Whether a woman is physically fit before becoming pregnant or not, weight gain is usually a topic of concern during pregnancy. The idea of gaining weight on purpose is foreign to most people because we live in a society where losing weight is the ideal. However, growing life inside the womb requires added weight to be put on the female frame, but with exercise, this weight gain does not need to be excessive.
Women are encouraged to take care of their bodies while they are pregnant. Contrary to past recommendations, exercise is safe throughout pregnancy, and it can provide several valued benefits for both mother and baby. A few decades ago, many women were scared to exercise while pregnant because they thought it would cause miscarriage, but we now know that leading a sedentary lifestyle is much more dangerous. Exercise benefits the body and emotional well-being. Exercising throughout pregnancy can help women maintain their fitness levels, improve back pain, help relieve constipation, and reduce the risk for gestational diabetes.
How Much Exercise and What Type of Exercise is Okay?
For the most part, your physical activity during pregnancy should resemble your physical activity before becoming pregnant. If you were actively working out multiple times a week, there is no need to stop. You may need to modify some exercises for safety, but you can continue your active lifestyle with your physician’s approval.
For women who were not physically active prior to pregnancy but who know they need to make health a priority for both mother and baby, talk to your doctor. Now is not the time to rush into excessive fitness, but creating a walking regimen five times a week will provide great benefits to the mother. Walking is a low-impact exercise that is not only safe but is also very easy to do. Even during cold weather, you can walk on a treadmill or elliptical machine indoors, or you can find places that provide indoor walking tracks. By adding low weights during your walks, you can also increase your strength. Walking during pregnancy has been proven to help many women avoid excessive weight gain and make it much easier to lose the baby weight after pregnancy.
Always get your doctor’s approval before beginning new exercises and listen to your body. We all know that exercise is good for the heart, joints, muscles, mind, and emotions. It is a healthy way to cope with the changes that occur during pregnancy, and it also helps to provide a safe home for your growing baby. Contact Marietta OB/GYN Affiliates, P.A., to discuss your exercise routine during pregnancy.