Pregnancy is accompanied by several changes in a woman’s body in which physiological change tops the list. The psychological changes associated with pregnancy warrant assessment of obstetric & medical risk before engaging in regular physical exercise.
Exercising during pregnancy has great benefits as it can help prepare you for labor and childbirth and lift your spirits. However you need to approach working out with extra caution during this perioud. Healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancy do not need to limit their exercise for fear of adverse effects. Participation in a wide range of recreational activities appears safe during & after pregnancy. Follow these rules to keep you and your baby safe whether you are regular on exercise or you are just about to start;
30 to 40 mins of moderate physical activity at least 3 days/wk is recommended in the absence of either medical or obstetric complications.
- Women who were sedentary before pregnancy should begin with light intensity low impact activities such as walking & swimming. Pregnancy requires an additional 300 Kcal/daily.
- Exercising indoor may be advisable to provide more environmental control to avoid excess heat, cold & air pollution.
- Wear appropriate clothing and take into consideration the environmental conditions and adequate hydration during exercise program to prevent hyperthermia.
- Maternal hypoglycemia may be associated with strenuous exercise therefore one has to increase carbohydrate intake (eg.30 to 50 g) with food and sports drink prior to exercise.
- Motionless standing should be avoided as it results in venous blood pooling.
Avoid exercise in lying down position & motionless standing position.
- Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather or when you have a fever.
- Avoid exercise that involves the risk of abdominal trauma, fall and excessive joint stress.
When exercising, pregnant women should be aware of signs & symptoms for discontinuing exercise and seeking medical advice.