Women's Health

Discover everything you need to know about women’s nutrition in this section devoted solely to woman’s issues. Topics covered include weight gain during menopause, and tips on how to detect and avoid breast cancer.

Exercising While Pregnant

Whether you’re a beginner or an avid participant in regular workouts, the benefits of exercise during pregnancy is worth exploring, considering, and implementing!

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With the worrying forecasts of painful backaches, unpredictable hormones, and ravenous food cravings, exercise may be put on the backburner.

But amidst the weathering chaos, exercising through the storm benefits the health of both mom and baby, alike.

Whether a beginner or an avid participant in regular workouts, exercise during pregnancy is worth exploring, considering, and implementing!

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

From preventing blood clots to heightening energy levels, the benefits of exercise during pregnancy are numerous.

Aerobic Exercise Can Prevent Blood Clots

Living a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of harmful blood clots, which may potentially cause a blood clot in the placenta. A blood clot can also lead to a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and miscarriage according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Getting heart rate and blood flowing with aerobic exercise can improve circulation. This, in turn, reduces the risk of leg swelling and blood clots.

Regular Movement Helps Combat Constipation

Constipation is a common issue during pregnancy, with up to half of women reporting constipation at some point throughout their duration.

Along with consuming adequate fiber and water, women can combat constipation risk by exercising while pregnant.

A Pregnancy Workout May Reduce Back Pain

Pregnant women often complain of back pain, especially as baby grows. Resistance training can reduce the severity of the pain by strengthening the muscles that support the back.

Physical Activity Heightens Energy Levels

Pregnancy often leaves women feeling less energetic and fatigued. What's more, caffeine consumption is limited to 200 milligrams or less in pregnant women.

Regular exercise, though, can supply energy to make it through the day!

Exercising Can Boost Mood

Stemming from body and hormonal changes, pregnant women likely experience a heaping full of negative emotions.

Exercising while pregnant can mitigate such negative feelings and boost mood. Expecting, exercising soon-to-be moms may likewise lessen mood swings, improve self-image, and allow a greater sense of control.

Being Physically Active Nurtures Sleep Cycles

Especially by the end of their pregnancies, women have difficulty sleeping throughout the night. But the importance of a good night's rest should not be slept on. In fact, women who achieve adequate sleep regularly often have a healthier pregnancy.

Exercise in the morning, afternoon, and early evening hours has shown to nurture appropriate sleep cycles. However, evening and night workouts may increase the risk of insomnia.

Exercise Prepares Mom-to-Be for Childbirth

Though exercise cannot exactly lessen the pain associated with childbirth, it can supply moms with the endurance to take on labor.

In fact, exercising while pregnant can result in shorter and less exhausting labor, along with fewer medical interventions.

An Exercise Routine Manages Pregnancy Weight Gain

Though weight loss is not the goal or recommended during pregnancy, maintaining a healthy weight is. Women of normal weight are recommended to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Gaining more weight increases the risk of complications for themselves and baby.

Maintaining a healthy weight and fitness levels makes it easier to lose post-pregnancy weight after baby is born. It further lessens the risk of a complicated pregnancy, birthing an overweight baby, and carrying the baby to full-term.

Physical Activity Reduces Gestational Diabetes Risk

Gestational diabetes is the development of diabetes in pregnancy, further increasing the likelihood of developing diabetes following pregnancy.

Managing healthy weight gain through exercise and diet can lessen the risks of gestational diabetes. It can also help control blood sugars if gestational diabetes were to develop.

Prenatal Workouts

Before jumping into any sort of exercise regimen, it is important to consult with your primary care provider.

Following approval, healthcare experts often recommend exercising for 150 minutes weekly, or 30 minutes most days of the week. However, break the time up based on comfort level.

Be active and get blood flowing with some of the listed exercises.

Walking

Walking is a convenient way to keep active without the intense impact of running. Pregnant women can also naturally increase walking throughout the day.

Simply park further from entrance doors or grab a friend and hit hiking trails to increase steps.

Stationary Bike Riding

Cycling on a stationary bike is generally safe even if just beginning a workout program. Its use is an excellent way to promote aerobic activity without placing a heavy strain on the joints.

A stationary bike grants pregnant women the autonomy to pedal at their desired pace and distance.

Swimming

One of the best exercises during pregnancy is swimming. The buoyance of the water offers low-impact conditions that are gentle on the joints.

Local community centers are likely to provide classes for more detailed instruction.

Weight Training

Especially if strength training prior to pregnancy, chances are to keep up with the weight lifting routine. If not strength training before getting pregnant, find another exercise for now.

But before starting a weight training program, like all exercise advice, discuss its safety with a doctor.

Prenatal Yoga

The gentle practice of prenatal yoga can strengthen core muscles, ease back pain, promote relaxation, and influence safe and efficient labor.

Most health experts warn certain yoga practices and poses while pregnant, including avoiding hot yoga. However, prenatal yoga tips can ensure safety for mom and baby.

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on May 08, 2019.

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