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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jeremy Will, D.C.

Top 5 Pregnancy Exercise Recommendations

Ever wondered how staying active during pregnancy can be a win-win for both you and your little one? Studies have shown that exercising when you're expecting can be a game-changer. It can help reduce constipation, gestational diabetes, low back pain, and more. Plus, it can make your muscles and joints happy while also increasing your tolerance for pain. And guess what? It's generally safe for your little one growing inside! (*Always check with your birth provider before beginning or significantly modifying your exercise routine.)

 

Now, let's check out some easy and safe exercise tips:


Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel tired, take a break. If something hurts, stop and let your doctor know.

 

Choose the Right Activities

Not all exercises are created equal. Consider beginning with low-impact activities like walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga. These are gentle on your body but still pack a punch in keeping you fit.

 

Warm-Up and Cool Down

Just like superheroes need to warm up before saving the day, you should warm up your body before exercising. Gentle stretches and a light walk are great choices. And don't forget to cool down afterward to help your heart rate return to normal.

 

Stay Hydrated

Water is your best friend! It keeps you and your baby hydrated, especially when you're breaking a sweat. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

 

Avoid Lying Flat on Your Back

Once your baby bump starts growing, lying flat on your back for long periods can make you feel dizzy or nauseous. Instead, try exercises on your side or in a comfortable, supported position.

 

Remember, always pay attention to your body's signals, opt for activities that suit your comfort, and don't hesitate to reach out if you encounter any significant concerns. You and your baby are embarking on a journey toward fitness and fabulous well-being together! Check out this infographic for more pregnancy exercise recommendations!


 

Exercise Reduces Labor and Delivery Times


Exercise during pregnancy is well documented to help prevent gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain, hypertensive disorders, urinary incontinence, low back pain, as well as anxiety and prenatal depression. There is also almost no risk for adverse outcomes for the mother or the baby.

But an exciting additional benefit to add to the list from regular exercise during pregnancy is shorter labor and delivery! A detailed 2018 trial with over 500 women showed that those who engaged in regular physical activity had significant decreased 1st and 2nd phases of labor which resulted in an overall reduction of labor and delivery times. Who wouldn’t want a shorter labor time?

 

Ribeiro, Maria Margarida, Andrade, Ana and Nunes, Inês. "Physical exercise in pregnancy: benefits, risks and prescription" Journal of Perinatal Medicine, vol. 50, no. 1, 2022, pp. 4-17.

Ruben Barakat, Evelia Franco, María Perales, Carmina López, Michelle F. Mottola, Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Volume 224, 2018, Pages 33-40.

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