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Important Exercise Facts During Pregnancy

by GloMom Admin on August 19, 2020

Congratulations on one of the most beautiful journeys of your life. However, on the back of your mind, there is anxiety regarding being fit during these nine months, not to gain too much weight and many such things. Trust me, you’re not alone. These issues concern most of the expectant mothers out there. But, it’s not something you should lose any sleep on. A little effort and awareness in undertaking some kind of physical activity or exercise are needed to counter these anxieties.

It was reported that:

In a key scientific study, Clapp and Capeless (1990) found that pregnant women who continued a program of moderate-to-high intensity exercise experienced a 300–500-gram reduction in birth weight compared to sedentary controls or women who reduced their prenatal PA.”

However, your main perspective, focus, the goal should be not to lose weight while exercising during pregnancy, but to have a healthy nine months, stay fit, have mental and physical control, overall positive attitude, increased flexibility, and stronger muscles, to help you cope with every step a little better, every day, week and month, before, during and after your pregnancy, labor, and delivery (even after and through recovery)! There are lots that can be done to prepare best/better, more, faster, for labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery.

Exercise during pregnancy can alleviate stress, symptoms, physical challenges, and obstacles, associated with pregnancy, such as sciatica, fatigue, swelling, and aiding digestion. The real value of these types of regular exercise, fitness and activity priorities, even pre-natal classes uplift and inspire you to deeply connect with yourself, be aware of your pregnant body, be in touch with the developing new life and baby growing inside and overall prepares yourself for this new journey and phase of life.

There are many benefits, risks and rewards, safety precautions, and measures to take, types of activities to indulge, and partake in to reap full promise, potential, and opportunity. It is of the utmost importance that you as an expectant mom never over-exert yourself, or put your body or baby at risk.

Consult with your doctor, physiotherapist, or health care professional ensuring that any of the exercise routines and workouts, types of activities that you have selected or chosen from, enjoy, want to pursue, won’t cause harm to you or your unborn baby.

Exercise During Pregnancy: Rewards and Risks

Endorphins are wonderful natural substances in the body that makes any workout a useful and significant experience, a benefit to the body. You need to, however, partake and commit to doing it regularly, as many times as 3-4 times per week. Goals, variety, fun type activities are more likely easier to get done, if you do things that you have an affinity for, interest in, and enjoy!

Stay focused and use all aspects of the different combinations, activities, hobbies, sports, routines that you are involved in, to get the best, optimal benefit from it. Working with a trainer or doing it yourself, there are many options. The choice is yours.

First and foremost if you have any underlying health conditions, issues, concerns, disease, or problems, rather refrain and abstain from rigorous activity that can place you and/or baby at increased risk. That defeats the purpose and outweighs the benefits.

If you are aware of any orthopedic problems, special needs, high risk, complications type pregnancy, blood sugar issues, heart disease, breathing type illness, low or high blood pressure, multiple fetuses, have a history or an increased risk of premature labor, preeclampsia or heart disease, you may have to consult with both your doctor and/or the fitness expert/instructor before the class or any type of activity when you are pregnant.

Do not assume anything. Make sure if it is safe, evaluate the benefits and weigh the risk/reward scale, before starting a new or any regimen.

Go at your individual, preferred, and personal ability, pace, and listen to the warning signs the body provides. Do not over-exert, risk, hurt or injure yourself, your abdomen, or your baby. Plan your workouts and daily priorities, building the activities and routines into the everyday things you have to do. More sessions spread out throughout the day might benefit you more. 15 -20 minutes at a time, twice a day may be just what the doctor ordered and easier to stick than trying to get away to the gym for an hour and a half!

Exercise During Pregnancy: Types Of Exercises

  • Stick to what you know, do best, and what you have evidence of will work and is safe for you, your fitness level, pregnancy, etc. not putting the mom or baby at risk in any way, shape or form.
  • Timing for/of workout sessions will vary. Find your metabolic pulse, early morning, midday, late-night, then team up with someone – a fitness buddy or birthing partner that can workout alongside, spend time with and enjoy what you are doing.
  • Be consistent and stick to your routines, plans, and activities throughout the pregnancy, early, mid, or later, just adjusting and modifying what you are doing, to allow for the changes and demands that your belly places on the rest of you!
  • Do not deplete all your energy and listen to the warning or telltale signs that your body is giving to you. If you skip a workout for feeling tired, fatigued, not up to it, do not be too hard on yourself.

Exercise During Pregnancy: Precautions And Safety Measures

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, here are some guidelines as to what to do and not to do when exercising while pregnant:

  • Stop exercising and consult a midwife or doctor if any, some or all of the following signs and symptoms manifest itself bleeding, cramping, faintness, dizziness or severe joint, lower back or abdominal pain.
  • Avoid laying flat on your back after sixteen weeks into your pregnancy, the growing uterus, in effect compresses a major blood vessel, restricting blood flow back to the mother’s heart and to the baby.
  • Be sensible about what you do when, how much, intensity, duration, etc. Comfortably breathing, not bating for breath, at anaerobic (or breathless) pace. You should be able, no matter what type of exercise or activity you do, to still breathe easy and talk, have a conversation with someone else without hassle or discomfort, trying to catch your breath all the time. Tone it down at that point.

Exercise During Pregnancy: Preparation, Warmups And More

Balance and loss of it are key realities to bear in mind while exercising during pregnancy and most women will rather follow advice to avoid things like riding horses, motorcycles, or snowmobiles for the duration of their nine-month pregnancy journey. Fitness and Treatment Teams (trainer, medical professionals, Other Moms) can all have a positive role to play in this life and reproductive phase, processes, and outcome.

Here are some key things to remember:

  • Watch your body temperature and hydrate, do not overheat, especially in early pregnancy, first weeks, first trimester when development is at its most fragile, and the baby sensitive to extreme temperatures.
  • Do not work out if you are feeling under the weather, are not up to it. Do not deprive your body of oxygen while working out by holding your breath, inhale, and exhale normally. Remember, whatsoever you subject your body to, you are also exposing your baby too.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, pick a safe, non-slip environment, use supports and training equipment specifically that can assist you with your shifting sense and center of gravity.
  • Warm-up and cool down properly. Build strength, endurance, and stamina at your pace and on your terms as an expectant mom. Modify and tailor workouts, types of activities to suit your needs, trimester, phase and stage, fitness-level, and unique pregnancy. Swimming or walking (or alternating both), can be great, even for those who have not been exercising regularly,
  • Discuss with your caregiver, birth partner, and such, even your doctor about creating an exercise program designed, customize, and adapted for you, your needs, your goals. You could consider using a treadmill, exercise bike or swimming, to get your target heart rate up and enjoy a variety of activities to keep you going and sticking with it.

So, it does not take much to see and make a case for exercising while pregnant. It is fashionable, trendy and the in thing for mothers-to-be to do, but it is also so much more than mere Fad, Myth, Trend, Statement, personal obsession or commitment, it is a solidly profitable investment in a Healthy Nine Months, with a high ROR (rate of return)!

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