Walking, swimming and rest, was recommended earlier to pregnant women. Today we know that sporty women feel better, often have easier pregnancies and remain flexible, positive and above all in form. All these is beneficial for physical, mental and emotional well-being, and typical pregnancy symptoms can be reduced. However, too much sport in early pregnancy may also increase the risk of miscarriage. Previously pregnant women were recommended to rest more so that nothing happens to the offspring. Today moderate exercise is recommended. Moderate means not out of breath and feel good.
By lightweight sports back pain or constipation can be reduced. The body is better supplied with oxygen, strengthen the immune system, there is less water in the tissue incorporated, women sleep better and are generally fitter for birth, and they also recover more rapidly afterwards. Pregnancy is no time for high-performance sports, due to the fact that the body works through the proceeding changes already in full swing. Research shows that there is a relationship between frequency of sport and the risk of miscarriage. In addition, for women who performed more than seven hours of sport per week until the 18th week, the risk of preterm birth is three and a half times higher than in pregnant women that were not as active.
Best is feeling fit with the right sport
The sport type also seems to have an influence on the risk of preterm birth – so-called high-impact sports such as jogging, football or tennis you should better avoid. Pregnant women are to remain physically active despite increased caution and thereby feel particularly well. The competent and adequate stress perception of pregnant woman plays a particularly important role for the well-being.
Tips for sport during pregnancy
- During pregnancy the heart rate, blood pressure and the amount of blood in the body increase. Also taboo are mountain tours over 2,500 meters above sea, because there is too little oxygen in the air. Even a marathon or general sports under competition and high performance conditions should be avoided.
- More strenuous sports leads to overheat of the body. That must be avoided in the first three months of pregnancy, due to the fact that then the organs of the fetus are formed, and this process needs stable temperature conditions, otherwise there will be malformations. Longer sauna visits should be avoided and in case of fever the doctor should be contacted.
- Ligaments and tendons are soft (and sometimes unstable) in pregnancy. The joints are, however, stable. The increase in body weight loads the joints stronger.
- Maternal and child hypoglycemia due to increased energy demand is also a risk for the offspring. Best is to always keep an appropriate energy balance.
- Sports courses for pregnant women – that’s the safe way of workout. If you visit other courses, tell your coach of your circumstances. This also applies if you are a member of a fitness center.
Every pregnancy is unique. Get the advice of your doctor and follow this. Perform the sport that you enjoy and do as much as feels right for you. And do not overdo.
No sport in these cases
Some women, however, should refrain from sports or perform sports activities with special caution. Especially in the cases of a previous miscarriage or preterm birth. Because then the risk for both is greater. Even women who suffer from anemia, already have joint problems or thyroid disorders, must be extra careful. Also those who have extreme under- or over-weight and easy gasping for breath should be better without sport. Please follow your doctor’s advice, and inform him best about your exercise program.
Aqua Fit, Nordic walking, stretching, body toning, aerobics, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are all recommended. Pilates trains specifically the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, which is heavily loaded in pregnancy. Many exercises are carried out on all fours, which is optimal in pregnancy. If your child is in the last few weeks in the breech position, these exercises can encourage even rotation in the cephalic presentation. Some positions, especially the prone or supine position, however, are no longer recommended in mid-pregnancy. If you still want to continue training, you should look for a course specifically for pregnant. Many gyms now offer Pilates classes.
all risky sports – Boxing, Bungee jumping, figure skating, parachute, gymnastics, horseback riding, diving, water skiing, mountain biking should be avoided.
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