Exercise and Pregnancy
If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.
If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.
Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing.
Exercise during pregnancy helps to alleviate many of the common problems of pregnancy. It improves circulation (which helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, leg cramps, and swelling of the ankles). It also prevents back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the back.
regular exercise can give you more energy to make it through the day.
Exercise also allows you to sleep better. – Most women have some trouble sleeping through the night by the end of their pregnancies. Exercising on a regular basis will help you work off excess energy and will tire you enough to lull you into a deeper, more restful slumber.
Exercise has been shown to improve your mood, it will improve your self-image, and allows you to feel a sense of control
Exercise helps prepare you for childbirth Some studies suggest that the fitness of the mother results in shorter labor, fewer medical interventions, and less exhaustion during labor. Being in shape will not decrease the pain, but it definitely will help give you the endurance needed to get through labor..
The Problems to Watch Out For:
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program
For most pregnant women, exercise is very beneficial, but for women who have a high-risk pregnancy or are at risk for pre-term labor, exercise should be closely monitored by your health care provider to make sure that the exercise poses no additional threats to you or your baby.
Make sure to stick within a recommended heart rate level to ensure that your baby is getting the oxygen he or she needs and don’t get yourself over- heated.
When the weather is hot, exercise in the early morning or late evening to help prevent you from getting overheated. If you’re exercising indoors, make sure the room has enough ventilation. . Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
If you exercise too strenuously, you can restrict oxygen from your uterus. Make sure to stick within a recommended heart rate level to ensure that your baby is getting the oxygen he or she needs.As your pregnancy progresses, your center of balance shifts, making falls more likely.
Participate in activities (such as swimming, walking, or low-impact aerobics) that do not put you at additional risk to slip or fall. Avoid such activities as downhill skiing, horseback riding, mountain climbing, and contact sports (like football or soccer) that could put you at risk for an injury or a fall.
Its always good to advise a certified trainer about a recommended training program or to follow special classes for pregnant women.
Check with your health care provider if you experience any of the following warning signs during exercise:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Unusual pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Unusual shortness of breath
- Racing heartbeat or chest pain
- Fluid leaking from your vagina
- Uterine contractions
- Muscle cramps
- Stop if you feel tired, too hot, cramped, light headed, or dizzy.