Posted By  PAK, on

To exercise or not to exercise, that is the question! Mama, just about all women can and should be physically active throughout pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy is safe and often recommended although some modification to your workouts may be needed due to natural anatomic and physiologic changes and your baby’s fetal requirements.

What Does ACOG Say?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) encourages women with uncomplicated pregnancies to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises prior to conception and following delivery.

Mama, Talk to Your Health Care Team…

It’s important that you consult with your health care team, especially if you have any medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, bleeding, or any other disorder, or if you are obese or underweight before you begin an exercise regime. You will find there’s so much information for you to absorb about your health and the health of your developing baby that you may feel overwhelmed finding it difficult sorting out what’s true from what’s rumor. Whether or not you were physically active before you became pregnant is important for your heath care team to know so they may advise a safe level of exercise for you. An eventual goal of moderate-intensity exercise lasting from 20 to 30 minutes per day on many, if not every day of the week should be developed and adjusted as needed.

Exercise Ideas…

Safe exercises range from simply walking to swimming to stationary cycling to low-impact aerobics. Yoga or Pilates are acceptable as long as you make sure they are modified, meaning that the positions you use during your session do not decreasing the venous return to your heart causing hypotension.

Running, jogging, racquet sports and strength training are also acceptable to engage in as long as you have participated regularly in these activities prior to your pregnancy. It must be noted that playing racquet sports involves rapid movements and quick changes of your balance. So because these two factors pose an increased risk in falling, it is advised they are avoided as much as possible during pregnancy.

What Exercises to Avoid…

ACOG also recommends avoiding contact sports such as ice hockey, boxing, soccer and basketball. Activities with a high risk of falling such as downhill snow skiing, water skiing; surfing, off-road cycling, gymnastics and horseback riding should also be waived during pregnancy. Scuba diving, sky diving and Hot yoga or hot Pilates should also be put on the list of activities to forgo.

Final Thoughts…

ACOG acknowledges that there are several different types of safe exercises for you to enjoy during pregnancy, and also those that should be modified or given up during your 40-week gestational journey as they may pose a risk to you and your baby. Mama, make sure you talk with your health care team about your exercise program and any of your exercise questions.

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