Aside from the obvious, there's one exercise that might be instrumental in getting potential mothers pregnant. And it's one of the more innocuous workouts that you can think of.
Give up? It's walking, according to scholars at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Conducted by the school's graduate Lindsay Russo under the direction of associate professor Brian Whitcomb, a study examined women who experienced at least one pregnancy loss, but were otherwise healthy. The 1,214 subjects, whose ages ranged between 18 and 40, were tested on a number of physical activities.
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Whitcomb, who specializes in finding the links between certain biomarkers and the likelihood of fertility and successful pregnancies, said that lifestyle was a particularly prominent factor in the course of the study. He believes exercise as well as proper diet are important to consider, as they are activities that women can undertake on their own. In particular, he cites walking as beneficial since, it's an accessible, easy and inexpensive activity for everyone.
According to Russo, "One of our main findings is that there was no overall relationship between most types of physical activity and the likelihood of becoming pregnant for women who had already had one or two pregnancy losses, except for walking, which was associated with higher likelihood of becoming pregnant among women who were overweight or obese".
In gathering research for this fecundability (otherwise known as the ability to become pregnant) study, the scholars found a direct link between walking and changes in the subjects' body mass index. Those who walked more than four hours a week had much higher results linked to fecundability as opposed to their more sedentary counterparts. Even overweight and obese women who walked for 10 minutes each day, showed positive results.
Activity that was considerably less vigourous, such as sitting, didn't do as well in relating fecundability to BMI data. Still Russo and Whitcomb are puzzled over inconsistent results when it comes to women who exercise more vigorously than walkers, although they admit the study wasn't detailed enough to take into account any discrepancies among those whose exercise regimen is far more extreme.
Much of that detail, the researchers believe is taking into account additional behaviors and other lifestyle elements that may make more physically-active women different than moderate walkers. They also admit that lifestyles of women who previously miscarried may have adopted different lifestyles from others. The study for the most part, however, stresses that what remains consistent is the positive correlation between fecundability and walking.