Blog posts of '2014' 'September'

Wright Now Fitness - The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Aaron Wright's Tips on How and Why to Exercise While Pregnant

Are you pregnant and want to sleep better, reduce stress, elevate your moods, increase energy, reduce anxiety, decrease nausea and back pain, and improved strength and cardiovascular fitness?

For healthy pregnant women with straightforward pregnancies, these are few of the many benefits to adopting a regular exercise routine during pregnancy.  It is advised that all pregnant women must be cleared by a physician before starting a pregnant exercise routine.

Additional benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

  • Exercise can shorten labor by approximately 1/3 and reduce labor recovery.
  • Exercise can help to prevent gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
  • It can decrease the discomforts of pregnancy such as constipation, swollen extremities, leg cramps, nausea, and varicose veins.
  • Exercise can also help to  prevent urinary incontinence, diastasis recti, deep venous thrombosis, and pelvic and rectal pressure.
  • It also can improve posture and body mechanics and increase circulation.
  • Furthermore, a fit pregnant woman can retain a lower resting heart rate, higher stroke volume, and higher VO2 max throughout pregnancy and post-partum.

After learning of all of the potential benefits of exercising while pregnant, below are some guidelines to get started.

Guidelines to exercising while pregnant:

  • The goal of exercise and good nutrition while pregnant is to have a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy.  It is not the time to focus on weight loss.
  • It is ideal to exercise 3-5 days per week.
  • Avoid exercise that involves a lot of balance and agility or exercise that may cause abdominal trauma.
  • Listen to your body and do not exercise to the point of exhaustion.
  • Be careful not to overheat:

                  Stay well hydrated by drinking 6-8 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of activity.

                  Wear lightweight clothing that keeps you from overheating.

                  Do not exercise in hot, humid environments.

  • Limit lying supine (on your back) in the second and third trimesters to prevent Supine Hypotensive Syndrome.
  • Eat a pre-exercise protein/carbohydrate snack.
  • Limit cardio to no more than 45-50 minutes at a time.
  • Exercise at a comfortable pace.  You should feel energized a few hours after exercising.  If you are unusually fatigued, decrease the intensity or duration of your next workout.
  • Modify any exercises that feel uncomfortable or unmanageable.
  • The hormones produced during pregnancy cause the ligaments that support your joints to become relaxed which makes the joints more mobile and more at risk of injury.

When to stop exercising while pregnant:

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should stop exercising and call your health care provider if you experience any of the following warning signs:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Uterine contractions
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Fluid leaking from the vagina

Enjoy this special time of your life and have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

I will see you at your next workout!

Aaron Wright

Look Younger. Feel Stronger. Live Longer.

Aaron Wright, creator of the Wright Now Fitness System, a comprehensive dvd and digital exercise system "for everyone", is an ACE certified personal trainer, orthopedic exercise specialist, functional training specialist, sports conditioning specialist, therapeutic exercise specialist, exercise programming expert, and health and wellness speaker.

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