Pregnancy fitness is an important part of staying healthy through a pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy improves cardiovascular health, increases muscle strength and tone, and helps pregnant women cope with the increased demands on their body. In addition, regular exercise can help prevent a woman from developing gestational hypertensive disorders, such as gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia (hypertension that begins after the 20th week of pregnancy and is characterized by proteinuria).
A person’s physical activity levels before pregnancy will influence how much exercise she can safely perform during her pregnancy. However, a healthy pregnancy workout routine typically includes at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity three to four days a week, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Aerobic activities are an excellent pregnancy workout because they can help a person control her weight, maintain or increase her cardiorespiratory endurance and improve her balance and coordination. People who are accustomed to jogging or running may find that their bodies tire more easily during pregnancy, so it is important for them to listen to their bodies and cut back on the intensity.
In addition to cardiovascular exercise, a healthy pregnancy workout regimen should include some light-to-moderate strength training. Strength training is helpful for pregnant women because it builds muscles that help them cope with the changes in their body’s center of gravity and the pressure on the joints from a growing belly. However, people should avoid exercises that involve bouncing and should consult with their doctors before beginning a new strength-training routine while pregnant.
It is advisable for pregnant people to work out in the company of a trained, certified exercise professional. If not, they should choose an activity that is suitable for pregnancy, such as swimming or water aerobics. These exercise options are safe because the water supports the fetus and can ease joint and ligament stress. However, it is best for pregnant people to avoid exercising in deep water, such as a pool, late in their pregnancy, as this can cause compression of the main blood vessels.
A person who is planning a pregnancy should drink plenty of fluids before, during and after her exercise sessions. It is also recommended that she stretch before and after her workout and cool down gradually to reduce the risk of injury.
Although it’s important to keep up with a pregnancy workout regimen, it’s equally as important not to compare oneself to others. “It’s about taking care of your body, and your baby, not trying to set personal records or be the strongest you’ve ever been,” says Skye. In addition to avoiding high-intensity exercise, people should also avoid off-road cycling and any other activity that could lead to abdominal trauma or falls. pregnancy fitness