When it comes to being pregnant and fitness recommendations, there’s plenty of mixed information out there online. However, new research has been released regarding exercise guidelines for pregnant women. According to the recommended guidelines from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, pregnant women can benefit from weekly physical activity. In fact, staying active can help to decrease the risk of excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, and even postpartum depression. This news comes as a pleasant surprise, given that there are plenty of mixed messages that might cause new mom’s to feel alarmed—a moderate amount of exercise won’t cause harm to the baby.
The guidelines specifically state that at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise can help with receiving health benefits and decreasing the risk of overall complications with the pregnancy. Although daily physical activity is recommended, a minimum of three days per week is generally adequate to start reaping those benefits. If you're wondering about what type of exercise is best, the guidelines recommend a combination of aerobic and resistance training to maximize benefits. Or, low-impact physical activity, such as yoga or stretching, can also be helpful. As always, if you ever experience any symptoms such as dizziness or nausea while working out, experts recommend to stop immediately and take a break.
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The key to staying fit during pregnancy is finding something that feels good to you - and that’s different for every mama (and even every trimester)! My yoga practice has evolved significantly throughout each stage. During weeks 5-13, my standard sequence of asanas felt great. By the second trimester, I fell out of love with yoga a bit (hate to admit it) because of terrible heartburn - any kind of movement that brought my head level to or below my chest made me feel awful. During weeks 14-27 I got really into power walking, and started doing 3 miles a day which felt awesome. Now having overcome the heartburn at 31 weeks, I’m getting back into yoga but walking a little less due to shortness of breath. It’s amazing how your body will tell you what it needs in terms of exercise, and you’ll know when something doesn’t feel right anymore for you and your baby. My exercise routines throughout this pregnancy have been consistently inconsistent - every day something different feels good, but the important thing is to get out there and do SOMETHING. Each day that I invest in my health, whether it’s an hour-long power walk or holding a headstand for a few minutes, I remind myself that I’m doing a wonderful thing for myself and this baby. 💗
As discussed in the guidelines, some of the biggest questions faced by pregnant women include worries of increasing the risk of a possible miscarriage or causing damage to the growing baby. However, many of these concerns have not been proved in current research. For example, the guidelines state that exercise can decrease overall risk for developing a chronic disease. The guidelines are recommended for pregnant women who do not have any current contraindications for exercise. If you have any questions directly related to your pregnancy, it is generally advised to check with your primary care physician for recommendations.
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Half way there 🏁 I just want to take a moment to shout out all the incredible women I’ve met on this platform since my announcement. Thank you for sharing your personal journeys with me + for making me feel supported + normal 🖤 But I ESPECIALLY want to thank all of the ppl that have been following me from the beginning, who came here originally for the fitness + healthy eating motivation. Thank you for sticking by me as my abs began to fade and my salads turned to bagels. I appreciate your support more than you know 🙏🏼 #20weekspregnant #babykale #kaleandkrunches
If you're ever in need of some serious fitness inspiration, look to athletes like Serena Williams and Paula Radcliffe for motivation. Last year, Serena Williams dominated the Australian Open, all while in the first trimester of her pregnancy journey. Paula Radcliffe, who boasts the current world record for the women's marathon, spent time training in the first five months of her pregnancy. Radcliffe would run twice a day, and as the New York Times reported, right after crushing the record, she gave birth to her healthy baby girl.