Are you asking yourself this question, ‘Can I Exercise While Pregnant?‘ If you are then the answer is, ABSOLUTELY! As long as you’re healthy and your doctor doesn’t restrict you from exercising, you should be exercising.
You will get a lot of benefits if you exercise frequently during your pregnancy. I really recommend you to start exercising with this workouts routine for women which can be done at home. Here are some known benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
- A reduction in back pain.
- An increase in energy.
- Improved self image of your changing body.
- An expedited return to pre-pregnancy body shape and fitness levels after delivery.
- It releases endorphin which actually help you feel better.
- Improves muscle strength to help you manage increased weight and body size.
- Exercise relieves stress and anxiety which helps you get a good night’s rest.
- Alleviates joint pain caused by hormonal changes.
Can I Exercise While Pregnant Myths
Here are some myths of exercising while pregnant:
- “Exercising increases the risk of low birth weight.”
- “It causes early deliveries and premature birth rates.”
- “Exercise leads to miscarriage and/or baby deformities.”
These are in fact ALL false. As with everything in life one can certainly over do it but the objective here is maintain fitness and keep in shape not to break lifting thresholds or train to compete in Olympic events. Moderate intensity is the key to success.
So what are the best exercises or activities for a pregnant woman?
Walking is great for cardio and is generally considered one of the best exercises for pregnant women because you can alter routes, pace, terrain and length as your fitness level grows. The best thing about it is it can be done almost anywhere and with very little equipment requirements. Aim for a minimum of 3 to 4 times a week to get the most out of walking.
Swimming is fantastic for your large muscle groups, breathing and is easy on joints due to waters natural buoyancy. In addition, it can actually reduce swelling and make you feel more limber.
Yoga helps to maintain flexibility, improves strength and balance. It focuses and calms the mind and can be done at home or with a class specifically for expectant mothers.
Side leg raises. These are perfect for your core and inner thighs and are very easy to do.
Plank. This is where you support yourself on your forearms and toes in a parallel position to the floor. Begin on your hands and knees and straighten out accordingly. Try to maintain the plank position for as long as possible. This exercise strengthens your core, back and arms.
What To Do Before You Start Exercising?
- Always discuss with your doctor or health care professional to make sure your routine or activity is ok for both you and your baby’s health.
- Wear the right clothing. You will want loose fitting, breathable material. Also, dress in layers so you can add or remove as necessary.
- Get a good pair of running or aerobic shoes.
- Be sure to warm up prior to exercising. This can be accomplished with some stretching or starting off with a light or easy program.
- Use moderate intensity during your work out and practice safe, controlled movements.
- Be careful to mind your center of gravity as you become further along in your term. This can greatly affect balance and increase the risk of falling.
- Drink plenty of water so you stay well hydrated.
- Listen to your body. If you are in pain or severe discomfort you should stop immediately. There is no need to push yourself to extreme levels.
What To Avoid While Exercising When You Are Pregnant?
- Avoid exercises where you bounce such as skipping.
- Stay away from higher risk activities like horseback riding or contact sports.
- Scuba diving is also one to stay clear of as it puts a lot of additional pressure on the baby.
- Beware of extremely high temperatures and humidity. If outdoors it is best to exercise in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid overheating.
- After the first trimester it is usually considered good advice by doctors to avoid exercises where you lie flat on your back.
If you practice good judgment and safety there are no reasons why you cannot exercise on a daily basis while you are pregnant.