Doctors across the world emphasize the importance of exercising during pregnancy. Pregnant women interested in boxing may want to know if it is safe and whether they can continue boxing during pregnancy. Moderate and low-impact exercises such as aerobics, jogging, brisk walking, etc., have several health benefits for the mother and the fetus. Boxing is not a low-impact exercise, and hence expecting mothers may have some apprehensions (1). Read this post to know about the health benefits, contraindications, and precautions while boxing when expecting.
Health Benefits Of Boxing During Pregnancy
Here are some of the crucial health benefits of practicing boxing exercise during pregnancy:
1. Build Strong Bones And Ligaments:
Boxing strengthens your bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. The strenuous physical activity facilitates improved metabolic rate and an easy removal of toxic wastes from your body.
2. Increases Cardiovascular Fitness:
Boxing incorporates full body movement that makes your heart and lungs work properly. It supplies enough amounts of blood and oxygen to the growing fetus. So, boxing boosts your cardiovascular fitness.
3. Improves Strength And Power:
Boxing is an ultimate full body workout that strengthens your hips, legs, glutes, chest, back, and shoulder. Punching against resistance makes your muscles stronger and boosts your overall strength and power.
Boxing is a stress relieving exercise that helps you remain active during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to avoid practicing hard kicks and punches after the second trimester of your pregnancy (2).
Reasons To Avoid Boxing During Pregnancy
Doctors encourage the expectant mom to practice moderate physical exercises, but for boxing there are certain guidelines to follow. When the mother punches or kicks the punching bag hard, it imposes jarring effects into the uterus, posing risk to the fetus.
Here are some of the common reasons why boxing isn’t safe during pregnancy:
1. Higher Risk Injury:
Boxing increases the possibility of contact injury, and you are at greater risk to get directly kicked in the lower abdomen.
It is essential to protect your belly during pregnancy from blows and injuries. Avoid boxing the usual way during pregnancy. For instance, if you boxed with another person, switch to boxing on a punching bag during pregnancy.
2. Losing Body Balance:
There is a real risk of losing balance and falling on the ground. The over-strained ligaments can easily get ruptured due to sudden falls and increase the possibility of miscarriage. There is a change in your center of gravity during later trimesters, increasing the risk of falls.
Boxing can heat your body quickly, which is extremely dangerous for the growing fetus. Remember to take frequent breaks when boxing during pregnancy.
When To Stop Practicing Boxing During Pregnancy?
Boxing during pregnancy increases the chances of sudden abdomen attack and membrane rupture. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop boxing and seek immediate medical attention:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Excessive shortness of breath
- Pelvic or back pain
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Chest pain
- Painful contractions or any leakage of amniotic fluid
A Word Of Caution
There are some other things that you should remain careful about while practicing boxing while you are pregnant:
- Take care to not overheat during boxing. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid exercising in hot weather to avoid dehydration .
- Do not let your blood sugar level drop excessively. If you are practicing boxing or other strenuous physical activity, it is important to take more calories than normal. These extra calories can help you regain enough energy and avoid overexertion.
- Wear appropriate shoes and clothing to practice the exercising regime.
- Monitor your breathing rate closely and adjust your intensity, according to your body’s capacity.
- Stop practicing boxing immediately if you feel dizzy, faint or suffer from severe heart palpitations (3)
Regular exercise during pregnancy can help you stay fit and flexible. If you used to box regularly before getting pregnant, you could continue doing so during pregnancy. However, you need to follow some precautions to ensure boxing during pregnancy poses no risks to your and your baby’s health. Boxing requires quick, high-intensity movements, which can cause loss of balance, raising the risk of injuries. Besides, it can cause overheating, which could cause dehydration. So, take the necessary precautions and talk to a professional to know the safest boxing techniques while pregnant.