Fitness in Pregnancy

by Angela Yorke | October 17th, 2011 | Exercises

Did you hear about the woman who gave birth shortly after she completed the Chicago Marathon? Amber Miller began to feel sporadic contractions during the run, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl shortly after completing the 26.2 miles.

A lot of people fell over themselves to decry her decision to participate in the event, even after it was revealed that her gynecologist had given her permission to do so on the condition that she only ran for half of the distance.

Miller’s story is on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to dedication to exercise during a pregnancy, which can appear unappealing given the unwieldiness that can develop as the pregnancy progresses; however, it’s important to stick to a regular fitness routine, as it actually puts you in good stead for childbirth, among other benefits.

Whether you’ve been exercising for a long time, or you have just begun exercising regularly, the first thing you should do is see what your obstetrician says. Barring medical reasons, such as pregnancy-related high blood pressure, there’s no reason not to work out when pregnant.

As with someone who isn’t pregnant, exercise will increase physical fitness and flexibility, allowing you to bounce back from the rigors of childbirth more quickly. Not only will blood circulation improve, it will also prevent you from gaining too much pregnancy weight; in fact, you only need an additional 300 calories, and minimize the chances of you becoming constipated.

It’s usually advisable to engage in low-impact routines that don’t go on for too long (not more than 30 minutes), and that don’t cause you to overheat. Swimming is a routine that is greatly preferred, because it’s a low-impact cardio workout, and being buoyant in the water also relieves a lot of pressure on the joints. Diving and excess exposure to the sun and high temperatures should be avoided.

The fitness gained from exercising during pregnancy will help you regain your pre-pregnancy figure much more quickly. Not only that, exercise can help to prevent the development or gestational diabetes, and strong or strengthened muscles will lead to lower or no occurrence of back pain, which develops because of the added weight and its distribution.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.