Exercise and Pregnancy: Is it safe?
Becoming pregnant is a life-changing event for every woman and it is often a time when many new lifestyle changes are implemented. Many will stop smoking, consider eating more healthy and adopt a new exercise routine.
It was previously thought that pregnant women where more fragile and it was recommended for them to reduce their level of physical activity. However new guidelines have suggested this is not the case, and in fact a suitable, regular exercise routine has many benefits on both the mother and foetus.
Regular exercise helps to reduce blood glucose (sugar) levels, which may potentially help to reduce or manage the development of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. In addition, studies have shown there could be a preventative effect of physical activity on the development of preeclampsia.
While there is a concern that exercise will impair blood flow to the foetus and also interfere with growth, this is simply not true. Many scientifically conducted clinical studies have shown that blood flow is not altered by moderate-intensity physical activity.
Still unconvinced? If you needed a further reason to exercise, then this fact may push you over: regular exercise may help to shorten the duration of labour by up to 30 mins! It may also reduce C-section deliveries in some women.
So, if you are currently pregnant or planning to be, then speak to a health professional today about the best way you can incorporate a regular, safe and suitable exercise routine today.
References for this article:
Hinman K.S. et al (2015). Exercise in Pregnancy: A Clinical Review. Sports Health Journal; Vol 7 (no.6)