Even if you have never exercised regularly before getting pregnant, it is safe to do so now as long as you follow the guidelines set by South Shore Women’s Health. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days. Exercising safely during pregnancy keeps you healthy and actually provides many other benefits.
Some Guidelines For Exercising Safely During Pregnancy
If you were a physically active person prior to pregnancy, you will need to moderate your routine a bit during pregnancy. Don’t try to exercise at your pre-pregnancy level. Do what is comfortable for you throughout the time you are pregnant. Low-impact aerobics, for example, is recommended rather than high-impact.
Avoid any activity which could include impact like contact sports or if falling is a possibility. Save bouncing, hopping, skipping, or jumping until after the baby is born. Don’t exercise in very hot humid weather. Do not do any waist-twisting movement while standing.
Avoid doing exercise during the 2nd and 3rd trimester that involves lying flat on your back. This can decrease blood flow to the uterus.
Don’t allow yourself to become exhausted.
In addition, include the following into your routine:
- Wear loose comfortable clothing with a supportive bra
- Only exercise on a flat-level surface
- Give yourself at least one hour between eating and exercising
- Drink lots of water throughout—that means before, during, and after working out
- Wear comfortable exercise footwear with strong ankle and arch support
Specific Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy
If you weren’t a workout queen before pregnancy, but you want to initiate some exercise into your daily life, talk with South Shore Women’s Health before you do anything new. Walking is one activity that can’t hurt you along with swimming. Swimming is easy on your joints and muscles plus reduces back pain. Start there.
So what about the benefits? There are multitudes.
Safe exercise can reduce pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. You will feel good and have extra energy to get through labor.
Exercise keeps your heart, lungs, and blood vessels strong. It will help you gain the right amount of weight. It eases back pain, constipation, and leg swelling. It will help to manage stress and help you sleep better.
Wait, there’s more! Exercising during pregnancy also prepares your body for labor and birth. Things like prenatal yoga and Pilates will help with breathing, meditation, and other calming methods to help you manage labor pains.
Exercising safely throughout your pregnancy will make it easier to get back in shape after baby comes.