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Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

There used to be a time when women were advised not to exercise during pregnancy due to the risk of miscarriage. However, research doesn’t back this claim. Not only is it safe to exercise during your expecting period but it can also offer significant benefits to mother and baby.

We are explaining just why you should concentrate on pursuing easy aerobic exercises and workouts or doing some simple yoga asanas every day for the best results. Aside from keeping you in top shape, it would also help you stay motivated during the welcome change. 

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

You can start with simple exercises from the very first day of your pregnancy. However, it is important to ask your healthcare professional about a list of specific exercises that you should not do during the period. It is just as important to also note the time durations and iterations for the advised exercises.

During your gestation period, your amount of blood increases by about 50 percent in your body. It means that your heart has to work harder to circulate the blood around the body, especially around the new organ, the placenta. You might want to take a higher rate of blood circulation and increased blood sugar levels as two of the best benefits of exercising during the first trimester. 

Also of note are some simple but equally important benefits that are related to your physical and mental wellbeing. These include a reduction in backaches, improvement in the digestive and cardiovascular system, some swelling, possible water retention, and a happy mood. Even your sleeping and eating patterns are improved.

Can exercise cause a miscarriage? 

When to stop exercising during pregnancy? 

Good question. It is important to note that pregnancy is a responsible situation to be in and it also comes with a lot of precautions. Exercising during this period is welcome and you would find doctors advising expecting mothers to work out even as late as the onset of the third trimester.

Exercising or picking up a (reasonably) heavy object like a grocery bag, a toddler, or suchlike are extremely unlikely to cause a miscarriage. Most experts agree that exercising in this period can lower miscarriage risk and make mom and baby healthier. We recommend consulting a qualified healthcare expert for the best results. 

Tip: You can also switch to wearing a fitness tracker to have a better status of your health vitals.

You should remember that stress to your heart is greater during pregnancy and it increases further when you exercise. This isn’t the time to go on a weight loss spree or to push yourself to your maximum level because everything you’d do may affect your gestation adversely. 

Simple pregnancy exercises- first trimester

Here are some simple and easy exercises that you can do at home to keep you and your body in shape. You may start with them from your first trimester. The key is to stay disciplined and go for lesser reps and iterations than usual for the best results.

1. Walking

2. Riding a fitness bicycle 

3. Low-impact strength exercises 

4. Low-impact aerobics

5. Prenatal yoga

6. Squats 

7. Kegels

8. Low-impact weight training

During the second trimester, you can go for lesser frequency and activity every week. It is recommended to go for less exertion (max up to 30 minutes a day, not more than 5 times a week). Be sure to consult an online healthcare expert before you go for the more demanding or strenuous exercises. These virtual consultations are available on-demand through video conferencing and may be availed of from a smartphone. 

What to expect when you exercise during pregnancy?

You’ll feel out of breath much faster when you work out during your gestation or expecting period. Some women may feel that they’re getting out of shape because of this but you’re breathing about 20 to 25 percent more air to remove more carbon dioxide from your blood and your baby. It is because the baby doesn’t breathe in their womb and his/her carbon dioxide is simply released into their bloodstream.

A higher pulse or heart rate also shows that your body is adapting normally. Make sure you exercise after talking to your healthcare expert about it. Exercising 20 to 30 minutes every day, 3 to 4 days a week can lead to positive results, including improved blood circulation. Simple exercises like brisk walking and easier cardio exercise too would help.

Benefits:

Other benefits include increased energy levels, reduction in constipation, swelling and backaches, better mood, and straightened posture, besides improved strength and muscles, and cardiovascular health. You may sleep soundly in the night and even manage your labor better.

What to avoid during pregnancy?

You should avoid playing rugby, football, squash, tennis, diving, gymnastics, or doing certain yoga asanas, water skiing, horse-riding, and skating during this period. This isn’t the time to jump into a high-intense workout like HIIT or Pilate. If you have never tried these activities before, it’s better to just stay away from them for the best results.

You should be comfortable with your workouts. Many women who aren’t used to physical activity prefer to start after the first trimester. It is usually the time when unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness have subsided. 

Warnings: Avoid sports that may cause you to fall, be hit in the stomach, or be thrown out of balance. Guard yourself against them. 

Stay happy and positive 

Our virtual fitness experts advise you to start with gentle or moderate exercises for 10 minutes and increase it to 30 minutes per day as you progress through your expecting period. It is also important to follow this simple rule for an appreciable length of time or as long as advised by your healthcare expert.

It’s fine and even beneficial to perform some gentle exercises such as swimming, walking, and prenatal yoga if you do not have any problems related to your pregnancy but avoid starting any difficult workouts that your body is not yet used to. You can surely leave the more strenuous exercises and workout schedules after you have delivered your baby. The most important thing to note is that if you experience any unpleasant symptoms, please stop and see your healthcare provider immediately.