. In this article, I’ll share with you the DANGERS of exercise and how it can damage your fertility and worse, endanger a pregnancy. But I’ll also show which exercises enhance fertility and benefit pregnancy. I’ll even share with you how to perform a 30-Second Full Body Workout, that will get you looking and feeling great. So, let’s begin!
Exercise is really important to whole body health in TCM and even more so when trying to get pregnant. And is a key part of my Natural Fertility Boosters protocol.
As we you’ll learn one of the functions of the Stomach/Spleen is to support the body and the physiological expression of this is in the fascia and soft tissue.
Fascia is a continuous network of moist membrane that wraps our muscles (soft tissue) and connects the whole body holding everything comfortably in place. It supports and contains the body and without it, our muscles would have no tone and we would collapse in a saggy heap, thus the physiological expression of the Stomach/Spleen supports and contains the whole body.
When the fascia and muscles of the body are relaxed and without tension and constriction the body can move easily and smoothly. Our limbs have a full and easy sense of motion and our organs are all supported and nurtured.
When the Stomach/Spleen is healthy, the fascia attains this relaxed state and we are “at home” in our bodies, capable of expressing ourselves fluidly through movement.
The Stomach/Spleen is a vital organ and system that needs to be in harmony with the whole body to provide total health, and as such is vital for our physical and mental function. As such exercise is very beneficial to the Stomach/Spleen which we need to:
Regular, sensible exercise increases your body’s oxygen intake. This, in turn, improves your circulation, muscle tone, lung capacity and even your hormones. Exercise can fundamentally change how you feel and is a great tool in combating depression, anxiety, frustration and many of the mental/emotional side effects of your journey towards getting pregnant.
In fact, regular exercise will:
Multiple studies have confirmed this (1),(2), for instance, one such study involving 3,628 women showed that exercise substantially increases fertility in women with BMI greater or equal to 25kg/m2. (3)
And it doesn’t have to take very long at all (have you got 30-seconds?).
Exercise and fertility are an especially important consideration for those struggling with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. In this condition weight management is crucial to your hormonal health and weight loss is often the first step in maximising your fertility in these cases.
The good news is that aside from being an expert in fertility and pregnancy I also happen to be one of the leading experts in physical fitness and body recomposition and have written numerous books and hundreds of articles on the topic. So if weight and PCOS is an issue – I can help you get to your goals quickly.
Ultimately, Exercise and Fertility – leads to better well being, better health, and better chances of getting pregnant and having a happy healthy baby.
But…not all exercise is equal. Some exercise may be VERY DAMAGING to fertility and pregnancy.
But the wrong exercise can be very damaging. For instance for most women trying to conceive I advocate they avoid running – this can put pressure on the uterus and destabilise the womb. Popular forms of exercise like Bikram Yoga should also be avoided – as the fluid loss from the intense heat, can thicken and damage blood and Yin fluids needed to get pregnant.
And again multiple studies have investigated the role of exercise and fertility. Intensive exercise decreases fertility in women with a BMI of below 25kg/m2.(3) Over exercising can increase the levels of stress in the blood, divert resources away from the reproductive system, and trigger hormonal imbalances.
So what is the better option?
I recommend Isometrics. This is a fast, practical and powerful form of exercise, based on Chinese medical classics. You can learn a simple 30-second whole body routine that lowers blood pressure, strengthens the muscles, stomach and spleen, burns fat and is one of my Natural Fertility Boosters below.
This exercise is known as the Full Body Max Isometric Contraction or Kiveloff Isometric and has been my go to exercise for nearly 14 years now. I’ve done it every single day for the last 14 years and it’s transformed my health and has provided the platform upon which I have built my remarkable strength and a fairly awesome physique. And today I’d like to teach it to you.
Before we look at how you do the exercise I’d like to give you a bit of background on it. You see this is more than just an incredible body sculpting exercises (though there are many cases of people doing JUST this exercise and maintaining a fantastic physique well into their eighties and nineties). This is, in fact, a recommended medical technique for drastically lowering blood pressure and strengthening the Stomach/Spleen and Kidneys from a TCM point of view.
This is an exercise I teach to every one of my 1-on-1 coaching clients. My results have been nothing short of astounding. But…I didn’t develop this technique.
In fact, from the 60’s through to the 80’s many notable physicians including Dr. Rene Caillet, Clinical Professor at the University of the Southern California School of Medicine, Dr. Olive Hubber, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physiology at Hunter College and Dr. Broino Kiveloff, Associate Chief of Rehabilitation Medicine at the New York Beekman Downtown Hospital used this single isometric technique to greatly reduce blood pressure (hypertension) in their patients and even used it to successfully treat those affected by diabetes!
Multiple papers were published on the success of this technique; the Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health in 1986 covered how the technique benefited diabetics and later in February of 1983, Dr.Kiveloff was published in an article entitled “A 60 Second Shortcut to Vitality” in Prevention Magazine that taught The Full Body Max Isometric Contraction I am about to show you.
Well, one example given by Dr. Kiveloff was a patient who, even on a salt restricted diet had a blood pressure reading of 160/95. (Blood pressure in healthy people is about 120/80 mm Hg. Greater than 140/90 mm Hg is considered chronically elevated and dangerous). If left untreated you have a 300% increase of developing coronary artery disease and a 700% increase in the likelihood of a stroke or an aneurysm – bottom line this isometric exercise could save your life). The patient had been in this state for 7 years.
After 5-8 weeks of following the Isometric procedure below the patient’s, blood pressure fell to perfect levels of 120/80 and stayed there. The patient was quoted as saying, “It’s so much more wonderful than taking medication. You only have to go to the doctor when you want to!”
Another case discussed in the Prevention Magazine article discusses as a patient who had a blood pressure of 185/105 at the start and within a few months had stabilised and remained at 130/70!
If you’re looking to get in great shape and want an incredible exercise and fertility boosting workout program that requires no equipment and lets you get a workout done in just seconds, check out my best selling fitness course, 7 Seconds to a Perfect Body.
If you are trying for a family or planning on going through IVF, ICSI IUI, or have been through failed rounds, from poor egg growth, fertilization failure, sperm quality issues, miscarriage etc, and want to give this round the best possible shot of success and dramatically improve your fertility and reproductive health, to have a happy healthy baby, then …
(1) ANDERSON K, NISENBLAT V, NORMAN R. LIFESTYLE FACTORS IN PEOPLE SEEKING INFERTILITY TREATMENT – A REVIEW. AUST N Z J OBSTET GYNAECOL 2010; 19:21-31
(2) HOMAN GF, DAVIES M, NORMAN R. THE IMPACT OF LIFESTYLE FACTORS ON REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE IN THE GENERAL POPULATION AND THOSE UNDERGOING INFERTILITY TREATMENT: A REVIEW. HUM REPROD UPDATE 2007; 13:209-23.
(3) WISE LA, ROTHMAN KJ,MIKKLESON EM, ET AL. A PROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND TIME TO PREGNANCY. FERTIL STERIL 2012; 97:1136-42E4.