Exercise in Pregnancy, Is it safe?
YES! As long as you have had no complications and your health practitioner has told you not to exercise.
Exercise while pregnant can in fact have multiple benefits both while your expecting your baby and after!
There is no reason why you cannot continue with your current exercise regime when your pregnant as long as you tell your instructor (if doing group exercise) and follow a few simple guidelines.
1, Drink plenty of water- You will sweat more when pregnant so you must replace lost fluid.
2, Take it down a step- Your heart rate should not exceed 145 bpm as your heart is already working hard to feed placenta.
3, Warm up and cool down correctly
4, Avoid lifting heavy weights- When pregnant your body produces a hormone called relaxin which softens your normally tough ligaments.
5, Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester- This may cause dizziness as it puts your uterus directly on top of your vena cava which is a major blood vessel and could reduce blood flow to your brain and uterus.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t exercise to exhaustion
- Make sure you can talk comfortably
- Listen to your body, if you feel sick or dizzy, stop!
- Don’t do more than 3 moderate level exercise sessions per week
- Always tell the exercise professional you are pregnant so he/she can adapt exercises for you
No doubt about it, exercise is a big plus for both you and your baby (if complications don’t limit your ability to exercise throughout your pregnancy).
It makes you feel better At a time when you wonder if this strange body can possibly be yours, exercise can increase your sense of control and boost your energy level. Not only does it make you feel better by releasing endorphins (naturally occurring chemicals in your brain), appropriate exercise can:
- relieve backaches and improve your posture by strengthening and toning muscles in your back, butt, and thighs
- reduce constipation by accelerating movement in your intestine
- prevent wear and tear on your joints (which become loosened during pregnancy due to normal hormonal changes) by activating the lubricating fluid in your joints
- help you sleep better by relieving the stress and anxiety that might make you restless at night
It makes you feel good. Exercise increases the blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy glow.
It prepares you and your body for birth. Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly ease labor and delivery. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage pain. And in the event of a lengthy labor, increased endurance can be a real help.
It helps you regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly. You’ll gain less fat weight during your pregnancy if you continue to exercise (assuming you exercised before becoming pregnant). But don’t expect or try to lose weight by exercising while you’re pregnant. For most women, the goal is to maintain their fitness level throughout pregnancy.
While the jury’s still out on the additional benefits of exercise during pregnancy, some studies have shown that exercise may even lower a woman’s risk of complications, like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
By Darren Tyrie, Personal Trainer Sunderland