When you become pregnant, the prospect of exercising can seem scary. It’s understandable that many pregnant women have questions about prenatal fitness and whether or not exercising while pregnant is safe. The fact that there is a lot of contradictory information out there makes it even more difficult.
However, exercise is important for just about anyone and this includes prenatal fitness. Regular exercise provides a number of benefits that should not be ignored.
It is important to note that each person is different and that you should listen to your body when taking up a prenatal fitness plan. The level of fitness that you can do will depend on many personal factors. You may wish to speak with a personal trainer or a medical professional before you start a prenatal exercise plan if you feel that you could have issues exercising.
If you were an active person prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to continue taking part in many of the activities that you participated in previously, with some modifications. You should avoid contact sports and sports that have a risk of falling. Also, note that you may not be able to exercise at the same intensity or at the same pace as before. This is another time when it is important to listen to your body.
If you were not an active person prior to pregnancy, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid prenatal fitness. Most recommendations suggest that pregnant women get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, with doctor approval. It is important that you don’t push yourself too hard. This is especially true if you were not very active before. Walking and swimming are two activities that almost every pregnant woman can benefit from, even if you have not exercised regularly in the past.
The Benefits of Prenatal Fitness
There are a number of benefits to prenatal fitness. Inactivity and a lack of exercise can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, pain, body aches and a higher risk of gestational diabetes. Staying physically active during pregnancy can often lead to an easier and shorter labour, a quicker postpartum recovery and fewer Cesarean surgeries. Prenatal fitness can also result in you feeling more energetic during your pregnancy, which can improve your mood.
Prenatal Fitness Precautions
During a prenatal fitness routine, you will want to avoid exercises that involve bouncing or jerking motions. These exercises can be bad for your bones and joints and they can also leave you at a higher risk of injury. It is always important not to overdo any exercise and to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated.
If you experience dizziness, faintness, headaches, shortness of breath, contractions, bleeding, heart palpitations, severe abdominal pain or any other severe symptoms, you should stop exercise immediately. You may wish to contact a medical professional if you experience any of these symptoms.