Congratulations…You’re pregnant! This is the time to take extra care of yourself and your body. This includes making sure you get enough exercise. So, exactly what role should exercise play during your pregnancy? Read on for our guide on what to do, and what not to do.
Pregnancy means it’s time to be extra careful about yourself. The reason is, exercising during pregnancy has the power to induce increased energy in yourself, improve your posture and even give you a good light sleep.
What’s more, the benefits don’t stop only for you. Our women’s health specialist Dr Sachin. K says, “women who exercise regularly during pregnancy tend to give birth to healthier babies with increased cognitive ability and decreased risk of chronic health issues in a later stage.”
So, if you exercise regularly during pregnancy, you’ll be better prepared both physically and mentally for your labour.
See what other benefits of a prescribed “2.5 to 5 hours of exercise per week” can do for you
- It can significantly reduce the risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and get you ready for pregnancy and labour.
- Regulates blood pressure to keep it within healthy limits
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Improves overall fitness
- And improves your mood
But there are certain things you’ll need to avoid during exercise, for instance, anything that could cause you to trip or fall
- First up, don’t push yourself too hard that you’re out of breath. Remember, the idea is to do moderately intense exercise but regularly.
- Always ask an expert before you start your pregnancy exercise. It could be your doctor, a gym instructor or the Midwife. They will custom-create a plan that works with your fitness level, weight, and medical condition
- And stick to 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
What are the basic principles for pregnancy exercise?
- Stay hydrated and nourished, especially eat a balanced diet rich in iron, protein, fresh fruits and vegetables to provide your body with the right macronutrients to fuel the exercise and micronutrients to support the pregnancy.
- Start gradually – we recommend starting by avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity
- Include a gradual warm-up session, like stretching your legs or going for a walk
- Include strength-bearing exercise, perhaps once or twice a week
- Each activity should end with a sustained cool-down session
- If indoors, exercise where the air is well ventilated
- Wear light clothes
Things to avoid during pregnancy exercise
- Avoid anything that could put the risk of impact on your abdomen, so no ice hockey or basketball. Forget boxing!
- After the first trimester, avoid exercise where you need to lie down on your back
- Avoid lifting heavy weights, which involves straining and holding your breath.
- Avoid putting a load on your pelvic floor, such as jumping and bouncing
- Avoid exercising in high temperatures and humidity
- Don’t exercise more than 60 minutes per session
- No horse-riding, skiing, surfing, or cycling
And, of course, the warning signs that you need to stop exercising immediately
- Uterine contractions or abdominal or pelvic pain
- Sudden swelling of the ankle, hands and face
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Call pain, swelling or redness
- Decreased movement
- Muscles weakness
- Amniotic fluid loss
- Vaginal bleeding
- Chest pain
Exercise Pregnancy with Lotus Medics
At Lotus Medics, we believe being active during pregnancy is good for both you and your baby.
But, it’s a safe practice to always ask an expert before you try a new exercise regime while pregnant.
Ask our doctors for advice on a customised exercise plan or any concerns with your pregnancy and steps for improving fitness.