Every mother-to-be wants to do all she can to have the healthiest pregnancy possible, but what about exercising during pregnancy? Is it safe?
Fortunately, we now know that physical activity is a vital part of a healthy pregnancy, even though pregnant women used to be discouraged from doing much activity and treated with “kid gloves” generations ago.
In fact, we now know that exercise isn’t only safe during pregnancy; it’s encouraged for many reasons.
In providing consistent and excellent prenatal care to women, Dr. Kevin Hooker and the Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care team are dedicated to partnering with you to have a smooth and positive pregnancy, including discussing safe exercises you can do during each trimester. The practice also offers a wide range of gynecologic care services.
Exercise during pregnancy offers many benefits
First, let’s dispel some myths regarding exercising while pregnant. Doing the proper types of exercises while you’re pregnant doesn’t increase your risk for premature birth, miscarriage, or a low birth weight baby.
If you have a normal pregnancy, exercise:
- Eases back pain
- Ensures that you gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy
- Is heart-healthy
- May lower your risk for preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and needing a C-section
- Helps prevent constipation
- Assists with postpartum weight loss
If you have a high-risk pregnancy or are dealing with any complications, Dr. Hooker can counsel you about designing your pregnancy exercise plan to be safe.
And remember: Exercise during pregnancy benefits both you and your baby.
Good exercise for pregnant women
We have some exercises that we routinely talk to our expectant mothers about that are safe and enjoyable.
Walking is pleasant and free, and you don’t need any special equipment besides a good, comfortable pair of sneakers. It also exercises your whole body without stress and strain on your muscles and joints.
2. Stationary cycling
Whether you have an exercise cycle at home or choose to take a spin class at the gym, cycling in this way is an excellent workout that doesn’t put you at any risk of falling, which riding a regular cycle does. As you grow larger, balance issues can occur, and with stationary cycling, you get all the benefits of riding a bike but without fall concerns.
3. Swimming or water aerobics
Activity in the water is fantastic for moms-to-be because since you’re buoyant, no stress is put on your body, yet many muscles are used.
4. Modified yoga
Remember to use the term “modified” because if you’re pregnant, your teacher may offer slightly different poses that don’t make you stress or strain your body while in class. Yoga with modifications can evolve as your body and balance shift. It’s also doubly beneficial because it improves your flexibility and stress level.
5. Modified Pilates
Like with yoga, your Pilates teacher can advise you on slight tweaks during class that ensure your safety and comfort. During classes, you engage your abdominal and Kegel muscles, among others, which can also help you during delivery.
Thanks to the pandemic, many gyms moved yoga, spin, and Pilates classes outside to make it safer for participants. Now, it’s easy to do any of these exercises we’ve suggested outdoors and enjoy all the summer has to offer. With both Pilates and yoga, be sure to avoid the “hot” classes when pregnant.
The exercises you should avoid during pregnancy are anything that puts you at risk for a fall, such as downhill skiing or horseback riding, and contact sports like soccer.
An active pregnancy makes for a healthy pregnancy and successful birth, and we’re here to talk to you about movement and any other issues you have questions about as your pregnancy progresses.
Call the Lake Havasu OB/GYN office at 928-683-1667 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hooker, or contact us online.