Pregnancy is an experience which gives the feeling of completeness to a woman. It is accompanied by several changes which occur in a women’s body in which physiological change tops the list. The psychological changes associated with pregnancy warrant evaluation of obstetric & medical risk prior to engaging in regular physical exercise. Exercising during your pregnancy has great benefits – it can help prepare you for labor and childbirth and lift your spirits – but you need to approach working out with extra caution. Healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancy do not need to limit their exercise for fear of adverse effects. Participation in a wide range of recreational activities appears safe during & after pregnancy. Whether you’re a regular exerciser looking to continue your regimen during pregnancy or a former couch potato looking to get moving, follow these rules to keep you and your baby safe.
> In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications,30 to 40 mins of moderate physical activity at least 3 days/wk is recommended.
> Women who were sedentary prior to pregnancy should begin with light intensity low impact activities such as walking & swimming.
> Pregnancy requires an additional 300 Kcal/day.
> Exercising indoor may provide more environmental control to avoid excess heat, cold & air pollution.
> Appropriate clothing, environmental considerations and adequate hydration should be priorities during exercise program to prevent hyperthermia.
> Maternal hypoglycemia may be associated with strenuous exercise therefore one has to increase carbohydrate intake (eg.30 to 50 g) with food and sports drink prior to exercise.
> Motionless standing results in venous blood pooling, so it should be avoided.
> Avoid exercise in lying down position & motionless standing position.
> Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather or when you have a fever.
> Avoid exercise that involves the risk of abdominal trauma, fall and excessive joint stress. > When exercising, pregnant women should be aware of signs & symptoms for discontinuing exercise and seeking medical advice.