Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Speaking of “exercise”, we are referring either to aerobic activities (such as swimming) or to strength exercises. Gentle exercise is safe during pregnancy, but in any case, it is your doctor who will advise you, consider your overall health and potential risk factors and choose the most appropriate form of exercise for you. It goes without saying that sports that can put the athlete at risk, such as sports that involve physical contact or are at risk of losing balance or falling, as well as diving, should be avoided. In addition, avoid exercises that exacerbate your waist, especially after the first trimester of pregnancy.

What kind of exercises can I do?

As the safest forms of exercise, activities such as walking, jogging, swimming (and more generally aerobic exercise in the water), static cycling and dancing are recommended.

What are the benefits of exercising?

The positive effects of exercise – wellness, enhancement of strength, endurance, and posture – obviously concern women who are pregnant. In addition, mild, but systematic, exercise during pregnancy is associated with reduced back pain, reduced constipation, abdominal swelling and the possibility of hypertension. Exercise will probably also improve your sleep, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, making it easier to cope with birth, and getting your body back into shape sooner after birth.

How much should I exercise each time?

In order to benefit, you need to exercise regularly, day by day or even daily, for at least half an hour each time. If, however, you were not exercising before pregnancy, you should start with a mild fifteen minute program, gradually increasing the duration to 30 minutes.

As pregnancy progresses will I need to change my fitness program?

As pregnancy progresses, the intensity with which you work out should decrease. Ask your attending physician for instructions.

When do I need to stop exercising?

Any unusual symptoms during exercise are a signal that you should stop your activity and seek medical advice. Indicatively, if you feel dizzy, headache or painful nuisance anywhere in the body, if you have difficulty breathing, bleeding, vaginal fluid leakage, if vaginal contractions occur or if you just feel sudden discomfort, you need to stop exercising.

Do I need to know something else?

Before any form of exercise, your muscles and joints should warm up, and you should gradually reduce the intensity of your effort as you approach the end of your workout. Equally important is the intake of fluids before, during and after the end of exercise.
The Doctor

Dr. Nikolopoulos maintains a private practice in ATHENS, while collaborating exclusively with MITERA’s maternity hospital and the new HYGEIA IVF Athens Assisted Reproduction Unit. At the same time, he is in charge of the Fertility and In Vitro Fertilization clinic at City Hospital, in the city of KALAMATA.