Pregnancy Fitness: Dos and Don’ts
When a woman becomes pregnant, she often becomes aware of the importance of her health for her and her baby. She may think about her diet, exercise, and health more than she usually does. That is why pregnant women need to practise healthy habits for the nine months they are carrying a baby.
When a woman is pregnant, there is just so much going on inside the body that it is understandable if she does not have the time or energy to hit the gym. But that does not mean she should completely abandon her workout plans. A great way to get in a good workout is to start walking. Walking is a proven way to get fit and healthy, and pregnancy is no different. Walking is a perfect exercise during pregnancy, and it can be done at a leisurely pace without strain.
Pregnancy Fitness: Dos
Warm-up and cool down properly
The body is constantly changing throughout pregnancy. With these changes comes an increased risk of injury, which is why pregnant individuals must be careful when exercising. Warming up and cooling down correctly before performing a pregnancy fitness routine is something that pregnant women should do carefully to ensure they are supporting their bodies. Without these two procedures, there is a high probability the pregnant individual will sustain an injury.
Exercise regularly and consistently
Although pregnancy is a wondrous time in a woman’s life, it can also bring on challenges with getting and staying fit. Exercising during pregnancy can provide many health benefits for both the mother and the baby, such as preventing gestational diabetes. It can also reduce stress, increase energy, and improve mood. That is why regular exercise is needed throughout pregnancy, even if it is just a walk per day to help avoid sitting around.
Pregnancy Fitness: Don’ts
Exercise in a hot or humid environment
Exercising in the heat or humidity is often one of the last things pregnant women want to do. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends exercising at a mild to moderate exertion level. The ACOG also stresses the need for caution since overheating during exercise can be dangerous and even deadly. This especially applies to pregnant women, so the environmental temperature is important to bear in mind.
Lift weights that are too heavy
During some months of pregnancy, a woman may be asked to lift weights that are too heavy. You may be tempted just to put away the barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines, but lifting during pregnancy may be part of your fitness routine and may help strengthen muscles and increase stamina. But, lifting during pregnancy puts you at risk of injuring your joints, especially your back, and also poses risks for serious complications.
Doing sports where you risk falling, such as skiing or horseback riding
Doing sports where you risk falling, such as skiing or horseback riding, is something that pregnant women should not do. You may recall from previous posts that falling during fetal development has been linked to serious genetic defects. These defects include heart disease and an increased risk of stroke, as well as an increased risk of certain cancers. It is important to keep these in mind when you exercise during pregnancy. Not only is it important to avoid doing this when pregnant, but it is also important to keep from doing this after giving birth. A study from 2003 demonstrated that even six weeks of vigorous exercise would likely lead to micro fractures of the bones in your pelvis. These fractures are less likely with lighter exercises, such as walking or swimming.
It is never too early to start educating yourself about pregnancy. Both during and after pregnancy, you need to stay fit and healthy. The right exercise regimen during pregnancy does more than let you stay in shape while pregnant; it can actually help a woman recover from childbirth more quickly and get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. But not every exercise is right for every pregnant woman.