Improving Fertility Through Lifestyle Interventions

A recent study has found that a low-intensity lifestyle intervention may improve fertility in obese women who are having trouble conceiving. Researchers have found that obese women struggling with infertility may benefit from a lifestyle intervention program. This program consisted of an 18-month intervention compiled of individuals sessions with a nutritionist and kinesiologist (exercise specialist) every 6 weeks and 12 group sessions. Their overall goal was to target diet, exercise, and motivation as a means of reducing obesity and improving fertility.

As a guideline, clinicians advise obese women with infertility to lose 5-10% body weight with lifestyle modifications. This program asked individuals to reduce their caloric intake by 500 calories per day. This comes out to roughly two cans of soda, per day. Additionally, they were asked to increase physical activity by 150 minutes per week, which is the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendation for seeing health benefits.

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They were able to demonstrate significantly improved rates of overall and spontaneous pregnancy for those who participated, as compared to the control group. At 6 months, those in the intervention lost 3.4% body weight, decreased their waist circumference and percent fat mass, and improved their healthy eating. Following the conclusion of the intervention, 60.8% of those who received the lifestyle intervention and fertility treatment had become pregnant, compared to 38.6% of those who relied on fertility treatment only. These findings emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle on fertility. Additionally, it demonstrates an effective intervention for improving fertility in obese women. The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by providing healthy lifestyle consultations specific to exercise, nutrition, and goal setting. We can assist with providing support for adhering to a healthy lifestyle, improving health, and increasing fertility.

By Matt Lewandowski

Sources:  Lifestyle Interventions Improves Fertility in Obese Women.  Miriam E. Tucker – Medscape – April 3, 2019. Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

New Metric for Predicting Life Expectancy

It can be difficult to conceptualize the impact that an unhealthy lifestyle can have on our overall health. Health-adjusted lifestyle expectancy (HALE) provides the relative life expectancy we can assume based on our current lifestyle. HALE provides the number of years a person can expect to live in good health, based on the current patterns of mortality and morbidity. This metric essentially adjusts your life expectancy based on the amount of time you have lived in less than perfect health. It factors in various demographics and healthy lifestyle factors, such as smoking, diabetes, physical activity, diet, and others. Rather than reporting how much our risk of death is increased with certain habits or behaviors, this metric provides an easier way of understanding the impact on our life expectancy.

Example of a HALE score and the information provided.

Example of a HALE score and the information provided.

Your HALE score will tell you your predicted future health years and your predicted future unhealthy years, or the time you can expect to live in poor health or disability. Additionally, it will provide your predicted life expectancy. An important factor to note is that this metric does not take into consideration genetics or other diseases/disabilities an individual may have.

This new tool is important as it provides an expected life expectancy based on your current lifestyle patterns. While initial values may be shocking, it is important to note that lifestyle adjustments can be made to increase your life expectancy and improve your health. The HALE provides how your lifestyle impacts your healthy life expectancy by providing recommendations for ways you can improve your lifestyle. For example, it will note how much time you could add onto your life expectancy by improving your exercise.

It is important to note that it is never too late! Research has shown that even adopting five healthy lifestyle habits midlife (age 50) can add up to 10 years to your life (i.e., exercising, healthy diet, healthy weight, not smoking, alcohol in moderation). Each single lifestyle change that is made will help an individual live longer and better. The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by providing interpretation for your HALE score and providing consultations specific to exercise, nutrition, goal setting, and overall health. We can help provide support for adhering to living a healthier life. If you are interested in learning your HALE score, you can click on the link here:

By Matt Lewandowski

Sources: Health Status Statistics: Mortality – Healthy life expectancy (HALE). World Health Organization.; Healthy Life Expectancy Calculator, developed by the Goldenson Center at the University of Connecticut, retrieved from: https://apps.goldensoncenter.uconn.edu/HLEC/.; Mehta, M. & Myrskyla, N. (2017).  The population health benefits of a healthy lifestyle:  Life expectancy increased and onset of disability delayed.  Health Affairs, 36(8), 1495-1502; Li et al. (2018). Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population.  Circulation, 137(2).