Regular exercise during pregnancy can help you to stay healthy, reduce the risk of gaining excessive extra weight, and even make delivery easier. Exercise can have lots of benefits for your mental and physical health during pregnancy as well, and give your baby the best start in life too.
Current guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of a week of moderate aerobic physical activity during pregnancy. You don’t need to work out hard for long sessions. You could exercise five times a week for 30 minutes, or 10 times a week for 15 minutes.
If you were vigorously exercising before pregnancy or doing a vigorous activity like dancing, you can often carry on with this during your pregnancy. Though it’s essential for you to ask your doctor’s advice before you continue exercising. Once they’ve given you the all-clear you can get back to doing what you enjoy, so you might not need to hang up your favourite gym leggings with pockets just yet.
Types Of Exercise To Stay Fit And Healthy
There are lots of good options for staying active during pregnancy, including:
- Brisk walking
- Indoor stationary cycling
- Yoga or pilates
- Low impact aerobics
- Exercises for labour and delivery
These exercises have a low risk of injury. They also benefit the whole body and are usually safe to keep doing right up until the delivery of your baby. If you’re changing your exercises routine or starting a new one, just run this past your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you and your unborn baby.
Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy
There are lots of benefits to maintaining an exercise routine during pregnancy, such as:
- Steadily increasing the heart rate
- Improved circulation
- Lowered risk of obesity and complications related to obesity, like hypertension and gestational diabetes
- Prevent constipation, backache, and varicose veins
- Keep the body strong and flexible
- Controlling healthy weight gain
- Preparing the muscles for labour and birth
- Helping prevent deep vein thrombosis
- Better sleep and emotional health
Exercise during pregnancy could also:
- Shorten labour and reduce the likelihood that you will need medication or pain relief during birth
- Reduce the risk of a preterm or cesarean delivery
- Speed up recovery after the birth
- Give your baby a good start
There has been some research done that suggests that exercising during pregnancy can also have some excellent health benefits for the baby, including:
- A lower fetal heart rate
- A healthier birth weight
- A lower fat mass
- Improved stress tolerance
- Enhanced nervous system development
How To Exercise Safely During Pregnancy
Before you start working out, you should spend a few minutes warming up and a few minutes stretching. Afterwards, you should finish with five to ten minutes of gentler exercise to cool down, with gentle stretching.
Here are some tips to stay safe:
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable gym wear, and a supportive bra
- Wear shoes that support the foot, and are designed for the type of exercise that you’re doing
- Wear compression stockings if your legs are swelling
- Exercise on a flat, level surface
- Avoid overheating
- Drink water before, during, and after exercise
- Get up slowly and gradually so you don’t get dizzy
- Keep an eye on the effect of every activity that you do, and change the regimen if you need to as your pregnancy progresses.
Want to know more about pregnancy exercises? Then drop the editor a line and suggest an article topic. InShape News would love to hear from you 🙂
InShape News – ‘Live. Life. Healthy. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.’
For similar content delivered weekly to your inbox, subscribe to our feed.