Pregnancy usually brings happiness but can also bring pain, fatigue and stress. Exercise during pregnancy improves overall health of mom-to-be and baby. A regular exercise program during pregnancy will help stretch tight muscles and increase strength of weak muscles to decrease low back pain. Exercise naturally boosts energy levels so you should have less fatigue throughout the day.
If it is your first baby, certain exercises address core and pelvic strength needed to push during delivery. Knowing which muscles to use when asked to “push” will calm your nerves leading up to and during the big day. Exercising during pregnancy will also help you recover after delivery faster than if you did not exercise through pregnancy. Your muscles will be stronger and thus get you back to your daily activities with less post-partum muscle pain.
How Much Exercise is Enough... or Too Much?
So, you know the benefits but how much is enough or too much? If you have been participating in a regular exercise routine pre-pregnancy, then it is good to continue within your comfort zone. You may need to decrease your intensity of exercise to stay comfortable during and post-workout. If you have never exercised before, walking is a great start. It is generally good to walk 30 minutes per day at a comfortable pace. You should not engage in high impact exercise if you have not done these activities before pregnancy. For example, this is not the time to start training for your first ever marathon or signing up for step aerobics. It is the time to commit to a regular exercise routine for you and your baby’s health.
Talk to Your Provider about Safety
It is best to talk to your provider for safe exercise guidelines during and after pregnancy. Your provider can give you recommendations on how best to exercise, whether on your own or with the guidance of a physical therapist. There are safe exercises to help address pain, fatigue and stress associated with pregnancy. Our Physical Therapy team works with many moms-to-be pre and post-partum utilizing manual therapy and therapeutic exercises to improve overall pregnancy experience.
Putting Women First
We are fortunate to have Denyse Hermann, DPT, Women's Health Specialist, as part of our Physical Therapy team. Denyse provides support for pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and prenatal and postnatal pain, among other issues. To make an appointment with Denyse, call 719-589-8100.