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Healthy lifestyle changes

When you plan to start your family, it is important that both you and your partner are healthy to ensure a healthy and successful pregnancy. Of course, this is no mean feat as it entails your diet, weight, sleep, work-life balance, stress management and exercise, all of which play a role in your fertility and therefore your ability to conceive.

Maintain a healthy weight - It is important that both you and your spouse maintain a healthy weight, with a BMI of less than 25 kg/ cm2. This means watching what you eat, and not just being mindful of the calories that you ingest and burn, but also choosing foods that offer you optimum nutrition.

Get Active - Exercise plays a significant role in how healthy you are – because it not only helps you burn excess calories, but also helps you regulate your insulin levels and manage stress. Ideally, you should get about 30 mins of moderate exercise every day. It doesn’t have to involve a gym or expensive equipment: simply taking a brisk walk or practising yoga together could help you reap huge rewards.

Eat Healthy & Watch the Caffeine – Rather than bingeing on simple carbs and sugars that do absolutely no good, make informed choices for your meals and snacks. Choose protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates and limit your caffeine intake by replacing coffee with green tea. Your body will thank you for it.

Manage Stress - There’s no way to escape the demands of everyday life; therefore, it is important to get a handle on your stress. Exercise, yoga and meditation can help you calm down and add positivity in your life. Carve out some time for yourself every day, to exercise or meditate or indulge in an activity that relaxes you.

Quit Smoking and Tobacco - Nicotine is the most dangerous substance you can expose your system to – we are all aware of the link between nicotine and cancer. However, in addition to being detrimental to your general good health, nicotine also affects fertility.

Say ‘No’ to Alcohol - If you’re trying to start a family, then all alcohol, even if only socially is a must-not. Alternatively, write off the hard stuff in favour of an anti-oxidant rich drink such as red wine, which is beneficial to your health.

Guard Against Radiation- X-rays, and electronic gadgets such as laptops and mobiles emit low grade radiation which can be harmful to your fertility. Therefore, it is important that both you and your partner limit exposure by cutting down on usage of these devices and taking steps to use them safely.

Protect Yourself Against STIs- Sexually transmitted infections pose a danger to your health and that of your unborn child. Ensure that you are safe with regular tests, and if you are having a blood transfusion, insist on safe blood that has been tested for infection.

Watch Out for Heat - Steam baths and saunas can affect sperm count, so avoid excessive exposure to them.