Working Out In Pregnancy
Remaining active during pregnancy offers many benefits for your body, your baby, and even your labor. Creating a plan for your physical health with your healthcare provider is essential, and pregnant women are encouraged to stay as active as they wish (within some limits) unless specifically told to rest by their healthcare provider.
There is no reason you shouldn’t be working out during pregnancy! As long as you’re having a healthy pregnancy and feel comfortable doing it, you should continue your workout routine into your pregnancy, with potentially minor adjustments to suit your changing body.
Conditions That Call For Bed Rest
Like everything else, there are certain exceptions for safely working out during pregnancy! Some certain conditions and circumstances make exercise higher risk.
In such cases, your healthcare provider may ask for you to cease high-intensity workouts or movement temporarily. These conditions include:
- Placenta previa
- Twin or higher multiples pregnancy
- Certain heart and lung conditions
- History of previous placental abruption or hemorrhage
- Recent cervical cerclage
Workouts To Avoid During Pregnancy
While most kinds of workouts are safe during pregnancy, there are some that most people should avoid just to be safe. These include:
- Contact sports like martial arts, certain team sports, or basketball
- Scuba diving or surfing
- Heavy weight lifting
Workouts You Should Do During Pregnancy
Some workouts that are safe and may benefit you during pregnancy include:
Yoga is not only pregnancy-safe due to its low-intensity nature, but it also has multiple benefits for the mother.
Yoga helps mothers relax by helping them achieve body and mind harmony. This reduces stress levels which in turn helps regulate the mother and baby’s heart rate and blood pressure.
Certain types of yoga can help with different pregnancy symptoms like lower back pain by relieving tension in areas and alleviating joint pain associated with pregnancy.
In some cases, yoga can also help strengthen your pelvic muscles which not only takes away the pressure from your back joints, and relieves pain but also helps you effectively push during labor.
Walking regularly can help regulate your heart rate and blood pressure. It also helps you feel more refreshed and energized since you’re effectively using your energy toward a task.
Swimming is a great workout for pregnant women! Make sure to do it only if you know how to swim and ideally if you have company that can assist you if you need any help.
Swimming is a great way to burn off some extra calories while feeling more refreshed. It also lowers the effect of gravitational force on your lower joints, helping release built-up joint tension and alleviating the pain associated with it.
Modified pilates is not as high-intensity as regular pilates, but is still pretty fun to do!
It can help reduce stress levels, improve flexibility and develop muscle strength, all of which come in super handy when it’s finally time to push!
While regular bicycling isn’t recommended due to safety concerns and the risk of falling, if you enjoy cycling, you can always do it on a stationary cycle at the gym or at home!
Again, it helps strengthen your pelvic musculature so there is less pressure on your joints. And it also helps you push more effectively during labor, reducing the need for medical or surgical intervention.