…..Obstetrical health professionals have always told their patients that regular, moderate exercise during pregnancy is beneficial and safe for both the mother and fetus. It is generally agreed that exercise can reduce the common discomforts of pregnancy. Exercise may even help decrease the risks of gestational diabetes and even preeclampsia.
…..The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic exercise per week. I have always suggested walking a 1/2 hour daily while trying not to get overheated or out of breath. If you are able to carry on a regular conversation during your walk, then you are probably not overdoing it. The problem is not knowing how much is overdoing it, and the guidelines are vague.
…..Should elite athletes continue vigorous programs during their pregnancy? Should overweight or inactive women begin some exercise regime during their pregnancy? Once again, relating to these questions, the problem is that detailed studies with direct answers are scarce.
…..However, new studies are now being undertaken at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center that may give some direct answers. Recently, two articles were published from their program which showed that even inactive healthy women can exercise moderately during their pregnancy without problems. They also showed that athletes may continue vigorous exercise safely. Their very scientific research continues, and finally, we may have the answers for our patients.
…..Lastly, common sense should always be used: pregnancy is not the time to begin activities that may increase your risk of injury. That means no kickboxing!