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Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

February 04, 2021 0 Comments

Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

Yes, as long as it’s a moderate exercise and there are no complications. Ten to thirty minutes of walking each day is safe and this is much better than doing nothing at all.

But before you start exercising, especially if you have a medical condition or you were not physically active before you got pregnant, you should first consult your doctor, a healthcare professional or a qualified physiotherapist. It’s essential to know the possible complications first and then the proper guidance to keep yourself and your baby safe while you exercise.

Safety while exercising

Exercising is not always about exhausting yourself. It can just be about keeping the blood flowing and trying to stay physically active. Most likely, you can still do most of the things you do before you got pregnant. There’s just this tendency to become physically inactive because of greater caution and care to protect your baby.

However, exercise will actually benefit you and your baby. That’s because regular exercise throughout pregnancy can help you achieve the following:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Better weight control
  • Faster recovery after labour
  • Easier to get back into fitness after birth
  • Fewer delivery complications
  • Increased energy and improved blood circulation
  • Better management of blood pressure
  • Better sleep for most nights
  • Stress relief and better mood
  • Reduced risk of depression and anxiety
  • More fun and enjoyment (you don’t have to stay inside the house all day)

We still emphasise here the importance of moderate exercise and staying safe. Consult your doctor first before starting any exercise program and protect yourself from contagious diseases. Pregnancy can make women vulnerable to diseases and infections, which is why it’s crucial to know all the risks. For example, sudden changes in position can make you feel dizzy (especially in the second trimester where blood pressure drops). Also, your body shape and weight distribution will change, which will affect your movement, balance and coordination during walking and exercise. Proper guidance and taking it slowly will help you get the exercise you need while protecting yourself and your baby. Low-intensity exercises such as walking are often already enough to get most of the benefits. But if you feel exhausted or unwell, it’s best to stop right away and rest. Your body will immediately tell you if there’s something wrong and it’s best to take that seriously.

Do's and don'ts when exercising

Aside from taking it slow, staying safe and consulting a doctor first, it’s also essential to avoid risky activities where there’s a chance of falling or getting hit. Kickboxing and martial arts are dangerous during pregnancy as well as cycling, gymnastics and skiing. Also stay away from scuba diving, deep dives and exercising at high altitudes (these can suddenly affect your blood circulation and oxygen intake).

Thirty minutes of walking every day is always safe as long as it’s not too hot or too cold outside. It also helps to warm up first, start slow and pick up the pace as you go along (but keep it light and moderate). Again, you don’t have to feel tired to realise the benefits from exercising while you’re pregnant.

Aside from walking, some mums also do stomach-strengthening, pelvic tilt and pelvic floor exercises. These can also help you become fitter and stronger (and also help you prepare for the physical demands of childbirth and beyond). However, it’s critical to have a professional guide you throughout the process. He/she should know your specific conditions before designing and moving forward with an exercise program.

Safety first. If you keep that in mind and you keep it slow and gentle, most likely everything will be alright. It’s always safe and beneficial to exercise, as long as it’s done right and in moderation. During pregnancy, exercise can help you better handle the present and better prepare for being a new mum. If you’re fit and healthy, you’ll be in a better position to provide the best care for your baby.