We all know that it takes two healthy individuals to make a healthy baby. However sometimes, no matter how healthy we are, it can still be difficult to get pregnant. Recent studies show fertility can be affected by other common factors that might not have thought about. If you are planning to get pregnant or already trying, try making these 5 easy changes to help increase your body's fertility.
1. Reduce Stress
If you are experiencing difficulties conceiving, a trip to the acupuncturist, massage therapist, or a yoga class could be beneficial; a recent study published in the journal Human Reproduction found that high stress levels have been linked with an increased risk of infertility. Researchers found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase (a hormone associated with your sympathetic nervous system) had a 29% lower chance of pregnancy and were 2x more at risk for infertility than women with low alpha-amylase levels. While we can't usually take off from work, forget the other kids, or our partners to slow down and relax a little, we can spend a few minutes to meditate, stretch, go for a walk in nature, or give ourselves a mini massage regardless of where we are. All of these things can help reduce stress levels and improve fertility.
2. Cut out Junk Food
When you are not eating the right combinations of nutrients (Folate, monounsaturated fats, zinc, vitamin D, and B6), you could be paralyzing your body’s ability to regulate your reproductive hormones like progesterone, insulin, and testosterone. A nutrition plan high in leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats is very important to help boost your fertility potential. In addition to a healthy diet being important, the time of day you eat is also very important. Clinical Science recently published that eating a nutritious breakfast daily, that is calorically dense helps improve fertility.
3.Eliminate Artificial Light at Night
When is the last time you went to sleep without checking your phone, reading on your Kindle, or sending that last email only minutes before hitting the pillow? Most people are aware that the light emitted from our electronics can mess up our sleep cycles, throwing our Circadian rhythm off. According to research published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, artificial nighttime light exposure can harm both your ability to conceive and fetal development if you’re already pregnant. Exposure after dark to light exposure can limit melatonin production, a hormone that aids sleep, that’s also produced in the reproductive tract and helps block eggs from damaging free radicals, particularly during ovulation. When not enough melatonin is produced, a disruption may occur in a developing fetus’ internal clock, resulting in long-term problems, researchers suggest. Make sure face alarm clocks away from your face or cover them with a pillow, and power down electronics at least an hour before bed.
Did you know that stress combined with a sedentary jobs increases your risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders? Would you believe that brief moments of guided meditation and yoga at your desk can help reduce your stress?? As little as 15 minutes to be exact.
A recent small study including just 20 people who were taken through each of the following; a guided meditation, yoga, and allowed to continue working without interruption.
Each intervention lasted 15 minutes and there was a day between each of the interventions. Different stress markers were tested at the baseline, during the 15 minute interventions, and 15 minutes after. Different measures were recorded such as perceived stress, blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability.
Analysis of the data showed both yoga and meditation reduced perceived stress (the mental aspect) plus the effect continued after the post-intervention period. The markers for physical stress tended to return to the baseline levels with the exception of respiratory rates following chair yoga.
While the study was relatively small, its results conclude that there is no harm in implementing a basic 15 minute chair routine at least once a day, especially if you are in a sedentary career. More studies need to be conducted but one can assume the data suggests that the level of productivity, improved employee health, job performance, job satisfaction, and absenteeism could be positively affected by the implementation of workplace yoga and meditaiton.
The following link will provide you with a variety of chair yoga poses you can try.
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