Staying Active for Two: Tips for Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercising during pregnancy has numerous physical, mental and emotional benefits for both the mother and baby. Pregnant women should always consult with their physicians before beginning any exercise regime.
This article will provide an overview of the safety, benefits and common exercise tips for expecting mothers.
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
There are numerous benefits of exercising during pregnancy, including improved sleep quality, improved posture, a low risk of developing gestational diabetes, and a reduced risk of excessive weight gain.
Exercise can help with strengthening the muscles used during childbirth, reduce mental and physical stress, and provide a feeling of general well-being throughout pregnancy.
Regular exercise during pregnancy can also help to reduce the risk of complications during labour and delivery, as well as reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Furthermore, exercise can help to reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Exercise can also help to reduce the risk of developing varicose veins, which are swollen and twisted veins that can occur during pregnancy.
If an expectant mom has been exercising pre-pregnancy, there is no reason to stop exercising unless recommended by their doctor.
Tips for Safe Exercise For Pregnant Women
When exercising during pregnancy, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to start slowly and build up gradually. On days when you don’t feel well, it is important to take it slow or even take a rest day.
Secondly, staying hydrated is key. As your baby grows, the body needs more water to keep the extra blood volume in circulation. Lastly, be sure to listen to your body — if something doesn’t feel right, stop.
It is also important to wear comfortable, supportive clothing and shoes when exercising. Avoid any activities that involve lying flat on your back, as this can reduce the amount of oxygen and blood flow to your baby.
Finally, it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy.
Physical Activity to Avoid in Pregnancy
Certain exercises should be avoided while pregnant, as they can put a strain on the growing baby or cause potential harm to the mother. Exercises to avoid include contact sports such as football or basketball, as well as any high-intensity exercises done at a fast pace such as running or jogging.
Even if you have been performing repetitive high-impact exercise or high-intensity exercise before becoming pregnant, it is important to adjust to activities with lower impact throughout pregnancy.
High-risk exercises or physical activities like scuba diving, mountain climbing, downhill skiing, skating, ice hockey etc, must be avoided.
It is also important to avoid exercises that involve lying on your back for extended periods of time, as this can reduce the amount of oxygen and blood flow to the baby.
Any vigorous exercise that involves jumping or bouncing should be avoided, as this can cause the uterus to contract and put a strain on the baby. It is important to listen to your body and stop any exercise if you experience any pain or discomfort.
Tailoring Exercise Routines for Every Trimester
As the pregnancy progresses it’s important to tailor your exercise program accordingly. During the first trimester exercising goals should focus on maintaining wellness and well-being. This can be achieved through moderate physical activity such as yoga or long walks. During the second trimester physical activity should continue at its current level or increase slightly but cautiously.
It is also important to make sure the body is well hydrated throughout the second trimester and all exercises should be modified so as to avoid lying down flat on your back as the baby grows bigger. Finally, during the third trimester, all exercises should be low impact and focus on strengthening the stomach and pelvic muscles ready for childbirth.
Overall, exercising during pregnancy has many physical, mental and emotional benefits for both the mother and child. It is strongly recommended that expecting mothers consult their physician about creating and sticking to an appropriate exercise plan for their pregnancy.
It is important to note that the intensity of exercise should be adjusted according to the individual’s fitness level and the stage of pregnancy. For example, if the mother is feeling fatigued or unwell, it is best to reduce the intensity of the exercise or take a break.
Additionally, it is important to listen to the body and stop exercising if any pain or discomfort is experienced.
View our helpful video for more on how to safely exercise during pregnancy.
Lotus Medics can help you
If you require advice on exercise during pregnancy, please contact us at Lotus Medics for more information. If you would like to book an appointment at our Orange, Parkes or Bathurst practices, please contact us via telephone at 1300 3LOTUS (1300 356887) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your appointment.
To book an appointment online, please complete your contact details via our online form.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you require more information on exercise in pregnancy, please read our most frequently asked questions.
Can you do squats while pregnant?
It is generally considered safe to do squats while pregnant. However, it is best to consult a doctor or physical therapist for advice about the best type of exercise for your situation.
It is important to take into consideration any physical limitations or changes that may occur due to pregnancy.
Performing squats during this period is not necessarily a problem. However, there is limited research on specific volumes and intensity for exercise prescription in the general population. Therefore, guidelines for strength training during this period involve lighter loads (or body weight) and more repetitions (Evenson et al., 2013).
Pregnant athletes who are already well-trained can often continue their same training regimen during this period as their bodies allow (Kardel, 2005).
Generally, participating in routines that include very deep squats with heavy loads is not recommended due to the lack of evidence supporting their safety.
This is especially true if the expectant mother was not used to heavy squatting before her pregnancy. Incorporating squats that can help reinforce good movement patterns with lighter loads is likely safe and incredibly beneficial during this period (Kehler & Heinrich, 2015).
Is it okay to exercise every day while pregnant?
It is generally safe to exercise during pregnancy, but it is important to talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. Depending on your health and fitness level, your doctor may recommend a certain amount and intensity of exercise each day.
Can you do moderate exercise in late pregnancy?
It is generally recommended that pregnant women engage in moderate exercise during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
This includes activities such as walking, swimming, and low-impact aerobics. However, pregnant women should always consult with their doctor before beginning any exercise program.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.