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A Quick Guide to Exercise During Pregnancy

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Many expectant moms can't wait to meet their little bundle of joy. But at the same time, pregnancy can be scary, especially for first-time moms. Sometimes, you could be scared of doing something that could harm the baby. But oftentimes, that's just part of your motherly instincts kicking in.

Exercise during pregnancy is among the heated debates, and the tons of myths and misconceptions around it don't make things any easier. Read on to understand all you need to know about pregnancy and exercise.

Is it Safe to Exercise When Pregnant?

Whether exercise during pregnancy is safe or not depends on your health and pregnancy. It would help to discuss this with your women's health expert first before you engage in any physical activity.

Your health expert can examine you, and depending on what they discover, they could give you the go-ahead if your pregnancy is risk-free. The physician can also advise you on the best physical exercises to indulge in.

On the other hand, exercising increases the chances of miscarriage and preterm birth if you have a preexisting condition. Some conditions that make physical exercise during pregnancy unsafe include:

  • Heart and lung illnesses
  • Severe anemia
  • Placenta previa
  • Ruptured membranes before the due date
  • Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, also known as preeclampsia

Some safe workouts during pregnancy include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Bike riding
  • Strength training to build muscles and strengthen bones
  • Low-impact aerobics

If your physician gives you a workout pass, choose activities that favour your body. You can't go as hard as you used to before pregnancy. Start with simple exercises and build up the intensity gradually.

Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Exercising is an essential part of pregnancy care that offers limitless benefits for you and the baby. Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy –– including hormonal imbalance that can take a toll on your mood and energy levels. Working out can be a form of therapy that elevates your mood and energy levels. Exercising also reduces pregnancy-related discomfort like back pain, constipation and swelling on your feet. It also helps you sleep and manage stress better.

In addition, physical exercise minimizes the risks of complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. It strengthens the heart, lungs and blood vessels to eliminate potential blood pressure issues and cardiovascular illnesses. This way, there are lower chances of miscarriage and premature birth.

Perhaps the most important thing is that physical exercise prepares your body for childbirth. It strengthens your pelvic bones and makes it easier to practice breathing and meditation exercises. Perfecting these exercises helps keep you calm when you begin going through labour.

For more information on women's health, contact a professional near you.