Should I Be Physically Active During My Pregnancy? | Body and Soul

Should I Be Physically Active During My Pregnancy? | Body and Soul

Published February 25, 2009

( -- Almost all women can and should be physically active during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider first, particularly if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, bleeding, or other disorders, or if you are obese or underweight.

Whether or not you were active before you were pregnant, ask your health care provider about a level of exercise that is safe for you. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (one that makes you breathe harder but does not overwork or overheat you) on most, if not all, days of the week.

Regular, moderate-intensity physical activity during pregnancy may:

-- Help you and your baby to gain the proper amounts of weight.
-- Reduce the discomforts of pregnancy, such as backaches, leg cramps, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
-- Reduce your risk for gestational diabetes (diabetes found for the first time when a woman is pregnant).
-- Improve your mood and energy level.
-- Improve your sleep.
-- Help you have an easier, shorter labor.
-- Help you to recover from delivery and return to a healthy weight faster.

Follow these safety precautions while being active during your pregnancy:

-- Choose moderate activities that are unlikely to injure you, such as walking, aqua aerobics, swimming, yoga, or using a stationary bike.
-- Stop exercising when you start to feel tired, and never exercise until you are exhausted or overheated.
-- Drink plenty of water.
-- Wear comfortable clothing that fits well and supports and protects your breasts.
-- Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, pain in your back, swelling, numbness, sick to your stomach, or if your heart is beating too fast or at an uneven rate.

BDO ( ) is the World’s largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans.

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