YOUR BEST LIFE
Tips for Living Healthy in South Arkansas
Manager, JRMC Wellness Centers
Many women and physicians were once concerned that regular physical activity during pregnancy might cause miscarriage, premature delivery, poor fetal growth, or musculoskeletal injury. However, in recent years, the stigma against exercise has not only disappeared, but working out has become a recommendation for many women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Participation in regular weight-bearing exercise has been shown to improve fitness in the mother, restrict weight gain without compromising the growth of the child, and decrease recovery time after the birth. It is also suggested that exercise helps prevent gestational diabetes.
Making your physician aware of your interest to exercise during pregnancy is critically important. Also, if you’re exercising and experience anything that concerns you, another consult with your physician is in order. Otherwise, participation in a wide range of activities appears safe during pregnancy. In fact, only those activities which pose a high risk of falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided. As with the general population, 30 minutes or more of moderately intense exercise is recommended on most, it not all, days of the week.
The first trimester of pregnancy is a time of great development for the fetus, so expectant moms should avoid large increases in core body temperature. Luckily, given adequate hydration, active pregnant women regulate their body temperature better than sedentary, pregnant women.
Dramatic changes to an expectant mother’s body are displayed in the second and third trimesters, affecting a woman’s posture and center of gravity. As a result, exercises requiring balance and agility may become more difficult. Due to cardiovascular changes, it is also recommended that women not perform exercises that require them to lie on their back, face up.
Beginning a moderately high/high intensity exercise program AFTER finding out you’re pregnant might not be the best idea. However, as long as you follow the recommendations above, if you are already exercising regularly or if you choose to begin a low to moderately intense program, your risk of harming yourself or your baby is minimal. And it might just be one of the best things you can do! The JRMC Wellness Centers, located in Pine Bluff and White Hall, offer a variety of fitness options for all ages and interests. Free weights, machines, cardio equipment, personal trainers and a full schedule of Les Mills classes are available at both facilities. For more information call the Pine Bluff (541-7890) or White Hall (850-8000) facility.