Exercise doesn’t have to be a word that makes you roll your eyes and feel inadequate. Exercise is important for almost all pregnancies.
Exercise reduces your risks of complications such as preeclampsia. It also helps condition your body for labor and delivery. Women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to lose their pregnancy weight more quickly after pregnancy and reduce their risk for lifetime obesity. Exercise also can just make you feel better. Physically, your body is moving and working and performing more optimally. Exercise also has mental benefits. It helps you feel better about your body and the actual movements themselves can be meditational.
How to Exercise
The American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians recommends that pregnant women get 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days. A lot of women think of exercise as painful or difficult. In fact, walking, swimming, lifting small hand weights, or doing Pilates are good exercise.
Exercise is safe in pregnancy as long as you don’t exercise on your back, do activities that involve contact or have a risk of falling, and stay hydrated throughout your activity. Don’t overdo it – straining your muscles is not going to make you feel good. Do activities that feel comfortable. Check with your physician before beginning any exercise program and do things in moderation.
A new study shows that exercise during pregnancy is specifically safe for overweight women – there had been earlier concern that it might not be. The study followed women who exercised for 12 weeks during pregnancy and found that they developed no more problems than women who did not exercise.