Can you workout while pregnant?

Working Out While Pregnant: A Comprehensive Guide

In today's article, we delve into a topic that often sparks controversy and a multitude of opinions: working out while being pregnant. Many mothers fear that exercising could harm their baby and believe that pregnant women should rest completely. However, this is not the case. In fact, training during pregnancy is not only safe but also beneficial for both the mother and the baby.

It's important to note that every pregnant woman should always have the doctor's approval to do physical exercise, as there may be risk factors that can modify the exercise prescription.

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Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant

There are numerous advantages of exercising during pregnancy for both the mother and the baby.

Benefits for the mother include:

  • Reducing the risk of preeclampsia.
  • Reducing the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Helping prevent and control excessive maternal weight gain.
  • Reducing musculoskeletal discomfort typical of pregnancy (such as sciatica).
  • Reducing the risk of cesarean or instrumental delivery.
  • Improving and maintaining fitness levels.
  • Improving the quality of rest and psychological well-being.
  • Improving postpartum recovery.

Benefits for the baby include:

  • Greater psychomotor development of the fetus.
  • Better nervous maturation.
  • Decreased resting fetal heart rate.
  • Improved oxygenation in the placenta.
  • Increased amniotic fluid levels.
  • Increased gestational ages, preventing premature births.

However, there are three risk factors to consider when exercising during pregnancy:

  • Possible trauma to the fetus.
  • Hyperthermia.
  • Reduced blood flow to the uterus.

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How to Work Out While Pregnant?

The approach to exercising during pregnancy differs between women who regularly practiced sports before pregnancy and those who decide to start exercising during pregnancy.

An experienced athlete, barring any contraindications or risk factors, can continue exercising during pregnancy, although she will need to make adjustments to her training program as the pregnancy progresses.

A woman who decides to start exercising after becoming pregnant will need a more conservative training program. The intensity of the training program should be low to moderate, and exercises should not be performed in the supine position during the second and third trimesters. Long breaks (2-4 minutes) should be taken to ensure proper cardiovascular recovery and avoid sudden and/or explosive breathing that can increase blood pressure and harm the fetus.

Exercise areas to consider include:

  • Mobility exercises. To relieve possible tensions accumulated in the neck, spine, and waist.
  • Strength exercises. To maintain or improve strength levels prior to pregnancy. This will help maintain better posture and allow our body, especially our muscles, to better manage the new positions and loads due to the changes in the woman's body.
  • Aerobic exercises. To maintain or improve aerobic capacity throughout pregnancy. As the uterus grows, it presses the organs upwards, leaving less space for the movement of the lungs and diaphragm. We must ensure that the mother has the greatest possible capacity for childbirth.
  • Respiratory exercises, Pelvic Mobility, and Meditation. Especially as the time of delivery approaches. It is important to learn how to breathe, move the pelvis in different ways and with different postures, relax, and connect with the baby. This will help lower stress levels at the time of delivery, favoring dilation and the entire process.
  • Integrated core and pelvic floor exercises. During respiratory, aerobic, and strength exercises, we consciously work on activating the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. This is crucial to avoid low back pain and future complications such as incompetent diastasis, urine leakage, etc.

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Physical exercise in pregnant women provides numerous benefits that help reduce the stress of daily life and work activities, facilitating and accelerating their recovery.

For more information, talk to one of our Fitness Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn website