Exercise during pregnancy – Exercise is beneficial and essential to living a healthy life. This is true even for pregnant women, and in some aspects, maybe even more so.
The problem is, not much attention or consideration was given to exercise for pregnant women.
Recently, however, fitness and its benefits in pregnancy have had more and more light shed on them.
The problem has always been the worry around how delicate a woman, her body and the developing fetus during pregnancy.
But it has now become apparent that with the correct insight, guidance, and consideration of risks and contraindications, a pregnant woman can train safely and improve the quality and experience she has while waiting to give birth.
So it all boils down to knowing how to navigate the situation of pregnancy, and to do that, we need to understand the risks and contraindications of working out while pregnant.
Contraindications for Exercise During Pregnancy
A contraindication is something that provides a reason against doing something or at least proceeding with caution.
Being pregnant is therefore in itself a contraindication to exercise during pregnancy.
In order to implement a productive workout program for a pregnant woman, the first line of action should be a full evaluation by a physician or registered health care professional
This allows one to determine what the contraindications for an individual pregnant woman would be.
Some common ones are:
- Extreme weight fluctuations
- High blood pressure (hypertension),
- History of precipitous labor
- Thyroid disorders,
With this in mind, exercise during pregnancy a pregnant woman can clearly work on a healthy exercise plan, working around these risk factors.
The best way to start is with a bit of cardio.
Cardio For Pregnancy
The purpose of exercise during pregnancy is the maintenance of health and fitness in order to reduce the level of stress associated with childbirth as well as giving a woman the opportunity to be at a normal fitness level after pregnancy.
Improving or enhancing physical performance isn’t the name of the game. This means intensity, duration, and frequency of workouts doesn’t need to be at such a crazy level
For this reason, training at an intensity of about 50% is ideal.
Important Considerations for Exercise During Pregnancy
Aside from training intensity precautions, there are a few other important considerations to make when exercise during pregnancy.
These precautions include:
- Sufficient Hydration
- Moderate intensity
- Wear water-permeable clothing
- Keep tabs on environmental conditions
- Exercise duration of no more than 30 minutes per session
- Avoid the supine (belly up) position
- Balanced nutritional intake before and after exercise
Best Exercises For Pregnant Women
Swimming is a great way to stay fit, especially for pregnant women.
It’s a safe, low impact and scalable way to train.
The buoyancy aspect of swimming and the effect of water on the body also has a therapeutic quality which is a great stress relief for an expectant mother.
A pregnant woman should make sure she does any swimming in the safety of reliable nearby observers.
Cycling is great as it allows a pregnant woman to up the ante somewhat on her intensity levels with the safety of low impact activity.
While outdoor road cycling is an option, we advise sticking to an indoor exercise bike for this one so as to limit the risk factors.
Uneven terrain and often unpredictable weather conditions might present undue challenges for a pregnant woman.
Yet another useful way to maintain healthy fitness levels while pregnant is through mindful walking.
Walking as exercise can be done in one of two ways.
It can be a deliberate and designated workout effort, where a pregnant woman sets aside time to train. An example of this would be a 20 to 30-minute walk on a treadmill.
The other way is by simply increasing the instances and situations whereby walking is done instead of other more convenient transport methods.
Walking to the store instead of driving (if it’s reasonably close). Using the stairs instead of the elevator for example.
Low Resistance Training
Lifting, pulling and pushing can all be enjoyed at a more moderate intensity and duration for a decent training effect while pregnant.
Pregnant women should opt for weights and resistance loads well below their 1 rep max or ditch weights altogether and just focus on bodyweight training.
Exercise is for everyone, even pregnant women.
When done correctly and mindfully, exercise during pregnancy. Actually serve as a way to improve the experience and outcomes of pregnancy.
After all, a healthy mother is a healthy baby.