How much exercise is too much when TTC?

posted 3 years ago in TTC
Post # 3
3119 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Hm I don’t think it’s the exercise itself that could cause any potential issues. I’m your age and worked out about your amount when TTC – I don’t think that’s too much as long as you aren’t starting it up right as you start TTC.

What could he an issue is weighing too little. I’m a lot taller than you so I don’t know if your weight is in that ‘too light’ range, but it’s something that your doctor could help you with.

Working out is fantastic during both TTC and pregnancy as long as you listen to your body.

Post # 4
938 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Is your cycle regular? As long as your cycle is regular, you should be just fine. But for reference, about 6 months before TTC, I lost about 10lbs due to an increase in exercise. I got really into HIIT and lost the weight without even trying to. Anyway, with that weight loss, I was still in a very healthy range being 5’3″ and 122lbs, but the combination of the weight loss and the intensity of the exercise made my period very irregular. I tried to wait it out to see if things normalized, but I ended up having to cut back a bit on the exercise and gain back about 5lbs.

Post # 5
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@lealorali:  i absolutely don’t think you work out too much.  i know many women who train for ironman triathlons and have many healhty kids. 

one woman i know in particular is obsessed with running.  she’s had 5 kids.  i think she gets skinnier after each one and she is really skin and bones to begin with.


Post # 6
3623 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@lealorali:  Talk to your OBGYN, but I am smaller than you and work out a lot more than you (5’9 and 130 and run 45+ miles per week and lift for 2 1/2 hours per week). My OBGYN asked why on earth I would plan TTC around marathon training and there is no reason not to keep working out at my level while TTC and pregnant. I assured him I would not be running marathons while pregnant (at least not in the third trimester). His response– that is your choice, there is no medical reason why you should  plan on cutting back. Some pregnancies you can run all the way through, others you can’t. 




My plan is the day I finish my last marathon this fall I will go off the pill. I will still run for fun, but not train (so probably 35 miles per week) and keep my races to 10 milers and halves. I will continue to lift as long as I can. When I get pregnant, I will cut back if needed. But that plan could be thrown out the window if I qualify for Boston 🙂



eta: weight is only a factor if you don’t have enough body fat to carry a child.  The guide I got was when you have defined ab muscles when youre hydrated, you’re too thin.

Post # 7
2614 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@lealorali:  I’ve been told that anything that puts stress on your body is too much Which makes sense! For someone who has never exercised much, deciding to do a marathon is a bad idea. However, if your body is well used to it I’d say you’re ok as long as you’re not doing too much extra challenging exercise. 

Post # 9
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

my anatomy professor was talking about something similar to this couple weeks ago.

its okay to exercise the way you do because you’ve been doing it for so long. what is important is that you are eating enough. you cannot eat calories of a normal person, you need more. if you are burning more than you are using, your body starts burning other things.


so for instance if you are working out/preparing for a triathalon and burning 3000 calories a day, but your daily intake is only 2000, it means the body is finding 1000 calories else where to burn. and unfortunately for women, it is most likely the sex hormones. 

apparently that was the reason why her daughter could not concieve a child for the longest time. but once she got on a different diet, increased her intake to make up for all the  calories she was burning, they were able to get pregnant.

 perhaps meet with a nutritionist and figure things out so your body is in a more balanced stage prior to ttc? good luck!

Post # 10
1925 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

From my readings, It’s not a matter of exercise, but body fat % and stress.  If your body fat % gets too low, you could stop ovulating and obviously can’t get pregnant!

If you are working out so much that it’s causing your body to stress, then again, you could stop ovulating and won’t get pregnant.

But being healthy & exercising is definitely recommended when you are TTC and pregnant!  I would talk to your obgyn to get her opinion!

Post # 11
1421 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’ve done a ton of research on HA — I had to gain about 7 pounds to start getting my period again after I went off the pill.   How much is too much varies from woman to woman.  Some women can be very lean and work out a ton and not have it affect their cycles.  Some can’t.  If you are having a cycle, you are probably one of the lucky ones and do not need to worry!! 

One thing that strenuous exercise can affect even when you are cycling is luteal phase length — so you might have a shorter luteal phase.  But, there is no consensus on whether or not a short luteal phase affects ability to conceive, so you may have nothing to worry about at all.  It’s just something to keep in mind, if you aren’t haveing any luck when you do try.  For example, like you, I typically have 25-6 day cycles.  I usually have a 10 or 11 day luteal phase.  I often notice that strenuous exercise tends to bring on my period.  When I’m trying to get pregnant, I might just take it back a notch during my luteal phase, and see if that helps keep my period at bay.  But, again, there’s no consensus on whether a shorter luteal phase (10-12 days) is even a problem.  And you’ll hear lots of anecdotes from those who conceived without it being an issue.

Post # 12
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I agree with the others. I dont think it is about the exercise since your body is used to that. You have the best chance of conceiving if you are within a certain BMI.

I am rather small because I used to dance. I am 5’5 and can weigh around 118 but right now I am maybe 122-124 and I am trying not to loose it because we are TTC.

Post # 13
8483 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I think as long as you’re getting your period/regular cycle you are fine.  Some extreme weight loss or exercise where women miss periods would cause a problem, obviously.

I didn’t do super intense exercise but I worked out 5 days a week, including 1.5-2 hour runs and bike rides.  I got pregnant in one shot.

Post # 14
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It sounds like your cycles are pretty normal, so you should be fine! I regularly run distances races and went off the pill the week before a late November marathon, I got pregnant on our second month trying, which definitely was a shock to me after being on the pill for 10 years and lots of high mileage weeks!

Post # 15
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I worry about this too, but it seems like the general consensus is that it depends (helpful, right??). For one of my best running friends, it took cutting back mileage and gaining 15 pounds, but I know others who have gotten pregnant while thin and running a lot. Body fat definitely plays a factor. I am assuming you are not on the pill, so if your cycles are regular that would be the best indicator. Have you been trying to get pregnant and are unable, or is this just a concern for the future?

I exercise about 8-10 hours/week (running, swimming, yoga, some strength training) and I’m pretty thin, but I’m on the pill still so I don’t know if my cycles are regular. I want to go off of it soon for that reason, and I am worried it may take a while to level out. 

@Monny:  Interesting, so gaining the 5lbs back made your cycles regular? 

@tinkerbish:  I have also heard that caloric deficiency is a big reason women have irregular cycles when exercising. It’s not so much the exercise itself.

@Pollywog:  Crazy, I’ve never heard that ab thing. I’m pretty thin with low body fat, but you can’t ever see my abs. Hopefully that means I’m good haha! Good luck qualifying for Boston; I’m running it this year for the second time. It’s amazing.

Post # 16
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

i agree with the others, I don’t think you are too thin (I’m 5’7″ and weighed 130 when I got pregnant). Usually if you are too thin it’ll interfere with your hormone production but you are probably fine. Maybe scale back just a bit (I’ve heard others say they needed to gain a few pounds before they conceived) – and you could try charting for a month or so to make sure you are ovulating. Good luck!

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