Improving your health for fertility through exercise

Ronnie Rich
Executive Health & Fitness Coach & Transformation Specialist; Keynote Speaker, FITBANKER Limited

Lifestyle and Fertility

From this video you will find out:


  • Does exercise improve fertility?
  • What are the benefits of exercising when trying to conceive?
  • How does the mind influence the body?
  • What kind of training does really make a difference?
  • How many times a week should I exercise to see changes?
  • Will walking every day result in weight loss? If so, for how long do I need to walk every day?
  • What specific parts of the body should I be focusing on the most?

How can I improve my fertility through exercise?

In this session, Ronnie Rich, Executive Health & Fitness Coach & Transformation Specialist, Keynote Speaker & Founder of FITBANKER has discussed how anyone can improve your health and fertility through exercise.

- Questions and Answers

How long should the HIIT session be?

A great HIIT session that is good for triggering a good amount of thermogenesis, which means fat burn and contributing to your fitness, to great respiratory health, which means getting to breathe at a certain level – I would say about 21 minutes of a workout is adequate. The HIIT workout that I shared was a 7-minute routine. Seven minutes is the minimum you can do, but I would recommend people for trying to aim for 21 minutes. Also, 3 rounds of those active work out, or you could even join a 30-minute class. If you did at least four 30-minute sessions a week, that is what is recommended for a good level of fitness and activity. Especially, in today’s world and today’s lifestyle, given some of the foods that we eat and the sedentary or not as active lifestyles that we’re currently living, I would recommend at least four days of doing that and up to six days of doing workouts. If you enjoy them, you could go up to six days, and you could also combine HIIT on three or four days with yoga on another couple days of the week but do please always give yourself at least one if not two rest days during the week.

Is it more beneficial to do a workout in the morning or evening, or is it the same?

It’s not necessarily more beneficial, but I do recommend doing them in the mornings, and for some people, their work routine may not support that. If you’re somebody who is already a parent, maybe you’re trying IVF for having more children, you might find that your mornings aren’t practical for you to work out or go to the gym. If you can, however, I do recommend the morning. Early in the morning, by doing that to our body, we are kind of shocking our body, and we’re temporarily tapping into our fight-or-flight state during the workout.  We are creating a spike in our body of adrenaline and cortisol and a surge in energy to deliver and fulfil energy over that workout. By doing that in the morning, especially if you’re someone that’s trying to conceive, I’m going to assume, I know some people do it at lunchtime, in the afternoon, but the majority might be working on reproduction in the evening whether you’re trying naturally or through IVF, you’ll be going into a rest state in the evening rather. You want your body to shift from the fight-or-flight state into the rest and digest. By getting the workout over and done in the morning, there are multiple benefits, you allow your body to burn fat after that while you’re at work or home or your desk because you’ve triggered the thermogenesis in the morning.

You also feel great in the morning, so it’s great for mental and emotional health because you’ve created a spike in endorphins and serotonin, and then later in the day, you’re beginning to taper down those hormones that are getting your high energy, excited or in a stressful state and by those coming down you’re allowing your body to start to go into a sleep state at night, you create a spike in another hormone called melatonin and melatonin is one of the most amazing hormones, it’s a super drug that’s created naturally by our body that allows for muscle tissue repair. It allows for fat burn and also really gives us good quality sleep.

Most of us are going to sleep in a stress state and are wondering why our body is not ready to receive or conceive a new life form in it, so that’s why I recommend the morning and if you cannot do the morning, then go for the evening.  Try to leave at least a three-hour gap between the time you’ve done your workout and your bedtime. If you do your work-out too close to bedtime, you might find that you struggle to sleep, and you also may defer the onset of melatonin in your body.

