Along with nutrition, moderate exercise is helpful for keeping yourself and your baby healthy during pregnancy. However, as with your nutritional intake, it is best for you to discuss exercising with your doctor or OBGYN before exercising while pregnant.
Moderate exercise during pregnancy has many benefits for both you and your baby, often minimizing discomfort and weight gain while preparing your body for birth and reducing the possibility of complications such as premature birth, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Ideally, you will get around 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise each week, or around 30 minutes of moderate exercise for 5 days out of the week. However, you should also listen to your body and if you feel pain or discomfort during exercise, it is best to take a break and/or reduce the level of intensity. If you aren’t used to exercising then it may be advisable to begin with exercising 15 minutes a day and increasing time gradually.
Some good choices for moderate exercises include swimming, walking, pregnancy yoga, low-impact aerobics, stationary cycling, and moderate strength training with light weights.
You’ll want to be sure and include stretching, warming up and cooling down with your routine, in addition to staying hydrated throughout the day and avoid getting overheated. The general rule is that you should be able to carry on a conversation with minimal effort and no exhaustion, or else you are likely exercising too intensely.
Avoid exercises that involve lying on your back, especially after the first trimester. Also avoid any high-impact, strenuous exercise or activities where you are at risk of injury due to falling.
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