This has been a debated topic for a long time. Even in the 20th century there seems to be a lot of confusion and fear in relation to this.
The simple answer is yes, but let me put that into context.
In the majority of cases, moderate exercise is safe during pregnancy. In actual fact you will find that it is recommended. You will not be at a higher risk of miscarriage if you exercise safely.
WHY SHOULD I EXERCISE WHILST PREGNANT?
Just as prior to becoming pregnant the goal is to exercise for better health, fitness, strength and mobility. So the fact that you are now carrying a tiny human that relies on you for nutrients & oxygen is a very good reason.
When you exercise, your heart rate will be somewhat elevated, hence your rate of oxygenation will increase. This is a great thing. Studies show that regular exercise during pregnancy lowers the heart rate of the fetus, which will have a flow on affect even after the baby is born. Like trained adults, a low heart can indicate good heart health.
Here are some more reasons to consider exercising;
● Increase your energy
● Improve your mood and posture
● Help you get a better sleep better
● Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
● May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
● Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
Lastly a very important point to note, is that exercising regularly will help you stay fit so you may be able to cope better during labour, this may help you get back in shape faster!
WHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE SHOULD I DO?
If you were following an exercise program prior to becoming pregnant, you will mostly be able to safely stick to the same program, with only a few modifications. Remember though, don’t try to stick to the same intensity as prior, your goals are different now. Previously your goals may have been to increase strength, fitness or weight loss. Now your goals are simply exercising in order to maintain your health and mobility.
If you have not been exercising regularly before, simply walking for about 30min, moderate low intensity aerobic training or swimming can be very beneficial. Strength training will also be beneficial but only under the coaching of a professional trained in this area.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I EXERCISE?
Generally pregnant women should aim to exercise 3-4 times per week. These workouts can vary from 30-60mins in length, depending on prior exercise history. Where training frequency is increased, be sure to do a wide variety of exercises to reduce overuse injuries.
WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD I AVOID?
Exercising when pregnant is very safe if you use common sense. Avoiding activities where falling is a risk, any contact sports, exercises involving rapid changes of direction or intense bursts of movement and of course avoid training in hot or humid weather.
Remember you are pregnant, not broken. You can still do pretty much everything that you were previously doing. Listen to your body, it will tell you if you shouldn't be doing a certain activity. Do not push through pain. Exercising whilst pregnant is not about pain, in fact it's quite the opposite.
Remember your goals are different now. You are exercising to maintain the health of your baby and you. If you experience any pain or discomfort please consult your GP
If you require any professional coaching advice on nutrition or exercise contact Aylin from Fitness Fanatics. https://fftraining.com.au/