Is exercise safe during pregnancy?
Women are often torn over whether they can work out while they are pregnant or not. There’s always people around who say “Sit down!” “Let me get that.” I’m sure we all have more that we can add. You can be confident telling these people that pregnancy does not mean sick. You can exercise!! Of course, you’d want to be sure to use caution. Pregnancy itself can leave you feeling tired, but regular shifts of exercise can help you gain some of that energy back.
In the beginning, you should start slow, especially if you were not very fit prior to pregnancy. Aiming for 10 minutes each day should suffice, until you’re able to build this up to 20-30 minutes. Because you are with child, you’re not pushing to feel the burn, as this causes exhaustion. Your goal is to be fit. Be careful to eat properly and get enough fluids. Being pregnant means you need approximately 300 extra calories each day, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. You also want to be sure to stay hydrated!! This cannot be stressed enough. Lose fitting clothing is also recommended on hotter days.
Women who are active during pregnancy usually have the normal pregnancy complaints such as back pain and sleep troubles, it also triggers the flow of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, making you feel good overall, in addition to keeping off extra baby weight and making labor itself easier.
Sports that may cause you to fall or be thrown off-balance, such as horse-riding, skiing, gymnastics, waterskiing or skating should be avoided. Diving is also unsafe during pregnancy. Contact or collision sports, such as football, rugby, tennis and squash, are also risky, because you may be hit in the stomach. Studies also show that if you develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), exercise can help you to manage your blood sugar levels.
It has also been shows that as long as you have a low-risk pregnancy with no contraindications, such as high blood pressure or symptoms of premature labor, exercise is good for you, and aiming for a target heart rate adding a heart rate monitor may be beneficial, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women use the “talk test” when exercising (if you can talk normally, your heart rate is acceptable). And as always, consult your doctor before you begin any exercise routine!