Probably some of you are used to exercising or want to start exercising, but then you find out you’re pregnant! Your first thoughts might be “Should I stop working out?” or “Maybe now is not a good time to start…”. Exercise during pregnancy actually has many benefits, both for you and for your baby. Let’s discuss this in more detail, shall we?
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Can I Continue Exercising?
If you already exercise and are wondering if you can keep exercising during your pregnancy; the answer is, generally, yes! Now, the intensity of your workout might need a little tweak, but you can still continue doing what you were doing. Of course, if you’re into crossfit or marathons, maybe your OBGYN or health care provider would recommend you change the form of exercise to a lower intensity one.
It’s very important to discuss this with your OBGYN before. Continuing exercise during pregnancy all depends on your medical history, your pregnancy and other factors.
There are some types of exercises that should be avoided. For example: crunches – to avoid developing diastasis recti1 – which is when your abdominals start to separate with your growing uterus; or laying down flat on your back since the compression on your spine can limit the blood flow and can make you dizzy.2 Once again, your OBGYN can go through a few of the exercises with you that you should avoid doing.
I’ve Never Exercised Before but I’d Like to Start!
If you never exercised before and are wondering if you can start exercising during your pregnancy…once again, you can! Of course, the same idea applies here; where you should talk to your OBGYN beforehand.
When we talk about exercise, this isn’t just working out with heavy weights or working up a real sweat. Exercise can be going out on walks or doing some yoga! If you’ve never exercised before your pregnancy, it’s not recommended to start strenuous exercises such as heavy weight lifting…and this is just because you wouldn’t want to get injured.
Exercise During Pregnancy – Myths
Exercising during pregnancy won’t increase your chances of having a miscarriage, low birth-weight or early delivery3, as many of you are probably led to believe.
Exercise During Pregnancy is Widely Encouraged
In fact, exercise during a healthy pregnancy is actually encouraged by medical professionals and has many benefits for you and for your growing fetus.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, moderate exercise is recommended for pregnant women for 30 minutes or more on most, if not all, days of the week.5
Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
- May decrease your risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean birth3
- Reduces back & pelvic pain4
- Eases constipation3
- Promotes healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy for you and for your fetus5
- Prepares your body for the physical demands of labor4
- Increases your energy & improves your mood6
- Faster recovery after giving birth4
- Reduces your risk for perinatal anxiety & depression4, 5
Exercise during a healthy pregnancy definitely has many benefits for your and for your growing fetus, whether you already had a workout regime or are just starting. It’s important to discuss with your OBGYN which forms of exercises are appropriate for your individual pregnancy, as it may differ from person to person depending on their health. If you’re given the A-OK, then get your groove on mama!
What’s your favorite form of exercise? Comment below!