We all know exercise is beneficial in many ways such as helping prevent obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. However, as a prenatal fitness and postnatal fitness specialist, I often hear the question: “Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy”.
In short, yes. If you have discussed exercise with your prenatal healthcare team then exercise is safe and you can continue or start regular physical activity throughout your pregnancy.
The Benefits of Prenatal Fitness
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and American College of Sports Medicine, some of the benefits to prenatal fitness are:
- Promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy
- Reduces back pain
- May decrease risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes
- Helps speed up recovery postpartum
- Increases overall fitness
- Decreases risk of high blood pressure associated with pregnancy
- Increases energy
What Kind of Exercise Should Expecting Mothers Do?
It’s recommended that pregnant women should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.
This means you are moving enough to increase your heart rate, however, you can still talk normally. This can include walking, weight training, dancing, swimming, and yoga.
Pregnant women who have been highly active going into pregnancy can continue with their program at first, as long as they feel well.
Never push your limits while pregnant. It is important to recognize your abilities and limits before starting prenatal exercise or postnatal exercise.
What Kind of Exercise Program Should You Have During Pregnancy?
For a healthy pregnancy program that sets both mom and baby up for healthy days, the goals of your exercise program should be:
- Maintain good posture and alignment
- Maintain (or increase) overall strength
- Yield health improvements without overstressing the body
- Promote healthy weight gain
- Strengthen core and balance the tone of the pelvic floor
- Maintain (or increase) lean muscle mass
Exercises To Avoid During Pregnancy
Expecting mother should avoid these exercises while pregnant:
- Any contact sport
- Activities with an increased risk of falling (biking, skiing)
- Exercise in high altitude
- Hot yoga or Pilates
Prenatal Fitness and Postnatal Fitness Training
If you’re interested in prenatal fitness training or postnatal fitness training, our personal training staff at E’ville Fitness offers training programs for prenatal fitness and postnatal fitness. Our pre/postnatal personal trainers are certified specifically to train women who are expecting and new moms. If you are an expecting or new mom and you are interested in pre/postnatal personal training, or you just have questions, feel free to contact us to come into E’ville Fitness today!
By: Kelsey Gooden, Certified Prenatal/Postnatal E’ville Fitness Trainer