Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
It can be safe to exercise during pregnancy, but checking with your doctor first is a must.
Exercise can help you feel better and maintain your weight throughout the pregnancy. It can also ease or prevent discomfort, give you extra energy, and can help you prepare your body for labor by increasing your stamina and muscle strength. If you have no serious medical problems and/or have uncomplicated pregnancies in the past, most likely you will be given the go from your doctor that is would be safe for you to exercise.
When should an exercise program be started?
If your doctor approves you for exercise, you can start exercising at a level that does not cause pain, excessive shortness of breath or tiredness. If you have not been exercising regularly prior to your pregnancy the activity levels can be slowly increased if everything is going well as you add exercise. If at any point you become uncomfortable, have shortness of breath or feel very tired, the exercise level should be reduced immediately. If you are a person who has already been exercising, it's easier to keep exercising during pregnancy.
What types of exercise can be done while pregnant?
Exercises that don't require the body to bear a lot of extra weight are good choices. Swimming, stationary cycling, walking and low-impact aerobics are good options. Always consult with your doctor to decide what's best for you and your baby. It is also recommended that you seek out assistance from a personal trainer who has knowledge about exercise and pregnancy.
What other things may be concerns?
Always avoid activities that increase your risk of falls or injury, such as contact sports or vigorous sports. Even mild injuries to the stomach area can be serious when you're pregnant. In the second trimester it is best to avoid exercises that would require you to be on your back. Being on your back could potentially could put the weight of the baby in positions that could interfere with blood circulation. Also keep long periods of standing.
Another concern would be exercising in hot temperatures. It is best to keep exercise to the early morning or late evening to help prevent overheating. If exercising indoors, make sure the room has plenty of ventilation, drink plenty of fluids, and use a fan if necessary.
Finally it is very important to consume a well balanced diet during pregnancy, but especially with exercise during pregnancy. Typically pregnancy increases nutrition requirements by 300-500 calories per day. With exercise this may need to be 400-600 calories. Again it is important to check with your doctor and a nutritionist.
In conclusion; YES, exercise is possible during pregnancy, and it can be a great benefit to your pregnancy. Always communicate every thing you are doing for exercise with your doctor.