Can you play sports while pregnant?
Expectant mothers refuse to exercise because of the fear to harm themselves and the baby. This is not always right. A low-activity lifestyle complicates childbirth, provokes obesity and depression. During pregnancy, you can play sports, but with some restrictions.
Is it possible to exercise during pregnancy?
Scientists have proven that moderate physical activity is safe and useful during pregnancy, if there are no doctor’s contraindications. Restrictions depend on the characteristics of the body, the course of pregnancy, the lifestyle before pregnancy and the physical form of the woman.
During pregnancy, the female body is hormonally rebuilt. Weight is gaining, the center of gravity is shifting and the load on the spine increases, fatigue occurs faster. Because of this, coordination deteriorates, the risk of falling and injury increases. Therefore, only moderate loads are allowed during pregnancy.
While waiting for the baby, forget about losing weight and personal records. Sports during pregnancy are aimed at improving well-being, maintaining muscle tone and psychological relief. Physical activity within reasonable limits is beneficial for the health of mom and baby:
- they improve the functioning of the heart and blood vessels;
- maintain muscle tone and reduce cramps;
- improve sleep;
- help control weight and reduce leg swelling;
- improve emotional state;
- reduce the risk of diabetes and hypertension.
Physical activity is allowed for healthy women with normal pregnancy. Some professional athletes continue to train during pregnancy in a lightweight version, so as not to disrupt the usual mode of body functioning. Only a doctor can give an accurate answer about the possibility of training.
Sports during pregnancy: contraindications and restrictions
Sports during pregnancy have some limitations and contraindications that reduce the risk of health problems for mom and baby. However, this question is individual. To know for sure whether you can exercise during pregnancy, contact a gynecologist, take tests and do an ultrasound.
General contraindications to sports during pregnancy:
- high or low blood pressure, varicose veins, kidney, heart and vascular;
- diseases increased uterine tone;
- poor health, toxicosis;
- pregnancy IVF, multiple pregnancies;
- increased risk of premature birth or termination of pregnancy due to health problems;
- abnormalities in the development of the baby.
What kind of sport is not suitable for pregnant women?
Pregnant women should not engage in traumatic, contact and extreme sports. Any activity where you can fall, bump, collide is excluded. Lying on your back, jumping and shock loads, lifting weights, intensive and long-term workouts are prohibited.
It is impossible to play sports with large pressure drops and lack of oxygen: training in the mountains at an altitude of more than 1,800 meters and underwater sports with diving to a depth are excluded. Undesirable loads in hot, cold and rainy weather, when there is a risk of overheating or freezing.
What kind of sports can you do during pregnancy?
Light aerobic exercise is allowed: walking, Nordic walking, swimming, fitness and yoga for pregnant women under the supervision of a trainer. During classes, monitor your well-being. Stop exercising and consult a doctor if you have:
- pains and spasms;
- dizziness and nausea;
- discharge or hemorrhage.
At what time and how often can a pregnant woman train?
Experts recommend starting physical activity at the end of the 1st – beginning of the 2nd trimester. By the 2nd trimester, the body has time to adjust to a new “regime”, toxicosis passes, the risk of miscarriage decreases, the small size of the abdomen allows you to train. The optimal time to start physical activity: between 9 and 12 weeks of pregnancy to 38-39 weeks.
Guidelines for pregnant women in different countries give different recommendations on the duration and frequency of physical activity during pregnancy. In Canada, it is recommended to practice for 15-30 minutes 3-4 times a week, in Denmark it is recommended to practice for 30 minutes daily, in the USA it is advised to practice 2.5 hours a week, distributing the load evenly.
All manuals prohibit intensive exercise during pregnancy, many exclude running. The intensity of classes is determined by the pulse: the heart rate should be within 60-70% of the maximum value.
Is it possible to run during pregnancy?
Doctors do not recommend running to most pregnant women, especially if they did not run before pregnancy. The exception is trained athletes without contraindications.
For professional athletes, the issue of continuing to run during pregnancy is considered individually. Healthy women with a normal pregnancy who have been exercising regularly may be allowed slow short runs. In their case, abandoning their usual lifestyle can worsen their physical and psychological condition. The period from the end of the 1st to the beginning of the 3rd trimester is considered suitable for running.
For beginners and women who are far from sports, running is prohibited throughout pregnancy. An organism that is not adapted to stress can fail during pregnancy. Starting from the 1st trimester, the hormone relaxin is actively released in pregnant women, which is necessary for the implantation of an embryo in the uterus. Relaxin increases the elasticity of ligaments and joint mobility. This makes it difficult to maintain balance and increases the risk of falling and injury. Shock impulses and concussions during running create additional stress on the pelvic floor and joints. Muscles get tired quickly, swelling appears. The load on the heart and blood vessels increases.
How to exercise properly during pregnancy?
In order for sports during pregnancy to benefit mom and baby, follow certain recommendations:
- consult a gynecologist. Start playing sports only with the permission of a specialist. Any physical activity should be under the supervision of doctors.
- follow a special training regime. Pregnant women can only be allowed light short workouts. On average, it is allowed to practice from 9-12 weeks of pregnancy. Start with regular 10-minute classes, gradually getting used to the load. Before training, be sure to warm up, after – take a walk and regain your breath. No sudden movements and jumps.
- create safe environment. For training, choose a flat surface, practice in the daytime. A park or stadium will suit. Outdoor classes should take place in warm weather, without heat and cold, without precipitation and strong wind.
- exercise in comfortable clothes. Choose sportswear for pregnant women with a loose fit that does not restrict movement. Use a special bandage to support the back muscles, compression socks and a special supportive top.
- train only when you feel well. Keep an eye on the pulse: it should not exceed 60-70% of the maximum value. If alarm signals appear, stop training and consult a doctor.
- drink water before you feel thirsty. Maintain a water-salt balance while exercising to avoid dehydration. Take care of the opportunity to visit the toilet during the workout.