A healthy body results in a healthy mind. To gain a healthy body, exercise is an ideal choice besides having a balanced diet. Exercise is good for everyone whether you are pregnant or not. But, with obese women, it becomes imperative to exercise during pregnancy to avoid dangerous complications.
Obese women who are pregnant have far greater complications than their counterparts who fall in the average weight bracket. Previous studies led researchers to conclude that obese pregnant women benefit from exercising at the start of the pregnancy. A research study reported that in every one million women, 38,176 who exercised had preeclampsia (pregnancy-related disorder), against 113,000 women who didn’t exercise. That speaks volumes about the importance of exercising during pregnancy.
Continue reading to know how exercises can avoid certain medical complications and benefit obese women during pregnancy:
- Lowers the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and prevents gestational diabetes. It also prevents the chances of diabetes in the future.
- Increases the chances of having a normal delivery. It can shorten the labor time.
- Reduces sleep apnea, a condition common in obese individuals
- There is a lesser chance of miscarriage if you start exercising early on during your pregnancy.
- You can avoid preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure). In extreme case of preeclampsia, the baby may have to be delivered before the full term.
- Prevents delivery complications such as low-birth weight, premature birth, and stillbirth
- Lesser chance of constipation and hemorrhoids
- Helps you sleep and feel better. Reduces your mood swings and gives a feel-good factor
- Reduces cramps in legs, varicose veins, and edema
- Helps in healthy brain development of the fetus
- Reduces fatigue, lower back pain, and other nagging pains during pregnancy
- Fastens the healing time post-delivery
Exercise keeps you healthy overall, stabilizes mood, improves fitness, and most importantly prepares you for the big day of delivery.
Now that you know the benefits of pre-natal exercises, let us help you with different kinds of exercises you can try during pregnancy:
- Walking: Walking is the best and safe exercise that keeps your blood pressure normal. Start with 10-15 minutes initially and increase the time to 30 minutes gradually. Try to be active at least for 30 minutes during the day.
- Swimming: This could be a fun and good way to exercise. Moreover, it’s safe and helps in relaxing all your muscles without feeling drained out. Water activities help reduce sciatic pain, back pain, and swollen legs.
- Pre-natal Yoga: Most health practitioners recommend pre-natal yoga as it helps you relax, builds strength in your muscles, and prepares you for labor. You can try the Lamaze breathing techniques as it prepares you for childbirth. However, practice yoga under an experienced and certified yoga trainer.
- Aerobics and dancing: Have some fun while you workout with aerobics and dancing. Just ensure that you try moves that are less risky and have less impact on your body and the baby’s health.
- Take up a hobby such as gardening or pottery, which involves a certain amount of physical activity.
If you are obese, it’s always a good idea to lose weight and make some lifestyle changes before you try to conceive. Even a five percent decrease in your pre-pregnancy weight can increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and strengthen your body for childbirth. Remember not to over do it and be cautious, as it might be risky for the baby. Talk to your doctor before you try any new kind of physical activity. So exercise moderately and eat healthy.
We hope this article helped you. Do share exercises that you had tried during your pregnancy so that expecting mothers can benefit from your experience.