Guide to Safe Exercise for the Expectant Mother
Expecting a baby and wondering if it’s safe for you to exercise?
Guidelines for Exercise During Pregnancy
Women get various benefits from physical exercise during pregnancy. However, special precautions are still required, owing to physical changes that arise during pregnancy. If you were exercising before you became pregnant, now you can continue to do similar exercises.
The goal should be to maintain your current fitness level, rather than attempting to reach peak fitness. Expect to change your routines though, as your body does. When your sense of balance changes, you will need to change your pregnancy exercises and you will certainly also need to slow down to prevent slipping and falling.
Warm-up before every workout, and then cool off when you are done. Let your physiotherapist or healthcare provider instruct you on more specific guidelines to follow.
What Exercise Should a Pregnant Woman Do?
Most exercises are safe during pregnancy, so long as you exercise cautiously and do not overdo it. Here are safe exercises you can do when you are pregnant:
If you had low levels of pre-pregnancy exercise, a quick walk around the neighbourhood is a good way to get started. It will give you the benefits of aerobic exercise without unnecessary knee and ankle pains.
This can be done at any time during pregnancy. Choose flat surfaces and avoid impediments such as potholes and bricks and wear protective footwear.
Aerobics is healthy for the heart and lungs and improves your body. Aerobic exercises help you to breathe more rapidly and intensely and make your heart pump faster. Doing so is safe and can help you have a healthier pregnancy.
If you’re new to aerobics, tell your coach you’re pregnant. Start with three days a week of only 15 minutes of consistent controlled exercise. Start gently and steadily work up to a maximum of four half-hour sessions a week if you’re new to aerobic exercise.
Running is safe in moderation for women who used to run regularly before becoming pregnant. People who have never run before taking up running during their pregnancy are not encouraged to. The running regime may need to reduce in strength and pace, depending on the person.
Water supports your growing baby’s weight, and pushing toward it helps control your heart rate. It’s easy on the muscles and joints, too. If you feel low back pain when doing other things, try swimming.
What Exercises Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
When pregnant, do not engage in exercises that place you at greater risk of injuries, such as contact sports and sports that could put you at risk of being hit in the belly, including soccer, ice hockey, basketball, and wrestling.
Do not lay flat on your back for long stretches of time, particularly after 16 weeks, as your bump’s weight pushes on the main blood artery carrying blood back to your heart and that will make you feel tired or faint.
Is It Safe to Exercise on Your Due Date?
Looking to do a little workout before you welcome your dear child? Feel free to as long as you’ve been doing so in your nine months of pregnancy and got the approval of your health care provider.
There’s no excuse you just sitting around waiting for labour start. If your due date has yet to be confirmed, a due calculator will come in handy.
When Should a Pregnant Woman Stop Exercising?
Generally, when you feel unwell or are in discomfort, you can stop exercising right away. Listen to your body and please inform the doctor or midwife when you are worried about any pain or discomfort.
If you have a serious maternity disorder, you might need to ask your health-care team first. Your doctor or midwife will advise you whether the amount of exercise you do will be reduced or stopped entirely.
Exercise during pregnancy is good, healthy, and safe. During pregnancy, you should do certain forms of exercise including running, walking, and swimming. Each woman is totally different and every pregnancy is unique. Some medical conditions can put you or your baby at risk. That’s why consulting with your obstetrician is key when planning on your exercise schedule.