Sport is one of the essential elements in order to live a happy life, also during pregnancy. And what can you wish for during those nine months than health? Representatives of the American Obstetrics and Gynecology College state that sport during pregnancy is beneficial for most women. However, before starting, you should make an appointment to the doctor to obtain his consent.Specialists recommend 20-30 minutes sessions of moderate intensity workout during pregnancy, performed 3-4 times a week. If you did not have physical exercise before your pregnancy, now is the time to start. Do you want to check whether the intensity of your physical activity is adequate? Try to speak while working out.If you can do it without too much effort, it means that you are within the normal range and you may continue your workout.If you cannot easily maintain a conversation, then it is time to stop.

Physical activity recommended during pregnancy 

Walking is easy for everyone, ideally for the women who did not do sports before becoming pregnant.

Swimming or water gym are among the most recommended physical exercise during pregnancy. Water sustains bodily weight and reduces joint strain. 

Pilates adapted for pregnant women help strengthening joints and muscles. 

Yoga classes for pregnant women may help you maintain your physical and emotional balance.

Dance, aerobics classes or special fitness classes for pregnant women may also help you have good muscle tone. 

Doctors warn that you must stop any physical activity if you experience one of the following symptoms: Vaginal bleeding, uterine contractions, chest pain, amniotic fluid leaks, palpitations, heavy breathing, dizziness. 

Sport to avoid if you are pregnant: 

Contacts sports (martial arts, handball, basketball) and those who pose high risk of falling (ski, horse-riding) as well as scuba diving are among the physical activities you should avoid during pregnancy. Also, physical activity which involves jumping are also not recommended as they may cause contractions. 

Sport is generally not recommended in case of pregnant women with heart conditions, asthma, severe anemia. Also, women with high risk pregnancies may have physical activity only if the doctor recommends it, after a physical check-up. These cases must be subject to permanent monitoring. 

Benefits of practicing sport during pregnancy 

Regular physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which alleviate pain, thus inducing relaxation. Endorphins reduce anxiety, usually experienced by pregnant women. 

Gestational diabetes (pregnancy diabetes) may be prevented or treated with the help of sport. Overweight women usually face a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Movement and balanced diet can do wonders!

Physical exercise improves blood circulation and fight water retention, which is a common issue with pregnant women, who very often face foot swelling. 

Movement helps alleviate back pain and muscle cramps, which are common during pregnancy.

Women who do sports regularly are more like to have shorter labor, studies found. 

So, enjoy sports also during those nine months of pregnancy! The body will adapt more easily to its new status, you will be able to better control your weight and movement will also help you when recovering post-birth. 

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Text: Nicoleta Pescu