How much should you exercise during pregnancy? – IVF Glendale AZ
Most pregnant women want to stay healthy during their pregnancies. Many had a workout routine before they became pregnant, and they’d like to continue it. For others, pregnancy spurs them to create a new workout routine.
At the same time, women may be worried that they’ll overdo it and harm themselves or their babies if they overexercise. How much is too much? How much exercise does a pregnant woman need?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued official guidelines about exercise for women who are pregnant. Here are some important points made by the guidelines to help pregnant women stay safe while exercising.
One of the issues with exercise while pregnant is that increased internal body temperature in the mother can cause birth defects in the baby, especially if it occurs during the first trimester. Because working out commonly causes people to sweat and feel warm, it makes sense to wonder whether vigorous exercise increases the body temperature enough to be concerned.
The ACOG guidelines make clear that, according to research, vigorous exercise in a normal room-temperature environment is not a problem. The body can effectively dissipate the excess heat generated by exercise. However, exercising in a heated room can prevent the body from getting rid of that excess heat. This is why pregnant women should refrain from activities such as hot yoga, which take place in a heated space. However, vigorous exercise that makes you feel warm is very unlikely to cause any problems.
Protection from falls
Although pregnant women can exercise, even vigorously, it’s still important to choose activities with a minimal risk of falling. For example, skiing and horseback riding, which are great activities for most people, carry more danger for pregnant women. A fall can cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall, which can result in severe bleeding and threaten the life of both mother and baby. When you’re choosing activities, take this into consideration.
Although most pregnant women are encouraged to include an exercise program as part of their daily routines, there are some who are at a higher risk of complications who should use more caution. For example, women with heart or lung disease, pre-eclampsia, a history of premature labor, or other similar complications should refrain from exercise while pregnant. Talk with your doctor to make sure that exercise is safe for you.
Health benefits of exercise
The ACOG guidelines also emphasize that exercise has many health benefits in pregnant women. It reduces the risk of diabetes, maintains or improves the mother’s physical fitness, helps with weight control, and improves psychological well-being. For women with uncomplicated pregnancies, ACOG recommends an exercise plan that includes 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day, or at least on most days.
What constitutes moderate-intensity exercise? It should raise your heart rate and may cause you to sweat slightly. You should be slightly out of breath, such that you can still hold a conversation, but are unable to sing. The classic example is brisk walking. This is at a pace that’s more vigorous than taking a leisurely stroll, but less vigorous than jogging. Other good options for pregnant women include water aerobics and prenatal yoga.
Talk to your doctor
It’s very important that you always discuss any exercise program with your doctor before you start. Your doctor will check to make sure that you don’t have any medical conditions that would make exercise unsafe for you. For those having fertility treatment, such as IVF Glendale AZ, you can talk to Dr. Hutchison about exercising during your fertility treatment and early pregnancy.