Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and physically taxing times in a woman’s life. In most situations, exercise can help ease some of those symptoms. At least, that has been my personal and professional experience as a mom and fitness expert.
According to MayoClinic.com, “During pregnancy, exercise can: ease or prevent back pain and other discomforts, boost your energy level, prevent excess weight gain, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure and postpartum depression and increase stamina and muscle strength, which helps you prepare for labor.”
Before you begin an exercise program, make sure you have your health care provider's okay. Although exercise during pregnancy is generally good for both mother and baby, The Mayo Clinic says it is also important to consult with your OBGYN before beginning an exercise program.
This is especially true if you have diabetes that is poorly controlled, or if you have other contraindications including heart disease or placenta previa. Women who are deemed high risk with the above or other conditions, may be restricted from exercise or limited to certain types of activities.
If you are in good health and already exercising, most doctors I have found, will advise you to continue or start exercising. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising for about a half-hour a day is recommended, but they suggest pacing yourself.
“If you haven't exercised for a while, begin with as little as five minutes of physical activity a day. Build up to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on, until you reach at least 30 minutes a day.”
However, if you are an avid exerciser, it is okay to continue with a similar routine as long as once again you check with your doctor and are feeling up to it.
AmericanPregnancy.org offers these guidelines. “Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen supply they need. Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.”
There is much research to support the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, for both you and your baby.