Fitness Facts: Exercise is beneficial for pregnant women

| January 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Kristy Osborn
Health and Fitness Center

Osborn

Osborn

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Regular exercise during pregnancy can help to improve posture, decrease back pain, relieve stress and build stamina.

Pregnant women who were physically active before their pregnancy should be able to continue their regimen with only moderate adjustments. Women who weren’t physically active before pregnancy can begin an exercise program after consulting with their health care provider.

Pregnant women should consult a doctor if there are risks; slow the activity pace or replace the activity as the pregnancy continues; and use low-impact cardio machines (such as the elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill) or do water aerobics or swim laps. They should also continue smooth-breathing techniques during exercise; dress in cool, layered clothing to prevent overheating; drink plenty of water to prevent overheating or dehydration; and modify the exercise or intensity, immediately, if overheating does occur.

Pregnant women need to ensure they warm up and cool down. During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone that causes ligaments to stretch and become more lax, increasing the risk of injury.
They should continue exercises to avoid gaining excess weight, but stop exercising if chest pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, headaches or vaginal bleeding occur, or if they feel faint, dizzy, nauseous, light-headed, cold or clammy.

Pregnant women should not choose an exercise that requires extensive jumping, hopping, bouncing or running. They also should avoid full sit-ups, double-leg raises or straight-leg toe touches. They should not engage in contact sports such as football, softball, basketball, skiing, skating or scuba diving.

Pregnant women should not hold their breath during any activity, exercise on an empty stomach or exercise to the point of exhaustion. Also, they should not stretch while lying down after the fourth month or do abdominal exercise while lying down after the first trimester.

Women who have asthma, heart disease or diabetes should not exercise during pregnancy. Women who experience discomfort or pain during exercise should stop and see their physician as soon as possible.

Exercise will help women have a less stressful pregnancy and labor, but risks are always possible with any workout program.

Personal trainers are available at fitness center

Women who would like to exercise during pregnancy can meet with a personal fitness trainer at the Health and Fitness Center, Building 582, Schofield Barracks. Call 655-8007.

(Editor’s Note: Information was compiled from WebMD.com and “The New York Times Book of Health.”)

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Category: Community, Fitness, Health

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