Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercise During Pregnancy

Physical exercise improves your overall health and wellness. Without any doubt, you should continue exercising even if you’re pregnant. Overall exercise during is considered safe.

Especially if you’ve been already exercising, it is totally normal to continue the same as long as you feel no discomfort. There are certain exercises that specifically help you build stamina for labor and delivery.
However, if you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin exercising during pregnancy after consulting your health care professional.

How much exercise is enough?

Unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication, 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day on most if not all days of the week is enough for you if you are pregnant. Exercising for 20 minutes just 3-4 days a week is fine as well.

What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy?

Regular exercise can help:

  • Keep your mind and body healthy.
  • Gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy
  • Fight constipation, back pain and swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet
  • Manage stress and sleep better.
  • Reduce your risk of pregnancy complications, like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
  • Reduce your risk of having a cesarean birth (also called c-section).
  • Gets your body ready for labor and birth

When should you stop exercising?

Though exercising is safe during pregnancy, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should immediately abstain from the activity and consult your doctor:

  • Bleeding from the vagina or fluid leaking from the vagina
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or trouble breathing
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness, trouble walking or pain or swelling in your lower legs.
  • Regular, painful contractions.
  • Your baby stops moving. This may be a symptom of stillbirth

Guidelines to follow when you exercise during pregnancy:

  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and shoes as well as a good support bra
  • Exercise on a flat, level surface to prevent injury.
  • Consume enough calories to meet the needs of your pregnancy.
  • Eat your meals at least one hour before exercising.
  • Drink water before, during, and after your workout.
  • After doing floor exercises, get up slowly and gradually to prevent dizziness.
  • Avoid exercise to the point of exhaustion.

What exercises are safe to do?

These activities usually are safe during pregnancy:

  • Walking
  • Swimming and water workouts to relieve lower back pain.
  • Prenatal yoga and Pilates classes especially for pregnant women.
  • Low-impact aerobics classes including walking, riding a stationary
  • Strength training to build muscle and make your bones strong.

What kinds of activities aren’t safe during pregnancy?

They include:

  • Holding your breath during any activity.
  • Activities where falling is likely (such as skiing and horseback riding).
  • Contact sports such as softball, football, basketball, and volleyball.
  • Any exercise that may cause even mild abdominal trauma such as activities that include jarring motions or rapid changes in direction.
  • Activities that require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, bouncing, or running.
  • Deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches.
  • Bouncing while stretching.
  • Waist-twisting movements while standing.
  • Heavy exercise spurts followed by long periods of no activity.
  • Exercise in hot, humid weather.

What are the body changes that affect exercise during pregnancy?

You may notice the following changes:-

  • Loss of Balance
  • Slightly higher body temperature
  • Breathing- As your baby develops and your body changes, you need more oxygen. Your growing belly puts pressure on your diaphragm, a muscle that helps you breathe. You may even find yourself feeling short of breath at times.
  • You may have less energy.
  • Your heart works harder and beats faster during pregnancy to get oxygen to your baby.
  • Try to avoid any movements that may strain or hurt your joints.

You can visit CMC, Mohali to seek the best knowledge about exercise during pregnancy.


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