I can only walk at the moment due to health issues. How many minutes of walking can help aid weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, I recommend a minimum of an hour of walking. It doesn’t have to be done all at once but try to get a 20-minute walk in the morning. Try to get at least a 10 to 15-minute walk after every meal. If you could do 20 minutes, then 20 minutes, 20 minutes or 20 minutes in the morning before breakfast, which we call fasted cardio, if you’re able to do that, then I recommend that. That’s the first one you do in the morning, trying to get 15, 10, 15 or 20 minutes after lunch if time permits and again in the evening after supper if you can, and if it’s not too late, then just maybe before supper or dinner time you could go for a 15 to 20-minute walk that will support you.

In total, cumulatively across the day, you want to have about 60 minutes of walk time, it might sound like a lot if you’re doing it all at once, but I promise you that it passes quickly. If you work from home, and you have a lot of phone calls, I would recommend getting a nice good headset when you have certain meetings, if you’re short on time, take those meetings on a walk if you can. Put yourself on mute, and there’s no wind distraction in the background, it’s something we coach on called time merge skills because we’re creative and came about to serve busy professionals and busy professionals have a lot of calls that they have to join are quite routine. A lot of those calls, you just need to listen in, they probably need to unmute themselves and speak for a minute or 30 seconds, and when they do, they can do so in a quiet place, but we do recommend taking calls so long you can be present on the call and safe on the street. Doing that while walking, it’s what we call time to merge that, but I would say about an hour is what will contribute to that and what’s different from going out for what we call an intentional walk, which is walking at least five minutes and at least 500 meters at a go count. It will be done for a sustained enough amount of time to create a pulse razor that is raising your heart rate. If you just count your walking within your house from your kitchen to your living room to the bathroom that’s not sustained for long enough to create the pulse razor effect.  Therefore, to trigger thermogenesis, you might get 10 000 steps indoors where you work or at home, but it won’t be sustained for longer than five minutes to create what’s called a pulse raiser. 

My BMI is always higher than normal due to my height (I’m only 5 ft) no matter what I do. Any advice on what I can do to reduce it?

BMI for everyone else that’s listening in, and if you’re not familiar with how it’s calculated and why it’s popularized, it stands for body mass index. What BMI is doing is it’s taking your weight in kg, so if you let’s say weigh 70 kg, but your height is 5 ft, it takes your height in centimetres, and 5ft is about 153, so it takes your weight divided by your height in meters 1.53 squared and that number that’s arrived at is your BMI. It is just a ratio of your weight to your height. The reason BMI is popularized is that it was a very easy way during the world war era and the baby boom era to measure and identify whether somebody was fit or not to get into the army or not, that’s where it got popularized. We human beings made that to dictate how well or healthy we are, or we aren’t. That’s quite misleading because I’ll give you an example, I am 5.8, but because of my muscle mass, my overall body weight is 80 kg for somebody who’s 5.9, an optimal weight according to BMI, I’d be somewhere around 72-74, as a result of being 80 kilos with high muscle mass my BMI shows a slightly higher number, which is always 26 something or 27.

The healthy range for BMI is between 18.5 and 25. If you are over 25, your doctor or whoever checks you up might say you need to reduce your BMI, and their intention is good, but in the year 2021 and the last 5 or 10 years, we have access to what are called bioelectrical impedance scales, if you can connect with me on any social media platform, I will send you the links of the six recommended scales, you can buy some as little as 30 quid, a good quality one is about between 60 quid, and then they go up to a few 100 depending on how much you’re willing to spend. Those scales will tell you why your BMI is high, what you are made of, what percentage is fat.

You have two types of fat, one’s called visceral fat, which is the fat in between your organs that are not great for us, that’s not good for our health. Normally women with a high-fat percentage over 33% or over 35%  and with a high visceral fat struggle with fertility, but they’re not told that. On our program, that’s a big thing, we focus on that and like I said, in about 5-6 years of existence, we’ve had about 7 or 8 FITBANKER babies. Moms have taken on our program where we focus on fat percentage, and within 10 weeks, they’ve reduced their fat percentage to a good level. Including the lady whose video we played at the start where for a whole year she was just being sent back by the IVF clinic as she was not even allowed to come in because they kept asking what’s your BMI and said that she needs to lose weight before she can come in, and it kept impacting her mental and emotional well-being. She did a program within ten weeks, she lost 8 kg, and she was right away approved to stop the IVF process. Within a month after that, she successfully conceived and as she shared, she wanted just one more, and they got twins, and thereafter, they conceived naturally. That’s why it’s possible when we focus on the right aspect of how to measure our well-being rather than BMI. Nobody should be let down by their weight, that can be misleading.

