Many future parents find themselves wondering, “Is it safe to exercise while pregnant?” The answer is yes! Healthy women can safely exercise as normal throughout most stages of pregnancy, and many mothers-to-be find that fitness has numerous physical and mental health benefits. But what should you keep in mind during your fit pregnancy? We’ve compiled expert advice to guide you through the next nine months!
How Much Exercise is Recommended?
Experts recommend that pregnant women get 150 minutes of exercise throughout the week. While that number may sound a little daunting to some, there are tons of different ways to get in your weekly workouts. Consider a few prenatal yoga classes per week to soothe and strengthen your body, or try walking with friends through your favorite outdoor park. If you have a busy schedule, you can even break up your workouts into 10 minute intervals throughout the day. Just pick an activity you enjoy that brings up your heart rate to promote good cardiovascular health.
What if I Already Have a Fitness Routine?
If you are used to more vigorous exercise or endurance sports, talk to your doctor. Most professionals agree that athletes can continue their routines throughout the pregnancy, as long as they remain healthy. However, be sure to ask your doctor about any adjustments that should be made from trimester to trimester.
What are the Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy?
There are many surprising benefits of exercise that may make your pregnancy just a little easier. A good workout can provide valuable stress relief, and studies show that regular exercise can even improve your mood. Additionally, exercise can be a valuable weight management tool both during and after the pregnancy. Stick to fitness plan that you enjoy, and you’ll reap the benefits!
Are There Any Risks?
While there are tons of myths about exercise and pregnancy, scientific evidence has found that moderate aerobic activity presents very little risk for healthy women. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- If you have never exercised before, start very slowly with low-impact activities like walking and swimming.
- Try to avoid activities that involve lying on your back, which can cause discomfort for pregnant women.
- Skip any fast-paced activity that puts you at risk for falling, like horseback riding or basketball.