7 Amazing Health Benefits Of High-Intensity Exercises During Pregnancy

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An expectant mother needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle during her pregnancy, which involves doing exercises. However, if you wish to do high-intensity exercises during pregnancy, you should first know its benefits and side effects.

You need to take utmost care of your baby’s health during pregnancy. Doing light-weight exercises and stretching can help keep you in good shape and help the baby develop well. However, ensure you do not put too much strain on your back or belly as it might put the baby’s health at risk.

Read on to know more about the exercises you should and should not do when pregnant.

Basic Information About High Intensity Exercises (HIIT)

HIIT exercises help maintain fitness in pregnant women.

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High intensity interval training or HIIT is a training regime that incorporates high intensity exercises with intervals. High-intensity exercising consists of different exercises including running and squatting. Some consider HIIT exercises to be more effective than cardio exercises. This exercising form enhances the body’s endurance and maintains fitness aspects of pregnant women.

Importance Of HIIT Exercises During Pregnancy

Consult your doctor before starting HIIT exercises during pregnancy.

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Practicing subtle and effective HIIT exercising routines can have positive impacts on both you and your unborn baby. However, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercises like cardio or HIIT exercises during pregnancy. Some of the benefits of practicing HIIT exercises during pregnancy are as follows (1) (2):

  • It helps reduce pregnancy niggles, such as back pain, pelvic girdle pain, constipation, and fatigue.
  • It helps to maintain a healthy weight and prevent the mother from getting obese.
  • It helps to reduce depression or mental stress.
  • It helps prepare the mother’s body for labor and the baby’s birth.

Effective HIIT Exercises During Pregnancy

Jump squats, High intensity exercises during pregnancy.

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  • Rounds
  • Jump squats
  • Clean and press
  • 180 jumps
  • Renegade pushups/rows

When To Stop Performing High Intensity Exercise During Pregnancy?

Stop practicing HIIT exercises if you face sudden dizziness.

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Stop practicing HIIT exercises, if you encounter the following health discomforts (2):

  • Intense chest, joint or stomach pain
  • Sudden dizziness or fainting due to excess exhaustion
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Contractions

Can Pregnant Women Practice High-Intensity Exercise In The First Trimester?

HIIT exercises may be safe to follow in the first trimester based on individual level of comfort and experience with such an exercise routine. However, consult your doctor before trying out any new exercise regimes during pregnancy. Further, the type of exercise followed can be modified to suit pregnancy-related physical changes (3).

Health Benefits Of High-Intensity Exercises During Pregnancy

Some of the health benefits of HIIT exercises are as follows (4) (5):

1. Reduce Pain:

Pregnant moms suffer from intense pain during gestation. Practicing high-intensity exercises during the first trimester reduces the symptoms of joint or back pain.

2. Burn More Fat:

High-intensity exercises burn the excess fat from the mother’s body. With the onset of pregnancy, there is an excess deposition of body fats. But to regain your body shape, immediately after conceiving, it is essential to practice healthy and effective HIIT exercises.

3. Elevate Mood And Energy:

Regular exercising relieves anxiety and stress.

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Regular exercising rejuvenates the feeling of depression and helps relieve anxiety and stress.

4. Improve Muscle Tone:

Keeps the muscle well toned and prevents unwanted sagging.

5. Prevent Gestational Diabetes:

Pregnant mothers are more prone to suffer from gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. HIIT exercise prevents gestational diabetes and keeps the body fit and free from diseases.

6. Help Promote A Good Night’s Sleep:

With regular exercising, the pregnant mother would get a complete night sleep and stay away from the problems of sleep deprivation.

7. Promote Healthy Heart:

Practicing HIIT workouts reduces the symptoms of cardiac problems in a pregnant woman.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. For how long can I do high-intensity workouts while pregnant?

Every pregnant woman and her overall health during pregnancy is unique. Therefore, the duration of workouts can vary. Nevertheless, remember to listen to your body and stop if you begin to feel uncomfortable (6).

2. Which exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?

Any exercise that involves intense movements should be avoided. A few examples include running, lifting heavy weights, and contact sports.

You may continue doing high-intensity exercises during pregnancy if you’ve been practicing them before pregnancy or if you’re an athlete. HIIT exercises have been proved to relieve pain, boost mood, promote a healthy heart and good night’s sleep, and prevent gestational diabetes, among other benefits. However, before beginning any workout regimen, you should see your doctor. Certain exercises can also be modified to accommodate the physical changes related to pregnancy. Stop exercising if you feel restless, out of breath, in pain, or have other health discomforts. Instead, try some light-weight exercise and stretching.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Sally K. Hinman et al.; (2015); Exercise in pregnancy.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622376/
  2. Exercise during pregnancy.
    https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy#:~:text=How%20much%20should%20I%20exercisearms
  3. T. S. Nagpal et al.; (2021); To HIIT or not to HIIT? The question pregnant women may be searching for online: a descriptive observational study.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33579178/
  4. Being active.
    https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/pregnancy
  5. Exercise During Pregnancy.
    https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/exercise-during-pregnancy.aspx
  6. Intense Exercise during Pregnancy: Too Much of a Good Thing or Not?
    https://mothertobaby.org/baby-blog/intense-exercise-during-pregnancy-too-much-of-a-good-thing-or-not/
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Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.