pregnancy and exercise are like ketchup and mustard…you just can’t have one without the other! i truly believe from the research i have read and from my own personal experience that exercise and pregnancy go hand in hand. they are the yin and the yang. you can’t have one without the other, or rather you can, but shouldn’t have one without the other. of course the variation in exercises will most definitely vary from one women to the next, but the fact is that each and every pregnant lady should do some form of exercise. not only for themselves; to make you feel better, maintain your strength during pregnancy and labour, increase your recovery time, along with many more positives. but, you should also exercise to help the health of your unborn child. research shows that exercise during your pregnancy can benefit your baby both in heart and overall health. in a previous blog post titled, “exercise your mind, body and soul for a healthy you and baby” i talk about many of the health benefits that exercising during pregancy will give you and your baby! check it out and i’m sure you will agree (whether you want to exercise or not) that you should get up off your tushy and start walking today!
i recently read an article in the Globe and Mail titled, “The 40-week workout.” i want to link you directly to the article, but the Globe and Mail has a new policy in place where you can only read articles online if you pay for the e-paper? so lame! anyhow i will tell you a bit about it. the article was written by alex hutchinson and it speaks about research that was done to determine the benefits of exercise, along with how much exercise is too much exercise for pregnant women. they had a control group whom had to be sedentary throughout the pregnancy, which they said was the hardest part of the entire experiment! this would have hands down been the hardest thing for me to do. i just can’t sit still pregnant or not!! the other group met each week and exercised 4 times per week. the exercises included intervals, cardio, weights, and walking. they found by the end of the pregnancy and post delivery that the women whom participated in the active/exercise portion of the experiment reduced the chance of a cesarean and have a faster recovery time. baby weight and length showed no significant differences for either group.
another portion of the experiment involved a group of olympic athletes and their exercise during their pregnancy. they followed them and their rigorous exercises and found that there was some dips in the fetal heart rate during the maximal treadmill test that took the women to exhaustion. there was also a change in the blood flow to the umbilical cord and it took on average about 2 1/2 minutes to get the blood flow back to a normal rate. all the women delivered healthy babies at healthy birth weights. so far there isn’t enough information and research to say that those whom exercise too much or too hard are harming causing detriment to their unborn babies’ health, but there is enough information to say that we should all try to keep our exercise moderate and at a healthy level.
so…the main point is to exercise for you and your baby, but keep it within a healthy moderate level. for those of you out there whom are like myself, exercise fanatics, this isn’t always easy to do. it’s mentally hard to slow down and do less, but for the sake of our babies it’s a must! if you don’t exercise than start now and if you do than congrats and remember to keep it at a moderate pace! enjoy being physically fit and help your baby get the best start to a healthy life!!
More should be done to publicise the importance of exercise during pregnancy, it is so crucial! Your body is about to go through its most gruelling experience, why would you not want to be in the best shape possible? being as healthy as possible has been shown to lower the prevalence of birth injuries, which is as good a reason as any to move a bit more!