After struggling with her own fertility issues, Maria Howell wants to help as many people as possible manage their own issues through fitness.
Maria is a qualified personal trainer, a pre and post natal personal trainer and is also a qualified Psychology teacher with 15 years teaching experience.
Here is what she says about choosing a personal trainer when TTC:
Training when trying to conceive and when going through infertility is not the same as training to get a six pack, visible abs or the glutes of your dreams. This is a whole different ball game.
So, here are eight vital things to think about when looking for a personal trainer when you are also trying to conceive.
1.Make sure your trainer understands that high intensity training is probably not the best type of training for you, even if you are trying to lower your BMI. You DO NOT want to be working out at a 9/10 or 10/10 effort level when trying to conceive. This may actually do more harm than good.
2.When trying to conceive, rapid weight loss can be harmful to your fertility. You may need to lower your BMI, and that’s ok, but you need to do this slowly. No crash diets, no extreme exercise and definitely no shame or guilt about not losing excessive amounts of weight each week. Infertility has enough shame and guilt, you don’t need that from a trainer as well.
3.It is crucial that your trainer understands the different stages of the menstrual cycle. They have to know when you are approaching ovulation, when you are ovulating and when you are in the two week wait. It is crucial to ensure the training at each of these stages is appropriate for you and your goals.
4.It is crucial that you can talk to your trainer about the stage of your cycle you are at. You have to be comfortable telling them when you are on your period or when you are due to ovulate and your trainer has to respect that and treat you and your journey with respect and understanding.
5.There are risks associated with IVF, including when working out. During STIMS, ovarian torsion is a risk when working out, as your ovaries can become twisted. This is extremely dangerous. You need someone that understands this and can adapt accordingly.
6.Had a visit with wanda that day? Does your trainer understand what this means? You may want exercises adapted to the fact that you have been to see your gynecologist and had a very invasive procedure that day. You probably don’t want to have to explain this to your trainer so find someone who already knows what this means.
7.Resistance training can be fantastic for those with insulin resistant PCOS. But if you are training with someone who has no knowledge of PCOS, let alone insulin resistance, they are not going to take this into consideration when designing your training plan.
8.Your mental health is incredibly important. It can also take a real battering when you are going through infertility. You must make sure that your trainer treats you with the respect and understanding that you deserve. Stay well away from a trainer that shames you or makes you feel bad about not achieving your goal that week. You are fighting a tough enough battle as it is, you just need someone on your side.
It is important that you do everything you can to optimise your chances of conceiving, so make sure you have a trainer that can support you fully on your journey.