Your body is changing and your belly is growing, but that doesn’t usually mean that exercise during pregnancy has to stop. Some women believe that physical activity during pregnancy could negatively affect the baby. Fortunately, exercise is safe for most pregnant women under a few conditions. In fact, it could even be beneficial for you and your baby.
Exercise is also known to relieve stress. If you’re stressing about the big change happening in your life or just have general anxieties, moving your body can help you stay calm. Evidence shows that chronic stress may affect your baby’s health, so even a relaxing walk around the block can be helpful.
Exercising for 30 minutes on most, or all, days can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is still beneficial, as well. The important thing is to be active and get your blood flowing.
Exercises to avoid while pregnant:
- Scuba diving
- Exercises where falling is possible, such as skiing
- Extensive skipping or bouncing
- Exercises that require you to hold your breath, such as underwater swimming
- Lying on your back or right side for three minutes or longer
- Exercising in heat, such as hot yoga
Stop or slow down exercising if:
- You’re too out of breath to have a conversation
- You feel faint
- Your heart rate is above 140 beats per minute
- You feel completely drained of energy
- You get a headache
- You feel overheated
- You have chest pain
- You experience vaginal bleeding
Benefits from exercise during pregnancy:
- Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
- May help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes
- Increases your energy level
- Improves your mood
- Improves your posture
- Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
- Helps you sleep better
Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. This will make it easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born.
There are many changes happening in your body during pregnancy. First, joints are more flexible from the hormones which cause certain muscles to relax during pregnancy. Your center of gravity or equilibrium is shifted from the extra weight in the front, as well as, your shifting hips.
This can affect your balance as you near your due date. The extra weight will also cause your body to work harder than before you were pregnant.