Understanding the Importance of Exercise for Maintaining Health During Pregnancy

If you have recently availed yourself of free pregnancy testing in Illinois and discovered that you have conceived, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. If you are a normally active person who loves her morning and afternoon jogs and weekly gym sessions, you may worry that your normal level of physical fitness may hurt your unborn child. Many people share your apprehension but rest at ease.

Understanding the Importance of Exercise for Maintaining Health During Pregnancy

While not all exercise is allowed, as long as your pregnancy is normal and you are healthy overall, moderate exercise is not prohibited. In fact, it can impart numerous advantages and help you maintain your mental and physical health throughout your pregnancy.

The Physical Ramifications

Pregnancy generally comes with a great deal of physical discomfort. There may be swelling, back pain, pelvic pain, bloating and constipation, all of which may be mitigated by physical activity. It also helps prevent excessive weight gain and keeps your muscles toned and fit. It may also lower the chance of complications like you developing gestational diabetes or needing a C-section. Exercise also raises your energy levels, helping you to sleep better at night and combat the fatigue that you may experience as a side effect of pregnancy.

The Mental Ramifications

Along with granting you more energy, exercise also boosts your mood. With all of the hormones surging through your body, you may experience a mixture of emotions, not all pleasant, and moving around can help with that since it stimulates the release of “happy” endorphins in your brain. It also helps by aiding you in getting the proper amount of rest and reduces stress.

The Good Activities

You can actually do most kinds of exercise given you avoid overexertion and display caution. Walking, using a stationary bike and swimming pose very little risk and are good ways to get your heart pumping without overdoing it. Low-impact aerobics are also safe as long as the sessions are taught and monitored by a professional teacher. Yoga and Pilates are also good options (but not hot Yoga or hot Pilates). If you want to do more intense activities like jogging, you need to moderate how much you do. You can even do strength training, though you should consult your healthcare provider about the appropriate weight limits.

The Forbidden Activities

Do not participate in any form of exercise where you hit the water hard, such as diving and surfing/ Avoid contact sports or anything where your stomach could get hit, like kickboxing, karate or any form of sparring. Also avoid high-temperature exercise and situations so you don’t get hyperthermia. Do not scuba dive as this can actually give your baby decompression sickness. Don’t participate in activities where you could fall or injure yourself easily like skiing, sky diving, high altitude rock climbing, gymnastics and paragliding. In general, stay away from intense, higher-risk ones. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slowly.

Before you do any exercise, you need to clear with your doctor that you are physically fit to do so. This especially applies if you have preexisting conditions like a heart defect or anemia or you are experiencing symptoms like vaginal bleeding. While exercise is actually recommended for most pregnant women, it may cause harm in certain cases.