Are you a woman that loves fitness? Are you looking for pregnancy exercises to keep you in a good shape while you’re expecting? Do you want to know if you can continue with your normal workout routine? Or maybe you’ve decided to begin a workout routine now to help you during your pregnancy and to facilitate your baby’s birth?
Personally I never did exercise on a regular basis. However, when I got married, my husband insisted that I start practicing some sport to keep me healthy. It was then that we got a subscription to a gym, just a year before I became pregnant.
During those lovely nine months of my pregnancy, I continued with low-impact routines recommended by my doctor until the birth of my baby. I can assure you, that under observation and with a safe workout routine, those nine months will be wonderful ones. You will be prepared to reduce many uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, and you improve your chances of having a natural birth with minimal complications.
Let me tell you that pregnancy exercises are a challenge for you and the developing of your baby. You cannot continue doing the same hard workouts as before. Your routine has to slow down as your pregnancy progresses.
What pregnancy changes will affect my workout routine?
The physiological and anatomical changes that you will have during your pregnancy will affect the ability to do exercise, and increase the risk to harm yourself during a physical activity.
Some of these changes are:
- Cardiovascular Changes: There is an increased amount of blood flow through your body. This increase does not generally affect pregnancy exercises, but you may feel more tired than usual, feel dizzy, weak or even nausea, especially after week 16th.
- Respiratory Changes: In your state, your body needs more oxygen for the developing of your baby. That’s the reason why it will be harder for you to breathe and therefore it will be difficult to do some exercises, such as aerobics.
- Structural changes in your body: Your abdomen and breasts will grow. Your center of gravity will change and it will affect your balance. Certain exercises that require a balance will be affected, like bike riding, for example.
- Changes of metabolism: Carbohydrates will burn faster because exercise requires more carbohydrates, so make sure you eat some food with carbs, juts a little bit more that normal and under control to avoid an increase of body fat.
On the other hand, moderate pregnancy exercises have several benefits, including:
- Strengthening the muscles used in childbirth, such as those in the abdomen, pelvis, and lower back.
- Improve your posture and relieve discomforts such as back strain and leg cramps.
- It helps you to prepare for childbirth by increasing your strength and vigor; it oxygenates your blood and therefore the baby’s, and significantly improves your fitness, essential for the final stages of your pregnancy.
- It prevents you from getting overweight. Therefore, the overall weight gain during pregnancy is reduced, and it remains within normal ranges.
What are the risks of pregnancy exercises?
Normally, there should be no risk if you keep the exercise in a slower pace than before, but:
Stop exercising immediately if there is:
- Placenta previa
- Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
- A history of preterm delivery
- Vaginal bleeding
- Hypo or hyperthyroidism
- Twin pregnancy
In general, if your pregnancy is developing normally, you can keep practicing the same sports or workouts that you did before pregnancy. However, you will have to exercise at a slower pace as your pregnancy progresses and as if you are feeling some pain, nausea, or dizziness, stop them immediately. This is the way your body tells you to reduce exercise.
If you have not been exercising regularly, pregnancy is the ideal time to begin an exercise program. Remember that all exercises should be supervised by your doctor.
Performing regular pregnancy exercises will contribute not only to improve your health and body weight by helping you to recover faster after delivery, but it is also very important for your baby’s weight. More than 4 kilos weight can cause complications and bleeding during childbirth.
You should look for a safe exercise during pregnancy. Practicing a workout routine is normally considered beneficial for pregnant moms. However, you can check what exercises to avoid during pregnancy.