Pregnancy and Exercise
What are the benefits of working out while pregnant?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), they can be:
- Boost your mood and energy levels!
- Reduce backaches, bloating, and swelling
- Promotes healthy weight and healthy lifestyle gain during and after pregnancy
- Eases constipation
- Strengthens your heart and blood vessels
- May decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
Is it safe?
First and foremost, it is important to discuss all exercise activities with your obstetrician and members of your health care team during prenatal visits. If you are given the "OK", then it is a healthy and wise choice to improve your lifestyle through exercise while pregnant! Please discuss with your obstetrician of any pregnancy complications that may prohibit you from exercising.
What is a safe amount of time I should be exercising?
It is safest to start off slow. There is no shame in simply exercising 5-10 minutes a day! If you feel comfortable at the end of those 5-10 minutes, try adding 5 minutes the following week. Ultimately, you want to achieve at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. The ACOG suggests 150 minutes a week.
Moderate-intensity aerobic activities include those that raise your heart rate and make you sweat. However, they are not meant to exhaust you. You should still be able to carry a normal conversation; however, you wouldn’t be able to sing comfortably.
If you already lived an active lifestyle before pregnancy, try your same workouts with your obstetrician’s approval!
Always take precaution!
Aside from monitoring the time you spend exercising, it is important to consider a few additional factors before jumping into any workout. First and foremost, drink plenty of water. It is imperative that you do not dehydrate yourself ever, but especially during a rigorous activity such as exercise. (Don't forget to bring your Pura bottle!) According to ACOG, it is very important that you avoid becoming overheated, especially during the first trimester. Try to avoid exercising outside when it is very hot or humid.
In addition to the importance of water, focus on exercises that minimize your time standing still or lying flat on your back. The ACOG states that “when you lie on your back, your uterus presses on a large vein that returns blood to your heart." No one wants that! If you stand still, blood will aggregate in your legs and feet which could cause blood pressure to decrease.
Pura's recommended exercises:
- A comfortable fast paced walk
- Modified yoga or Pilates
- Stationary biking
If you have any other exercises you’d like to try, always remember to contact your obstetrician for approval!
We hope that these tips serve you and help you along the way of your pregnancy. While Pura’s friendly customer support team is always one email away, we are not licensed doctors or obstetricians, so all questions regarding pregnancy should be directed to a medical practitioner. That being said, we can provide personal feedback as many of our team members (including the VP) have been mother’s themselves! This blog post is not to be used as a substitute for any medical practitioner’s professional judgment.
Editor's note: Information and facts pulled from American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website (www.acog.org)