Weight gain during pregnancy can become quite a cause of discomfort for most women. While some women prefer exercising during pregnancy, there are some who don’t exercise at all out of fear of harming their child. So, what should be the right approach towards exercising for moms to be? Well, exercise is not only safe but is recommended during pregnancy as it strengthens your muscles and improves your mood by producing endorphins.
Today we answer the five most common questions women have regarding exercising during their pregnancy:
How can exercise benefit me?
Exercising during pregnancy has several benefits. It improves your cardiovascular system, tones and strengthens your muscles and releases feel-good hormones. What this really means is that you’ll be more confident, energetic and have a positive approach to the problems of pregnancy. It also decreases the chances of constipation that is commonly seen during pregnancy by increasing the mobility of the intestine. Exercising not only controls your weight during pregnancy, but also makes it easier for women to lose weight after child birth, as the body has less accumulated fat.
The stretching and toning of the muscles helps relieve back aches and proves beneficial even during childbirth as you will have the necessary stamina and your body will be able to endure labor pains better. It’s also a good way of keeping your joints healthy and lubricated throughout your pregnancy.
What kind of exercises should I do?
There is no restriction as such but remember that this is not the time to up your exercise game! Stick to the ones you have been following and don’t get too ambitious. Some forms of exercise that are particularly good for pregnant women are walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and yoga. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you focus on non-weight-bearing activities and those that don’t require an enormous amount of balance.
For how long should I exercise?
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that women with no complications, should exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes or more, on most, if not all days of the week. If you did not exercise before becoming pregnant, start with a few minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes or more.
What kind of exercises should I avoid?
Listen to your body! Sometimes even regular exercises like jogging may not be recommended for you if you’re not used to exercising or if you have any complications. Avoid exercises that strain your back or that would pose a risk to your core area or your abdomen, especially during your second and third trimester.
What are the warning signs that I should stop exercising?
It’s always better to be cautious so if you experience any of the following you should stop exercising and talk to your doctor immediately:
- chest, leg, joint or stomach pain
- dizziness or shortness of breath
- vaginal bleeding or loss of fluid from your vagina
- difficulty with walking
- muscle weakness
- calf pain or swelling
Also, if you suffer from any health condition such as heart or lung diseases, cervical complications, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure etc. avoid any intense exercises and always consult your doctor.
Always consult your gynecologist and an expert trainer before starting any form of exercise. The proof reading has been done by Dr. Shital Vaidya from iCare Clinics.