Exercise In Pregnancy

Posted on October 15th, 2019 to Exercise

Pregnancy brings out our strongest desire to stay healthy — for ourselves and for the baby growing inside.  Yet, many women have questions about what exercise is safe and how much and for how long?

Exercise is good for the pregnant body.  Even if you haven’t been an avid exerciser before the pregnancy it is safe to begin to move your body and begin an exercise regime after you become pregnant. You just need to start slowly and gradually increase the length and frequency and intensity of your exercise over several weeks.  If you are already an athlete or actively exercise on a regular basis – then continuing to exercise at that same level is almost always a good thing.  Talk to your midwife about any limitations that may apply to your specific situation.

A general recommendation for exercise in pregnancy is: 30-60 min of vigorous exercise (raising your heart rate to 140-160 bpm) 5 days per week.

Things to consider while you exercise:

  • Stay hydrated – drink water before and after you exercise.
  • Stay cool – exercise indoors or in the morning or evening and not in the heat of the day.
  • Elevate your heart rate – but be able to maintain a conversation with someone during the exercise.
  • Move your body and increase your heart rate for at least 30-60 min 5 times per week.
  • Avoid any exercise where you might fall after the first trimester– water skiing, mountain biking, downhill skiing, contact sports, etc.
  • Listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right or is causing discomfort or pain – stop.
  • It is ok to do core exercises or strength training with weights in pregnancy – you just may need to modify the amounts of weight used.
  • Short stints of exercises on your back are OK ( such as core workouts)

Did you know?

  • Exercise actually gives you energy.
  • Exercise helps you sleep better.
  • Exercise reduces stress by creating a physical outlet for it.
  • Exercise helps you maintain healthy glucose levels.
  • Exercise promotes strong muscles which facilitates a healthy labor and recovery after the birth.
  • Exercise helps you to gain the right amount of weight for a healthy pregnancy.

Some good exercise for the pregnant woman:

  • Walking
  • Swimming, Water Aerobics
  • Aerobics, Pilates, Spinning, Zumba
  • Running
  • Nordic skiing or snow shoeing
  • Biking on paved bike trails or on a stationary bike
  • Yoga (not Bikram)

Before you start exercising or continue to exercise please contact your midwife or obstetrician to discuss your own situation.

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