Physical Activities in Pregnancy – 3+ Vigorous Exercises

by | Mar 3, 2020 | Health | 0 comments

Physical Activities in Pregnancy

At the time of pregnancy there are a lot of changes in the women’s body – anatomical, physiological and biochemical.

All these changes provide wholesome child development at the same time do not disrupting women’s health.

The aim of physical activities in pregnancy is to improve physical and psychological health status of new mother and to help body adapt for pregnancy, as well as prepare women’s body for delivery.

Regular physical activities in pregnancy helps to:

  • maintain normal (adequate for pregnancy) body weight in the time of pregnancy and post-delivery
  • feel less tired
  • reduce edema (in legs and ankles)
  • reduce the risk of development of varicose veins
  • reduce depression
  • beware from back pain
  • may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean delivery
  • eases constipation
  • improves Your overall general fitness and strengthens Your heart and blood vessels

Despite the fact that physical activities are recommended and advisable in pregnancy, there are also relative and/or absolute contraindications for physical activities in pregnancy.

Relative and absolute contraindications You definitely need to discuss with Your doctor:

  • cardiovascular and/or respiratory (lung) diseases
  • acute infection in pregnancy
  • two or more miscarriage
  • vaginal bleeding or membrane rupture
  • preeclampsia
  • arterial hypertension in pregnancy
  • disruption of the function of thyroid gland
  • thrombophlebitis
  • kidney diseases
  • uncontrolated type I diabetes
  • placental detachment after 26 weeks of pregnancy
  • placenta previa after 26 weeks of pregnancy
  • cervical insuficciency
  • twins or triplets, or more pregnancy with risk factors for preterm birth
  • anemia in pregnancy (reduced amount of erytrocytes and/or hemoglobine plus low levels of ferritine)
  • pain in skeletal system (muscles, bones, joints)
  • abnormally increased or reduced body weight
  • extreme fatigue
  • hypertension
  • delayed development of fetus
  • etc.

Of course, all of the medical conditions, as well as feelings and the processes of pregnancy you need to discuss with Your doctor.

Do not do physical activities if you are not sure about Your health status in pregnancy. And before starting or continue your physical activities, consult Your doctor for best way to do these activities!!

Activities that are not recommended:

  • every activity that increase risk of abdominal trauma (skiing from the mountain, riding, art gymnastics, ice hockey, boxing etc.)
  • activities in extreme conditions – diving, running, gymnastics in hot or wet environment
  • activities that may result in a fall, such as downhill snow skiing, water skiing, surfing, off-road cycling, gymnastics, and horseback riding
  • activities performed above 6,000 feet (if you do not already live at a high altitude)
  • hot yoga” or “hot Pilates,” which may cause you to become overheated

Furthermore remember to stop physical activity if:

  • You feel too tired
  • You have such symptoms as: dizziness and nausea, excessive sweating and heat
  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Shortness of breath before starting exercise
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Regular, painful contractions of the uterus
  • Fluid gushing or leaking from the vagina

Remember that Your physical activities in pregnancy depends on Your physical activities and fitness before pregnancy

If You have not contraindications mentioned before and Your Doctor allows, a moderate intensity physical activities are even recommended in whole time of Your pregnancy 2-4 times a week

You should remember that there is higher risk for injuries and complications, if You do high intensity exercises (for example, running) and take part in contac sports (for example, basketball etc.)

Recommended physical activities are:

  • Walking;
  • Swimming and water aerobics;
  • Moderate intensity aerobic training/exercises;
  • Stationary bicycling.

Ideally, pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week

An aerobic activity is one in which you move large muscles of the body (like those in the legs and arms) in a rhythmic way. Moderate intensity means you are moving enough to raise your heart rate and start sweating. You still can talk normally, but you cannot sing

First Trimester of Pregnancy

Recommended physical activity – 30-40 minutes in moderate intensity 3-4 times a week

In this period, we recommend breathing and relaxation exercises. Furthermore, it is very important to pay attention to exercise environment. The training room must be safe, as well, not too hot or humid.

It is also advisable to do not exercise in a lying down position because in this position the womb compress inferior vena cava (a large vein that returns blood to the heart).

So in this situation there is a higher risk of orthostatic hypotension because of reduced venous blood flow to heart. In twin pregnancy exercises in lying down position are forbidden.

Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Recommended physical activity – 45-60 minutes in moderate intensity 3-4 times a week

In this period of pregnancy, women have the highest work capacity.

For this trimester exercises for strengthening Your muscles, as well the same breathing and relaxation exercises are recommended. Exercises need to be easy to understand and without rapid movements.

As well remember the same – that it is not recommended to do exercises in lying down position.

Furthermore, keep up with adequate hydration, appropriate sport suit and training environment.

Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Recommended physical activity – 30-40 minutes in moderate intensity 3-4 times a week

In this period your baby is growing more and more, gains in weight. Sometimes You can feel transient uterine toning.

In this period, you should reduce Your physical activities because of changes in blood circulation system.

Exercises important for third trimester of pregnancy include: strengthening the pelvic floor musculature. Furthermore, You need to pay more attention to breathing exercises. We do not recommend to do exercises that increase the intraabdominal pressure.

In this trimester the feeling of balance changes the most, so pay attention to exercise and environment safety.

Furthermore, in this time between You and Your baby is some kind of battle for nutrients, so avoid too long activities that could provoke pregnancy hypoglycaemia.

For metabolic homeostasis you need to consume 300 kcal more/ a day in the time of pregnancy

Some more advices:

Women who were physically unactive or sedentary before pregnancy –> start physical activities with low intensity for 15 minutes, gradually increasing the duration to 30 minutes.

In the time of pregnancy Your heart rate is not so charactersitic measurment for understanding the intensity of workout. More informative is so called talking-test.

A safe level of physical activity is when the pregnant woman is free to talk during physical activity

Here You can find information also from The American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists about Exercise During Pregnancy: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy?IsMobileSet=false

We wish You a very nice and healthy time of pregnancy! It is one of the most beautiful time in Your life. Take care about Yourself and Your baby 🙂

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