“Pregnancy Is Not A Disease!” recalls the obstetrician-gynecologist who, especially for The Challenger, has compiled a detailed guide on physical activities for expectant mothers. What sports and how often you can do – read below. Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits.
Why It’s Good To Exercise During Pregnancy
It has been proven that sports during pregnancy do not harm a woman and a child (if there are no contraindications to games), but on the contrary, provide some advantages to the mother and baby:
- Reducing the likelihood of gestational diabetes (if diabetes develops, glucose levels are lower in women who exercise).
- Reducing the likelihood of pre-eclampsia (gestosis).
- Reducing the frequency of delivery by cesarean section.
- Reducing the frequency of childbirth with vacuum aspiration or forceps.
- Faster recovery after childbirth.
- Less weight gain for pregnancy.
In the presence of lower back pain, a variety of classes in the water (swimming, aqua aerobics, aqua yoga) reduce the severity of pain syndrome.
If we talk about the negative side of training, it is found that intense stress during pregnancy can cause contraction of the muscles of the uterus (scrimmaged pains at the bottom of the abdomen). Still, this effect does not lead to an increase in the frequency of preterm birth in women engaged in sports.
Features Of Physical Activity
During pregnancy in women’s bodies, there are anatomical and physiological changes that should be taken into account when exercising. The main ones are weight gain and the shift of the center of gravity (as a result – a high severity of lumbar lordosis).
This increases the load on all joints, including the spine. This is worth considering during strength training. Up to 60% of pregnant women experience back pain during exercise during pregnancy.
If you have pain, you should give up the loads that require lifting any weights, replacing them with activities aimed at strengthening the muscles of the back and abdominal press.
Sports for pregnant women have some features, as, during pregnancy, the following parameters increase: the volume of circulating fluid, heart rate, shock volume, and cardiac output. This reduces the overall peripheral resistance of the vessels.
These hemodynamic changes aim to create a “reserve” that provides the woman and fetus with the necessary substances at rest and during physical exertion.
These features dictate the need to avoid static loads during pregnancy, as these loads reduce venous return and can lead to hypotension (lower blood pressure) in 10-20% of pregnant women (e.g., some asanas in yoga, as well as any exercises that require a long lie on the back).
Changes in the organs of the respiratory system (increasing the minute’s ventilation volume in half) lead, on the one hand, to difficulties in anaerobic loads, and on the other hand – to the “delayed” flow of oxygen at aerobic loads (if a pregnant woman increases the load).
In this regard, both anaerobic and aerobic capacities can be given to a pregnant woman much more substantial than before pregnancy.
Many women have to give up strength during pregnancy (or not start them if they have not trained before and are overweight). Moderate aerobic loads benefit a pregnant woman, but it is necessary to carefully monitor their condition during training and stop them with difficulty breathing and feeling a lack of oxygen.
During pregnancy, the mechanisms of thermoregulation also suffer. In this regard, during sports, a pregnant woman should avoid overheating and dehydration. To do this, you need to drink enough water during training, avoid training in the open sun or a poorly conditioned hall.
It is worth noting that overheating, obtained, for example, in the sauna, can lead to some complications during pregnancy. And overheating, which inevitably accompanies physical activity, does not have such an impact.
Despite significant changes on the part of the anatomy and physiology of a pregnant woman, sports during pregnancy have little or no health risk. Thus, in many scientific studies, the main complications after fitness during pregnancy were only minor injuries and sprains.
Undoubtedly, it is necessary to be as attentive as possible to yourself during training to avoid these complications!
How To Train Properly (Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits)
Even in the early stages of pregnancy, be sure to consult your doctor before starting or continuing to exercise.
The optimal is the daily 20-30-minute sessions – this option is more favorable than two-hour training once a week. Their duration and intensity may be significantly higher in women who were active in sports before pregnancy.
However, it is worth remembering that aerobic training lasting more than 45 minutes can lead to hypoglycemia (lack of glucose in the blood). Therefore, before such an activity, it is necessary to eat well. Women who did not exercise before pregnancy should start active with minimal stress, gradually increasing them.
The Physical Activity Allowed During Pregnancy:
- A Cyclist
- Yoga (Adapted)
- Low-intensity Aerobic Loads
- Pilates (Adapted)
- Tennis And Badminton
- Strength Training
Only for those who were active in these sports before pregnancy, it is necessary to train under the supervision of a doctor.
Physical Activities To Avoid During Pregnancy:
- Contact Sports (Hockey, Boxing, Football, Basketball)
- Sports With An Increased Risk Of Injury (Mountain Skiing And Snowboarding, Water Skiing.
- Surfing, Cycling, Horseback Riding)
- “Hot” Yoga
The loads during pregnancy should be average. It is better to avoid too intensive aerobic and anaerobic training. Tracking the heart rate to determine the adequacy of the load is not recommended due to changes in a woman’s cardiovascular system during pregnancy.
Therefore, a woman has to assess her condition subjectively, training to a state of fatigue, but not exhaustion. There is also a “conversation test” that allows you to determine the load level: the load is considered adequate for a pregnant woman as long as she can have a conversation during a workout.
You need to drink a lot during training. Overheating and dehydration are unacceptable! You should also be careful about your condition and stop practice when any “dangerous” signs appear.
“Dangerous” Signs, When Appearing It Is Necessary To Stop Any Physical Activity And See A Doctor:
- Scrum-shaped Pains At The Bottom Of The Abdomen
- Spotting From The Genital Tract
- Suspicion Of Leaking Of Fertilized Water (Watery Discharge From The Genital Tract)
- Shortness Of Breath At Rest
- Weakness/ Cramps In The Muscles
- Pain In The Calf Muscles / Pronounced Swelling Of The Shins
- Pain Behind The Sternum
Train only in a well-conditioned room or outdoors at a comfortable temperature. In this case, overheating is almost excluded (the rise in body temperature in such conditions is about 1.5 degrees for 30 minutes of training, which fits the norm and does not harm the health of the woman and the child).
Contradictions To Physical Activity
If a pregnant woman has any obstetric or any other medical conditions, she must discuss the possibility of exercise and the intensity of stress with her doctor.
Free Contraception (You Can’t Play Sports Throughout Pregnancy):
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system, accompanied by hemodynamic disorders (changes in the heart and blood vessels: for example, high blood pressure, changes in the impact of the heart, etc.).
- Obstructive lung disease.
- Isthmic-cervical failure (a condition in which the cervix shortens and begins to open earlier than expected; diagnosed with ultrasound).
- Preterm birth
- Rupture of the fetal membranes
- The placenta’s preposition
- Severe anemia (hemoglobin level of less than 70 g/l)
- Bleeding from the genitals
- The threat of preterm birth
- Multiple pregnancies with risk
- Pre-eclampsia (gestosis) or hypertension associated with pregnancy
Relative Contraception (Possible Low-intensity Sports Under The Strict Supervision Of A Doctor):
- Orthopedic Pathology
- Type I Diabetes
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Depletion (Bmi Below 12)
- Sedentary Lifestyle Before Pregnancy
- Hypertension (Pre-pregnancy)
- Delayed Fetal Growth
- Neurological Pathology
Hope you all like the article, Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy.