How Safe Is Doing Cardio Exercise When You're Pregnant?

Being careful during pregnancy is extremely important. But, pregnancy is a nine-month-long affair, which means fitness freaks and active women start wondering within months how they can safely continue exercising without harming their pregnancy.

Is it safe to go for the heart pumping, sweat-dripping stuff like cycling and jogging during pregnancy? Rosie Stockley, a fitness professional and founder of Mamawell, recently shared some expert tips for exercising during pregnancy.

If your pregnancy is healthy and your doctor has no problem with your exercise, Rosie says that you can raise your heartbeat even during pregnancy. Just ensure to be careful when you do the exercises – take note of how your body feels before, during, and after the workouts. And make sure to stay hydrated and take breaks in between.

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In fact, cardiovascular exercise helps in a lot of ways. When done with proper precaution, it raises your heartbeat, contributes to general health, and also promotes better sleep. It can additionally cut down the risk of gestational diabetes, lessen constipation, and give mama relief from back and leg aches, which are all common during the third trimester.

Moreover, according to NHS, “Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labor.” So, while you have another reason to keep your energy levels up, you need to take it slow. Start gently and increase it to half an hour sessions a week.

You've likely heard some people say a pregnant woman's heart rate shouldn’t go above 140BPM. But like many other pregnancy myths, this is also false!

Stockley says that this rule has been specified ages back and it isn’t applicable in today’s world. For women who have been into exercising before pregnancy, they shouldn’t focus on their heart rate for exercise while pregnant.

“When pregnant, your resting heart rate (RHR) is raised, therefore likely to be higher during exercise," she explains. “So the heart rate monitors on cardio machines do not provide an accurate reading of intensity.” If you are concerned about the intensity, then follow the recommended level set by NHS, which is 12-14 on the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion – it is equivalent to “somewhat hard.”

RELATED: Canada Shares New Guidelines For Exercise And Fitness While Pregnant

via: tommys.org

Measuring the intensity of a workout is quite easy – do the talk test. You might not be able to sing while working out, but as long as you can talk normally while doing an activity, you are on the safe side. Know that you are exercising too hard if you cannot speak normally and not working out hard enough if you can sing while doing the exercise.

If you go to the gym, discuss the safety guidelines with your doctor and a professional. Otherwise, there are many exercises that you can comfortably do even during pregnancy. You just need to find the ones that make you feel good and are safe for you.

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