When it comes to working out and staying fit during pregnancy, there’s often a ton of mixed info and advice out there. While many women are worried if physical activity during pregnancy can harm the baby, there is no need to worry. Avoiding healthy and reasonable physical fitness activity is not necessary, especially if you were given the go ahead from your OB/GYN.
Staying active during pregnancy will help your body stay in shape, be ready for labor and delivery, as well as make it easier to lose the pregnancy weight after the baby is born. With hormones going up and down, pregnancy does make a woman feel more tired, which can often make it difficult to be motivated to exercise. However, the benefits of exercise for mom’s and baby are significant, which can serve as your motivation to make the effort to exercise.
Exercising benefits for mothers include:
- Less weight gain
- Less chance of developing gestational diabetes
- Prevention of fatigue and back pain
- Feels good, and increasing confidence and self-esteem
- Less chance of having a C-section
- Less pushing during labor
Benefits for the baby include:
- Better chance of a normal birth weight
- Less chance of the child developing adult onset diabetes
- Less chance of childhood obesity
If your body is already pretty well-conditioned, you can do most activities that you were doing prior to pregnancy, but with your doctor’s approval. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women exercise for 30 minutes five to six times a week. While it can seem difficult at first, or even frightening, for fear of hurting the baby – let your OB/GYN help you understand your limits and capabilities during pregnancy
Cardio is amazing for the pregnant body. It not only strengthens your heart, but the baby’s cardiovascular system as well. Cardio is also a great way to control weight gain throughout pregnancy. Aim for daily walks or jogs, if your doctor approves.
Exercises such as walking, swimming, jogging, and running are wonderful forms of activities, that are all safe for expecting mothers. Yoga is also a wonderful and relaxing option for expectant mothers, as it provides a means of increasing flexibility while decreasing pregnancy aches and pains.
Some other important tips for exercising while pregnant:
- Feel comfortable while exercising
- Stay hydrated
- Be careful not to push your body too hard, and avoid exhaustion
- Make sure to stretch adequately before and after exercising
- Avoid exercises that involve excessive bouncing and jumping
- If you were comfortable exercising with your heart rate at say 150 before pregnancy, you can maintain that same exercising heart rate during pregnancy
Be sure to discuss safe exercises and activities with your doctor, particularly if you have any existing conditions, or a history of past pregnancy complications. Maintaining a balanced diet as well as staying physically active while pregnant, are important in the care for yourself and most importantly, your baby.
To learn more about how to stay fit during pregnancy, call University OB/GYN Associates at (315) 464-5162 to request an appointment or request an appointment online.