Pregnant women can and should exercise in moderation unless there are health factors or risks that prevent them from participating in a fitness program. Exercise should last no more than thirty minutes and should be done several days each week. Exercising has been proven to help pregnant women feel and look better, and also helps to minimize the amount of weight gained during pregnancy.
Keeping fit during pregnancy can help prevent or avoid problems such as gestational diabetes, a common form of diabetes that sometimes develops during pregnancy. It will also help increase stamina, which will be needed for labor delivery and increase your physical and emotional well being before and after delivery. Staying in shape will also help speed up your recovery after the birth of your baby. Always be sure to consult with your physician before beginning any type of fitness program while you are pregnant.
Fitness programs that are appropriate for pregnant women include walking, swimming, low or no-impact aerobics (done at a mild pace), yoga and Pilates for as long as you are able to complete the required moves. You should always avoid activities that can put you at a high risk for injury. Forms of sports or exercise that may cause you to be hit in the abdomen or are performed lying flat on your back are considered high risk. This is extremely important after the third month. Another sport you will need to avoid during pregnancy is scuba diving. While this may seem completely harmless, especially since being in the water makes you feel lighter and more agile, it can cause dangerous gas bubbles to form in an unborn child’s circulatory system.
If you work out on a regular basis, you will improve the condition of your joints and muscles, which will be very helpful during the birth of your baby. The long-term effects will also continue after giving birth and will also help you lower your risk of heart disease and many other serious illnesses.
Staying in shape will help to relieve any anxiety and stress you may feel. It will also help to prevent the “baby blues” that many new mothers experience after the birth of their child. This is valuable information since so many new mothers worry whether postpartum depression will affect their lives and the lives of their family.
Once your doctor gives you the go ahead to begin a fitness program, decide on a program that fits both your likes and schedule. If you are finding it difficult to pick a program, try several different types of exercises that are appropriate for pregnant women then decide which you enjoy the most. You may want to incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine to help prevent boredom and discouragement.
Exercising while you are pregnant is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your unborn child.