Doctor Desk: Exercise in pregnancy

Exercise in pregnancy

All international medical authorities recommend that women with uncomplicated pregnancies should exercise as part of their healthy lifestyle. ACOG recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 3 times a week. Numerous benefits of exercise in pregnancy have been reported.

Exercise in pregnancy helps:

1. Brighten your mood
2. Increase blood flow throughout the body including placenta
3. Optimizes weight gain of pregnancy
4. Improves quality of sleep and decreases anxiety.
5. Prevents and improves the common problem of constipation in pregnancy
6. Prevents and improves back and pelvic pain
7. Increase muscle strength and stamina thus improving the ability to cope with labour
8. In medical complications in pregnancy like Diabetes and Hypertension, exercising helps       keep the disease under control.

Tips for exercising in pregnancy

• You can continue with most forms if exercises that you have already been doing after consultation with the doctor
• When starting to exercise for the first time in pregnancy start with 5 to 10 mins per day and gradually increase by 5 mins till you are exercising for 30 mins per day
• A good guide to the degree of physical work that is allowed is that during workout you should be able to hold a conversation.
• Immediately stop exercising if you have- dizziness, headache or shortness of breath
• Wear comfortable clothes
• Remember to warm up and cool down
• Drink plenty of fluids

Some good exercises during pregnancy are:

• Brisk walking
• Most forms of yoga under guidance
• Swimming/ water aerobics
• Low impact aerobics
• Ballet
• Dancing
• Pilates to build core muscle and balance
• Birth ball
• Running
• Cycling ( stationery bike is safer for risk of falling on the road)
• Gardening/ housework ; though avoid heavy weight lifting.

In conclusion, unless faced with serious complications, it is your responsibility to keep yourself fit and active in pregnancy for your baby and yourself.

Author

DR. VEENU AGARWAL
MBBS, MD (OBS & GYNAE), FMAS
Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician
ARTEMIS HOSPITAL, GURGAON
SVASTYKA WOMEN & KIDS CLINIC, GURGAON
Contact: +91-9811197635, drveenuagarwal@gmail.com