Why exercise during pregnancy is beneficial

By | August 14, 2019

It is proved that sports during pregnancy do not harm a woman and a child (if there are no contraindications for playing sports), but on the contrary, provide a number of advantages for mother and baby:

  • a decrease in the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (if diabetes develops, then
  • the level of glucose is lower in women involved in sports);
  • a decrease in the likelihood of preeclampsia (preeclampsia);
  • reduction in the frequency of birth by caesarean section;
  • reduction in the frequency of birth using vacuum aspiration or forceps;
  • faster recovery after childbirth;
  • less weight gain during pregnancy;
  • in the presence of lower back pain, various exercises in the water (swimming, water aerobics, aqua yoga) reduce the severity of the pain syndrome.

If we talk about the negative side of training, it was found that intense stress during pregnancy can cause contraction of the uterus muscles (cramping pains in the lower abdomen), but this effect does not lead to an increase in the frequency of premature birth in women involved in sports.

Features of physical activity
During pregnancy, anatomical and physiological changes occur in the body of a woman, which should be considered when playing sports. The main ones are an increase in body weight and a shift in the center of gravity (as a result, a greater severity of lumbar lordosis). This increases the load on all joints, including the spine. This should be considered during strength training. Up to 60% of pregnant women experience back pain during exercise during pregnancy. When pain occurs, it is necessary to abandon the loads that require lifting any weights, replacing them with exercises aimed at strengthening the back muscles and abdominal muscles.
Sports for pregnant women have some features, since during pregnancy the following parameters increase: the volume of circulating fluid, heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output. This reduces the total peripheral vascular resistance. These hemodynamic changes are aimed at creating a “reserve”, which allows the woman and the fetus to be provided with the necessary substances both at rest and during physical exertion. These features dictate the need to abandon static loads during pregnancy, since these loads reduce venous return and can lead to hypotension (lowering blood pressure) in 10-20% of pregnant women (for example, some yoga asanas, as well as any exercises that require a long lying on your back).

Changes in the organs of the respiratory system (doubling the minute volume of ventilation) lead, on the one hand, to difficulties with anaerobic exercise, and, on the other hand, to “delayed” oxygen supply during aerobic exercise (if a pregnant woman builds up exercise). In this regard, both anaerobic and aerobic loads can be given to a pregnant woman much harder than before pregnancy.

Many women have to give up strength during pregnancy (or not to start them if they have not been trained before and are overweight). Moderate aerobic exercise is beneficial for a pregnant woman, however, you must carefully monitor your condition during training and stop it when breathing is difficult and there is a lack of oxygen.
During pregnancy, thermoregulatory mechanisms also suffer. In this regard, during exercise, a pregnant woman must avoid overheating and dehydration. To do this, drink enough water during training, avoid training in the open sun or in a poorly air-conditioned room. It is worth noting that overheating, obtained, for example, in a sauna, can lead to some complications during pregnancy. And overheating, which inevitably accompanies physical activity, does not have such an effect.

Despite significant changes in the anatomy and physiology of a pregnant woman, sports during pregnancy pose virtually no health risk. So, in many scientific studies, the main complications after doing fitness during pregnancy were only minor injuries and sprains. Undoubtedly, you should be as attentive as possible to yourself during training in order to avoid these complications!

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