Working Out While Pregnant
Working Out While Pregnant: Helpful or Dangerous?
Exercise is important to build up muscles and strength that you may need on the day you give birth, so working out while pregnant is absolutely helpful. You need to be able to handle the increasing weight and to get through the rather straining experience of child birth. Many women complain about pain during their pregnancy as well as congestion. Thus, working out while pregnant can be a preventive measure so that you can fully enjoy being a mommy-to-be without all the headaches that come with pregnancy. Sports are not only great for physical wellbeing, but pregnant women can also manage their mood swings a little better as exercise boosts your mood and energises you.
- When should you not work out?
Some women have to be extra careful with exercise in general, and you should consult your doctor if any of the following conditions apply to you.
- you have already had a miscarriage in the past
- you have experienced premature birth in the past
- you know that you are at high risk of miscarriage or premature birth
- you have a low lying placenta
- you experience bleeding
- you already have health problems related to your back, knees and hips
- you suffer from a disease
- you have high blood pressure
- you are expecting more than one baby (twins, triplets etc)
- I usually exercise regularly. Can I keep working out while pregnant?
If you are healthy and experience no discomfort, you can carry on with your training. American researchers have found that there are many negative consequences in women who are physically active and stop their workout routine during pregnancy. This does not harm your baby as a study from Oslo concluded as active pregnant women show no difference in weight gain, birth pain or child growth to women who are inactive. Nevertheless, you should always check with your doctor prior to working out while pregnant.
- What kind of exercise is particularly good for pregnant women?
Walking, jogging, swimming and riding bike on a home trainer have been the most popular and least dangerous sports for pregnant women. Yoga and Pilates have been extraordinarily good for pregnant women, but you should join a special pregnancy course with an experienced trainer.
- I usually don't work out. Are there any precautions I should consider?
If your doctor tells you that you can exercise, then it is absolutely fine but you must stick to simple and easy methods of working out while pregnant. To be 100% safe you can join special training and sports courses for pregnant women.
- Do I have to adapt the intensity of my training to the pregnancy?
Absolutely. If you have an active lifestyle, you will automatically reduce the intensity as your belly grows and your body becomes heavier. You should avoid lying on your belly or flat on your back.
- What type of exercise is unsuitable?
Working out while pregnant can be advantageous, but some types of sport can be very dangerous. You must avoid any sports where you can injure yourself, such as horse riding, skiing (all types) and skating (all types). Riding a bike is possible in the first few months, but you must switch to a home trainer later on to ensure that you are safe.
- How do I know that my training is too intense?
Your training should never exhaust you because you need to breathe calmly and not use more than 60% of your heart's maximum capacity. Working out while pregnant should always involve a pulse measurer and you can discuss the right level of exercise with your doctor.