Exercise During Pregnancy: Answering Your Questions

When you become pregnant, you quickly find out that the rules have changed for what you can and can’t do until your new baby comes into the world. There’s a long list of what to avoid and what to do more of in order to ensure a healthy outcome for mother and child.

Exercise is one of the topics that many pregnant women have questions about. Here are some of the most common questions about exercising during pregnancy that we hear at Women’s Healthcare Associates. See if you find the answer you’re looking for. If not, Contact Us and we’ll gladly answer any questions we can!

Q: Is it safe for me to exercise during my pregnancy?

Exercise is a wonderful and safe activity to do while you are pregnant. The health benefits of exercise extend to both you and your growing baby. Generally, if you already have a regular exercise routine, you may continue to follow it throughout your pregnancy. Keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments as you go further along (mostly due to the discomforts that come in the last trimester).

If you did not already exercise regularly before pregnancy, you can still start a routine! The key will be to start off small with simple aerobic exercises as little as 5-10 minutes daily, and work your way up from there. Do not hesitate to consult with a doctor or fitness instructor about developing an exercise routine that will work for you.

Q: What exercises should I do during pregnancy?

Low-impact aerobics are completely safe to do! This includes:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling
  • Running
  • Light to moderate weight and resistance training
  • Group fitness classes, such as spinning and yoga

Q: What exercises should I avoid while pregnant?

The type of activities to avoid are those that put you at risk of falling. High-impact exercises and contact sports carry an inherent risk of falling, which means you’ll do well to steer clear of:

  • Downhill and water skiing
  • Gymnastics
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Soccer, hockey, and other contact sports
  • Tennis, squash, and other sports that may throw you off balance
  • Scuba diving – the dramatic changes in pressure could cause decompression sickness in the fetus

You’ll also want to avoid doing certain things, regardless of the activity you choose:

  • Intense bursts of exercise followed by long periods of no activity
  • Exercise in hot, humid weather
  • Do not hold your breath for an extended period of time
  • Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion

Q: How does pregnancy affect my ability to exercise?

Generally, pregnancy affects your ability to exercise in two ways. First, hormones are released by the body during pregnancy that serve to loosen ligaments. This allows your pelvis to expand, but it also alters the mobility of all your joints as well. This means your body will respond differently than you are used to and is also why avoiding high-impact exercises is recommended.

Second, as your belly grows your center of gravity will shift forward. This can make quick shifts in direction and other fine-motor movements more difficult. These changes in movement are what increases your risk of falling. Another effect you may notice is muscle strain and back pain from carrying the extra weight that comes with pregnancy.

It is very important to stay extra hydrated when adding exercise into your daily regimen while pregnant.

We Care About Your Health!

At Women’s Healthcare Associates we have a goal to provide you with one of the best experiences in women’s care in the greater Amarillo area. Our professional Staff offers personal care that focuses on the health and well-being of our patients as individuals. Our Services include comprehensive healthcare specialized just for women, prenatal and pregnancy care, digital mammography, bone density screening, ultrasound, contraception, menopause, and more. For more information about how our comprehensive women’s healthcare can help you, please give us a call at (806) 355-6330.

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Women’s Healthcare Associates

1301 S Coulter St # 300
Amarillo, TX 79106

Phone: (806) 355-6330

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