Exercise in Pregnancy

Posted on 2013-02-25 23:00:58

Dear Ask A Doc, I am 27 years old and pregnant with my first child. The pregnancy so far is OK but I would like clarification about exercising during pregnancy. Before I got pregnant, I used to go to the gym at least three times a week and was generally very consistent with my exercise regimen. However, with the pregnancy I have received conflicting advise from friends and colleagues about whether or not to continue with exercise. Please advise if I should continue and if so, is there any particular type of exercise I should focus on? Thank you, Jane.   Dear Jane Thank you for your question and congratulation on your first pregnancy. Unlike what some people think, exercise in pregnancy is crucial. Many pregnant women have reported that exercise during pregnancy improved their mood, made them more energetic, helped maintain their posture, helped them sleep better at night, eased the process of getting back to pre-pregnancy weight, and some even report more stamina and endurance during labor. These are just some of the benefits from the pregnant women's' point of view. As someone who has been consistent with your exercise, you must already appreciate the value of exercise even outside of pregnancy. This will make transitioning to the exercise that is preferable in pregnancy much easier.   Exercise in pregnancy needs to be safe both for the mother and for the baby, and hence the recommended exercise ensures that this safety is maintained. Swimming is one of the best exercises to engage in during pregnancy. This is because almost all muscles are involved, and considering the increased weight, it does not cause any undue stress on your joints. In addition, it eliminates the excessive heat that is often associated with other aerobic exercise regimes which are not in water. Brisk walking is another exercise that is considered safe in pregnancy. It is particularly good when initiating exercise for the first time in pregnancy. For someone like you who has been active in the past, one can continue with slow jogging in moderation. Instead of jogging, you can choose to take part in low impact aerobics or even indoor cycling. All these are aerobic exercises which are of great benefit not only to your muscles, but also to your heart and lungs.   Jane, it is important to inform your doctor of the exercise you are engaging in or are planning to begin during pregnancy. The doctor will then be in a position to provide additional advise depending on your specific condition. It is crucial to ensure that you do not strain yourself as you exercise during pregnancy, especially since you have been very consistent in your gym work out regime in the past. Moderate and consistent exercise throughout pregnancy will make the experience all the more enjoyable, and you will reap the benefits above that have been reported by mother who did the same during their pregnancies.   If you have any pregnancy question,please ask our gynaecologist.