Exercise is good for everyone – including pregnant women. A certain level of fitness and mobility can actually reduce the risk of a cesarean section at birth and help with weight control. Nevertheless, pregnant women need to take particular care and cannot participate in every kind of exercise. What are some things you should take into account?
Exercise is positive in principle. However, as a pregnant woman especially, you do not want to overdo it. The cardiovascular system is already strained due to your pregnancy, hormonal changes, and an increased volume of blood. Trying a new sport or working out at a much higher intensity than usual can easily lead to injuries.
Nevertheless, there are many ways to keep physically fit – even for those who don’t consider themselves athletic! What is certain is that exercising during pregnancy has many advantages for mother and child, so those who are not interested in exercise should still get moving for the sake of the baby. Instead of starting to run, for example, walking or swimming are good ways to ease into exercise while protecting the joints and circulation.
Always talk to your doctor beforehand about what kind of exercise you can do.
Sports that can easily lead to falls and knocks to the stomach can be dangerous and are not recommended, including mountain biking, skiing, and horseback riding. Vibrations, jumps, and sudden "stop & go" movements, such as those common when playing squash or tennis, can even increase the risk of miscarriage.
Ball sports with a lot of physical contact, as in various team sports, are also not advisable for pregnant women. A heavy strain on the circulation and/or the joints during excessive endurance training (marathon, triathlon) or when hiking with major differences in altitude and diving can also be problematic.
The exercise that is suitable for you depends not only on your medical history, but also on the individual course of your pregnancy, which varies from one woman to another. It is therefore very important to consult your doctor during pregnancy.