First and foremost, it is important to stay strong and in shape for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy. Physical exercise can help with some of the discomforts associated with pregnancy, as well as help to prepare the mom-to-be for labor and delivery. A recommended 30 minutes per day, most days of the week is ideal, however, any exercise is going to be beneficial. The benefits associated with staying fit and healthy throughout pregnancy are huge!
Some of the benefits are as follows:
- Helps to reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
- May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes.
- Increases your energy and improves your mood.
- Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance (important for delivery).
Is exercising during pregnancy safe?
Exercise during pregnancy is safe and usually recommended by doctors. The most common guideline given is if you were physically active before becoming pregnant, it is safe to remain active throughout your pregnancy. It is not a good idea to start a new routine, or conduct a weight loss program during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before deciding to begin exercising in pregnancy.
While most exercises are safe to continue, there are a few that should be avoided:
- Where falling is more likely.
- Where abdominal trauma can occur (i.e. contact sports).
- Activities that require extensive jumping, hopping, or bouncing.
- Waist twisting movements.
- Exercise in hot, humid weather.
- Most importantly—do not overdo your exercise.
Remember that throughout pregnancy, your body experiences quite a bit of changes. Your joints will become more flexible from the hormone Relaxin, which causes certain muscles to relax during pregnancy. Another change is your center of gravity because of the added weight to the front of your body. Both of these changes can affect your balance and should be considered when choosing your workout routines. On a final note, you should drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout and ensure that you are eating enough healthy calories to meet the needs of your pregnancy and the exercise program you are performing.