Should a pregnant woman exercise?
Terry Huff, MD, is an OB/GYN who practices at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz.
Question: I am pregnant; is it safe to exercise?
Answer: Exercise is universal in achieving good health.
Women who don’t exercise during pregnancy become progressively less fit as the months go by. A good exercise program can counteract this progression. It can increase energy levels, help you feel better physically and emotionally, improve sleeping, and strengthen muscle and endurance. It can make labor easier as well as help you get back to pre-pregnancy shape faster.
Exercise programs are numerous, and can include aerobics, weight training, water workouts, yoga and long walks. What ever you do, there are a few things to consider as you begin. Always start slowly. Begin with gentle stretching and don’t over do it. Pregnancy has its own aches and pains. You don’t want to add to them by doing too much too quickly.
Establishing these habits during pregnancy can contribute to the development of lifelong habits that can benefit both mother and child throughout their lives.