Amongst Physical Therapists and Exercise Physiologists there is an understanding that in order to have a healthy level of fitness you must exercise daily: 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days per week according to ACSM guidelines. I've always wondered why this same principle hasn't been applied to women who are healthy and pregnant. I mean being pregnant isn't like its an affliction!
Recently, the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology) released guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.
They list some of the benefits of exercise:
- Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, swelling
- May help prevent or treat GESTATIONAL DIABETES
- Increases your energy
- Improves your mood
- Improves your posture
- Promotes muscle tone, strength, endurance
- Helps you sleep better
They go on to say that regular activity helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. Plus it may make it easier for you to get back into shape after the baby is born!!!
They listed some activities that are safe and I was surprised that running was amongst them. It's been long communicated that running was definitely not a good exercise. I've known MANY a pregnant runner so it's nice to see a change in the old mentality. And they mention cycling as a safe activity as well. "Aerobics is a good way to keep your heart and lungs strong."
I gotta say, I'm impressed.
Click HERE if you'd like to read the report in it's entirety.
A quick note, there are physical therapists out there, who have experience with women's health so if you ever have an issue: pain while exercising, not sure if an exercise is beneficial for you as a pregnant woman, or just pain during the pregnancy period. These therapists are the best resource for healthy fitness during pregnancy. If your insurance won't cover direct access to a therapist, ask your OB/GYN to refer you to one. Plus, they may know the therapist and save you some search time!!
So beautiful pregnant ladies and fathers to be, have fun out there!