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Can You Exercise While Pregnant - What’s the Verdict?

Can You Exercise While Pregnant - What’s the Verdict?

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In an effort to maintain a healthy pregnancy, many women develop a pregnancy fitness plan that includes exercise. Exercise during pregnancy remains a hot topic, and for many experts the jury is still out on whether or not it is safe. That said, experts do know that some physical activity can help foster a healthy pregnancy.

So, where do you draw the line when it comes to exercise during pregnancy? To create a solid pregnancy fitness plan, you need to know what is and is not considered safe and when you should avoid physical activity altogether.

Doctor Advice and Medical Concerns

Most doctors agree that some exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for most women. Staying fit while you are expecting helps you maintain a healthy pregnancy. What's more is that being fit can also reduce the chances of some common complications women encounter during labor. Plus, for some women, being fit may actually shorten the duration of their labor.

Despite the fact that in most cases some exercise during pregnancy is considered good, there are some instances in which it should be avoided. If any of the following scenarios apply to you it is best to discuss a pregnancy fitness plan with your health care provider prior to starting one:

  • You have a history or signs of pre-term labor
  • You have a history or signs of miscarriage
  • You are pregnant with multiples
  • You have heart or lung problems, or have high blood pressure
  • You have issues with being over or underweight
  • You have problems with your placenta
  • You have any other health complication or pregnancy complication

There is no hard and fast rule regarding exercise during pregnancy if you are experiencing complications or have experienced complications. Your doctor will help you develop a pregnancy fitness plan. Depending on your individual situation, this may or may not include exercise.

Things to Consider After Consulting Your Doctor

Before you start to exercise during pregnancy, there are a few things that you need to consider. First and foremost, you need to determine your current fitness level. The general rule of thumb is that you do not want to increase your activity level during pregnancy. If you were not active before pregnancy you can take up some low impact activity such as walking, swimming, or pregnancy aerobics.

It is also important to consider your center of gravity when developing a pregnancy fitness plan. You want to make sure you are cautious to avoid a fall. It is also important to avoid exercise that has you lying on your back after the fourth month. Pressure to the back may reduce blood flow and oxygen to the baby. Finally, it is also important to be aware of your limitations. You want to avoid overheating, becoming short of breath, or becoming dehydrated. Listen to your body and stop when it tells you to.

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