Being active during pregnancy is a great way to get your body moving and to stay healthy. However, you want to maintain a good balance and not push yourself at the risk of your health. The key is to do everything under the direction of your doctor. You want to keep yourself and your baby healthy and happy without overdoing it. The good news is that you can continue to exercise during pregnancy, and it is even encouraged.
Is It Safe To Exercise?
If you have a normal pregnancy and are generally healthy, it is safe to continue to exercise during pregnancy, depending on the amount of time and level of physical exertion you are doing. Most routine workouts do not increase your risk of miscarriage, early delivery, or low birth weight. Keep in mind that you need to discuss your exercise plans with your healthcare provider during prenatal visits. If they determine it is okay to exercise during your pregnancy, you can easily find a safe and satisfying workout routine.
How Much Should You Exercise During Pregnancy?
In ideal circumstances, a pregnant woman should exercise at least 150 minutes per week. It can be a moderate-intensity exercise, which means you move enough to raise your heart rate and even some sweating. Some examples include walking and gardening. You can reach the 150-minute weekly goal by dividing it into 30 minutes a day or even dividing it further into 10-minute sets throughout the day.
Are There Any Precautions?
Since your body is going through so many changes, you may need to take additional precautions when you exercise during pregnancy. You will need to drink plenty of water before, during, and even after your workout. You should wear a sports bra for added support and protection for your breasts. Avoid exercising when it is extremely hot or humid. Choose indoor exercise if it is slippery outside. You should also avoid lying flat on your back as much as you can, as the uterus can press down on a large vein that returns blood to the heart and can cause circulation problems.
Examples of Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
Walking is a great exercise because it offers a variety of benefits and is low impact. Ensure that you are wearing good footwear to prevent falling and take extra care if the weather is wet or icy. There are several other good exercises for pregnant women as well. You can try water workouts like swimming or aerobics, as this can often help you avoid injury and muscle strain. Biking is good too, but instead of using a standard bicycle, you should use a stationary bike. Your pregnancy can affect your balance and this can help prevent you from falling. You can also do modified yoga and modified Pilates to increase your flexibility and improve your breathing.
Exercises to Avoid
There are, of course, several exercises to avoid during pregnancy, such as contact sports. Any sport that may put you in danger of getting hit in the abdomen, like basketball, boxing, soccer, and others, is not recommended. Although modified yoga and Pilates are safe, avoid hot yoga or hot Pilates as they can cause you to overheat. Scuba diving is also not a recommended exercise during pregnancy. Any activity that is performed at a high altitude is also to be avoided while you are pregnant and an example of this would be skydiving.
Seek Prenatal Care from VNA Health Care
Have questions about your pregnancy? Schedule your appointment today with VNA Health Care. Contact us online or call us at (630) 593-7974 to make an appointment. Our doctors and nurse practitioners look forward to answering all of your pregnancy questions.