By Lakisha Laster
Many people believe that exercise during pregnancy could be detrimental to the fetus. Those people are WRONG! Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to both mother and fetus, physically and psychologically. For the mother it can help with excess weight gain during pregnancy, self body image, anxiety and depression, and the aches and pains of carrying the extra weight around. For the fetus it helps prepare them for the stresses that come along during labor and delivery. Many side effects that come along with pregnancy can be reduced or prevented by thirty (ONLY 30!) minutes of low intensity exercise most days of the week. Pregnant women should avoid weight bearing activities, the contracting of abdominal muscles, and lying on their stomachs. Women should also be seen and given physical checkups periodically through their pregnancy. It is said that women who exercise throughout their pregnancies will continue to exercise after pregnancy, since pregnancy is when the best habits are formed.
- Push yourself to exercise!
- Get the recommended amount of 30 minutes a day, most of the days of the week.
- Swim, walk, bike
- Involve others that motivate you
- Eat healthy
- Use correct form
- Keep your baby in mind
- Keep hydrated
- Avoid weight bearing activities
- Avoid contraction of abdominal muscles
- Avoid vigorous intensity activities (if not an avid exerciser before)
- Avoid lying on your stomach
Keep your baby in mind and focus on all of the benefits exercise could bring to the both of you.
Artal, R., & O’Toole, M. (2003). Guideline of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37, 6-12
Toity, D. (2004). Exercise and Pregnancy. MMedSci. Research Digest. Primary health care Journal, 14(1), 8.