As expecting parents, we understand that you and your partner must be receiving a lot of advice, suggestions and “home remedies'' for a healthy pregnancy journey! While it’s only natural for your friends and family to assist you with such information, many times, they may be incorrect. And that’s why you must seek an expert’s advice, especially when it comes to starting a new workout or fitness regime during this delicate phase.
With this blog, we hope to shed some light on the advantages of exercising during pregnancy and how it can benefit both the mother as well as the baby.
Advantages Of Exercising During Pregnancy
- Helps with stomach problems such as bloating, and swelling
- Reduces sore back or backaches
- Helps with insomnia
- Reduces the chances of excess pregnancy weight gain
- Helps in building endurance and strength
- Improves cardiovascular function
- Decreases the chances of developing gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes
- Improved postpartum recovery
- Reduces risk of cesarean
- Shortens the period of labor
In addition to above, exercising also has a positive impact on the growing baby in the following ways2-
- Decreases the resting fetal heart rate
- Improves placental viability
- Increases amniotic fluid levels
- Potentially prevents preeclampsia
- Lower body fat percentage (in newborns)
- Probable improved neurodevelopment
Staying Safe While Exercising During Pregnancy
Having said that, while you are pregnant, it’s better to avoid1-
- Exercises that require you to lie on your back, especially after the 3rd trimester
- High-intensity workouts
- Water sports such as surfing, diving and water skiing
- Team sports or contact sports like football, volleyball, cricket, basketball, kabaddi, etc
- Sports in which there’s high risk of falling such as horse riding, skiing, gymnastics, etc
- Extreme sports like motorbiking, mountain biking, mountaineering
- Working out in high altitudes and under unfavorable conditions
you must also ensure to keep yourself well-hydrated, eat a nutrient-rich diet and get plenty of rest while exercising during pregnancy.
Let us now quickly go through some exercises that can be safely practiced during your pregnancy. They include4:
- Prenatal yoga
- Running ( avoid if you don’t usually run)
- Low impact aerobics
- Abdominal and pelvic floor exercises
Exercise is a significant part of pregnancy and provides numerous health benefits to both the expecting mother as well as the child she’s carrying. However, it’s better to consult a doctor before starting any new course of physical activity. And in case you experience symptoms like dizziness, headache, vaginal bleeding, chest pain or shortness of breath while exercising, you should stop it immediately and contact your doctor as soon as possible1.
Other warning signs which denote that you must consult your doctor immediately include:1
- Calf inflammation and swelling
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Fluid leaks from vagina
- Painful uterine contractions
- Body ache or muscle weakness
Regular exercising during pregnancy helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle while benefiting the overall development of the baby. If you’re someone who has not worked out then consulting a pregnancy-specialized workout trainer could also benefit.
So, what are you waiting for? Put on your training shoes, and get set to bring out your ‘healthiest’ pregnant version!