Society often depicts pregnancy as a time of binge eating and unrestrained weight gain, but practicing healthy habits during these nine months is not only possible, but highly recommended. Of course, with a baby on board, your exercise regimen will change from what you are used to.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say almost all women can and should be physically active during pregnancy, recommending that pregnant women get about 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. The NIH reports that exercising during pregnancy helps reduce pregnancy discomfort, lowers the risks of gestational diabetes, improves sleep, improves mood, helps with an easier labor, and helps provide a faster recovery after delivery.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to exercising through pregnancy:
- Research has shown that the mothers of infants who exercise generally have more desirable/healthy body composition. In other words, if you keep up an exercise routine throughout pregnancy, you will have an easier time going back to your pre-pregnancy weight once the baby arrives.
- Stay well hydrated while exercising; stop exercising if you feel exhausted or overheated or if you feel dizzy.
- Keep the weather in mind, and if it’s hot outside, avoid exercising in the heat, so you don’t become overheated.
- For many active women, there is no reason to dramatically cut back on exercise during pregnancy. Most women can maintain the program and routine that they are accustomed to doing.
- Listen to the body, and it will guide you. If you’ve never exercised, then you should take it easy on starting a plan, but if you’re an avid exerciser or athlete, keep pushing on with some minor modifications.
If you have any questions or concerns about exercise and how to have the healthiest pregnancy, talk to any of our doctors at your next appointment. All women and all pregnancies are different. We can help you figure out the best options for your unique situation.