OBGYN Associates, PA

Exercise in Pregnancy

Don’t stop moving when you are pregnant! Being active and exercising during pregnancy has many benefits:

  • It can help you stay in shape and prepare you for labor and delivery.
  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, and other discomforts.
  • Increases your energy and improves your mood.
  • Promotes better muscle tone, strength and endurance.
  • Helps you sleep better.
  • Helps to prevent excess weight gain for you and your baby.
  • Can help prevent gestational diabetes and blood pressure problems related to pregnancy.
  • Helps you get back in shape quicker after your baby is born.

To achieve the most benefits you should exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Exercise can include walking, swimming, cycling, low-impact aerobics and even running if you were running prior to pregnancy. Strength training is also okay if you avoid lifting very heavy weights. If you have not been exercising prior to pregnancy, you may want to begin with as little as five minutes of physical activity and then gradually build up until you reach a least 30 minutes a day.

If you have health problems such as heart or lung disease you should make sure you get the okay from your health care provider first. If you have a history of preterm labor or twins, your provider may limit your exercise.

There are some exercises you should avoid during pregnancy:

  • Activities that may increase your risk of falling, such as downhill snow skiing, gymnastics, water skiing, surfing and horseback riding
  • Contact sports, such as hockey, basketball and soccer
  • Scuba diving
  • Exercising at high altitudes
  • Exercises that force you to lie flat on you back after your first trimester

While you are exercising you should also listen to your body and not over-do it. Here are some reasons you should stop exercising:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Uterine contractions that continue after rest
  • Fluid leaking from the vagina
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Muscle weakness, calf pain or swelling

To help make exercising rewarding for you during pregnancy, here are a few tips:

  • Find a partner to exercise with you. This will help keep you motivated. Or try an exercise class. Also, start small and gradually build up.
  • Be cautions in hot, humid weather.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that will help keep you cool.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help prevent overheating.
  • Wear a bra that fits well and gives lots of support.
  • Make sure you continue to eat healthy and consume the calories recommended during pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of rest.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact our office.

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