Exercise Guidelines....Before, During and Post-Pregnancy.
After reading about the many benefits of exercise I can see your eagerness in starting a program. As we stated, your safety is a major concern for us so please read the content on this page. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and The National Academy of Sports Medicine (ACSM) have published guidelines for exercising safely during pregnancy I will provide a summary here. For more information visit www.acog.org. It is recommended that pregnant women, experiencing a low-risk pregnancy, engage in exercise at a moderate intensity for 20-30 minutes daily, four times per week. Low-risk is defined as a pregnancy not constrained by medical or obstetric complications. If in doubt, seek approval from your health adviser.
Your program will be customized, contingent upon your requirements, your medical history and fitness level. It will begin and remain at a "comfortable" intensity i.e. at a level enabling you to maintain a conversation throughout the activity. The duration of 20-30 minutes doesn't have to be conducted in one go but can be divided into smaller periods of 10 minutes. Always use common-sense and listen to your body...make the appropriate adjustments. If you were exercising prior to your pregnancy ask your Health Adviser if it is safe to keep the same routine. Runners for example may benefit from lowering the intensity. It is not advised for newcomers to running, to begin while pregnant.
As promised here is a brief summary of some of the guidelines:
- Avoid any contact sport or activity that may cause a fall
- Avoid lying on your back after the second trimester.
- Discard activities that involve excessive jerky/bouncing movements
- Keep your body hydrated and cool. Stay away from hot-tubs steam-rooms and saunas.
- If you experience signs of dizziness, chest pain contractions, bleeding...STOP and consult your Health Adviser.
Visit www.acog.org for more information.
Good nutrition habits during pregnancy not only optimize maternal health but will help reduce the risk of certain birth defects and chronic health problems in the developing child. For the most part women do not increase caloric needs until the second trimester. The website www.choosemyplate.gov offers more specialized guidance illustrating foods to avoid (raw fish, pasteurized milk, etc.) and foods to choose (whole grains, fruits, veggies).
As you can see, the advantages of exercise are numerous (more energy, less weight gain, less back pain, faster post pregnancy weight loss). Once you have gained the approval from your Health Adviser choose aerobic activities you enjoy, perform them at a comfortable level and use common sense. Getting back into shape after your baby is born will be easier.
Choose a membership to begin your personalized program.