So many of our pregnant patients are confused about what they can and can’t do. They have a ton of questions. One of the main questions they ask me is: Can I still exercise while I’m pregnant? Will I hurt my baby if I exercise while I’m pregnant?
The answer is that you absolutely can exercise. In fact, exercise should be a major part of what your doctor prescribes so that you stay happy and healthy during your pregnancy. Exercise increases energy and balances blood sugar, and even helps you have a healthier delivery.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise during pregnancy reduces back pain, swelling and weight gain, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, reduces the risk of C-section, improves sleep and energy and improves strength.
This is the Parsley Health Recipe for Exercise During Pregnancy:
Each day aim for 30 minutes of walking, yoga, pilates, or moderate to intense exercise.
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Each week aim for:
- Two 25 minutes of cardio that cause you to sweat and raises your heart rate such as a stationary bike elliptical or running. A gentle walk doesn’t count if you don’t sweat and your heart rate doesn’t go up.
- One hour of yoga, modifying as necessary as your belly gets bigger. The risk of inducing injury from over-stretching as your connective tissue softens due to natural chemicals during pregnancy is overblown! Be careful, but do stretch.
- Two 20 minute sessions of resistance training such as weight lifting, TRX or resistance bands
- Sports that could cause a major crash or fall like unassisted rock climbing, skiing and outdoor cycling unless you are a super confident athlete to start with in one of these areas.
- Core work like crunches sit-ups, boat pose and plank pose in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters to avoid over tightening the abs and the risk of diastasis recti, the splitting of the abdomen.