Staying Active Before and During Pregnancy to Reduce Birth-Related Complications

Pregnancy is a delicate time. In order to give birth to a healthy baby, mommies-to-be need to get fit and healthy ahead of time. Living an active lifestyle and eating the right food are a great start for any future mom’s pregnancy journey.

Being active while pregnant may seem scary to some moms. Many women tend to avoid physical exercise for fear of causing problems such as premature birth. Contrary to this commonly held view, more and more health professionals recommend maintaining physical activity while pregnant. In reality, not moving around is much more dangerous for you. Being too sedentary can lead to unhealthy weight gain, high blood pressure, a higher risk for a required C-section, and a higher risk for gestational diabetes and even type II diabetes after child birth.

Practising 30 to 60 minutes of cardio and strength exercises a few times per week offers many benefits for expectant mothers. If running (not sprinting!) isn’t your thing, moderate activity like walking will still keep you, and your future baby, healthy. Research conducted by the University of Western Ontario, Canada, has shown that prenatal walking at any intensity combined with healthy eating habits are beneficial to the mother and the fetus.

Strength training is also safe to perform during pregnancy, so long as you keep it moderate. If you’re new to strength building, make sure you consult specialists to ensure you are performing exercises correctly and safely.   During pregnancy, the body releases relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments to prepare for delivery. However, low to moderate strength training is unaffected by this. Maintaining a regular strength training schedule will not only keep you in shape, it will also help get rid of many of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Stay fit for you and baby with free weights, push-ups, and squats.

As your body changes, you may find that it’s harder to perform the exercise routines you’re used to. You’ll have good and bad days at the gym – it is most important to listen to your body and make sure you never reach the point where you are breathless and cannot speak during workouts.

Help your baby get a head start on a healthy lifestyle by being active and eating right.  Always remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new physical activity, and stay in touch throughout your pregnancy. For more tips, information, and fun ideas, check out SPRING online.

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