Exercise during Pregnancy
By: Andres Carvajal
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
If you are used to working out before you become pregnant recommendations are to keep doing it if your pregnancy is healthy and without complications. It is recommend you consult your doctor or specialist to see what type of exercises you can do, or if you can do the same exercises as before. If you were not physically active before becoming pregnant you should ask your doctor for some exercises for beginners.
• It helps control blood pressure and protecting against diabetes, it can be used as an alternative treatment that would diminish or even suppress the use of insulin shots.
• It has been shown that exercise shortens the post-labor hospitalization time and reduces the risk of a cesarean intervention.
• In a recent study it has been shown that the infant hearts of moms who exercised are healthier than the hearts of less physical moms.
• Weight Control
• Prevents osteoporosis
• Increases muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance
• Increases energy
• Improved oxygenations
• Helps avoid varicose veins and improves circulation
• Improves digestion and reduces constipation
• It helps in getting back to your optimal shape
Recommendations for exercise during pregnancy:
• Cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, biking, rowing, dancing, or yoga at a moderate intensity, keeping the heart rate under 70% of your maximum capacity. Anaerobic exercise like weightlifting or sprints are not as important as cardio exercise during pregnancy.
• Keep it on a regular basis, 3-5 sessions a week for 20 to 40 minutes.
• Don’t overdo it or exercise at high intensities or for extended periods of time, if you planned to do a marathon consult your doctor.
• Be aware of hydration and high temperatures especially during summer
• Warm up and stretch every time you workout. Once you´ve finished do a cool-down
• Avoid any contact where you may get hit or injured, like martial arts.
• Use adequate and comfortable clothes and shoes.
• Try to exercise on non-slip surfaces
• Drink enough water and eat in a sufficient and adequate way. The caloric needs during pregnancy are higher (approximately 400 calories more per day) make sure to drink adequate amounts of water
• Keep a strict eye on supplements such as calcium, iron, and vitamins, important for exercise performance and for gestation.
Try avoiding the following:
• Exercise with risk of fall or injury
• Static positions for extended periods of time
• Sudden changes in position due to higher risk of dizziness or fainting
• Exercise at very warm temperatures.
. James F. Clapp EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY Clinics in Sports Medicine, Volume 19, Issue 2, Pages 273-286
Jarski RW, Trippett DL. The risks and benefits of exercise during pregnancy. J Fam Pract. 1990 Feb;30(2):185-9