BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY- PREGNANCY.
Exercise is a safe practice during pregnancy. In fact, there are many benefits associated with exercising during your pregnancy. It is advised to check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program and some consideration should be taken on the type of exercise you choose and appropriate level intensity.
Exercise can help relieve back pain associated with pregnancy, it can help prevent excess weight gain and will increase your muscular strength and stamina. Other general exercise benefits, which may help you during your pregnancy are a boost in both mood and energy, improved sleep habits and relief from aches and pains.
Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy related high blood pressure and foetal macrosomia (larger baby than average). The effects of postpartum depression are better managed by including regular exercise.
Special considerations when considering exercise while you are pregnant include, pregnancy related high blood pressure, cervical problems, vaginal bleeding, prior pre-term labour and a multiple pregnancy. If you have any health concerns or experience any unusual symptoms, it is advised to seek the advice of your health professional.
General recommendations for exercising during pregnancy are:
– 30 minutes a day
– Low to moderate intensity
– Choose low impact modes of exercise such as walking
– Resistance training is ok providing you are not lifting very heavy weights
– Drink plenty of fluids to avid overheating
– Continue to exercise at the same level as you were exercising before your pregnancy providing you are comfortable
– If you have not exercised before pregnancy, start off slow and gradually increase providing you are comfortable.
– Avoid contact sports, scuba diving and / or exercise at altitude.
– Avoid sports which place you at risk of falling
– Avoid exercises that force you to lie flat on your back after 1st trimester.
– See the advice of your health provider