How long should I wait after a workout session before the next meal?

Immediately after a workout session and within 40 minutes of that session, I recommend getting a certain amount of protein intake. For ladies, I recommend getting in your protein shake at least between 20 and 30 grams of protein powder, which gives you a net protein of somewhere between 20 and 24, depending on the brand and the quality. If you aim to get between 20 and 30 grams of protein in your shake, consume it within 40 minutes after the workout because it’s after we’ve created the muscle tissue tear that we want to first get in a certain amount of protein. If your workout was intense, and you’re feeling drained, you can get something that is a slow-digesting and burning carbohydrate, it could be a banana piece of fruit. If you are getting something that is carb in nature maybe have something that is like oats, however, I do recommend if you do want to lose fat percentage that you don’t take that carb in nature right after your workout.

You only focus on taking a high protein intake like a protein shake or a protein bar, and multiple protein bars are not protein bars. People think they’re protein bars, but they have less protein than they have carbohydrate and sugar, so they’re energy bars, but the graphic designers and marketing professionals out there put certain labelling that makes you think that it’s got protein, and it often does not have adequate or enough amount of protein that your body needs. We calculate your total daily protein needs, and for a female, it’s between 1 gram to 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. That’s what you need in the whole day, so if you weigh as an example, 70 kilos, you need between 70 and 105 grams of protein in a day, and ideally, you want to spread that out across the day, so you want to get 20 to 25 grams at a go and maybe have that spread out across three meals and two snack times. By the end of the day, you will reach your goal of protein, and the protein is what you take from your natural foods, whether from fish or eggs or meat or vegetables, and you can supplement whatever your total daily goal is from a natural healthy protein shake. There are protein shakes, which have a lot of bad rep because there’s a lot of non-essential stuff being added to them to reduce the cost, but it also reduces the quality. You want to have quality stuff other than your protein.

I would recommend that you have a meal for about two hours or three hours after. Especially if your workout is in the morning, and you want to lose fat, then have only protein allow a three-hour window before you have your next meal, but of course, hydrates a lot of drink, a lot of water, and it will contribute to your recovery. If anyone feels kind of low in energy, you can have a little electrolyte added to it. It replaces and replenishes the blood, the body’s natural body salts and minerals and any blood sugar that might have reduced over that period.

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Ronnie Rich

Ronnie Rich

Ronnie Rich is an Executive Health & Fitness Coach & Transformation Specialist. As a Keynote Speaker, he shares his very relatable story as a former Fat Banker to the birth of FITBANKER, and his mission is to transform a billion lives in his lifetime through having his health education programs be mainstream, starting with Leaders & Executives in the Corporate World committed to investing in their employees and altering the ‘old corporate work culture’. Working the long hours and burning the midnight candle was the norm. Leaving 5 pm on the dot in the banking world was frowned upon. Ronnie was a top performer in his banking career, yet neglected and never prioritized physical nor mental wellbeing. During a stressful period and loss in his personal life, he ended up hospitalized and decided to turn his wellbeing around. This loss gave birth to his business FITBANKER - empowering and enabling people to Bank on their Fitness. He is now the most relatable and effective Health (Body & Mind) Transformation Specialist for busy city professionals.
Event Moderator
Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka is managing MyIVFAnswers.com and has been hosting IVFWEBINARS dedicated to patients struggling with infertility since 2020. She's highly motivated and believes that educating patients so that they can make informed decisions is essential in their IVF journey. In the past, she has been working as an International Patient Coordinator, where she was helping and directing patients on their right path. She also worked in the tourism industry, and dealt with international customers on a daily basis, including working abroad. In her free time, you’ll find her travelling, biking, learning new things, or spending time outdoors.