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Exercise in Pregnancy

Exercise in Pregnancy

by: Dr. Harpreet K Isher

Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology

 If you thought (and were programmed to do so ) that pregnancy is the period of eating , sleeping ,and resting in excess , I am afraid that you are wrong! This is an  excellent opportunity to focus on your own health and fitness for a healthier future of both you and your child.

Exercising prepares you better for the process of childbirth  and the physical strain of pregnancy.There is scientific evidence now that it also has a role in the prevention and management of gestational diabetes.

Screening before exercise  is a must:

A medical screening is a must before exercise so that your doctor can rule out any conditions which might put you or your baby at risk due to exercise. You should also be aware of the danger signs( stop activity !)  like bleeding vaginally , pain abdomen , dizziness , breathlessness , headache , decreased baby movements or leaking water. Activities which increase the risk of falls or injuries like contact sports and scuba diving should be avoided.

Exercise in Pregnancy

One can do aerobic exercises, strength training exercise  and yoga as well. Aerobic exercises include activities such as walking, hiking, jogging/running, aerobic dance, swimming, cycling, rowing,etc . Swimming has an extra advantage due to the buoyancy effect. 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise is recommended on  at least most days of the week. One doesn’t need to target a 30 minute session on day one . Its’s better to gradually increase the  duration . There is , however , limited information on strength training exercise ( weight lifting) in pregnancy.  Certain yoga exercise also help you to breathe and relax better which can be a boon in labour

It’s important to ensure adequate calorie intake , good hydration and avoiding getting overheated (esp in the first three months ). Exercise in a thermoneutral environment( or in AC) .  Wear the right clothes , have a warm up and cooling down session and do exercise as per your comfort level. Avoid exercises which involve lying on your back.

So don’t sit like a lazy mom ,get up and start your journey to a healthier motherhood.

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