Exercise & Pregnancy
Guidelines for prenatal exercise:
- If you were active before becoming pregnant, you may maintain your regular exercise plan but use lower intensity and appropriate modifications. If you were not active before you became pregnant, that’s okay, too. Start your exercise program slowly and gradually build up to 30-40 minutes of activity approximately five times per week.
- If you find yourself out of breath, decrease the intensity of your workout.
- Do not perform any exercise that involves twisting or rotating your torso. Keep your belly pointed forward at all times.
- Be sure to drink plenty of fluids because you sweat more during pregnancy.
- Use the mindset of working longer, not harder. Forty minutes of walking at a moderate pace is better than ten minutes of speed walking if you’re out of breath.
- After your 5th month of pregnancy, avoid exercising on your back, as this decrease blood flow to you and your baby.
- Avoid any exercise that could cause you to fall. As your baby grows your center of gravity changes.
- Don’t exercise if you feel too tired or are light-headed.
Benefits of exercising during pregnancy:
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- Reduced pregnancy discomfort
- Preparation for childbirth
- Decreased risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or any other pregnancy-related illness.
- Reduced stress
- Improved self-image
- Helps your body return to its pre-pregnancy form after childbirth
Stop exercise if:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Unusual shortness of breath prior to exertion
- Chest Pain
- Calf pain or swelling
- Unusual muscles weakness or fatigue
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Decreased fetal movement
- Signs of pre-term labor