Here’s What Research Says About Exercise in Pregnancy
My PregActive workouts have been designed and created specifically for pregnant women. These workouts adhere to ACOG’s recommendations for exercising while pregnant.
Whichever form of pregnancy exercise you choose, please ensure that you only participate in workouts that are safe, and that are based on the recommended guidelines of health professionals.
Below are some research findings on prenatal and postnatal exercise.
Avoid Exercises that Involve a lot of Balance
(Olson & Blackwell, 2011) On average when pregnant, most women will gain between 10-15kg anteriorly and central which can cause a change in center of gravity. As a result, that can have an effect on coordination, balance and posture.
The parallel increase in weight gain and ligament laxity contributes to 50% of women suffering from lower back pain during pregnancy.
Less Pelvic, Shoulder and Lower Back Pain
(Artal & O’Toole, 2003) Research indicates that women who exercise in pregnancy experience less pelvic, shoulder and lower back pain. The increased fitness, pelvic floor and abdominal strength associated with an appropriate exercise program assists women through with delivery and post birth recovery.
Stay Hydrated and Rest when Needed
(American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2002) In addition to postural changes, vascular changes cause an increase in resting heart rate, maximal heart rate and a blood pressure decrease. Monitoring hydration, heat status, rest periods and changes in position is an essential component of exercise therapy.
Excessive Weight Gain Can Lead to High Risk Pregnancy
(Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2003) Up to 50% of pregnancies exceed the recommended healthy weight gain leading to high-risk pregnancies, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Excessive Weight Gain Can Lead to Childhood Obesity
(Olson & Blackwell, 2011) Additional weight gain during pregnancy also acts as a pre-curser to postpartum weight retention and an increased risk of obesity for the child in adulthood.
Postnatal Exercise Can Help You to Achieve a Healthy Weight
(Siega-Riz, Viswanathan & Moos, 2003) Women who return to exercise within 6 months of giving birth are more likely to return to a healthy weight range.
Exercise Plays an Important Role in Helping with Postnatal Depression
(Gaynes et al., 2005) Postpartum depression remains one of the leading complications during the prenatal and postpartum period. Exercise increases the release of endorphins, provides a sense of mastery, increases self-esteem, improves body image perception, provides a sense of achievement, as well as acting as a distraction from stressful stimuli (Daley & Macarthur, 2007).
Adopt Healthy Habits during Pregnancy
(Sports Medicine Australia, 2013) Habits that are adopted during pregnancy play a major role in shaping Women’s health for the rest of their life.