What’s the safest way to exercise during pregnancy? As a woman, pregnancy represents one of the greatest physical changes you will ever experience. To support these physical changes and your growing baby, eating healthy is key, but so is staying physically active.
In this article, we debunk common myths about exercise and pregnancy.
Myth #1: Beginning exercise during pregnancy
On the contrary, pregnancy is actually an ideal time to start an exercise program — even if you’ve never really exercised before. Public health guidelines for pregnant women recommend moderate exercise or activity for approximately 150 minutes per week (or 30 minutes per day, five days a week). Below are some ideal exercises during pregnancy:
- Walking: Walking at a moderate pace can be a great, easy way to fulfill the recommended guidelines. If you’re walking, you should be able to walk and talk at the same time. If you can’t, you should slow down.
- Gym activities: Working out on the elliptical or doing water exercises in the pool are healthy and safe ways to stay active.
- Pilates or yoga: Pilates and yoga can be mentally and physically beneficial. However, hot yoga is not recommended because you should always stay cool and hydrated while pregnant.
The most important thing while performing these exercises is to keep it at a moderate level. Don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Do not engage in exercises that will cause you to lose balance. Riding a bicycle, for example, might not be the safest form of exercise during pregnancy due to the increased fall risk. What’s most important is to find something you enjoy while staying safe. Talk to your doctor to see what works with your personal history.
Myth #2: Athletes and vigorous exercise during pregnancy
If you’re a high-performance athlete, you can usually maintain your exercise regimen during pregnancy as long as your pregnancy is uncomplicated. However, you should talk with your health care provider and be more mindful of how you feel while exercising during pregnancy.
Women who are highly athletic may have developed the ability to push through fatigue or cramping. It is important, though, not to push yourself beyond a ‘safe’ threshold, which could affect the fetus.
Myth #3: Weight loss during pregnancy
While exercise is a huge component of postpartum weight loss, it is not the only reason you should engage in safe exercises while pregnant. Even if you don’t see immediate weight loss after pregnancy, you should always continue to exercise because your body is benefiting internally.
Myth #4: Exhaustion during pregnancy
It may seem paradoxical, but getting too much rest can make you feel more tired, while a little exercise can go a long way in boosting your energy. That said, if you’re ready for a nap after your workout, you’ve likely worked too hard.
Myth #5: Bedrest during pregnancy
It’s extra important to flex your muscles while on bedrest to maintain your strength, so ask your practitioner about daily exercises, which can include arm exercises involving light weights and stretching.
Myth #6: Running during pregnancy
While pregnancy isn’t the time to start training for a marathon, experienced runners can continue running, as long as they stick to level terrain (to reduce the risk of falls) and limit the distance if they feel tired.
Your heart health is important during pregnancy. Check out our recommended exercises for heart health.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. And that’s just as true during pregnancy. As a women’s-only gym in Abuja, be sure that you and your baby are safe with us as you exercise your way to motherhood. Book a baby bump session with Ella’s place today!