Physical activity throughout pregnancy

Physical activity throughout pregnancy

Physical activity is crucial in any periods of your life. Let it be childhood or elderly age, no matter when going in for sports always brings its benefits. Specifically, if you are going to become a mother being active would impact your future baby.

However, of course, like training after an injury or with any condition, pregnant exercising needs proper attitude as you can even harm your baby. That's why the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) provided renewed guidance for pregnant women, obstetric care and exercise professionals on prenatal physical activity.

Their first strong recommendation states that it's necessary to stay physically active throughout pregnancy if you are without contraindication.

In order to achieve clinically meaningful health benefits and reductions in pregnancy complications, pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 min of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

A minimum of 3 days per week - the period physical activity should be accumulated; Nevertheless, being active every day is encouraged.

Adding yoga, gentle stretching and a variety of aerobic and resistance training activities may also be beneficial. Pregnant women should incorporate those ones that would always please her self-feeling.

It is also recommended to perform pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) (e.g., Kegel exercises) on a daily basis to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence. Don't forget to follow the instruction on the proper technique to obtain optimal benefits.

Their last tip of very-low-quality evidence concerns those who experience nausea, light-headedness or feel unwell when they exercise flat on their back. Such women should modify their exercise position to avoid the supine position.

What about contraindications, pregnant women who suffer from different obstacles to stay physically active should consult their curing doctor until entering the gym.

Below are absolute contraindications to exercise:

  • Ruptured membranes
  • Premature labour
  • Unexplained persistent vaginal bleeding
  • Placenta praevia after 28 weeks’ gestation
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • High-order multiple pregnancy (e.g., triplets)
  • Uncontrolled type I diabetes
  • Uncontrolled thyroid disease
  • Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory or systemic disorder

The following are relative contraindications to exercise:

  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Malnutrition
  • A history of spontaneous preterm birth
  • Mild/moderate cardiovascular or respiratory disease
  • Symptomatic anaemia
  • Eating disorder
  • Twin pregnancy after the 28th week
  • Other significant medical conditions

There are no doubts that the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy has shed light on prenatal physical activity. Behaviour recommended in this manual will certainly improve the quality of life, reduce pregnancy complications and optimise health across the lifespan of two generations.

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