A common question that many women have when pregnant is whether or not they should continue with their exercise programs. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), almost all women can and should be physically active during pregnancy. They recommend that women aim for around 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, one that gets you breathing harder but not to the point of exhaustion, on most days of the week. Knowing the ins and outs of exercising through pregnancy can help keep moms-to-be safe and in better condition.
“Maintaining an appropriate exercise program through pregnancy is important for both the mother and the baby,” explains Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer, and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc., who is also the strength and conditioning coach for WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “Many people are surprised to learn what they can and should be doing when it comes to exercising while pregnant. Maintaining an exercise program will not only bring you health benefits, but it will also help keep you feeling good emotionally.”
Coach Walls has worked with many women through pregnancy to help them maintain a healthy workout routine, as well as get started with one. The NIH reports that exercising during pregnancy helps reduce pregnancy discomfort, lowers the risks of gestational diabetes, improves sleep, improves mood, helps with an easier labor, and helps provide a faster recovery after delivery. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to exercising through pregnancy: