Exercise During Pregnancy

Monday, June 22, 2015

Young women exercising in a gym

Physical fitness helps keep the heart, bones, and mind healthy, whether you are pregnant or not. For most healthy moms-to-be who do not have any pregnancy-related problems, exercise is safe and has many benefits, including:

  • Exercise can ease and prevent aches and pains of pregnancy including constipation, varicose veins, backaches, and exhaustion.
  • Active women seem to be better prepared for labor and delivery and recover more quickly.
  • Exercise may lower the risk of some pregnancy-related health complications.
  • Fit women have an easier time getting back to a healthy weight after delivery.

Even if you have not been active before, you can take small steps to be active during your pregnancy. You can go for a walk around the block, in a local park, or in a shopping mall with a family member or friend. If you sit for most of the day, try getting up and moving around at least once an hour, or getting up and moving during commercials if you watch TV.

While fitness is important, there are certain things that pregnant women should keep in mind:

  • Avoid brisk exercise outside during very hot weather.
  • Don't use steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas.
  • After the end of week 12 of your pregnancy, avoid exercises that call for you to lie flat on your back.
  • Remember to drink plenty of fluids, and wear comfortable clothing that fits well and supports and protects your breasts.
  • Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, tired, or sick to your stomach.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Your health care professional can suggest a fitness plan that is right for you.

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