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Exercise And Physical Activity

Exercise & Physical Activity During Pregnancy

Table of Contents

Fitness is as important as healthy lifestyle and diet to maintain your physical and emotional health during pregnancy. Healthy pregnant women should get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity exercise a week. Exercise is a safe for most pregnant women who do not have any pregnancy-related problems. Spread your exercises throughout the week to make it comfortable and enjoyable. Talk to your doctor and request for a safe exercise regimen suitable for you during pregnancy.

Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy

The following are the benefits of exercise and physical activity during pregnancy:

  • Exercise helps ease aches, pains, and other body changes during pregnancy.
  • Exercise helps relieve constipation, varicose veins, backaches, and fatigue.
  • Physically active pregnant women can better cope with labor and delivery and recover more quickly.
  • Exercise can lower the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Physically fit women will have an easy time getting back to a healthy weight after delivery.
  • Regular exercise can improve sleep during pregnancy.
  • Physical activity helps improve your emotional health. Pregnant women who exercise seem to have better self-esteem and a lower risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Research studies suggest that pregnant women who are physically active during pregnancy may lower their chances of preterm delivery.

Moderate Exercise And Physical Activity

Moderate exercise and physical activity, such as walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, and low-impact aerobics, are easy to take up. You will find it easy, comfortable, and enjoyable even if you are new to exercise. Talk to your doctor before starting any form of exercise or workout.

Tips For Safe And Healthy Exercise

Follow these tips for safe and healthy exercise:

  • Start your exercise slowly, progress gradually, and cool down slowly.
  • You should be able to talk while exercising. If not, you may be overdoing it.
  • Take a break in between exercises.
  • Avoid exercising on your back after the first trimester. This can put too much pressure on an important vein and limit blood flow to the baby.
  • Avoid jerky, bouncing, and high-impact movements. Connective tissues stretch much more easily during pregnancy. So these types of movements put you at risk of joint injury.
  • While exercising take care not to lose your balance. As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts making you more prone to falls. Avoid activities like jogging, using a bicycle, or playing racquet sports to prevent the risk of falling.
  • Avoid exercising at high altitudes (more than 6,000 feet), as this can reduce oxygen supply to your baby.
  • Drink lot of fluids before, during, and after exercising.
  • Avoid exercising in extreme heat or humidity.
  • If you feel short of breath, tired, or uncomfortable, stop and take a break. Reduce the intensity when you exercise again.

Stop exercising right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluid leaking from the vagina
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Less fetal movement
  • Contractions

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises tone your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the rectum, vagina, and urethra in the pelvis. Tones pelvic floor muscles will help you push during delivery and recover from birth. These exercises will also help control bladder leakage and lower your chance of getting hemorrhoids. Talk to your doctor and learn how to do Kegel exercises.