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Can women workout in pregnancy?

October 11, 2021 4 min read

 

 

Pregnancy can be a time of confusion and uncertainty. From food to lifestyle to exercise, there are so many different opinions. But what’s the truth? This can be a tough question to answer. There are many opinions about the safety of exercise in pregnancy, and the answer is different for every woman.

Some women feel great and are able to workout throughout their pregnancy. Some women find exercise helpful for managing their weight gain. Others find that exercise is too much for their bodies to handle and need to stop.

 

What do experts say?

At The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women are encouraged to maintain their pre-pregnancy weight while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some women need to limit or stop the intensity or duration of their workouts. For many women, simply being active during pregnancy makes them feel more connected to their body. For others, walking around the park or going on a prenatal yoga class can make them feel calm and more connected to the experience of being pregnant. Some women even have a workout buddy during their pregnancy.

 

At The American College of Sports Medicine, women are encouraged to be active, as long as they take it easy. The key is to listen to your body, but do not wait until you get really uncomfortable before exercising.

 

What does research say about working out while pregnant?

 

For example, a study of 946 women published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that exercising was associated with a lower risk of gestational diabetes and preterm delivery. The women in this study were 45 to 47 years old at their first pregnancy, not exercising more than one hour per week before the start of the study, and had a healthy body mass index (BMI).

 

Another recent study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that among 866 pregnant women who were referred to the Project Pregnant Women Clinic, 37 percent of those with no known medical problems reported exercising two or more times a week, as compared to 13 percent of those with medical problems. The amount of exercise was, however, variable. It ranged from weekly walking, to strenuous running.

 

How can you know whether you should work out?

 

There are many factors that make it hard to know how to work out during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a one size fits all. Some women experience fewer complications than others and can go as far as working out in their eighth or ninth month of pregnancy. Some women have found that once they hit the third trimester, they need to stop working out because the added stress of exercise could put their health at risk. Below is a list of things you need to consider before starting your pregnancy fitness routine. Forget the scale. Unless you are post-pregnancy weight, do not focus on your weight gain. Remember that it is more important to develop a sustainable exercise routine, than to be a certain weight. Your body will change during pregnancy.

 

Exercise is too hard on your body

 

Lots of women feel like they are walking on a tightrope because they need to avoid injury, pain and discomfort, but they also need to push themselves during their pregnancy. It can be hard to find a comfortable balance. Here are some tips that can help you find your own workout program that helps you safely exercise in your pregnancy.

If you feel confident in your fitness level, don't worry about becoming an expert. Instead, focus on working up a sweat and try to keep your heart rate in a safe zone.

 

Don't exercise if you don't feel good

If you are getting up and moving, but still have symptoms like nausea, dizziness and tiredness, it might be best to take it easy until you feel better.

 

You’re not sure whether exercise is safe

 

We’ve talked about the risks of exercise in pregnancy in the past, including early labor, a risk for blood clots, and possible gestational diabetes. But there are also risks to exercise. If you do decide to go ahead and do an exercise routine, it’s important to find out if your doctor recommends it or not. You may need to find out if there are any safety issues.

You may need to stop exercise

Sometimes, an exercise routine is simply too much for your body to handle. Maybe you’re expecting and you’re already having some heavy bleeding or cramping. Or, maybe your doctor has ordered you to take it easy while pregnant. Your doctor may suggest that you stay home from exercise or to take it easy for a while, until you can get to your next appointment without the risk of bleeding or cramping.

FAQs

Is It Safe To Do High-Intensity Exercise during pregnancy?

For some women, working out during pregnancy may feel like a dangerous, and potentially dangerous, idea. For many, exercising during their pregnancy is difficult, and some may even have to modify their exercise routine because they're carrying extra weight. The main concern is that if you increase your activity and continue to do high-intensity exercise, you could potentially strain your ligaments. Even if you're not obese, if your pregnancy is high-risk, you could get a tear in your uterus, leading to heavy bleeding and a quick loss of fetal life.

What are the best exercises for women in pregnancy?

A good example is the C9 exercises. They include lunges and squats as the core work. This is perfect for a busy mom-to-be who can’t make it to a gym. If you’re still reading this and you’re not a fan of lunges or squats, but you don’t want to stop completely, try these alternative exercises. Medicine ball work is also popular, but less strenuous than regular weight lifting. Another option is using a squat rack or exercise ball while standing and doing a dumbbell pull-up to strengthen your core. Any exercise done with good form is fine during pregnancy. It’s also important to not overdo the exercises. If you don’t have any health concerns, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

 


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