Many pregnant women think they should be eating for two, but what women really should be focusing on is exercising for two. According to the American Congress of Obstetric and Gynecology (ACOG), women with low-risk pregnancies should be exercising through all three trimesters. Although many women might have to adjust their routines as their pregnancy progresses, both aerobic and strength training exercises are recommended. While it’s not the best time to start new, challenging exercise routines, women who were active prior to their pregnancies shouldn’t give up on cardio and high intensity interval training. Women who were not active prior to becoming pregnant should not use that as a reason to stay that way. There are many forms of exercise that are easy on the body can be eased into, such as walking, stretching, swimming, and indoor stationary bike riding.
Pregnancy should not be viewed as an appropriate time to lose weight, but it is also important to not take it as a free pass for excessive weight gain. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can put a patient at higher risk for complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Preventing excessive weight gain by exercising during pregnancy is not the sole reason to consider an active lifestyle; it can provide a psychological benefit. Many low impact routines, like swimming, can also provide relief of back and joint pains. Exercise routines that include yoga can also show their benefits in the delivery room, aiding with focus, breathing, and other physical benefits. Furthermore, staying active during the 40 weeks of pregnancy will often lead to a much quicker recovery, which is beneficial when you have a newborn to take care of. Women with high risk pregnancies are also recommended to keep up an active routine, as long as it is approved by their care provider.
Any decisions regarding exercise, diet and lifestyle should always be discussed with your doctor at The Woman’s Clinic and should only be maintained as long as is healthy both for the mother and the baby.