Exercise Tips for Pregnancy
Exercise can do wonders during pregnancy! It boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces aches and pains associated with pregnancy. It also helps prevent gestational diabetes and may keep preeclampsia at bay.
Exercise also prepares you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building stamina, making it easier to get back in shape after childbirth.
“We know that finding the time (and energy) to exercise while pregnant is hard. That's why we're providing some easy exercises that will get you in the swing of being more active during your pregnancy,” says Lisa Wilson, a physician with Novant Health Providence OB/GYN.
Cardio Exercises for Moms-to-Be
Walking: One of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women, walking keeps you fit without jarring your knees and ankles. It's also easy to do almost anywhere, doesn't require any equipment beyond a good pair of supportive shoes, and is safe throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
Swimming: Swimming is the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. It exercises both the arms and legs, provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows expectant women to feel weightless despite the added weight of pregnancy.
Low-impact aerobics: Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and tones your body. If you enroll in a class for pregnant women, you'll enjoy the fellowship of other moms-to-be and feel reassured that each movement is safe for you and your baby.
Stationary biking: A stationary bike is great because it's low-impact and risk-free. As you grow, your center of gravity is shifting, so you are at an increased risk of falling. A stationary bike reduces the chance of falling dramatically. As your abdomen grows, however, it can put a lot of stress on your back, so start slowly and don't over-exert yourself.
Don't Exercise If...
If you have a medical problem, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, exercise may not be advisable. Exercise may also be harmful if you have an obstetric condition such as:
– Bleeding or spotting
– Low placenta
– Threatened or recurrent miscarriage
– A history of early labor
– Previous premature births
– Weak cervix
Consult your health care provider before beginning an exercise program. Your health care provider can offer personalized exercise guidelines based on your medical history. Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and do not overdo it.
The physicians and staff of Novant Health Providence Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) provide comprehensive healthcare for women of all ages. We offer routine annual health examinations, including pap smears, breast exams, contraceptive counseling and general women's health advice.
Please call our Providence office at 704-372-4000, our Steelecroft office at 704-384-7900 or our SouthPark office at 704-372-4000. We look forward to serving you and your baby during your pregnancy.